Who wouldn’t want an extra $100 a month in their pocket? That’s $1200 a year towards getting the heck out of debt. I get a little frustrated thinking about the years past of paying into the sham of satellite TV and home phone service. The sad part is, I hardly use either service. More and more, TV has become nothing more than a mindless activity, a boredom filler and distraction. Could I be doing better things with my time? Heck yes!
The Icing on the Cake…
I’m paying for shitty customer service, bundle plans that always go up in price instead of saving me money, for endless commercials and telemarketers to call me continuously. I might as well be lighting a $100 bill on fire each month. Add to that misery the fact that I only ever watch about 4 channels out of the gazillions I have and I’m even more livid.
Realizing its time to Cut and Run
After spending months contemplating the aforementioned areas of frustration with TV and my home phone, I finally came to the decision while on vacation to cut and run. I mean, this is the low hanging fruit – the easy peasy way to put cash back into my budget and into debt repayment – why haven’t I been taking advantage? After spending a significant amount of thought energy on whether I could make the cut, I finally did it. April 11th will be the end of TV and home phone for me; that’s the date I’m paid up until.
Side Note: Canadians no longer have to give 30 days notice! Thank you CRTC!
How did I come to this decision?
It’s rather simple actually. Quite literally, simplicity is my aim for 2015 and forward. Live with less, minimalism, live like a starving artist, you’ve heard it all from me. I want to clear the excess physical and mental clutter that is holding me back from enjoying life. I want to cut out the “energy suckers, the time wasters, the I’m watching TV instead of getting off my ass to work out for 30 minutes”, drains in my life.
I envisioned the life I want to lead and the person I truly want to be. And guess what? It didn’t include excess expenses and wasting my life sitting in front of a TV (or on the phone with telemarketers). BTW, I realized I haven’t answered my home phone in about a year, I always screen the calls and 98% of the time they are telemarketers. My faves? The air duct cleaning service when I don’t own a home, the your Windows software may be corrupt when I’m a total techie and use a MAC. I have fun with those guys!
Upsides and Downsides
With anything in life, when you cut something out, there’s going to be pain. There’s going to the plusses and minuses that you’ll just have to deal with and buck up and accept some sacrifice to get to your ultimate destination. Am I going to miss episodes of Outlander? Of course. Am I going to miss watching tennis and old movies on TCM? Absolutely. But I can deal and there’s other much more frugal ways to substitute if necessary. And no, I won’t be signing up for Netflix, it sucks in Canada.
I am most certainly not going to miss my home phone. Who in their right mind would miss telemarketers calling? Besides, I have a cell phone, which will suffice perfectly, and if it comes down to it, my parents still have their landline.
What can I do with all this FREE time?
Aren’t we as human beings always whining about having no time to do anything, yet we spend hours in front of a TV or on the internet? How ironic is that? To get you started, here’s a list of things you could do with your time away from TV:
- Start a blog or in my case, write more!
- Take up yoga at home
- Start that side hustle you’ve been longing to do
- Learn a new skill or take an online course – lynda.com is perfect and low cost!
- Pick up that musical instrument sitting in the basement – Ahem! I know 🙂
- Get outside! You could walk/run, hike, bike, rollerblade…
- Join Meetup.com and meet new people
- Schedule a date night that’s not in front of the TV
- Listen to those podcasts you’ve been meaning to get to – they’re free after all
- Read a book
- Learn to meditate
The list is endless of activities you could occupy your time with that cost little to no money at all and are a healthier substitute to TV.
We’ll see how I cope but ultimately I need more sacrifice in my life to get to my ultimate debt free destination. No one has gotten to debt free without sacrificing their Starbucks lattes, shopaholicness or the little luxuries. It’s excess and mass consumption that’s gotten most of us in the red depths of debt.
Maybe I’m just brainwashed by my lululemon lunch bag “Donate everything and start over from scratch”. But, it’s a good way to be brainwashed.
Have you cut your phone or TV? Why or why not? Do you think you could?
A few fun reads: