Monday, September 06, 2010

(One of the ) Best Decisions We Ever Made: Chucking Cable

We chucked cable TV and it has proven to be a wonderful decision. The choice was born out of budget cutting. Cable TV is a ridiculously large monthly expense and, let's face it, it is a want and not a need.

Throughout most of our married life, we lived with cable-less TV, watching whatever came over the air. At times, we felt like we were the ONLY people who did this and felt rather out of the loop in many conversations.

When we built our new house, hubby got the bug to have cable and found us a sweet deal. You know that's how they suck you in, right? We got a great price that included a DVR. We were soon fairly hooked on the Discovery Channel, The Learning Channel, Food Network, Nickelodeon, and The Disney Channel. What we got REALLY addicted to is the DVR. It changed the entire way we watched TV. We became selective about what we watched, choosing to record our favorite shows. Then when we would decide to sit down in front of the television, they were there waiting for us. No longer were we ever tied to the TV schedule.

Of course, our introductory price went away and the cost went up considerably, but by then we were hooked. As we would review our budget, trying to find areas to cut, the cable TV would often come up. We wrestled long and hard about giving that up for nearly a year, but finally the finances (or lack of them) won out and we pulled the plug. It was not easy. Sadly, television had become a real part of our family time. What eased the blow was our Netflix subscription and the fact that so many shows are available online on sites like

So, as I write this, we have been without the cable TV for just over 6 months. There have been some significant changes in our household. We watch WAY less TV now. My husband used to come home from work and just flip it on to relax his brain after work. He no longer has his recorded shows to watch and we don't get reception for our local stations so his choices are pretty limited. So now, he has gotten in the habit of coming home and reading. What a bonus. His reading is a great example for the kids, too. My children also watch way less TV and it is mostly DVDs or Netflix streaming stuff which means they see virtually NO commercials. It is amazing how much this eliminates the “I wants” and the “gimmes.”

My hubby and I were just having a conversation about this and we both have to agree that ditching the cable has been one of the best decisions we have ever made. Even if our financial situation changed, I cannot see us going back to this. The TV is such a time robber and it doesn't really give much, if any, value back in return. As I get away from the habit of vegging in front of the television, my desire for it is less and less. I am discovering that I would much rather sit and read a book or do a project. I didn't consider myself a heavy TV watcher, but I have gained so many hours back into my day. Selfishly, I do not want to give them back up. I am not too far off from feeling like I could give up the boob tube entirely. I definitely could for myself. I do however use it as a bribe tool for my children. “If you get all your chores and schoolwork done promptly, there will be time for a movie later.”

If you have been considering chucking the cable, I would highly recommend it. Not only will it save you tons of money, but you will reap even greater benefits in your life.

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