The Day We Cut Cable (Almost)

Yesterday I opened up my checking account to see how much was in it. I do this on the regular. Too regular. Like many times a day.

Don’t judge.

Anyway, I noticed that our cable bill had been paid (everything is set to auto pay) and that the cost of it had gone up yet again.  In the four years we’ve been at this current address what started as an $80/month promotional plan had ballooned up to $175/month. It had been creeping up pretty regularly and I mostly ignored it. But for some reason, seeing that $175 number made me crazy.

I lost it.

I immediately e-mailed my husband, as I do, multiple times a day, and demanded he cancel the cable. “I don’t want any of it!” I typed in the most dramatic fashion. “Cancel it all!”

Luckily, he ignored me. Or mostly, anyway.

The truth is, I did still want cable. And internet, of course. But I didn’t want to pay $175 for it.

My husband, sensing my true intentions, jumped into action and immediately got on the horn with AT&T.  He e-mailed me the specs.

Currently, we have:

Item Monthly Cost
AT&T Basic 6 Internet (Unlimited with TV Bundle) $47
AT&T Equipment Fee $7
AT&T U-Verse 200 $88
HD Access $10
Extra Wireless Receiver $10
Total: Cost Before Any Fees or Taxes $162

 

We can move down a package:

 

Item Monthly Cost
U-Verse U-Basic  $19
HD Access $10
Additional Wireless Receiver $10
AT&T Internet 12 (Unlimited with TV Bundle) $52
AT&T Internet Equipment Fee $7
Total: Cost Before Any Fees or Taxes $98

 

While we could have just bought a receiver from Amazon for the digital channels, they change your internet speed for getting rid of TV. They cap you at 1 TB of total data, and if you exceed its $10 per 50gb, which would be potentially more expensive. I don’t usually see our level of usage on internet bandwidth, so I don’t know what it would do.

 

I told him to go for the cheaper option which would take us down a level in terms of cable channels. That doesn’t really matter to me, though, because did I mention that I pay for Netflix? Meaning, that our real bill was like $185 a month for “TV” stuff.

Yikes.

Right now, we’re saving nearly $70 a month when you factor in taxes and fees and nonsense like that. Which, don’t get me wrong, is a pretty significant savings of over $800 a year. But I have a feeling that we can get it down even further.

One of the things that AT&T does (that a lot of cable companies do) is charge you a fee to “rent” their equipment each month. Meaning, I could buy a modem and router and potentially save money in that way.

My husband is looking into some more options including lots of the new internet TV plans that are now out there. Things like Sling TV, Playstation VUE TV, Hulu TV, and YouTube TV.

I’ll update this post with some more findings after a bit more research is done.

Takeways

There are always things you can do to lower your bill just a little bit. And that those monthly bills that creep up and up and up are eating significant chunks of change out of your wallet. Nearly $1000 a year has been going out the window because I just let AT&T raise my bill a little bit each year.

Being proactive and researching options might eat and hour or two out of your day, but the savings are definitely worth the time spent.

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3 Responses

  1. Henry says:

    Great article! I currently deal with this at home as well. My wife and I pay for cable as well as internet (from two separate companies) and on top of that we also pay for Hulu and Netflix for streaming. I’ve researched SlingTV a little, and a co-worker has it. I feel can be fairly expensive on a monthly basis depending on what channels you can get. Please let me know what other information you find out because I would really like to eliminate this expense! I’m so confused by all these other streaming offers as well. HELP!

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