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How to Save Money by Stream​lining Your Streaming Budget


So, your daughter wants to watch "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" on Netflix, your wife wants to watch "The Americans" on Amazon Prime, and you want to watch "Star Trek Discovery" on CBS All Access, but you can't afford to pay for all three streaming services? There's a way around having three, four, or five streaming service bills that you have to pay every month. Simply pay for them serially, instead of in parallel. In other words, sign up for the first streaming service, binge-watch everything that interests you and your family. Then, a month or two later, cancel your subscription and sign up for the next service. If this sounds like too much effort, consider how much effort is required to earn the money to pay the bills!

As you can see from the table below, almost all streaming service providers currently allow customers to pay for one month of service and then cancel without a penalty. An exception is AT&T now, which charges an early termination fee. Two other possible exceptions are Disney Plus and Philo, which don't provide enough information on their websites about what happens when a customer cancels a subscription to know for sure. What probably happens is what happens with nearly all other providers. When a customer cancels his subscription before the end of the current billing cycle, he is charged for the full billing cycle, and he continues to have full access to the service until the last day of the cycle. This means that a good strategy for paying serially for streaming services is to enroll in a plan with a provider and then cancel the next day. This means that you have paid for one month of streaming service, and you can watch one month of streaming service with no penalties for cancellation and without losing any days that you have paid for. When your current billing cycle ends, you move to the next provider and do the same thing. The table gives you the information you need to easily sign up for and cancel your subscriptions. Rotating through all the providers once a year would be the optimal solution, because new seasons of your favorite shows will be waiting for you to watch when you re-subscribe to each service.

Watching serially also solves the problem of running out of good shows to watch on a particular streaming service and then having to watch whatever boring thing you haven't already seen. You always get new content, or at least content you haven't seen in a while and are ready to watch again--otherwise, why renew the service?

Streaming Services Cost/Enrollment/Cancellation*

Streaming ProviderCost per MonthCost per YearMinimum
PlansTo EnrollTo CancelNotes
Netflix$8.99/$12.99/$15.99N/A1InfoSign Up HereCancel Here
Amazon Prime$6.49/$12.99$59/$119one billing cycleInfoSign Up HereCancel Here
Hulu$5.99/$11.99/$54.99/$60.99N/A1InfoSign Up HereCancel Here1.
Disney Plus$6.99N/AN/AN/ASign Up HereCancel Here2.
YouTube TV$49.99N/A1InfoSign Up HereHow To3.
CBS All Access$5.99/$9.99$61/$102one billing cycleInfoSign Up HereTOU/Sec 8.6
Sling TV$30/$45N/A1InfoSign Up HereHow To4.
Philo$20N/AN/AInfoSign Up HereHow To
HBO Now$14.99N/A1N/ASign Up HereHow To
Apple TV Plus$4.99N/A1InfoSign Up HereHow To
AT&T TV Now$65/$80N/A1 w/ETFInfoSign Up HereCancel Here5.
Shudder TV$5.99$56.99one billing cycleInfoSign Up HereHow To

          * Prices and plans are as shown on service provider's websites on 2-1-20.


  1. Many other services can be added through Hulu for additional charges, including HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, Starz, Cloud DVR, Unlimited Screens, and other miscellaneous entertainment channels.
  2. For an additionl $6/mo, Hulu and ESPN can be added. Disney gives no details on its website about its plans or what happens when you cancel.
  3. Sports and premium networks, including Fox Soccer Plus, SHOWTIME, STARZ, and more are offered for additional fees.
  4. Extra channels are available for extra monthly fees.
  5. AT&T TV Now requires a 24-month commitment from all new customers. Customers who cancel before the end of 24 months will be charged an Early Termination Fee (ETF) of $360, prorated at $15 per month over 24 months.

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