3 Reasons I Pay for Cable -- Even Though Streaming Services Are Much Cheaper

A woman sitting on the floor drinking wine while watching a movie on her tablet.

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Cable is expensive. Here's how I justify it.

Key points

  • In recent years, many people have cut the cord with cable and replaced it with lower-cost streaming services.
  • There are specific reasons why keeping cable makes sense for me.

There are certain expenses some of us pay for because we have to, and those that are optional. And cable certainly falls into the latter category.

Through the years, I've toyed with the idea of canceling cable because it's expensive, and the money I spend on it could be used for other things, like padding my savings or covering the seemingly endless string of repairs my home needs. But despite the cost, I have no near-term plans to cancel my cable plan. Here's why I allow myself to keep paying for it -- even though swapping it for streaming services would be a big money saver.

1. It's my only option for accessing the sports content I want

There aren't many TV programs I enjoy all that much, and because of that, it's fair to say that most of my cable channels go unwatched, at least by me (my other family members might branch out a bit more). The value of cable is that it gives me access to my favorite hockey team -- something no streaming service can offer (trust me, I've looked). That alone makes cable worth it.

2. When bundled with phone and internet service, it's not that expensive

I like to give my children the option to call me when I'm out of the house. Since they're too young to have cell phones, we have a landline they can use. And when I bundle that landline with internet and cable service, the cost for the latter isn't actually all that high.

Meanwhile, internet service is non-negotiable. And in my neighborhood, the internet provider I have now is the one I'm stuck with due to a lack of options. If I were to cancel the cable portion of my service, my phone and internet costs would go up. At that point, the cost of phone, internet, and streaming services wouldn't differ all that much from phone, internet, and cable.

3. It fits into my budget

While cable is expensive, I have money in my budget allocated to leisure spending. And I consider cable to fall under that category. Because I'm willing to cut back on other things, I can swing my monthly cable bill without having to worry about falling behind on bills or racking up debt. And so I don't feel bad about treating myself to that source of entertainment.

Should you cut the cord with cable?

If you've been thinking about canceling your cable service, ask yourself these two questions:

  1. Can I save a decent chunk of money by using streaming services instead?
  2. Will I miss out on anything?

In my case, the answer to the first question is a resounding yes. But if I cancel cable, I won't get to watch my favorite sports team, so that's a deal-breaker right there. But if you don't stand to lose very much by canceling cable, then you may want to consider cutting the cord. This especially holds true if money has been tight and you're looking for ways to reduce your spending without resorting to drastic changes.

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