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Cutting the cord….my life without cable

The television isn’t exactly a new idea. I mean it’s been around for almost 100 years. It started out as a social experiment in the 1920s. Here we are almost 100 years later and people are CHAINED to it!! Whatever night’s lineup you like the best you are sitting there, right in front of the ole boob tube, mind dropped into neutral and staring at a screen. You’re like zombies!!

My mother just cannot fathom how we can function without TV. I decided to cut cable TV out of my life about 2 years ago. IT WAS THE BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE!! I felt like there were actually more hours in my day. I no longer cared who Gibbs was trying to find on NCIS, although admittedly that could be because Ziva is no longer part of the cast. Teen Mom, Honey Boo boo, or whatever drivel is on numbing my mind into submission I just DON’T CARE!! It’s such an amazing feeling to know that my IQ isn’t going to drop because I spent 15 minutes of my precious time wrapped up in “reality TV”.

How is it society functioned so well without TV before the 1920s? How did we manage to herald in over 2000 years of existence before that little glowing screen weaseled its way into our lives? We were healthier, we were stronger, we were more self reliant. My grandmother could tell you where her hamburgers came from, and the answer wasn’t the local supermarket. It was from a cow named Delicious that grazed in their pasture.

While my mother cannot fathom how I can possibly function without TV, I couldn’t fathom not having a roof over my child’s head. The idea of not having a warm place to keep her safe in the cold winter months that enjoy torturing the Northeast was frightening. My rent was increasing so I had to make decisions on what to cut from our lives to make sure our BASIC NEEDS were met. TV is a want not a need. Do I NEED to know what happens every episode of Bones that ever aired? NO!!! Do I need shelter from elements? YES!!!!

I am often asked if I miss it. I can honestly say no. I do not go completely without some of my favorite shows, because let’s face it PBS is scoring major points with Downton Abbey. When assessing my luxury items I may have ditched cable but I kept my internet. My package with Comcast was costing me $185 a month. FOR WHAT? I was never home to watch it, there are no animals in my house for me to leave the TV on for, what was the point in keeping it? None. Not when there are so many more options out there for you.

You might ask why didn’t I ditch the cable/internet package entirely. Well my internet was doing the same thing the TV did for me, so why pay twice. My internet also pays for itself. I use it for coupons and surfing the web, keeping in touch with family and friends that have found themselves in different locales. I elected to keep this luxury item because it helped to keep my family with an affordable budget. Could I switch entirely and ditch it completely? Maybe eventually. But for now it is in my budget for things to be covered.

I love Downton Abbey. I love it so much so I don’t care if I am a day to a week behind everyone else. I’ll watch it on Hulu or right on the PBS website. You might ask why I elected to keep my internet when that too is a luxury. Well it seemed redundant to keep something around that something I already HAD could do the same thing. I could still watch TV, or movies with Amazon Prime or Netflix. It was all at a much cheaper rate too. At about $8 a month instead of $100, I could actually watch what I wanted to! While I am still paying something to watch the ole Boob Tube, it’s a fraction of the original cost. I can control what my daughter watches, what I watch. I’d rather spend a night watching Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, then The Bachelor because its a program more suited to my tastes of family TV. The quality of TV seemed so much better when I was a kid and I relish the opportunity to relive these shows with my own daughter.

If we only watched 8 movies a month, the services have paid for themselves. Amazon Prime has the added benefit of free shipping with items from it’s website. So if you have other items you shop for, Amazon Prime is a great tool for your arsenal. I try to get as many things to do double duty in my life as possible.

How have you trimmed the fat from your budget? Have you been able to completely cut the TV cord?

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