Cable television is expensive. Depending on where you live, there's usually only one or two cable or dish providers, and basic cable can cost upwards of $80 or $100 a month. If you add premium channels like Starz or HBO, you can expect to pay even more. Of course, you can cut costs by simply not watching television, but that's not a viable or attractive solution for most people. There are still plenty of quality programs on cable, and there's no reason to give up television if you don't want to.
How to Save Money by Canceling Cable
Fortunately, it's not really necessary to shell out the money for cable television if you have a reliable high-speed Internet connection. You can stream programs legally online through a number of services at a fraction of the cost of cable. Even better, you can do it with minimal or no advertisements and choose the programming you want to watch, whenever you want to watch it.
There are several options available for you when looking for legal streaming programs:
1. Netflix. One of the oldest and best-known streaming video options. You can sign up for a streaming-only policy for less than $10 a month and have instant access to television shows and movies. There are a few limitations. Not all programs will be available, and you might be a few months behind on certain shows that don't air simultaneously, but you'll have a wide variety of programs to watch whenever you want them.
2. Hulu. There's a free version with commercials, or you can pay for a commercial-free subscription. Many networks air shows on Hulu at the same time as they're available on the network itself, so you can keep up with your programs in real time. Not every show is on Hulu, but a huge number of popular current and past programs are.
3. The network's website. Some networks require you to be a paid cable subscriber in order to watch programs on their site, but many others allow you to watch TV shows even if you don't have the network. If the network doesn't offer the programs you want, the show's own website might. For example, ever episode of Southpark is available on the show's website to view for free.
4. Stream2Watch.me. If you're a sports enthusiast, you can catch sports programming on this site. No matter what type of sport you enjoy, you'll be able to watch it there. You can also tune in to the professional league website of your sport of choice to catch live sportscasts.
5. Youtube. You might not be able to find cable programming on Youtube, but you can watch a variety of interesting independent shows and webcasts if you search for them. Youtube has recently begun offering pay-per-view movie rentals for certain titles, allowing you to watch tem for a low price.
With a little creativity and some searching, you can find nearly anything you'd want to watch online. You can watch the programs on your computer monitor, or you can easily stream from your computer to your television with the use of a HDMI cable.
Another option is to stream movies and television shows onto your television through a device that connects to the Internet. For example, you can watch Netflix and Hulu on your TV using your gaming system. This allows you to use a gaming controller as a remote, and you can watch TV from the comfort of any room where the device is hooked up.
Canceling your cable bill can save you upwards of $1,000 a year. You can easily set that money aside into an interest-bearing account and save up for a vacation, or you can use it to pay off debt or cover essential bills. By watching streaming video instead of paying for hundreds of channels you may not watch, you can keep money in your pocket without sacrificing the shows you love.
Jessica Bosari is a freelance writer and blogger for various publications and her own blog. You can read more of Jessica's work here. If you have any comments or questions about SavingTools.com or about saving money, leave your comments in the form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!