When my husband and I were doing our first monthly budget we listed our cable bill under ”fixed expenses”. I mean people don’t actually have a television and no cable? Or so I thought. I had never entertained the idea of actually getting rid of cable, we needed it. It has been many years since our first budget and I’ve come to realize how unnecessary cable is.
With children it can be even harder for them to understand you no longer have access to a billion channels at the push of a button but there are many more economical options out there for families.
Our cable alone is over $100 per month. I can’t say I get $100 per month worth of entertainment from the TV. I’m so busy with my work, family and freelance work that other than a special event (think Olympics) I don’t watch TV and when I do 99.9% of the time it’s something that was pre-recorded. My husband loves his live sports and our daughter does have a show that she enjoys watching as well. At $100 per month though we needed to look into other options because $1,200 per year is a lot of money!
There are a lot of shows that you can watch directly from the stations websites. Sometimes they’re live streaming but somethings you may need to wait a day or two to wait for the show to be up loaded. Either way you’ll be able to get some of the shows you want, contained within your internet bill.
Netflix (and alike)
For $7.99 per month you get access to thousands of shows and movies of all genres. Netflix is the only one I can speak for but I enjoy it a lot. I like the no commercial aspect and that I can pick a series of appropriate shows for my daughter and not have to worry about leaving the room (there are a lot of inappropriate shows even on children’s networks). Netflix has really upped their game in the last few years and I love it.
This was a bit harder to get but not impossible. My husband live-streams his hockey games through either his computer or directly on TV via a gaming console through a package he bought online (such as NHL’s Gamecenter Live). At a price equivalent to what some people pay per month in cable fees, you can get an entire season accessible to you, at your convenience, commercial free.
Free Local Channels
Around here, if you don’t pay for cable, but still have a cable cord plugged into your television you will get access to three local channels. It isn’t a lot but all we would need for local news (though we rely almost entirely on Twitter) and a few popular shows.
Growing up we only had basic cable. I can honestly say that because we weren’t tempted by the millions of channels currently available to kids, I was much more apt to go outside and play. I am of the opinion that screen time should be seriously limited anyway so cutting cable shouldn’t even be noticed much by kids I especially like that without cable they won’t be exposed to as much advertising which can be detrimental in its own way!
Do you have cable? Do you have any alternatives?