MM017: How We Cut the Cord Without Losing Our Sanity
Almost exactly a year ago, we cut the cord and ditched our cable. Along the way, we learned a few things that might be helpful to you as you consider cutting the cord. The fact is, nobody needs a 200-channel cable package; you're just paying for extra channels that you're never going to watch. So, why not streamline your budget and only pay for the TV that you actually watch. Come join the groundswell of cord cutters that are challenging the status quo and getting the same series, sports and movies they were used to, but for only a fraction of what they were paying to the cable company. This episode talks about how to do it.
IN THIS WEEK'S EPISODE
* We're back after a quick hiatus to focus on one of our side hustles!
* The criteria we looked at when we cut the cord exactly one year ago
* A quick review of today's cord cutting options
* What on earth is a Roku?
* Cutting the cord on your mobile phone plan
How we cut the cord without losing your sanity
For us, having a way to unwind after a long day or week of work, parenting and side hustles, we look forward to sitting down and catching the latest episodes of our favorite series, watching a movie or cheering our Minnesota sports teams.
Many of you may be the same way.
In fact, when it comes to our collective monthly budgets, the cable bill is probably a staple, bordering on one of those utility bills that are a necessary evil (like the gas or electric bill). The fact is, though, with the rise of streaming services, the traditional cable bill is becoming a thing of the past.
Why we cut the cord
Almost exactly a year ago, we cut the cord and ditched our cable. We substituted it with a streaming service that we’ll talk more about shortly. When we made the switch, we kept the high-speed internet service from our cable provider, which is around $55, but jettisoned the cable portion of our bill, which was on a promo rate for an additional $76 per month with all the equipment rental like DVR boxes and extra government telecom fees and taxes added in. When the promo rate was set to expire in a couple months, the full rate was going to be $96 for just the cable portion.
So, for those of you keeping score, we dropped the amount we paid the cable company from $131 down to $55.
But, that then left us without access to our favorite shows, movies and sports, so we needed to find a solution.
We looked at several options that were on the market last year, and made our decision based on a small, but vitally important list of must-have features. I’d encourage you to complete a similar list so you can truly compare apples to apples.
Our streaming solution needed to:
Be month-to-month - we didn’t want to be locked into long-term contracts like the cable company required
Provide access to live TV programming - we wanted to be able to watch a sporting event or an awards show live. With three young kids, we’re not often catching shows when they’re live, as we’re usually putting kids to bed and then working on side hustles or work, but it’s nice to have the option for Sunday afternoons.
Have a DVR-like interface - as equally important as having access to live content, we live by the DVR, and so any solution in which we were giving up our DVR, we needed to have a suitable replacement so we could catch up on our shows at our convenience
Deliver all (or the vast majority) of our favorite shows - I tend to watch more shows than Mrs. Modest, as she’s usually not a fan of the super complex or sci-fi series, so many of “my” shows that are on the fringier cable networks were going to be at greater risk. If I couldn’t get all of my shows because one or two networks weren’t going to be covered, we needed to figure out what sacrifices would be acceptable.