For those of you that don’t know me by my first name – I’m Eddie, and in three months it will be 3 years since I last paid for cable TV. I’m certain that after you read the first 32 words in the article that you assumed that I’m either participating in some sort of illegal cable TV activity or that I watch TV on the internet. If you guessed either of the above two – you are wrong.
When I used to pay for cable, others painfully listened to me complain about the fact that the big telecom companies will offer discounts to the customers who jump through hoops to get them. You can threaten to take your business to a rival company and they will lower your bill. Or you can be a loyal customer and lose out on the deals they offer new subscribers. One thing that never made much sense to me is how the big telecom companies treat new customers like gold, while offering little incentive to existing loyal customers. Just thinking about this angers me, so rather than getting off topic too much, I’ll just save my rant for another post called; Why am I getting half-ass service? It must be because I’m not the new kid on the block.
It’s been almost 3 years since I paid a cable list last, and quite honestly I feels pretty damn good not having to dish out $45 per month as my rough calculation shows that I saved at least $1,440 in the last 32 months due to not paying for cable TV.
How I Don’t Pay For Cable TV.
Like I said earlier, I don’t engage in any illegal cable TV activity. In fact I get over 70 channels of cable TV, and a nice selection of high end sports channels, and I still pay $0 per month for cable TV. How’s this possible you ask? Here’s the simple answer – My cable TV is included in my monthly condo fee. I’m fortunate enough to own a condo in a building that offers premium cable TV in the monthly condo fee.
If I were to pay for all the channels in a package on my own, I’m certain that my monthly cable TV bill would be well over $80 per month. Instead our condo building’s TV package includes movie channels, sports channels, and a few specialty channels as well.
I’m certain you’re saying to your self now; “Well you’re not really paying $0, because you pay it through your condo fee”. Yes, and No. You have to understand where I live before you could make a statement like that. I own a condo in a building that’s over 40 years old. It’s a two bedroom, one bathroom condo with a generous balcony measuring measuring just under a 1,000 sq. feet. My monthly maintenance fee is $425, which includes hydro, water, a parking spot, heating in the winter, outside maintenance of the building, heated outdoor pool, and of course all the great TV channels we get.
I have friends who own condos within a five minute drive that are more than newer (less than 5 years old), and their monthly maintenance fee is $375 for a one bedroom – one washroom condo with a balcony one fourth the size of mine. Their monthly condo fee does not include cable TV or hydro, which are separate expenses on top of their monthly condo fee.
So, do you think I’m getting a great deal? I think so, because the heating, hydro, water and the parking spot alone are worth the $425 I spend per month on my condo fee, and that’s why I feel that my cable TV is a freebie.
I’m Not Ready To Give Up Cable TV.
I admit that cable TV is expensive, and is one of the first things to get cut off anytime we’re re-organizing our budgets. However, it doesn’t need to be all or nothing. You don’t need to pay over $100 per month for cable, and instead you can pay $40 per month by going with basic cable, where you’d have a basic selection of TV shows, the weather network channel, news channels, and a few basic sports channels. Anytime people budget they typically go the all or nothing route, and it doesn’t have to be that. Instead for a lower monthly premium they can enjoy basic cable TV, and still catch up on today’s news and tomorrow’s weather.
That’s why I doubt I’ll ever be able to give up on cable TV, unless I’m on the border of poverty and can’t afford to put food on my table. :)
Here are a few reasons why I (and maybe you) shouldn’t give up cable TV:
No Live TV – If you like to watch a live event, such as Nik Wallenda crossing over Niagara Falls, you’re SOL, and would need to make alternate arrangements to watch the event at your parents or friends house.
Stuck In Time – You’re stuck in time, because everyone is watching the twelfth season of American Idol tonight, while you’re stuck watching last year’s re-runs of the eleventh season on Netflix.
Sometime I Just Want To See It – Sure we all can catch up on the news as it happens on radio or internet, but there are days throughout the week that I don’t want to read. I read enough blogs, articles, news, and write enough posts throughout the week, and the last thing I want to do some days is go on the internet to read news.
Live Sports – I’m a sports junkie, and simply love watching real-time sporting events. Can I go online and watch my favorite football game on Sunday? Sure, however I’d rather watch on a 40″ TV screen in much better picture quality.
Maybe You Should End The Relationship With Your Cable TV Provider:
Parting ways with Cable TV is becoming more common these days, however the majority of the households still have cable TV. If you decide to cut off cable TV, be prepared for a lot of comments when you tell people you don’t have TV. Some people will think you’re nuts, others will think you’re wise, and almost everyone will be curious to know what it’s like to cut the cord.
So, here’s some positives for cutting the cord with your cable TV provider:
More Money In Your Pocket - You will no longer be spending $100 a month on TV bills. That’s $1,200 a year in savings – enough to justify finally to buy the TV of my your dreams.
Life After TV – There’s more to life than watching TV. After the first few awkward months, you’ll realize that you fill your time nicely with nature walks, reading, writing, music from the radio, and maybe even blogging.
Commercial Free -By not having cable TV, you don’t have to worry about watching commercials, and all the junk on TV.
FREE TV – You can watch FREE TV via internet as most of the bigger news channels such as CP24, CTV, Global, CBC offer their direct broadcasts via internet. Keep in mind that the more TV you watch online, the more of your monthly band-width it will eat.
For me, the choice is clear: I’m too much of a live TV and sports fan to give up watching TV. Thankfully I’m fortunate enough to not have to spend upwards to a $1,000 per year on cable TV. Even if I had to pay for cable, I’d still pay for basic cable due to me enjoying live TV, and all the different sports games that are on throughout the week. Remember, when it comes to budgeting it’s not always an all or nothing scenario, you can still enjoy the things you do for less. As an example of my religious live sporting event viewing, this past Sunday night I was flipping between US Open, Game 3 – Miami vs. OKC, Red Sox vs. Cubs baseball, and the local news channel. Quite honestly I couldn’t see my self missing great sporting events like this.
Unfortunately Miami and the Red Sox won, and Mr. Els dropped the ball on the final two holes of US Open. (This update was brought to those with no cable TV by me!)
What are your thoughts on cable TV bills? How much do you spend per month on cable TV? Have you thought about cutting the cable off?
All the best!
Photo Credit – Joethelion