So it seems like everyone who has written an inspirational personal finance blog about saving money or retiring early … cut their cable. A LONG time ago.
Literally everyone’s “get rich list” reads like “1) Eliminate any credit debt. 2) CUT THE CABLE. 3) No more lattes.” Etc. Every single list has a cable line item!
And so I, too, am considering cutting the cable. Right now the consensus is for waiting until the contract runs out to avoid the fee. So for now I am waiting it out and reflecting. I really don’t care about cable at all.
The summer I lived in China teaching English, there were only 4 channels on the TV, and they seemed to play the same programming all night:
- Some sort of historical soap opera about those old Chinese warriors with their heads shaved into a semi-circle (yes I know, why would warriors have drama?)
- Asian Cup featuring Qatar’s soccer team
- A modern soap opera about a classy young Chinese night club singer and her earnest Chinese boyfriend, with occasional music video-type interludes of Jackie Chan singing Bryan Adams-type love ballads, sitting backwards in a chair with the camera close up (who even knew he sang, and if he does, why ballads??)
- “BBC International” news, coverage mostly on Sino-Japanese trade disputes
And it was all fully in Chinese. With no subtitles, except for the news, which actually made it more boring. So all things considered, the usual pick was the romance/Jackie Chan show. And I, knowing some Chinese, would try to translate for my roommate: “She says.. she’s sorry. He… I don’t know… sounds sad.”
All night, every night. And this was before smart phones and before I even owned my first laptop. It was just us, CCTV, and our imaginations. I am pretty sure this type of experience will either cure you of the need for TV, or will turn you into a total addict for it. It cured me, after the initial conditioning of Boston University electing not to have cable in the dorms.
So cable for me is pointless. The cable shows I like most are the annoyingly Canadian HGTV shows which give me ideas about how to force equity in current and imaginary homes with value-added DIY jobs.
Anyway, something interesting happened the other day. I was talking with some friends who are renting temporarily until they move to their next home. They like cable but are skipping it for the 6 months or so while they are renting. And it was funny to hear the shows they miss during this time of logistic austerity. You can learn A LOT about people based on the shows they would/do miss without cable.
So please, please, pretty-please.. I want you all to share with me what you would miss from cable to give me something to think about while I wait. Here are mine: HGTV DIY shows, and reruns of Frasier and Golden Girls (which seem to be aired only on cable Lady channels). If Bravo still showed West Wing reruns, that would be on the list too.