I finally listened to my co-workers and decided to cut the cord on cable.
For months, many friends at the office have insisted that I’ve been, to put it mildly, “out-of-step” for continuing to pay for cable TV.
So, I finally responded to the peer pressure. I bought a digital antenna so I could receive local stations for free. I cancelled my cable service, and got rid of my landline while I was at it.
The process was simpler than I expected. The small, unobtrusive antennae wasn’t expensive. Hooking it up to the back of my flat screen TV was easy enough. And the phone call to ask the cable company to discontinue the service with the cable company was straightforward.
But, there was a catch.
From my house in Hanover County, the digital antennae could only pick up a handful of stations, and two of the local stations that I consider essential did not come in at all. I assume this was the result of the distance or of an obstruction blocking the path from the stations to my antenna. Just to be sure, I moved the antenna all around the room. Even then, I never could pickup an acceptable signal from these two broadcasters.
My job involves occasionally interacting with local news media. I considered the loss of two local stations to be a deal-breaker. So after breaking up with the cable company, I had to call and beg them to take me back.
The good news? I still ended up with a substantially better deal on my monthly bill.
I had expected they would try and tempt me to stay. On my first call, the customer service representative offered to continue my service for about $40 less than what I had been paying. At that point, I was determined to see it through, so I wasn’t persuaded.
But on the second call, the one where I was actually calling to re-start the service, the price dropped another $30. In the end, my monthly cable bill went from about $171 to $107.
I’m OK with that. I don’t have any premium channels and I don’t watch a lot of cable tv. But I’m willing to pay a reasonable amount for internet service + basic cable.
Many people who’ve successfully cut the cord say they’re glad they did it, that they’ll never go back, and they can’t believe how much they’re saving month to month. That wasn’t my experience, but I’m still glad I went through the exercise, and so is my wallet. If I hadn’t, I’d still be paying a lot more for dozens of channels I never watch.
Being frugal was never a habit I had to work hard to learn; it came pretty naturally to me. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve seen more and more how money influences the decisions we make in life. I believe everyone has good ideas for reducing spending, saving money, or stretching dollars. I hope my blog posts will spark some ideas of your own.
Other stories by Glenn B.