Walking Dead, Vikings, Real Housewives and Spurs games. All very good reasons to want to keep your overpriced cable provider, but is the cost really worth it?
About a year ago, we reevaluated our finances and after taking a close look at our budget, we realized that we would need to make some significant changes. Where was the money going? How could we save more?
Of course, the first thing on the list was the cable bill. At little over $150 per month, it was a decent sized expense. What were we gaining by having this expense? What would we lose if we cut it? In the end, it came down to three considerations: cost, value and necessity. We weighed all of our options and cut the cable. We’ve suffered no significant loss as a result and we’re saving $150 a month. Are you on the fence about cutting cable? Here are three things to consider when reevaluating your need for cable:
1) COST- The obvious offender. How much do you pay for your cable per month? We were paying a little over $150 and that was just for basic channels. None of the fancy-schmancy sports, Showtime, Starz or HBO packages included. At $150 per month, you could be saving $1,800 a year… nice weekend getaway, anyone?
2) VALUE- How many channels do you have? Do you watch them all? Better yet, how much time do you spend watching TV a week? I’m pretty sure the answer to these questions are as follows: 100+, no and a few hours. Of the 168 hours allotted to you per week (less if you sleep or work full time), how much TV do you watch? Maybe 3 hours a day at most? I would venture to say that it isn’t feasible to pay $150+ per month on something that you spend very little time doing. How many of those 100+ channels do you use? Is it a few channels and/or shows that you stick to- maybe only 20% of what is in your channel package? Seems wasteful to pay for stuff you are not using.
3) NECESSITY- In plain terms, cable is not a necessity. There is no real “need” to have it as much as there is a need to have, let’s say, internet. (You can watch most of your shows for free on the internet, btw). There are those of you out there who will argue that you simply need the TV for going to sleep at night, for family movie night, to watch the games/fights, for the kids, etc… But I will have you know that you can still do ALL of those things- just at a MUCH lesser cost. (Keep a look out for my post Goodbye Cable, Hello Fire!). You may also see having cable as a luxury or reward for your hard work. How many hours did you have to work to earn your basic cable channels- most of which you don’t use- this month?
When we got rid of our cable, I have to admit- I was nervous. Watching tv at night became a part of my “me time” ritual. How was I going to relax and find out which house they chose on Property Brothers or the latest scandal on Housewives? I will also admit that I am guilty of using it as a babysitter when I needed to get things done (if we’re going to have dinner, something needs to control my Velcro baby so I can get it done). But my wise (and frugal) husband made a good point- we don’t NEED it. It’s not a necessity and we’d find ways around it. As much as I hated to admit it, he was right. It turns out that having cable added no significant value to our lives.
Needless to say, we’re saving $150 every month. Again, that’s $1,800 per year that we can use for family experiences/outings instead of tube time. Imagine having an extra $150 to save, to spend on doing something together as a family, for extra date night money or just to spend on yourself. It’s been wonderful for our family and I have no regrets. In my next post, Goodbye Cable, Hello Fire!– I will go over a solution we found to the cable issue.
What are you paying for cable? Are you ready to let it go? What would you do with the extra money?