Cable TV is both a blessing and a curse for many people. Saving money is a big reason why many cut the cord, which in turn also frees up additional spare time for the viewer. Yet giving up the myriad entertainment options is something not all are willing to do, regardless of cost. Here are some ways to survive without cable TV, yet still maintain some cost-effective programming options.
Living without cable may not be as cheap as you think
Sure, it’s nice to save money by cutting the cord on cable TV. That extra $50 per month can go a long way. Yet as you’ll see, even if you go with all the alternatives as entertainment options, you’re still paying nearly the same amount. On a per month basis:
- Netflix streaming: $8
- Hulu Plus: $8
- TV series on DVD: $20 approx
- Redbox: $6 (five movies per month, $1.20 each)
- Roku: $100 one-time, free monthly aside from premium subscription services
- Antenna for local channels: $25 one-time
- HDMI cable and adapter: $50 one-time
Add it all up and you aren’t spending that much less. Not factoring in the cost for a cable Internet connection, add about $175 for equipment. Then look at the monthly rate of around $42 and you’ll see that it will take almost two years for the change to really pay off.
What do you get by actually cutting the cord?
If it isn’t about the monthly savings, then what is the real benefit of getting rid of cable TV? The truth is that there are numerous benefits. Remember, there are hundreds of channels, but most of the time, there’s nothing on. Considering that nobody likes everything on TV, why not focus on the things you like?
Avoiding channel surfing is a definite benefit to cutting the cord. Less mindless grazing and wasting time amounts to more time for the important stuff in your life. Besides, the grazing makes the whole concept of television seem pointless. If your brain isn’t ready to pop the clutch on that paradigm, go with the alternatives before you go cold turkey. Or keep cable TV for pro sports if you’re an addict. I know I am.
Time away from a la carte
How does the idea of actually paying for what you want sound? A la carte cable TV isn’t what I’m talking about, as that will never exist. It simply isn’t profitable enough for cable providers. Netflix really does have a wide variety of viewing options, as does Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime and even various YouTube channels that actually produce quality programming. They’re worth your time and, if you have money to back them, your support.
Then again, there’s all the free time you can enjoy, not being tied to cable TV. Don’t even turn the TV on. Play board games, write, exercise, read books, create art, have sex, practice your standup act, play a music instrument, bake, play games with your children, or do anything else. Without television sucking you in, you’ll be amazed at all the extra time you have on your hands. There’s no specific cash value to all of this, but I think it’s safe to safe that it all falls into the “priceless” category.