Should I Drop Cable and Stream Instead?

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Welcome to your “2-Minute Money Manager,” a short video feature answering money questions submitted by readers and viewers.

Today’s question is about cutting the cable; specifically, whether you can watch your favorite shows by ditching cable and using streaming services instead.

It’s a question I’ve asked myself many times. While I haven’t done it yet, I’m now paying more for cable than I used to pay for rent. Watch the following video, and you’ll pick up some valuable info. Or, if you prefer, scroll down to read the full transcript and find out what I said.

You also can learn how to send in a question of your own below.

For more information on this topic, check out “How to Cut the Cable TV Cord in 2018” and “This $16 TV Service Is a Great Way to Cut the Cable Cord.” You can also go to the search at the top of this page, put in the word “cable” and find plenty of information on just about everything relating to this topic.

If you decide to keep your cable, at least make sure you’re getting it for the best possible price. Read “Should You Hire a Service to Negotiate Your Cable and Other Bills?”

Also, remember that if you need anything from a better credit card to help with debt, you’ll find it in our Solutions Center.

Got a question of your own to ask? Scroll down past the transcript.

Don’t want to watch? Here’s what I said in the video

Hello, everyone, and welcome to your “2-Minute Money Manager.” I’m your host, Stacy Johnson, and this answer is brought to you buy the Microsoft Edge web browser. It’s the faster, safer way to get things done on the web.

Now, let’s get to our question. It comes to us from Connie:

“How do I get around cable for watching TV? We all need internet. But what solutions can we do to avoid a $300 cable bill? We want the local channels for news, we have Netflix and trust certain other things to try. Is Sling TV legit? Is there another way? Any help would be deeply appreciated.”

OK, Connie! First, let me tell you, I feel your pain. I’ve got a $300 cable bill, too. I can afford it, but it still stings. So, what can we all do? If you’re going to cut the cable, try this:

Step one: Get yourself an HDTV antenna. Spend $40 or so and you can get an antenna that will bring HD programming into your home the old-fashioned way — over the air. That will get you local programming.

Step two: Make sure your TV is smart; in other words, that your TV can hook up to the internet. Most TVs these days are smart. But if yours isn’t, you can buy something from Amazon or Google for about 30 bucks, plug it into the back of your old TV and make it smart. That’s going to get you a lot more possibilities. Obviously, Connie already has that, because she’s got Netflix, which streams over the web.

Step three: Pay attention to what you’re actually watching. Literally write it down. We’ve already taken care of the local stuff; you got that with an antenna. But what else are you watching on cable? What do you really want to see? Once you’ve done that, you can go about trying to find it for less.

Step four: Investigate streaming services. Sling TV is one Connie mentioned, but there is PlayStation Vue, DirecTV Now, YouTube TV, Hulu with live TV and others. See who’s got what you watch, compare costs and, if you like what you see, try a subscription or two.

If you’re still unclear about what to do, we have stories on our website about cutting cable. Or, ask your favorite search engine, and you’ll find lots of info on all different kinds of services. Read reviews of those services to see if they’re worth the money.

Truth be told, if you want to get everything you’re getting with premium cable now, you’re probably not going to be able to use streaming services to duplicate it for a lower price. Hopefully, however, you’ll find you don’t need everything. Maybe you can drop some channels and read a book or two every now and then.

Bottom line? You probably can cut a lot of the cost of cable, as long as you have a good internet connection.

I hope that answers your question, Connie.

Make it a super-profitable day, and meet me right here next time!

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The questions I’m likeliest to answer are those that will interest other readers. In other words, don’t ask for super-specific advice that applies only to you. And if I don’t get to your question, promise not to hate me. I do my best, but I get a lot more questions than I have time to answer.

About me

I founded Money Talks News in 1991. I’m a CPA, and have also earned licenses in stocks, commodities, options principal, mutual funds, life insurance, securities supervisor and real estate.

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