(FinancialHealth.net) – Cable used to be fairly priced. While never truly cheap, it was something most American households could budget for and enjoy without too much effort. These days, it’s a heck of a lot different. Thanks to crackdowns on the industry and an ever-expanding list of competitors offering access to online streaming services, prices are constantly on the rise.
So, if you’ve recently looked at your cable bill only to feel a sense of dread at the price… know that you aren’t alone. Nearly everyone is suffering from sticker shock lately — and many Americans don’t feel they’re getting good value for their money, either.
Cutting the cord is an option, but admittedly, there are usually a few shows people tune into and enjoy. So the real question is this: how do you lower your cable bill without getting rid of the service altogether?
You can negotiate it down:
If you don’t get anywhere asking for a new plan, you have a few other options. Try one of these methods and see if it helps you cut back on costs.
- Trim premium channels. How often do you really watch HBO? If you can’t justify keeping it, get rid of it. Premium channels add up.
- Reduce cable boxes. Most homes have two to four cable boxes installed (one for each television). This can add up to as much as $8 a month in some cases. Keep cable only on your main television to reduce costs.
- Understand your bill. Do you know for sure that your bill, and the fees it contains, is correct? When was the last time you glanced at it? Cable companies are notorious for billing errors and often increase prices. Don’t be afraid to complain.
- Buy your own PVR. PVRs can be incredible because they allow you to record your favorite shows, but they also often cost money to rent. Consider getting rid of yours, or buying your own, to cut the monthly fee.
- Reduce your plan. How many of those 600 channels do you really watch? Ask your provider if they can help you find the lowest package to suit your needs.
- Bundle services. Have internet and mobile services with separate companies? Find a company that offers all three and bundle your services to save big bucks.
- Price check. Don’t sign up for cable services — or stay on the same service — without checking around every so often for a better deal. A little competition between providers can help you really save. Sometimes, your current cable company will even offer to price match just to keep you from leaving!
Whether or not cable is a necessity is really up to you. Certainly, for some, it’s as integral to their daily routine as a newspaper or eating regular meals. But don’t forget that there is a whole world of cheaper entertainment out there, too, including cheap streaming shows. If all else fails, cut the cable and see how you feel living without it for a bit. You might be surprised how freeing it is.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!
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