debt debs

Personal Debt Wrangler – Had my money head in the sand – but no more!

Cutting Cable – Will it Payoff?



Big A$$ ugly Antenna on our Roof

We’ve cut our cable and I couldn’t be happier.  I know I’ve alluded to our plans previously more than once and so some of you regular readers probably said “Enough Debs, when’s it going to happen?”

It took a little longer than I wanted because we were researching antenna’s and finally bought ours about a month ago.  Then we found out the cable company required a one month notice to cancel our service.  Grrrr  …. but still happy.

We paid the following for the equipment totaling $235.37 to replace the cable:

Channel Master Antenna  $177.39 ([$134.99 + $21.99 chimney mounting bracket] x 1.13% for Sales Taxes)
Strapping $18.49
Grounding Cable $39.49


So our payback will be in 2.8 months, assuming The Irishman works for free.  Not bad…. actually pretty good.

The service stopped last week and our last bill of $83.56 was received last week.  Score!

When we first hooked it up we only got 12 channels, 8 English and 4 French.

Then a few days later, after some research online about the location of the transmission towers, The Irishman went back up on the roof and re-pointed the antenna. Now we get 18 channels – 12 English, 4 French and 2 Multi language (English/Cantonese/Indian /Punjabi etc.)  That’s plenty, although the 3 PBS Channels are inconsistent and have poor signal quality.  Here are the stations that we get.

TV Channels

CBOTCBCEnglishStandard DefinitionDragons Den channel!
6-1GlobalGlobalEnglishHigh DefinitionBorder Security channel
6-2GlobalGlobalEnglishStandard DefinitionTwo Global channels but not sure why
9-1CBOFTCBCFrenchStandard Definition20/20 channel
11-1CHCHEnglishHigh Definition
13-1CJOHCTVEnglishStandard DefinitionBig Bang Theory channel
14-1OMNIOMNIMulti-languageStandard Definitionsome cantonese, punjabi programs
18-1WNPIPBSEnglishStandard Definitiondoesn't come through consistently
18-2WNPICreateEnglishStandard Definitiondoesn't come through consistently
18-3WNPIPBS WorldEnglishStandard Definitiondoesn't come through consistently
24-1TVOTVOEnglishStandard Definitiongreat shows on here I did not know about this channel b4
30-1CIVOFrenchHigh Definition
34-1CFGSFrenchHigh Definition
40-1CHOTDirect TVFrenchHigh Definition
42-1CTSEnglishHigh Definition
43-1CHROCTV2EnglishStandard DefinitionShark Tank channel
60-1OMNIMulti-languageStandard DefinitionDavid Letterman on this channel
65-1CityEnglishStandard Definition

So as far as selection goes, so far so good.  OK I do miss SLICE with shows like THE LITTLE COUPLE but I don’t miss them enough to pay $83.56/month.  The thing we do miss is have the guide displayed on the TV, so you can see what is on now and what is coming up later in the evening.  I found a site called where you can personalize the channels that you get and see the schedule.

Personalized TV Guide

So it’s not ideal because you can’t see it on your screen, but I’ve got it saved on my tablet now so that’ll work.  So, in the end, so far so good as far as cutting cable goes, then I awoke this morning to hear on the news the following:

The CRTC, which is Canada’s broadcast regulator, is proposing a pick and pay structure for cable TV. It would allow Canadians to choose individual channels on top of the basic service. The price of which would be capped at $20-$30 per month. Service providers would be required to offer build-your-own channel packages, but could still offer pre-assembled packages. A controversial proposal would allow local TV stations to shut down their transmitters, a move that would not sit well with consumers who prefer to get their TV programming free over the year via antennae. if they do that I will be so pi$$ed.


Home Hardware: UHF/VHF/FM/HDTV Compact Outdoor Antenna Channel Master 4228HD

debt debs thanks…

The following sites Young Adult Money and Money Propeller and Frankly Frugal Finance for featuring my posts in their weekly roundups!

Shout out to Jeremy Biberdorf who is looking to reach 400 blogs listed this year in the Modest Money Top Finance Blogs.  If you want your blog included, there is a button on the top right corner of the list where you can submit your blog.  It’s kind of fun to see the result of your efforts if you don’t get too worked about your rank.  So if you’re not listed, what are you waiting for?

One more week until the end of summer as we know it!  Enjoy all!

This post is part of



Author: debster

I am a fifty-something wife, mother and new grandmother, who admits to having their “head in the sand” about their financial situation until amassing $247,500 worth of consumer debt for a total debt of $393,500. We've paid $121K in 2 years with four more years to go. Join my journey at sharing ideas and motivation to all those coping with poor money management and bad debt decisions.

97 thoughts on “Cutting Cable – Will it Payoff?

  1. Way to go on cutting the cord! We’ve been without cable for years and I couldn’t even tell you what we’re missing anymore. We’ve had great luck watching stuff on YouTube (tons of wonderful how-to, home improvement, etc videos) and we have a Roku box (a one-time expense of $30). Enjoy your newfound savings :)!!
    Mrs. Frugalwoods recently posted…Weekly Woot & Grumble: Autumnal Sugar RushesMy Profile

  2. With things like hulu and netflix I hardly even watch much live TV at all. Just live competition shows or awards shows because people tend to spoil the results on social media. I don’t miss cable at all. I just have a small indoor antenna that usually does great, especially in the evening which is when I’d watch anyway. Congrats!
    Tonya@Budget and the Beach recently posted…Healthy Acts of DefianceMy Profile

    • Thanks, Tonya. Of course I never really heard of anyone ditching cable until I started reading PF blogs. When we first started our debt journey, I thought about it but didn’t seriously consider it because I figured it was our only source of entertainment since we cut out movies, musical theatre and restaurants. Shows that once you get used to an idea, it really is that easy.

  3. We cut cable two years ago and haven’t regretted it. We do have Netflix for $8/month, and watch stuff through our pseudo-smart tv, and that has helped immensely. Plus, the fiancé is good at finding us recent shows to watch so we are still mostly current with new shows.

    My biggest annoyance is that my internet bill is large because it isn’t bundled with cable…
    Alicia recently posted…Gaming the Demise of the Penny.My Profile

    • Alicia, for internet we went with TekSavvy. Do you have that down there? We had Primus through Costco before that but quality was poor – had a lot of problems (we had an internet + phone package at $101.52). Before that was Rogers but too expensive. Now we pay $47.40 for internet and it is quite reliable.

  4. I was very interested in this experiment. Glad to hear you don’t miss it. We inked a deal with the cable co. to go to basic basic for $14 a month (they got me when I called to cancel – I am a sucker) and we will have Roku box and xbox. I am very scared about how my husband is going to adjust. The kids love the Roku – I am not sure yet. I will let you know. Maybe you can post an update after 6 months and let us know if you still feel the same. Have a great weekend.
    May recently posted…A Million Dollar ExperimentMy Profile

    • I will definitely do a follow up post. I’ve heard that for sports, there are some issues with cutting cable. We don’t watch a lot of sports, except for Olympics and hockey which isn’t an issue. You have a great weekend, too, May!

  5. Thanks for the reminder about the Modest Money badge. Mine disappeared with the site redesign. I like checking that and my Alexa ranking. And I try not to get competitive about it. Try.

    You get a ton of channels! If we installed ours, we’d get 2!
    Kirsten @ Indebtedmom recently posted…Success Story Saturday + Good ReadsMy Profile

  6. We’ve been thinking about cutting the cord as well come October. We have a roku box with netflix right now so we’ve been considering sticking with that plus an antenna.
    Practical Cents recently posted…Weekend Update: Life HappensMy Profile

    • We have a box similar to Roku, I can’t remember what it’s called, but we have not subscribed to Netflix yet. Likely we will down the road, but it’s not urgent.

  7. I loved the positive attitude you have about what channels you still get! I’m sure most people would be a little disappointed. We have basic cable, and we also don’t have the little guide that tells you what’s on. It’s literally “plug and play,” as we just have to hook the cable into the TV. If I had my way we wouldn’t pay for it at all, but it came in a “package” deal with renting. I hope things work out with the antenna and they decide not to go through with the pick and pay solution. :/
    Erin @ Journey to Saving recently posted…Being Grateful: Fortieth EditionMy Profile

    • Wouldn’t that just be my luck, Erin? LOL Oh well, it won’t happen for a long time, I’m sure, if at all and with 2.8 months payback, it’s all good. I didn’t know that with basic cable you don’t get a guide telling you what’s on. Isn’t there a particular channel you can go to to see this?

  8. Congrats on dichting cable, Debs! Over $86 is a lot each month just to watch some television.

    Hopefully you can find a way to receive even more channels!
    No More Waffles recently posted…Reaching Financial Independence When Facing the Highest Income Tax Rate in the Western WorldMy Profile

    • We ditched it! I love the way that sounds! I think we’ve got plenty channels. I wonder if I will be motivated to brush up on my French?

  9. I can’t wait to cut my cable! It has been an irritating expense, since we were locked into a contract from back when we had an additional roommate to split the cost. I am not planning on picking up an antenna, though — I discovered a library near my house with an amazing supply of TV shows on DVD, and I use Netflix.

    That would be so irritating if that new pick-your-channel plan goes into effect after you already put the antenna up!
    Alexandra recently posted…Resigning with ProfessionalismMy Profile

    • I wonder if people cutting cable is really starting to impact the cable providers which is why this proposal was put forward. I think I own stock in some cable companies in my retirement portfolio. I may need to look at that. Thanks for visiting, Alexandra!

  10. Woot woot!!!!

    And Shark Tank is awesome! I heard one of the producers is actually richer than any of the usual sharks. He gets a cut each time a shark strike a deal! Smart guy!

    And congrats on your Modest Money number! You’re killin’ it, Debs!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D
    Will – First Quarter Finance recently posted…5 Hacks for Big City LifeMy Profile

    • Love both Shark Tank and Dragon’s Den. I heard Shark Tank started off the Canadian show Dragon’s Den. Kevin O’Leary (Mr Wonderful) is on both shows I think, but he is no longer going to be on DD because he switched networks from CBC to CTV.

      Thanks for the kudos, Will! You’re doing really well as a new blogger too! :-)

  11. Nice work! I haven’t had cable or TV my whole adult life since I moved out. It’s been great for my productivity and self-esteem (consider all the ads targeted at women). I do watch some things on NetFlix as well as YouTube — I love watching Anthony Bourdain travel shows, so I can live vicariously though him :)
    Melanie @ My Alternate Life recently posted…My Pre-House Purchase ChecklistMy Profile

    • Seems the younger generation is more used to this idea which is awesome. Glad to be getting with the times. Thanks for sharing! :-D

  12. Great move on cutting the cable Deb and that you still get to watch The Big Bang Theory :) With our antenna we get about 50 channels, some are in Spanish but we get all the major networks and even TV France which is a treat for me.
    Kassandra @ More Than Just Money recently posted…Music To My Ears: BelbelMy Profile

  13. Congratulations! As you know, we did this months ago and are so glad we did! It’s nice to not have to pay the cable company!

  14. Happy to hear you finally made the cut. We officially cut our cable in October 2009 and haven’t looked back. I don’t watch that much TV and when I need my fix I have DVD’s and good old Internet for everything else. In fact, many local TV stations and cable stream their channels for free. Bloomberg is a free streaming cable channel. Just hook up laptop to TV and instant free cable TV. Our set up is a little different than yours. You might have an old school antenna on the roof but we have rabbit ears on our TV. Thanks for sharing.
    DivHut recently posted…Foolish Dividend InvestingMy Profile

    • Good for you, Keith. That’s something we can look into further. I know my kids do a lot of streaming but we haven’t got into it yet. We’re usually using our laptops when we are watching TV, so I’m not sure how that will work if we need to use one of them to get the programming.

  15. Which border is the security channel watching?
    femmefrugality recently posted…Financially Savvy Saturdays: 1 Year Anniversary!My Profile

  16. Thanks for letting us know how things are turning out for you. I’m looking forward to the day when we can cut the cable cord too.
    Jean recently posted…What’s your Retirement Emergency Plan?My Profile

  17. I’m sure your productivity will increase. Who do you get your internet from?

  18. Cutting cable and keeping the internet only really was a great option for us as well, we paid the upfront for the Roku, but I’m putting money in my piggy bank each month because of it.
    Even Steven recently posted…4 Things You Must Do to Retire EarlyMy Profile

    • Good plan, Steven! You have Roku, do you pay for Netflix? I need to figure out how to do this streaming thing in Canada.

  19. We cut cable nearly two years ago and don’t miss it one bit. We did get Netflix, just to give us a few more options during winter, when TV viewing is our highest, but man, I love not paying for TV!!! :-)
    Laurie @thefrugalfarmer recently posted…Debt Payoff: How to Zap Doubt and DiscouragementMy Profile

    • Still waiting to see if we want Netflix. I heard the programs are older. Plus the cost is going up. I won’t pay for anything unless I’m really going stir crazy!

  20. Wow, I didn’t even know you could still get any channels from an antenna! I haven’t ever paid for TV, I’m just so used to using my computer to watch things that even when I moved into my own place, I just got a cable to jump my computer into the TV. Congrats on making the move though! Anything that lowers the monthly bills is worth it.
    Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted…Financially Savvy Saturdays #52My Profile

  21. Nice work on the cable cutoff. As you know I cut my cable for the summer but will likely get NHL Center Ice when the NHL season starts. The new CRTC stuff is a double edged sword. On one hand it will force cable companies to stop charging people for 15 channels when they really only want one. But on the other hand the local stations may suffer
    Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet recently posted…Avoiding Disputes In Group Lottery PoolsMy Profile

    • Hmmm … and now I just hear on the news that Rogers and Shaw are launching a streaming video service today like Netflix.

  22. This is so timely, as my husband and I were just discussing this with another couple. It would be hard for me to give up news coverage, but I know I can get it in other places. But as we discussed the different products and services we’d need if we cut cable, I found myself wondering if it actually would be worth it. Clearly, in the long run it would be.
    Amy recently posted…Feeling DisconnectedMy Profile

    • I know, I didn’t want to give up news. As it is a I don’t have the 24 hour news channel now and I do miss it a bit. I just need to change my ways, I guess. Go to internet or something. Just a bit more fussy.

  23. No problem on the mention! We split cable/internet with our renter so it’s a bit cheaper for us. With that being said, we certainly have been using Netflix quite a bit lately!
    DC @ Young Adult Money recently posted…How to Make Money Entering GiveawaysMy Profile

  24. Congrats! I think you should switch to watching the Cantonese/Hindi channel :)

    I don’t have cable and never have, but then, I’ve never been a huge tv person. When I get the urge I use netflix. amazon prime, or a DVD set. Good luck both getting used to this (sounds like it’s going fine) AND making it through whatever changes are coming!
    Cecilia@thesingledollar recently posted…and one moreMy Profile

    • Hee hee, I just might! I like change so changing this up is not a bad thing for me, anyways. So far hubster seems to be coping too!

  25. I’d love to cut our cable just to save some money. I know it will pay off in the long run. I love the feeling when I am not paying TV cable any more.

  26. I’m sure you will get used to it. We went without cable for a few years and did fine. We have it now but only because it came free for 12 months with our wifi package. Once the free time is over, I will cancel it again!

  27. Awesome! You’ll love the no cable situation when you get more used to it. Slice can be streamed for the most part and Netflix is also pretty awesome! We haven’t had cable in years and years, but we do have the free channels, so J watches them occasionally.
    Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter recently posted…How to Limit Distractions When You Work From HomeMy Profile

    • Thanks, Daisy. How do you stream SLICE? I would love to do this. I’m just not familiar with the streaming thing. I’ll need to get my kids on that!

  28. I remember when I first got rid of cable and dvr – best decision I ever made! With the internet and streaming, I just don’t see a reason for it anymore. It’s WAY too expensive for me – at least until I’m debt free :)
    Natalie @ Financegirl recently posted…7 Reasons Why I Will Never Lease A CarMy Profile

  29. So proud of you Deb!!! We are 6 months into our cable cutting and I continue to be thrilled with the decision. We certainly watch a lot less tv in our house, but with Netflix and Hulu Plus, I don’t feel like I am missing anything. I can’t wait to hear how your numbers continue to improve with this change!
    Shannon @ Financially Blonde recently posted…Music Mondays – Don’t Stop BelievingMy Profile

    • Will do, Shannon. It was inspiration from others such as yourself that made me realize, we can do this! No need to justify cable as part of my entertainment budget anymore!

  30. I think that there are many benefits to cutting your cable. Maybe you’ll be tempted to take out your Monopoly game? or Scrabble? Saturday night, two of my daughters and I decided to play Monopoly instead of watching TV. It was SO fun!! Even though I lost : ) Don’t worry about the CRTC’s new proposal. Just see where this limited TV programming access leads you.
    Prudence Debtfree recently posted…Debt-Avoidance Strategy: Start Off PoorMy Profile

    • Thanks, Prudence. We do play Scrabble and do jigsaw puzzles a lot at the cottage. I used to play online scrabble, Lexulous, a lot before I started blogging. I do miss that. I’m not worried about running out of things to do, that’s for sure! The extra money will be nice too.

  31. Congrats on cutting the cord! We haven’t yet since B talked down our satellite company to like $20 a month, but if we can’t get that renewed we will consider it. Lol I love The Little Couple, too, though haven’t watched it the past season. :)
    anna recently posted…Savings Rates, Baby Kickbacks, and Brief Preggo StuffMy Profile

    • Thanks, Anna. $20 is seriously awesome. When we called to cancel they were willing to drop ours to $40 I think but our mind was made up.

  32. I live in a house with only 1 TV and no cable. I’m that only person with the TV and I use my WII on it. I share a Netflix account with someone and it’s all I need. I don’t want to waste time watching television anyway. =)
    Alexis recently posted…Being In A Long Distance Relationship and Outsiders’ OpinionsMy Profile

  33. I just use Netflix for the most part and have not looked back. Back when I had Comcast, the service was good but I found that I could get most of the shows I liked for free on other mediums. Breaking up with Comcast was a major pain but everyone knows now how terrible of a company they really are.
    Debt and the Girl recently posted…You Want How MUCH for Chicken?My Profile

  34. I cut off my cable since last year and I’m happy with my decision. I don’t really watch TV during day time and at night I only watch news and celebrity news update.
    Clarisse @ Make Money Your Way recently posted…How to turn your home into a rentalMy Profile

    • Great, Clarisse! I still get the celebrity news shows which I only half watch if I am in the room. he he I did watch the Emmy’s though, last night.

  35. Wowza! that’s so impressive! I’ve thought about cutting cable – but I never thought about getting an antenna and going the route you guys have chosen. way to go!
    Jessie’s Money recently posted…Bill CreepMy Profile

    • Maybe it’s not necessary. Some say rabbit ears do, but we wanted to try to get some of the US Channels located about 80 miles away.

  36. Well done on cutting cable! We cut ours a couple of years ago and we have a Freeview box now, it doesn’t have many channels but to be honest I don’t watch much TV. I do have Netflix though which I think is worth it to watch a few TV series from time to time. :)
    Hayley @ Disease Called Debt recently posted…Life After Debt: Planning Ahead For Our Debt Free FutureMy Profile

    • Thanks, Hayley! You’re too busy with your side hustles, I’m sure. Good to know there are many many that have gone before us, though. ;-)

  37. Hey Debs,

    It looks like you get some fairly good options with an antenna! I had a cheap rabbit ears one and it was doing meh. I should probably invest in some equipment since I don’t plan on adding dish or cable to my monthly bills anytime. Not anytime soon… just anytime in the foreseeable future.

    Also, thanks for the shout-out!

    Kipp recently posted…The Layers of an Emergency FundMy Profile

    • Thanks for you for the initial linkup, Kipp! I don’t think it’s worth the price of cable, IMHO.

  38. Great post DD! Cable companies have soaked so many for so long, but now customers finally have multiple tools to strike back. It’ll be fun to watch the corporate death spiral!
    Noonan recently posted…I Was a Teenage Toffee BaronMy Profile

    • I hope I won’t regret my decision based on CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission) and their new proposal, but I don’t think so. Thanks for visiting, Noonan!

  39. I could never cut cable as its a source of major enetertainment for me. I keep saying all i need in life is a roof over my head, something to eat, An iphone and a macbook. A nice TV with some good shows to watch and Im set. I did however reduce my internet and cable package to a cheaper bundle to somewhat save. I figure I get my money,s worth. I watch business news, regular news daily, coupled with my favorite shows, big brother, survivor, game of thrones. Yes I watch too much TV lol!
    Asset-Grinder recently posted…I just bought $152,669 in REITs on margin.My Profile

    • I used to say that too, AG! That TV was my only form of entertainment. No worries, whatever works for you, and it wasn’t working for us anymore.

  40. That’s awesome that you cut cable! We would save so much cutting it as well except, my husband and I are huge hockey fans, and they only seem to broadcast the games on cable. :)
    Mackenzie recently posted…I Am Worth The StruggleMy Profile

    • I’m hoping we will still get them but we’ll have to see. We can always go over to our daughter’s if it’s a key playoff game. ;-) No way my SIL is gonna be without hockey.

  41. Good luck with cutting the cable! Remember that if you were watching any specific shows that you don’t get now, you can use Hulu to watch the most recent episodes for free of most shows as long as you stay on top of them. The older episodes require the subscription to watch.

    I’m thinking about cutting cable when I move out, but I’m a huge hockey fan so not sure what I would do there. The only legal streaming options are pretty expensive and they black out all the local games I would want to see anyways! Another issue is that the cable company here jacks up the price if you only get internet and then constantly bombards you to add in a basic TV package for only $15 more per month, that sort of thing. I think they do this on purpose which is annoying…
    Debt Hater recently posted…Student Loan Progress – August 2014My Profile

    • I don’t think we get Hulu here in Canada but thanks for the tip for any readers.

      • You know I thought about that after I posted that, I think I’ve heard that Canada has a pretty poor selection on Netflix as well unfortunately. These media companies are so outdated – it’s dumb! They could be making more money but the way cable is set up is so restrictive.
        Debt Hate recently posted…Student Loan Progress – August 2014My Profile

        • I think a lot of people use Netflix in Canada though. Recently there was a price increase from $7.99 to $8.99 for new customers. I need to figure out how to do the streaming as I miss the channel SLICE.

  42. I’d love to cut cable and deal with netflix and internet (a lot of stations stream their shows the next day) but it’s one of those areas my husband just won’t give up so it’s a compromise I make to keep marriage together haha.
    catherine recently posted…Why You Should Never Get Too Comfortable in a JobMy Profile

    • I understand, Catherine. My husband is not a big sports junkie, so I think he was more amenable to the idea.

  43. Rock on – I salute you. I just watch hulu. I haven’t had a tv in my house for almost 4 years now! We just use my big imac screen and watch shows that way. :D

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  45. How has it been without cable? Do you have Netflix or Hulu?
    Tre recently posted…Walmart Savings CatcherMy Profile

    • Neither. No Hulu in Canada. Netflix we don’t have yet but will probably get it at some point. Just watching local channels that come through on the antenna – with 12 English channels that’s pretty good. Also, we figured out that the 3 PBS channels don’t come through well during the day but do okay at night. We researched and when the earth is warmer it interferes with the reception because they are 80 miles away and our antenna only goes 70 miles. I wonder how it will be in winter. Anyways with PBS I can get Downton Abbey so I’m happy about that.

  46. i have been trying to talk the wife into this for the last few months, but so far.. she still needs convincing..
    she is worried about the bravo/hgtv silliness that helps distract her after a long day… i think we can find most of that on Hulu/Netflix.. but it won’t be immediately after broadcast…

    i would be making the bigger sacrifice.. as i would be voluntarily giving up my sports addiction..
    jefferson recently posted…Your Comfort ZoneMy Profile

    • Jefferson, I felt the same way as your wife, but so far I’m good. That stuff tends to be a big time waster. Let’s just say you would both be making a sacrifice and call it a draw, m’kkay? ;-) #marriagecounselling

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