The “Cut The Cable” Debate

Along our debt-free journey, my wife and I have come to many crossroads where saving money, lifestyle, and fear of the unknown have collided.  We are not millennials, so cutting the cable and going to a streaming service scares us. Will it be as reliable as the service we have had for years?  Will we have all of the stations we are used to having?  What happens if our internet slows down and the TV gets disrupted?  We have two children that live and die by their TV, Netflix, and gaming.  I realize that Netflix and gaming are separate issues here, but it will take up bandwidth.

Cutting the cable and going with a streaming service like DirecTV Now (not a sponsor or affiliate, just a service I am looking to go to) is nothing new, as a matter of fact, Fortune detailed Comcast and AT&T reported a 3.4% drop in paid subscribers from the prior year with almost 500,000 customers leaving in the fourth quarter of 2017 alone.  That doesn’t even include the people that never signed up for cable or satellite in the first place, which are called “cord nevers”.  I can see why people are doing this, at least from a financial standpoint.  Cable rates have increased astronomically and the flexibility of these streaming services is much more appealing to the consumer.  You are able to select channels and services you like and choose a la carte.

Personally, we looked at YouTubeTV and DirecTV Now.  We eliminated YouTubeTV because only 3 people could access the service at any one time, which would not work for our household.  So this left DirectTV Now.  We decided on a plan that included all of the channels that my family would want or need, excluding pay channels because we really never use the pay channels on our current package and they are just wasting money for us.

How To Build Your One Month Cushion (And Why You Need It)

With our current plan from Comcast, the infamous Triple Play plan, we had our TV, home phone, and internet with them.  By cutting the cable, we are also going to get rid of our home phone because the only people that call us on the home phone are telemarketers.  We currently pay around $250/month for the Triple Play plan, which makes me sick every time I think about it.

By going to DirecTV Now, eliminating our home phone, and keeping our internet through Comcast, our monthly payment would be about $160/month which is about $90/month or $1080/year.  Not too bad.  Now there will be some initial cost because we will have to buy four Amazon Firesticks for the TVs to use the DirecTV Now service and I want to get a better modem/router for the Comcast internet and also so I don’t have to rent the modem from them anymore.

Do we still have some concerns as to whether the service will be as good as our current cable provider?  Yes, but I can’t really say that we have had the best experience with either of the cable or satellite providers.  It is worth a try, and we can always switch back if things don’t work out.

Be on the lookout for an article with what happens next.

I suggest that everyone who is looking to make room in their budget look for both large and small things that can be modified.  Take the leap and see what happens.


  • Mr. Thrifty says:

    This may seem over the top, but Mrs. Thrifty and I don’t even have a TV. We do catch an episode of an old show or two or a movie every now and then, so it’s not necessarily that we’re ideologically opposed to TV. But it’s amazing how much time we have for other things when we’re not tied to a show.

    Love the look of the site, by the way, especially the home page!

    • Robert says:

      Thank you for sharing Mr. Thrifty. I love your writing by the way. I sometimes feel that it would be so much better without TV at all, but with two younger kids, they may go into shock. There are times that I will shut it down to just connect though.

  • Renee Benes says:

    We have never had cable! I know we sound like weirdos but you definitely adapt!

    • Robert says:

      Thank you so much for the comment Renee! You are what they refer to as a “Cable Never”, and they are becoming more and more common. For us older folk, going without cable is like going without oxygen.
      I would love to have never had it so I wouldn’t miss it so much, but I know we will adapt like you have and be proudly weird as well.

      • Tammi says:

        Robert, I love your site! We had cable for just over a year when we first married, but decided it wouldn’t be healthy for our son (who would be born soon) — or for us as parents. Yes, he loved to spend an evening at Grandma’s watching T.V. occasionally — but how could we justify making someone else’s fictional (or dramatized) stories becoming an important part of our lives?

        I agree that every generation has its priorities, you “Older Folk” to whom television was “the latest”, the “Millennials” who grew up with home computers, and us “Boomers” (my husband is barely 65). Still, playing a board game with the family seems more entertaining and healthier, but let’s leave the radio on, okay?

        • Thank you for the comment Tammi, and I absolutely love it! Thank you for using the term “older folk”. I agree that this generation is becoming more and more obsessed with television and what is happening with so-called “reality” stars and fictional characters. Even when these characters have nothing at all to do with their lives.

          I don’t think that this form of entertainment is ever going to go away, especially reality shows, but the format and delivery method is definitely going to change over time. A la carte choices are going to allow viewers to choose exactly what they want and be cost-effective in the long run.

          Thank yo so much for sharing and the kind words about my site. I am so glad I can entertain some people with it.

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