We Cut Cable and Here’s What Happened

Some people pack up their belongings and move into a tiny home. Others RV it across the country or live off the land. My family’s attempt at embracing a minimalist lifestyle is a little more… well… minor. But we did cut cable.

Now I get it, cutting cable is not all that revolutionary of a move. It’s not like if we cut cable television in 2018 we would be out in the backyard churning butter. There’s Netflix, Amazon, antennas, and some very smart phones. Honestly, considering our screen habits we weren’t expecting a whole lot to change at all. But we did notice three things since we cut the cord.

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The Three Things We Noticed After We Cut Cable

1) The Kids are Alright

Before making the cut, we ordered an HD tv antenna from Amazon to make sure we could still get some of the basic channels for football and This Is Us watching purposes. Then after many phone calls to my friends at our friendly yet aggressive cable television provider, I finally got our cable box whisked away and we became an internet-only customer.

The first thing I noticed was that the kids do not care. Not a bit. They still had their Disney movie suite on Amazon Prime Video and Sofia the First on Netflix.

The only hiccup so far was that Jack was confused when I couldn’t pause a live football game so he could go get a snack. The kitchen is ten feet away so he just made a run for it during a commercial. He didn’t miss a single Tom Brady play. Or LeBron. You try to tell him that LeBron doesn’t play for the Patriots, or play football. Try it…

2) We Started Making It Rain

If you have one child in daycare, you understand that it’s expensive. If you have more than one child in daycare, then you have more than once googled “how to print money at home.” My kids are in wonderful care while we are at work during the day. Fabulous care. But dang, it costs A LOT of money.

So we started looking for ways to make more money or cut costs. First came the groceries. Then when we found that our cable plan had hundreds of channels that we never watched anymore and a DVR that was filled with episodes of “So You Think You Can Dance?” from 2013, cable television was next on the cutting room floor.

When we finally cut the cord we kicked ourselves for not doing it sooner. The savings is significant. $75 a month level significant. I can’t even tell you how much name brand cereal we bought as a result of our new windfall. Making it rain REAL Honey Bunches of Oats, y’all.

3) Our Handshake is Still the Best

This isn’t the first time that Glen hasn’t had cable tv. Rewind about 9 years and Glen lived solo in an attic apartment for one year. He was working and in grad school without a lot of free time for tv, so he just didn’t have one. When I went to visit him on the weekends we did weird stuff like talk, or go outside, or cook meals. It was like Little House on the Prairie.

One of the weirdest things we did was make up our own handshake. We had time to kill whenever we spent the weekend at his place and for whatever reason, this is what we decided to do one afternoon. It’s a pretty good, and rather complex, handshake though. We may or may not have done our handshake when we were introduced at our wedding reception.

Cut cable, come up with a handshake instead!

When we cut cable this time we suggested to our kids that they make up their own handshake. Theirs’ is basically Ring around the Rosie for 20 minutes. Between the four of us, we all agree that Glen and I win the handshake battle.  For now. They’ll work on it.

The Cut Cable Guys

So what happened when we cut cable?

We couldn’t pause a football game that was going to continue on without us in real life regardless of our snacking habits, we saved some money, and our kids lost a handshake battle. The real takeaway here? If your television habits are minimal and/or center on streaming services anyway, it’s just not that big of a deal.

We’ve had to scramble to figure out how we could watch a couple football games that weren’t on our antenna channels, but thanks to my parents and Amazon Video, we figured it out. Plus there are fewer remote controls to lose now. Pros > Cons

So I say try it. Cut cable, save yourself some cash, save yourself a lot of time, and then call me if you miss your cable terribly. I won’t call your cable company for you to set it back up, because that sounds terrible, but I’ll apologize to you.

On second thought you’ll probably even get the new customer discount if you reinstall it so I don’t even feel that bad. How’s that for a weak preemptive apology?

Curious about the cost saving grocery hack? Check this post out!

Thinking about cutting cable in your house? Read what happened when a family of four cut cable first!

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  1. I remember when we cut cable out 4 years ago. The first week was definitely the hardest. I remember hating not being able to just turn it on for background noise. It was season hiatus season and nothing was on streaming. I almost called them to bring our box back after 28 hours. But we made it. And now and then I do wish I could watch something “live” but I mean in reality we were DVRing everything to watch the next day so we could skip commercials. The bulk of my shows still air the next day on Hulu and for everything else I just binge watch when the new season starts. I sometimes feel bad when other kids talk about a show and I’m like oh we don’t have cable so we can’t watch that, but as more people switch it’s not as bad. And it encourages you to try shows/movies you normally wouldn’t watch.

    1. Agree on all counts! I do like having the antenna to watch a couple things live (like football) but other than that, we really weren’t using it for live TV either. I won’t be surprised if when our kids are our age cable TV isn’t the norm anymore.

  2. Hi Becca,

    Wanted to leave a message all the way from The Netherlands. Love your posts, real down to earth.

    On cutting cable, I did that for 2 years and then I met my wife, she loves a soap series so much I bended. This was before the time where the show is also available on (payed) streaming service.

    Cutting cable here would actually cost us more, we are in a bundle agreement where we have mobile phones, internet and TV all wrapped up in one offer. With massive discounts.

    But other than that, we only have baby TV on and the new season of Dr. Who just started. We could live without.

    Look forward to more from you.

    1. Hi Erik! Great to hear from you! Thank you so much for reading. I’ve heard that from other people as well, the bundles end up being more cost effective in some areas. Especially if you can get a discount on your phone too. Since our cell phones were separate it ended up working out that doing the just internet was a big cheaper than the internet and tv bundle so off we went! I hope all is well with you and the family!

  3. We did the same thing. We have found many great options for watching TV at a much cheaper price. I have found that in general, we don’t watch as much TV as before.

    1. Same here! Still pretty recent switch for us but since we had already cut back on tv watching I think it is going to decline even more. Plus there are just so many other options. Glad to hear it is working out for you!

  4. I cut the cable cord about a year ago and there was a good saving. However, I have noticed within the year’s time that many of the streaming services have been steadily raising their prices. The savings I once had are not quite as big as they once were.

    Even though the savings for cutting cable are not quite as much as they were a year ago for me, the service itself with streaming has been much better compared to my previous traditional cable provider. There are not as many outages and interruptions. Also, I do get some added services thrown in that a traditional cable company typically charges for like free unlimited DVR to record shows and skip the commercials.

    I think it will be interesting to see what happens to streaming providers in the future. Just recently there appears to be more competition coming into the market, such as Apple and Dinsey. I am hoping more competitors will hopefully equal a price war with the result in prices going down instead of up.

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