A Year Without Cable {and we survived!}

Out of the blue the other day my husband states, “It’s been a year without cable.”

Last year, we made the decision that I was going to stay at home with our three minions.  Luckily, we already had a very solid budget created and we could look clearly at what we would need to cut and/or add each month in order to maintain our current situation AND save for the future.  We analyzed the budget and asked ourselves the tough question with each line item: Is this a need or is this a want?

notes

It is actually a pretty easy exercise to do, if you think about it.  Mortgage=need.  Lunches out=want.  Gas for cars=need.  Cable=want.

We did get creative though, as everyone needs a break from reality every now and then 🙂  Here’s what we learned:

  • Never underestimate the power of network TV.  PBS has great kids shows.  We don’t do it too often, but when we do, the quality of the kids programming is very good, in my opinion.
  • You can find many programs online.  Invest in a connector cord and you can stream straight from your laptop to your TV.
    • We love Big Bang Theory – Guess what.  It’s online at CBS.com.  {Yes, I know it is also on regular TV, but we like to do shows on our time, not the TV’s time.}
    • Several shows stream free at Hulu.com or on the appropriate channel’s website. {I admit it… I love the Real Housewives of NY and OC – Thank you BravoTV.com for putting these online!}
    • We also get to stream old-school cartoons for our children to enjoy. Yay for He-Man and She-RaYouTube.com is a great resource as well 🙂
  • ABCMouse.com is impressive!  It allows you to apply time-limits, so our media time is restricted, but each of our minions has their own learning path and their media time is spent well. This was worth the investment for us {Plus, mommy and daddy have learned some great things from the site as well.  Did you know that Susan B. Anthony was originally part of the Mount Rushmore plan?}
  • Libraries aren’t just for books! Our local library has movies available as soon as they are released.  It is awesome!  Not only that, but you can actually reserve them while they are in the theaters {we got on the wait list for Frozen long before it was released}.  Check out the media section of your local library.  It may surprise you…
  • Our zoo membership paid for itself in about three visits!  With three minions, parking, and two adults, a trip to the zoo gets pricey very quickly.  Our local zoo membership {which just happens to be the best in the country at this time} actually is a great value and it is annual, so we are there pretty much weekly most of the year.

This past year has taught us a lot.  By allocating our money differently, we were able to save the $40/month {or nearly $500 a year!} that cable was taking from us.  We do a ton of activities at little to no cost {check out my post on fun & free activities for kids}.

If you are looking for a simple way to save a little money, I do encourage you to make a detailed list of where your money goes each month.  Then, take a serious look at it.  Snip a little here and there and you will be surprised as to how quickly it adds up.  Be encouraged and have fun with it.

For us, more often than not, the TV is simply not missed.  {With the exception of Buckeye Saturdays in which we pay my parents a visit – I love you guys! 🙂 }

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Have a great day!
Andrea-sig

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