Cutting the Cord #budgeting #writerslife #tv

I can remember the joy of watching a TV that weighed as much as a Mini-Cooper with a screen the size of a normal Amazon box while chowing down on my fried chicken TV dinner nestled in a foil tray (because microwaves didn’t exist in every kitchen). Changing the channel required leaving your cross-legged stance on the floor, walking five or six steps, clicking the actual channel knob (no remotes!), until everyone agreed to a show, then resuming your spot. At home stereo sound wasn’t even an option unless one of your parents figured out how to jerry-rig their hi-fi speakers from the turntable. Hi-def pictures wasn’t even a sparkle in someone’s eye (I think), and 3-D was only available if you were lucky enough to be part of Star Trek and their holo-deck.

Yeah, I’m that old peeps.


So, when in the process of stream-lining our familial budget, we began to pinpoint areas where we could cut back, imagine our surprise when we realized that one of our higher bills was our DirectTV. There was a time, years removed from the TV dinners and rabbit ears, when I considered a cell phone an exorbitant luxury, because I had to pay my rent (which included basic cable) and landline phone bills. Oh have the times changed, because I no longer have a landline, my cell bill is arrogantly sitting in the number one spot on our “to-be-budgeted” list, and right under it, wearing a gleeful smile, is our cable bill. Both of those little buggers are about to have a come to Jami moment.

Always work from the bottom up, and when Knight and I began to re-evaluate our expenditures, we noticed something new. We don’t watch live TV any more, not really. Granted, I’m a news junkie so yeah, in the mornings before I brave the Mad Max freeways, I’ll get my hit on the morning news reports, but other than that, nope, we were watching shows we recorded earlier. Not only were we watching recorded show that are easily accessed via such helpful things like Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Fire, which we already have, our teenagers were consistently enthralled with their phones. In fact, they tend to watch those inanimate objects as if they’ll disappear the minute they looked away. When asked what has them so captivated, it was no shocker to hear “videos of our shows”.

Right then, so why shell out money if no one in the house is paying any damn attention? Our DirectTV is a silent leech attached to our house, chuckling to itself at our expense. It makes decision to cut the cord much easier. So, we’re in the process of replacing the mini-satellite dish with a good, old-fashion over the air antenna (yep, they still exist).

Granted, I won’t be able to watch the latest episodes of the shows I love, but really, I wasn’t doing that already. Besides anticipation does a body good, right? There’s also the side benefit here that by removing the temptation to veg out in front of the idiot tube perhaps other things will happen, say more writing getting done, or perhaps we might regularly interact as a family, complete with actual conversations and everything! Oh, imagine!

(Tossing away the cut cable cord and dusting off my hands) Now that I can cross that one off our list, what’s next? (Gives evil grin to cell carrier) Oh yes, this shall be fun….

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