5 Reasons We Cut Cable For The Second Time  (When We Could Afford It!)

I broke up with cable for the first time two and a half years ago. My husband and I made the counter-cultural decision to cut every bill possible to pay off $81,400 in consumer debt. But we told ourselves that once we paid off our debt, we would sign up for cable again. Fast forward to this January and our debt was paid in full. So we signed up for a brand-new cable package. And less than two months later, we cut the cable cord for good.

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Cutting cable was a significant milestone in our debt-free journey because it was the most painful cut to make. This may sound crazy to people who don’t have cable (and it sounds crazy to me now!), but we thought cutting the cord was too drastic. How would we watch the news? What about the next big game? And people really live without on demand? Cable was a luxury that we’d grown up with and it was the last part of our previous life that we clung to.  

We soon became accustomed to – and even enjoyed! – watching TV on Netflix, Amazon Firestick, and from our broadcast Antenna. (Read more about how we watch TV here!) But not long after all our debt was paid, we decided to give a small cable package another chance. I mean, that had always been the plan. We deserved a few American luxuries again. Or so I thought!

why we cut cable

5 Reasons We Cut Cable For The Second Time

1.There was nothing to watch!

I could not believe how many mind-numbing reality shows were on cable TV.  After becoming accustomed to award-winning series and documentaries on Netflix and Amazon Prime, I found that I didn’t want to watch what housewives were fighting about. As I sat there one night watching “My 600-lb. Life” I asked myself if the $100 I spent on cable was worth it. And the answer was an unequivocal no.   

2.It encouraged discontentment.

After being almost commercial-free for two years, we couldn’t believe how invasive the loud, shouting commercials were. No, we didn’t want to be tempted to eat out or buy the latest and greatest item while we relaxed on a Friday night. Even though we paid off our debt, we still had (and currently are still working on) the big financial goal of buying a home.

According to TV Week, the average 1-hour cable show has more than 15 minutes of commercials. That’s 15 minutes of aggressive product-pushing telling you that you don’t drive the right car, eat the right food or go to the right stores. No wonder Americans struggle with deep discontentment! (I struggle with this too!)

3.My kids started to ask for junk.

The discontentment didn’t only affect my husband and I. All of a sudden my kids started to ask for 1,000 piece lego towers and ninja warrior sets. It’s hard enough to teach kids about gratitude for what they have, but shoving commercials in kid’s faces every 10 minutes is a great way to encourage ungrateful hearts. Once you live virtually kid-commercial free for two years, you notice the shocking difference once they are exposed to the messages again. (This right here is enough to cancel cable!)    

Why we cut cable

4.We wanted to watch the next episode in a series right away.

This seems silly. But when you watch Netflix or Amazon prime, you pick a whole series to watch at a time. If my husband and I had an hour to watch TV, we became accustomed to watching two episodes in a row. We didn’t want to watch one episode every week – we wanted more! (And don’t even get me started on mid-season breaks. :)) 

5.We realized we had better things to spend $100 on.

Unfortunately, once you embark on a huge financial journey like paying off a significant amount of debt, you’re a different person when you cross the finish line. I can’t unknow all the frugal information that I fed my brain the last few years. It doesn’t work like that. Once I realized that I can survive and thrive without cable, I realized that it wasn’t worth it.

Plus $100 a month or $1,200 a year can be used more wisely. It’s funny because when you’re in debt, it’s easy to think, “If only I had extra money, I could do that.” But when you actually have a little wiggle room in your budget, you realize that it’s a privilege to have breathing room and you need to be a good steward of your resources.    

I felt more guilty having cable after paying off debt than when I owed other people 81K!  

Why We cut cable

I hope this article encourages you! If you’ve cut the cable cord and you’re wondering if the grass is really greener on the other side, I am here to tell you something. Life is NOT better with a fancy cable package. The grass is greener (and so is your wallet) without cable!

And if you want to know what other big financial cuts we made to pay off 81K, subscribe below. 

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Comments

  1. Steveark says:

    Its a great choice if both spouses agree. In my case I never watch cable but my wife does. She doesn’t watch a lot but there are things on cable that she does watch so she feels it is worth the price and it is an insignificant expense to us. So my only caution to others is to be sure you both get a vote in what you choose to cut from your life. It is obvious you don’t need my advice on that but just in case some enterprising reader decides to do this. Something that feels trivial may feel important to your spouse and when you can easily afford it $100 per month is not nearly enough money to offset any significant relationship discord. At least that is my perspective after having convinced my wife to keep me around for 39 years, so far!

    • EXACTLY! I couldn’t agree with you more! My husband and I spend money on things that some people may think are frivolous (like eating out and small family vacations), but it is important to us and makes the other cuts (like cable) feel worth it. Thanks for sharing your perspective on this. I love hearing from other people, especially people with more experience than me. (39 years of marriage – congrats!)

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