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I Kissed Cable Goodbye! See Why and How Doing So Saved Me Money and Time
We Cut out Cable to Save Money in our Monthly Budget
NOT because of The Office; I LOVE The Office!
We could not get rid of the Internet, but we were able to get rid of television. Though it has been easier on me than on my husband, it is still pretty difficult. I am a TV junkie so it is definitely a sacrifice, but it is a very good sacrifice to make!
I have found that without the TV playing, even "in the background", I can get a lot more done. I have also been able to make more time to spend with my kids. So I am here to tell you some of the activities you can do INSTEAD of watching television as well as some of the benefits to cutting out this particular type of "screen time". (I definitely can't speak to cutting out other types of screen time…)
Hours of TV Time
How Much TV Does Your Child(ren) Watch per Day? (And if you vote, leave a comment telling me how old your child is!)
Negative Effects of Too Much TV Time
Screen time can be particularly bad for children. The Mayo Clinic lists several negative effects of too much TV. Some of them include: obesity, irregular sleep, less time for play, behavior issues, impaired academic performance, and even violence.
My children are only three and five months, but I can definitely see the difference in my daughter (the three-year-old) when the television is off! I don't like seeing her laying on the couch with her thumb in her mouth (another thing we are trying to cut) just staring. But when the screen is off, she is busy and actively playing! This is one of the two big reasons I was okay with getting rid of cable. I'm really trying to limit her screen time to an hour a day (maybe two hours).
The Negative Effects on my Wallet
Cable is EXPENSIVE!
We were with Comcast and paying $100/month for Internet and Cable. We looked into staying with Comcast, and switching to Internet only, but that was only going to save us about $30/month.
So we switched to AT&T, which for us, has Internet-only service for $45/ month. The internet is not as fast with AT&T but it is worth the money we are saving! And you could probably argue that the customer service is better with AT&T. However, before you run off to switch, beware of installation fees you might encounter! We had to pay $100, but they split it into thee payments tacked onto our bills. That helped a lot. Since paying that, we are now saving $55/month!
Comcast vs. AT&T (and Dish)
Not as Fast
Bad Customer Service
Slightly Better Customer Service
Also not great Customer Service
What To Do When the TV is Off
Okay, so this is way easier said than done, but here are a few ideas of different things to do with your time.
* Dramatic Play
* & there's always Netflix...
I have so many pins on Pinterest! There are so many crafts to be done. I do have one Pinboard called "Pins I've Actually Done", but there are only a fraction of the pins in that board than all the other ones! I am hoping to have a lot more time to do fun crafts with my daughter while the screens are off.
Crafts Can Be Easy!
I don't know about you, but when I put an actual meal on the table for my family or give my husband a new recipe to make (and it turns out delicious), I feel like my life is much more put together than when I am scrambling at 4:00 because I just realized, "I have no idea what we're doing for dinner tonight!"
So unplug, plan some meals, and make some new recipes. An added bonus to this is that if you menu plan and grocery shop accordingly, you can save a lot of money there as well.
Reading is one of the very best activities you can do with your little ones, and one of the very best activities you can do for yourself. There are so many benefits to reading with your children.
According to HealthGuidance.org, reading with your young children will improve their language, help improve writing, lead to stronger academics, teach sequencing and concepts of print, and even relax them before bedtime. What a great bonding opportunity!
I think reading is absolutely amazing! It opens us up to whole other worlds and allows us to explore places we would otherwise never be able to go. Expanding our imaginations can help us in nearly every aspect of life. I love reading and I want my kids to love reading too. One of the keys to making this happen is to model making time to read and show them you love reading.
Dramatic Play and Games
Playing with your kids is not always easy and it is not always interesting, but look at how much fun YOUR CHILDREN have when you play with them! I remember being a kid and always wanting to play with my parents. Make time. I am trying too. We can try together.
One easy way to do this is to play board games as a family. Family Game Night is one of my favorite nights! Make snacks, pick an awesome game, play, laugh, have a great time with your spouse and your kids!! Make a connection with your family that they will always remember.
When we go to my parents' house, my daughter always wants to play with her Poppa because he gets down on the floor and plays with her with all of her toys that she has there. Whenever we get on the floor and play, we inevitably play wrong (in her eyes), but she just corrects us, and then we play on. She loves it! Interactive, imaginative play with simple toys helps kids LEARN.
"Play is the work of childhood." - Jean Piaget
How This Man Lives without Cable
How to Get All Your Shows Without Cable
Get an antenna and plug it into your TV, hang it up high on the wall. We got one for about $30, and with it, we're able to get local channels. We're even able to watch the Bears games!! You can also watch the news and some shows.
We pay for Netflix - the most basic version for $8/ month - and are able to watch almost all of our favorite shows. We also have HBOGO, which has HBO shows and some movies. If you want even more content, you can get subscriptions to HULU Plus &/or Amazon Prime.
Who needs cable?!
We are able to stream these shows on our game consoles: XBox360 and Nintendo Wii. You can also stream using Playstation or Roku or Apple TV. Each of these devices plug into your television set.
Have You Already Given Up Cable?
If your life has improved because of it, leave a comment and let us know!