Television Will Rot Your… Wallet

I used to pay my television/internet provider $156.39 a month. All because I wanted to watch an occasional live sporting event and DVR T.V. shows that decreased my IQ with every episode. Finally, enough was enough.

A long time ago, in this galaxy I think, I preached a sermon in which I encouraged my congregants to give up cable. The economy was tanking and a lot of people were losing their jobs. It stood to reason that the folks could use the extra money. Unemployment hit something like 14%. Needless to say numerous people took up the challenge and aside for a couple of infuriated teenagers I didn’t get any complaints.

For my wife and I, it was a pretty simple decision. We had a 26” tube TV and little money. Jeannelle was working part time. We weren’t tithing like we wanted to be. It just seemed like an obvious move and honestly, once we did it, we didn’t miss it. Plus we got the “basic” stations for free. Once in awhile I’d bust out an old video game system but that was about it. T.V. was virtually dead to me.

But then life changed. We were gifted a giant HD TV by our family. Halo 2 came out. The Cavs drafted LeBron James. HD came into full effect – and then… back to being cable addicts.

When we moved to Hilton Head, we added DVR and I watched more episodes of Castle, Glee and American Pickers than any human should be permitted to ingest. It is amazing how quickly someone can fill up a DVR hard-drive. I hadn’t just fallen of the wagon I had face planted off the wagon.

That is, until I kept getting billed. Every month – month after month – the $100+ television bill waiting patiently in our mailbox sickened me. I had a sinking feeling in my gut – “Why am I doing this to myself”? Then “The Decision” happened, Halo 3 was terrible, I joined Netflix, and our giant TV died. It must have been a sign from God, right?

Well maybe. But either way it was enough to get me to cancel our cable again. And let me tell you what a difference it makes. Our bill used to be 156.39 a month not counting Netflix. After canceling the cable it went down to $57 a month for Internet. That’s $99.36 a month savings, 1192.32 a year.

You can do a lot with 1192.32 a year. Over 30 years that’s 35,769.6. Invested in the current market – well you should probably just keep your cable – but invested in a normal market – that’s exponential growth in wealth. That could be your kid’s college fund or your retirement fund. Or maybe your family just needs a vacation to foster some memories. Better yet, getting rid of your cable might just keep you away from Fox News or MSNBC so that you aren’t irrationally screaming at people on T.V. who end up making you hate your neighbor as they make dinner plans with one another between commercial breaks. Or here’s a crazy thought, if you go to church – you could put it toward your tithe… or maybe just donate it to the poor. I know craaaazy, right?

Yes, college football will be hard to let go. Yes, you might not sing as many stunning renditions of “Don’t Stop Believing” in your shower anymore. Yes, it may take time to adjust to not being able to watch the self-destruction of the world at any time you like. But adjust you will.

And in the mean time, you’ll spend more time with your family and friends; you’ll do things that you value more in life; your quality of living will increase; and other people’s quality of living will increase too. Don’t believe me? Try it for two months. The money you save will more than cover your reconnection fees a-la Jim Carey if you find that you just can’t live without it.

Personally, for me, the guilt that I felt from paying that unreasonable bill each month – that was plenty enough reason to keep my cable off for good. Set yourself free. Take back the box. You won’t regret it. I’ll bet your Glee on it.