For the past 6 months, my 12 year old twins and I have survived living without cable. This was not the first time I’ve pulled the plug on having cable television. Aside from it not being a very valuable use of time, I personally think the cost is outrageous. (Note: my kids are now 14, and it has been 2 years without cable).
Having recently left a lucrative career to attend graduate school full-time, I’ve had to reduce my expenses. Although I’ve enjoyed many television programs–ranging from The Real Housewives series to almost anything on ESPN–it has been surprisingly easy to entertain myself without them. Even with two adolescents in the house, it is possible to kick the cable habit.
Here are my 3 tips for cutting the cable cord:
- 1. Start a workout program or take up a new hobby. Replace the time you would normally spend watching television (which is approximately 15 hours per week for the average American) with a new activity. I am a competitive triathlete, so I use this extra time to fit training sessions into my schedule. In addition, I can watch all the TV I want while running on the treadmill or riding the stationary bike. If exercise is not the answer for you, then start a project that you’ve been putting off, or take a class in something you’ve always been interested in.
- 2. Visit your local library. Wow! What a concept! Become reacquainted with books. Reading is good for you. Make it a family activity and have your children pick out their own books. This has been an invaluable experience for my kids, who have both discovered various series that they wouldn’t have found otherwise. Don’t forget that public libraries also offer free wi-fi, dvd’s, magazine subscriptions and other media. Take advantage of this bountiful resource.
- 3. Rely on the Internet. The number of Americans who are choosing to live without cable is on the rise. The day I cancelled my service I went to Radio Shack and bought a $40 antenna. Did you know that you can still watch local channels without having digital cable? If you have an HD television, the picture will often be better than it was with cable! It’s also possible to download just about any television show, mini-series or movie via Netflix or Itunes.
Between watching TV at the gym, frequenting my local library, and using the internet andsocial media via my iPhone, I’ve been able to keep up with current events and news. By thinking outside the box and using your new free time wisely, you can soon be cable-free and won’t miss a thing!
Anything is possible…
Staff Writer: Holly Lowe Jones