Cutting cable is one of the easiest and quickest ways to free up some cash in your budget for paying off debt or saving money.  I mentioned it earlier this week and wanted to go into just a bit more detail.

It is easier than you think, so as soon as the shakes wear off, gather your supplies and we can begin.

You’ll need four things:
1) A TV with digital tuner – any TV in the last 10 years should be just fine.
2) A phone
3) An internet connection
4) A steely resolve

Step 1:  Call your cable provider and cancel cable – keep your internet.  They’ll offer you all sorts of promotions.  They’ll cry, wail, and try to not let you go.  If you’re under a service contract, find out what the early termination fee is (if any), and compare that to the cost of keeping your contract all the way though.  If you live in Raleigh/Durham, you’ll be glad to interact with that certain big company less anyway.

Step 2:  Buy a digital antenna.  You can get them from Amazon, or pick one up at Target or Walmart.  These allow you to pick up over-the-air broadcasts in HD from the big four networks plus a few.  We watch CBS, NBC, ABC, and FOX all in HD regularly at no cost.  The antenna will plug into the coaxial cable port on the back of your TV.
Note: These work in metro or suburban areas.  We tried this in the mountains of Boone (where they have no local stations) and it didn’t work as well.

Step 3:  Buy a Roku or an Apple TV for $100 or less.  Also available from Amazon or a local retailer.  The cost is covered by just 2 months of cable!  We have an Apple TV because it works with all our Apple devices, and we’re happy with it.  But I absolutely love the Roku player, too – it has a more open platform than the Apple TV.  You’ll need an HDMI cable to connect the player to the TV for the best picture.

Step 4:  Determine what you need to replace.  What are your favorite shows?  Do you want the most up-to-date episodes?  Hulu Plus is probably for you.  Or are you looking for quality shows for general entertainment, more movies and a really wide selection of content?  Netflix might be what you want.

Step 5:  Subscribe to Netflix or Hulu Plus (or both).  Sign into those accounts on your Apple TV or Roku.

Step 6:  Enjoy your cheaper entertainment (coming in between $10-20/month).  Use that extra $20-50/month to crush some debt!

What are some other ways to make the transition away from cable easier?