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It doesn’t seem that long ago when I discussed that we were dropping our cable tv service. The constant rising costs of cable television had finally crossed a threshold that made it no longer worth the expense.
So once we dropped our cable service, we decided to stream all of our programming as an alternative. Netflix, Hulu, and Sling TV have provided our television shows for the past 5 months.
Along with these 3 streaming services, we kept our high speed internet service (required for streaming), along with our basic phone line.
Based on last month’s expenses, here is a breakdown of our total monthly costs for our cable alternative –
- High Speed Internet (and Phone) – $92.64
- Netflix – $12.80
- Hulu – $7.99
- Sling TV – $21.39
Total Costs – $134.82
Note – I first estimated 5 months ago our monthly expenses for cable alternatives would be – $134.97. I was only 15 cents off!
Compared to our previous cable expenses (which only included cable, high speed internet, and phone), we are now saving over $70+ each month.
Real Monthly Savings ($205 – $134.82) = $70.18
If you plan to drop your cable for cheaper streaming services – make sure you account for high speed internet costs. For example, we are paying over $90 per month for a high speed internet and phone bundle. I strongly advise you to price out internet services before making a switch.
Of course … you could completely drop any kind of programming (and internet) and save a lot more.
What We Have Learned in 5 Months Without Cable
Believe it or not … we have survived without cable for the past 5 months. Hard to believe I know, but we managed just fine!
Here are 5 things that we have learned in the past 5 months about living without cable –
#1 – Netflix and Hulu is All We Need
We realized rather quickly that all we need to watch most of our shows is Netflix and Hulu. Combined, we can watch almost all of our favorite shows.
Really the only problem with using just Netflix and Hulu are missing out on sports. This was one of my biggest concerns about dropping our cable, so we added the Sling service to get ESPN, ESPN2, etc.
Dropping cable is a legitimate concern for a lot of sports fans I am sure. Sling offers some options, but it won’t offer everything.
Despite not having a lot of sports programming available, my wife and I have realized that all we really need is Netflix and Hulu – which cost us a combined $20.79 per month + high speed internet.
#2 – We Don’t Need Sling
For all you avid sports fans that can’t live without your football, baseball, basketball, etc. – move on to #3. For everyone else – please keep reading.
After signing up for 3 months of Sling service back in the spring, we have now realized we NEVER use it. I think I may have watched one NBA basketball game and 2 college football games on it in the past 5 months.
Our initial 3 month package came with a free Roku 2 unit, which we are using on one of our television sets.
Now that this 3 month period is over – we can cancel our service.
So is Sling worth the $21.39 a month? Not for us it isn’t. I will keep the service on probably through December to watch some college football, but after that it is going bye bye.
If you can’t live without your ESPN, then you will need Sling or another alternative. We have just realized that the $20+ a month is just not worth the service for us.
#3 – More Free Time
Don’t get me wrong … our family still enjoys watching television. We haven’t given it up completely.
However, we have realized that we don’t watch as much as we used to … and don’t miss it. And because we are not watching as much television – we have a lot more free time.
Now, we also have 3 kids that are in a ton of different activities – which keeps us on the run during the school year. So the amount of hours available each day to watch television is not that big to begin with.
But even back in the summer (when we were not as busy), we didn’t watch as much television. Instead, we had more free time to spend outdoors, working out, cooking, or a bunch of other fun activities.
#4 – We Cook a Lot More
Okay … so this may sound a little strange, but my wife and I spend a lot more time cooking now that we don’t have cable. Part of this reason is because we are getting serious about our health and cooking a lot more fresh and whole recipes from scratch.
A lot of the extra time we spent watching television is now sucked up with cooking, prepping meals, planning our weekly meals, washing dishes, etc.
We just have a bunch more time to focus on something that will improve our health.
Note – We are participating in the Whole30 program to improve our health. This program is not a diet but rather a lifestyle. Dropping our cable and watching less television just seems to fit in with this lifestyle change. So in a way I find them very related.
#5 – Extra Savings
Yes … big shocker here but we are saving a good chunk of money each month. Over the course of a year, we will have saved over $840 by dropping our cable. Once we drop our Sling service, those annual savings will reach almost $1,100!
Guess where all that extra savings is going? It is going to buy healthier, organic meats and produce that follow our new healthy lifestyle. Healthier non-processed foods just cost more money than food-like items that come in a package. It is sad but true.
Well, it is good to know that we can easily offset our higher grocery bills with the money we are now saving by dropping our cable!
We have learned a lot in the past 5 months after dropping our cable.
First, Netflix and Hulu combined provide all the programming options our family needs. This comes with a nice added monthly savings of over $70+!
In addition, a lot of the programming we used to have is not important anymore. For example, we plan to cut our Sling subscription in a couple of months because it isn’t important to use anymore.
Not only has dropping our cable saved us a bunch of money, we have a lot more time on our hands now. This allows us to spend more time living a healthier life. Cooking, spending time outdoors, and working out are all healthier activities we now use this extra time for.
Finally, the extra savings allows us to spend extra on healthy foods that fit our new lifestyle.
Have you dropped your cable? Has it been a success or did you miss it so bad you turned it back on?
2 Replies to “5 Reasons Why Cable is Still Not Worth the Money”
We cut cable in October 2009 and haven’t looked back. There’s enough free TV available through a regular antenna which for me also includes sporting events. As you already know, anything you really want to watch can be found online. Thanks for sharing your experience.
Very nice! We actually are debating about getting an antenna. Probably will so we can start watching some local channels – especially CBS programs and sports.