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I hated getting my cable bill in the mail each month.
The price kept going up and it seemed like there was nothing I could do.
Then one month, I opened my bill.
It was $250! I almost fell over.
Just a few years ago I was paying close to $200 a month.
Fed up with a never ending increase to my monthly cable costs, I decided to take action.
I put in many hours trying to find ways to save money on my cable bill and came upon the 12 tips below.
I have been using these tips for a few years now and my bill is lower than where it was when I started!
How is this possible?
Read the tips below to find out how you can save money on this monthly bill starting right now.
12 Simple Hacks To Lower Your Cable Bill Today
#1. Negotiate Cable Packages
With the average cable bill coming in at a whopping $175 a month, you have to take action to get your bill lowered.
The first thing to do to save money on your cable bill is to negotiate.
Call your provider and talk to the customer service representative.
Ask if there are any promotions currently running that you can take advantage of.
They might be offering a discount on the package you have.
Or there may be offers on a cheaper cable package.
But also be ready for a trick they like to play.
I’ve run into this issue a lot when negotiating my Comcast bill, and I assume other service providers do it to.
When I call and ask for a better deal on my current plan, they will offer me extra channels for the same price.
The first time they did this, I agreed.
But when my bill came the next month, I realized I was taken.
My goal was to lower my monthly bill, not get more channels and pay the same price.
So the next time I called to negotiate, I said no to the channel upgrades.
I wanted a lower bill.
To get a better rate, I sign up for two year contracts.
I see this as a win-win situation.
I get a lower price that is the same for two years, meaning I don’t have to spend my time haggling, and they get a happy customer.
I’ve also found that bypassing the customer service representative and going right to the retention specialist gets me the best pricing.
Many times the retention department has the ability to offer deals the customer service reps can’t.
But there is a trick here too.
You have to stand firm and don’t be pressured into a deal.
When they offer the deal, I pause and ask if they can do any better.
Sometimes they can and I get an even better deal.
When they can’t offer a more affordable plan, I tell them thanks and hang up.
Then I call back a few days later.
It’s amazing that the next person I speak with will usually have different deals and these are the ones I pick from.
#2. Use Trim For Negotiation
The best way to cut your cable bill is to negotiate.
But not everyone wants to go through the hassle, and others don’t have the time.
The good news is you can simply use Trim.
Trim is an automated assistant that will negotiate on your behalf.
Just send them a copy of your bill and Trim goes to work.
They save the average customer $30 a month on their cable bill.
And to be honest, I’ve started using the service myself.
I’ve been lucky lately to get $20 a month knocked off my bill on my own with a lot of work.
With Trim I can save more money and not have to put in the work!
To see how much money Trim will save you, click the link below.
#3. Negotiate Equipment
Another thing you can negotiate besides your package is the equipment.
This would include cable boxes and DVRs.
Many times you can get these devices 50% off or free for a few months just by asking.
Many people only ask for a lower price on the package of channels and miss out on getting a discount on the equipment.
With additional boxes costing $10 a month or more, getting even one free for a year saves me close to $100 a year!
Another option here is look at other ways to save money.
For example, do you really need a box for every television in your house?
If you have one in the guest room and you rarely have guests, why pay the monthly fee?
Return the box and have guests stream TV shows.
If you have Comcast, you can get a Roku and watch cable through that without the need for a box.
#4. Downgrade Your Service
How many channels are you paying for?
How many of these channels do you actually watch?
If you are like I was, you are paying for hundreds of channels you never watch.
Downgrade your service and stop paying for channels you don’t watch!
In many cases you can just drop to a lower priced package.
To do this, take a few minutes and run through the channels you currently have.
Now take note of the channels you watch the most.
These are the ones you want to make sure you keep when downgrading your service.
If you find channels that have one or two shows you enjoy watching, ask yourself if you would be OK without watching them any longer.
If so, you know you don’t need that channel.
If you do want to watch those shows, see if they are offered in a lower cable package.
If keeping the channel will cost you more money each month, see if there are other ways to watch the show instead.
For example, maybe you can rent each episode for a small fee.
Of course, you have to do the math to make sure this doesn’t end up costing you more overall.
#5. Stream Instead Of Paying For Cable
Adding to the above point, it seems like all the networks are coming out with their own streaming bundle.
This is in addition to the giants of Netflix and Hulu.
This is good and bad news.
The good news is the monthly subscription costs are usually a lot less than even the base plan for cable.
The downside is if you bundle a lot of these services, you will end up paying a lot more than you are now.
The key is to take your time and really decide on what you watch.
Be sure to do this over a few weeks as you won’t think of everything you enjoy watching right away.
Now that you have your list, see what streaming options meet your needs.
You might find just Hulu Plus along with the Disney Plus bundle meet your needs.
#6. Switch Providers
If you are lucky to have multiple cable providers in your area, you can use them against each other.
In some cases, they will match promotions.
If they don’t you can simply switch.
For example, I switched from Comcast to Verizon FiOS and saved $100 a month on my bill for 2 years.
Then when that contract was up, I went back to Comcast.
The reason I did this was because after 2 years, I was considered a new customer again and qualified for the best prices with Comcast.
I could have kept switching back and forth, but was happy with the negotiated prices I’ve been able to get with Comcast.
#7. Find Cable Alternatives
A few years ago, there were a handful of alternatives you could sign up for to save money.
But now there aren’t as many.
The biggest and arguably the best is Sling TV.
They offer many of the channels you currently get in smaller bundles for a lower monthly cost.
And you don’t need to sign a contract or get boxes.
Instead you download the app on the device you use and watch television.
You can get the most popular channels for ¼ the cost of traditional cable.
To sign up for Sling TV, click the link below.
The biggest downside to this option is you don’t get local channels with Sling TV.
But there is a way to get these channels for free, which I talk about next.
#8. Cancel Service
Of course, you could cut the cord completely to save money.
Now before you tell me I am crazy, hear me out.
If you are within 70 miles of broadcast towers, buying an HD antenna will get you many channels for free.
And don’t think doing this will result in you getting a few stations.
A few years ago when the FCC switched everything over to digital, most channels were now broadcasting sub-channels as well.
This means they air other programs on these channels.
You can see which channels you can get for free at this website.
If you have a run through your available channels now, you probably are paying for some of these channels not realizing you could get them completely free.
In most cases these extra channels air reruns of older shows, making it a great way to relive older shows you enjoyed years ago.
I get over 25 channels where I live.
Mount it in your attic (no need to climb onto your roof any longer) and you will get all of the free channels in your area.
You’ll skip the monthly cable costs and have access to a handful of channels.
#9. Drop Premium Cable Package
Are you paying for premium channels like HBO and Showtime?
You can easily cancel these and save money in the process.
If you pay for these channels just to watch movies, you are better off just renting the movie from Redbox.
It will cost you a lot less assuming you aren’t watching a movie every single day.
And you can watch many of the movies on other streaming services like Netflix.
The biggest issue comes with original programming.
A lot of people love HBO original series for example.
To watch these shows, you can wait until the season is released and then subscribe to the streaming app.
Binge watch the show and then cancel service.
But what if you don’t want to wait?
You have a couple of options here.
- Go to a friend’s house and watch the show. Just be sure to bring some food or drinks to be polite.
- Buy a DVD recorder. Set it up at your friend’s house and when they watch the show, either live or on DVR, they can record it to the DVD recorder. You then get the disc and watch the program.
I’m sure as technology evolves there will be other ways to watch these programs as well.
#10. Get Rid Of Your DVR
Many cable providers charge you a monthly fee for renting their DVR.
Over the course of a year, the monthly bills just for this easily adds up to more than $100.
But do you really need a DVR?
Most channels and cable companies allow you to watch shows on their apps whenever you want for free.
While it is nice to have all of your shows in one place on the DVR, you could easily save money on your cable bill by skipping it and watching through apps for free.
If you are handy, you could build your own DVR as well.
Or you could just buy a TiVo instead.
It will set you back a few hundred dollars, but if you have no desire to cut the cord completely, it is an option.
As of this writing the price of the TiVo Bolt is $350 on Amazon.
If you are being charged $10.99 a month to rent the DVR box from the cable company, you are spending $131 a year.
So in roughly 2 ½ years you will have recouped the money spent on buying the TiVo.
If you can find a used one at a yard sale or other find one on sale, your breakeven time will be even shorter.
#11. Bundle Cable
Another way to save money is to bundle your service.
You could combine your cable and internet to save money.
Or you could combine cable, internet and phone.
Most companies have a separate plan for various bundles, so be sure to ask about them to see if there are any savings.
By bundling my cable and internet, I save $45 a month.
And here is a secret, if you get a great deal that includes phone service but don’t want it, simply don’t hook the phone up!
#12. Stop Renting A Modem
When you bundle your cable and internet, most people get suckered into renting a modem from the cable company.
While $10 a month doesn’t seem like a lot, you are wasting money doing this.
Buying a modem will save you money over the long run.
They typically cost $100 to buy and with just a phone call to your provider, they will walk you through the set up.
I’ve bought my own modem all along. I usually have to upgrade every 5 years.
Doing this I end up saving $200-$300 versus renting it from the cable company.
If you want to go this route, simply call up your provider and ask for the modems they support.
Or you can usually find this on their website.
Then head to Amazon or your local electronics store and buy the modem.
Be Aware Of This Trick
Finally, I wanted to make sure you are aware of what many other customers don’t realize when they cancel their cable.
You end up getting charged a much higher internet rates when you don’t have any of the cable packages.
Many people are shocked when they see just how expensive internet service is as a standalone option.
So be ready for the fact that canceling your TV service but keeping internet might not save you as much money as you thought.
There are ways around this however.
First, you can try to negotiate the price.
Start by seeing if they have an internet only deal to take advantage of.
From there, ask about the various internet speeds.
Usually the faster the speed, the more per month you will pay.
If you can get away with a slower connection, you can save money.
Another option is to buy the basic package and bundle both internet and cable for a better price.
A third option is to figure out the cost of upgrading your cell phone data plan and using your phone as a hotspot.
In some cases this could work, but in other cases, you are better served going with internet through your cable company.
There are 12 simple ways for how you can cut on your cable bill.
I use many of these tips myself and pay a fraction of what others pay.
Right now, my cable and internet bundle costs me $130 after taxes and fees.
You can save money on your cable bill. You just have to put in some effort.
But, if you don’t want to put in the effort, fear not.
Just use Trim to do it for you and start saving money today!
Click the link below to start saving!