Cutting Cable Has Unexpected Benefits

Posted on Dec 2, 2012 by 4 Comments
Cutting Cable Has Unexpected Benefits

In August, after a careful look at our budget, my husband and I decided to get rid of cable.

At the time, I thought that this was going to be a huge problem as far as my son was concerned. I was expecting a never-ending cry of “I’m bored” to begin the moment the cable company switched off our service.

Although he did complain for the first few days, I’m happy to report that my son adjusted quite well.

Now, he mostly reads, plays with his Legos, or plays video games. I’m not thrilled about the video games, but I am thankful his overall screen time has decreased now that cable isn’t an option.

Turning off cable also served as an eye opening look at the power of advertisements. My son has stopped whining for new toys, because he no longer has access to commercials to convince him that he needs some new plastic hunk of crap.

In fact, he is telling everyone he can’t think of ANYTHING he wants for Christmas!

I’ve never been a huge television watcher anyway, so living without cable hasn’t been a big deal for me. I read a bit more now and have found extra time to work on various “crafty” projects around the house.

Of the three of us, my husband actually had the hardest time adjusting to the lack of cable. However, even he has figured out new ways to keep himself busy.

Since we’re not anti-TV, we still have a Netflix instant streaming subscription. This is enough to keep us from feeling completely deprived, without giving us the temptation to waste hours sitting in front of the TV.

And, even taking into account the cost of Netflix, we’re still saving $50 per month.

Have you dropped cable from your home? If so, how did your family handle the change?

Photo credit: espensorvik

Posted in: Parenting
Dana Hinders

Dana Hinders lives in Iowa with her husband and son. She has been a freelance writer since shortly after earning her degree in journalism from The University of Iowa in 2003. She writes extensively about parenting, crafts, and creative ways to save money. Visit her at

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  • montgomeryguy

    I dropped cable two years ago after my provider moved yet another favorite to a higher tier. A small investment in a digital converter box and an antenna that is about the size of a magazine allows me access to 23 over the air channels in my home town – with one more to be added in January. Between those and watching programming online, I have plenty of viewing options and no additional expense.

  • slmcclintock

    We had a similar experience as you … the hubs had the hardest time adjusting. Our teenager watches most of what she likes via the Internet anyway, and our toddler is really only enthralled by Dora the Explorer and Ni Hao Kai Lan … available via iTunes and Nextflix Instant Streaming.

    I will admit that we also subscribe to Hulu Plus for an additional $8/month, but still, our total bill is $80/month (for Internet and those two subscriptions) vs. the nearly $200/month it was going to cost us when our “special package” with the cable company expired.

    And we’ve gotten more done around the house since we “cut the cord”! It’s been a total win-win as far as I’m concerned.

  • Tatum Hawthorne

    Yes we totally dropped cable when I went back to school this year. Now we use Netflix and Hulu Plus which is a deal compared to what we used to pay for cable.I will never go back!

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