Then it was necessary to decide which streaming services to keep.
Mr Willcox suggests making a list of the shows you and your family want to watch and then matching them to the appropriate streaming service. Set a limit on what you want to spend. “There is a lot more work than before,” he said.
To keep the total cost under $250 per month (a savings of at least $150 over my current account), I had $65 left.
I prefer ad-free browsing, so I plan to pay a little more than the ad-supported streaming options. Regardless, my savings should cover the cost of a monthly subscription to Netflix (currently $13.99 for the standard plan), Paramount+ ($9.99 for the premium plan), and Amazon Prime Video ($8.99; if you pay for a full Prime membership, video included). I found out we could keep Disney+ bundled with two free services — Hulu (shows include Only Murders in the Building with Steve Martin) and ESPN+ — as part of a promotion from Verizon, our mobile phone company. The Hulu variant has ads in the deal, but I’ll take it – for now. Finally, we can add HBO Max ($11.99) and watch famous shows like Station Eleven.
(Our Apple TV+ subscription is free for another six months; we’ll revise it when the promotion ends.)
Total for streaming and cable TV: $230.
With the total savings (about $170 a month), we might even be able to buy other things (hopefully more books).
That said, that’s a lot of TV — and there’s probably no need to pay for all those subscriptions year-round, Mr. Willcox said. Instead, you can pay per month here and there because most streaming services currently allow customers to join and cancel at will. (Just remember to cancel.)
For example, if you don’t want to watch a new show right now, he said, you can just wait. When an entire season of the show you want to watch becomes available, you can join the respective streaming service, watch it for a month, then cancel – and sign up again later if anything else grabs your attention. (Some people even binge watch their choices during free trials.) This takes some planning, but can save you money.