Cut The Cord And Save Over $1,000 Every Year

Do you want to cut the cord? Are you wondering if cutting the cord is worth it? Here’s how to cut the cord on your cable TV. A few years ago we cut the cord and got rid of cable, and we haven’t missed it one bit. We don’t even have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime,…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: January 25, 2021

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

cut the cord

Do you want to cut the cord? Are you wondering if cutting the cord is worth it? Here’s how to cut the cord on your cable TV.

A few years ago we cut the cord and got rid of cable, and we haven’t missed it one bit.

We don’t even have Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or anything else. In fact, we haven’t even turned on our TV since September (or maybe it was August?!). 

Out of all of the ways you can watch TV shows and movies, cable is definitely the most expensive option out there. And, according to USA Today, the average monthly cable bill in 2017 was $100.98. That cost will only continue to rise.

If you have cable right now, then you are likely spending $1,200 a year in cable. That’s a crazy amount of money! Just think of what else you could be doing with that money.

I know of many people who spend much more than this as well, and I even had someone recently tell me that they spend over $300 a MONTH on their cable bill. While that may seem crazy to you, I have heard of many people who pay this much money and more for cable.

By learning how to cut the cord and get rid of cable, you can save thousands and thousands of dollars over your lifetime. That money could be better spent on retirement, traveling, family, and more.

Even though getting rid of cable seems like an obvious way to save some money, it can still be hard. But, today I’m going to help you cut the cord and finally get rid of cable so you can start saving money today.

Related: 59 Things To Do Instead of Watching TV So That You Can Take Your Life Back


Cutting cable is easy with a digital antenna.

When you think about antennas, you probably think about the classic rabbit ears that are big and ugly. You probably also think about how the picture is never perfect and how channels can get blurry and almost completely fade away.

These days, antennas are all digital, and that means they are sleek and allow you to watch your favorite TV shows with crystal clear reception. There is no monthly cost, just a small upfront cost to buy the antenna. You just pay for the antenna once and then watch local channels as much as you want.

Before we sold our house and started traveling full-time, we bought a digital antenna, like this one. It’s an indoor one that sat behind our TV, it wasn’t ugly, and we actually would forget that it was there. Now, that is an affiliate link, but I didn’t even find out that I could be an affiliate until after we had bought and started using the antenna.  

For around $20 (just a one-time fee!), we would get all of the local channels, and they all came in with great picture quality. Plus, getting rid of cable and using a digital antenna allowed us to save hundreds of dollars.

We no longer have the antenna, as we now have a smart TV that has an antenna built in and finds local channels for us – at picture perfect quality, all for free.

Related: 14 Best Money Moves To Make This Year


Getting rid of cable is easy with Netflix, Hulu, etc.

The only thing we have spent money on after cutting cable is Netflix. We don’t have it right now (we paid for a few months of it over the summer, but have since canceled it). We liked Netflix because it had almost everything we wanted to watch, and it’s nice because there are no commercials or waiting to see what happens after a cliffhanger.

The only bad thing about getting Netflix was that we were watching a little too much TV, so that’s why we canceled it. Deciding to cut the cord and get rid of Netflix was actually pretty easy, and I know that we can easily subscribe to it again if we want.

There are also many other options when it comes to still being able to watch your favorite TV shows after getting rid of cable so that you can have alternatives to cable TV. Beyond Netflix, there is Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, pay for individual episodes of shows you want to watch, and more. There are TONS of options out there.


Get rid of streaming services if you aren’t using them or can’t afford them.

For anyone who has cut the cord and gotten rid of cable, streaming services are great options to help you save money while still watching your favorite shows and movies. The only problem with those streaming services, like the ones I mentioned above, is that when you start paying for more than one, the costs quickly adds up.

I know many people who subscribe to numerous streaming services to make getting rid of cable even easier. The costs are low, but when you start paying for too many of those services, you may be paying close to the same amount each month as when you had cable.

Here’s what these services are currently charging per month:

  • Netflix- $7.99 to $13.99
  • Hulu$7.99 to $39.99
  • Sling TV $20 to $40
  • Amazon Prime Video $8.99 (requires an Amazon Prime subscription, which is $119 per year)
  • HBO Now$14.99
  • YouTube TV- $40+

Those are only a few of the options out there. And, the cost of those services will vary with the number of devices you want to stream on, any extras you add on, and more.

These services are appealing because they cost much less than cable, and that’s why it is easy to subscribe to more than one streaming service. They also pull money out of your account, rather than bill you like cable does, meaning it can be easy to forget about which ones you are paying for and how much you are paying overall.

If you are really going to cut the cord to save money, then paying for too many of these services would be a very bad idea.

I recommend thinking about which services you use on a regular basis and get rid of the ones you aren’t using. Some may have the same shows, they may have gotten rid of the shows you watch, etc. And, if you’re paying for something like HBO Now to watch a favorite show, unsubscribe once the season has ended. The good thing about most of these services is that they don’t require a sign-on cost or a termination fee, so you can unsubscribe and rejoin as often as you want.

Read more at 10 Ways To Drastically Cut Your Budget And Household Expenses


We don’t watch sports so getting rid of cable was an easy decision.

When we told people that we were getting rid of cable, many people asked us, “Oh, but what are you doing so that you can watch sports?”

Fortunately for us, we don’t watch any sports on TV, which meant that getting rid of cable was even easier.

Now, if you are a sports fan, I know it might be hard to cut the cord, but think about why you are wanting to get rid of cable in the first place. If you are doing it to save money, then getting rid of cable can be a huge monthly savings. Think about how much watching sports is worth to you. If you are living paycheck to paycheck, then getting rid of cable, whether you use it to watch sports or not, will be much better on your budget.

Plus, if you have a friend who has cable, why not see if you can watch big games at their house. It could be a good way to spend time with your friends. You could even offer to bring over a snack and make a night of it.


Think about how much time you’ll save when you cut the cord.

One of the biggest problems with watching too much TV is that it is a HUGE time waste. I love a good TV show, and I honestly know that I was wasting a lot of time by watching too much TV. Actually, the average American spends around 35 hours each week watching TV! I don’t think I was ever watching that much, but I’m sure it was close.

Can you imagine what you would do with all of that extra time each week?

Not only will getting rid of cable save you a ton of money over the course of the year, deciding to cut the cord will also save you a lot of time. You can work on your side hustle, spend more time with your family and friends, get outside even more, etc.

Since we have cut the cord all together, we are spending more time exploring the areas we visit as we travel full-time. I am also able to devote more time to my blog without being distracted by TV.

Read more at Reclaim Your Day With These 12 Time Saving Tips


How much money are we saving?

When we had cable, we still weren’t watching TV enough to get our money’s worth out of it. So, that money was just being wasted. It was actually rare for us to watch something that wasn’t on a local channel or Netflix. This was the main reason for why we decided to cut the cord, as it was useless and just another bill that we didn’t need in our life.

The other thing about paying for cable is that our cable company seemed to have a $10 to $20 increase multiple times throughout the year– that’s just insane! I used to have to talk to our cable company once every six months so that I could negotiate our cable bill down. If we would have never negotiated, I’m sure our monthly cable bill would have been well over $100 and near the $200 range.

Now that we have cut the cord, got rid of cable and Netflix, we are saving around $1,300 per year.

I can’t believe we ever paid that much for TV!

Are you thinking about getting rid of cable? Do you think you could cut the cord? How much is your monthly cable bill?

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Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

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  1. G. Brian Davis @ SparkRental

    Amen Michelle! It’s amazing how many “invisible” expenses creep into our lives, that we end up simply forgetting about.
    I’ve been cable-free for over three years, don’t miss it one bit.

  2. This is a great post Michelle. I am big on cord-cutting also and I don’t watch sports that much so it was easy to make the transition. However I did hear that Sling TV and Hulu are now offering live sports, so cord-cutting is becoming an option for sports lovers. Also, I am glad you mentioned the time saved by cord-cutting. I love good movies and TV shows but it does take time away from other pleasures in life and it can halt you from doing productive things like learning new skills or advancing your skills to further your career or grow your business. The combination of the money you are saving and the time you are saving is a great reason to cut-cords. Thanks for sharing Michelle!

    1. That’s interesting that they’re offering live sports. I wonder what that’ll do to cable!

  3. Hayley

    I could easily go without cable, but I don’t feel like I could go without internet access. In my area, the only real option we have is Spectrum. We cut cable for a while, but the cost of internet only was so expensive it cost more than the full bundle. So now we get cable with 1000 channels we never watch, a land line we never use, and internet for less than internet only. I wish there was another option for internet providers.

    1. Yeah, I’ve often heard that some areas are like that. I wish it wasn’t the case!

    2. Terry

      I’m with you, Hayley. AT&T didn’t give us a better option to leave them with the bundle we have. We really need the strong internet service for live streaming so the option to cancel the landline, and cable tv cost much less than internet alone. Bummer!

  4. Edward Beltran

    I really want to cut the cable cord as well, but watching sports has become a huge family event for us, so I would love to hear more about other options that are out there for live sports.

    1. I don’t want any paid TV sports, so I do not know.

  5. RC

    After keeping track for a few months, we realized we really only watched 6 channels on satellite – and only a few shows on each! So about 5 years ago we cut the cord too. We also don’t have Hulu, or Netflix, but do have Amazon prime – for the shipping, not the videos! Our library has an excellent video section, so we watch a lot of old movies from there. We tend to put things over to our personal hard drives and stream them to an old computer attached to the tv. We currently have over 400 DVDs and VHS tapes on our hard drives. However, I prefer to read, and husband listens to baseball games from MLB audio ($10/year). We only have 3 hours worth of broadcasted tv shows we care to watch every week, and 1.5 hrs of that won’t even start for another month. The time and money savings has been well worth getting rid of the dish on the roof.

  6. Linda Todd

    I agree with you 100%. We cut the cable about a year ago and saved $100 a month. I watched the news mostly, and now I watch/read/view on my phone, tablet or desktop.

    If you want to save, there is always something you can cut. Everything is so high now, and even coffee creamer is almost $3.00 a bottle. So, I have been adding a little sugar, and milk. It is a frame of mind or mindset.

    Just wanted you to know that I also went to my website/article Tips For Saving Money and Eliminating Waste, and linked to you. I would be so happy if you would do me the honor of linking back to me.

    I love your website and your knowledge.

  7. Hey Michelle,

    We were spending $163 a month for DirecTv and internet. By shopping around I found a better deal with improved TV and faster internet, and I’m saving $400 year.


  8. I love this article. I’ve been thinking about cutting cable for a while but yes it is the sports that holds us back. We are lucky because our direct tv bill is only $60 a month but I have a feeling our 2 year promtional rate may be ending soon! I really don’t watch much TV besides the sports! We have Netflix & Amazon and enjoy those. Amazon adds up though because you can buy new movies as soon as they come out… Thanks for this article!

    I love that you are traveling full time. My husband and I have an RV and travel as much as we can but have 2 young kids in school. We will probably have to wait until they graduate to travel full time. Although I know plenty who do it & homeschool their kids!

  9. I totally agree with you Michelle, cable these days can be expensive and there are so many other great subscriptions out there.Its also important not to subscribe to all the networks, if you are subscribed to hulu and netflix, it adds up each month.My advice is to do your research and stick with one subscription.

  10. Teri

    It’s crazy how much tv can cost. I dropped paid tv service in 1996 and never looked back. The local free channels have the big football and baseball games that my dh watches, so we’re set.

  11. Eddie Ojeda

    I have a digital antena i pick up four local spanish channels and nbc here in P.R. gives me more time to read and play with my shelty. Saving all that cash for about eight months now.

  12. Carolina

    I use rabbit ears/ an antenna we bought at the 99c store. Never had cable and this past year cancelled internet. I pay $15 monthly for unlimited talk, text, and 2G data with Mint Mobile. I used to have Ting, but was limited in my usage. Mint provides me with all I need without the extra fees. We have been able to cut the internet cord because now we use our data for emails and other internet needs. I can’t tether or use it as a hot spot, but this also helps to limit something that can become excessive. Check it out.

  13. I don’t even watch TV like that anymore. And little do people know that they could make money from watching educational television programs and blog about it in their spare time as a profitable side hustle.

  14. Abby

    Nice article! I’ve been talking to my husband for 3+ years about cutting the cord.We only keep cable for the news channels.

  15. Ladysuz

    I cut the cord and landline 2 years ago. I was nervous because I’ve been thinking about it for a

    while but didn’t. Who knew I wouldn’t miss the TV one bit? I pay $90 for internet, but it’s half of

    what I was paying before, so there’s still some savings.

    I have to see about getting a better deal for my internet.

    Thanks for a great post Michelle.

  16. We cut the cord a couple of years ago after realizing our internet and cable TV bill were over $150/month. We quickly canceled our cable, and kept the internet only.Then we went with an antenna with a over-the-air DVR (Tablo), as well as subscribing to 1 or 2 streaming services.

    Currently we have Amazon Prime ($9/month?) and Philo TV ($20/month for 55+ channels). So we went from paying $150/month+ to paying somewhere around $90/month for Internet and TV. $60/month or $720/yr savings and we’re essentially getting all the same channels we were before.

  17. My wife and I have actually never had cable, we’ve always been cord free! We’ve gotten by with Netflix, an antenna and for sports – we share a YouTubeTV account with 3 other friends (YouTubeTV let’s you split it with 3 others) so it’s just $10/month. Works great!