Cable companies have yet to figure out how to stop losing customers every quarter. More and more people are cutting the cord, especially young tech-savvy individuals who know how to ditch that $100 monthly cable bill without actually using access to any of their favorite TV shows.
If you love watching TV but are afraid of missing your favorite shows after discontinuing your cable subscription, you should know that there are ways to replace your cable with a smart combination of streaming services that will save you hundreds of dollars each year.
The average American spends $123 a month for cable, or almost $1,500 every year, Business Insider reports. Ditching cable seems like a no-brainer considering the plethora of online streaming services that offer you unlimited access to a ton of content. Netflix, Amazon, Hulu and HBO Go can be used – in various combinations, not necessarily all at once – to replace your cable.
Netflix starts at $8.99 a month if you’re not a subscriber already, and for $4 extra per month you get to use it on four devices at the same time. Hulu Plus is priced at $7.99, offering next-day access to a large collection of TV series. You can also just use the ad-supported version of Hulu for free.
Amazon Prime costs $99 per year and includes many perks, with digital content streaming being one of them. You get access to everything by paying that $99 subscription (see this link) including movies and TV shows. Finally, HBO Go costs $14.99 per month and lets you share the account with two other people.
Subscribing to all of these services would cost you just over $40 per month, which is still cheaper than cable. But if you just pick and choose a few of them and share logins with friends and family who subscribe to the services you don’t, then you’d be able to lower that monthly bill even further. And that’s even if you keep Amazon Prime, which itself is a great deal for those people who are frequent Amazon shoppers.
For live TV shows on the major networks, you should consider investing in a digital antenna that will get you access to live TV programming to Fox, CBS, NBC, and ABC. Here’s a link to a great inexpensive HD antenna you should definitely check out. A $20/month Sling TV subscription brings you even more live TV over the Internet, including access to popular channels such as AMC, Disney, ESPN and even HBO if you pay a bit more.
Finally, if anybody in your family or circle of friends still insists on paying for cable, just use their credentials to stream live TV on your gadgets – they probably won’t mind. And yes, you can always stream your favorite shows and movies the illegal way by either downloading torrents or by using shady streaming sites, but there’s always the risk of having to deal with unwanted consequences, including malware and legal problems.