What’s up, my people!
If I haven’t scared you away yet from that Lexus news, you’ll be happy to know that there is some saving actually going down here ;) And as much as I never thought I’d say it, it’s coming from cutting cable! Egads!
But I gotta admit – I’m a convert.
I won’t try and convince anyone else to do it as we all have our ideal lifestyles (as alluded to in my not-at-all sarcastic post on the 7 best ways to save money E-V-E-R) but I did want to share a few thoughts so far in case anyone’s considering it… And I know you are because you can’t go a day without some $$ blogger talking about it! (Guess it was my turn?)
Some pros and cons so far…
#1. You do save money, but not as much as you might think
The biggest allure to cutting out cable is arguably the savings. But if you still very much enjoy your TV time as we do and/or the internet (how else will you get this Pulitzer prize winning blog at your house?), you’re unfortunately not going down to the $0.00 that most people associate with giving up cable. You might not even get it down to the $50 or $100 range!
That being said, you DO save money or else this cult following wouldn’t be nearly so cult anymore… By the time everything was said and done for us, we wound up dropping our bill from $145/mo to $100 and change, and then once Netflix and Hulu were in the picture, were back up to the $118’ish mark. Still a nice $30/mo in savings, but not nearly as drastic as one would dream of.
(I should point out, however, that due to our living instability we couldn’t sign any lengthy contracts which does make a pretty significant difference… In contrast, we just signed up for internet at our new place and were able to lock in a $69.99 rate along with a much faster connection! So if you can do the contract thing and/or don’t care about watching TV anymore, your savings can add up fast.)
#2. It’s nice not having to
call argue with your service provider anymore!
While most of my adult life I just signed up to the “bundle” and then promptly forgot about it, I wised up over the years and realized that if you don’t stay on top of them the bills will get out of control. And unfortunately that means calling them up every few months and making sure no foolery’s going on (I literally had a calendar item set so I wouldn’t forget).
Here’s a look at preceding 12 months before I finally had enough:
- Bill started at $170.00
- Called to try and get it lowered – succeeded in dropping it to $122.00!
- Called again a little later, got it down again to an impressive $91.00!
- Rates got jacked back up to $122.00, call this time failed
- Rates got jacked back up again to $145.00, call failed again – threw in the towel
Again, the no contract part didn’t help, but after scaling back to the lowest # of channels I could get as well as getting rid of the home phone line (we switched to Ooma), we were finally out of options and decided it wasn’t worth the hassle anymore. It was time to switch to the dark side and finally see what the fuss was about!
And the fuss was worth it… Total number of calls placed to Verizon since? Zero :)
#3. It’s also nice to be more conscious about what you watch
Since we simply swapped cable for streaming on-demand services (did I tell you we actually never had Netflix until last year? And that my mother had it before we did??? :)) we were still watching TV, only the *quality* became a lot better. So now instead of channel surfing and constantly trying to figure out what to watch all the time, we quickly move right to the good stuff and get on with it…
Though it hasn’t done much to curb binging ;)
#4. I very much miss live football – not gonna lie
It’s okay right now ‘cuz we’re still in the off season (but not for long – ack!), but the hardest part of dropping cable, at least for me, was losing all the live sports. I know you can get add ons like Sling and what not, but without trying to jack up the costs again rendering it all pointless you’re options are fairly limited. And it’s just not the same dragging your kids to bars to try and soak it in ;)
Is it enough for me to go back and sign my soul away again though? Absolutely not. I may try the antenna route again now that we’re headed to a new place with hopefully better reception (the last try failed miserably), but for now we just suck it up and do what we can… People say there’s more to life than football anyways, right? (RIGHT???)
UPDATE: We’ve now got ourselves an antenna, and it’s GLORIOUS!! 32 (FREE) stations including all major networks and of course now Redskins games :) And the picture quality is impeccable too! (Apparently cable compresses things where as OTA does not?) Best $16 I’ve spent all year.
UPDATE #2: Since this post came out there have been a number of new companies pop up that provide great alternatives to Cable TV for live sports!
#5. I still find it hilarious that we had to upgrade our TV to downgrade our service!
This is the one area no one told us about, nor did we see coming when starting this journey. But apparently if you still rock an old school TV without the proper ports and settings, you might need to shell out some dough for a flat screen. Which sounds exactly like the opposite of what personal finance professionals tell you to do, haha…
Here’s our old one right next to the new one after all our hacking attempts failed:
I think we lost half the viewing size, d’oh… But hey – it works in the 21st century now! And the cash from hawking the relic on Craigslist certainly helped dampen the blow…
So all this to say that a) we’re still cable-less, and b) we’re very much still enjoying it :)
The savings could be better, but after 10 months we’ve now banked roughly $300 and the next 10 will bring us an additional $600 too. All without altering our lifestyle much.
If you’re up for a little experimenting, it may be worth a shot! Not like the cable companies wouldn’t welcome you back with open arms, those bastards ;)
Who else is cable-less these days?