CANCELLING CABLE WILL MAKE YOU A CONSUMMATE WEIRDO

I’ll admit it, I like being a consummate weirdo – especially when it comes to not paying a ridiculous amount of cash for cable television. We decided cancelling cable TV was the best option for our family and our finances over a year ago. The decision took place when I noticed cable was one of the biggest monthly expenses on our color-coded spreadsheet. Yikes!

First, we downgraded, not having the guts to take the prominent leap into cable-less living. Being hardcore Gen-Xers, we remember how cool we were when we first got cable as kids. If you weren’t watching Adam Curry on MTV after school, you weren’t cool.

ULTRA-WASTE-YOUR-MONEY-HDTV-PACKAGE

We totally watched this. We were the epitome of cool.

But we WERE the cool kids! We had cable back when it first broke onto the entertainment scene – and we had it now. We had the ultra-waste-of-money HDTV package for our 60″ LCD TV. Yes, we did. How could we possibly give that up?

It was actually pretty easy. After easily handling the downgrade, we called the company and completely cut the cord. Done. Just for the record, I was completely in awe of my ability to turn down every single sales technique they used to try to get me to extend our patronage. No thanks. That was it, our minds were made  up.

We ultimately decided we could use that $100/mo for the financial good of our future, instead of wasting it on the consumption of mostly…crap.

CANCELLING CABLE MEANS WE HAVE MORE TIME TO PRODUCE

Mr. MMM and I actually delight in producing stuff way more than consuming stuff. Hence, cutting cable was only a stretch in the sense that we always had it. After clearing that hurdle, we adjusted almost instantaneously. I can honestly say that we do not miss cable TV at all.

Related: Cutting The Cord To Financial Freedom

CANCELLING CABLE MEANS WE HAVE MORE TIME TO PLAY

Mad Money Cat reads books

If you’re a Gen-Xer with kids still bouncing around the house, you know exactly what I’m talking about here. Most kids want attention. And I don’t mean just a little attention, I mean they want ALL the attention.

Because of this, it’s a good thing we don’t have cable anymore. When we were still plugged in, there was endless HGTV noise in background of our daily lives that would compete for our attention along with our daughter. Now, it’s just our daughter, and we prefer it that way.

Nowadays, we’re playing soccer in the front yard or building snow forts out back, as opposed to plopping our butts on the couch in front of the boob tube. I don’t think you’ll argue with me when I say that we’re using our time much more efficiently now.

NOTE: Absolutely zero family memories are made by watching another episode of Property Brothers – no offense – I do love that show! Thankfully, it’s on Netflix!

Related: Frugal Hacks To Live An Awesome Life

“CABLE? WHAT’S THAT?”

The other night I was talking with my little girl about TV shows I used to watch when I was her age. She asked a seemingly normal question about something (must’ve been one of those boring 7-year old questions or I would obviously remember the specifics) and my response was, “We don’t have cable.”

To which she replied, “What’s that?” Oh yeah. Can I get a virtual high-five? My financial skills are off the hook!

Related: Why Aren’t More Gen-Xers On Fire

CANCELLING CABLE MEANS WE HAVE MORE CHOICES

We’re still watching TV – we just don’t pay for cable anymore

That’s right! After cutting our cable we found that we have so many more choices to watch things we actively seek out and are engaged in, instead of passively watching something because our eyes glazed over and we’re tired of surfing endless channels with nothing substantial to offer.

I mean, do you really get a lot of mileage out of watching that episode of Everybody Loves Raymond for the gazillionth time? Okay, that was probably a bad example, but you know what I’m saying, right?

Related: Reasons We Love Being At Home

WE STILL WATCH TV!

Surprise! We still watch TV! Nowadays, the only difference is how much we watch and how little we pay for it. These days, we pay a monthly subscription to Netflix, which runs us somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 or 9 bucks. And for the most part, this meets our needs.

If there is something special happening, we can usually stream it live from YouTube or some other free app on our NVIDIA Shield.

And there you have it, with one quick phone call, minus the super persuasive sales tactics used to drag it out and get us to stay, we effectively cut our TV viewing cost by 90% each month.

Guess what! You could do it, too! If you’ve been going back and forth between staying plugged in or cutting that cord, I advise you to take the leap. Afterwards, If you decide your life has descended into a deep dark abyss without 150 channels of crap TV, not to worry, the cable company will ALWAYS welcome you back with open arms. No harm, no foul.

Please enjoy this most appropriate 1980s music video on me!

WHAT’S STOPPING YOU FROM CANCELLING CABLE AND BEING WEIRD?

The only valid reason, and I use that term loosely, for keeping such a ridiculous expense on the books is…SPORTS. Because we don’t watch sports, we never looked into alternatives, but I’m sure they exist for that special person who couldn’t possibly miss Monday Night Football. Can you tell I don’t know what I’m talking about? Is Monday Night Football still A Thing?

Acceptable Alternatives That Come To Mind…

  • Watch sporting events at other peoples’ houses – let them pay the bill 😉
  • Go check out a sports bar
  • Try it live at a sports venue
  • Maybe consider watching less sports
  • Get outside and play sports!

Granted, this isn’t an extensive list and you could end up spending more money out in sports bars than you would on a monthly cable bill. I suggest proceeding with caution.

So, what’s stopping you? Are you keeping antiquated cable TV around just because of inertia? Bad reason, by the way. What else ya got? Lay it on me.

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Lisa is the creator and resident writer at Mad Money Monster. She's a mother, scientist, and financial guru on a mission to save Generation X from working until they die!

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12 comments… add one
  • FinancePatriot Apr 7, 2017, 10:56 am

    I live in an upper middle class neighborhood. I don’t think cutting cable is weird anymore. I have fellow upper income neighbors that have done this, or are contemplating this.

    I have a Roku stick, and a netflix subscription. These work great for us. We get a lot of free stuff from free Roku channels and even cable Roku channels have some great free shows on them, like HGTV (free episodes, not entire seasons).

    We only get 2-3 local channels where we live for free, so that is definitely a big downside, but we don’t watch a lot of sports either. We are lucky in that respect.

    • Mad Money Monster Apr 7, 2017, 11:12 am

      I actually don’t think it’s weird anymore either. I know plenty of people who have done it and don’t feel deprived.

      Even if we still had cable, we just don’t have time to watch a lot of TV; therefore, it’s not worth the expense.

  • Stupid Debt Mar 28, 2017, 8:50 am

    I turn cable back on during the winter months so I can binge watch holiday Hallmark movies. Now that my cable company was bought out, their packages ate cheaper than having a sole utility like internet. Now I am shopping around for internet alone. So frustrating. So wrong on the company’s part.

    • Mad Money Monster Mar 28, 2017, 9:02 am

      Yeah, our Internet expense is quite ridiculous. We pay around $80/mo for it. *eye roll*

  • Tali Mar 23, 2017, 11:43 pm

    My lousy Ex had a $200+ cable bill every month… which he had quietly shoveled off on to me! When I finally realized that he had five TVs in a 900 square foot house, and a $200+ cable bill that he had me footing, I killed his cable and picked up a $12 digital antennae. LOL!
    He was livid. But I had a couple more dollars in my pocket each payday…

    We, my sweetheart and I, stream movies over YouTube and just recently dropped our NetFlix account and just switched to only do the AmazonPrime account on a monthly basis when we are going to need shipping. There are many ways to watch the current fare, for free.

    • Mad Money Monster Mar 23, 2017, 11:48 pm

      Wow! Good for you for taking charge and keeping some of your hard-earned cash! Two thumbs up 🙂

      It is amazing how easy it is to watch shows on the cheap these days. Times sure have changed. Thank goodness!

  • Colin @ Building-Income Mar 23, 2017, 9:26 pm

    Amen! Almost four years now free of cable. We love Netflix, though. Haven’t tried any of the others (Hulu, Amazon, etc).

    I figure if I do that, I’ll just be back on the “too many channels – not enough attention” treadmill and I would like to get something accomplished in my life. 🙂

    BTW – I love the early MTV mention. You were cool if you saw a video before your friends and they had to wait all day to see it (hopefully) after school.

    • Mad Money Monster Mar 23, 2017, 9:29 pm

      Yeah, we haven’t done Hulu or Amazon either. We’ve been flying high with Netflix and YouTube.

      It’s funny, when I was a kid there was ONE kid in our elementary school that didn’t have cable – and everyone knew it. I remember whispering about it with other kids. Oh, how times change!

      I do miss those early MTV days. It was such a fun time – from what I remember anyway 🙂

  • Wall Street Physician Mar 23, 2017, 4:19 pm

    Nice post. I’ve been off cable for about 8 years now. Don’t miss it at all.

    • Mad Money Monster Mar 23, 2017, 7:48 pm

      Whoa. You’re my hero. 🙂

  • FullTimeFinance Mar 22, 2017, 10:50 pm

    We cut cable about five years ago. I’m actually a college football fanatic. There still are ways to watch sports without cable. An antenna works well for local channels. For sports on cable we have a friend with cable. We either go to his house or he comes to ours. Most sports are streamed over the internet they just require you to have an account with the cable provider.

    • Mad Money Monster Mar 23, 2017, 2:44 pm

      Excellent tips for sports fans. Thanks!

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