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Moneywise

How I canceled cable and gained a new outlook on life

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  • statman Lehi, UT
    Sept. 12, 2013 12:25 p.m.

    Roku ($99 once), Netflix ($7.99 a month) and Hulu ($7.99 a month) replaced a $120 a month satellite TV bill. I still had to find a way to see a couple of college football and international soccer games - and that took dropping $60 or so to go to Iggy's or Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the game with my sons a couple saturdays each fall.

    We cut the satellite cord in August 2011, the month I was laid off from my job. After I got a new job the following April, we kept the satellite unplugged. We just plugged it back in - and because local channels, digital & HDTV signals, and a DVR are all now free, and because we hooked the satellite in to just one TV in the house (instead of four), our new bill is less than half the bill that we had previously. Those extra $5 & $10 per month charges for digital, HDTV, DVR, additional TVs all added up REALLY quickly.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 3:25 p.m.

    To "Aggielove" I don't have time to watch TV because I am busy working around my house, helping the neighbors, working with my kids, playing with my kids, and so forth. I still watch an occasional show on Netflix, but I rarely watch more than 8 hours in a week.

  • Scott12345 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 19, 2013 9:57 a.m.

    We cut the cable 4 years ago, and haven't looked back. We have Netflix and Hulu, just like the author - it's plenty of TV for us. The one thing I miss is live sports every once in a while (when the event isn't on over-the-air channels). We still watch too much TV, but at least we're moving in the right direction.

  • UteMiguel Go Utes, CA
    Aug. 18, 2013 8:08 p.m.

    I watch very little TV other than college football. But my family and I enjoy college football so much that I don't mind paying the high prices for satellite TV.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Aug. 18, 2013 6:39 a.m.

    We cancelled our satellite TV a few months ago. We haven't even noticed. Our intent was to install an antenna on our roof but we just haven't gotten around to it. We may never get around to it.

  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    Aug. 15, 2013 10:38 p.m.

    Well, I did it! I canceled Directv today. They put me on hold, transferred me to 2 or 3 different "departments", reminds me of the used car salesman going in the back room to talk to his manager, anyway, they offered me a huge discount, free movie channels and a bunch more. I didn't fall for it, but had to ask "if there were discounts available, and my bill could have been lower, maybe I wouldn't be calling at all. Why did you overcharge me for the last few years?" At that point, they thanked me for being a customer and told me to return the receivers. If all consumers demanded more from these companies, like ala carte programming for one, maybe more of us could afford "basic cable" remember that term? We all need to do it with cell phone providers too!

  • dogchow1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    Century Link for me is $40 a month and is fast enough to handle Netflix, etc. I have no limits on my data usage and no slow-downs when I reach a certain amount. Other options are similar such as Digis and Comcast internet only service.

  • bluered Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 11:52 a.m.

    So you still need internet. How much do you pay for your internet and who do you go through?

  • Hunam Layton, UT
    Aug. 15, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    We've had no cable for years now. With basic Hulu, I don't even have to pay for programming. A friend gifted us a subscription to Netflix, and so we don't pay for that either.

    Truthfully, though, we still watch/play on the internet far more than I am comfortable with... I really wish we spent more time outside, or helping improve our home. Too often our life is a bunch of TV programs punctuated with occasional trips outside the home...

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    Aug. 15, 2013 5:57 a.m.

    When I was in college, my roommates and I decided to put the TV away in the closet for a week. Results: Of course ours studying improved, but so did our relationships between ourselves, and our dating lives and many others. The TV stayed in the closet. Eventually one of the roommates moved out and then the others. I was the last among the group that had made this decision. New roommates would find that we had no TV around, would look odd for a few seconds, shrug their shoulders and say "Huh... well, OK." and proceed to not miss it either. Finally, it was my turn to move out. One of the roommates went to the closet and brought out the TV, so I could take it with me. Problem was, ... it wasn't mine either. So I left it there. Probably still there too.

  • GoodGuyGary Houston, TX
    Aug. 14, 2013 11:54 p.m.

    We cut our cable and phone for over 5 years now and we always got entertainment at night from the internet. We save over $120 a month for 5 years, that is a lot of money. Next thing the consumers need to do is to tell the cell phone companies that they are charging too much. We pay over $140-$170 for 2 phones to Verizon every month, which definitely has room to lower the rate.

  • JimE Kaysville, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 10:51 p.m.

    Haven't had cable or dish in my 23 years of marriage. It's been great.
    Why pat to let trash into your home?

  • Kyle loves BYU/Jazz Provo, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:58 p.m.

    We just moved and decided not to sign up for TV or phone. Just internet for us. It will be really painful for me when football and basketball season starts but I'll survive somehow.

    Hopefully soon more sports will be available online. It's the only thing on TV that I will miss.

    For those that are thinking about it but just can't quite bring themselves to cut the cable. Do it!! Life is so much better with less time in front of the tube and without all the commercials.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:49 p.m.

    We've never had cable. It's been ten or 15 years since we had TV of any sort. I guess I'm a poor judge on the merits of having it since I never have had the experience. When I was young we lived in a high altitude place where television reception was so poor we didn't bother. I'm so glad I rode horses, learned to make rafts, hammocks, birdhouses, and all sorts of entertaining contrivances instead of watching television. Hiking and exploring are still favorite pursuits, which I started as a teenager. I'm grateful I never developed a television habit. I assure you still manage to waste time, but at least I'm expending more energy doing it. Cable is expensive, and not worth the expense.

  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    Aug. 14, 2013 9:21 p.m.

    Well I was already close, but after reading this article and most of the comments, I'm doing it!, I'm calling Directv tonight. I was already going to cancel the Sunday ticket anyway, so I'll just cancel out the rest. I've said for years if Directv would offer ala carte programming, everyone would join in. I don't want 200 channels. I don't watch more than 10. If each channel was a few bucks, we could all save money. Satellite/cable operators and cell phone companies are todays version of crack dealers. They get us all hooked, crank up the price and make billions off of our jonesing for a fix. I finally realized that the $80-100 bucks a month for tv is taking opportunity away from my family and giving it to honey boo-boo and other idiots. I enjoy Duck Dynasty, SOA, ESPN, etc., but so far none of these people have ever sent me a card of thanks for contributing to their fortunes, so I'm not going to contribute anymore! I may, or may not stream tv, but I'll feel better knowing Directv isn't getting my money anymore! Bring on the withdrawals!

  • dogchow1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 8:43 p.m.

    I dropped my $70 a month useless cable habit 3 months ago and I don't miss any of the 3 usual channels I was watching that weren't local channels. I got the high definition antenna for the locals and PBS stations, got a subscription to Netflix for occasional entertainment and I'm $750 better off a year. A friend of mine did the same thing after seeing mine and he's saving $1200 per year. That's real money in the pocket.

  • BYU_Aggie Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 8:42 p.m.

    This fails to address something very important - the cost of high speed internet. If you want to stream Netflix (or Hulu, etc.), you have to have broadband internet, and the cable companies know it. I've tried multiple times to cancel cable and just use the internet for streaming, but most often you'll pay as much for internet as you do a cable/internet bundle (our current bundle with cable is actually cheaper than internet alone).

  • Aggielove Cache county, USA
    Aug. 14, 2013 8:24 p.m.

    I'm considering canceling cable. Question. Don't laugh. What do you do with your time? Like how do you gel out? Reading gets old.

  • Daniel Leifker San Francisco, CA
    Aug. 14, 2013 7:45 p.m.

    I cancelled my satellite TV last week and am selling my television sets. After I hung up the phone from cancelling it, I felt very bad, like breaking up with a girlfriend or quitting a job. But I've gone 8 days without any TV and I don't miss it one bit. It was all junk shows that were 40% commercials anyway. And I am discovering the pleasure of Internet radio from all over the world.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 5:49 p.m.

    I cancelled my cable approx. 5 yrs. ago. For me, it wasn't so much about the money, (although I hated the ridiculous amounts of taxes stuck on it), rather it made me feel STUPID.

    I would spend 30 mins. of my time flipping through the 1000 channels to find something/anything I liked. Sometimes I'd "land" on something and watch it for awhile, only to discover that it was silly and made me think I was the stupid one for even bothering with it.

    For the younger people out there: electronic gizmos can make/break a family budget. LIMIT yourselves. Otherwise you'll be 65 yrs. old and wonder where your money went!
    Someone told me a long time ago "it doesn't matter how MUCH you earn, it only matters how you SPEND it".

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 5:29 p.m.

    Digital broadcast tv is far superior in audio and video quality to anything you can pay for. I can't believe what poor quality signals and programming people want to pay for, and how much they pay for it. When we got rid of any paid tv years ago, my wife and I agreed to a nice holiday every year in vegas or LA or Seattle or Tucson. Financed on what we save by not being able to watch duck dynasty.

  • Mark from Montana Aurora, CO
    Aug. 14, 2013 3:57 p.m.

    My cable bill is $15 per month and even then will likely cancel it soon.

    There is no redeeming value to shows like "Real Housewives of NJ". Studies have shown that these shows kill brain cells and lower our immune system.

  • BusStopRatBag Layton, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 3:39 p.m.

    Cable/satellite hold one remaining card - sports programming. Without that they'd lose 80% of their customer base. If I were willing to give up English and National Team soccer I'd cancel today. I'm getting very close.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 2:30 p.m.

    Use to work for Directv and realized not much showing on tv and TOO many repeats. I use off air antena with no problem and use online for sports and netflix. Or you might want Amazon Prime which is similar to Netflix and many times when shopping for stuff at Amazon Prime you would get free shipping. Cable tv is a waste of money.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 1:29 p.m.

    We've never had cable. Off-air network TV is more than enough. Even Netfix is too much. We rent a Redbox movie every couple of weeks.
    Our viewing has decreased dramatically over the years. Perhaps five or six hours a week is all.
    Network news? Nope. Local news? Sometimes. The Internet is a better source for news anyway.
    I HATE monthly payments for anything and don't consider cable a utility. Somehow we've muddled through with our seven kids.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    Aug. 14, 2013 1:11 p.m.

    Cable TV is outdated and overpriced. There is almost nothing anymore that you can't watch over the internet in some fashion on demand. Even sports are now usually available live over the internet.