Earlier today I decided that I had had enough of the added expense of paying for cable television. This was far from a frugality choice or a consequence of the downturn in the economy. I really do not use it on an everyday basis, and there are even some evenings during which the television remains off the entire time. I simply reached the point where I got tired of having hundreds of channels of nothing (in my opinion). And, to make matters worse, my cable company only serves 2 cities with limited features, and doesn’t carry either the Major League Baseball Extra Innings or the National Hockey League’s Center Ice packages so for my purposes all of the extras are fairly useless. I still get all of the basic channels since my homeowners association fees include basic cable, but will be taking the approximately $50 monthly savings and putting it toward other things like my IRA, taxable investing or savings accounts, or put it towards some other use which I will actually take advantage of and gain benefit from.
I’ve heard it from plenty of sources that I will regret the decision, that I will get bored without it after a while. To be honest I really have no interest in any of the reality shows that populate a majority of prime-time programming, and many of the regular series I have never even seen so I won’t be missing much there. The only thing I will be lacking is the ability to watch sporting events in HD, but then again, the local sports stations didn’t broadcast every Panther or Heat game in HD to begin with, and I can always watch on the standard versions or even online. Additionally, once the digital conversion takes place, I will receive an automatic upgrade in quality over the basic package that I normally get at no additional charge (or at least I hope not!)
The way I see it, not only will I be saving the money directly from the cutback in programming, but I will also be saving indirectly on my electric bill by not having the cable box drawing power constantly and from the television and receiver being off more often. I’m certainly not naïve enough to think that my electric will magically be cut in half or anything that drastic, but there will be a noticeable difference is consumption and over time the savings will add up nicely. Basically, this was more of a decision based not so much on money, but more on factors such as using my time more productively and the lack of interest in the current state of television programming.