Friday, September 2, 2011

Banking Moolah: Kicking Cable to the Curb

Last week, I shared how we bank cash by living with a roommate.  That is probably the biggest change we have made to our lifestyle in order to save money.  However, we’ve been doing other little things to keep costs down while also simplifying our lives and making us appreciate the little things in life.

Today I want to talk to you about our TV situation.  I can remember the day my parents signed up for satellite TV.  I honestly remember the exact day when I was probably six years old.  I was playing outside when my mom called me inside.  I sat down on the couch, picked up the remote, and the TV seemed to glow as I turned it on to Nickelodeon.  The orange logo will forever be burned in my mind.  In some ways, I love TV just as I did when I was a child.  I love the entertainment, the things I can learn, the constant going-ons.  I also don’t like TV: the fact that I would rather watch Kim Kardashian and her crazy sisters live their ridiculous lives than live my own, the jealousy that can arise by wanting more and more of the things advertised in commercials, the bad news playing on every channel.  It’s definitely a love-hate relationship.

Mr. Converse Sneakers has not had cable since he moved out of his parents house to go to college at age 18.  Living on-campus all four years of college, I always had it included in my rent agreement.  However, I found myself only watching it when Mr. CS would come over or I was insanely bored.  When we were talking about ways to save money, we decided we would skip the cable.

What that meant for me (you know, the things that really mattered):
  • No brand new episodes of Glee each week.  I’m still trying to recover.
  • No HGTV.  THE HORROR, THE HORROR!!!!!  My hands are shaking from the withdrawal.  I guess now when I go to my parents’ house I will see new episodes of House Hunters!
  • No random documentaries that teach me things.  I suppose I can live with that – who needs to learn new things!  Ha!
  • No awards shows.  Heck, who am I kidding, I only watched them because everyone else does.  I don’t even see or hear half of the things people are being awarded for.
  • No Food Network.  Thank you, Lord.  I love that channel but it makes me want to order comfort food at midnight.  Not good for my whole exercising thing.
  • No random Disney and Nickelodeon shows.  I sometimes would watch for fun, but I don’t even recognize the shows anymore, so I’ll live.
Here is what it really meant for us:
  • More time together doing productive things instead of zoning out in front of the TV.
  • More time learning from more reliable sources like books.  I remember what those are now!
  • Less wishing I had his or her body/hair/eyes/laugh/big toe of the perfect looking people within the black box.
  • Less money spent!

As much as I would love to one day nix TV completely just to see if I could, we have semi-replaced cable with the wondrous Netflix.  Despite the recent price increase, we only pay about $15 a month to watch certain shows and movies instantly and rent one DVD at a time that usually never gets watched.  We have watched the entire series of The Office over the summer, some of The Cosby Show, and are now working our way through my new favorite, Mad Men.  Lately, we’ve rarely been watching anything at all, so I’m thankful we are only out $15 a month instead of $40-$100.

I’ve been really happy with this change!  Mr. CS and I spend a lot more time actually doing things together than we would if we could turn the cable on at any time.  I think I will be able to make it through our first year without it . . .

. . . As long as I can watch Glee online.  I need those singing “teenagers” in my life!!!

What is one area of your life that you’ve recently cut back on to save money?


  1. I too have tried to spend less money. I have not convinced myself to give up Cable yet or the internet. However, I have not purchased any new clothes in 2 years except for new slacks for work and a new pair of shoes. I limit going anywhere so I do not spend money and do not use gasoline.
    I also try to use the fan more instead of the air conditioning. I have also sold some items that I have been storing and really do not need.

  2. On my Friday noon half hour garage sale run I picked up 2 pair of 511 tactical pants and one pair of 511 shorts for $4!!! Check out what they cost new.

  3. Hi there, just followed you over from the Lovelace Files blog. :)

    As far as TV, my husband and I cut cable out of our lives permanently 6 years. Just think about the money saved! We also do the Netflix to supplement- but the way I still get my Glee fix and Design Star episodes is through We just hook up my laptop to our TV, tune into Hulu (episodes are aired the next day, so you will always be 24 hours behind), and you'd never know the difference. We find that not only do we save a ton of money, but we really only watch the shows we want to (none of the fluff that you end up getting sucked into on cable). It's a win-win.

  4. We got rid of cable 3 years ago, and haven't missed it since. At first we survived with the over-the-air digital television channels and Blockbuster movie rentals, but eventually we ditched Blockbuster for Netflix - and LOVE Netflix. Not sure what we're gonna do about the price increase, though... we'll see. Either way, we really don't miss cable at all!



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