218 comments

MMM Challenge: Cut your Cash-Leaking Umbilical Cord

The prize for this week’s challenge is about Nine Thousand Dollars, plus getting the equivalent of about 36 weeks of extra vacation time each year. That would bring you up fairly close to my own level of  leisure.

The challenge, of course, is to immediately and completely cancel your cable television service forever.

Now I will admit that TV programming has really advanced in modern years, with a spectacular array of new channels. At one moment, you could be watching a young Brazilian girl blow a Vuvuzela at the World Cup game, and with just the press of a thumb you could be transported into the deepest reaches of a smoke-filled senior center watching a bingo game. You can study the most incredibly well produced commercials for an average of 16.5 minutes out of every hour, which will keep you informed of the must-have products of the day, protecting you from accidentally thinking your current products were sufficient.

Contemporary television must be great, because everyone has it. If you’ve ever gone for a night time walk around your town, as I like to do often, you’ll notice that almost EVERY SINGLE HOUSE has flashing blue light streaming out through its windows. If you peek through into their living rooms, as I also like to do, you’ll notice that about 28% of the televisions are currently displaying advertisements, as predicted by the fraction of 16.5 over 60 minutes in the previous paragraph. The average American (and Canadian) watches about 4 hours of the stuff each day, adding to 28 hours a week or thirty-six 40-hour workweeks per year.

“No”, you may be saying, “Actually I skip all the commercials with my Tivo, and I have HBO and watch all the advanced dramas and stuff”.  Good for you! You have made your time-wasting more efficient at a cost of just a few extra dollars per month. If time wasting were our goal, and this were the Mr. Mundane Mustache blog, you would have already won the challenge.

But now let’s talk about why you DON’T want to have cable TV, or any television service anymore.

First of all, let’s be honest: you can’t afford it! If you are spending 50 bucks a month on TV service, and throwing in the electricity to run a typical modern TV (about $2/month), you’re burning $9204 every ten years. And that is assuming  that you are 100% immune to television advertising – some of the world’s smartest people are willing to bet about $40 billion per year (the annual television advertising budget in the US) that you are wrong on that.

Unless you are already retired, you probably have something better to do with $9204 and an extra 28 hours per week of free time than TV, right? Hmm.. how would that look? Is it possible to have a fun life without TV service?

Well, let’s ask Mr. Money Mustache, for starters. I haven’t had any sort of TV service for about the last 12 years. (That’s right.. we’re raising a 5-year-old child who has probably seen less than a dozen TV commercials in his life so far. Surely a good thing for a kid’s mental development and ability to focus on things).

What does a non-TV watcher do with the extra free time? I guess you could do a lot of things. I use the extra time to cook good food and take care of the house, and go out for night time walks to watch other people watching TV. I also get to play with my son a lot more than a normal dad. The extra time adds up to a lot of reading to your kids – at age 5, we’ve already burned through about 50 big novels (Harry Potters and Hobbits and such), and of course a few hundred kid picture books before that. With only five years of experience I’m still learning about how to be a good parent, but surely this kind of time together kicks the ass of family nights watching Dora the Explorer?

And the news, oh the nightly news. When you switch to getting your news entirely in written form, you are spared, for life, from the Pointless Bad News like Chilean Miners and families destroyed by car crashes. We didn’t even know there was a “Royal Wedding” until after it had happened. You just read the real stuff. Health, Science, Business, News, Politics.. it’s all there, with 100% less slow-talking fake-expressioned makeup-wearing tanning salon faces.

But don’t worry, without TV you’ll still get  your share of moving pictures. Almost everything is available on a streaming basis over the Internet anyway, YouTube has the funniest things on Earth for free, Netflix has all the commercial movies and great documentaries for $9 per month if you need it, and your friends all have DVD collections from which you can borrow any time you like!

My persuasive list could go on and on, but I think at this point, the arguments presented have been so profound that there are only two possibilities for readers:

1) You already do NOT have TV and you just read through with a big toothy smile on your face, clapping your hands and shouting out, “Yeah Mr. Money Mustache! You tell ’em! Tell it like it is! Hallelujah! Enn-Ohh to tha Tee-Vee Babeh!!!!!

2) You DO currently have TV, but you started reading this and your heart started to pound and you realized the colossal enormity of your mistake to this point, the wasted life, the frying brains of your beloved children, and you ran out to the living room and unplugged the thing immediately. Now when you finish reading this article, you’re going to look up the customer service phone number to your cable company and get that umbilical cord cut OFF!

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Please share your stories of your new life without Cable TV. What do you do at night? Where will you ‘stash the extra money each month? Prosperity and happiness for all. Whew, not bad for just a weekly challenge.

  • AA May 23, 2013, 1:36 pm

    Well, I at least took a step – I dropped a tier in service, saving me $35 a month. If it weren’t for my 68-year old mother, I would be happy to drop internet and home phone service, but TV is basically her only passtime. I at least convinced her to have us drop the premium channels and the sports package.

    I could have saved an additional $10/mo by dropping two tiers. But it seems to me a major goal of this blog is to reduce the amount of worry and stress in life, ostensibly by financial freedom.

    With my mom, it is worth the money to let her still watch Family Feud and Match Game on GSN, even if if delays retirement. :)

    Reply
  • MadisonStreet May 28, 2013, 3:34 am

    I live in Spain and along with his Spanish mother, am raising a now 2 and a half year old son. We have no cable service, just free over the ether stuff. As much as I would just love to ditch the TV all together, I feel I need it to help me make sure my son grows up bilingual. All TV is digital here, which means I have the option of watching programs in their original language (most shows are UK or US produced so that means English). If not for the TV, the bulk of my son’s exposure to English would be me so I see TV as sort of a “teaching assistant”. Mind you, I’m very selective with what he watches, but some crap will slip by. The TV also has internet so I stream as much Curious George and Sesame Street (PBS is my default) as I can.

    Not sure if I’m looking for a response – just wanted to throw that out there, but any thoughts or comments from anyone are more than welcome.

    Reply
    • Val November 23, 2014, 8:34 am

      I know this response is late, but I just want to reassure you regarding bilingualism. I’m raising three bilingual kids and they’re doing great without TV (although they do have exposure to things I select on YouTube, or DVDs. What you’re streaming is good and you could just do that on your computer and get rid of the TV if you wanted to. In our case both parents speak English at home but the kids are immersed in the local schools and culture; all three are perfect bilinguals and most people don’t even realize they speak something else (that is, they don’t have “an accent” in either language). Reading to them and just spending time with them are the best way to improve their language skills.

      Reply
  • Max Schneider June 12, 2013, 2:47 pm

    Haven’t had a TV for a dozen years or so (I ditched it primarily because I got addicted to it and spent way too much time in front if the tube).

    All was great until I got Internet (and then broadband), it is just as easy to “waste” time online and read stuff as it was to watch TV (I mostly read stuff, like Wikipedia or blogs like yours – well or watch youtube or movies).

    Adblock helps, I consider an ad blocker to be *the* killer application on the Internet. Now if I could also ditch the Internet, wouldn’t that be neat (and be the new “I don’t have a TV” thing?)

    Reply
  • Rachel June 21, 2013, 12:12 pm

    I gave up television three and a half years ago in a ‘NO TV’ experiment that is going strong to this day. While I initially kept a television set to watch movies on, this winter I ditched the set as there just wasn’t that much I wanted to watch anymore.

    My life has improved tremendously from this one simple action as there is no black box in the corner telling me multiple times per day that I need XY and Z to be happy and fulfilled. I also found, when visiting family and being forced to try and have conversation with the ‘boob tube’ (a name that is becoming more apropos by the day) running in the background, how poorly written and acted most tv shows are today. It is unfathomable to me how anyone would choose to spend hours each day in front of such stupidity. It is painful to see how many friends and family are addicted to TV when it is simply one gigantic time/money suck.

    I have also lost a ton of weight, started bike commuting, and saved a ton of cash from giving up TV. Without chronic food advertisements to tell me I am hungry or encourage me to buy stuff I would never have thought of without their “help” I am flush with savings from this one very simple step.

    Some people wonder what they would do with all the time formerly spent on TV watching. For starters, you finally have time to do all those household chores/repairs that stack up when you think “I’m just too tired to tackle that tonight”. Or, “I worked hard all day I deserve to rest and be amused by [insert TV show name here].” There is no feeling like having a home that is well organized, clean, and peaceful because you are actually living in it rather than treating it like some hole you stay in over night before heading out to your job the next day.

    Once the house was organized, repaired, and cleaned there was now time to sell off or give away all that stuff that had been taking up room in the house and that I never used anymore. Who can’t use extra money from selling books that were read once and never cracked again or clothing hanging in the closet with the tags still on them (gifts that didn’t fit or weren’t appropriate)? Then I started working on the hobbies I had been interested in but had been too “busy” wasting time in front of the TV to tackle. Some hobbies were shown the door (violin playing) while others were embraced with gusto (hello bike commuting and repair!).

    Since then I have lost over 50 lbs and ride or walk almost everywhere I need to go. I no longer find it logical to drive to the gym. With a standard hybrid bicycle and bike trailer I can do everything I need to do without the expense and waste of chronic car use. This would never have happened if the TV beckoned every night, encouraging me in that smooth way to rest for “just a little while”. Before you know it, that “little while” is your whole life.

    Waking up to a real life, a life lived in the first person is far more exciting and satisfying!

    Reply
  • Ashley June 29, 2013, 12:01 pm

    Good idea but here in Maryland where we live, we either have Directv or Verizon. Verizon is the only choice for internet. They offer it in packages. The combo TV and Internet package is actually cheaper over the 2 year contract (w/the $300 visa gc) than just having the internet. It seems they frown on just having internet. The triple play with phone is actually cheaper than we are paying now for just internet and phone. Plus the $140 Directv bill we have since until 2 years ago, Verizon wasn’t in our area. I’m at least cancelling our Directv and and switching to all Verizon. But I think my husband would kill me if I cancelled his TV since he loves to watch baseball all spring, summer and fall plus it doesn’t cost anything extra for us.

    Reply
  • Aaron July 24, 2013, 1:26 pm

    I’ve been without TV for 8+ years and don’t miss it at all. We do have Netflix and enjoy movies. The comment about the news is so true. The media is all doom and gloom and telling us what we need, etc. Turning that all off is the most freeing experience. You start to recognize you don’t watch TV when you see a car on the road you’ve never seen before. Kid’s TV is the worst as well. Completely geared toward marketing to kids. Everybody is better off without it. So much more to life.

    Reply
  • Becky O July 26, 2013, 3:47 pm

    I WISH I could get the satisfaction of quitting television…..
    But I can’t.

    BECAUSE I ALREADY DID THAT OVER A YEAR AGO!!!!

    Sorry for the caps….I am just so proud. I even converted my husband who, when we got married, wanted to subscribe to satellite tv (rural area with no cable). My response was nothing short of genius.
    I told him that we could get satellite, but it was 100% his responsibility from calling to get the installation appointment, to paying the bill each month.

    Guess what has never happened?

    That’s right. No television service in the O household! And he’s learned to prefer it, because he’s noticed all the free-time he never had before. The time to spend doing things that are so much more meaningful. Or…ARE meaningful, in the first place. ;)

    p.s. Sorry so late…just found MMM and am voraciously eating this sh!t up from the beginning! Sooo my style. Frugality FO-EVA!

    Reply
  • Joseph August 1, 2013, 12:56 pm

    I cut the cord 6 years ago and switched to antenna. 3 years later, I donated my TV to charity. Have not watched any TV for 3 years now. The hardest part was giving up sports, but being a fan of a consistently losing team sure made that easier. News, and especially political news, is read online which has the added benefit of giving you different point of views on the same story. Then I can use my brain and find out who is reporting bullshit. At night, I bike or walk or do my grocery shopping (using my bike trailer, of course) and have met many of my neighbors whom I would have never known.

    Reply
    • Mark B August 10, 2013, 12:37 am

      Sorry I’m so late to this comment party but I’m relatively new to MMM and, like Becky O above, I’m systematically ravishing the entire MMM library from the beginning. Oh, and I was catching up on Honey Boo Boo episodes. Just kidding.

      I gave up cable and my land line phone about six months ago, and, funny thing–THERE ARE OTHER THINGS TO DO. I do have a digital TV antenna, called a Leaf, and I can get broadcast channels, of which are are plenty here in southern California. They come in perfectly, just like my cable TV channels did. This is great, because there are two types of programming on broadcast TV:

      1. Utter, UTTER bullshit. How can any sentient being watch this shit? I just don’t get it. Do people really care who gets kicked out of the house or voted off the island or makes it to the next round? I’m so disappointed by my species. I could never watch this stuff, ever, and that’s a good thing because it’s a natural TV time limiter.

      2. A small amount of pretty good programming, usually on public TV, like Music Voyager, Globe Trekker and Global Spirit. I also like a couple of shows on the Livewell Network: Motion, which profiles a different national park every episode, and Knock It Off, where a couple of home DIY geek chicks/bloggers take someone’s super expensive dream room and duplicate it for a tiny fraction of the cost. Motion has plugged me into some of the most awesome natural places in the US and beyond, and the host, Greg Aiello, is a knowledgeable, funny, cool guy. The Knock It Off chicks have great ideas and a surprising amount of DIY skill.

      So, I have that and my Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions. I’m not off of the TV grid entirely, but I try to limit my overall staring into the Big Rectangle to about five hours a week, and I enjoy all of it. My kids are grown, so I feel as though I can spare a little “rotting in front of the TV” time.

      Football season is coming up, that will be a challenge.

      Reply
      • Becky O August 12, 2013, 7:32 am

        Good for you, Mark!

        My husband spent some time lamenting broadcast sports…but he managed to find some online streaming resources. If you’d like, I can ask him for some details on that!

        Another thing is your local library = free DVD check-outs (MMM and the Mrs. have both metioned this many times, I know)!!

        My husband and I just got our library cards on Saturday, and then spent the evening watching Sally Field’s “Sybil” for free. ;) Today I am going to suspend our Blockbuster account, and just check out DVDs at the library until we’ve exhausted their collection!

        Reply
        • Mark B August 12, 2013, 9:52 pm

          Yeah Becky, I’d totally owe you if you’d ask your husband about streaming resources.

          You know, I use the library heavily for free audiobook rental, both digital and just regular audio CDs, but for some reason I’ve never taken advantage of their DVD library. I walked past the DVD rentals all the time to get to the audiobook section, back when I used to actually go to the physical library.

          The library system where I live is pretty awesome, so I’m gonna be on that like a Mustachian on a dollar on the sidewalk. Thanks for that idea! Still shaking my head over why I didn’t think of that one.

          Reply
        • Mark B August 13, 2013, 10:08 pm

          Hey Becky, do a a Google image search for Mrs. Money Mustache and you’ll get a chuckle!

          Reply
          • Becky O August 14, 2013, 7:34 am

            Mark — I’m perplexed —

            Which image was particulary chuckley? Do tell!

            p.s. My husband’s instructions are still pending. ;)

            Reply
  • bob werner September 30, 2013, 11:46 am

    Haven’t had cable in ten years. No internet either. Have a six year old. Use liibrary and VHS movies we get for fiftycents. We have about 500 movies. My brother in law would not visit this weekend because he would miss his sports! Let’s face it, the world is filled with freaks and we are he normal inst.

    Reply
  • Rachael October 24, 2013, 11:16 am

    I just started reading this blog in the past month, and I decided to be adventurous and start from the beginning. So, I’m a little late (Like 2 years late…) for a comment on this article, but I’m commenting anyway.

    I haven’t had cable TV in years. Recently, my fiance and I moved into a house on our own, and we made the decision to forgo getting cable television. All we have is cable Internet (which is promotionally priced at $30/month for now and will go up to $50/month). We use it to watch the family Netflix account (which we don’t pay for), and we stream anything else we want to watch directly from the Internet. We also have plenty of movies/TV shows in our respective collections to watch that we really don’t miss cable at all.

    In the our free time, we mostly read, play video games (of which we have a huge back-log and almost never buy new anyways), cook, work in the yard, ride bikes, and play board games with our friends. Overall, I much prefer my life without cable because it gives us more time to spend together and we save money that can go directly to our ‘stache!

    Reply
  • JT October 29, 2013, 2:54 pm

    I’ve had cable TV for two of the past 14 years, and been without an TV for 8 of the remaining 12. For the past few years, however, I’ve found what I think is the ideal balance for me: a free TV with a 20 dollar HD antenna (for free, hi-def programming including live sports!) and an xbox I bought 5 years ago.

    About twice a year I go on a gaming binge where I do nothing else for two weeks straight (benefits of being a musician/freelancer is giant chunks of free time).

    It costs me basically zero, I still get to watch football on my own couch, and my desire to occasionally lose myself in a video game is given in to without lasting notable repercussions.

    Reply
  • GeauxBig November 24, 2013, 11:14 pm

    Just found this site and have started from the beginning. I’ve been wrestling with ditching cable for years. I’d save about $60 a month if I can persuade Mrs. GeauxBig to cut the cord.
    Can’t wait to get thru these posts. Lots of great stuff so far.

    Reply
    • I am John's empty wallet December 5, 2013, 7:53 am

      GeauxBig, you’ll find some great blog posts on this site that mathematically prove that the biggest thing standing between you and a life of freedom is realizing that 60.00 a month by itself has very little impact on your life. It’s when you find 20 ways to save 60.00 and you systematically save and invest that money to create more money.
      My wife and I just cut our package down to internet and super basic cable since it was pretty much the same price. In the last 3 months alone I followed MMM’s general breakdown in the blog post linked to the START HERE button.
      It took less than 2 months to save 16,000 per year by addressing all of the areas where we were bleeding out cash.
      1. cut my insurance costs by changing employers
      2. cut my fuel costs by chopping my commute by 80%
      3. cut cable down to basic and internet and using Amazon Prime and free Comcast content.
      4. traded in Buick Enclave for used automobile cutting payment by 300.00
      5. cancelled gym membership and dusted off 2yr old P90X
      6. lost 30lbs working out and reduced my life insurance premiums
      7. took off comp and collision on my othe car, a 2003 Saturn
      8.. raised my deductible on my home insurance
      9. eliminated fast food and started cooking way more
      10. started meal planning so unplanned trips to grocery store didn’t occur and started eating more plant/whole grain/bean based dishes like Indian/Mexican/Italian
      11. reduced Onstar down to just emergency assistance
      12. reduced alchohol consumption by half (get healthier, save money, live longer)
      13. less commute equals more time with family AND more time at office. Very cool.
      14. stopped paying for lawn care/ insourcing it from now on

      More to come and I’m not bragging. I wanted to show you that you can do this…and you can do it IMMEDIATELY. The impact would be swift and exciting like it was for us. In the first month we saved over 1,000 alone and after 3 months we are at 3200.00.

      Even if we stopped now and only invested the 3200.00 per month we’d end up with over 500,000 in 10yrs. We aren’t going to stop though because if we ramp it up further we can then chop off the 2nd mortgage (450.00 a month) in less than 5 years without really even impacting our lifestyle. All of that money was pure waste out of convenience and not doing research.

      My advice is to jump in with both feet.

      Reply
      • Mr. Money Mustache December 5, 2013, 2:47 pm

        Yeah baby!! Thanks John, for the preview of things to come for those who are working their way through the whole blog. Most Mustachian Comment of the Day!!

        Reply
      • GeauxBig December 5, 2013, 7:20 pm

        Thanks John. I like the list you gave because I can easily do most of those things or already have them implemented and can compare to my situation.
        I’m working up my “situation” to post on the forum. I hope you drop in and can give some more advice as well.
        I’m loving MMM’s advice and tips on making my home more energy efficient. I have a large home and it’s hard to manage the electric bill but we are making improvements.

        Reply
  • MJ January 3, 2014, 10:48 pm

    Cancelled cable TV on Jan. 1. Put the $70/mo toward our mortgage payment. We have lots of DVDs and started a Netflix trial. Thanks to you and Mr. Moneyseed for the motivation. Our family is going to implement more of your advice in 2014. Last year we saved about 26% of our take-home income but you’ve opened our minds to the reality that we can do better.

    Reply
  • Alec Williamson January 27, 2014, 9:51 pm

    I am a 48 year old dad with a 15 year old daughter and mom living with me, and an 18 year old son who has gone off to college. At dinner tonight I casually informed wife and daughter that I was planning on canceling our satellite TV service soon to save $95 per month. I have just recently purchased a Roku, and I already subscribe to Amazon Prime, so I figured, hey plenty of TV to watch, and won’t it be great to pocket $95 per month from now on, right?

    I got a really, really BIG BAD reaction from my daughter! She started with: Why are you taking away this privilege from me? What did I do? This whole MMM lifestyle change thing you are doing is going to wreck my whole life!!! What else are you going to take away from me? And on and on. She was very upset, crying and asking me why now? If this was such a good idea, why didn’t you do this when we kids were small and wouldn’t know the difference? Well I really didn’t have a good answer, and basically said I didn’t do it before because I was a sucker back then and didn’t know better. I am trying to learn how to behave better with money now. Not a good answer.

    Needless to say, she is not happy and not speaking to me right now. I guess it will blow over, but I hate being the bad dad, it sucks. Mom wanted no part of this “discussion”. Can’t say I blame her. Anyway, I’m not sure if I should stick to my guns, or cave in.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache January 27, 2014, 10:17 pm

      Wowee! Sounds like the sooner that TV addiction can be halted, the better. It is important that she knows you are not punishing her, though.. Just rewarding everyone. TV is truly useless.

      Reply
    • Kim January 28, 2014, 7:03 am

      I’d ask her specifically what she would miss by not having satellite to see if you can get it somewhere else. And maybe offer a night out at the movies once a month for the next 6 months as part of the weaning process.

      Reply
      • Alec Williamson January 28, 2014, 10:41 pm

        Thanks for taking the time to offer suggestions! We talked more about it today, and I offered to split the savings with her. Kind of a win/win. Especially since we don’t give her an allowance right now anyway. I asked her to think about it and she said she would. I have never been frugal before, and in fact set an incredibly bad example with my poor money habits. So this is kind of a shock, and I learned from this experience that sometimes it’s best to take it slow with those around you to reduce the shock and to give them time to buy in.

        Reply
  • sdp January 28, 2014, 7:21 am

    If it is that important to her, let her pay for it herself, you can turn this episode into a learning moment and I bet she will see that 95 bucks a month is a shitload, depending on how much she watches, you can even break it down to how much an hour it costs her vs. the hourly wage she makes at her job or the allowance she gets. You are not depriving and punishing her, you are doing her a favor, this could be a perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your daughter going to the library and checking out as many dvd’s as you both want (along with some books!) anyway, put the control into her hands and help guide her towards the right decisions, she is fifteen and going to college in just a couple of years and will have to start making these decisions without you around……

    Reply
  • Karen February 10, 2014, 6:31 pm

    I was feeling pretty proud of myself because I have indeed been addicated to TV but I canceled my cable over a year ago, getting rid of the landline phone and TV package, but keeping only the high-speed WiFi. In that time my monthly bill for the WiFi has been increased twice and I’m now paying $60/month FOR THE INTERNET ONLY. I don’t want to give up my ability to watch movies — that is one of my remaining entertainment pleasures in life and I am sort of “in the biz” so it is a career detriment for me to give it up entirely.

    I hate cable companies. I suppose I could try sharing service with others but I don’t know my neighbors very well and I often pay bills or do banking on line so isn’t security a concern? I live in a multistory condo building with many of units per floor.

    Reply
    • Chicago Mom July 11, 2014, 3:49 pm

      Hi Karen,

      We live in a “coach house” behind a four flat. The 4 unit building shares one Comcast internet connection over wifi. We were invited to join when we moved in but we didn’t use the internet much. Sharing a connection with neighbors is just as “risky” as using the library internet or wifi at a cafe. I would say passwords should be enough protection. *shrug*

      If you could even just split the bill with one neighbor that would help a lot! Maybe start by knocking on doors. *grin*

      There is a downside, if you are both heavy video or gaming streamers the connection might not be able to support both of you watching netflix or gaming at the same time.

      Reply
  • Nigel February 22, 2014, 11:49 pm

    Having a great time reading through the blog after discovering it a couple of weeks ago. Reading other sites on retirement saving, I always felt like I was missing something – what the hell does my current income have to do with how much I’ll need to live on in retirement, anyway? Who made the rule that I have to Dilbert away until I am at least 65? The relentless common sense from MMM is refreshing and inspiring.

    Regarding television, I’d like to propose an exception to the idea, which I fully agree with in principle, that TV is a mindless waste of time. My wife is Japanese, and we are raising our two kids to be completely bilingual and as bicultural as possible. That unfortunately involves some very non-mustachian spending on things like ridiculous amounts of driving to take the kids to a Japanese school on Saturday, stash-busting trips to Japan in the summer, and $40/month to Dish Network for the Japanese TV channel. We don’t watch any American TV (other than a little NFL on autumn Sunday afternoons with the rabbit-ears), but the kids get to watch a few hours per week of Japanese programming. Some if it is pretty good, some is just fluff entertainment, but either way it really helps with their language development and connection to that side of their culture. Their listening comprehension is pretty much comparable to kids living in Japan, and I think TV has been a big part of that (they also split their reading between two languages, so their reading is close to native-speaker level too). Having the Japanese channel in the house is also great for my wife as a way to stay connected, and I get to watch live sumo.

    Anyway, I’d propose an amendment to the mustachian manifesto: you may watch a reasonable amount of TV, and even pay something for it if you can afford it, but the programming may not be in English.

    Reply
  • Melissa Blogger wannabe March 1, 2014, 9:31 pm

    Lol can I say when I first heard the podcast with the doughroller I thought holy moly this is one brilliant guy… (sigh) I’m in love… ( ;) ) I’m actually happily married but I don’t have anyone who shares my perspective about money so I was quite starstruck … I am 26 an never had cable tv growing up and I just never understood why people who pay for something that is free.. (same with xm radio why would you pay when you get it for free).. So this post is not much of a challenge for me… For 2 years I have also let the family know that our allotment was 3 day a week about 2 hr( movies) because I realized that it was taking away family time… My son might have wanted to watch stuff but when it was bed time he’d complain that he didn’t get to play…so trying to reduce tv time for sure.. So I started by reading random articles but I figured Itd be easier if I start from beginning and just go in order…. I figured it’s about time to join community by posting a message… Hi and I really like the blog

    Reply
  • Señor Stubble March 8, 2014, 7:27 am

    We’ve gotten free cable for years for the same mysterious reason an earlier commenter mentioned – we cancelled it, but it’s still there. Thirty-eight days ago I stopped turning it on. I had forgotten there was so much time in the day. If I had been spending I time watching TV, I may not have discovered this blog like I did a couple weeks ago. More importantly, I certainly wouldn’t have had the time to actually start taking action on the suggestions. I think I can even see the slightest hint of mustacian stubble

    Reply
  • Kara April 9, 2014, 6:54 am

    It’s funny, we just cancelled our cable last week and it was officially shut off yesterday. I haven’t had cable since 2009 (college roommates) and my husband has never had it. We thought we’d try it out for a bit (about 5 months) after our move to Missouri, and you know what? We barely used it. We couldn’t stand all of the commercials for crap. We never wanted to take time in the evening from our other hobbies to watch. When we did watch tv, we were watching Netflix anyway. We’re not sad that our bill is way less now! It feels like a step int he right direction. :)

    Reply
  • Momma of Many April 9, 2014, 3:26 pm

    We haven’t had cable ever since getting married (12 years), BUT in our spare time we made 5 babies… So much for saving money… LOL

    Reply
  • CTY April 11, 2014, 6:25 pm

    Love reading your archived posts. We have never had cable and sometime in the early 90’s went TV free (because no one watched it, the kids were super busy with school & just had no time). It just took up space & collected dust. What do we do with our time? Anything we want. Evening walks, amateur star gazing, crafts, reading, DIY projects, make homemade pretzels & marshmallows, visit/call friends & family, surf the net.
    When our youngest son was in high school, his media/communications teacher surveyed the class for # of TVs in the house. No one had less than 3–except our son. So the teacher said one or two. He was speechless when the answer was 0. Back to school night this teacher rushed up to us as we entered the class so shake our hands and to say hats off.
    Funny thing is–even with no TV I can tell you all about Dancing with the Stars and such shows because people everywhere talk non stop about them. So apparently even if you don’t own a TV you are still affected by it.

    Reply
  • Crystal April 23, 2014, 10:00 am

    We got rid of cable 6 months ago. It was $80 dollars a month! Comcast was charging us $165 a month for cable and internet. Now we only have internet and it is still $78 a month. I wish we could get cheaper internet because this is so expensive!!

    Reply
  • Stuck in NoVA June 12, 2014, 10:39 am

    I’ve never believed in paying for TV. My husband owned a TV before we got married. It is currently hooked up to an antenna and the DVD player (in the basement because we didn’t want it to be the central feature of our living room), but really, we don’t use it very often. We are more likely to watch hulu for free on the laptop.

    Reply
  • Zac June 16, 2014, 10:24 pm

    I haven’t had a TV for around three years now and I don’t miss wasting my nights ONE BIT – we do however have a cinema (my partner has a work from home hi-fi business so it is used to demo to customers). So on average we watch one hour-long TV show a week that we’ve downloaded and one movie a week (about 2 1/2 hours of screen time). I went to a friend’s place the other day and we ended up watching the Transformer’s movie on free-to-air. It was actually kind of surreal sitting down to watch a movie that was constantly interrupted by advertisements – to pay for the privilege by subscribing to cable doesn’t sound like too much fun.

    NOW. While I was writing this, I realised something – I pay a monthly subscription for Spotify ($11.99/month Australian). Spotify is used as my only source of music (I gave up paying for CDs long ago), so i’m not sure if this is an avoidable expense as i’m a big music consumer. I think i’m already on the cheapest music option, as if i started buying CDs again at around $17/album I’d swiftly send myself broke.

    Reply
    • J Wind December 13, 2014, 1:37 am

      Maybe instead of paying for Spotify to get it without ads, you cancel your subscription and listen to it for free with ads. I imagine if you’re in a tight situation, even $12AUS could be used more wisely on something else. I don’t know if you could receive it in Australia, but there are free, adless, “donation-only” run music streaming sites. It just takes a little bit of research to find them. In the States, we have somafm.com, grooveshark.com, musicnow.fm, and last.fm… I believe.

      Plus, you don’t have to buy CDs, online stores such as Amazon, will have old and new albums for sale in digital format, for less expensive and fewer resources used in manufacturing. Or you could be savvy and old-fashioned, and just buy used CDs/records from other people. Another option that my husband and I have done in the past is to do a media share/trade. You find some people with common interests, and you swap your music, movies, books, etc. for a determined or undetermined amount of time, come back and do another swap of something else. That way, nothing is being bought or made that doesn’t need to be, and you increase your socialization with people.

      Reply
  • Chicago Mom July 11, 2014, 3:40 pm

    My favorite post so far!

    Our family lives in a major (due to Hubby’s job) city so we have more than the average family does when it comes to free non t.v. entertainment. Not only do we not have t.v., we don’t have a home internet connection. My contribution to this thread is to evaluate if you really NEED 24 – 7 internet access.

    Unless you need internet at home for work (and if you do, your employer should be paying for it) you could save even more! In our area it is approximately $70 a month once all the fees and taxes are added for “fast” internet. You could share wireless with neighbors’ (the building in front of us has 4 living spaces and they share one connection splitting the bill). We don’t bother.

    Hubby has internet access at work to download (onto a thumb drive) or print out anything we “need” (we also don’t have a printer). The little coffee shop on our block sells drip coffee for $1.09 and has “free” wifi. So when I need to do our taxes or fill out school applications for our little, I “batch” my internet “errands”. Hubby watches Little and I get done what I need to for $1.09. I usually go use the internet for 2-3 hours once a month…some months, I forget to schedule “my internet” day! I catch up on my blog roll and usually run out of things to do before I am expected back home. I have a few sites that I have Hubby download weekly of free things to do in Chicago with a child. I look at them at home and plan to go do things that look fun during the week. If we need to print off anything, he can do it at work. He pays all our bills online at work. Just my two cents (pun!)

    Instead of watching t.v we:

    Go swimming in the pool (a very very short walking distance from our house, less than 2 blocks) that is maintained by the park district and open all summer. My Husband’s taxes are already paying for it, we might as well use the massive green space and free pool as much as possible. Little will grow up with memories of swimming with her Mommy & Daddy on hot days instead of watching t.v.

    Visit the library weekly to exchange books (all of us) and movies (for us adults). The library is about 6 blocks from our house. A good walk for the adults, a fun wagon ride for the little one till she was old enough to enjoy the walk (or bike ride, or roller-skating trip).

    Take the bus to the beach.

    At night we often enjoy crafting. I sew. My Husband paints (really really well, his paintings have sold for a decent amount of money). Our little likes to play in the bathroom sink in the water. She makes boats out of foil and loads them up with pennies till they sink or fills plastic bags with water or sets up little scenes with her play toys.

    We take a lot of walks around the “block” and all of us enjoy flower and herb gardening. Pro tip, herbs are easy to grow, and hard to kill, same with most native flowers. They both grow in containers (great for us city folk) and then all summer you have free pretty flowers and all year yummy herbs. We stay away from costly plants or non native flowers, gardening is our “fun” not our “frustrating” why does everything die hobby. All summer our little one will play FOR HOURS in a “sandbox”. Since we are city folk, we purchased a storage tub off craigslist and filled it with sand on our deck since we don’t have a private yard. We do have a huge park!

    My child and I focus a lot on keeping our home clean and organized (it is a small space so staying organized & clean is super important). Since we don’t have a Dora the Explorer or Netflix drama waiting for us we don’t rush the process and it becomes a rhythmic part of the day rather than a “chore”. Little sweeps the floors, folds the towels, easy things like that while I tackle the dishes and iron.

    We used some of our saved money to buy a (second hand off craigslist) picnic table that we put on the parkway. Since neighbors often stop by the picnic table we have a lot of socializing and instant “play dates” that way.

    Reply
  • Jessica July 12, 2014, 10:19 am

    I don’t have cable, but I do have a TV and internet. I bought a Chromecast for $30 and am able to stream anything onto my TV. I have friends with Netflix, HBO, Hulu Plus, and other subscriptions. I am lucky enough that they are all willing to give me access to them (since they’re already paying for these subscriptions, they might as well get the most use out of them as possible, right?). I also have an antenna (that I got for free), so I can watch most primetime shows and the news whenever I want. If I want to watch some big sports game, I can go to a bar or a friend’s place to see it. Living without cable is EXTREMELY easy as long as you know people who don’t mind spending the money to keep paying for it!

    Reply
  • Tricia July 22, 2014, 12:56 pm

    The last thing I remember watching on my own TV was the OJ Simpson car chase. I recall feeling mortified and embarrassed at work the next day telling coworkers I watched the whole thing. Hours upon hours of a white bronco going 35mph. Inadvertently, I was telling the world I had nothing better to do with my time – therefore I was a boring person. I felt ridiculous. So I quit TV the next day. That was 20 yrs ago… Time flies when you’re not being boring.

    Reply
  • Mok July 25, 2014, 1:44 pm

    At age 28, I consider myself to be a child of the internet.
    Sure, I was raised watching tons of television, but once we were the first house on the block to have dial up internet – waiting through ads and settling on specific programming was over for me.
    Having lived out on my own for several years now, I have never and will never have any intention of paying for television service. I feel I must have the internet, though. It’s potential is just far beyond potential drawbacks – and provides more entertainment than I could possibly consume in multiple lifetimes. :)

    Reply
  • Patrick August 9, 2014, 8:52 am

    My fiance and I haven’t had cable in years. We found out early that the 120$ spent on cable was over rated and we just pay for internet now. That’s over $80 saved a month.

    Once I read the article, I had a huge grin on my face!

    Reply
  • Amanda M. August 27, 2014, 7:54 pm

    I started reading this blog about 2 days ago, and I’m starting from the beginning, but this is my first comment. Thanks for the great reading. I decided in 2008 to cut my cord. I was finding that as a single person, I was scheduling my life around the schedules of my favorite TV shows. Many of them were in re-runs and available on DVD. I was only watching about 6 of the 120 channels that I received. With my new-found $75/ month, I saved and if I wanted to buy a DVD set that was on sale, I did (or I requested tv shows as Christmas gifts). One thing that I’ve discovered since then is that the libraries in my last two locations (WV and CA) have extensive DVD catalogs that are completely free to borrow from (unless I’m late in returning). I know this isn’t the case for all libraries, but I’ve been very lucky with mine. Both have also been one library in over 10 locations, which is why the collections can be so large. Perusing my library’s collection is fantastic, and a great way to spend an hour.

    Reply
  • CRH September 4, 2014, 1:27 pm

    Though several years old, this post is (in my humble opinion), a great place to start. I originally heard of the money mustache advisory column several months ago on the Marketwatch web site, and the comments on cable caught my attention. A quick, clean opportunity to achieve significant cost savings and stop wasting evenings staring at the tube.
    I did some research on options to get access to programming I will miss, such as sports and certain shows, and then began to read the blog from the very first post. I reached this post today, and see that comments are still coming several years from its initial writing.
    Just cancelled cable. That cost savings is equal to approx. $1,000 per year based on what we were paying (incl. taxes) and the number of sets.
    An additional thought that may be of interest to readers is the home office internet. (For those of us still working…) I recently took a new job working from home, and my employer pays for my internet. Full time and part time home workers should ask for some compensation for internet access.
    Reimbursed internet costs, plus cancelled cable, equal roughly $2,000 in savings per year for my household.
    My household still has a long way to do – believe me – but the first step is taken.

    Reply
  • Yarrow Morgan September 19, 2014, 5:12 pm

    Not all things are right for all people. Our cable company gives us TV free as we need good fast cable for my partner’s business. I have been disabled for 24 years, and can’t always leave the house at all. I LOVE to read and learn and live in a great city for it, but there only so many hours a day that you can read and my partner travels for work several times a year. There is no treatment for what I have. Cable TV does offer some more things to stimulate my brain with for free.
    Yarrow

    Reply
  • Lizzie November 5, 2014, 5:10 pm

    OK, I’ve been considering this for awhile. I live in the Bay Area, which is quite expensive. I pay a grand total of $155/month for internet & cable TV. I am inspired by this post and the comments that follow, and I think I’m going to take the plunge to cancel cable. But I’m scared! I know I can do it.

    Reply
    • Amanda M. November 5, 2014, 9:26 pm

      I live in the bay area and pay $26/month for 3 mbps (fast enough to stream at least two shows at a time for me). The wonderful thing about living here is the competition between internet providers. Find one you like, get an intro rate, and then look into switching as it expires. Call the company you’re with about your plan, and they will match any deal you’re getting. Be ready to cancel; there’s always a chance they’ll say no, but I’ve never run into that before.

      Reply
      • Karen November 29, 2014, 8:54 am

        We have no competition here, it’s such a bummer! Comcast has us by the short hairs.

        Reply
  • Bill Muffi November 18, 2014, 2:52 pm

    We made a call to Verizon and lowered the phone bill by 100.00 per month.(Four smartphones)
    We made a similar call to Comcast and saved another 30.00.
    Do the specials it will require us to call in 10 to 12 months to keep them honest.
    We made the insurance call and picked up another 50.00.

    Reply
  • Karen November 28, 2014, 9:49 pm

    You are so, so, so right, TV is worth LESS than nothing. My husband and I got cable forced upon us by a housemate when I was working 80 hour weeks as a resident and it ruined our lives. All my free time was spent sitting on the couch watching back to back reruns of Law and Order. It was pathetic. That was 11 years ago, just before our first child was born, and for the past decade we have never had cable again. We missed it once, during the election season of 2008. But we got over it.

    Our four kids almost never see advertisements. They do watch some kids shows on Netflix so I can have time to cook in the evening. Once, they were watching a VCR tape (yep) and I was too lazy to fast forward over the ads at the beginning of the tape, so I just turned it on. My then 3-year-old daughter ran into the kitchen and said, shocked, “Mommy! We’re watching ADVERTISEMENTS!” I said it’s OK this one time honey, and she stared at me and then informed me “That’s bad for our brains!!” Which, of course, is what we had taught them. And it is.

    We do get our high-speed internet from Comcast, and it is way overpriced (hoping for a good MMM tip for that in upcoming stories.) We call periodically to try to demand a cheaper service package and they always try to sell us TV. We tell them, if it’s cheaper for the package with TV, we will sign up for it, but we will not allow you to connect the wire to our house. They think we are insane.

    Reply
  • Dawn December 29, 2014, 9:06 pm

    I grew up with a frugal parent who did not allow TV in the house at all, so by the time we did get a TV, I had cultivated a whole host of other options for time-wasting!

    Now that I’m married we own not one but two TVs (for Vidya Game Playing and Streaming Entertainment Watching; whole other post on money management and time-wasting there, but it’s not an argument I’m winning…), but until recently our only time with a cable TV subscription was when one of the companies offered us a package deal for TV/net/cell phone that was about $10/mo more than what we would otherwise have spent.My husband wanted to have TV, but we never had time to watch it so we canned it within a month. Today we have a basic cable package because (wonder of wonders) our provider offered a deal that made upgraded internet and TV cheaper than the lower ‘net package on its own. My husband is happy with the faster internet and I’m happy with the savings.

    Reply
  • Court January 14, 2015, 11:40 pm

    YAY! Something I’m doing that actually makes sense. Just started readingthis blog, so a little late to the party but still excited. I think over the last decade I’ve had cable service for about three of them. I ended up getting rid of it because it was overwhelming. Too many ads, too many choices, too many unaccounted for hours of my life. Instead, I read or write or watch YouTube. There really is nothing I’ve missed out on without it and it makes me prioritize my entertainment habits. Do Ireally want to watch this every week or ccan I be patient and waitttil the season is over and watch at my own pace.

    My hope is to actually SEE that money I’m saving working for me instead of simply being spent somewhere else. Thanks for the tips!

    Reply
  • Kelly January 21, 2015, 5:23 pm

    Super late to the comment party, but I wanted to share that I am 24, live in a small city, have a great life, AND HAVE NEVER OWNED A TELEVISION. If I want to watch a show or movie, there’s the internet for that. And actually, when I first moved into my apartment, I procrastinated even getting internet for eight full months. My apartment was clean, I went on lots of walks, and I read books for entertainment. There is no law that states television is necessary to life. Take a long look at whether you really need it, and whether your life would be better without.

    Reply
  • Hershey January 24, 2015, 10:25 pm

    Great article! I was definitely one who read through it with a large smile! I grew up on a full time farm without a tv (well, ok…we had a old black and white set that we pulled out for the Olympics and Super Bowl). That said, I grew up spending the additional time reading (I read through the encyclopedia set in the evenings one year), building stuff, working outside and spending time with family and friends. When my wife and I got married 4.5 years ago, we decided not to have a tv. THe choice was more for personal reasons, as we’d both probably watch a lot if its in the room, and felt it would be a relationship thief. Plus, we’ve saved over $4500 by not having cable or tv cost. We either get dvds from the library (free), Redbox (1.20), shows online (free) and I bought an inexpensive projector. The double benefit here is that we don’t need to look at a constant tv screen in the house, can watch movies on the big screen, and also use it for the Nintendo Wii (which doesn’t get used much).

    Cable cost came up a in a work discussion recently about the cost of NFL tickets. A co-worker mentioned he needed cable to watch sports and how Super Bowl tickets were so expensive. I mentioned that dropping cable and saving the opportunity cost for two years, you could buy very nice tickets to a Super Bowl (while it would be fun, I probably wouldn’t spend the money on that anyway). In the future, cable companies are probably passing anyway, as things migrate to the internet.

    Reply
  • timdaniels February 10, 2015, 10:03 pm

    I’m 50 and haven’t had a television since I left home for college. I would miss football, if so many of my friends didn’t have tv’s and a willingness to share the experience. I will occasionally treat myself and my sons to nachos and a soda at the local sports pub–for significantly less than the price of a cable bill.

    Reply
  • MM in Training February 16, 2015, 8:20 pm

    Hey Mr. Money Mustache –

    Agree with this post completely. I cut TV in order to be more efficient about two years ago. I wanted to follow up with your views on reading. Part of the reason I cut TV was to invest more time in myself. I’m in a professional business field and as such think it’s important to stay in tune with the markets, big deals, global news, etc. That being said, do you see value in a WSJ/local business courier/HBR subscription, if used literally every day? I tried staying in tune with free media but found an overwhelming amount of garbage is posted i.e. “5 things you didn’t know about XYZ” With the subscriptions, I’m making an investment in myself, which will pay off with much higher than 7% a year rate of return if I had invested the money in the market. Do you have any cheaper alternatives and what are your thoughts on professional business subscriptions?

    Thanks!

    Reply
  • Violet February 23, 2015, 9:39 pm

    Thank you, MMM!!!
    As a mom of a now 15 year old, you won’t regret your choice to nix cable. My son grew up without cable, I didn’t even have a tv until he was 5 ( a used 19 inch I bought for $25 and a free vcr for movies)
    When he was young people were always astonished at his vocabulary, interests, knowledge AND his ability to amuse himself anywhere.
    Now, as a teen, adults are suprised by his ease with elders and still suprised by his conversational skills, interests and knowledge.
    He does not give a crap about the newest piece of plastic encased technology or what label is on his shoes. He cares about people, nature and being creative.
    Your choice will continue to pay off for you and your child.

    Reply
  • Jeremy February 26, 2015, 8:46 am

    Wife and I are just starting this journey! Super excited. Two months in…

    What do you guys think about someone in the middle of a two year contract? I reduced to lowest package. Should I endure the next 12 months of a 40-50 dollar payment, or suspend it and save the money to pay it off? It would be $20 for each month remaining on the contract.

    Thank you! Love the blog…love the comments!

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache February 26, 2015, 4:39 pm

      Since $20 is less than $40, and TV service is worth less than $0, I’d say it’s a win to bail out early!

      Reply
  • lana March 3, 2015, 9:24 pm

    Last month we cut the cable and our landline. When I did that, the phone company gave me a deal on internet, so I went from paying $160 a month to $38 a month. Couple that with giving away a car and saving tag and insurance costs, this year is looking up!

    Reply
  • Thomas March 26, 2015, 1:58 pm

    One of my favorite pass times is walking with my daughter to the Library, about a mile and change away. There I puruse the DVD collection and often leave with 4 or 5. At home I watch the 3 that turn out to be interesting and I’m then forced to take another stroll back to the library the following week :)

    Reply
  • Myckls June 24, 2015, 2:14 pm

    I’ve been reading this new-to-me site from the beginning non-stop for the last couple of weeks (my wife is actually starting to complain) and this whole crazy idea of getting rid of cable seems like a good way to start saving.

    After I read this post I decided I would finally cancel cable (satellite) after 12 years of having and paying for it (avg of $60 a month through the years)…. next week, because my dvr is full of great shows that I haven’t watched but knew that I really NEEDED to see them. So a week went by and I had finished 2 Iron Chef episodes and that was it. “Time to cancel!”

    I was home from work early so it’d be a perfect time for the hour long call I was sure it was going to take. I got my phone, looked up the service number and then remember I had to go do other stuff….. An hour passes during which I just screwed around on the internet and tried to resolve myself to kick this habit.

    As I was dialing the number I could feel my heart rate climbing. The voice inside my noodle was trying to rationalize why I should keep it (“what about the saved episodes of Property Brothers and Chopped?? How will I know how to re-tile my floor or cook parmesan and prosciutto profiteroles??”) I connected and went through the options finally arriving at the appropriate place only to find there was an extended wait time! “YES! I should hang up, why waste my time with this call, I’ll just make it again later, or maybe this weekend?”

    Shit, someone answered. My heart rate is now about 130. I go through the motions, making it through the 1st discount offered (40% off), then the 2nd ($35 dollar credit for 2 months), then the 3rd (40% off for a year). I hesitate on the last one and I can tell she knows I’m cracking. She starts talking about the savings but I can barely hear her over the inner voice yelling over my heart beat. “Whats another month or two, or just cancel before the next billing cycle”……. And then it happens; somehow the words make it out of my face. I say no thanks, and that’s it. The 3rd discount was the final one. I had made it to the end.

    She now knows she’s been beat. We finish off with some bs she already knows (address of shipping, phone number, sorry to see you go, etc.) I hang up and I’m actually sweating. Turns out, all these years I’ve been addicted to cable and I didn’t even know it. Today is a good day my friend, it’s my first day cable free. Now I’m going to go outside and finishing installing decking on my porch (which I did not learn from Property Bros).

    Reply
  • Stan July 30, 2015, 2:03 pm

    Great website and blog. I really need some advice. I got the cable, phone and internet service over 2 years ago in a special deal because it was less per month than what I was already paying. Last month that deal ended and it went up about $70 a month. ARGGHH!!
    So, I would really love to just get rid of the cable. I live in suburb of big city and I have a wife who is home all day. I told her I would like to cancel cable and she said no way. She has to have her local channels all day and then I really do need to be able to watch college football in the Fall and some baseball too. So, I know about the netflix and hulu and all, but is there a good way to get the local channels and sports without the cable. I really would like to get some guidance on this.

    Reply
    • Mr. Money Mustache July 30, 2015, 3:32 pm

      Sorry, Stan – you are both just going to have to give up ALL forms of TV. Soaps, football, news – even series on Netflix – all gone. It is a life-sucker and completely worth it to tune out and grab some books and music!

      Reply
  • Matth August 11, 2015, 11:30 pm

    Hey MMM…I’ve been reading your work for quite a while now and without getting too far in the weeds I’ll let you know I’m totally on board and we’ll leave it at that. This article here is a perfect example, not so much of how you can help me but of how I know WE are on the right track. My home has not featured a TV since 2004. And that one was my roommate’s. Actually, 80% of my life has been sans-TV. Totally unnecessary. Without even getting into the $$$ savings part of it, why is it that people feel they need to pay hard-earned money to be told what to pay hard-earned money FOR, while watching other people talk about what they spend their money on? I think it’s nuts that so much REAL life is wasted watching other people live their lives…or pretend to for ratings.
    Thanks man!!!

    Reply
  • Charlotte August 22, 2015, 2:19 pm

    I recently discovered your blog when I was off for the summer. I drive a school bus and I came to the realization that I am sadder when summer is over and I have to go back than my kids are! I knew there had to be a different way. I knew we had to change what we were doing because it wasn’t working. Slowly but surely we have been trying to dig our way out of debt and we are down to one credit card! I also managed to get to a point with our bills where I started to be able to tuck a bit away every paycheck towards my retirement and I have $380 for the first ever. Its not much, but its mine. One of the first things I did? Cut the cable:)

    Reply

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