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Make meaningful improvements to your finances every week.

Now's your chance.

Make meaningful improvements to your finances every week.

30 Day Challenge: Get Rid of Cable TV

get-rid-of-cable

You know what sucks? Cable TV.

First of all, it’s expensive as hell. It’s full of mostly dumb-crap (see Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, etc.) that will seriously melt your brain, if it hasn’t already. It’s mindless entertainment, 24-hour news cycles, and cringe-worthy F-list celebrities fighting and shitting on stairs (see Flavor of Love).

In 2011, I received my ridiculous Comcast cable bill.  I ripped it to shreds after getting off the phone with customer service, screaming at them to lower my bill. They refused. That’s when I said out loud, “Fuck Cable!.”

I decided to get rid of cable 30 days to see if I could handle it. I cancelled every package and upgrade (including DVR) and just went with cable internet — come on, I’m not that crazy to get rid of all of it.

That alone would save me over $100 a month. Now what?

Get Rid of Cable TV

Life Without Cable TV

I went out and bought an Apple TV ($99) so that I could watch Netflix and Hulu on my big flat screen TV. That was the biggest upfront cost to my challenge. Of course, my goal was to make this last for more than 30 days, so it was worth it.

Apple TV, Netfilx and Hulu saved my life. I had more than enough programming to keep me entertained when I wasn’t working. It was like having OnDemand, except it only cost me a total of $16 a month ($8 for Hulu and $8 for Netflix).

Here’s how I figured it: Netflix was for movies and documentaries, and Hulu was for keeping up with live TV, since they had NBC, FOX and other shows that were available the day after they aired. Boom!

So, at this point I was saving roughly $80 a month, with plenty of entertainment.

What About Sports??

I have to note that I’m not a sports fan. Don’t give a shit about any of it. I consider it mindless too, but I respect the fact that others would not be able to live without it. Here are a few of my suggestions:

  • Go to a bar and watch the game. Socialize with other human beings instead of drinking beer on the couch alone with a bag of Doritos and cheap ass piss water (aka Bud Light).
  • Go to your friend’s house who still pays for cable TV. Eat their Doritos and drink their piss water. Although, don’t be a dick all the time, bring a six pack of craft beer once in a while.
  • Go to your parents (if possible). They love you, hopefully, and will let you come over anytime to watch the game and spend quality time with them.

Make sure you budget yourself with these suggestions. If you’re spending more going out than you would on cable, then it wouldn’t make that much sense. However, I would argue that paying to hang out with friends and family, having a good time, is worth way more than giving it to the fucking cable companies.

What To Do With The Fat Stacks You’ll be Saving

As I mentioned, you’ll be saving $80 (or more depending on your current service), so don’t just spend it on pogs and fax paper. Invest or save that shit! If you’re in credit card debt, use that money to pay down your highest interest credit card.

If you wanna save it, open up a high-interest online savings account and stash that shit away, and don’t be tempted to take it out. Having an online savings account will help because it usually takes about 3 days for you to get you money out anyway.

If you wanna invest it, open up a Betterment account and let your hard earned dollars make you more dollars. Rich people don’t work, they get their money to work for them. I bet even Honey Boo Boo has an investment account.

Get Rid of Cable – Your Turn, Hoss!

I told you my story, now it’s time for you to tell me yours. I want to present this 30 Day Challenge of getting rid of cable to you. I want you to do it. I don’t want you to complain. I want you to share your experience with me in the comments, or on  Facebook or Twitter. You can totally do this, and you’re gonna save so much goddamn money it won’t even be funny (I’m a poet and I didn’t even know I was one).

Here it is, step by step:

  1. Cancel cable! Bonus points for dropping your phone after the call like a microphone. Boom!
  2. Set up an Apple TV, Xbox, Playstation, Roku, etc. Chances are you already have one of these.
  3. Sign up for Hulu or NetFlix or both!
  4. Watch a fucking documentary on Netflix and learn something! Breaking Bad is cool too.

What I’m about to say is illegal, and in no way am I telling you that you should take this action. However, fuck the cable companies at the moment for not letting us pick and choose the content we want to watch and pay for…

This is a little trick I learned. Ask a friend with an HBO subscription to let you have their account info. Download HBO GO on your phone, send that shit to you Apple TV. Boom, total HBO whenever you want.

You didn’t hear this from me. Shhhh!!!

Ok, I’m done my little rant and I told you exactly what you need to do. The next step is on you. I promise you will thank me. In fact, I want you to thank me publicly by leaving a comment or our social media sites. I’m quick to respond and any insight would be very helpful to others out there looking to save money, get out of debt, or invest that shit! You would be doing your fellow readers a service.

Peach out!

(photo provided by Eoin O’Mahony)

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  • Keenyn Bijou

    I got rid of cable about a year ago and it was the best decision I’ve ever made! I’m the same as you and got Apple TV. I don’t think I’ll ever get cable again!

    • Matt Giovanisci

      Awesome! Yea, Apple TV is the shit! And living without cable was way easier than I thought. A lot of friends laughed at me for it, but I’m stashing away the savings. Who’s laughing now?

      • Bob Comp

        ah fungoul….everybody in the hood jess hooks up to you…for free!!

  • I got rid of cable over a year ago and have never looked back. Now, the cable company is trying to just increase my internet bill. I have to continue to call each year and get the price back down.

    • Matt Giovanisci

      Yea what’s with that?? They are doing the same thing to me. I WAS paying only $40 a month for internet, then I got bumped up to $65. I hate calling every few months and complaining. Comcast sucks!

      • I have Time Warner and they are no better. The problem is that they know that most areas don’t have other options. I don’t have anything but TWC and then DSL. I can’t go down to 3mbps and still run an online business. These companies know that and will just hike and move on.

        • Matt Giovanisci

          Same here. I have only comcast and verizon. Verizon is more expensive, and there are no cheaper options. I run my entire life off the internet, so I have to pay for it. But it’s something I truly value, so I guess I don’t mind. Cable TV on top of that, even with the smallest package ever, would be an extra $100 a month. Fuck that!

          • Bob Comp

            consider………..plastic surgery?

  • Daniel

    There are a few issues for me: not all the shows I want to watch are on hulu and netflix. There are ways around that, but it’s kind of annoying. A bigger issue is that Bravo is not available anywhere but cable, so there’s no way for my wife to get her fix. And without Bravo, what’s the point of life?

    • Matt Giovanisci

      This is true. However, watching less TV I feel is a good thing. Plus, it forces you to try new things. For instance, i started watching documentaries on Netflix and opened up my world view, which was enlightening. I don’t watch Bravo, nor would I ever do such a thing, nor do I have a wife or a woman in my life, so I can’t commiserate. But perhaps you can use this angle: it will allow more time for you and your wife to truly enjoy each other without the distracting glow of annoying rich housewives bitch slapping each other. Chicks love that shit!

      • Bob Comp

        a carp down your pants……THATS A “FEEL GOOD” THING!

      • Bob Comp

        NO WIFE? NO WOMAN?? DAMMMMMMM BOY……..ARE YOU GAY?

  • Gretchen Behnke

    Matt, thanks for tweeting this again today! I think about doing this every time I get that $150+ cable bill ($50ish of which is for my shitty internet connection). Your double-secret HBO tip may have been the last nail in AT&T’s coffin.

  • Bob Comp

    hot dam, shit fire and scratch my balls leroy! sure do hope i can get them good porno movies ann the lezbo stuff too! whut bout pitchurs uv yo momma? i’ll sennd u sum iffen u wanz dem!

  • notsofastnow

    I cut the cable several months ago and am saving $90 a month. But I take exception to one thing you say — while Hulu does offer more TV shows than Netflix, it also has over 900 titles from the Criterion collection of great film. I avoid most TV shows, and watch the Criterion movies almost exclusively. Also not mentioned: streaming with Kodi, an open source platform that opens up the Internet to you. I have a box just for this, and a Roku for everything else.

    • True, I’ve seen advertisements for the Criterion collection but I haven’t actually watched any yet – I’ll check them out.

      I can tell you’re a fellow nerd because you mentioned Kodi ;)

      Btw, grats on the $90+ month extra in your pocket!

      • notsofastnow

        Streaming nerds of the world, unite!

        The $90 a month saved easily covers my electric bill, even during a colder than usual November.