Three Tips to Lower Your Cable Bill

If you don't want to give up cable, here are three tips to help reduce your monthly bill...

Tip No. 1: Negotiate. This is the best and most tried-and-true method to save money on cable. Call up your cable company and tell them you're ready to cancel. They will put you in touch with a "retention specialist" – someone who will try different tactics to get you to stay. But don't ask specifically for a retention specialist. That's a red flag you want a discount. Make sure to threaten cancellation and if they don't help you, try calling again later.

Also, companies track the number of calls you make to them, so don't call more than two or three times. The downside to this strategy comes in if your cable provider has a monopoly in your area. If the company knows you don't have any other options, negotiating is much more difficult.

Tip No. 2: Buy your own equipment. Comcast, for example, charges as much as $10 a month to rent its routers. If your negotiations don't include waiving these fees, try buying your own router and modem. You can find a combo router/modem box for $100-$125. After 10 months, you're saving money.

Tip No. 3: Ditch the extra TV. Reducing the number of TVs you have connected may lower your bill. If you have more than one TV, you may be paying extra for each hookup (about $10 per month). This is doubly true if you have a digital recorder with each TV, at a cost of $10-$20 each month.