Frugal Apartment Living: Life without Cable

in Saving Money on by

Apartment living can be expensive when you add in all of your utilities, and choosing to live without cable is one way to keep unnecessary expenses down. If you’re accustomed to living with cable, learning to do without it may take some adjustment. However, you’ll find after a month or so that it really isn’t that bad not having access to dozens of channels. Here are some tips on how to live without cable without losing your mind.

Tip One: Stock Up on Movies and Other DVDs

Just because you don’t have cable service doesn’t mean you can’t watch your favorite shows. You can rent your favorite series on DVD—and enjoy them without commercials. You may have to wait until they’re released on DVD, but it’s a great trade-off in exchange for not paying a sizable cable service fee each month. You’ll quickly become accustomed to watching movies much more frequently. Not have cable means you’re less prone to waste time watching worthless programs. You can be choosier about what you watch. Begin making a list of all the movies you want to see and start renting them.

Tip Two: Be More Social

It’s amazing how much time people spend sitting around the television mindlessly watching shows. Not having access to seemingly unlimited numbers of programs will force you to be more social. If you’re busy spending time with friends you won’t even miss having cable service. Remember, you can also make watching your favorite cable program a social occasion—if one of your friends has cable, gather at his or her place to watch your favorite program each week.

Tip Three: Read

It doesn’t matter if it’s books or magazines, not having cable means your time can be occupied by other activities. Why not spend it reading some good books or magazines? Borrow some books from the library or from a friend. You can also frequent large chain book stores to read the magazines. Reading a good book can be just as satisfying as enjoying your favorite TV show.

Tip Four: Take Up a Hobby

As previously stated, mindless television watching can consume more time than you’d like. Not having cable means you can spend your time doing other more creative things. You can take up a new hobby like writing, painting, cooking or knitting. You can even make it a social occasion and take a class with a friend.

Tip Five: Become Acquainted With Network Television

If television is key to an enjoyable evening, you can watch a number of decent programs on the major networks. Start tuning in to some of the hit shows on ABC, CBS and NBC. Most cable networks post current episodes of their shows online, so you can use the web to keep current on those.

Life without cable isn’t bad. In fact, it opens opportunities to do other useful things with your time. After a short adjustment period, you’ll realize how much better life can be without cable.


Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.

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