budget living

Ditching Cable? Here’s What You Need to Know

Letting go of cable can be a hard choice to make. After all, there are so many great shows to watch and you don’t want to miss a single episode. But cable can also be one of your biggest monthly bills. Cutting it can add a nice chunk of change to your budget that would allow you to pay down debt and get some money in savings.

Don’t worry, you can still catch most, or even all, of your favorite shows. There are a few options that will allow you to watch what you want, when you want, without costing a small fortune every month.

Equipment Options

Roku

Roku has two options for streaming; either through a streaming player that connects to your TV or through a Roku TV with streaming built right in. All you need is an internet connection. With Roku you can watch many of your favorite channels like ABC, CW, and PBS. You can also catch tons of great movies through FandangoNOW and Amazon Instant Video. Premium sports and movie channels are also available.

Chromecast

Chromecast uses a simple device that plugs in to the back of your TV and streams videos, shows, and movies from your mobile device. You can even play games and listen to music. Best of all, it’s just a one-time purchase price of $35.

Smart TV

Smart TV’s have internet accessibility built right in, you just have to plug it in and connect it to your home’s WiFi. Netflix, Hulu, and many other streaming services have account accessibility in the TV’s main menu. You do need to have an account with a streaming service, but most run less than $20 a month.

Amazon Firestick

The Firestick is a small flash drive that plugs in to the back of your TV and enables you to stream content over WiFi. If you already have a TV that is not a Smart TV, the Firestick will give you internet access so that you can stream your videos through whichever streaming service you use. For a one-time cost of $40, it’s well worth it.

Cable Alternatives

Sling TV

Sling TV is a streaming service that allows you to pick and choose the channels you want so you don’t pay for anything you don’t want. All channels are a la carte so you can put together your own package starting at just $20 a month

Hulu

With live TV and Hulu Original shows, you are certain to find something great to watch anytime. You can even access your favorite sports channels as well as premium movie channels. And with plans starting at only $8 a month, your budget will be smiling. Your first 30-days are free so you can try before you buy and you can stream to any of your devices.

Netflix

Netflix also allows you to watch anywhere, anytime, from any of your devices and offers you the first month free. You can choose your own plan starting at $8 a month for basic and only $12 a month for premium. Plus you can watch on up to four screens at one time. Netflix offers a variety of TV shows as well as blockbuster movies.

With all of these great options available, why would you keep paying hundreds of dollars a month for cable service?

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About the author

Emilie Burke

Emilie is a politics-major turned data engineer. She graduated from Princeton University in 2015 and from Smartly with her MBA in 2016. She lives in North Carolina with her college sweetheart Casey who is currently stationed at Fort Bragg. She enjoys eating food, cuddling with her dog, and binge watching HGTV. She blogs at Burke Does. You can find her around the web at @emilielimaburke.

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