Chronicles Of A Father With Cents

Simple Life. Personal Finance. Family

Cable? Satellite TV? No, I’m good

cutting the cord

I entered Costco one day and immediately I pass by the TV section.  There was a representative from Direct TV over there and was asking shoppers passing by what type of cable service they have.  If you don’t regularly shop at Costco, here is some inside info: they invite outside vendors that sell their items at Costco and let them promote it.  The vendors range from food, blenders, vitamins, and in this case satellite TV.  So when I passed by the Direct TV rep. he asked me, “Sir, what type of cable service do you have?” I stopped and told him, “Antenna TV”.  And he had a look on his face that seemed to be in shock, like he never heard of it before.  He then said, “Well….Direct TV has numerous TV packages at low prices, better than our competitors.”  I ended this conversation by saying, ‘Competitors? Yo man antenna TV is free.’ Then I went about my shopping.

Don’t get it wrong, I know all about cable TV.  I basically grew up with it and all the numerous amount of channels they offer.  At one point I thought how can I live without it?  I was hooked, watching ESPN (and their five other channels), MTV(are they even showing music videos anymore?), HBO, CNN, you name it I was your average channel surfer.  Whenever I go to a friends or relatives house, they would have cable as well so it felt like some sort of requirement to have it because everyone you know has cable TV.  I thought it would be my attachment forever.

So what changed?  For starters, with the cable industry being constant with adding channels, creating more features like ‘On Demand’ and easy to record shows, all the main cable/satellite companies have huge monthly charges.  Even without having premium channels like HBO and Showtime, they still charge outrageous amounts.  They have set out the average monthly cable bill to be about $65 from what I read.

Another reason backpedaling on having cable was when me and my wife, Mrs. Mother with Cents, moved in together.  When discussing Internet and TV arrangements, she firmly said we are only getting Internet and not cable TV.  She didn’t grow up with cable and thought it was a waste to spend on something so unproductive.  I was on the fence about it because I knew both sides, having cable would be a great luxury to have and I was so used to having it at home.  On the other hand….’damn that’s pretty expensive!’  We would have spent at least $65 a month on numerous channels and most likely watching about a quarter of them.  So I tried out not having cable for basically the first time ever and it was tough at first but as I adapted I saw myself using other resources.  I read more books from the library, listened to more podcasts, and have YouTube for my entertainment viewing.  Most of the stuff I read were mainly self-help books and eventually discovered personal finance books the last couple of years.  My list of podcasts includes some sports and also personal finance podcasts.  And whatever I feel like watching something, I’ll just look it up on YouTube because they basically have almost anything I want to watch.

With all these resources I’m using, having cable TV was not a necessity for me and has not been for the last five years now.  Spending $65 a month would have resulted in spending close to $4K so far.  That’s a lot of savings and I am glad we did not put it on a cable box.

One of the things personal finance has taught me is to cut back on whatever is not necessary and cable was not a need for me anymore.

Do you have cable/satellite TV? If so, is it worth the cost for you?


  1. Tim Kim @ Tub of Cash

    July 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    Agreed, and what a “centsible” choice! I’d imagine cable going the way of the dinosaurs fairly shortly. I know of not too many people with it anymore; especially among the millennial cohort. You can watch most of what you want on Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and other streaming platforms. If you need to watch some sports or something, there’s always a loophole, or you can visit a sports-type bar with a few friends and make a night out of it!

    • Haha, centsible!! Nice choice of words. If cable is a thing of the past within the next 5-10 years the only question is how will all the streaming platforms price the consumers. Their monthly charges are pretty reasonable now but when more and more consumers start subscribing to them, will they raise their rates to where cable is now?

      • Tim Kim @ Tub of Cash

        July 14, 2017 at 1:43 pm

        I don’t think so; only because of competition though. That’ll keep the prices low. Maybe not as low as right now, but still low relatively speaking.

  2. My house had cable, it was my monthly “rent” for living in a friend’s spare bedroom. You’re right, it cost around $65 each month, with $35 added for internet. Every month it grated on me to keep paying that high fee when we basically watched 2 local channels. I convinced the family to try an antennae and then I upped our internet speed so we could stream shows from my Amazon Prime subscription also. I’m so thrilled we cut the cord. It really helped my budget and yes it changed how we watch, but not what we watch.

  3. I sometimes wonder if cable companies hate FI/frugal people in PF. They’re like “these guys are totally raining down on our scam parade with their perfect logic!” LOL!

    • LOL Lily, they don’t want the masses to know it makes too much sense to cancel your cable subscription and either stream for a lower price or just get an antenna to watch for free. They want more suckers than people with brains. 😁😄

  4. LOL, when we get stopped by the cable guys at Costco, Mr. NavigatingAdulthood always takes great pleasure in toying with them. “What can I do to make you sign up?” Mr. NA, “You can make it free because that’s how much I pay for cable right now.” [We’re strictly a Netflix and Amazon Prime family]

    • Hahaha, me and Mr. NA have the same sense of humor when we approach those cable guys at Costco.
      I heard that Amazon prime is coming out with a TV streaming service this fall. The cord cutting club may increase a lot more with youtube and now amazon joining in the streaming tv service

  5. I am planning on getting rid of cable officially in 6 months when my contract ends. All I need is the internet, Amazon prime and maybe Netflix.

    • Thanks for stopping by my blog. 😄
      Nice, you will join the cord cutting club very soon where we all save on cutting cable and find alternatives for our entertainment at lower prices. Amazon prime and Netflix are great choices.👍

  6. Antenna TV – funny!

    We haven’t had cable for a few years. We subscribe to Netflix, watch YouTube, and rent a movie from the Google Play Store a few times a year.

    I just heard that FaceBook is getting into live streaming Soccer. Other sports already do that on a Twitter, I believe. I think if these other services raise their prices they can only go so far. When comsumers are used to free or cheap, they’re not going to sign up for price-climbing. And there’s always room for a new provider to undercut them, like Sling TV.

    • Thanks for the comment Mrs. Groovy. 😁
      Yeah twitter streamed football games last year and read about facebook doing some streaming too. I hope it doesn’t come to a point that these streaming services will price out the consumers because like you said they will draw the line to how much they pay for their entertainment

  7. I’ve never paid for cable TV as an adult. (I did have a neighbor who worked for the cable company and he hooked me up with free cable for a little while.) YouTube, Netflix, and an HD Antenna (for football) are my main TV sources and I think I’m far better off than if I did have cable.

    When I did have free cable, I found myself watching tv just for the sake of watching tv, which was a monumental waste of time. But with my current viewing options, I still have plenty to watch, but find myself more selective with how I choose to spend my tv viewing time.

    Great stuff, keep it up!

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