Monday, February 1, 2010
Why We've Dumped Cable--Again
When I first quit teaching to become a SAHW nearly 11 years ago, we dropped our cable subscription as a way to cut costs. We went 8 years without it, and for the most part, we didn't miss it. We decided 2.5 years ago to resubscribe. The price was decent, as we bundled it all in with our phone and internet. But as of today, we're cable-free again.
Here's the reason: We didn't watch it enough to warrant paying for it. Invariably, we'd sit down to watch something, flipping through the guide with 250 channels or so. And there would be nothing worth watching. Hundreds of channels with nothing on. We don't really have the time or desire to be tied to any TV shows. We're honestly not watching anything right now, as we gave up on Heroes this season. Doctor Who, which is a favorite of mine, was only on sporadically.
TV just isn't important enough to us to keep paying for cable service.
However, we're not without TV entertainment. I gave Steven an X-Box for Christmas (and paid very little!), which was the only thing he asked for. We can get Netflix through the X-Box, which is what we're doing. We have to pay an annual subscription for X-Box Live, which Steven told me was about $50. Add in the cheapest Netflix subscription at $8.99/month, and for approximately $14 each month, we have immediately accessible TV and movie entertainment. It's on our time. No waiting for the program to start when it's scheduled or having to remember to set the DVR.
Additionally, Steven installed an HD antenna in the attic this weekend, so we have local channels clearly broadcast into our home. We paid approximately $75 for the antenna. I've done the math. Even with buying an antenna and paying for Netflix and X-box Live, we're paying half of what we were for cable. Next year that number will drop even more, as the antenna was a one-time purchase.
But truthfully, this isn't actually about the money; it's about value. We re-evaluated our television usage and realized that we were paying for a whole bunch of nothing. No sense in throwing money away.
An added benefit is that it's a little less for me in terms of media overload. I'd taken to often watching reruns of That 70s Show at night, instead of reading, which I've missed. I can't do everything, and frankly, I don't want TV to be what keeps me from books. I'm even putting away the iPod at night so that I'm not tempted by that. As the saying goes, less is more. Indeed.