In Part 1 of this post, I discussed 2 significant alternatives to cable and satellite television. You can read Part 1 here. In Part 2 I am going to discuss a third alternative and respond to some common arguments that many have as to why they cannot let go of their cable or satellite.
Option 3: Pull the plug completely. That’s right; the third option is (gasp) pull the plug completely! Pull the plug on all paid entertainment services. Can it be done? It sure can! Mrs. Ordinary Life and I do not presently have any paid entertainment service which means our monthly entertainment bill is $0 a month. That’s right, a big $0! Does this mean we never spend anything on entertainment? Absolutely not.
We do enjoy a show on the stage every once in a while. Theatre programs at many colleges offer great shows for prices that are usually very reasonable. Many high schools often put on shows for a just a few dollars per ticket, as well. Mrs. Ordinary Life and I have also visited NYC and enjoyed a few shows on Broadway (with tickets that we acquired for reasonable prices by buying these tickets at the right time) throughout the course of the past few years.
We also go to see a movie in the theater once in a while. If it is a movie that we really want to see, then we go to a “normal” theater and pay the $8-$12 per ticket. This usually happens once or twice a year, at most. About once a month we go to a local theater that sells tickets for $2 or less per person to see movies that were in the mainstream theaters about 2-3 months prior. These are those movies that we want to see and are quite content waiting for a few months to see.
We also occasionally watch a few TV shows or movies for free online offered by services such as Hulu or on the major TV networks websites. We are surprised at how many shows are offered for free viewing with these options. Sure, they contain advertisements, but they are still free.
Why have we pulled the plug completely on all paid entertainment services? At this time in our lives, Mrs. Ordinary and I find much more enjoyment in the activities that we can participate in apart from paid entertainment services. We enjoy reading; we enjoy writing; we enjoy setting goals and achieving these goals; we enjoy getting outside and going on a relaxing walk or a challenging hike; we enjoy traveling and seeing new destinations; we enjoy spending time with our friends and family conversing about life; we each have our own hobbies that we enjoy that do not involve a paid entertainment service.
We want to enjoy life and invest our time and money into creating memories and enjoying our respective hobbies!
With that being said, we do not see Netflix or Amazon Prime as bad choices. These services certainly offer a lot for a great price! However, Mrs. Ordinary Life and I would not use these services enough to make them worth our money.
Now, I realize that some of you may have some specific objections to cutting the cord on cable and satellite, and here are a few:
1. What about my news and weather? You do not need cable or satellite to tune in to the talking heads. In most areas of the United States, you can hook up rabbit ears and a digital converter box and receive local broadcasting that will give you plenty of news and weather. Instead of television, I get all of my news and weather online. There is a news and weather website to fit every preference and bias…and yes, every news organization does have a bias. Every human has a bias whether one wants to admit it or not. That bias will ultimately show in whatever news is being presented. The vast majority of news and weather websites are free, as well.
2. What about my sports? As with news and weather, you can get much of your sports action for free either via rabbit ears or online. Many games can also be heard online or on the radio, and many games can also be “watched” live with live scoring transcripts.
If you are a die-hard fan of a specific sports team and you absolutely must see every game, then maybe paying more than $1,000 a year for cable or satellite TV is worth the cost to you. Ultimately, this is something you must decide!
3. What about my kids TV programs? First of all, please don’t let the TV babysit your child. Mrs. Ordinary Life and I believe that one of the worst things you can do for your child is let that child sit in front of the TV all day. Not only is this physically unhealthy, this is also mentally unhealthy. Television does not enhance cognitive function and, if anything, causes children grow up into adults with a decreased ability to think critically and with less creativity and imagination.
We encourage parents to motivate their child to read and to imagine; most of all, we encourage parents to be there for their child and to interact with their child! 18 years later when that child has left home, most parents will be happy they invested that time into their child’s life. Your time and involvement in your child’s life is a priceless gift to give to your child. Countless studies have also shown the benefit of parents being involved in their children’s lives.
Now, this does not mean there is anything wrong with your child watching some television, especially if this is part of a family activity where you are watching television with your child. We simply recommend other activities as being better options like going outside to play with your child, reading a book with your child, playing a board game with your child, or any number of other activities.
There you have it. Three great options for cutting the cable or slinging the satellite. Any of these three options will save you some serious cash and one of these three options is even free!
Cutting the cable or slinging the satellite is a great addition to living the extraordinary life!