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  • Writer's picturecindyryb

How to Save Money on Your TV & Internet Costs in 2024

couple watching Netflix on a Smart TV

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Regardless of whether you own your own home or if you're a renter, one of the things people frequently complain about is the cost of their TV and Internet bills. I've been a longtime customer of a large cable TV company and am happy with their level of service. However, they can be pricey, especially when you are no longer covered under a promotional rate. Let's talk about what you can do when your TV and Internet prices get too high - believe it or not, there are options!

TV Remote

The first step in figuring out how to save money on TV and Internet is to find out what's included in your current package - either pull out a recent bill or log onto their website and see. Find out the Internet speed you're paying for. Find out which package you have for TV channels and see which pay stations (HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, TMC, Starz, MGM+, etc) you are paying for. Does your package include a home phone line? If so, see if unlimited long-distance and voice mail are included. Most people have a cellphone, so think about this: do you need a separate home phone line?

Thinking about switching to paying for just your Internet service and streaming? Sign up for Max, the one to watch, starting at $9.99/mo.

streaming movies on a computer from the internet

Once you know what you have, see if there are things included that you don't use. For example, we very rarely (if ever) watch TMC which is The Movie Channel, so I'm thinking I may drop it without any impact. Decide if you need the Internet speed you are paying for on your bill - maybe you could drop to a lower speed and still be fine with the level of service.

Do some shopping around before contacting your cable company! Go onto their website and find out about promotional rates being offered to new or existing subscribers. Are your rates at that level or are they higher? If they're higher, you may want to take the time to call their billing department. You'll begin by speaking with a representative who may or may not be able to lower your bill. If you aren't happy, tell them you are considering dropping service because you're paying too much.

couple watching TV and eating popcorn

Most likely they'll put you through to the retention department, and from my experience, these are the people that are most likely able to do something to lower your costs. Explain what you've figured out from looking at what is included. Can you be happy dropping down to fewer pay stations? Do you need all of the base stations you are paying for, or can you still be happy with less if it saves you money? Discuss your options, and make sure they realize that you are considering switching service to a different company if you can't lower your cost through them. Chances are, they'll find a way to drop your bill!

Here's an example: I was paying over $300 a month (ouch!) for cable TV service that included 260+ channels on three TVs (including HBO, Showtime, TMC, Starz, Epix, and Hitz, plus a sports package and DVR service). It also included extremely fast Internet service and home phone service with unlimited local and long-distance calling. After working with a retention specialist, dropping two pay stations I don't watch, and adding back Cinemax, I was able to reduce my monthly bill by more than $60 a month. I still have all of the same stations I had before (less TMC and Starz but added Cinemax), I still have my fast Internet speed, and I have the same phone service as before. I'm just paying less because I spent about an hour on the phone discussing my options with them! They understood that I was considering switching possibly to DirecTV with AT&T for Internet and wanted to keep me as a customer, so they were willing to lower my monthly cost.

watching YouTube on a laptop

Thinking about making the switch from your TV and Internet service provider? Take a look and see if DirecTV and AT&T can give you what you need. You can opt to Bundle - Internet + TV + Wireless or you can order just the services you need.

My guess is if you're on a promotional rate that is as low as they are offering to new customers, there won't be much they can do to assist you. But if you've been with them and are now out of the promotional period (usually two years but sometimes less), you may be able to stay with them and save. Set a reminder in your cellphone calendar to remind you yearly to review your cable/internet/phone costs and plan on contacting your cable company each year to see if they can lower your bill. It doesn't always work, and sometimes you'll need to make multiple phone calls, possibly on different days and at different times to find someone who can help you. But it's worth a try if it saves you money and keeps the service you have and like!

Hulu can give you live TV plus plenty of on-demand programming for as little as $7.99 a month! Make the switch from cable - Get 75+ top channels on Hulu - including live sports with ESPN+. You can even add on Disney+, ESPN+, live sports, and the movie channels you prefer like Max, Cinemax, Paramount+ with Showtime, and Starz - pay for only what you need.

couple watching a movie with cocktails

If you're still not happy after working with your cable company, there are other things that you can consider. Some people completely drop their TV service but keep their high-speed Internet service. If you do, you may find that you can stream what you want to watch and it will save you money. If you have a Smart TV, you may have a way to easily access these services directly from your TV if you keep up your Internet service. Another way people are saving money is by not renting equipment from their cable company and purchasing it instead. When reviewing my bill, I see that I am currently paying $15 a month to rent a modem from my cable company. Modems are selling for less than $100 up to around $250, so if I buy instead of renting, I'll be able to save money in the long run.

Here's another streaming option: Paramount+ Essential or Paramount+ with Showtime. Stream hit shows from CBS, Nickelodeon, MTV, BET, Comedy Central and Smithsonian on Paramount+. Try it free!

Don't settle for paying too much for your cable, Internet, and phone services. Examine what you currently have and decide what you can do without. Try contacting your service provider and work at negotiating for a lower rate - you may be surprised by how much you can save just by asking! Good luck! Hope to see you again at - articles frequently benefit renters and homeowners alike.

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