Before making this seemingly drastic decision of getting rid of cable, my husband and I talked about it for quite some time. The 500 channels that we were paying for were clearly not being utilized. We spent most of our time in the evenings watching mind-numbing programs that were just on for background noise. We enjoyed winding down with The Big Bang Theory, Family Guy [his fave] and the evening panel news discussions [mine].
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Moreover, since I work from home when I don’t travel, I’d find myself leaving the news on all day and even sometimes in the evening until we went to bed. While keeping up with world affairs is wonderful, I find that I am more informed now by reading the paper and using the news app. The temptation to watch Daily Pop or some other addictive shows was also high and a time-suck. [We did leave Netflix, Hulu and HBO so we are not totally disconnected. 🙂 We now typically watch 1-2 episodes a night but limit it to that. Current fave: The Office.]
About two weeks after we had pulled the plug, I told my husband that getting rid of cable had changed my life. I was so much more productive during my mornings and evenings, I was reading more and was generally happier. [I think the latter was also due in part to taking a social media hiatus which I talk about in this post.] He agreed and told me he also felt more productive! Although we still have our other outlets for watching television, it takes more work to get Netflix going than flipping on the tv [at least for this gal]. You are also given the choice to stop a show before binging through it on Netflix, unlike the tv that just goes on an on. Gretchen Rubin, writer and studier of happiness and habits, says that “we’re far more likely to do something if it’s convenient, and far less likely to do it if it’s inconvenient…” Below are our reasons for getting rid of cable.
REASONS FOR GETTING RID OF CABLE
1. MAXIMIZE OUR SPENDING
We knew that we were underutilizing the cable that we paid for monthly. Our combined cable/internet bill per month was high for what we actually used it for.
2. INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY
We like to catch up on work and cross items off our to-do list after we eat dinner / relax. However most nights, we ended up turning on the TV and vegging on the couch for the couple of hours before we went to bed. [Disclaimer: there’s absolutely nothing wrong with vegging on the couch. But we got into a habit of it and felt so much better when we were doing the things we wanted to do!]
3. CREATE TIME FOR OTHER VALUABLE THINGS
When we watched tv from 7 – 9:30 pm, we were using up the bulk of our post-work evening time. It was really only after we cut out cable that I realized how much more time I had in the day to do other things that I love. I had no idea how much time was being spent with me “relaxing” on the couch and watching just one more episode or one more segment of the news.
Overall, we felt that this was the right choice for us personally. Below are the benefits we received from cutting the cable cord.
BENEFITS WE PERCEIVED
1. STREAMLINING OUR FINANCES
Towards the end of 2017, I got into a financial planning kind of mood. I decided to finally make us a budget [I used this Mint template as a starting point – scroll down to the bottom to download the Excel spreadsheet.] I had been planning on getting us organized in terms of our revenues and expenditures after we got married [ahem, 2015] and finally got it done a couple of months ago! It was exciting to reduce our monthly cable/internet bill by about 75%.
2. MORE TIME FOR READING & MORNING ROUTINE
Without the temptation to turn on a show from the moment I woke up, I started to have more time for my morning routine and reading. I made a goal to read one book a month this year. You can see my little reading nook pictured above. 🙂 I gathered up all of the books around the house that I bought over the years that I hadn’t started or never finished. You can check out my ‘currently-reading’ and ‘to-read’ lists by friending me on Goodreads. [I love this site for keeping track of all of my previous reads as well as what I want to pick up in the future.]
3. CREATE TIME FOR OTHER VALUABLE THINGS
With more time in the day, I have been able to *better* keep up with my to-do lists and plan further ahead for the week / month. I generally feel like I have a better grasp on everything going on. I am sure all of that will go out the window once baby arrives [or even beforehand as we try to prepare the nursery and do all the things!] However, for now, I’m satisfied in feeling like I’ve opened up the time and space for the things I need to get done, especially with work getting busier and baby planning.
Have you considered giving up cable? Or is there anything else you gave up that you found drastically improved your day to day life? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
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