Cutting the cord means cutting cable costs
But for some 113,000 Canadian cable subscribers, going cold-turkey on their cable entertainment has resulted in huge savings and better balanced budgets.
New research from Ottawa-based Boon Dog Professional Services shows Canadian television providers are losing customers six-times faster this year than they did last year.
According to their research:
- Canada’s publicly-traded broadcasters lost a combined 113,000 subscribers in the first half of 2015;
- That compares to a loss of only 19,200 subscribers for the same period in 2014;
- Rogers saw the largest dip in subscribers, at a net loss of 73,000 customers;
- Shaw, Cogeco, Videotron and MTS rounded out the net losses;
- With both Bell Canada and Telus seeing an uptick in their customer base.
Jeff Schwartz, executive director of Consolidated Credit Counseling Services of Canada, sees this as a sign that Canadian households are working hard to balance their budgets, and viewing cable as a discretionary expense.
“Television and internet services have become the norm in most Canadian households,” says Schwartz. “But the services are becoming so excessive, that premium-package cable bills can rival your monthly mortgage payments.”
“As more and more households struggle to make ends-meet, finding creative ways to save money is in vogue” adds Schwartz. “If you can manage to cut out your cable expenses, you can easily make your household budget stretch a lot further.”
To help Canadian families get the most out of their entertainment budgets, Schwartz and the team at Consolidated Credit offer these tips to cut high cable costs.
Bundle your services – If the thought of life without television or internet makes you break out into a cold sweat, consider bundling your services. Paying one flat rate for your telephone, internet and television services is likely to save you far more than you would by paying for each service individually. Just be sure to shop around for the best offer before agreeing to any contracts.
Scale back – Again, if you are not ready to go cold-turkey on your TV, try scaling back your services. Simply put, this means cancelling all your ‘extra’ services. Opting for basic cable instead of HD programming, specialty channels and DVR services can easily cut your cable bill in half. And while you’re at it, consider downsizing your internet service as well. If you only go online to check email and to stay up-to-date on social media, the premium internet speed is a waste of money.
Start streaming – More than 80 per cent of Canadian homes now have internet access. And with the rise of internet use has come a rise in video streaming in services. Providers such as Netflix, Amazon.com, Shomi and CraveTV all use an internet connection to stream both current and retro programming – at a fraction of cable costs.
Switch providers – Despite the rising costs of home entertainment, the cable market is now more competitive than ever before. This means that you have a number of cable providers to choose from. Consider switching from satellite to cable or vice versa to get a better rate for your services.
Negotiate – Take some time to compare the services and rates of a number of providers in your area. You can do this online or by calling the service providers directly. Once you have discovered the best deal in your area, negotiate with your current provider to bring down your monthly cable bills.
Go cold-turkey – If being budget-conscious is your top priority, then going cold-turkey on your cable is the way to go. If you’re not sure you can do it, try taking a cable sabbatical. Go a weekend or even a week without turning on your TV and see how it feels. Once you’ve gotten used to life unplugged, you may find that cutting the cord on cable is easier on both you and your budget.
If cable TV, internet, and the rest of life’s “extras” have left your finances in freefall, we can help! Call today to speak to a trained credit counsellor and find out how you can get your budget under control. You can also try our Free Debt Analysis online and a counsellor will reach out to you.