If you are planning to decrease your spending in the new year, whether to help pay off debt or to save for the future, cutting out cable is a great way to save money. The money that you save on a monthly expense like cable adds up quickly.
In addition to the huge chunk of change you’ll save on monthly bills, going without television will impact your finances in more ways than just your cable bill.
1- Kids won’t beg for stuff from commercials
Since we have never had a TV in our home, our kids haven’t been bombarded with commercials. It is wonderful! They don’t insist on having the latest and greatest toys of the season and they don’t care about licensed characters. While we were watching TV at someone’s house over Christmas my 5-year-old asked, “Do people actually obey the TV and buy all these things?”
2- You’ll never have to replace it or fix it.
As with all electronics, there will always be a bigger or better one. There’s always the temptation to upgrade. In fact, I’m sure you remember several years ago (2009 in the US) when we switched from analog television broadcasting to digital. You could get a converter, or you could upgrade your TV. If you don’t have a TV, you’ll never need to upgrade.
3- You’ll have time to _______.
If you aren’t sitting in front of the TV for hours each day, you’ll have time to do something else that will save or earn you money. You could start an etsy shop, sell stuff on ebay, cook from scratch, plant a garden or start a blog. People complain that they don’t have time for these and other money-saving or money-earning endeavors, but chances are you would have much more time if TV wasn’t your default activity. Without TV as your part-time job, you would have time to earn and save more. Time is money. Without TV you’ll likely have more of both.
Try a challenge or compromise
I know we’re in the minority for not having a TV. I don’t expect everyone to give up TV completely, but for those who are seriously looking for ways to cut costs, budget, and pay off debt, giving up TV or cable, even just for a limited time, is a great way to save money and time. Challenge yourself to go without TV or cable for a set length of time.
If you think that going without TV would be too hard, you could try an alternative, like a Netflix or Amazon Prime subscription. Netflix is a popular alternative to cable and only costs $7.99 per month. You can try it out for free to see if it works for you. Amazon Prime costs even less, currently at $79 per year, which comes out to $6.58 per month. Most people know that Amazon Prime gives you free 2-day shipping on millions of items, but it also lets you watch over 40,000 movies and TV shows. Either option is way cheaper than cable and you can still watch your favorite shows!
Everyone is Different
While giving up TV would be a huge sacrifice for many people, it’s not really a sacrifice for us. I am the weird one in my family who doesn’t watch TV. Even as a teenager I didn’t enjoy watching TV. For us it isn’t about money at all. Even if we weren’t six figures under, we still wouldn’t have a TV.
My family (parents and siblings) think not having a TV is crazy extreme frugality. When my husband and I were first married, they thought I was depriving my husband of television since they didn’t realize that he didn’t want a TV any more than I did!
If you love TV, that’s fine. You don’t have to cut your cable or ditch your TV, but you must admit that going TV-less will save money.
What do you think?
- Is getting rid of cable or TV altogether extreme frugality?
- Would you be willing to give up TV to save money?
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