Cutting the Cord ($19,071)

We’re finally venturing into new (to us) frugal territory–we’re cutting the cable cord.  We thought about it when it was time to renew our contract last year, but didn’t pull the trigger.  As we’re getting closer and closer to student loan debt free, and looking at future large purchases including a car and a new house, we’ve really been trying to get in a better place to make these things happen as soon as possible.  And paying $140 a month for cable that we barely use wasn’t helping.

So I called last week about terminating our contract.  At first they offered me other options for keeping cable (slightly cheaper, better internet for slightly less) or doing another “bundle” package (internet and phone).  I said I’d call back.  I talked to the man* about it and we decided against keeping cable at pretty much any price.  So I got a different rep the following day who offered an even better cable package (slightly cheaper, better internet and HBO for slightly less) or another bundle package.  He offered to call me back the following day.  The more I looked at what they offer new customers, the less I wanted to settle for one of these offers.  When he called back, I said I’d rather pay an early termination fee one time ($110 or so) in order to save $80 a month for a year.  I wanted to do an internet only package, and see that they offer this to new customers for $40 a month.   Their main competitor in the market also offers a similar internet only package, so if my current company won’t give me the same deal as a new customer, I can find someone who can.  So after he started processing  my cancellation and new service, he discovered that not only could he switch me to the better offer, but he was also able to waive the cancellation fee.  And I already have the router/equipment needed, so no need to pay a monthly rental fee to use theirs.  So huge success in saving money there!

In the last three months, we’ve successfully cut our wireless bill from $120 or so (I think) down to less than $8.  Now we’re also saving $100 a month on cable and internet.  Starting in October, I may try to add $100 of this savings to my monthly “extra” student loan payment.  At this point, I don’t think additional payments will help me pay it off any earlier, because I expect it will be paid when I get one of two lump sums next year (bonus or tax return), but hopefully I can reduce that final payment a bit.

Any suggestions for great shows or movies on Amazon Prime or Netflix?  We’re also considering adding hulu.  I should still be able to feed my addiction to The Bachelor franchise with my antenna.
* the big man. The little man only cares that he can stream PBS kids.  Just kidding.  He just cares that he can throw blocks over his baby gate.

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