Reports indicate that more than 49% of Americans are “concerned, anxious or fearful about their current financial well-being.”1 When money is tight and you’re struggling to meet your financial obligations every month, it’s smart to take a look at your monthly expenses and find ways to cut costs.

If you’re like most people, you may have noticed that your cable bill just keeps climbing. You’re not imagining things: According to the Leichtman Research Group’s annual survey of TV households, which tracks what homeowners pay for cable, each new year sets a record level for cable bills. In fact, from 2011 to 2015, cable costs rose 39%—almost eight times the rate of inflation.2

With the average cost of cable television near $109 or more per month, along with never-ending bill creep, it’s no surprise that “cutting the cord” is gaining in popularity. Research firm MoffettNathanson reported that the rate of consumers dropping their cable and satellite TV packages hit the highest level ever at over half a million customers. After all, just imagine all the better things you could be doing with the more than $1,000 you spend on that cable TV subscription each year. Lowering your bill is a great way to create more financial breathing room – including paying down debt faster. Here’s how:

Watch TV “Over the Air”

TV shows are still broadcast over the airwaves, and now, in high definition. If you have a digital-compatible TV, all you need is an antenna (usually about $10) to access all the shows on basic cable.

Watch Internet Shows

Cancel your cable box and stream shows over the Internet. You can watch many shows via free Internet apps and online channels, like YouTube.

Books

Whether traditional, electronic, or audio, many libraries offer all three to take home and enjoy—all for the price of a free library card.

Watch NatureVision

Step outside. You’ll find that Mother Nature has some entertaining sights and sounds, and your health will thank you.

Rediscover Existing Content

Your existing collection of music, videos, and books can be an endless source of entertainment. They were good the first time and you might enjoy them even better a second time around. Plus, they’re already paid for.

Dial Back On Your Cable Costs Without Cutting Them

Not ready to cut ties with cable completely? Whether you’re still binge-watching your favorite series or are still too accustomed to cable TV to let it go just yet, there are still a few ways to bring down your cable bill and save a little money.