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Why We’re Not Cutting the Cord on Cable TV

Cutting the cord

I know…half of you are ready to unsubscribe from my email list just off of reading the headline! :-) The issue of cable TV and cutting the cord is always a lively topic in the PF blogosphere and is considered by many to be tantamount to financing a brand new car for at least seven years. Trust me, whether you agree or not, I am not going to start espousing all sorts of foolish financial habits like taking out payday loans, maxing out credit cards and throwing retirement saving out the window. That said, I thought I’d throw my two cents into the proverbial ring and give a measured response as to why we won’t be cutting the cord on our cable TV subscription anytime soon. I’d like to thank Monica from Monica on Money for giving me the encouragement I needed to not stay on the sidelines anymore on this and explain why we continue to stick with our DirecTV subscription.

 

Related: Looking for some cord cutting options, then check out the very reasonably priced Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player.

Wants vs. Needs

Let’s be honest, the issue of cutting the cord is a wants vs. needs debate. There are a number of things in the world of finance that are clearly black and white and this is not one of them, in my opinion. I am not deluded enough to think that we could not get by without cable and would survive just fine without it. I (as well as Mrs. Frugal Rules) have lived for years in the past where television was a luxury and we watched very little of it. That said, I fully admit that having cable TV is something I want – there is absolutely no need to it whatsoever. Does that make me, or those that aren’t cutting the cord bad or foolish financially? I can’t speak for others, but in our situation I don’t believe that it does. We live on a fairly tight budget otherwise and it can withstand the amount we pay for our DirecTV lineup each month.

Why Do We Still Have Cable?

If I’ve not really set you off by this point, I’ll let you know why we haven’t cut the cord yet. There are a variety of reasons why we still have cable television and virtually all of them lead back to a want. The two biggies for us (ok…I admit half of that is purely for me as I love me some college football) is sports and HBO. Now, I know that some will say that you can still get some football games online or with an antenna. I cede that point. However, I can’t trust that all of those means are entirely on the up and up and I’m not willing to watch something pirated.

At the end of the day, it’s worth the cost to me to have access to all of the games of my Alma Mater as well as other games for what we pay each month. If that changes at some point in time, then we’ll definitely be looking at the possibility of cutting the cord. In terms of HBO, we rarely go out to see a movie and having access to HBO lets us see movies and series that we enjoy, not to mention allows us to indulge our slight addictions to Game of Thrones and Boardwalk Empire. Plainly said, we’re not cutting the cord as it’s a major part of our entertainment budget. The last reason why it may not be fully an issue of a want, is that it goes back to the kind of business we run. Being in advertising means we need to stay abreast of certain things and having cable allows for that. True, we could find a good bit of it online, but this is just more convenient for us, at least for now.

When Should You Cut the Cord?

Now that I have completely justified why we’re not cutting the cord ;-) , when should you realistically look at canceling cable? There could be a variety of reasons why you should likely cut the cord, but I think the main reason why would go back to if you’re in debt. Mind you, I am not talking about mortgage debt and not necessarily student loan debt (unless it’s overly burdensome), but consumer debt. If you’re wallowing in debt and need to find additional ways to save money in order to throw it at your debt, then cutting the cord should be one of the first things you do. Doing so should be able to easily provide at least $30-40 + (sadly probably much more) that can be thrown at your debt monthly. There are several shows we enjoy watching, but no show or game is worth staying in debt longer than you need to.

Cutting the Cord is a Personal Decision

As I wrote at the end of Monica’s guest post a few weeks back, the issue of cutting the cord is largely a personal decision. I see that as part of the beauty of personal finance. Aside from a few of the black and white issues in personal finance, I think the issue of cable television is one of the many shades of gray we see. I know that someone like a Dave Ramsey fan might call me nuts, but at the end of the day the issue of cutting the cord really is a personal decision. We all lead different lives and have different priorities and thus have different wants and needs. That said, if you have decided not to cut the cord, I implore you to find ways to lower your costs. We regularly call DirecTV and negotiate lower prices for their service and it pays off nearly every time. Truth be told, they’re losing clients every day and keeping those that have stuck around behooves them to reward you for staying.

 

Ok, how many of you will be unsubscribing from Frugal Rules? Have you cut the cord, or will you be cutting the cord anytime soon?

 

Photo courtesy of: Phillip Stewart

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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and would love to help out if you have the need. If you're wanting to grow your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.

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91 Comments

  • Thomas says:

    I just mentioned that cable is something we could cut but probably wouldn’t on another post. I agree though that is you just have your head buried in debt maybe you should think about letting it go. However the problem is that everyone has to deal with his/her own situation and some people still are going to cut cable to catch up on other bills. That’s one cord we aren’t going to be cutting anytime soon.
    Thomas recently posted…Your Personal Finances – Its All About Your AttitudeMy Profile

    • John says:

      We’re the same way Thomas – we could cut it, but I don’t see it happening any time soon. I do agree that it is a personal situation based off of wants/needs of the individual.

  • We have been without DirecTV for several years now and have enjoyed the time away from the multitude of shows we were watching. It was a cost cutting measure for us until we paid off our mortgage. Once that is done sometime next year, I’m pretty sure we are going to subscribe again with the freed up cash in the budget.
    Brian @ Luke1428 recently posted…How to Get Out of DebtMy Profile

    • John says:

      It definitely can be a time saver, especially if you’re watching a lot of TV. Other than sports and a show or two we really don’t just sit down and watch for hour on end – we have too many other things going on to do that.

  • We also like to indulge in a few different TV shows that we are only able to get on cable and for that reason we still have cable TV. However if our situation changed (say I lost my job) then that would probably be the first thing to go.
    glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted…How getting married young saved us heaps of moneyMy Profile

  • I hate paying for cable but I love what I receive in return. I also see the entire cable/satellite business model collapsing/drastically changing within 5 years so I don’t feel quite as bad paying the fees now knowing they will be lower or nonexistent in the future. There’s too many alternatives being developed that will change the game for it to stay the way it is.
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…Why Plumbers Have More Job Security than AccountantsMy Profile

    • John says:

      I hope you’re right DC as I would LOVE to see that. I do think there are too many other alternatives being worked on right now that will make it much more competitive in the near future.

  • Nicely said, John.

    You have priorities and things that you enjoy in life. Being frugal and saving money in other ways allows you to buy cable if you so choose. That’s the point of being frugal, isn’t it? Being able get more of the stuff or do more of the things that you really enjoy by making the most of what you have? That’s my reason for being frugal anyway.

    Cheers, Jason (the froogalist) @ froogalism.com
    Froogalist @ froogalism.com recently posted…The 6 Habits of Highly Effective Frugal PeopleMy Profile

    • John says:

      Thanks Jason! Yes, I would agree that is a big part of being frugal – at least in my opinion. :) I really think a lot of it comes down to value based spending so we can have the things we want because we’ve chosen to live a disciplined life overall.

  • We haven’t had cable for nearly a year now and do just fine without it. That being said, I’m sure people’s wants in other areas easily add up to what you spend on cable. It’s just a matter of what people want to spend their entertainment money on, and there really is no right or wrong answer, no matter what anyone says. Good for you guys for spending your money on something that brings you enjoyment – isn’t that the whole definition of value-based spending?
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…A Lesson in Attitude and Great Reads for the Week Ending 9/13/13My Profile

  • I really like some TV shows and I’m also a sports fan, specifically the NBA, so having a cable TV is good for me. Though, even without all that I don’t think we will cut ours because having a cable TV is cheap here in our country.
    Mark Ross @ Think Rich. Be Free. recently posted…How To Earn More Money: 9 Ways You Can Do To Start Making Money OnlineMy Profile

  • I’m not too bothered about all the latest TV shows but when it comes to sports, well I just can’t cut that cord! I don’t go for the expensive packages though, I keep it as frugal as I can. I’ll keep reading John :-)
    Adam @ Money Rebound recently posted…The Everyday Household Items You Should Be RecyclingMy Profile

  • Matt Becker says:

    I think this comes back to a very basic tenet which is that spending money on things you enjoy is a good thing. It’s the whole reason to have money beyond taking care of the very basic needs. Why do people save money? To be able to spend it on something they enjoy later on. As long as there’s a balance, it’s ridiculous that anyone could turn around and label spending some of that money now as inherently bad. That’s an incredibly narrow-minded approach.
    Matt Becker recently posted…Buying a Car: Picking a Car That Fits Your NeedsMy Profile

    • John says:

      I agree Matt, it does often boil down to a narrow minded approach. Sure, if you’re out there just throwing money at anything then that might be one thing, but we’re not and those that live similarly are just fine in my opinion.

  • eemusings says:

    HBO… and movie channels. Compared to the alternatives in NZ at the mo, it’s a convenient and not budget busting want for us, though if I was single I wouldn’t have it most likely. Marriage = compromise.
    eemusings recently posted…How to spend three weeks in Italy for free (or close to it)My Profile

  • Well, I just unsubcribed multiple times John. How dare you give into your wants. What are you thinking??

    Alright, I am good now. Sorry about that. Though I don’t care for cable, I don’t mind if others have it. The only exception to that rule is people that are struggling to pay their bills, yet think they need cable. Those are the ones that I would have to slap some knowledge on.
    Grayson @ Debt Roundup recently posted…Why Do We Fall For Ponzi Schemes?My Profile

    • John says:

      Lol, I knew I could count on you Grayson. ;)

      I could not agree more Grayson. If you’re struggling and possibly wallowing in debt then cable should likely be among the first things you look at. I’d much rather be able to put food on the table and take care of my debt then have cable.

  • Hey, nobody says you have to. It’s definitely a personal decision.
    SuburbanFinance recently posted…Why You Absolutely Need Rental InsuranceMy Profile

  • I think as long as you use it and have that discussion about why you have it, it’s perfectly fine. We did cut ours because we never watched it. It seems there is some school function or sports thing almost every night. When we did have time to sit down, we usually got a Redbox movie. I don’t miss ours at all but three years ago, I would have. It’s a personal decision, and I would never unsubscribe from Frugal Rules!
    Kim@Eyesonthedollar recently posted…How to Make Sure Your Kids Will Be BrokeMy Profile

    • John says:

      I completely agree Kim! The school function/sports thing is a great example of why you may want to look at cutting the cord. We’re not quite there yet, so it could change for us at some point. Glad I didn’t lose you either. :)

  • I used to have Sky TV and it was one of the first things to go when money got really tight for us. We weren’t really using it fully anyway, so it was an easy decision. But I say, each to their own, if your budget can stand it, that’s great!
    debtfreeoneday recently posted…Question: What are the key elements of a well designed blog?My Profile

  • Catherine says:

    We also have cable. Here’s how I see it. Given out debt, we have very little ‘enjoyment’ so this little luxury is one we comprimise on. I could probably cut cable and be fine but hubby genuinely loves it. Also, like you, he sort of needs it being a sports blogger. Like DC said I see the whole industry crashing/drastically changing within the next few years anyway.
    Catherine recently posted…Ain’t Nobody Got Time For Dat!My Profile

  • Michelle says:

    For us, the decision is mostly about time. We waste so much time sitting in front of the TV just watching the same episodes over and over again!
    Michelle recently posted…Is Cable/Satellite Worth It? Costs and Other AlternativesMy Profile

    • John says:

      I can totally understand that Michelle. We were that way when we were first married and now we have no time to waste so really is not an issue for us.

  • It seems that access to sports broadcasts (games specifically) is a huge reason that people are unwilling to give up their cable. Seems like that might be a good business venture for someone- an aggregate site of live sports streaming.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted…Budget Travel: 6 Destinations, 400 Dollars.My Profile

    • John says:

      It really is Stefanie. If I could get the games for my school some other way I’d cut it in a heartbeat. I’d even give up watching the NFL for that. Hopefully it’ll come about sooner rather than later.

  • I wrote a couple months ago that I’d done the math on our cord cutting (and I’d realize a huge savings by doing it). I haven’t yet cut the cord either. With my kids off to college, this summer was chaotic. I did make one move in that direction: We purchased a single Roku 3 box and have now tried it out for three weeks. I’m happy to report that it’s fantastic. I just ordered a $35 Googlecast that should come in late this month. I’ll try that for a few months and then will make the decision about our Dish subscription. Initially sports was a big factor for me, too, but then I just found out yesterday that I can get nearly all of the sports I enjoy on the radio. I’m more productive when I listen instead of watch, so I think we’re pretty close to bringing out the scissors on our cord in about a month.
    Joe@StackingBenjamins recently posted…Financial Lessons Learned From Sean Diddy Combs (and the Plutus Awards!) – Stacking Benjamins #21My Profile

    • John says:

      That’s awesome Joe! I’ve tried listening to sports before, and will do that if no other option is available, but I much prefer watching and am willing to pay that extra cost. That said, I’ve read that Google has been in exploratory talks with ESPN. If that happens, I’ll be borrowing those scissors.

  • I’m done! I’m outta here! :) Just kidding! Again about personal finance..it’s personal. If I read week after week how you were eating ramen and could barely feed the kids, I might call you nuts. But you’ve got good financial sense and have the means to pay for it, so why not! It seems that most people who really enjoy cable/direct TV are the ones into sports. I don’t care for sports so it’s easy for me to not have cable, and I can get the HBO shows on netflix (and of course that’s a want too). I used to feel guilty about what I spend on food because so many PF bloggers were living off 100 for themselves a month. That’s mind boggling to me because I can’t see how you can eat healthy AT ALL on that amount, so I choose to spend more to indulge in the healthiest food. It’s a choice. Some will agree and some won’t, but I also don’t have any debt and I’m not longer living paycheck to paycheck. Enjoy your cable!
    Budget and the Beach recently posted…Saving for a Big GoalMy Profile

    • John says:

      Lol, sad to see you go Tonya! ;) I agree for many of us it is for sports and I am hoping that the options can change in the future. I can understand the reason for feeling guilty, I have felt that way with this as well. But, it’s a personal issue at the end of the day and as long as you’re being wise with your money then who cares what you’re spending it on?! :)

  • We definitely keep our cable subscription and it is worth it to us. We do have a ton of student loan debt but we make up for that by earning extra income on the side. $40 a month extra on her loans wouldn’t speed things up much.
    Lance at Money Life and More recently posted…Student Loan Debt Destruction Update – September 2013My Profile

    • John says:

      I agree, $40/month really won’t do a ton especially with side income. It’s worth it for us as well and likely won’t be cutting it any time soon.

  • Romona @Monasez says:

    I couldn’t imagine living without cable. I watch alot of movies rather then shows and I appreciate channels like HBO, especially since they show alot of new movies a few months after they come out of the movies. So, cable is a must for me. Most people would say turn to Netflix for movies but netflex rarely adds new movies and some of their movies are very poor quality.
    Romona @Monasez recently posted…Savings Plan:Create Today and Start Your Road to Financial StabilityMy Profile

    • John says:

      I am the same way with sports. The HBO I could most definitely live without, but it’s nice to have. I agree on the Netflix. They have some ok options from time to time, but overall I am not terribly impressed with the options they do have.

  • As you know, not only do we have cable and DVR, but J insists on a fancy schmancy hi-def sports package as well. Hope J and I don’t lose any readers as well! ;)
    Girl Meets Debt recently posted…Ask the Reader: What is your Biggest Credit Card Mistake?My Profile

    • John says:

      Lol, another reason why J and I must get along well. ;) I am the same way. If someone leaves because of that, you probably didn’t want them as readers anyway. ;)

  • I don’t think there’s anything wrong with keeping cable. As long as you’re comparing different service providers and constantly looking for a better deal, you’ll be able to save money in other ways besides just going cold turkey. I know for myself TV is just a good way to unwind when the day has been long and hard. If we had no cable, then there would be nothing good on at all.
    MyMoneyDesign.com recently posted…How Do You Compare to the Average Retirement Savings of Other Americans?My Profile

    • John says:

      That’s how we view it MMD. We bust our tails and enjoy being able to crash at the end of the day and watch something for half an hour or an hour. It makes it worth it for us.

  • E.M. says:

    I agree that if you’re in debt, then your priorities should probably be a little different. But if you can fit cable into your budget just fine, then it’s of course your choice. Cable is included in our rent, and it so happens we get all the extra channels, but we barely make use of it. I find that movies repeat a lot, and there’s only so many times I can watch them. I’m not a huge sports fan so I don’t really need those channels, either. I am glad to have the exposure now – knowing what channels are available I don’t think we will be paying for it in the future. I’d rather rent something from the library, but that’s just me!
    E.M. recently posted…August Budget ReviewMy Profile

    • John says:

      That’s cool it’s included in your rent E.M. I am sure seeing what you’re seeing now will help you determine if you want the cost for yourself in the future.

  • We haven’t cut the cord either, John, so we are all good! :) As you said, there are a few issues that are black and white, then it boils down to how you want to spend your money. We budget for our cable bill, just as you do. We use it and enjoy it enough that while I can’t say I love the cost, it’s worth the cost to us. I also view cable as one of those buckets that if something happens and life goes upside down, I have no problem cutting the cord. But right now, life is good, so cable stays. :)
    Shannon @ The Heavy Purse recently posted…Part 3: How to Talk to Kids about Money (ages 12-18)My Profile

  • anna says:

    Phew, at least someone said it! ;) We probably won’t cut the cord, either – we’re primarily homebodies, and though we restrict our TV viewing time, it’s a nice luxury to have (especially with DVR so no more of those “cliffhangers” right before a commercial). I agree that if I’m up to my eyeballs in debt, that it would probably be the first to go, but otherwise it’s a small expense for us.
    anna recently posted…Are Biometrics Like Fingerprint Scanners for Passcodes a Safe Idea?My Profile

  • We don’t watch much TV so it’s not a big deal to cut the cable.
    It’s your choice really. If sports is so important to you then, you gotta spend some $$$.
    midlifefinance recently posted…Flying SoloMy Profile

  • I support your right to indulge in cable if that is your desire! What good is frugality if you can’t spend money on things that you want to spend it on?
    Nick @ ayoungpro.com recently posted…Monday Motivation: Ira Glass on StorytellingMy Profile

  • I think it largely depends on how much you’re spending as well. When i tell people to cut the cord, I’m looking at people like my parents spending $200 a month on an HD subscription because they don’t know any better and were SOLD! But $40 a month isn’t much at all. Really, I just like to break it down like this: How many more hours of my life to I have to work to afford this cable subscription?

    If at $20 an hour, then it’s 2 hours a month * 12 months a year * 40 working years. That’s 960 hours of my life that I am working just to spending another 2-3 hours a day watching a screen. Worth it? Maybe to some, but now me :)

    note: yes, I know I just slighted everyone who watches TV with my comment. Even myself :)
    Jacob | iHeartBudgets recently posted…Weekly Wrap-Up, Mentions and Good Reads #42My Profile

  • I cut cable TV simply because I wasn’t using it but if you use it, why not? We shouldn’t cut things out of our lives just because they cost money. What we’re willing to spend money on is different for every one… hence my much too frequent trips to Starbucks :)
    Connie @ Savvy With Saving recently posted…5 Things I Live WithoutMy Profile

  • Definitely cut the cord for Roku + Netflix. But I’m not a sports fan – being able to watch the occasional 49ers game on my antenna is good enough for me.

    Of course, just like I can no longer see the need for $80/month for cable, I don’t see the need for $350/seat 49ers tickets at the new stadium. But for some, it’s want they want, and they can afford it. Knowing what you want is the first step, then you just have to work to get it…
    Jack @ Enwealthen recently posted…The Minimalist Guide to Cashback Rebates (or Coupons Are For Suckers)My Profile

  • I started my recent post on cable workarounds by saying that there are some people who think they are getting great value out of their cable packages and those people don’t need to consider cutting the cord. But for the rest of us, there are lots of solutions!
    Emily @ evolvingPF recently posted…Aspiring to Make Money from Our Closet Has Wasted Emotional EnergyMy Profile

    • John says:

      Yea, I’d say we’re getting value out of our cable on a variety of levels. If it weren’t for sports though, I’d be looking to cut right away in all likelihood. For pretty much everything else there are numerous options you can pursue to make up for any “loss”.

      • Depends on what you want out of “sports.” We are avid fans of one team and have found ways to see every game without paying for cable. For other sports we don’t care as much about, we’re satisfied with what is shown over the air and what we can get promo codes for to watch online (Olympics, March Madness). More details: http://www.evolvingpf.com/2013/09/how-we-watch-all-the-tv-we-want-for-free-including-sports/
        Emily @ evolvingPF recently posted…Aspiring to Make Money from Our Closet Has Wasted Emotional EnergyMy Profile

        • John says:

          Completely agree Emily. Unfortunately the main sport I watch, college football, and the team I follow are generally only on Fox Sports and ESPN (maybe once or twice a year on ESPN3) and pay channels and no real good non-piracy ways around it unless I were to go to a sports bar. Due to some conference realignment issues that latter option is not really a viable option for me anymore.

          That said, I’ve read that Google has been in exploratory talks with ESPN to move their channels once their contract is up and thus opening it to a potential pay per viewing type of arrangement. If that happens, I’ll be taking out the scissors quickly.

  • Sports is the biggie for me as well, I totally get it. If ESPN was an ala carte channel for a few buck a month I’d be a happy guy. The problem I have with cable is they make you pay for a bunch of channels I’m never gonna watch!

  • Kendal says:

    We don’t have cable but it’s out of choice, not necessity. No judging on your decision to keep it! Like you said, you save in other areas and aren’t buried under a mountain of consumer debt. My husband and I put premium fuel in both our vehicles — I bet a blogpost defending that would be just as controversial!
    Kendal recently posted…6 Ways to Redecorate for FreeMy Profile

  • If you’re a sports fan, then cable is pretty much a must. Luckily I’m not a sports fan so we cut out our own cable service about 2 years ago =)

    I’m all for frugality, but if by being frugal you’re significantly sacrificing your enjoyment of life, then being frugal isn’t worth it. It’s a balance. If you can’t cut out the cable bill, then cut out something else, like your morning latte, or reduce your vacation budget, etc.
    Survive The Valley recently posted…Layoff Update: Back to the Gainfully Employed Ranks!My Profile

    • John says:

      That’s exactly what I am saying, it’s a balance. If you can’t enjoy life then I want noting to do with frugality. I think it ultimately comes down to value based spending and if you’re doing fine overall, then why not have something to enjoy? :)

  • I am actually considering cutting the cord, but in my case we rarely watch TV. Even since Baby Romanian was born we simply had no time to watch TV and I am not exaggerating. We haven’t even turned on the TV for the past 2 months. Many would say that this is wasted money (and they would be right) but in Romania we pay a flat $10 for HD television (without HBO though) so we can afford that. Plus, the soccer (or football, as we call it here in Romania) season has just started and I will have to watch me some games in the future!
    C. the Romanian recently posted…Should I Buy a Smaller House Now or Save for a Bigger One?My Profile

    • John says:

      I can relate to that C, we watch quite a bit less now that we have kids as there always seems to be something going on. That said, $10 for HD is outrageously good. Though if you’re not using it then I can understand cutting it.

  • dojo says:

    HBO for me is worthless and I never watch sports. So I’d cut it yesterday, but my MIL is actually using it, so we can’t cut it. It’s true we pay around 20 bucks/month for the cable/internet/phone, so it’s not really a deal.

    I think it all falls down to what you really want. It’s not such a huge cost, I presume, so it’s normal to still want to keep the stuff that’s relevant to you. I personally don’t have a use for this, so I wouldn’t even consider paying it in the first place, but, if it’s an important entertainment venue for you, why not keep it?
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  • I haven’t had cable in over 5 years. When I visit friends and family that do have it, it becomes such a time -suck and I’m glad we don’t have it. I watch my favorite shows online or wait til they come out on Netflix. I’ll probably never have cable again.
    Kasey @ Debt Perception recently posted…9 Month Progress UpdateMy Profile

    • John says:

      It definitely can be if you allow it to be Kasey. That said, just because you do have cable does not mean that is has to become a time suck for you.

  • Alexa says:

    I used to think I’d die without cable. Then when I got divorced and moved out getting cable was pretty much the last of my concerns. When I bought my trailer I planned on getting Dish put up but just kept procrastinating. After a couple months of procrastinating I realized how much more active my kids were and how much more productive I was. I am very glad that I don’t have the cable now.
    Alexa recently posted…My Money Sins:3 Things I Could Do BetterMy Profile

    • John says:

      There is definitely something to be said for being more active, especially with kids. If you don’t miss it, then I completely understand not having it.

  • I have always been unwilling to drop the cable connection, mainly because of my love of sports.
    But other than that, I really don’t watch much.

    However, my wife does have a few shows she watches.. My daughter (2) loves her Caillou and Barney, and my boys (9 & 12) love to watch science and discovery channel. We limit them all to a few hours each week, but it would be tough to take that away from them.
    jefferson @SeeDebtRun recently posted…The Twenty Dollar Trick : How to Get an Upgraded Hotel RoomMy Profile

    • John says:

      We’re pretty much the same way Jefferson. We watch a couple of shows besides sports, but not a whole lot.

      For the most part, our kids would get by with stuff off of Netflix from what we’ve found.

  • The Warrior says:

    We are in the process of cutting the cord. I believe you are right that it is a personal decision. The problem is that most people aren’t honest with themselves. They may have no need, but make excuses for the need. This happens with a lot of time and financial decisions.

    We are primarily doing so for the time aspect. Sure, we are saving too, but the amount of time we “accidentally” waste is the key for us.

    The Warrior
    NetWorthWarrior.com
    The Warrior recently posted…(Financially) Surviving a VacationMy Profile

    • John says:

      I agree, many are not honest with themselves and turn a true want into something they believe they need. I’d be hard pressed to think that many need to have cable. The time aspect can be a big one if you don’t watch over how much you’re watching.

  • Hey John…glad to read that you are keeping it real :)

    I haven’t had cable for a long time, ages in fact, but I do love TV and get all my shows through a variety of means, including through an off-the-air antenna, DVD TV seasons from the library and an occasional download or two.

    There are indeed some great TV shows, made for TV movies and more out there, so why not enjoy them as best you can.

    That being said, if cutting the cord works for you, then more power to ya as well!

    Take care John and all the best.

    Lyle
    lyle @ the Joy of Simple recently posted…There May Be No i In Team, But There Is A MeMy Profile

    • John says:

      That’s cool you’re able to get access to what you do want to watch via means other than cable Lyle. That is definitely a possibility to get much of everything you want to watch, especially non-sports related. Hopefully some day soon sports will be that way so more of us can cut the cord.

  • Its slightly different in the UK, but I’ve never had the equivalent of “cable” here. I would only use it for sports and if I REALLY want to watch them (once or twice per month), I will go to the pub and spend £3 on a drink and watch it there. Certainly works out cheaper per month and seems more social.

    However, I suppose it depends on how much you watch it, as you seem to have justified the cost.
    moneystepper.com recently posted…Amazon refund policy – customer service at its bestMy Profile

    • John says:

      I agree, it can depend a lot on how much you watch it and the value you get out of it. Thankfully, we don’t spend a whole lot on it so it fits in our budget just fine.

  • Chad says:

    I am going to hedge a bit and say I will be getting my cable bill down to just internet. Comcast services my area and the combo bill hits me for $100 a month. I could swing it but honestly would rather have that money go to something else. As for the entertainment value of TV, I can stream whatever I need or catch up on episodes through the network websites directly.
    Chad recently posted…S&P 500 close September 18 2013 at 1725.52My Profile

  • TheCaveman says:

    Count me in as another individual who will not be cutting the cord.

    As you said, it really is a personal decision and for many people. having cable TV is just an alternative to something else. My wife and I, for example, almost never go see a movie in theaters and that helps to justify the cost of our DirecTV service.

    My philosophy on personal finance is simple: save where you can, but you also can’t be afraid to reward yourself for your hard work, either. Nobody should be embarrassed for having cable television just like you shouldn’t be embarrassed if you like to go on a nice vacation every once in a while.

    Great post – I enjoyed it!

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