Bye bye, cable

TVLast week, we joined the legions of personal finance bloggers who have canceled their cable TV.

In August, our yearly “promotion” ended, and the cost of our cable and Internet increased from $97 a month to $108 a month. Of course, like a lot of people, we were talked into the digital cable/Internet bundle. We had digital cable with more channels than we ever watched, HDTV even though we have an old TV, and DVR. I have to admit, the DVR was nice. But lately I’ve been thinking about just how much TV we watch.

We have never used the On Demand services, and the majority of shows recorded on our DVR come from regular network stations. Like I said, with our busy schedules, DVR is nice. But here’s the thing: every single one of the shows we watch is available online for at least a week after it airs. We could basically watch them online on our own time without paying for cable or DVR.

When I made the initial call to get some information, they of course tried to talk me into keeping at least basic broadcast channels for $10 a month. What they didn’t tell me is those channels are free with a digital converter box or digital TV.

We’ve been trying to find a way to cut expenses ever further lately, and we’ve always planned on upgrading to a newer TV at some point before we move. Because we plan on buying a new TV in the next year or so, we don’t see any reason to invest in the digital converter box now since we can watch all our favorite shows online.

Canceling cable will save us $60 a month or $900  over the next 15 months. We’ll put that money in a separate savings account and use it to buy a new TV and a Playstation 3 after we move. We’re not big gamers, but we’ve been looking into a digital multmedia player that will function as an external hard drive and allow us to stream Netflix, photos, and music to our TV. Plus we’d be able to rent games if we wanted to. :)

Bonus: we’ll spend less time channel surfing and watching things that we don’t even really enjoy, and more time reading, blogging, and talking. It’s win/win!

I never thought I’d be so excited to cancel cable, but putting that money to good use has really motivated us!

Photo by adspackman

11 thoughts on “Bye bye, cable

  1. Jill

    We just moved into a new house, and I don’t have cable or satellite (for tv) yet either. It really isn’t that big of a deal to me, and I definitely think I could do without it. Of course my sports fanatic husband…not so much. Good for you saving on that expense! Between cutting your grocery bill and not paying for cable, you’re on your way! :)
    .-= Jill´s last blog ..Welcome to Kentucky =-.

  2. Kacie

    So you’re getting a converter box and antenna, right? Do you need one? I have a spare I could sell ya for a good price, if you’re unable to find one.

    We still have cable, but that’s cuz Comcast has a monopoly over the area and we get our internet through them. Our overall bill would be higher if we cut the cable. We’re just paying around $45 per month for both though, so it’s not bad.

    Are you wanting a flat panel tv or just a better tube TV? I’m seeing lots of nice tube TVs at thrift stores for cheap prices.

    Anyway, way to find a way to save an extra $900 per year! That’s no small thing!
    .-= Kacie´s last blog ..Thoughts on a possible housing revival =-.

  3. anne

    Good for you!

    I’ve lived without cable for years! Really do not miss it at all. We got a converter box while they were still free so we do receive the local channels at no cost.
    .-= anne´s last blog ..Autumn Begins =-.

  4. Ang

    We don’t have cable! We have a high def antenna to pick up regular channels. We do have internet service, and we have an old computer monitor hooked up to our tv. We play netflix instant play, hulu, etc. This past weekend we even found some websites that played espn live (we’re crazy college football fans). So, we still get to watch the things we REALLY enjoy, but no longer spend useless hours on the couch watching stuff we really could care less about. Great move!

  5. Sharon

    Oh how I wish I could cut that bill…but I think my family would wage war…There’s just so much crap on tv. Not worth viewing for the most part. I am addicted to HGTV which is not included in basic cable…but I would be willing to give it up…we pay close to $150.00 a month, but it includes cable, dvr, telephone and internet.
    .-= Sharon´s last blog ..A very SIMPLE life…worth thinking about…. =-.

  6. Mecha

    We gave our tv away when we moved from MI to AZ. We went cold turkey a couple of months before we moved and since we were so busy with the cross country move we didn’t really notice. The main reasons we took this step was to spend more time with each other not sitting in front of the tv, to get out and move more, and because my husband needed to be in the sunshine more because of his depression. We realized that some of the issues with being frazzled and dissatisfied with our lives were due to some of the content on tv and all of the commercials. We purchase far less and are not influenced to buy things we do not need due to “No ad” in our lives.
    We have not missed it, can watch most HGTV shows on for free, spend more time together, more time outside, more time reading, more time on hobbies and being creative and are FAR more relaxed in the household in general.
    Yes people blink a few times when they start a sentence “Did you watch…..last night” and I reply “I don’t have a tv, but tell me about it” Most people don’t know what to say, a few spend the next several minutes going on and on about “What do you do without a tv?” as if the world ends if the tv isn’t telling you how to think and feel.
    This choice isn’t for everyone but it has worked out just beautifully for us!

    1. Karen

      @The Non-Student – We are currently paying $40 a month for Internet. I think we were initially saving money on our Internet plan when we originally signed up for cable/Internet, but the amount we’re paying for Internet didn’t change when we shut off the cable.

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