Sick of expensive cable bills. This boomer finally cut the cord. What took me so long?

TL;DR - cutting the cable TV cord has been a great choice for me and might be a good choice for you too. You just have to do some research and learn a little bit; like an old dog learning a new trick.

Fear of the unknown. “If it ain’t broken don’t fix it”. Aversion to change.

We finally cut the (cable tv) cord. I think there was a CC Parents thread about this a couple years ago, but that thread is now locked. I, of course, ignored that thread anyways because, y’know, it didn’t apply to me. I don’t want to deal with change.

You’ve probably heard the narrative that if you put a frog in a pot of hot water it will attempt to jump out but if you put it in a pot of cold water and heat it slowly the frog will sit till it’s boiled. I’m that frog with the cable bill. Every year the temperature (price) was raised and I sat there. Finally it came to a boil.

I called the cable company for the dreaded bi-annual haggling. Crazy long wait time on hold.

Me: I want to lower my overall bill.
Them: Sure, we’d love to try to help you do that! Let’s just see what we can do here. Yes, I can lower your bill for six months and give you the speed increase (20x) your neighbors have been enjoying for years while we have been bleeding your wallet without upgrade. Oh, but you’ll have to pay extra if you want to keep the sports channels you currently enjoy because you were grandfathered into them before regional sports broadcasting fees went ballistic. I need to mention that after the six month promotion period expires you’ll be paying substantially more than the amount you called to complain about in the first place, but remember you’ll get the excessively fast internet speeds that you don’t really need, (and my goal is to increase company revenues, not decrease them). Can I get you to say “yes” to this recorded proposal?
Me: No. Tell me where to return the equipment.
Them: Ok I’ll email you a UPS return label. Anything else?
Me: Umm, I don’t need that 20x faster internet speed that’s sufficient to run a small company. Can I just have the bargain consumer speed that’s still 6x faster than I currently have and will cost me less?
Them: Sure. Done. Anything else?
Me: Nope. Thank you. You’ve been cheerful and I lowered my bill but you made me work for it.

Our cable TV equipment rental fees felt excessive (2 boxes: HD DVR box + muti-room DVR box), and we were captive to just those two box locations. Having cut the cord, we can now view anywhere (with a smart tv, or Roku stick, or even on my iPhone). So, for example, after I cut the cord I put a smart TV in front of my treadmill in the basement. Under the old scenario it would have required wiring coax to the location and paying monthly for another rental cable box.

To cut the cord and substitute with streaming, you’ll want to research which streaming service(s) might best fit your needs. Some could be lacking your must-have channels. Some don’t stream the local channels (in which case you need to set up for OTA reception). Some charge more for sports packages you desire. Some have disappointingly low DVR storage capacity while others have unlimited DVR storage included in the base package. That’s right, I said unlimited!

I’ve actually had compelling reason to cut the cord for years because we have two homes with cable TV at each, but now we can use the one streaming service at both. Even if we just had one home I’d still make this switch. Now we’re paying less in total than we did for either home and we are also getting much faster internet speeds at both homes. I felt we needed faster internet speeds to handle the increasing amounts of streaming.

If you have been pondering the thought of cutting the cord then I encourage you re-visit the proposition. It requires some research, perhaps some trial & error, but I think that all the streaming services have free trials that you can cancel easily, online, with the click of a mouse button. I know from some experience because I tried a particular streaming service and subsequently cancelled it with ease to switch to another. I actually used the streaming free trial before I cancelled my cable TV package so I was sure I’d be comfortable with the change.

Of course, this boomer still kept the (idiot tax) landline. Old habits (and hopefully old boomers) are hard to die…

I’m not even sure why I’m writing this long note. I guess because the change made me happy and maybe it will make you happy too.


We cut the cable cord about 10 years ago. And we don’t miss it one bit! We have an antenna in our attic that gets all the local stations and a few public TV stations…and a few home shopping networks. We have a Roku stick…and if there is anything special we want to see, we purchase it for a period of time on Sling. We also have Amazon Prime (lots of good shows there) and Netflix.

And we stream lots.

The only channel I miss is HGTV. Really, no way to get that without cable.

Oh…and we have no cable bill at all because we also ditched them for internet and got DSL. For us, that works just fine!

I promise…you won’t miss cable at all.

So keep an eye out…I returned out cable boxes in person…and got a receipt…about a week before the month ended. My receipt clearly said my balance was $0. But then the cable company sent me a bill for $5 and change. Say what? My husband spent a lot of time on the phone…all he wanted to know was what the bill was for. No one could tell him…claimed it was a fee they charged (for what?). Finally got to some supervisor who “waived the fee”. Imagine how many people ditch cable a year and just pay that $5 fee.


I agree! We switched to Google fiber and YouTubeTV about a year ago and couldn’t be happier for all the reasons you’ve listed. Before switching, we used a YouTubeTV 2 week free trial to make sure we would be getting everything we wanted. We also have Netflix and Amazon Prime and go in and out of other services depending on their current shows. No more playing games with the local cable companies. The bill comes in at the same amount every month. Our home is now free of so much equipment and cables running around outside and through rooms. I love being able to watch our local news every morning while we are on vacation. At home, we have a Firestick on each TV. They are pretty cheap during Black Friday.
We also dropped our land line a few years ago and despite our trepidation, we have never once regretted it. It’s a great number to give to people when you don’t really want to be giving out your cell phone.

We get HGTV with YouTubeTV.

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The only reason we still have a landline is that it is “bundled” with our DSL. Keeps the cost way down. Ridiculous!

We pay nothing for TV…except when we use sling. Not interested in any monthly bills. So no YouTube TV.

Ha, we cut the cord about 2 months ago and my only regret is that we did not do it sooner! We deleted all the cable channels and the phone service. Now we have unlimited internet access and stream everything. It’s great.


We ditched cable in February 2020 right before Covid. We have internet and home phone since it is the cheapest way to go Plenty of stuff to stream on Hulu, Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney + and Apple TV. Don’t miss cable at all. We also have an antenna for the local stations.

We too have YouTube TV. We started with Sling TV but the lack of local channel integration ultimately dissuaded us. We received the locals OTA but it required changing the input source, and recording locals was less clean with the use of the AirTV combined with a hard drive.

We still are amazed with the unlimited DVR. The downside of recording so much is the challenge of scrolling through it all to find what you want.

Anyway I tried to initially avoid mentioning our specific service because I didn’t want to seem like I was selling something. For hardware devices we have a personal preference for Roku sticks over Amazon Fire Sticks (we have both) for a variety of reasons but both are excellent and it’s hard to beat the Fire Stick pricing when Amazon sells them discounted.

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The only reason we still have cable is because of live sports, and I haven’t looked for alternatives for a few years.

What are the options for watching live sports, especially on the local channels, or the national channels, like WGN, MSG network, marquis network and the like?

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@Mwfan1921 we get the local channels here with our antenna…and we get excellent reception. So anything on the major networks, we get.

Problematic is ESPN which seems to be cable only. We have not found a way to get it without cable…so we just don’t watch it.

We have purchased access via sling for things like the March Madness basketball, World Series (unless on ESPN), things like world figure skating, tour d France.

And…there are always sports bars!:rofl:

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Not getting ESPN probably won’t work here. But I do like the sports bar idea! :sunglasses:


We still have the landline at our primary residence but not the other. We never use the landline outbound but we’ve been here so long that so many contacts are tied to that landline. Every new contact gets our mobile numbers, and we try to change the landline over to the mobile numbers when we come across it in some database. I suppose when we go 12 months without a call to the landline I’ll know it’s safe to drop it. But then how will I get those necessary extended car warranty calls, and calls from the IRS?…

we switched to hulu live; get the sports channels and news channels. I suppose it saves a bit; but when we add on netflix and peacock, it all starts adding up.

but hulu live has been great for live tv; havent found a station that we miss yet. Our tv is a smart tv, and has the hulu app built in. On another tv, we use a roku device, which lets us download the hulu app, and get it there.

it’s sort of complicated! but working. no landline now that youngest is responsible with her phone. that was our main reason for not stopping cable/landline/internet bundle.

Live sports requires research based upon your needs, especially if you want to record them. For example, I know Sling TV has two base packages (Orange or Blue) and my interpretation was that ESPN was the primary difference. For $35 you can have ESPN on a base Orange package with other channels but then only one stream. You don’t get ESPN on the Blue base package but you get other channels like NFL Redzone and can stream three at a time. Of course from there you can mix and match….for a price. Again, it requires research.

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Thank you, that’s very helpful. Time to do research again!

With YouTube TV basic plan you get all local channels, espn , and much more. Checkout their channel lineup. You can stream on like 5 devices so pretty handy when traveling. Unlimited dvr good. Other services offer similar so research for your best match. We are missing nothing from what we had with much more expensive cable package.

Our LG tv connects seamlessly to YouTube TV and other streaming services (via our home wifi) so no need for a stick ……


I say free trials can be your friend. :grinning:


We’ve had Directv Stream (current name) for over 4 years because we have a grandfathered price and big discount, but if we didn’t have that price I’d go with YouTube TV. For sports you’ll get your locals, ESPN, FS1, MLB Network, NBA TV, NFL Network, TBS, and TNT. Possibly regional sports channels depending on your location.

We cut cable 4 years ago, but our streaming package is very cable-like. We didn’t get rid of our landline until a year ago and then we wondered why it took us so long.

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It does sound like YouTube tv could be a great option, so I will definitely look into that and some of the other services mentioned above. We happily got rid of our landline a few years ago.

We couldn’t get rid of our cable provided phone service because our cellular reception is so bad (home tucked into a valley). But now our cellular carrier (T-Mobile) has WiFi calling, so when we’re home it uses our internet/wifi for calls. Sweet.


What is the cost per month for Youtube TV?