Well this should be interesting. Good old cable television. We North Americans sure do love us some good TV watching don’t we?

It is interesting to listen to the arguments that people have for continuing to have cable TV. It is such a tether for them. It is almost a security thing. It is like they are afraid of what life will be like without it.

The average person watches about 4 to 7 hours of TV per day. This equates to 28-35 hours per week which in turn works out to thirty-six  to forty-five 40-hour workweeks per year.

And what are you actually watching? It turns out that each hour of programming contains 16.5 minutes of commercials. Commercials that tell us how useless our lives are and that we need to go out and spend money!!

There is a video clip in the last post that shows how watching television contributes to the over-consumption and debt cycle.

It is all done on purpose by marketers and even our own governments who want you to be consumers.

But Why Should I Get Rid of Cable?

Oh come on! Really?! I have a friend who makes the argument that she and her husband really don’t do anything else. This is their entertainment. They don’t go out, they don’t drink, etc.

That is not the point. If you are in looking to be more aware of your personal finances in 2019 then cable TV needs to be on the chopping block.

Watching television literally, causes us less satisfaction with life. According to the Journal of Economic Psychology, TV viewers report lower life satisfaction, higher material aspirations, and more anxiety.

Television is a self-propagating habit. It promotes its own self-interests by boldly declaring the Best New Show, Most Watched Network, Can’t Miss Episode, or Game of the Year. They play on our fear of missing-out. As you commit to watching less television, you are less persuaded by these claims because you see them less. Quickly you will realize you aren’t really missing that much anyway.

You cannot afford it. Mentally and financially. Especially if you have debt that needs to be paid down or you are living paycheck to paycheck like 70% of the population.

According to my quick internet search the average cost of cable TV is about $65 per month. This varies based on provider of course. This works out to $780 per year. EVERY YEAR.

And the rates keep going up. My mom just told me that their bundled service(phone, internet, cable) is over $200 per month now. I am not sure how much getting rid of cable TV would reduce that bill.

So $780 over five years is $3900. What if you put that against a high interest loan? What if you invested that money?

And then there is the advertising that we all succumb to that to the advertising. The annual television advertising budget in the US alone is about 60 billion dollars, so to think you are immune to it is foolish. You are paying to be advertised to.

And equally as important is the time spent watching television. Somewhere around 35 extra hours per week. And that does not factor in any other screen time!!  Hmmm, what could you do with that “extra” time?

Before we go any further I will say that I do have Netflix and I have Kodi on my computer. Here in Canada we have the CBC which streams live nationally broadcast sports(hockey!!) online for free. And my best friend and I split a DAZN subscription for our NFL games. So I too am spending money and time watching stuff. About $20 per month.

Also, here in the Great White North I am not sure about Hulu and other streaming services. Also i am not sure how effective Roku sticks, etc are in Canada. I think our National Broadcasting Police make it hard. Maybe. Someone can let us know about all of this in the comments.

So I am not saying you can’t have any programming. What I am saying is that paying for cable TV is a bit foolish. Please note that adding a lot of streaming services can add up financially. The point is to both save money and create hours of time to have a better life!

Quick thought:

I wonder if cable companies will “suspend” your account for a month or two if you asked them? I know that I can suspend my internet when I travel for an extended time. I still pay $15 a month but it’s better than my regular $90. Maybe that is a way to ease into getting rid of your cable.

If you want to explore alternatives to cable TV there are Android boxes, Apple TV devices, Fire TV sticks and Rokus to use if you want programming. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video are also options for those that are so inclined. Do you save money compared to cable TV? I have no idea. Maybe those that are doing it this way can chime in and let us know what works for them.

My brother gets a lot of box sets of TV shows from the library! They will get anything he requests I think. So there is another great option.

I almost forgot! Did you know that a lot of TV shows and news programs post to YouTube the day after?! Sometimes a few hours after broadcast.

Checking out the Cord Cutters sub on Reddit is also highly recommended. There is some fantastic discussion on that site!

What Do I Do With The Extra Time If I Get Rid of Cable TV?

Whatever the hell you want is my snarky answer.

If you are a parent then you really need to be spending more time with your children. Please read to them. I substitute teach school and it is a sad state of affairs in schools these days for a number of reasons.

Just read to them. Picture books, novels, Sports Illustrated. I don’t really care. And you could read more yourself about stuff you are interested in.

If you have a house then maybe there are some projects that need tackling. You could teach yourself how to do some stuff. With the help of YouTube videos of course!

You could write a book or paint or maybe build furniture. Plant a garden or start a blog. How about starting a business or getting a side hustle going to bring in some extra money?

What about exercising? Studies show that there is probably a correlation between TV watching and the ever expanding waistline of the average North American. So if you get rid of cable TV not only are you not tempted to buy and eat junk food, you now have extra hours to get moving. BTW, females who watch three to four hours of TV a day have almost twice the prevalence of obesity.

Spend more time together as a family playing games and eating meals together. get outside! Spending time in nature is so beneficial.

Anyway the list is almost endless with what you could do with the time you gain from getting rid of cable.

So just do it. DO it for a month and see how it goes. I bet your life will improve. I bet you won’t even look back.

Back To Frugal Living

This whole thing ties back in with embracing frugality and simple living. yes the world is a different place that it was a few decades ago. I want so badly for people to be happier and to be less stressed about money. I really believe that living a simple life and frugal living can help with this.

I really would love to hear from people who have decided to get rid of cable TV. How did you do it? Is your life better?


10 thoughts on “Should I Get Rid Of Cable TV?

  1. Oddly enough, I have never had cable TV, and consequently, never missed it. Whenever I stay in a hotel or at a friend’s, I check it out, and I realize there’s not too much I’m missing anyway.

  2. Love it! We cut the cable cord about 3 yrs ago and haven’t really missed it. A few stations, yes, but there is so much on tv and netflix, huhu, etc. I’d rather save money to travel, then pay the cable company who keeps losing channels while they fight with the networks. NOT WORTH IT. Thanks for sharing and reminding me why I don’t have cable anymore 🙂

  3. I have Netflix and I’ve heard whisperings on the web about a plan to add commercials to Netflix. If that happens I will definitely be getting rid of the app! Thanks for your post, it definitely made me want to go to the gym!

  4. The decision to get rid of cable is one of the best decisions we made. We spend so much more time together as a family. We read more. There are still things we will stream but not having cable television has been a huge benefit for us.

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