Cutting Cable

Last month we bit the bullet. We got rid of cable. WE GOT RID OF CABLE! Ahhhh! That’s a sigh of relief, not a sigh of panic.

When we moved into our house five years ago, we didn’t get cable. In the beginning it was because we couldn’t get anyone to come out and give it to us. They claimed we didn’t have enough houses in our development. About a year later they came door-to-door and tried to give us a good deal. We declined. It was the only way we had a leg up. If they didn’t want our money, well then we weren’t going to give it to them a year later. So we lived almost three full years without cable. We had an antenna that got the basic channels so I was happy enough watching prime time television. Bryan on the other hand, was missing the History Channel and Discovery Channel. Like, bad. Around the time we got our dish, DVR was becoming popular. Remember, we had zero television payment before getting a dish. So, we got one DVR for the living room and a couple of receivers for other rooms in the house (our bedroom being one of them). We couldn’t justify doing any more DVRs in the house, even though it sounded awesome to have one in the bedroom.

And then we fell in love with the DVR. Like, bad. It was amazing. It was everything we didn’t know a tv could be! In the beginning we had all.the. movie channels so we took full advantage of lazy weekends. Also, we had nothing else to do after going out the night before. (Heh, pre-kids life was so rough.) We recorded series and watched them together when we had time. After we had kids, it became our dates. After the house was quiet, we turned off all the lights and watched an episode or two. It was relaxing. (Or, is.)

Over the past year we struggled a lot with how expensive it was. It was painful to look at that line item each month. On the one hand, Maximus could have access to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse whenever he wanted. (Of course we run the remote.) And, we had our precious DVR. I can’t forget Bryan’s “special” channels either. But, were any of those things worth one hundred dollars a month? (Full disclosure: I can’t actually remember how much it cost. I feel like at the end we had cut back plans enough that we were hovering under one hundred when you added in tax.) Finally one night I said, “cancel the cable.” I’m like that. Out of the blue I commit and want it done. Now. Bryan would prefer to think things through and make sure we make the right decision. I’d rather see results. Either way, we decided to buy Apple TV. So, we budgeted for the box that month and put in our regular cable amount, too. (Because we assumed we wouldn’t get that good of a prorate when we cancelled. And we didn’t.) A bonus when we bought Apple TV, we bought a returned unit so we saved $10!

You know when your university alumni association calls and asks for donations? You have to say no to them 8-10 times before they can accept the answer. No, seriously that’s how our university works. Well, Bryan had to go through numerous employees, supervisors, and managers before he could cancel the darn thing. And! He had to wait 24 hours before he could really cancel. Because he’d have cancel remorse or something?! What the heck! So eventually he was able to cancel and they sent us a box to put the receivers in. We sent them off and thought we were done with them. We got a check for $3 because canceling at the beginning of the month only saves you $3, obviously. Bryan has received a phone call from them almost every week day since we cancelled. They want us back. For a cheap price. They also want to know if we’ve returned the receivers, which we did as soon as the box arrived. It doesn’t feel like our relationship is over quite yet, but we’d really like it to be!

Sorry, DirectTV. We started a new relationship with HuluPlus and networks online and we’re doing just fine now. And it’s ok that we don’t have the Disney channel, we pull up old school Mickey Mouse on YouTube. This also means we don’t want to poke our eyes out, instead we remember the good ol’ days when cartoons were a little “rougher.” We pay $8 a month for a HuluPlus subscription and we do a happy dance about the rest of that money going into savings!

We have a pretty fluid budgeting process and we’re in the repetition phase of it, but that doesn’t mean we stop looking for ways to save money. I’d love to hear from my readers!Ā What have you done lately to cut out a monthly cost?

Note: We haven’t been reimbursed by any of the above companies. We’re just looking for the best way to still get tv without paying cable prices. šŸ™‚

5 thoughts on “Cutting Cable

  1. We are hovering on this idea as well. Our issue? Okay, Dan’s issue? ESPN. Once we have this figured out we will be joining you on “the dark side”.

    1. I’d suggest looking into the monthly subscription to ESPN online. At least if you have an Apple TV you have an ESPN app that you can pay a monthly fee for. That might meet his needs. There are different apps for all the sports, too. If you had to subscribe to all those it would probably end up costing the same amount as cable. Good luck!

  2. Lacey

    We are seriously considering canceling direct tv also since I will be working less and need to find ways to make cuts to the budget. We also have apple tv! I’m completely on board with it, however, with the upcoming football season, my husband isn’t sure he can part with it just yet. Regardless, we at least will be calling to renegotiate our contract. I also did that with our Internet service. A simple phone call saved $10/mo. Also, I know it seems small, but I read in a magazine that If you cut a dryer sheet in half, it will still give you the same amount of static protection as a full sheet. So true! We also have been going through paper towels like crazy, so I pulled out these “fancy” cloth napkins we received as a wedding gift that have not been used (3 years later:) and use those for meals rather than paper towels. Lastly, I’ve been extremely diligent about recycling (i mean, like a nazi, every little scrap of paper, etc makes it into the recycling bin) and have noticed a significant difference with the amount of trash bags we go through (a lot less!) the future of our tv debacle is unclear, but boy is it sure fun to discover ways to cut corners and save! šŸ™‚ $$

    Ps. Would I like a new mark Jacobs handbag or a new pair of jcrew sandals? Absolutely. But I simply cannot afford it and find that I have just as much fun splurging on a $5 tee from old navy as I did a $40 sale item at Von maur…without all the guilt! šŸ˜‰

    1. Hey Lacey! Thanks for the comments! I feel like adulthood slaps you in the face when you realize you’d rather save money than spend it! šŸ™‚

      We’re also concerned with the football season, but we decided we’d rather save money now and figure it out later. I was going to look into the Cyclones TV stuff and see if that will meet our ISU needs. Have you looked into the sports apps that come with Apple TV? Maybe those would meet his needs. Then again, if you start paying for all of them it probably equals a cable bill!

      Good call on the linen napkins. Paper towels are ridiculous in our house! We could save a lot of money if we didn’t buy those as often.

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