It's a scenario you're all too familiar with, you're flipping through numerous channels and you still can't find anything to watch. The problem is that as you're channel surfing, you might not realize you're paying for these shows even when you're not watching them. If you might anticipate your cable bills will increase, you could decide to do away with your cable package to avoid overpaying.
Here are five reasons to cut the cord:
1. The Cost of Cable is Increasing
While customers may think the cost of cable can't go any higher, companies will likely continue to increase the prices of their cable packages. The price of basic cable could rise this year following a trend of climbing costs. Between 1995 and 2013, the cost of expanded basic service rose an average annual rate of 6.1 percent, according to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. In 2015, some companies plan to add a monthly charge for certain sports and broadcast channels, Bloomberg reported. The reason for the price increase is the high cost of broadcasting sports events that are passed from TV networks to distributors and subscribers. Since cable packages typically include sports channels, your overall cable bill could be higher with these greater sports-related costs.
"Cable costs could rise 12 percent to $61.76 per month by 2018."
2. You Don't Watch All the Channels You Pay For
Whether you watch TV every day or only a few choice shows, there is likely plenty of channels you never view at all. Not using these channels is a waste of money. Research firm SNL Kagan estimates the cable industry prices basic service at about $55 per month in 2014, The Wall Street Journal reported. However, cable costs could rise 12 percent to $61.76 per month by 2018. As a result of increasing cable bills, the cost of channels could also go up. SNL Kagan said the total cost for all channels was $45 per month in 2014 while the median cost per channel was 14 cents. If you had 100 unwatched channels, you waste about $14 each month.
3. There Are a Variety of Cable Alternatives
If you're considering getting rid of cable, you don't have to worry about finding a suitable alternative. There are various streaming services that allow you to watch all your favorite shows without putting up with a hefty cable bill. These services include Netflix and Hulu+, which let you stream TV shows and movies from your computer, other portable devices or even TV, according to Forbes. Even satellite companies are getting in on the action as Dish is offering Sling, which gives customers access to popular channels like ESPN, HGTV and the Food Network. In addition to these well-known streaming providers, HBO announced it will offer customers an online service for viewers of its premium shows.
4. There Are Fewer Options for Cable Providers
Consumers may realize their choices for cable providers are dwindling. A shorter list of cable companies could leave you with little choice of which provider you side with. As a result of mergers in the cable industry, customers could see their cable bills rise from the lack of competition in the market, Bloomberg reported.
5. Put Money Toward Other Financial Goals
While you determine whether to stop your cable service, consider whether you could help achieve your financial goals by cutting the cord. Rather than spend $14 each month on 100 unwatched channels, you could put that money into your savings or toward other purchases. While this does not seem like a big chunk, saving $14 each month for a year for five years could net you $840, which could be put down on credit card or loan debt or to build a deposit for a new car or house.