I have often recommended that people give up their cable TV in an effort to decrease their monthly expenses and help pay down their debt. The usual response is “No way!”. I can completely understand why they feel this way. Watching television has almost replaced baseball and the national pastime. Now with HD television, large screen plasma panel and more channels than anyone can possibly watch in a lifetime, it is very easy to understand why so many people feel like they couldn’t live without it.
Our journey to giving up cable wasn’t really a calculated idea. In 1991 my wife and I had moved out to the rural part of the county we were living in. We purchased a wooded lot and built our house. We were so far away from ‘civilization’ that we did not have cable access, so we did the next best thing. We called the satellite guy. In 1991, the satellite dishes were still as big as your car, so we couldn’t just mount one on the side of our house. The day the satellite guy came, he started his sales pitch, and we told him we didn’t need the sales pitch, we needed the dish. Remember the wooded lot? There were so many trees he couldn’t find a place to mount the dish so that we would get good reception all day – most of the day, but not all day. When I asked about paying most of the bill, since my service would be a partial service, he wasn’t buying it, and neither did we. We told him no!
Over 18 years later, we still don’t have cable. Just to complete the picture we do have a television and a Netflix subscription, but that is it. I figure over the 18 years, we have easily saved $15,000. What have we done with that money? Well, I would like to say we have invested it wisely and we will be retiring soon; but I can’t. We haven’t always been as smart with money as we are today, but I do know that the amount we are saving now is definitely helping us meet our financial goals and believe it or not we don’t even miss it anymore. The money saved doesn’t begin to match the time we have freed up to do other things. Both of our children are avid readers and one of the reasons is because they are forced to use their imaginations in the absence of cable TV.
What about you? Ready to give up cable TV for the benefit of your kids and your wallet? If not, why not? Leave a comment and let us know how much you are spending each month on cable TV and all of the extras that go with it.
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