Years ago, we quit cable. At the time, we had an expensive cable plan through our local provider and a DVR system that recorded all the television programs that we missed when we were not at home. We found ourselves scheduling our precious time together to watch the shows we had recorded, and because they were recorded, we felt like we had to make time to watch them.
We also knew that a different house was in the horizon for us, but we were not sure we would gain money from the sale of our home so we were looking to save every dollar that we could. Cable television was cut from our budget, and we began to navigate how we would live without television. We did enjoy the use of our television, we just did not want it to be our focus. We have now gone six years without traditional cable television, although it has been re-discussed every year prior to football season.
How did we do it? We discovered we could get all the major networks through our antenna. For about a onetime cost off a $40 antenna, we had some television and some football games throughout the year.
At the time we cut out cable, streaming television shows through Netflix and Hulu had just become popular and accessible. We had used Netflix for years to use their DVD program through the mail so we opted to try their streaming option once it launched. We also tried Hulu. We personally cut out Hulu, because it was too much like having cable television with all the shows available right away for viewing.
For about three years we used Sling television which was $20 a month (recently increased to $25 a month). It gave us 20 channels that included TBS, TNT, Disney, HGTV, AMC and some ESPN networks. It added just the right amount of channels to our network channels that we received through the antenna. Until recently we did not have a DVR system which broke our habit of watching a lot of television. If we missed a show or two, we often found we lost interest in the show and moved onto other things.
We have recently dropped Sling streaming and have signed up with YouTube television. It is $40 a month. The main negative to YouTube television is it does not have the HGTV channel, but my husband convinced me to give it a try since it offered more networks for football game viewing. In addition, it had a free DVR built in, and it allows us to stream our networks such as ABC, NBC and CBS that we had been getting through an antenna. Using our antenna for the major networks had become unreliable in the last few months in our area for unknown reasons.
Thinking about quitting cable? It is not as scary as you think, because there are numerous ways to continue to watch television. In the end, it is possible you will find something else to do other than watching television.
Writer Bio: Summer Bolte
I spend most of my time and days with my three kids, husband and dog. My kids frequently play near me as I garden, cook, DIY and volunteer. My most unusual paying job has to be feeding fruit flies in a research lab, and my most fulfilling job was being an oncology nurse for seven years.