Watch the TV You Love AND Save $100,000

CordcuttingDo you still have cable TV? Are you serious? You need to cut the cord, yesterday. There is so many terrible shows that you probably don’t even realize are terrible because you are sucked in. Plus, you can watch the vast majority of those terrible shows via other means anyway.

Many of you out there have broken free of Time Warner’s TV service, but I can hear the rest of you whining. Fine, you love your TV and how easy it is to just flip on cable and channel surf. Well, how much is it worth to you? Let’s do some math.

Back when I had cable, I paid $120/month for it. I had the HBO package plus Internet. Checking the Time Warner site, it looks as though you can get an introductory package for similar cost. Now of course, once the intro price runs out, you should call and renegotiate, but most people don’t do that, so the cost ends up being even higher. We’ll stick to the $120/month for now.

What’s your alternative? How about we go with Internet only (after fees and modem charges, $25/month). Why don’t we add on a Netflix streaming subscription ($8/month) and a HuluPlus subscription ($8/month). Personally, I think the free version of Hulu is MORE than sufficient, but we are being extravagant here. Next, you are going to want to purchase a Roku, so you can watch everything on that TV of yours.

Total difference between the two options: $79

That extra $79 per month may not sound like a whole lot. But if you stay the course and invest that $79 each month for 30 years at 8%, you end up with:


Over $100k after 30 years! Ok, so you won’t be able to watch Game of Thrones or Boardwalk Empire, but you WILL be able to watch House of Cards and Orange is the New Black instead. And you can always find a friend (or bar) in NYC for your Game of Thrones fix.

Even if you didn’t have HBO originally or you want faster Internet, your savings will be tremendous. If you only save $40/month and invest it, you still end up with over $50k after 30 years.

So what are you giving up by cutting the cord? Let’s see:

  • Countless hours flipping through channels, not finding anything good
  • The worst reality shows you can imagine.
  • The ability to see some shows at the very moment they come out. You may have to wait a day.
  • Annoying commercials
  • Having to schedule your day around a show if you don’t have DVR (I didn’t even touch the cost of DVR in my calculations!)
  • Part of a show getting cut off if you do have DVR (and the timing doesn’t work perfectly)

Recently, I stayed at a hotel and thought it would be a treat to have cable TV back, just for one night. It was awful. You truly don’t realize how bad the shows randomly watch are until you create some distance from them for a while.

Now, I will admit that the one reason I didn’t cut the cord until about 2 years ago was live sports. I was dumb. After canceling my cable TV subscription, I simply plugged in the cable to the back of my TV and guess what, I still had network channels. I am completely covered for NFL games on CBS and Fox. I get good college basketball on CBS and for everything else? I can catch a game at a friend’s place or at a bar!

So cut the cord. Cut it now. It’s satisfying to do because Time Warner is so evil anyway. Now, if there was just a way to avoid having to purchase Internet access from them.

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21 thoughts on “Watch the TV You Love AND Save $100,000

  1. The Jackal April 14, 2014 at 11:53 am

    Don’t forget the NFL games on NBC!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mr NYBudget April 14, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      Great point! Along with the great online content they have to go with the game!

  2. EL @ Moneywatch101 April 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm

    Cutting the cord is a big cultural change to what most americans are doing daily watching TV. I agree that it will benefit you in many ways, but people can’t let go for some reason. I rather be playing sports than watching it. I would rather blog than watch TV.
    EL @ Moneywatch101 recently posted: The Best Excuses Why People are in DebtMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget April 14, 2014 at 4:29 pm

      Agreed – and even if they can’t break the habit, I think pretty soon cord cutting will become the norm as the online video watching services improve.

  3. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply April 15, 2014 at 10:41 am

    I never had cable growing up and thought I was deprived and now that I can pay for it, I choose not to. I’ve been plugging in the cable to get the network channels as you mentioned for a long time. But I think TWC is switching to digital or something and some channels are gone. So I got the Mohu Leaf antenna, it works pretty well but sometimes there’s static. I’m also missing channel 11, oh well. There’s also an option in NYC to get the Aereo which streams network channels plus you can DVR shows. It’s like $8 a month. Where do you get internet for $25? Mine is $32 and that’s after I threatened to cancel and they gave me the promotional rate.

    • Mr NYBudget April 15, 2014 at 10:59 am

      I was the same way. I never had cable growing up. In fact, I had one of those TVs with the dial that I had to stand up and change manually. And believe me, I am NOT old enough where that was the only option. Now that the kids are out of the house, my parents have cable, a big screen tv, etc. I guess you just naturally get soft in old age!

      TWC actually has a number of different Internet options, one as low as $15/month (likely $20/$25 with all the fees attached). And I always pay the promotional rate. If I am ever cut out of that, I call up and sweet talk em!

      • Andrew@LivingRichCheaply April 15, 2014 at 12:38 pm

        Haha, yes I remember those days as well. A remote control was a luxury. My sister and I would take turns standing by the TV to flip through the channels. My parents would still have a tube TV if I didn’t get them a flat screen (Go over on Sundays and Football wasn’t the same on a 25 inch tube tv!) Yes I see Bill Cowher’s commercials promoting $15 a month, but slower speed. Does the slower speed affect streaming from Netflix and Hulu?
        Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted: Is it REALLY Okay to Take Paternity Leave?My Profile

        • Mr NYBudget April 15, 2014 at 3:38 pm

          So, mathematically it shouldn’t, but there are all sorts of other issues that can hurt your Netflix watching, regardless of your speed. There was an interesting Planet Money podcast about it recently – Episode #529

  4. Even Steven April 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm

    We switched to an internet only/local channels a couple months back and my biggest fear was missing the NCAA tourney and any game period, I missed zero games that I wanted to see with online and the app. It’s going to be the same for the NFL, if anything having online has given me access to too many shows. Cutting the cord, since 2014, sounds cooler when it’s since 1976 or something older.
    Even Steven recently posted: B-U-D-G-E-T-SMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget April 15, 2014 at 4:57 pm

      The NCAA tourney app is GREAT! Hopefully online streaming video will improve, and they will figure out how to monetize it better. Cable may not be long for this world. If ESPN ever figures out how to go rogue, it’s game over.

  5. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life April 16, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    Agreed. When I stay at hotels, it comes back to me how awful cable really is!
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted: My Formative Money Moments.My Profile

    • Mr NYBudget April 16, 2014 at 2:54 pm

      It’s amazing:

      **Change Channel**
      Garbage TV
      **Change Channel**
      Garbage TV
      **Change Channel**
      Ooh – a commercial, better stay here IN CASE something good is on!

  6. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living April 18, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I used to waste so much time watching HGTV that it’s a blessing I don’t have cable anymore! The one thing I miss is Pat Kiernan in the morning and NY1 (or whatever they call it now) but I’ve grown to love watching Rosanna Scotto and Greg Kelly on Good Day NY. I just need my local news in the morning and I am set.

    I also use an antenna and I’m surprised more people don’t use antennas in the city. A cheap $30 one does wonders even in urban NYC. A word to the wise, with the Aereo lawsuit going on, I don’t know how long that gravy train will last here in the city. I hope Aereo wins but with politicians (and even supreme court justices it seems) in the pockets of media bigwigs these days, the outlook does not look good for Aereo.

    I wanted to add that Cablevision/Optimum does not do price matching on cable internet. As we live in Brooklyn Cablevision is the only internet option (can’t even get DSL) so they don’t believe in threats to leave so I can’t get the rate reduced! I hope Fios comes here soon so I can threaten to leave and get a cheaper rate soon. I do have a soft spot for Cablevision since they’re not trying to merge with an evil company (yet) but these $59.95 internet only rates are killer!
    Tara @ Streets Ahead Living recently posted: Cut your losses and run?My Profile

    • Mr NYBudget April 18, 2014 at 11:18 am

      Yeah, it’s pretty criminal the stranglehold these companies have on us. We need some serious anti-trust action!

  7. Phil April 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm

    We all know Time Warner sucks. Now I just have to convince my gal to cut the cord and just use them for hi-speed internet. Great post.
    Phil recently posted: Why the heck am I putting myself through this?My Profile

    • Mr NYBudget April 21, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      It’s pretty much a universal truth! I just wish there was someplace else I could go for Internet as well!

  8. Aodhan: Waste management October 8, 2016 at 9:26 pm

    When you see the total money you can save over a lift time by switching to streaming it really is amazing.

  9. Paul Cheney January 24, 2017 at 9:31 am

    If you’re really worried about sports, there are subscriptions to MLB, NFL, NBA, and NHL you can buy a la carte to watch on Roku or whatever streaming device you have. You can also do it using shady websites like firstrowsports (you can google it if you dare), but I don’t really recommend it. Not a lawyer, but I’m pretty sure it’s still technically legal to stream on sites like that. Though there are a lot of pop up ads that make me nervous.

  10. Clarence February 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Very helpful and informative post, thanks for the heads up and keep up informing up on how to save money.
    Clarence recently posted: Sleepless (2017)My Profile

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