Our cord cutting setup that saves us over $100 each month

Our Cord Cutting Setup That Saves Us Over $100 Each Month

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When we cut our cable in 2014, we weren’t sure exactly where to start. We had heard some things about it and did a little research, but we were nervous. Would it work? Could we figure it out? What if we really miss all those channels that are included in our cable bundle?

It came to the point where there were no more excuses.

We had to bite the bullet, jump right in, and try it. We could figure things out as we go and we really had nothing to loose. In reality, we had only everything to gain with all the money we would be able to save and put towards student loan debt.

Our monthly bill to the cable company had climbed to an astronomical $165. If we could reduce that and still enjoy our favorite TV shows we would be happy campers. We could concur our ultimate goal to reduce our monthly spending to help pay off debt and ultimately build wealth. We could do it and still enjoy some relaxing couch time in the evenings.

Below are the steps that we took to become a cableless household.

We started simple and added things as we felt we needed them. Looking back it was much easier to make the switch then either of us thought. The devices and apps were actually very user-friendly and with a little patience we figured them out in no time.

The first thing we did was buy some HD antennas to test things out. We chose the Mohu Leaf 30 Paper-Thin Antenna to put in our guest room because it was super easy to install and is easily hidden on the wall behind the TV. For the remainder of our TV’s we got the Winegard Freevision HDTV Antenna, hung it in our attic and connected it to the existing coax cable lines that run inside the walls to our other TVs. Once we found out we could get tons of crystal clear stations for free, we were convinced. This cord cutting thing was actually going to work! With these antennas, we could watch live TV on the major networks for $0 each month! Here are the antennas we bought and still use today:

     

Live TV was great and let us watch a ton of stuff, but we needed something to complement the live local channels.

We wanted to stream stuff on demand, so we bought an Amazon Fire TV for the family room and a Roku Stick for the bedroom. Since we watch the most TV in our family room the Fire TV is the perfect solution because it is super powerful. In our bedroom, the Roku Stick was a great choice because it was low cost and has the right amount power to support our occasional streaming needs. With these streaming devices, we were able to install apps like YouTube and Netflix that let us binge watch shows and movies whenever we wanted. Here are the streaming boxes we have:

     

YouTube had a lot of great free stuff to watch and we already had a Netflix subscription so we were familiar with the things we could watch in the app, but we still were missing a few things. If we couldn’t watch a new episode of a show when it aired live, we didn’t have a way to view it on-demand. This had been where our DVR would have come in handy in the past, but it went out the door with our overpriced cable. Luckily for cord cutters, there are plenty of alternatives to a traditional DVR. After some research, we settled on the service PlayOn. We bought the Lifetime license and installed their companion apps on our laptop and the Fire TV and Roku. Now we could stream shows from the NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox websites directly on our TV’s after they become available for free viewing. This worked surprisingly well, was pretty easy to setup, and we still use it to this day.

playon-logo

After about a month of living the cord cutting life, we were hooked! We didn’t miss cable one bit. The picture from the antennas was fantastic, the streaming boxes and apps were working great, and we loved all the freedom we had to try new services without being held down by contracts. There was just one thing left to do, cancel our cable bundle and switch to an internet-only plan. For this, we went with Comcast because they are one of two service providers in our area and offer the best speeds. To help with the monthly cost and to avoid signing a contract we purchased our own cable modem and WiFi router. We could have used the ones provided by Comcast, but they would charge us a rental fee. The modem and router had very clear setup instructions and they paid for themselves after a couple months. Here are the two devices we got that give use wireless internet all throughout our house:

     

After a year of using our cord cutting setup, it was 2015 and more cableless services had made their way to the market. The one that caught our eye was Sling TV. This was a service that Dish Network came out with to provide cord cutters the ability to stream premium TV channels at an affordable price. This was pretty ground breaking because in the past most of these channels were only available with a cable subscription. For as little as $20 each month, Sling TV would let us watch channels like ESPN, HGTV and CNN using their apps on our Fire TV and Roku. Best of all…NO CONTRACT! We were able to sign up and cancel whenever we wanted. For us, this was a great solution that rounds out our cord cutting setup.


 

The last monthly cable bill we paid in 2014 was $165! After the upfront costs of getting things setup, we now spend only $55 each month. We pay $25 for Internet service, $20 for Sling TV and $10 for Netflix. That’s $110 back in our pockets every month!

This is the cord cutting setup that we put together to fit our needs. It has been working out great and we love the financial freedom it has provided us over the past few years. With such a great experience, we can’t ever imagine switching back to cable.

 

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