Saving... By Paying for Cable

>> 7.08.2009

I have lived with cable all of my life. I didn't have HBO or the Disney Channel as a kid, but I had over 50 stations and I was set! As recently as this past year, I've been known to gasp in horror when a friend, acquaintance, or even random stranger reveals that he or she is living without it. Surprisingly enough, I've been starting to convince myself that I don't need the thing. Lately, I've been spending a lot of time outdoors or with real, live people and haven't really used it too much. Knowing that I needed to save money for the home purchase, I started looking for ways to cut back. After some hesitation, I came to the conclusion that I could, just maybe, live without cable television. I literally psyched myself up for months about the decision. Well, today was the day that I finally decided: no cable for me!

....Unfortunately, the cable company felt otherwise. It turns out that my cable-dependant self had signed a two year contract in 2008 and unless I want to pay some hefty fees, I'm stuck with it. Sigh. Soooo now that I'm officially recommitted to cable, I've decided to think of ways to make the most of it. It is now a resource to me like a public park or community center and I've come up with a list of thrifty ways that I'll use cable to enhance my life:

1. movie night- Yes, I also have the DVR plan. So why pay for rentals or movies in the theater when I can just record them and have them available anytime?

2. exercise- My channel lineup comes with Fit TV so instead of paying for yoga classes at $10+ a pop or buying a variety of dvd's, I'll record them and do peaceful morning sessions in my own home. Hey, I could even light a candle or something while I'm at it.

3. Entertain friends- I've already had a few viewing parties related to cable-based shows. Also, a lot of sporting events are only viewable on cable. I actually have a couple of people coming over to watch Tour de France with me this weekend. I'm sure that there are a few other things that I'll come up with.

What are the ways that you make the most out of cable? Are there any cable shows that I need to start watching?


Bromeliad July 13, 2009 at 7:04 AM  

Smart thinking.

Hmmm, you could watch cooking shows to encourage cooking at home.

Jen July 13, 2009 at 12:34 PM  

I hate those contracts and was happy to finally be out of mine. I love that you were able to find a thrifty way to use cable. I love your blog, if you had a follow button I would follow you. I guess I'll just havet to check back and see when you get your new house. What an exciting adventure.

simplesavvy July 14, 2009 at 8:41 AM  

Question! Do the fees cost more to cancel now than it would to continue paying until the end of your contract? Sometimes they try to trick you into staying on because the fees are actually LESS than the cost of finishing out your agreement. Those jerks!

thriftylittleblog July 14, 2009 at 10:14 AM  

@simplesavvy Great question! That's actually something that I had thought about, but what happens is that they charge you again to reinstall everything. The price to break would be roughly 4 months out of the 13 months that remain on my contract. If I change my mind and want the cable back, I'll erase another few months of the savings. That's how I came up with the conclusion to make the best out of it!

Louis November 25, 2009 at 12:27 PM  

Comcast doesn't have contracts, and you can actually try any of their services (except pay-per-view)risk-free for 30 days. This applies to ALL customers, both new and current.

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