Cord cutters sample plans

Ignore your cable bill for a moment and play around with some numbers.

Add up the subscription costs for the services you’re interested in. You don’t need to do this all longhand – instead, just use the helpful cord cutting costs calculator from our friends at

While you’re considering costs, here are a few sample budgets. Check them out, tweak them, and see what kind of combinations work best for you.

The Film Buff

Netflix: $9.99
For movie fans, cutting the cord is a no-brainer – and that’s largely because of Netflix. Your Netflix subscription will give you access to some of the best movies ever made.

Hulu: $7.99 – $11.99
Hulu has a very strong collection of movies that helps make its video library even larger than Netflix’s. Hulu has everything from modern classics to old Charlie Chaplin films, and it’s all on demand.

Amazon PrimeVideo: $8.25 ($99 per year divided by 12 months)
Do you really need all three of the major streaming services? Well, when it’s this cheap, why not? Even with all three of these services, movie buffs will still be paying less than half of what an average cable bill costs.

Total cost: $26.23/month

The TV Show Addict

Hulu: $7.99 – $11.99
When it comes to television shows, Hulu just has Netflix beat. A Hulu account will net you tons of new episodes from shows from all different networks. That means FOX’s animated comedies, the major network’s late night talk shows, and serious dramas from networks like TNT. And if you want, you can add Showtime through Hulu for a discounted price.

Over-the-air TV: FREE
The odds are good that major networks – ABC, BBC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and Telemundo to name a few – are available for free over the air in your area. Probably PBS as well! Pay for an antenna once, and then enjoy free TV forever! Remember, channels available can vary depending on where you’re located.

Sling TV: $20 and up (plans vary)
Sling TV gives you AMC, TNT, and lots of other networks with great original programming. If you want to keep up with shows like Fear the Walking Dead, this service is for you. Rival OTT services PlayStation Vue and DIRECTV NOW are also options.

HBO NOW: $15 (also available through Sling TV, DIRECTV NOW and PlayStation Vue)
HBO’s streaming app will give you access to Game of Thrones, True Detective, and all of the other HBO shows you can’t miss. You don’t need cable to get HBO – so why are you paying for cable?

Plex: $4.99 and up (plans vary)
With Plex and Plex Live TV and DVR, you can watch and record free digital broadcast channels and watch your favorite HD TV shows, movies, news, and sports on any device, anywhere in the world.

Plex recognizes just about any kind of video, music, or photo format and displays all of your content in an easy-to-navigate interface, making it look beautiful and intuitively organized and getting it ready for streaming.

Total cost: $42.99/month

The Sports Fan

Over-the-air TV: FREE
You’ll have to pay a bit up front to get your antenna, but there’s no monthly rate to worry about once you’ve got it installed. Antennas are a great way to get sports coverage for free over the air – including NFL games, Pro rugby, college football, European and South American football, NBA basketball, and more!

Plex: $4.99 and up (plans vary)
With Plex and Plex Live TV and DVR, you can watch and record free digital broadcast channels and watch your favorite HDTV sports on any device, anywhere in the world.

Sling TV: $20 and up (plans vary)
Sling TV offers ESPN and ESPN2, which will also give you access to ESPN’s streaming service, WatchESPN. TNT and TBS are included too, which means you’ll get some NBA games.

Sling TV Sports Extra package: $5
Sling’s sports extra package is worth adding if you’re a sports fanatic. You’ll get lots of college sports coverage and some more soccer, too.

Your favorite league’s streaming package: About $25 during the season
Sports fans have to deal with individual league packages, which can be a bit costly. But you’ve cut cable, so you can afford this! Besides, these monthly rates only apply during the season, so you can spend the whole off-season saving up – or pair a summer league (like baseball) with a winter one (like basketball) to enjoy year-round sports for a predictable monthly price.

Total cost: About $50/month when your favorite league is in season; about $25/month in the off-season

Let’s get to know these options better

So now we know that cord cutting is a good idea and that it’s easy to get your content back on a budget. Let’s move on to the next section, where we’ll learn a bit more about over-the-top streaming services and free over-the-air TV.

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