It Might be Time to Cut the Cord

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.



  1. Hello Syed. When it comes to cord cutting, you are absolutely on the right track! As makers of over-the-air antennas and DVRs, we’ve found that the majority of programming people watch on TV actually comes from the major broadcast networks – which you will get for free! If you enjoy watching sports as much as we do, the one thing you are going to miss is a DVR and the ability to pause live TV. We’ve got an over-the-air DVR that is subscription-free. You may want to take a look!

  2. Yes, I say ditch it. You can always get an antenna for much less.

  3. I have not consistently had cable TV since I lived at home with my parents. When I moved out, I didn’t want it. Now, we just have never paid for it so are too cheap! With Netflix, you really don’t need it and it’s so expensive. CUtting the cord will save you a lot of money!

  4. I’ve been contemplating cutting the cable tv for a while now too. In fact, the main reason isn’t even to save money – it’s because I know it will free up so much time to get other stuff done. I don’t even have that many shows that I watch, but even when it’s just on in the background it is distracting. Plus, there’s giving up live sports broadcasts that aren’t on the local channels…that’d be tough. For now, we’ll probably keep ours since we’ve got it with a bundle and removing the tv part likely really wouldn’t save us too much money. And, my wife probably would object too!

    • Freeing up time to spend with family is another great point. We have a 1 year old son and time seems to flying by so fast with him. I would liek to just settle down and enjoy him more he’s getting bigger every day!

  5. The only thing I miss about cable is the ability to watch live TV, albeit very occasionally. That would things like the Oscars ceremony, live news events on CNN or things like that. I don’t care much about live sports on TV, and I don’t mind watching any show I want days or even weeks later.

    • This was my thought too but the benefits really do outweigh the drawbacks. Sure I’ll miss a sports game or event here and there, but is it worth keeping my debt a little longer and taking time away from family? I think not.

  6. It takes me a long time to make a decision as well. It really irritates my wife and sometimes it makes me mad. I have been cable free for over 2 years and I don’t regret the change. We have Netflix and an antenna. It has been great. I would recommend it, especially since I save around $60 per month!

    • Yeah my wife gets on me about that as well. I tell her great leaders take time in deciding things. I don’t think she buys it. Yeah the savings will be nice. Even though $60/month doesn’t look like that much, that $720 every year for the rest of your life.

  7. I cut the cord a few years ago and I have never regretted it. Most people complain that netflix streaming options are crap and really slow to get new stuff, but I can tell you that after about a year you forget what’s new so that doesn’t matter.

    You might have to buy a few things to replace cable but those costs are one time things or small subscriptions like hulu/netflix. I recommend doing a one time purchase of a Roku or something, I think the devices specifically made for those purposes are much easier than PS3. Small investment but I find it’s worth the convenience.

    The sports part was the biggest one for me, I’m a big NBA fan and I basically can’t see any of the local Warriors games because of this, but if you are a big enough of a fan then you will probably just do what I do. I have a home theater PC (HTPC) attached to my TV and I stream games online to watch them. They usually have pretty crappy clarity but at least I get to watch the game. Also since I have a HTPC I use that as my DVR for regular TV channels, basically for whatever I can’t get on hulu.

    Also another way to watch sports. Go to a bar 🙂

    I have a post on my site on how I did it, but I don’t want to spam your comments though 😛

    • Thanks for the great comment! Yeah NBA/NFL games will be missed, but I’ve heard good things about HD antennas so hopefully I can catch the big games. My sports watching time has been greatly reduced anyway since my son started running around like a little mad man, so I don’t think it’ll hurt too much. My parents live pretty close so if I am in dire need of cable sports, I can just watch there. I will def check out your post as well. Thanks.

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