I’ve finally done it. I’ve managed to convince my 13 year old son that we don’t need cable tv.
Over the past year I’ve been trying to reduce spending in a variety of areas and one of the first to get cut was the cable bill. This time last year we had an “all the bells and whistles” type cable package which included $19.95/month to rent a digital receiver that included a pvr. My cable bill was over $150/month and that was just for television!
I rarely watch tv and will often go weeks without ever turning it on. My 18 year old daughter is the same. My son however just loves to have the tv on, at all hours, half the time he’s doing something else (on the computer for example) with the tv providing background noise.
Slowly I’ve started cutting back. First to go was the digital receiver with pvr, saving me $19.95 plus tax each month. A month or two later I cancelled the movie networks saving an additional $17.95 plus tax. Another month or two after that I reduced the digital package from all channels to a few select channels. Then a couple of months ago I reduced the package to basic analog cable. It was the move from basic cable to no cable that was going to be the tough sell.
I tried to convince him that the shows he does enjoy watching can usually be found online (and legally) through the network websites, etc. He didn’t seem convinced. Finally I figured out the right bargaining chip. In exchange for no cable at all (a total saving of $150/month plus taxes over last year) I had to upgrade our internet from standard to ultra which increased my internet bill by $20/month. The ultra high speed he argued would allow him to watch tv episodes online without waiting for downloads.
Now that we’ve cut the cable I’ve decided to eliminate the television sets as well. They tvs we have are all large, heavy and take up a lot of room. The tvs are not making the move to the apartment with us. My daughter is taking them both with her to the townhouse she’s living in for college so she and her friends can use them. Instead I’m picking up new 22 inch LCD monitors for the computers. He can hook up the xbox to the LCD when he wants to use it and it’s a huge space saver to have only LCD monitors rather than monitors plus tv. Win Win!