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By the author of An Arm and a Leg and The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications
Years ago, when I first moved out and got my own place, it almost seemed like a given that I needed to buy a satellite TV subscription plan. I’d grow up my entire life with TV. The thought of not having it at my own place never even really crossed my mind. Having your TV bill, at the time, to me, just seemed like a normal part of life. As time went on, though, and as I began to take a harder look at my finances, I began to realize that an expensive TV subscription plan really wasn’t a necessity.
When I began to do the math on how much per year I was spending on TV, it about made me shiver.
I supposed I’d just never really even thought about it before. But when you look at your strapped finances and realize you’re spending over a grand a year on TV and have been paying that for years, you begin to look at your TV a little differently.
You begin to understand that TV is a racket.
After all, I only ever watched maybe five channels despite paying for hundreds of them. Why on earth was I spending over a thousand dollars a year for maybe one or two hours of five channels in the evening? Was it really worth it?
I voted ‘no’ on the satellite TV subscription.
I ditched my satellite TV plan altogether. I looked around at some other options first before I did so, but nobody else really offered anything that I found to be any different. Everybody wanted hundreds of dollars and were only going to offer a minimal number of channels that I would want to watch.
I still didn’t want to completely forgo TV, however. Some days, it is kind of nice to just be able to zone out in the evenings. While movies seem to be my go-to for that, the idea of being able to watch Hogan’s Heroes, The X-files, or something else on TV still was something I kind of wanted to hang onto.
The solution? I bought an $80 analog TV antenna. I paid for this antenna one-time several years ago and have been using it ever since. I haven’t paid a TV bill since, and it’s been wonderful. I never really watched what I would classify as “a lot” of TV to begin with. Most of my evenings were spent playing basketball, reading, or hanging out with friends.
For me, this is the best of both worlds here.
I still have access to about 30 analog TV channels with a pretty diverse range of channels, and I don’t have to pay a cent for them. I probably watch even less TV now than I did beforehand as well. I consider this a positive. I don’t really know of anybody that would seriously consider the TV to be a worthwhile means of spending hours of your time every year, and the more you can step away from it to “real life,” the better.
If, like me, your TV subscription service is/was over a grand a year, you could do a lot of things within ten years’ span. Ten grand in a decade could go to a down payment on a house, help to pay off a big chunk of student loans, or help you to be able to get the new car that your growing family needs.
My recommendation here…
So, if you’re just graduating from high school, trade school, or college and now find yourself out in “the real world,” may I suggest that you consider forgoing the TV subscription plan. It only will serve to waste your time, it will not serve as an economical means of using your money, and it offers minimal benefit. There is so much more that you can accomplish with your life with an extra 1-2 hours of “life” every evening rather than 1-2 hours of wasting time watching commercials that I think the benefits far outweigh the ”loss.”
Ditch the satellite TV subscription plan and be happier.
Initially, I never would have thought I would have found myself in such a Luddite camp, but I think that if you take the same approach as I do, there is a lot of benefit that you could get out of it.
For example? Let’s say that you go to your favorite local café every night instead of having a satellite TV plan. You could spend $3/drink every night rather than watching TV and not only still save money but get the chance to meet a lot of cool people as well (this is easier in the South, where strangers talk to each other).
Personally, I put the money saved towards loans I have instead of the café option, but the point is that there are ways to spend your money on “life,” and there are ways to waste your money.
But what are your thoughts? Is a satellite TV subscription worth it? Let us know if you’ve made a similar decision in the past in the comments below.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.