We cut out cable. I was waiting for the day when it would bother me, but that day has not come yet. We still have a television set and we have an antenna. We cut it out for two reason - to save money and to stop watching so much tv. I didn't want my kid growing up staring at the boob tube. I was also concerned about her developing weight issues. My family has dealt always struggled with weight and I don't want her to be one of them.
I have found it is entirely too easy to plop your kid in front of the tv when you are trying to getting something done. Bad idea. I hang my head in shame for having done that numerous times while trying to get through graduate school.
What's the Problem?
I realize that the tv is not the devil. There are many educational programs on television, which is great. The problem is that how many kids are watching those programs. Now that there is no cable, my kid has no choice but to watch PBS and Create TV. Yes, she still watches some tv, but this has been DRASTICALLY reduced. So has my tv time. I used to like to watch my recorded Oprah's and many of the HGTV shows that I loved. I would watch them while doing my houswork and cooking dinner. Sometimes, I would get sucked into a show and find myself sitting on the edge of the recliner. Next thing I know, up to two hours has gotten away. What could I have accomplished during that time?
What could we possibly be doing instead?
She is playing with friends. She is going to her room to color or practice her reading and writing. She is reading to me for practice. She is outside jumping rope and riding her bike. She is doing crafts. I started taking a pottery class that I have alwasy wanted to take. Last night, I baked cookies for a Red Cross bake sale. I am reading books about how to save money. I am cooking dinner every night. I clean my house. My husband has never been one to watch too much tv so that is why he is not listed. He works on finishing our basement, rebuilding his brother's bike, cleaning (yes, he cleans!), and he is even reading some.
On the weekends, we get up and make breakfast together. Go to the room we have made into an art room and paint or do other fun crafts. Since we are also trying to cut our grocery bill, we are taking a day to prepare foods ahead of time and plan out the following two week grocery list. We are going to yard sales, thrift stores, and the flea market (she is quite the bargainer by the way). We will be going camping, hiking, to play at the park, to visit family. Many weekends are spent playing with my triplet nieces. We read! We sit outside and talk as a family. We live next door to my parents so we will have dinner together or hang out with them. At bed time, she used to love to watch Nickelodeon. Now, we talk or read. I could go on!!!
If you are watching tv, what are you neglecting? It is a real money waster. First, cable can be expensive. We were paying around $70 per month for DirectTV. Second, it keeps you from spending precious quality time with your family. Third, you could be saving money in many other ways. You could be budgeting, planning and preparing your meals or other ways to cut costs. Some of my new free time has been spent trying to cut clutter. I have a real closet and cabinet clutter problem, but I will save that for another post.
The point is that we have cut cable and we are surviving and even thriving. Why not try it and see what you can accomplish. You might be amazed!