Cutting the Cord

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I am always looking for ways to save some money. Unfortunately, I am much better at spending money than saving money. I don’t think that I am alone in this but it is the sad truth.

Last week I saw an article about the 10 Things NOT to Buy in 2014. Of course, the title intrigued me and I had to look at it. While I am going to list the 10 things, if you want the explanation, please use the link above to go to the article and check it out. It is not a long article and will only take a few minutes to read through.  The 10 things are as follows:

  1. Cable TV
  2. Landline Service
  3. GPS devices
  4. DVD and Blu-ray players
  5. Hotel rooms
  6. 2 year phone contracts
  7. Desktop and laptop computers
  8. Extra leg room in economy
  9. Credit cards with points or miles
  10. Digital cameras

I thought it was and interesting list and I posted a link to the article on my Facebook page so that others could check it out. Over the weekend, my husband and I were having a discussion about random things and I brought up the article. He had seen it (imagine that, we are friends on Facebook!) and we started talking about some of the things mentioned.

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My husband brought up cable TV. I have for years complained about the price of cable and he and my daughter just looked at me. So we were both on the same page about cable TV for the first time but what would we do without it? We had two main concerns. The first was that we do like to watch live sports (football mostly) and how we would  be able to do that without cable. The second was that we do use our cable provided DVR for three programs a week. (Yes, you read that right – three programs.)

We did a little research and found that you can buy an indoor antenna and amplifier so that you can get the standard TV channels. The cost of buying these two items is ½ of one month of cable. That should get us standard TV. During football season, we would not have ESPN for Sunday night football. While we do tend to watch that, it was not worth paying for a month a cable to see four football games.

Now we move to living without the DVR. This is where we move into buying other services. We already have streaming Netflix. I am not really sold on streaming Netflix because they never seem to stream what I want to watch but I will admit that I rarely try to use it.  I may need to become more familiar with it.

We also already own a Roku. (If you are not familiar with Roku, click here to link to their web site.) While we have owned the Roku for a few years, it provides lot of other possibilities that we have never really explored. We discussed using a service like Hulu Plus. Even if we do and have to pay $7.99 a month for Hulu Plus, it is still a lot less than cable.

We have two TVs in the house that we use. So for the one TV, we can have the antenna and amplifier and the Roku with streaming Netflix. This is all fine because that one TV is an HDTV. The other TV is not HD.  In order to use the new cable-less system, the other TV has to be HD also. So, we might have to buy a new TV.

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As luck would have it, is the perfect time of year to buy a new TV. So, we could buy a new smart TV and then we would not have to buy another Roku. If we buy a new smart TV, it would eat up our cable savings for, let’s say, six months. If we don’t buy a smart TV, then we would have to buy the TV and Roku. That would mean that we would be spending  4 or 5 months of cable. Still, either way, we would see significant savings from cutting cable this year. 

Of course, this works because we don’t really watch that much television. I certainly watch more than my husband but I think that I watch too much anyway. I don’t usually watch anything that is that important. I could use my time in other ways.

Also, we live in a metropolitan area and the television stations are not that far away. We should, with the indoor antenna be able to pick up the signals. Being able to pick up the signals with the indoor antenna is key to the success of this venture to cut the cord.

As a first step, we have ordered the indoor antenna. We will disconnect the cable and see how it works. If it seems like it will work then we will move ahead. The next step will be deciding on the TV and getting another indoor antenna.

Have you tried to go without cable? What have been your experiences? I would love to hear about them.  So far, it looks like we would initially spend up to the cost of seven months of cable bills to be able to cut the cord but then our cost would go down to $7.99 (Hulu Plus) per month. It seems like a good idea but is it possible?

What do you think?

Thanks for reading!

 

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About Carol Early Cooney

CPML Social is a social media management firm for small businesses. We are there to help you - we know that you don't have time to do it all. Whether you are a real estate agent, a musician, an insurance agent, a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker, we can help you.
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8 Responses to Cutting the Cord

  1. Heather says:

    I upped my cable on my own when I realized that I was spending so much a month on DVDs that buying cable would be cheaper. This was pre-netflix existence. Then I cancelled my cable because I was writing all my professional exams. Now, with my husband, I only watch a few shows and he watches a ton because like you, he grew up with cable. But he likes all the science-y shows like on National Geographic, the ones about the universe and things. Does anyone know if those are on netflix too?

  2. We don’t have cable, and it works out fine for us. Of course, I would rather curl up with a book than watch a show… My husband does like watching sports, but he can see that on standard TV or sometimes he’ll go online to catch the clips.

  3. The problem with cable/satellite is the few shows that you can’t get on Hulu and can only get on Netflix once they decide to offer the whole season. I’ve thought time and again about cancelling our satellite, but those darn shows on HBO we’ve gotten attached to. . . .

    That being said, I sure hope that this works out for you!

    • Kirra, We thought about that. I think you can buy and download from Amazon single episodes. I don’t know about the HBO shows but some shows are $2.99. We could buy a lot of $2.99 shows for what we pay for cable. Good luck!

  4. Hmm . . . we have discussed for a while now getting rid of cable. We don’t watch that much TV, but still, the thought of going without the ones we watch is a little scary. We were given an Apple TV recently. Maybe we should figure out if that (along with Netflix) would make up for cable. Thanks for the information!

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