According to statistics from NDP Group, the average per-month cable bill in the U.S. hovers around $85. That’s a significant portion of monthly expenses. What’s more, cable bills are projected to top $200 dollars a month by 2020. So unless the average cable subscriber starts saving money now, he or she can expect the cable bill to increase 6% every year, as it has been steadily doing the last four years.
Of course, many people are stumped as to how to go about cutting costs from their cable bill. After all, cable companies as a whole don’t offer individual channel subscriptions, so people are stuck ordering their service in bulk. The ironic thing about this fact is that most people don’t even end up watching the majority of channels they do have access to. And it is thinking about cable service along these lines that should point families and individuals towards real savings.
Here are some ideas:
There was a time when the cable box was the most high tech piece of equipment in the home. But, these days, people have Internet routers, phone service, fax machines and more installed right where they live. Almost all modern cable companies offer bundled services on things like phone and high-speed Internet as well as cable. In fact, the savings are so steep on bundled services that it hardly makes sense to purchase them individually anymore.
Take advantage of competing offers
Like any good industry in a capitalist system, those in the cable business are in direct competition with one another. For the consumer this translates into big savings, or at least it can if he or she knows where to look. Many cable providers not only offer discounts, but rebate cards as well. There’s nothing quite like a cash-back promise to get consumers excited, and cable providers offer these via cards to potential customers.
The trick is to read the fine print, as many deals and rebates come with at least one or two strings attached. For example, early termination fees may apply to those who want to discontinue service before the contract is up.
Periodically evaluate the cable bill
As mentioned above, cable bills rise an average of 6% per year, therefore it makes sense for cable subscribers to go over their bills at least once annually. By going over the bills with a fine-toothed comb, subscribers can calculate their per-hour cost of service. This will tell them in no uncertain terms whether or not they are truly paying too much for their service.
For example, some subscribers may find that they hardly watch certain premium channels, save for one or two shows and a movie here and there. In this scenario a good way to cut costs would be to cancel these expensive channels and watch the content via some other medium, such as on DVD or through streaming.
By following these three simple tips, those with skyrocketing cable fees can curb costs while honing in on which particular parts of their service are needed and which are not.
Aaron Read is a professional in the home entertainment industry and contributes regularly to leading websites including cable-tv.com/.