The #1 Mistake People Make After Canceling Cable TV

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I published a video on my YouTube channel a few years ago titled, “The #1 Mistake People Make After Canceling Cable TV.” 

Since then, it’s gained more than 600,000 views and 5,000 subscribers. 

Don’t Make This Cord-Cutting Mistake After Dropping Cable

I created the video at a time when a lot of people were cutting the cable TV cord in hopes of putting more money back in their pocket. 

Unfortunately, not everybody saves money. Here’s the point I made in the video:

“So why do people cancel cable, sign up for a live TV streaming service, stay with them price hike after price hike and never shop around for a better deal? This is the mistake that cord cutters make after dropping cable. You’re not stuck in a contract anymore, so you don’t have to keep acting like it.” 

I stand by this advice today and think it’s more important than ever with the rising cost of streaming TV. 

The first streaming service you sign up for after canceling cable doesn’t have to be the last. 

If you have cable, there’s probably only one option where you live. But there’s a lot more competition with live TV streaming services.

Here are the main live TV streaming services that offer cable channel bundles: 

  • YouTube TV 
  • Hulu + Live TV
  • Sling TV
  • DIRECTV STREAM
  • FuboTV
  • Philo
  • Frndly TV 

YouTube TV is my top pick. It includes 100+ of the most popular cable channels as well as your local stations. However, there are cheaper options to consider like Sling TV and Philo.

Since streaming services typically don’t have contracts, you can always start and stop your subscriptions to save money. 

I hear from a lot of people who only subscribe to YouTube TV during football season. During the off-season, they cancel YouTube TV in favor of less expensive streaming options.

  • Budget live TV streaming services:  Sling TV, Philo and Frndly TV offer more affordable plans with fewer channels than premium live TV services. 
  • On-demand streaming services: Netflix and other services that don’t carry cable TV channels are priced well below YouTube TV. 
  • Free streaming services: Pluto TV, Tubi and Freevee offer ad-supported content that won’t cost you a single penny. 

In addition to streaming, an antenna is a great way to get your local broadcast TV stations. 

The bottom line is that you want to take advantage of the competitive streaming TV environment and the flexibility that streaming offers. 

Here’s an action plan:

  1. Set a monthly streaming TV budget 
  2. Make a list of the streaming services you pay for 
  3. Review your streaming TV habits monthly 
  4. Cancel services that you aren’t using 

I created a free Streaming TV Spending Tracker that you may find useful.

Comparison shopping is the final step in my guide to cutting the cable TV cord. If you’re new to the process, I have all the information you need to get started here.

For more ways to save on streaming TV, please subscribe to my YouTube channel! 

34 thoughts on “The #1 Mistake People Make After Canceling Cable TV”

  1. This may seem a crazy question, however…..Do I need Roku and Hulu? I have a Roku device, so I get that. But does Roku have channels, etc?

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    • Roku is a player that’s compatible with Hulu. You can use any other supported streaming media player or a smart TV to use Hulu as well! Roku is great because it does have some free content like The Roku Channel.

      Reply
    • If you have a smart TV with those apps installed, you can use that. But if not or those apps aren’t available on your smart TV, you need a Roku or another streaming media player. Roku Premiere is typically around $30.

      Reply
  2. hi – thanks for this information – i am 64 – i don’t get all this “streaming” – tv was always free – sad news i have att uverse and internet – trying to cut the cord – our bill just keeps going up and now is unaffordable – i have a firestick – it was a gift – i don’t even know how it works really – since i have cable i watch a movie from time to time – my simple question is if i get rid of uverse, keep internet, purchase an antennea – can i use the firestick to still watch movies say on amazon prime – and how do i do that – do i use the firestick as a remote or purchase a universal remote to run the tv – as you can see – i know nothing about all this works – thank you for your time!
    susan

    Reply
    • Hi Susan. Yes you’re on the right track. You can keep internet service and use that Fire TV Stick to get movies from Amazon Prime and lots of other places. The antenna will pick up local stations.

      Here is my guide for first-timers. It focuses on other services/devices (Roku and YouTube TV), but the ones you have are great too. https://michaelsaves.com/streaming/how-to-cut-the-cord/

      As far as the Fire TV Stick, one you plug it in (instructions are included) it will guide you through the setup.

      Reply
  3. so far yours is the best info I have found. Please answer this question. Must you have, say a Roku device, for every TV in the house? And I assume wifi is a necessity .

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  4. Hi, I love your blog and find everything so helpful. Question, these prices you quote do “not” include the fee you need to pay for an Internet provider, am I right? It seems that once you add that on your not too far off a cable bill?
    Thanks!
    Donna

    Reply
  5. I am cutting spectrum, my TV provider. Keeping the Internet. I bought a Roku and was wondering when they stop my TV subscription will I be able to get Fox news with just the Roku?

    Reply
    • No. If you want the live version of Fox News, the cheapest option is Sling TV at $35/month in the Sling Blue plan. I think Fox News has a separate app, but it’s not live TV that you get on the cable network.

      Reply
  6. Hello Mike
    Finally had enough of Comcast racket. I just bought a Roku express but wonder if I made a mistake: had I bought the Roku Streaming STICK, could I use it on several TVs without having to reprogram the stick each time I go to a different tv? IOW, does the stick have a memory? Just trying to save some $, but not if it’s a hassle; I’ll just buy more Rokus. Thank you very much for a great site and your always up to date information.

    Reply
  7. This is almost embarrassing, but we have AT&T Uverse (I know it’s going away), 4 tv’s with 4 DVR’s, Hulu, Netflix, Disney+, Discovery, Prime and a Roku – oh and a firestick and an apple tv device. My husband has no idea how much anything costs but recently became aware since we changed our internet to fiber optic. He thinks it’s as simple as get rid of cable and just stream what you want. I talked about the Direct TV streaming ,but that’s still cable. If I completely eliminate cable and just keep my streaming, we won’t get local channels or any sports except what is on ESPN, right?

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  8. Can I eliminate all sports, religious and Spanish language channels by switching to streaming? I now pay for AT&T U-verse U200 package to have 968 channels turned off and 42 channels visible. I want drama, news, cooking and DIY channels only. What do I stream? What do I buy for use with a Toshiba not-smart TV? Where do I buy the streaming equipment? Thank you.

    Reply
  9. The information you are providing is valuable, indeed. However, when discussing the costs associated with cutting off the cable in favor of streaming services, I did not see where you incorporate the concept of the rise of internet monthly service costs when dropping one’s TV service from the original bundle deal. These will add to the combine price of the internet and the streaming service. Perhaps you can advise on that. Thank you in advance.

    Reply
  10. we currently have comcast/xfinity. I just had point broadband installed and is working WIFI. I do have multiple Fire sticks. Once we cancel our cable, I believe our access to You Tube tv and other pay services will be inaccessible until we purchase from a new streaming service. Will we still be able to watch NBC on her computer. I believe we had that accessible because of our cable provider and will have to purchase sling or you tube tv for access to NBC and Bravo as my antenna will not pick up that live feed. I am thinking of trying Sling blue for trial period and if we are not happy try you tube TV. We also have amazon Prime. Also want the DVR feature included. WE are not big into HBO/Cinemax/Starz as there are a lot of free movies out there. Netflex might be a future add on but I believe we can live without. Still saving over $100.00 per month on cable services and equipment rental. LOL with the rental fees I think we have purchased equipment many times over.

    Reply
  11. As usual, I’m always late to the conversation…
    Assuming I have Wi-Fi service, I’m wondering whether I have to stream to a TV, or can I stream direct to my computer, instead?

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  12. We went to a flea market in KY recently and one of the vendors was selling a box that allowed people to cut the cord to cable. The box has several apps and was a one time price of $350. It seems to work very well but I don’t understand why I don’t have to pay for subscriptions with this box like I would have to if I got individual apps. I looked on the Internet for similar devices but don’t see anything like this. I’m new to this whole streaming concept. Did I make a mistake in buying this unit? We need a unit for each TV. We have 4 TV’s but would pay for them with one year of what we pay for cable now. I read some of your articles that explain the subcriptions to various apps go up pretty high after 1 year and eventually cost as much as cable TV. I don’t want to fall into that trap but we watch very little TV and our interests are old cowboy series, movies, cable news, and sports. The guy who sold us the unit customized it for our needs. Do you know what I am referring to and what are the drawbacks? Thanks, your articles are very helpful.

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  13. I cut cable from Xfinity and it definitely was worth it. I have Prime ($139.00) per year or $11.58 per month. Also Netflix ($21.18) per month and Paramount plus $10.59 per month plus all the free services mentioned by others.. My wife and I don’t a ton of TV but we like our movies and series. We live in Baltimore. I was paying more in just Taxes, fees and service fees with Xfinity than the cost of my streaming channels. My streaming channels are $43.35 per month and $52.24 per month just for Xfinity service and fees. Broadcast TV fee $21.70, Regional sports fee $12.45, Federal universal service fund $1.95, Regulatory cost recovery $2.86, Franchise fee $6.10, Public education fee $0.98. I’m happy and finally feel I’m getting what I pay for.

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  14. I am canceling Comcast TV. I have their internet that I will keep. My TV is not a smart one. I know nothing about streaming. How do I start?

    Reply
  15. Hello, Mike;
    I just discovered your blog and am enjoying the info. A question about cord cutting. I have Xfinity with 4 TVs throughout my home. each one has a smell device to enable digital service. If I retained Xfinity for internet would I still need those devices for a streaming service such as YouTube TV. Each box is $9 per month.
    Thanks.

    Reply

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