Recently my wife and I have hit a crossroads. We are looking for ways to maximize our funds and simplify our lives. Having decluttered quite a bit, we are now looking at our bills to find a way to trim them to manageable levels. And our eyes fell on our Cable bill. We have the Xfinity Triple Play, with Cable TV, Voice, and Internet. The Internet is necessary as it's the most reliable Internet connection available to our older neighborhood (which isn't really saying much). But as we both have mobile phones, the phone bill didn't seem to be bringing us a lot of benefit.
We then looked at our cable TV. When we got it, we had grand visions of watching great channels like the Discovery Channel, History Channel, and BBC America for all our favorite British Comedies. And yet, since we started using Netflix on our Apple TV, we haven't been using Cable at all, other than for local channels which we could get for free over the air with the right equipment. The other problem is that Cable does provide television signals to two TV's, so we would need quite the antenna to replace it. We have discussed the possibility of getting rid of it before, but it seemed like too much hassle. And in the mean time, our bill continued to siphon a lot of funds for unused channels.
Finally, the push came. A pending purchase was in need of those funds. It was time to pear down. Doing a little research I found a good indoor/outdoor antenna for sale on Amazon for a decent price, and then I called my cable provider. Once I got to the right selection in their phone tree (not a big fan of phone trees), the representative was helpful and willing to try and lower our bill without discontinuing service. Unfortunately, he couldn't lower it to the amount I wanted, until he offered to put us on a special one year promotion for Voice and Internet that cost less than Internet itself. It was a good deal, and it was one less thing I had to return, so I went with it. The Cable Box will be returned today, and we will no longer be paying for unused channels.
But what about entertainment, you ask? Well, aside from reading books with the kids, we will still have our local channels using our antenna, and that covers all the major shows we watch. Other than that, we still have Netflix, and less signal being eaten by the unused cable box which will (hopefully) increase Internet performance. But in the end, it feels good to no longer be throwing money away on something we don't use, and instead spend it on something we will need.