To cable or not to cable?

That is the question. 

My cable bill is $63.71/month, to Time-Warner.  That pays for standard cable, which is about 65 channels.  I don’t have HBO, Showtime or any of those.  Every time the bill comes, I think, “This is not worth it.”

I don’t watch a lot of TV.  I watch the local news while I’m eating breakfast, and I exercise to the Today show.  I watch three shows faithfully: the original CSI, NCIS (I’ve had a crush on Mark Harmon for years) and Lost.  All of those are on the major networks with local stations.  I like having the Weather Channel, but our local weather persons are usually more accurate.  I like having HGTV and the History channel and the Discovery channel, but I don’t watch them faithfully and could certainly live without them.

Mrs. Micah posted last week about her experience with dropping cable.  It worked out very well.  They applied for the $40 coupon that the government is giving out to get a digital converter box, then got the box

Rabbit ears

Rabbit ears are in my future

and an inexpensive antenna, and they are getting much clearer reception than they did with cable.  That’s very encouraging.

Earlier in the week, Frugal Dad posted about saving for retirement.  He included an interesting formula for estimating how much you would have to save to pay for a particular service over a lifetime.  It’s called the multiply by 25 rule.  You take the yearly cost of an item and multiply by 25.  That is the amount you would have to have saved to continue paying for that item.  (I’m not sure I’ve explained that exactly right; go to his post for a better explanation.)  He used his Netflix subscription as an example.  At $9/month, Netflix costs him $108/year.  $108 x 25 = $2700 that he would need as a savings balance to continue paying for Netflix out of passive income earning 4%.

So, for me to continue paying for cable, I will have to have saved $63.71 x 12 x 25, or $19,113.  Holy cow!

I’ve ordered the coupon for the digital converter.  When it comes, I’ll go get one of those and an antenna, and get them hooked up, make sure everything works, tell Time-Warner goodbye, and have a lot more time to read.  🙂

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