Cutting the cord

About a year ago I seriously started considering cutting the cord.  My phone/ cable/internet bill were almost $200.00 per month and that amount was only going to keep rising since the “promotions” that I had were set to start expire in the fall.  I spent hours on the phone with my phone/cable/internet provider trying to negotiate a lower bill using different bundles, removing home phone and what those hours led me to was the inevitable conclusion  that there has to be something better than this.  In the next few paragraphs I will discuss options and some of the pitfalls that I went through so that you can decide if cutting the cord is right for you.

Let’s handle the one traditional service you will have to keep for now at least, internet.  Several companies are working on high speed wireless internet service including your cellular provider in the form of 5G connectivity.  For now though cutting the cord still means keeping the internet with a traditional provider, but you may be able to trim back speed and save money just the same.  To handle voice over internet and TV over internet you will probably want at least a 25mbps connection, if you have a lot of internet connected devices or a large family you will want to head over to https://www.highspeedinternet.com to estimate how much speed you’ll need.   

Home phone, yes I still have one, and in my bundle it was almost $30.00 per month.  This is definitely an item where I am cutting the cord.   Most of us live connected to a smart phone, you know that device that lets us watch cat video, text everyone, snap chat, tweet, and like everything.  Well it’s also really good at making and receiving phone calls and it is right by your side probably 24/7.  So ask yourself do you really need a home phone?  If you still say yes there are a number of low cost/ even no cost solutions,  such as Ooma, Magic Jack,  Vonage, Obi, Google Voice and many others.  Installation is a snap and they generally offer the same features call waiting, caller ID, 911, voice mail, free long distance that you are used to, just check with the company before you sign up to confirm the features important to you.  I chose Magic Jack, it is free the first year $39.00 per year after that.  After the first year,  I am saving $26.01 per month just on phone service.  One note here, be very careful if you want to keep your current home phone number (port the number).  If you have bundled services currently, some provider will close your entire account and disconnect services when you port the number so call your current provider first for a work around.   

 On to the big one TV.  This is what cutting the cord is all about!  It’s time to look at what you watch and importantly what you don’t watch too.  I had a big package with tons of channels I rarely watched but paid for every month.  You can certainly look at an antenna to get free over the air channels, depending on where you live this may be 30 channels so you will still have plenty to watch of and did I mention its free!  If that’s not enough TV for you consider a Smart TV, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV or Google Chromecast to access tons more free on-demand content  available over the internet through free apps .  Each device is a little different and its best to go to an electronics store to see which one is right for you.   You still want more?  For $8.00- $13.00 per month per service, consider adding Hulu, Netflix, or if you are an Amazon Prime Member you already have Prime TV with even more content .  Still not enough, or want that cable type experience at potentially a fraction of the cost its time to consider Sling, Directv NOW, You Tube Tv, Hulu Live TV, Playstation VUE,  Packages range from  $20.00 per month and up depending on provider and channels.  Many services even offer cloud DVRS so you can record content too!  Best of all most services offer a discounted or free trial period to see if its right for you and there are no contracts so you can try a service out and if you don’t like it cancel at any time without penalty.  Lastly let talk movie channels.  These are available as a standalone for $10-$12 per month which was pretty much exactly what you probably paid your old cable company.  The good news is that you can add the and drop these channels  at any time with ease so you don’t have to keep them every month even when you don’t watch them because the final episodes of Game of Thrones isn’t on until probably two years from now so save your money!  I choose an over the air antenna and a fire TV with DirecTV NOW, I have a $35.00 per month plan with the first 3 months for $10.00 per month.  My old cable bill was $120 per month so now I save $85.00 per month.

I hope this look at cutting the cord inspires you to save some money! I saved $111.00 per month and I have even more entertainment and communication options available.  Tell me how much you saved or if you have comments or questions about cutting the cord, let me know!  I can be reached directly at john@johnstraubdfw.com or 817-729-4281.

John Straub is a local REALTOR in the DFW area with 20 years of experience in real estate, new home sales and home construction.