Friday, June 17, 2011

Paying for Cable TV

In a quest to live a more simple life, one of the things that comes up in discussion is our choice not to pay to watch TV.   When we enter Sam's Club, immediately we are asked who our cable TV provider is.  (They are trying to sell cable service to their customers).  We respond with, "we don't have cable".  They immediately are quieted.  One response was "well, we can't be free".  Exactly.

I have only had cable TV for three years of my life.  When I was going through my divorce, the first thing I did was cancel the cable.  That was in 1997.  I haven't paid for television since.

Since 9/11 we have spent more than desirable time living or staying in motels with my husband.  Each time having access to paid TV. It was a novelty, that at times kept us up because we were watching TV.  After time we found ourselves flipping channels frequently to locate something to watch.  The same can be said for "antenna" TV.  Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy some shows that are only on cable, however, not enough to justify the added expense of paying to watch it.  I feel that is money I can spend on something of more enjoyment.  If I am going to pay for something to watch, it's usually a rented movie.  We do buy movies, on occasion, to add to our collection which we view from often.  Especially now that reruns of most shows are being played.

Now that television has changed from analog to digital, the viewing choices are more limited.  If a cloud rolls over, our program can be disrupted.  If you don't sit in the "right" place while viewing, the program won't come in.  Having to buy a converter box for each of our televisions was also another irritation.  Why did the government feel the need to mess with something that was already working, and had been for  years?  Oh that's right...more money.  They made money in the change.  Money seems to be the determining factor in so many choices now days.

What about the people that are effected due to their decision?  Storm alerts don't get to those affected.  As we have experienced, many times, if a storms rolls through, your reception is lost.  Oh, but wait, you can buy a weather alert radio.  For a mere 19.99, actually they are higher now, but 19.99 seems to be the going price for most "junk" anymore.  Yes, you can get a weather radio, but if storms are anywhere in the state it will keep you up all night.  After one season of loosing sleep, not only from storms, but from the radio going off every few minutes, they have been thrown into a drawer.

I realize many people get enjoyment from watching television.  I'm not saying we don't watch TV. We do, however, only have a limited number of converter boxes.  Therefore, have decided to shut off the TV in the bedroom.  We no longer watch TV in bed.   It's actually quite nice.  It gives us more time to read.

We make a conscious choice not to pay to watch TV.  Many people are paying around $100 a month for cable.  That's $1200 a year.  With the cost of everything increasing, but wages, our choice is to spend that money elsewhere.

For many years we struggled with the fact of having a home phone due to the cost.  In the community we live, in order to have Internet, you must have home phone service.  Unless you get your Internet from the cable provider.  We don't use our home phone that often, so we felt we were paying an excessive amount just to have Internet service.   We often thought of just cancelling both phone and Internet but we do a lot of price comparison, searching, shopping, and communicating with the Internet. Unfortunately we also live in a community that is loosing more and more businesses each week.  We don't have a lot of options for shopping. The Internet gives us more choices.

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