Friday, November 4, 2011

Finance Friday - The Cable Guy

Regarding our financial status we have made a commitment to live within our means.
That means we don't order take out.
Or drive through drive thrus.
Or rent movies.
(occasionally we splurge on a $1 movie at the Redbox but we prefer the free ones at the library)
and speaking of watching T.V.
we even did the most unAmerican thing I know ....

we recently cut out our cable.
And in the age of digital T.V. that meant we had nothing to watch.
Because our T.V. is from 1990 and it is an actual box as opposed to a flat rectangle.
Also it weighs 75 pounds.
We had no rabbit ears or digital converter box.
Just fuzz.
And a savings of $53 a month.

Now, I'm not opposed to television viewing. I like me some Dr. Phil every afternoon. But I liked my money more. So one day at a family meeting we announced to the kids we were cutting cable.
They cried.
And I don't mean like misty eyed cried I mean they threw a full on fit.
Even the teenager.
It was very ugly.

Seeing their reaction confirmed that we had made the right decision.
Turns out Sponge Bob, Everybody Hates Chris and Glee was like crack to my kids.
I could tell we were in for a detox.

Except we weren't because while the cable got canceled and I got my reimbursement check from the cable company no one remembered to flip that magical switch in the sky that actually shut off our cable.

So instead of watching less T.V. my kids watched more. More and more and more. Why? "Because, Mooooom!" (and I quote) "any day now the cable could be gone forrrrrrevvvvvvvvver!" They reasoned they needed to watch as much television as they could while they still had the chance. And since I thought to myself, "Take it easy self, any day now they will cut off the cable. What harm can ONE more day of solid, mindless cause anyway?"

So they watched.
And watched.
And watched.

They watched for 4 solid months!!
Yep that's right! That's not a typo!
For 4 months no cable person shut off our cable.
We had free cable for months!

I wanted less television viewing not more!
No other parenting decision has ever been so pointedly counterproductive!

I was furious!
I wanted to call Cable Guy and tell him to come shut off my cable.
But I didn't have the heart.
And so we continued to pilfer cable day after day
week after week
month after month.

Can you believe that?
My kids said I should be happy because I was still saving the $53 a month! But man was all this television viewing burning my butt!

And then it was my birthday. All our scrimping and saving had been worth it as DH and I decided to celebrate big! Dressed in my best, with dinner reservations and tickets to a play I was on my way out the door when you'll never believe who came chugging down my street!

The Cable Guy!!

The timing could not have been any worse! As I'm trying to leave my children in the care of a capable babysitter (yeah, right! I threatened my teenager to be nice to her siblings and promised them all-you-can-eat popcorn in front of the boob tube) when the cable company FINALLY got around to remembering to disconnect my 50 channel basic+ cable package.

The detox was instantaneous and painful.

There were tears
and sobbing
and I'm pretty sure I heard, "You're the meanest mommy in the whole world!" as I shut the door behind me.

That was a few weeks ago. We've since broke down and acquired the necessary rabbit ears and converter box and now we can watch a whole 12 channels - none of which are Nickelodeon or Disney or ESPN. And I couldn't be happier.

Here's a funny side note: my kids while they regularly remind me of their pathetic lack of choices for channels they've fallen in love with the most unruly classic television character of the 1960's. My children all enthralled with Dennis the Menace.

I am not kidding.

Life is simple and sweet again!

What about you? How do you save money? Have you had to make any sacrifices? Is cable even a sacrifice? I'd love to hear your thoughts.....

p.s. if you're looking for part 2 of Stepping Stones it's going up first thing tomorrow morning! Thanks!

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