Have you ever considered cutting the cable and living without television?
I actually did it a few days ago.
Why we decided to live without television – at least for awhile.
My daughter and I were wasting too much time in front of the tube. I figured we could try to live without it for awhile and if the pain was just too intense, we could reinstall. We would just have to get along without Spongebob for awhile.
It was a bit spooky (note the Halloween twist there?) calling AT&T to cancel the service but I’d been down that road before. You may recall that we have no home phone. We ditched it a few weeks ago. At the time, I was really nervous about doing that too. But to be frank, after a few days, we didn’t even miss the land line. I hoped for the same result with the TV.
Results so far.
It’s only been 4 days but I’m really encouraged. My daughter and I have been spending more time playing cards and reading together. In fact, my 10 year-old told me how nice and quiet it is in the house now that the TV is gone. I echo her sentiments. (My wife never watches TV so it hasn’t changed her lifestyle at all.)
The take-away. First, most decisions are reversible. It rarely hurts to implement a change in your life like this because you can almost always go back. Had I thought about that, I never would have waited so long to give it a try.
Second, I’m looking for ways to cut out the stuff we just don’t need so we can enjoy the things that matter. I want to get rid of anything that clutters our space or time. I don’t much care about saving the $50 a month – although that’s really nice. But I very much care about saving those 2 hours a day that was wasted. I also care about my daughter and all the junk she saw – even on the Disney channel. I just couldn’t believe the junk they put on.
Now, I can’t promise how long we’ll be able to go without the TV but so far, so good. Have you ever considered cutting the cable? What’s holding you back? If you have gotten rid of your TV service, how has it impacted your life?
While you are pondering that….let’s move on the Pilgrim Pick of the Pack:
This week, the prestigious honor is bestowed upon Digerati Life for her article on the economy. Take a look at her post. It’s clear she put in a great deal of hard work and it paid off. Nicely done DL…..nicely done.
On to the the runners-up:
Liz Weston contributes a very nice piece on love & money.
Financial Samurai tells us why he loves to be rejected.
Dumb Little Man offers his piece on navigating the waters of life. (Check out the cool surfing pic.
Can you live without credit cards? (Well…let me survive living without my TV first…ok Flexo?)
Did you get married in the Winter? If so, Free Money Finance says you saved a bundle.
GRS provides tips on how to save money by NOT buying new.
I love this post asking us what we’re going to do with our week. It’s short and sweet and really hits home.
a.b. @ Modern Tightwad says
Mr. B and I have lived without cable TV for five months now and we don’t miss it at all. Any shows we really like we catch on hulu.com or Netflx’s watch instantly service. Oddly, we house-sat for a friend, and I hardly got anything done because I got sucked into the Home & Garden channel. It was like a giant time/mind vortex. I have to say, the more things we simplify, the happier we are.
We didn’t get the digital antenna, so we have a television for movies from the library but we can’t watch television – and we don’t miss it at all. I doubt you’ll go back Neal!
Jason @ Redeeming Riches says
Wow! Great job Neal! I admire the decision. I’ve thought about it too, but haven’t done it. I think it’s great that you are spending some good quality time with your daughter too. When it’s all said and done, the quality of your relationships will matter most. Kudos!
Neal Frankle says
Wife and I cut the cord back in April and loved it. We still have a digital antenna and streamed Netflix via our 360 so we did have the local stations and movies.
In October I had to call Comcast to lower our $64/month Internet bill – they ended up giving me cable TV and Internet for $40! What the heck right?
Honestly? I preferred not having it at all and am even considering unplugging it even though we get the service for free. Like you said, it just seems to take up too much precious time when it’s there.
Another benny to not paying for TV? Less bombardment by advertising… which is never a bad thing.
Good job Neal! Cheers.
It’s great to hear others are doing this too! When we moved into this house, the previous owner left the Cable TV on, and we immediately called to have it turned off. It took almost 5 months and several phone calls before they finally turned it off, but we’d already picked our favorite channels and were wasting a lot of time (we never had Cable before.) It was great when it was finally turned off, and we found so much more time together as a family.
When the digital switch-over happened last summer, I didn’t bother to reprogram my TV to pick up the digital channels, so we didn’t have TV and didn’t miss it. It wasn’t until football season started that I finally broke down and re-scanned for the channels. Other than football, we don’t watch any TV and it has been great to see our daughter choosing to spend her time reading instead of asking to watch TV.
Also, we keep the TV in the basement and out of our bedrooms and living room. It helps promote family time to not have it around and so easily available.
Still, Verizon is very confused as to why we use them for the internet but refuse their lowered rate to have their TV channels. I guess it’s not too common, but hopefully it will catch on!
Financial Samurai says
Oops, type “we DON’T go out to movies” thereby saving $25-30 each time. Just shot you an e-mail.
Financial Samurai says
Thanks for the shout out! You’re included in my Sunday’s post reflecting on October, and discussing what’s in store for November.
As for TV, good going! I don’t think my wife could live without TV. She’s a TIVO addict! Maybe TIVO is the good go between, b/c it allows us to watch TV on our own time, instead of the network’s scheduled programming yeah?
I think my cable bill is $100 or so a month with all the HD/DVR boxes included. $1,200 a year is a good chunk of change, but we really enjoy the entertainment and do go to movies, which is a $25-30 savings per pop! Donno, I don’t think we can live without cable, especially since I forgot to mention that I’m an absolute college football and basketball NUT! 🙂
Shooting you an e-mail this morning.
Timothy Wright says
My family is more interesting than anything we could find on TV. My children love to play games or read. We live in England so we have to pay a licence to watch any telly. So we rent DVD’s and watch some stuff on iPlayer from the BBC.
chris carmody says
Been married for 22 years, we have never had a TV. Really glad it is not part of our life. Our three children all in late teens seems to survive without one. It will be interesting to see if they purchase a TV.
I don´t own a tv. I´m too addicted to it and would basicly never turn it off if I had it.
I do have internet and sometimes i spend too much time on youtube… But the stuff i watch on youtube is still not as crappy as the stuff I´d watch on tv.
Radio is a nice companion, I like to hear somebody talking ¨to me¨ :-). Or music.
TV´s cursed, carbs, too… ok, ok, I´m joking now.
Nice going Harlan! You get the Pilgrim Gold Star Award!
Harlan West says
Weird it may seem, but we have not watched TV in nearly 18 years! We have probably saved $21,600 over all these years, assuming that Cable and various add-ons runs about $100 per month. Our reason is not to save money but more of a protest for having to pay for something that at one time was completely FREE. Plus we avoid bringing the ugliness and commercialism of the world into our home. It’s nice not to see crime and war in your home and we really have not missed much. We have lots more productive time and family time together. It’s totally worth the sacrifice.