Cable Cutting with Kiddos

Even before we took the Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University class at work this past Fall (which I will have to tell you more about later!) we knew our family was expanding and were looking for ways to trim our budget.

So we said goodbye to DirecTV and our $100 a month bill.

Two years later, I can say that it has been a change for the good. (For the record, this is coming from a CEO-level couch potato, TLC reality junkie and movie buff.)

On the rare occasion I find myself traveling, staying in a hotel with cable and flipping through the channels, it just confirms that I made the right decision. (There really is nothing on.)

If you’re thinking of doing the same in the name of the almighty Budget, I have a few takeaways to offer:

  • First, get an antenna.

    Start with the local (free) channels, and see if you really miss anything at all. We found we really only watching them for news, weather and PBS kids shows anyway. (And because we are big nerds, the occasional episode of NOVA.)

  • Go streaming, but carpool. 

    My husband and I already had Netflix and Amazon Prime subscriptions that helped fill in the gaps left by satellite. But we found what we were really missing the most was Game of Thrones and football. So we traded our logins with (close, trusted) friends who had HBO Go and WatchESPN accounts. Everyone gets more streaming content, and we don’t pay as much. (FYI Netflix + Amazon Prime cost us about $200 a year, which is a lot better than $1200 a year for DirecTV!)

  • Give yourself some free time back.

    Like I ever had any anyways? I’m not sure if it’s the cable-cutting or the toddler-rearing, but over the last couple of years my TV time has dramatically dropped. Either way, having limited screen-time options is a good reminder for me that I could be doing something, anything else my life. And so I do more of my DIY projects I love. And play with my kid. And write blog posts 😉

  • On Demand is great for your demanding child.

    Netflix has TONS of options for kids, a recent agreement with Disney (although they’ve yet to upload anything but their B-list movies) and a setting where you create a profile just for your kid so no adults-only content shows up in browse mode. Likewise, HBO just penned a five-year agreement for Sesame Street, so new episodes premiere there first, and HBO Go has episodes all the way back to before I was a kid. (The seventies?) It’s amazing how fast a one-year-old stops crying when they hear “The Letter of The Day” song. And, because it’s HBO, there are the occasional jewels for the parents to smirk about:

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