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Have you ever thought about cutting cable? It can be a great way to save money and a low-cost way to tailor your TV channels to your tastes. Streaming services are on the rise, last year saw the addition of Apple TV + as well as Disney +, who saw 10 million people sign up in one day! According to USA Today, Americans spend an average of $1,086 on cable and only $277 on streaming services per year. More and More households are becoming cord cutters, about 25 million or close to 20% of households have ditched cable and that number is expected to rise over the coming years. Cutting cable is easy, the steps below will get you started.

1.       Make sure you have good Internet: A good Internet connection is vital to cutting cable. There is nothing worse than having a subscription to different streaming services and not having the capability to view the shows without buffering. Also don’t be afraid to negotiate price with your Internet provider. The Cord Cutting Report has a guide to help you learn how to negotiate for the best deal.

2.       Buy an antenna: Over-the-air or local channels are broadcasting in HDTV now, so you can get a crisp, clear picture for free. Most of the current popular shows air on one of the local channels. Some TVs have antenna already built in, so make sure to check your manual before heading to the store.

3.       Determine what additional hardware you need: In order to watch streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime you need a TV that can access the Internet. If you have a smart TV, you’re all set, and you may also have apps preloaded to the TV. If you don’t have a smart TV, check your game consoles. Many PlayStation, Wii, and Xbox consoles have streaming capabilities. Another alternative is to buy an external device such as an Apple TVRoku, or Amazon Fire Stick. Make sure to do the research to see which product is best for your needs. Getting an antenna or additional hardware will be an added up-front expense, but these are a one-time expense; they will pretty much pay for themselves with the money you save not having a big cable bill.

4.       Pick your streaming services: There are so many different services out there, including ones that allow viewing of live TV. Here is a great list of different streaming services. Again, you will have to determine which one(s) fit your needs/interests. If you are concerned about watching sports, here is a great guide to streaming services that allow you to watch live sports.

5.       Enjoy!  Once you figure out all the equipment you need and get everything set up, it is time to enjoy your new-found savings. You will wonder why you didn’t cut the cord before! Ditching cable isn’t as difficult as it seems, you just need to do a bit of research to see which products are best for you. What works for one household may not work for yours.

For more savings tips check out our blog or follow us on Facebook or Instagram, @RiverValleyCU.

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