Save Money on Streaming Media With Slate’s New Calculator

So the very day that I write about how I don’t think my decision to stick with Hulu Plus deserves a Billfold post of its own, Slate releases a new Cable vs. Streaming Services Calculator.

First of all, you get a list of all the major streaming services, what they offer, and what they cost. Amazon Prime costs $99 per year and gets you access to Mozart in the Jungle, and Hulu Plus costs $95.88 per year and gets you access to The Awesomes. Netflix costs $107.88, a new service called Sling TV costs $240, etc.

Then you get to punch in all of your information: how much your service provider charges for cable+Internet, how much your service provider would charge for just Internet, and how many streaming services you want to subscribe to.

I hopped on to Xfinity to confirm a few numbers, then told Slate’s calculator that Xfinity would charge me $89.99 per month for cable+Internet, $76.95 per month for just Internet, and that I wanted to keep my current subscriptions to Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus.

The calculator spit out my answer in a conveniently tweetable format:

Now wait just a gosh darn tootin’ minute.

Sure, maybe Slate’s calculator figured out that it would be less expensive for me to sign up for the $89.99 cable+Internet plan and drop all of my streaming services. But that calculator does not know that I do not own a TV. That calculator does not take into account how much money I save by using Amazon Prime for shipping. If I bought a TV and lost Amazon free shipping, I would spend much more than $38.40.

That calculator also doesn’t know that Hulu Plus gave me a free month, and I got another free month of Hulu Plus last year because I ate three boxes of cereal.

That calculator simply does not take into account all of the variables.

I love that Slate’s calculator lets us see the cost of all the available streaming services side-by-side. I’m not sure how much I like it as a calculator, though. I only learned one thing by using the calculator, and that’s that I probably pay way too much for Internet. I don’t know how to bring that number down, though. Maybe, like Mike Dang did with JetBlue, I can send Xfinity a polite email.

Photo Credit: Anthony Kelly

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