“I would have saved over $1000 since Levi was born!” My friend exclaimed as my husband programmed her TV to the very-adequate free channels available with a $26 antenna in her small mountain town. “I only signed up for cable to entertain the kids while I was resting after having a newborn. If I had known that PBS has a channel of only cartoons, I would have been all set.”
While we all like to avoid excess TV for our kids, we can admit that some times call for an all-week TV binge.
Have you always had cable and keep paying that bill as it creeps up and up with each year; just because you don’t want to bother figuring out how to get your favorite shows or don’t know what the kids would do without Disney Jr.?
Or have you never had cable, but you just purchased a first home and now are the proud owner of a real TV?
Don’t you need a cable package?
No, subscribing to 57+ channels (with nothing on) is absolutely not necessary for establishing your adult identity. The bachelor lifestyle is characterized by a laptop propped on a bed or chair, so some of us feel like we’re totally a grown up when the cable guy comes in to install cable to our brand new wall-mounted flat screen TV in our first permanent place of residence.
If you already have a big TV up, or you legitimately enjoy vegging on the couch most evenings, you can still give up your cable! Don’t feel like you have to make your house a complete media-free zone just to ditch your cable bill.
With the streaming services available it has never been easier to ditch your high priced cable bill while still enjoying your favorite shows. Chromecast streams from Youtube and Netflix, and the Amazon stick streams from Amazon Prime (which many of you subscribe to anyway).
If you’re just looking to entertain the kids for a time while you have a newborn, or the stomach flu is sweeping through the house, PBS has an all-cartoon channel in most areas, for free (or for the cost of a cheap antenna with no monthly commitment).
TV: A time and a place
There are some times when you’ll happily forgo all television, and even most media. But that is not every season. When you have a new baby, are recovering from a long illness, or just need a break from stress and to zone-out on shallow television series, you can still do so without going all-in with a cable package.
5 reasons giving up cable will be good for your home
- Avoiding advertisement-induced unhappiness. Hulu still has commercials, but when you binge watch a TV show from Netflix you are avoiding commercials, and the ‘wants’ that they produce. Ditching the cable or satellite package will greatly reduce the amount of advertising broadcast right inside your home. Think advertising doesn’t affect you? Think again! Go advertisement-free for 30 days as much as you can and see how much more content you are with your life. Advertising purposely plants little seeds of discontentment in your mind, and even if you aren’t about to fall into the trap of making 3 easy payments of $39.99 for the Miracle Potion that promises to clean your house top-to-bottom for you, those little seeds of discontentment have still been planted in your brain.
- Money is freed up for the things that will bring you closer to family and friends. Been wanting to take a vacation but can’t quite save up the money? Want to upgrade furniture, start a capsule wardrobe or eat better food? Giving up that $55-100/month payment might just be the solution to that extra money needed for things that make your home more peaceful, your body healthier, and allow you freedom for more expensive experiences.
- You’ll practice intentional watching. Rather than spending time each night scrolling through the shows that are currently on by hitting the Guide button on the remote, you’ll be watching only what you want to watch. Break the habit of seeing what’s on.
- Less is more. When the kids only get PBS kids, and maybe cartoons on one other channel on Saturday mornings, there is less fighting over the remote, and more contentedness with what you have. In general, less options makes for more peaceful interactions. “That’s all there is” is a magic way of preventing TV-show bickering among siblings.
- You’ll do more non-TV activities. Getting outside and taking a walk, planning family/friends game night or starting a business can all be sparked just by reducing the amount of media coming into your home. For kids, sometimes just a little bit of boredom is just what they need.
Did this article give you the motivation you need to call the cable company and cancel?
Continue reducing media in your home to encourage peacefullness: Focus on What Matters: Keep Your Smartphone in Your Purse.
Photo credit (adapted with permission): Anthony Kelly
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