10 steps to cut the cable cord

It’s time to cut the cable cord.

For budget-conscious consumers, a fast way to reduce spending is to ditch their cable subscription. But cutting the cord requires making tough money decisions. “Overall my best advice (and the first thing I tell people looking to cut the cord) is to know individual priorities,” wrote Alex Haslam, cord-cutting expert at HowtoWatch.com and contributor to the U.S. News My Money blog, in an email. Do you care more about being able to record shows? Are certain channels more important to you? Knowing your priorities will help you make the best decisions. Click forward for more ways to cut the cord.

Netflix
Take note of your needs. In order to navigate the overwhelming world of a la carte video-streaming options, it’s helpful to know which services you must have — and which you can live without. “Going into the decision knowing your preferences will help you know which trade-offs you’re willing to make and which features you’re willing to pay for,” writes Haslam on the My Money blog. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) (AP/Elise Amendola)
FILE - This June 24, 2015, file photo shows the Hulu Apple TV app icon. (AP Photo/Dan Goodman, File)
Do your research. There are tons of streaming options on the market — from Hulu to Netflix to PlayStation Vue to DirecTV Now. Confused yet? Compare the services, channels and costs of each option to determine whether they meet your movie- and television-watching needs. (AP Photo/Dan Goodman, File) (AP/Dan Goodman)
In this June 15, 2018 photo, twenty dollar bills are counted in North Andover, Mass. The percentage of small businesses raising their prices in May jumped to the highest level since 2008, at a net 19 percent, according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business. And more seem set to follow suit. A little more than a quarter of small businesses said they plan to raise their prices over the next three months, the highest level since 2008. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
Compare costs. There are many reasons to cut cable, but if cost-savings is one of them, make sure you’ll actually be saving money. Estimate how much you intend to spend on streaming services and other ancillary purchases. If you’ll need to mix and match 10 streaming services each month to meet your viewing needs, consider whether it’s worth making the change. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) (AP/Elise Amendola)
TV with remote control and indoor antenna isolated on a white background
Purchase a digital antenna. There’s good news for local news fanatics and sports fans. A digital TV antenna, which can cost as little as $20, gives cord-cutters free access to local broadcast networks. Those may include ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, so you can still catch up on local broadcasts, sports games and television shows. (Getty Images) (Getty Images/iStockphoto/ra3rn)
Robert Kyncl
Take advantage of free trials. For indecisive cord-cutters, utilizing free trials is a fantastic way to sample streaming services without committing to paying for one right away. Many popular streaming services include a free trial that lasts a few days or a week, Haslam says. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)
Bill Cowher, Phil Simms
Don’t give up on live sports. Watching live sporting events, including March Madness, NFL football and even the FIFA World Cup, is possible without a cable subscription. An antenna will give you access to locally broadcast matches, while certain streaming services and network apps may provide chances to watch live and prerecorded matches. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack, File) (AP)
Follow the latest news. Stay up-to-date on the shows and tips other cord-cutters recommend. One place to look is on social media platform Reddit’s r/cordcutters page, which provides updates on cord-cutting tips and the latest net neutrality news. And U.S. News contributor Haslam regularly shares the latest tips and strategies for meeting your entertainment needs without paying for cable. (WTOP/Screenshot)
FILE  - This March 19, 2018 file photo shows Amazon's Prime Video streaming app on an iPad in Baltimore. The Premier League broadcasting landscape has been reshaped with Amazon becoming the first internet streaming service to buy live rights in Britain and all overseas revenue no longer being shared equally by clubs. Amazon’s Prime Video service has bought the rights for two rounds of live matches each season in Britain a three-year deal from 2019 it was reported on Thursday, June 7, 2018.  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
Rotate through subscriptions. Since most streaming services don’t require yearlong contracts, or any contracts, cord-free TV watchers can cycle through streaming services to meet their temporary needs. If you’re a “Game of Thrones” fan, just pay for HBO Now when the show is on. If you only like “The Handmaid’s Tale,” nix your Hulu subscription when the show finishes up for the season. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) (AP/Patrick Semansky)
FILE - In this March 5, 2012, file photo, consumer credit cards are posed in North Andover, Mass. The biggest months for adding and dropping credit cards are November, December and January, so now's the time to make sure the annual fee is really worth it. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
Beware hidden fees when canceling cable. Before you can become an official cord-cutter, you have to cancel your cable subscription. Beware of early termination fees, Haslam says. “When you do decide to cancel your subscription, make sure to get on the phone with the cable company, armed with the knowledge you need to make sure it doesn’t rope you in with promotional offers,” she writes. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) (AP)
POV-Shot from a young watching tv with his feets and socks at home, including copy space. ideal for websites and magazines layouts
You don’t need to replace your TV. Being a cord-cutter doesn’t require a new smart TV (unless you really want one). Your current television set should work just fine when paired with a streaming device such as Amazon’s Fire Stick or Roku. (Getty Images) (Getty Images/iStockphoto/rclassenlayouts)
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Netflix
FILE - This June 24, 2015, file photo shows the Hulu Apple TV app icon. (AP Photo/Dan Goodman, File)
In this June 15, 2018 photo, twenty dollar bills are counted in North Andover, Mass. The percentage of small businesses raising their prices in May jumped to the highest level since 2008, at a net 19 percent, according to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business. And more seem set to follow suit. A little more than a quarter of small businesses said they plan to raise their prices over the next three months, the highest level since 2008. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
TV with remote control and indoor antenna isolated on a white background
Robert Kyncl
Bill Cowher, Phil Simms
FILE  - This March 19, 2018 file photo shows Amazon's Prime Video streaming app on an iPad in Baltimore. The Premier League broadcasting landscape has been reshaped with Amazon becoming the first internet streaming service to buy live rights in Britain and all overseas revenue no longer being shared equally by clubs. Amazon’s Prime Video service has bought the rights for two rounds of live matches each season in Britain a three-year deal from 2019 it was reported on Thursday, June 7, 2018.  (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
FILE - In this March 5, 2012, file photo, consumer credit cards are posed in North Andover, Mass. The biggest months for adding and dropping credit cards are November, December and January, so now's the time to make sure the annual fee is really worth it. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
POV-Shot from a young watching tv with his feets and socks at home, including copy space. ideal for websites and magazines layouts

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10 Steps to Cut the Cable Cord originally appeared on usnews.com

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