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Cutting out cable

Looking over my finances and paying some bills yesterday afternoon prompted me to finally take action on the cable TV expense that has been causing me angst ever since I left my job. Over the past five years our bill has gradually crept up from about $97 per month to more than $122 per month for high speed internet access with digital cable. We gave up traveling and eating out long ago, and it was the only luxury we still enjoyed. But $122 per month was a ridiculous amount to pay for something we barely used. So, yesterday I called up our provider and ditched our service.

Most of my friends have had luck getting their bill lowered by calling the company annually and threatening to cancel. First, I asked the rep to quote me a price for standard cable, but I was told that the price would remain the same even though I wouldn’t have as many channels. Next, I asked her to quote a price for basic cable and internet access, which turned out to be $60 per month, or less than half what I was paying. The rep offered to drop my bill for my current service down to $93, but that was still a hefty price tag and I knew it wouldn’t last. So, I opted for basic cable at a small extra cost on top of the internet service we already have.

I felt a little bit crazy and impulsive after hanging up the phone–although I grew up without cable TV, I’ve always had it as an adult. I also felt a little bit sad because it was a formal acknowledgment that times are tough. But after a little while I felt more liberated than sad. The extra $60 per month I’m saving can pay for a week of groceries. I will no longer flip through hundreds of channels when I’m bored. Mr. Boy watches a couple of shows on PBS in the morning, and that’s it, so he won’t miss it. Hubby enjoys watching survival shows (personally I won’t miss the bug-eating) and sports, but hopefully the internet will make up some of the difference. As for me, I will miss HGTV and The Food Network, which I liked to have on in the background while I was working. I also enjoyed watching old movies when I had a chance. I’m going to make up for my loss by signing up with Netflix.

Overall, I don’t think we are going to miss cable TV. I certainly won’t miss the monthly bill! It would be nice if the much talked about a la carte service became a reality so we could pay for only the channels we use, but until then I am happy to do without!

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