In Part 1 of Unnecessary Expenses, I mentioned the girl who told the news how grateful she was that she finally got a job, because she didn’t know how she was going to pay for next month’s cable bill. So let’s start there for Part 2.
First of all, let me just say right now that I don’t have anything against cable. Cable is included as part of our condo HOA cost, so we enjoy watching the news, the travel channel, HGTV, sporting events, etc. Please don’t get me wrong; cable is great, and if you have it I am not going to talk you out of keeping it.
However, if money is tight because of a layoff, poor budgeting in the past, an unexpected emergency expense or disaster, or a myriad of other reasons, I hope it is obvious to you that between paying your grocery bill or your cable bill, the cable bill is the unnecessary expense. Obviously the girl scrounging for money just to pay for TV did not exactly understand that cable is a luxury item and not a necessity.
if you find yourself trying to cut back on expenses because of reason X or reason Y, think about what expenses are really necessary. Think about what you really can live without.
Also, consider the abundant FREE alternative options such as hulu.com, which allows you to watch nearly every TV show episode imaginable for several weeks after it has aired. For sports fans, espn.com lets you watch many games online, gives you real time updates on scores, and posts article after article on sports commentary. For you news watchers, cnn.com provides blog updates, podcasts, video clips of news highlights, and of course tons of articles that will give you all the news that you could ever want.
Bottom line, cable is a luxury. If you can afford it and feel like it’s a good use of your money, then great! Keep paying for it. But if your budget is tight and you are looking for ways to cut back, consider cable a good option because it will save you a significant amount each month, and everything that you wanted to watch is still available by so many other means.
So now I’ll ask you: do you have cable? Is it worth it? If you don’t have cable, what are your alternative options?