Now that I've been on my Social Security and pension for two months, I have a better idea of what changes I need to make. I hope to share those categories soon. I'm definitely looking at cutting in a couple areas, as well as increasing some income. These two changes will allow me to live at the current level as long as possible (to all the people who get nervous here about their monthly income, remember that unlike many of you, I have a full blown mortgage payment and will for awhile-many of you don't have that elephant in the room, or will not for long). I've been looking at ways to cut expenses, and be more self sufficient. I've also been researching prices and costs. It's an ongoing process and we should all do this every so often no matter our income, I suppose.
After some research, I decided that for now, I will keep the cable. This is not a decision I made lightly, and I have done research and am negotiating a better rate with a different company. But for now at least the cable stays. Since I did research both streaming (through something like a Roku box), and limiting myself to ten channels, I thought I would share my thought processes as to how I got here. My reasons may not be your reasons, but here they are in no particular order:
- As a single person, sometimes it's a simple companionship issue, especially in the evenings in the winter. I don't like driving in the dark, which means with one exception most of my socializing is daytime and I am at home at night. Sometimes I want the noise and the company.
- I adore sports. Neither streaming nor the network only option would be a real solution. At a minimum I also need TNT and ESPN in order to watch American football, football (soccer to you Americans), and college football and basketball. This is a large concern. If I were younger I could spend my Sunday or Saturday in a sports bar-that's not working for me right now.
- There is, frankly, some damn good programming on television. Yes, there's junk. There are also programs that are stunning. Most of those (with the exception of Grimm, Person of Interest, and Prime Suspect) are not on network TV, again. They are not necessarily on pay TV either-but rather on those upper tier cable channels that go beyond thirteen or so. FX (Damages. Justified), AMC (the Killing, Breaking Bad) and other channels are where the superior programming is. Newsweek even wrote an article about this the a month or so, and of the tendency of screen actors like Glenn Close to move to TV programming. This is where I make a disclaimer: I like good, hard hitting dramas that keep your attention. It's okay for me if they are violent or R rated. I don't have young children and I prefer accuracy in programming. Violence, like anything else, works for me when and if it's well done and fits the plot.
- I don't do a lot of "entertainment spending". I see a few movies a year, generally those that are the type that need to be seen in a theater. I go to two real musicals or concerts a year and the rest is what I guess you would call repertory and community events-which I enjoy. TV is an entertainment alternative-I've watched whole concerts, plays, and classic movies recently.
- I'm not a slave to the TV. Whoever that guy or gal was who invented TIVO, they need to get a prize of some kind. I partake of TV when I am in the mood and have the time. I also rarely watch television when I am not doing something else.
- I don't watch TV during the day. Ever. I suppose the last time I watched TV during the day was because my daughter who was visiting turned it on when Michael Jackson died. Before that, I'm sure it was the Olympics or World Cup if I was watching television on a weekday. Also, my body clock and my schedule (if you want to call it that) are such that most nights, I eat dinner at around seven and after that I am winding down. A little mindless drivel can be good for the soul at this point.
Have you cut cable? Kept it? Thought about it?