When it comes to cutting costs, Peter Anderson is a pro. His personal finance blog BibleMoneyMatters.com is a must-read for anyone interested in saving more money, reducing their debt, and improving their overall financial situation.
Not surprisingly, Peter is a cord cutter. Like so many of us, he simply couldn’t justify the high costs of cable TV, so he ditched it, and now he’s here to share his cord cutting story.
How long ago did you cut the cord and what was the final straw?
I first started researching cutting the cord years ago, probably back in 2007-2008. At the time I had just become frustrated with how the cable company kept increasing our bill every few months, the slow trickle of increases never seemed to stop. Back then the options weren’t as plentiful as they were today as far as cutting the cord, and at that time I believe our main cord cutting option was to get an antenna and a DVD recorder to record some of our favorite over-the-air TV shows. We also have had a Netflix subscription for years. That was the start of it. We’ve gone back and forth over the years with paying for cable, then cutting the cord again when we got fed up with the cost.
How much money are you saving since you decided to get rid of cable?
In my article on cutting the cord on my site, after the initial startup costs for my cord cutting package (about $300 or so) – we went from paying about $80/month on our cable TV bill, to paying about just over $20/month (mainly for Netflix, Amazon Prime and Tablo subscriptions). That’s $60/month or $720/year saved by cutting the cord.
What do you do with the money you save by cutting the cord?
I write a personal finance blog, so of course I’m a big proponent of planning ahead and saving for the future. As such, I’m saving and investing part of the difference in my retirement accounts. I’m sure not all of it goes to savings and investments, but a portion of it does. They key idea, however, is that I now have the freedom to take that money not going to the cable company and put it towards whatever I want. I can still have entertainment via TV and movies, but I just don’t have to pay nearly as much to get it now.
What’s your cord cutter setup?
Here’s my current setup, although it always seems to be changing as technologies and services change:
Nuvyyo Tablo TV Over The Air DVR: For watching live TV on all our devices and TVs in our home, as well as recording shows and series of shows on broadcast TV.
Mohu Leaf 50 Antenna: Antenna we use to get reception for our Tablo.
Google Chromecast: We use the Chromecast on our main living room TV to view shows from all the streaming services, as well as from our Tablo.
Fire TV Stick: Similar to the Chromecast, we use this on our basement TV mainly for Amazon content, as well as Netflix.
Netflix: We love all of the children’s content (for my son) as well as all the original content like House of Cards or Arrested Development.
Amazon Instant Video: We already have the Amazon Prime membership, and Amazon Prime video came with it for free. We also use it rarely to rent a first run movie. (Editor’s note: Amazon Prime is currently offering a free 30-day trial that I highly recommend)
Hulu: We use the free version and cast it to our TV.
Google Play Store: We use it rarely to rent movies.
Redbox: When we want to rent a newer movie, we usually go to our local Redbox. You can’t beat a movie rental for $1.
What advice would you offer to someone who’s thinking about getting rid of cable?
Just do it! Even after startup costs (which will likely only take a few months to recoup), you’ll be saving a ton of money every month – money that I’m sure you can put to good use.
My biggest advice when thinking about heading down the road of cutting the cord is to first figure out just what shows and type of entertainment you prefer to watch. Figure out where those shows are available and craft your cord cutting strategy accordingly. If all of the shows you like to watch are available on broadcast TV, you may not need to do anything beyond buying an antenna. If you want to record shows you might buy an over the air DVR or home theater PC to record the shows. If all the shows you watch are on HBO, you may need to think about signing up for the new HBO Now service, which might require you have an Apple device. So figure out what you want to watch, figure out where it’s available, and pay for only the services you need.