Friday, July 31, 2009

Frugal Friday, saving on the cable bill

It's been nearly 8 weeks now since we cancelled the cable and decided to go television free. Yes, I said it. We have had NO tv since June 2nd.

This decision came about after my hubby and I sat down to review our budget again. We are in the habit of doing so every few month to see what is working and what isn't.

We were spending around $45 every month on just the expanded basic program. And that was on a special! We decided that even if we suspended it for just the summer we could save about $150 that could pay for other things, like that pesky van payment.

We did not even have a converter box at that time. Our government coupons we requested had been given to another family member that had multiple televisions and needed the extra boxes. Yet we were not daunted by that. About a week after the cable was pulled, my mom decided to move and no longer needed her converter box and gave it to us. Ironically 7 weeks later, it is still sitting in its box next to the tv, we haven't hooked it up yet!

The kids were sad initially; the first few days they would ask for cartoons repeatedly and were upset when I reminded them there was no tv. There were the typical "I'm bored" remarks, but I reminded them of all of the toys and options they had to keep them busy. They haven't asked about the tv in weeks.

We do let them watch their movies a couple times a week. And we go to the library regularly to pick up a "new" movie they haven't seen before. Hubby and I do the same, and have enjoyed seeing many movies we hadn't heard of before that were great.

One great side effect I have seen in the kids with this experiment is their empathy and patience has really improved. They are playing together better and aren't so quick to get upset with each other. They still wrestle and fight, but it seems better. Plus they are playing with their Leapster games more. The Leapster is an age appropriate 'video game' that they love to play, and the lack of television has re-sparked their interest in it. They are all learning games where they have to often solve math problems or find letters to play. Just the other day one of the twins said "Mom, did you know the ring tail Lemur has 10 rings in his tail"; all from the Animal Genius game they have. I love that game!

On the adult side, I have become addicted to the silence in the house after the kids are in bed. I love to read and have also found this time to be so peaceful to get lost in a book. I still wonder how things got done around the house as we still can't keep a handle on the cleaning etc. How did I have time to do that when I watched tv at night?

All in all, this has been the perfect time of year for this experiment. We spend so much time outside during the summer that we haven't missed the tv much. I have one child who would prefer to live outside all the time, so we have to force him in at night anyways.

This has been a wonderful challenge for our family, and I am proud of ourselves for doing it and saving our money in the process. The big question is: Will this still work when football season starts? The hubby may break down them!

This article is linked to Frugal Fridays at lifeasmom, check it out!

1 comment:

  1. My son would probably make it okay on just movies. He mostly watched videos anyway. And I am not a tv person myself.

    Hubby is a whole other story! Any ideas on how to talk him down from overpriced cable?