I admit, I am slow to change. A big reason is that I take a long time to decide when comparison shopping anything. Not one of my best qualities but it has saved me a few dollars along the way. I didn’t get my first smartphone until about 2 years ago. I was obsessing over two particular phones, so much that my tech loving brother didn’t want to be around me anymore because of my persistent questioning (I made the right choice though since the other phone was found to be buggy and became obsolete quickly). But eventually I can make the plunge, and I think the time may be coming when it comes to cable television.
Cable TV has been a staple all my life. I had it growing up as a child and throughout college. Even when I was in graduate school, my roommate and I found a way to get cable TV without paying for it (I think the last tenant never cancelled theirs). Watching the latest highlights on ESPN has always been a habit of mine. Being exposed to cable TV all of your life is not necessarily a good thing, but it’s what I’ve had all of my life. Given my tendency to over think any type of change, it would take some time for me make plunge into a cable-less world. There are a few reasons that are pushing me to make the inevitable switch sometime soon:
The wide availability of streaming. Netflix is awesome. There’s just no two ways about it. The current price of $7.99 a month will most certainly increase as time goes on, but it beats the pants off of the $70 per month for cable TV. And after doing some unofficial analysis of my family’s TV watching habits, the vast majority of the shows we enjoy are on Netflix. There are only a couple of shows that we watch on cable TV, but that’s hardly a reason to keep it around. With a little bit of searching on the internet (or by using another streaming service), pretty much any show can be watched online.
One thing I recently came across really shows the staying power of streaming TV. Amazon is in it now. They have had their streaming service for a while, but they now have a device called Amazon Fire TV that is an all in one streaming device. You can watch Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video and a bunch of other apps all on this one device. We currently use a Playstation 3 for streaming purposes, but the fact that Amazon has fully committed to the world of streaming video shows that it is here to stay.
Not difficult to get HD local channels. I’m a huge NBA and NFL fan. And this is probably the biggest reason I hesitate to get rid of cable. It would be tough to miss the big playoff games. But reading reviews about the HD antennas out there, it looks like I should be able to watch most of the big games on the local channels. Gone are the days of the bunny ears and fiddling around with them to get good reception. Reviews for these products have been great, so it’s exciting to know that I shouldn’t have to give up TOO much sports watching. Besides, having a toddler has greatly reduced my sports watching capability as it is.
Saves money. Getting rid of cable and relying on streaming TV should free up around $70 per month. That’s not a tremendous amount, but if this experiment sticks, that’s money that we will be saving every month for the rest of our lives. It is definitely more important for me to pay off my student loans faster than it is to watch a few TV shows, so I can use that savings to do just that. Or to pad our emergency fund. Whatever I choose to do, it will only be a financial net positive which is great to know.
These are just a few of the reasons to ditch the cable. If this experiment doesn’t work and our lives are miserable because of it (which sounds really selfish), I can always come back to cable. All the cable companies in the area run good deals from time to time, so I can just sign on when I see one. It’s always good to find a way to cut down monthly costs and help yourself in the process, and cutting cable seems like just the thing. I will report back about my life without cable after a few weeks.
If anyone would like to share something about their cable-less life or let us know about any tips or ideas, please feel free to comment below.