Why I Don’t Have Cable

Many of the readers on these platforms are very frugal or are looking for ways to be frugal.  I know I push myself to limit monthly expenditures I have that take away from life, interaction (to some degree) and also my pocket.  I read an article from the NY times last year that said something around 90% of Americans are paying a form of cable television – 90%!!!! That’s a pretty alarming amount of people that are paying on a monthly basis to large corporations such as, but not limited to: AT&T (T), Comcast (CMCSA), WOW!, etc.. I know my fellow Diplomat – Bert – probably has shrills going through his body about this article because I know he enjoys having cable, more so for the fact to watch Sports, well, there are other means BERT.

Cut the cable, save money

Why Don’t I have Cable?

That’s the big question of this article and I will lay it all out in 5 reasons:

  • The cost essentially is high and can range from $50-$100/month for basic + sports channels.  If it’s $50/month, that’s $600/year or $3,000 in 5 years.  Now, if you invest that $50/month, every month, for 5 years with a conservative 8% return, that $3K will balloon to $8,207 in market value.  In addition, if you are receiving a 3.5% dividend, that will provide you another $287 in dividend income per year.  Lastly, if you pay $100/month, the total becomes $16,415.  Adding a 3.5% dividend yield would provide you $575/year in dividend income!  That one reason is enough for me to “cut the cord” or in my term – never get the cord?  Oh and to pay for $50/month at 3.5%, you need $17,143 to pay for this.  No thanks.
  • Time.  I know individuals, including myself when I’m around a TV, that can spend entire days/weekends watching a TV show, game after game, DVR recording after DVR recording.  Only after all of this – it’s Monday morning and they are back to work, recording their shows and waiting for the late nights or weekends to watch these shows.  Sounds a little crazy, right?  (Sorry if this is what you go through occasionally!)  I think there are much better things to take advantage of – such as this weekend – I spent the weekend at a beach.  In Cleveland.  Re-read that – I was hanging out at beach in Cleveland.  This is a good example of getting up, hanging out with new people, close friends and experiencing/exploring what life has to offer!
  • Frustrations.  How often do you go without a “hiccup” with your cable provider?  Ever get the screen that begins scrambled?  A screen that begins to stutter?  Or how about this one – when it doesn’t work at all?  After thinking of those questions – how often do you enjoy making those calls?  Exactly.  Enough said.  I don’t need any more grey hairs than I do now when dealing with the cable company in rough-service-period times.
  • Price increases.  Even if you feel “comfortable” paying for $X/month and not being glued to it – how often does your price increase?  Every year?  Semi-annually?  Quarterly?  Definitely a time consuming period to call, argue or potential deal with switching the provider.
  • Activate your mind. The TV can literally “Fry” your brain for lack of better words.  You become knowledgeable about false fiction characters and the drama/stories they go through.  Ultimately, you may retain less and less of actual productive knowledge to society.  When paired up with #2 above, the time that could have been spent reading, learning and gaining a knew form of knowledge/expertise, such as investing!

Now, I do enjoy watching a show here and there, and of course I love my sports – I just choose “how” and “when” and even “where” I do these things.  For sports, for instance, I will gather a group of friends and go to a close buddy’s house to watch the big games, or go to the nearest sports bar that would have an upbeat atmosphere.  To me – the cost for one person to pay for this does not benefit me or the value I receive is not worth the cost, said a different way.  Now if I were to somehow have a cable bill of $15-$30 – maybe I would re-evaluate that to see what type of value I’d receive, and the ability to share that with guests, etc..

How about the readers?  Cutting the cable bill?  What’s another form of a bill you can remove from your life?  Thanks for stopping by!  Bert, I know you’re probably pissed, bring on the comments as well, I’m curious to hear it.


12 thoughts on “Why I Don’t Have Cable

  1. Cable is a big expense but I use it alot. my tv is usually on throught the day, cartoons for the kids, watch the news once a day, market wrap up on bnn and then the the kids are down my wife and I like to kick back and watch our favorite shows. Its a luxury I afford myself as I rather cut costs in other areas. But I will be cutting down my cable bill by cancelling HBO which will save me $20 a month. I will just torrent the few shows I miss!

    • Asset Grinder,

      Thanks for stopping by! I definitely can see the benefit from your standpoint on having the kids there to watch and entertain, as well as watch shows with the loved one. I think where I’m at in my life, I’m great without it, but given if other things were different – girlfriend, children, etc.. I am sure I’d find a good provider and package for us all. Saving $20 a month is huge when you look at it on a percentage term and on an annual savings amount. Nice work is all I have to say. Thanks for stopping by as always AG!


  2. At 21 years old I’m starting to see the relationship between sacrifices and success. I can see people in my peer group who are willing to do what it takes by working hard and thinking about the future. I can also see some of my friends who believe the only purpose of a job is to supply them with beer money. While I understand that for some the benefits of cable may outweigh the costs, I don’t plan on having a cable plan until I can afford luxuries. Actually… even then being a diehard sports fan I can probably just split NBA League Pass with a friend and pay much less per month than cable.

    Good luck on your DGI journey,

    • Joe,

      Exactly. Splitting up costs and sharing resources is a great way to receive a benefit for a fraction of the cost. Focus on your money into investments earlier on and you’ll reap the benefits in a few years, while your friends are still scraping by to buy that 24 pack of natty. Keep at it and thanks for stopping!


  3. No cable or satellite TV here. HD signal OTA plus Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime (the free 2-day shipping is a huge bonus), and Spotify (I think it is cheaper than buying songs from iTunes or Amazon) on the Roku. Not to mention YouTube is adding a lot of free content. Still cheaper than cable. Missing a few shows but I live fine without them. At one time I had DirecTV with a ton of channels and DVR. My DVR had more shows recorded on them than I could possibly watch in my free time. I realized I was paying for a lot of excess that I didn’t need. I’ve been a cord-cutter for a couple of years now.

    Great post!

    • Deardiv,

      Nice work! You could build a pretty big package with the streaming services that you mentioned all for a very low price and I agree with the time and amount the cable companies give you. I can’t even count how many times my family would spend an hour just sifting through channels, too many choices! Nice work cutting the cord, I’m starting to wonder how much netflix will keep increasing going forward. I’ll start being uneasy if it triples in price. We will see. Thanks for stopping by and being frugal!


  4. I am also a HD signal OTA plus Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime.

    Like you, I was unwilling to give up the channel surfing and watching live TV. During the summers I watched TV less so I usually canceled cable during the summer months and put it back again during the fall. Last year I decided not to get cable. I added Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime.

    What I noticed is that my behavior changed because cable was no longer an option. I no longer watch as much TV which is a huge plus as I am much more productive. I exercise more, work more, sleep more and live more.

    When I NEED to watch live TV for weather or news, I use the over the air antenna. It’s free. My TV picks it up, no extra antenna needed.

    The rest I use with Hulu, Amazon and Netflix. My sister deposits $20 every few months into my account because she uses my accounts for this. So, my costs are much less.

    So for cord cutting to work you need to modify your behavior accordingly. After a few months you will see that you don’t even miss it anymore.

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