To piggy back on my media fast, here is some information about how my family doesn’t pay for cable, survives, and thrives!
This year Tim and I will be married for four years and not once have we paid for cable. We didn’t even own a television for the first six months of our marriage. Not only did we survive, but we had a blast and saved money as well. If we had started with the smallest dish package at $20 a month we would have spent almost $1000 for cable by now. Honestly though, we would probably have gotten the $35 dollar a month package and be out over $1,600. Please don’t get me wrong, we love movies and TV shows, we are just very deliberate about how we spend our time and money. We share subscriptions to Hulu Plus and Netflix with my sister’s family and my parents. This allows us to pay 60 dollars a year for access to the shows
we actually want to watch, not be forced to watch the ones we don’t.
In addition, Amazon Prime now is offering a service very similar to Netflix which allows you to watch movies from your PC or tablets. It also gives us access to a ton of movies so we can have free movie nights at home. Waiting until a movie is available online is not a big deal to us and we save a ton of money versus going to the movies or renting movies.
It takes a bit of an adjustement to go from living a life with cable television to one without. When I went off to college I realized this right away. As I grew up with cable, if I was tired and didn’t have much on my plate I would zone out watching whatever show is on at that time, it didn’t matter if I liked it or not. But not having cable in college, I had to rent movies or seasons of shows to watch. Not having cable made me more deliberate in what I watched. If there was nothing to watch I got caught up on work, or read a book. It took away my ability to just zone out for undefined amounts of time.
Living without cable is much more than just saving money, it’s being deliberate about your down time. I hate some shows, I will admit it, “Say Yes to the Dress,” ummm no! However, when I was younger and bored I would actually spend my time watching a show I didn’t like because it was easy and I wanted to zone out. Being deliberate about your time is what designing your life is all about. Figure out what shows or movies you really enjoy and only watch those. And for heaven sakes please don’t pay $70 bucks a month for it! Hulu Plus, Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and many more channels for watching TV are now available. Now, even some major broadcasting networks have apps that allow you to watch their shows for free. Check it out and see which of these services fit for your family well. Then take the plunge with us. Watch only the shows you love and control your viewing time. I schedule time to relax, and since I have less of it, I really think hard about how I want to spend it. I like to read, but sometimes I just want to watch my favorite shows. I feel better knowing we are saving money and I am still living my life to the fullest.
If you want to follow this plan, feel free to invest in a good home entertainment system. Men love the speakers and big screens and it really adds to the experience. Can you imagine the nice television you could buy with all the money you save? In addition, Tim and I have one Apple TV and we use it to connect our tablets, smartphones, and computers wirelessly to the TV in order to stream pictures, shows, or other things. Apple TV also has Netflix accessible directly on it via an app which is nice and easy to use. For our upstairs TV I purchased Google Chromecast which is about $35( Google Chromecast HDMI Streaming Media Player.) We can stream Netflix and Amazon Prime to Chromecast from our tablets or phones, but I haven’t figured out how to connect our computers.
Both of these systems allow us to watch any of our shows or movies in those two rooms. In other rooms we can use the tablets or computers. I was traveling recently and after 9 hours working in the airport I was fried. I started catching up on my shows. It made the time fly by and I got to spend the rest of my 15 hour airport stay with my favorite shows. The rest of my family recently made the switch and ended their cable subscriptions as well. It’s something fun that we all have in common and I feel we spend more time talking and spending time together than we ever have.
Here are the links to the video services mentioned above:
http://www.hulu.com/r/oVFySA This link will take you to the sign up page and get you and I both two free weeks of Hulu Plus. This way you can try it out and see if you like it before you decide to buy. Thanks!
Join Amazon Prime – Watch Over 40,000 Movies & TV Shows Anytime – Start Free Trial Now This link is for a free trial Amazon Prime membership for 30 days. Check it out. Many items on Amazon are much cheaper than in stores and have free two day shipping available.