30 Day Challenge: Get Rid of Cable TV
- Written by Matt Giovanisci
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?
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:
- Cancel cable! Bonus points for dropping your phone after the call like a microphone. Boom!
- Set up an Apple TV, Xbox, Playstation, Roku, etc. Chances are you already have one of these.
- Sign up for Hulu or NetFlix or both!
- 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.
(photo provided by Eoin O’Mahony)