Cut the Cord
Last night, my husband and I were talking about how we've gone an entire year without cable. He asked me if I missed it, and we were both able to honestly say we don't miss it all!
We were never huge TV people. We certainly didn't come home from work and have the television on from the time we came home until the time we went to bed. I actually never had cable until I got married at the age of 25! Growing up in the sticks, we didn't have a cable provider. When I got my own place in my early 20's, I only paid for the necessities, and cable is not a necessity!
I wanted my husband to cut cable for years and switch to streaming television, but the one thing that always made him hesitate was sports. He didn't know if he could live without ESPN, but guess what....he can! He can still keep up with his beloved sports news from the internet, and most of the important sporting events are aired on local TV channels. And to be honest, now that we have kids, ESPN wouldn't be on our television all the time like it was before the twins were born anyway.
Even though I had encouraged cord cutting early on in our marriage, I admit that I had a hard time letting it go. For the first time in my life I was watching more TV than ever, as I was at a point in my life where I spent much of my day nursing babies and then having them sleep in my arms for hours at a time. Thanks to Netflix, I endured that time in my life without cable!
There was one reason we cut cable. Basically, we wanted to save money. When the twins were born, we had some financial adjustments to make, as went from a two income family to a one income family. When looking over the budget, one of the easiest ways to cut back on money was to cut cable. Cable had become a comfortable habit for us. My husband had his sports, and I had my HGTV and world news, but was that comfort really worth $1,800 a year? We didn't think so, so we decided to do something about it.
Lose the Cable, Keep the internet
Our internet and cable bill was $150 a month for a basic cable package with HD an DVR, provided through our local cable company. With the same local company we dropped the cable and kept the internet, and now we only pay $50 a month for internet. That's a savings of $100 a month! As a stay-at-home mom, that $50 a month provides me all of the media entertainment I need. It allows me to 1) keep up with my blog on my home computer, 2) keep up with social media on the iPad and 3) keep me and my babies entertained with movies and television series through streaming devises. Before we were paying $1,800 a year for cable. Now we pay $600 a year for internet and $108 a year for Netflix. We have an annual savings of $1,092 by cutting the cord on cable!
The Wonderful World of Streaming
We bought antennas for all of our televisions once we cut cable, so we could get local TV. However, if we were going to go without cable, we really did not want to only have a few local television channels as our only options for TV. That's why we invested in streaming devices for our televisions. A streaming device is a one time investment, usually around $100, in the form of a box or stick that plugs into your TV and allows you stream the internet from your TV. We initially invested in the Amazon Fire box, which we like a lot, for our bedroom television, because I pretty much lived in our bedroom the first few months after the twins were born. When we decided to get a streaming device for the living room, we went with Apple TV, just so we could compare the two. They both pretty much do the same thing, with the exception of a few different apps. Apple TV is nice if you want it to sync it up with your iPad or iPhone. Here is a really good article if you are trying to figure out which streaming device is best for you: 7 Best TV Streaming Devices.
Invest in a Streaming Service
When you make a one time investment in a streaming device, you can then make inexpensive monthly investments for streaming services. Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime are the most popular streaming services. Currently we only pay for Netflix. Our Netflix bill is only $8.99 a month. Even if we wanted the top three providers mentioned above, we still would be paying a small fraction of what our previous cable bill was. Because we have both Amazon Fire and Apple TV streaming devices, we have access to other apps from those devices and don't feel like we need any other entertainment providers for the time being. However, if Netflix isn't enough for you, the following article has some good information in it: 10 Best online TV Streaming Services. I mainly use Netflix for cartoons for the kids. While we don't get the Disney Channel or Nick Jr, we do get plenty of cartoons that keep the boys entertained during their TV time. Overall, I have been very happy about our decision over the past year, as we ventured out and cut the cord on cable!