Streaming TV Cord-Cutting Mistake

The #1 Mistake People Make After Canceling Cable TV

You call up your cable TV provider and cancel your $100 a month package, but you keep internet service because you’re going to switch to streaming to save lots of money.

At least, that was the plan. But then this happened…

  • You signed up for YouTube TV. At the time, it was $35 per month.
  • Everything’s going well until the first price hike to $40.
  • It goes up once again to $50 as new channels are added to the service.
  • And then the biggest price hike yet to $65 a month.

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

Does this sound familiar? You may be thinking: $100 a month for cable and $65 a month for YouTube TV, so you’re still ahead — right?

Unfortunately, your streaming TV bill doesn’t stop there…

  • You need Netflix to pass the time during the pandemic. That’s $13 a month.
  • Then, you got the Disney Bundle, mostly for the kids. But Hulu and ESPN+ are great for everyone in the house. That’s $13 too. 
  • And you sign up for HBO Max to binge-watch Friends. That’s $15 a month. 

When you add it all together — YouTube TV, Netflix, the Disney Bundle and HBO Max — you’re at $106 a month. 

It’s about the same amount you were paying for cable… 

Most cord-cutters I know have a live TV streaming service and one or two on-demand services. I do not think that’s a mistake, and it’s not what I’m referring to in the title of this article.

But as a streaming expert, I’ve noticed a pattern of behavior with people who used to have a cable or satellite subscription. To explain, let’s look at the major difference between streaming and cable. 

Here’s a screenshot from Xfinity’s website as an example.

The plan on the far right is for internet and TV with 125 channels, and the price is $80 a month before taxes and fees.

Taxes vary by location, but the broadcast TV and regional sports fees can add $20 to the bill.

And this deal is only for 24 months. The price goes way up after the first two years, and there’s an early termination fee if you cancel the contract.

It’s not such a deal after all. But the good news is there are no long-term commitments with most streaming services!

So, here’s my question…

Why do so many people cancel cable, sign up for a live TV streaming service and then stay with them price hike after price hike — and never shop around to see if there’s a better deal?

This is the mistake that cord-cutters are making after dropping cable.

You’re no longer stuck in a contract, so you don’t have to keep acting like it!

Here’s a better way to look at your live TV streaming package.

Let’s say that you like YouTube TV during NFL season. The regular season starts in September, and the Super Bowl is in February. That’s six months with YouTube TV.

But maybe you can switch to a cheaper service like Sling TV in the off-season and during the summer when you’re watching less TV anyway.

You could keep all of the on-demand streaming services — Netflix, the Disney Bundle and HBO Max — and pay $71 a month total. That’s just a few bucks more than YouTube TV alone.

JANUARY 2021 UPDATE: Sling TV now starts at $35/month, not $30/month.

But if you don’t want to give up YouTube TV, I get it. The best channel lineup, unlimited DVR and a simple navigation.

I have another idea for you. 

Keep YouTube TV and pick just one on-demand streaming service per month. That would cost you $78 to $80 a month compared to $106 a month for YouTube TV and all of the on-demand services.

This combo of YouTube TV and only one other service saves up to $28 a month and $336 in a single year. 

By now, I think you understand what I’m saying.

If you want to save money on streaming TV, stop and start your subscriptions. Remember, you can do it without penalty since there are no contracts!

Take Action

Here’s your action plan. It’s just three steps. 

  1. Set a streaming budget for your household.
  2. Determine your must-have channels and services.
  3. Take advantage of free trials if they’re offered.

I change up my streaming TV bundle all the time to save money. I want to know what works for you. Let me know what you’re streaming in the comments below!

More Streaming TV Content:

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

  1. Gwendolyn Williams

    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?

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

  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!

    1. 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.

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

  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 .

  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?

  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?

    1. 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.

  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.

  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?

  8. Bryon Satterfield

    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.

  9. Edward Katsnelson

    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.

  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.

  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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