Cord Cutter Spotlight is an ongoing series where I talk with people who decided to cut the cord and get rid of cable. Want to share your cord cutting story? I’d love to hear it. Send me an email to set up an interview!
Susan Maccarelli is a mother of two toddlers, a prolific blogger, and a cord cutter. I was first introduced to her through her article on HintMama.com where she talked about her goal of “trying to survive cable-free”. I reached out to Susan to ask her more about her cord cutting journey, and now, I’m going to share our conversation below.
How long ago did you cut the cord and what was the final straw?
Our family got rid of cable in June of 2014 when we moved to a new house. We had talked about it before, but it seemed easy to do with the move since we’d be changing our routine in a lot of other ways as well.
How much money are you saving since you decided to get rid of cable?
We are saving about $900 a year. We had been paying about $1000/year for our cable channels. Now we have Amazon Prime (get a 30-day free trial) for $99/year and a $40 antenna (a one-time cost). Between DVDs, streaming, and the channels we get through the antenna, we have more than enough to watch.
What do you do with the money you save by cutting the cord?
We cut costs in a lot of areas around the same time in an effort to reduce our overall cost of living (car payments, eating out, unnecessary purchases etc.). Our goal is to save more and allow ourselves to have a more flexible situation with jobs and how we spend time in general because we are not keeping up with the Jones’ so to speak.
What’s your cord cutter setup (e.g. streaming device, streaming services, etc.)?
We used to find ourselves almost stressed at night trying to catch up on all of our DVR’d shows. It became less fun to watch TV because it was almost a job to free up the backlog. As I mentioned earlier, we have Amazon Prime. The kids have quite a few DVDs as well. We already had a PlayStation, which we use as our device for streaming Amazon.com as well as YouTube. Right now we have a free trial of Netflix as well. Most of the viewing is done by our kids. My husband and I have a little time during the week to watch TV and usually choose a TV series through Amazon Prime like The Sopranos or NYPD Blue. Just the series watching alone could take us years since we don’t watch a lot of TV! Every once in a while (once every 2-3 months) we’ll rent from RedBox if there is something more recent we really want to see. We’ve sort of given up on movies theaters since it costs so much for tickets and snacks. We go once or twice a year at most. Since we no longer have a DVR (we gave that up with cable), we have fun racing to watch a live show now and then (We recently watched Celebrity Apprentice) and grabbing snacks during commercials. I will also watch shows on ABC.com or other network websites once in a while like Scandal or Nashville.
What advice would you offer to someone who’s thinking about getting rid of cable?
I think that if you are looking to save money, you can do it. Make a list of all the shows that are ‘must watch’ and go through the setup options that Mr. Cable Cutter suggests. You’ll probably find that with a few adjustments you can get all your favorite shows pretty easily!
Ready to get rid of cable like Susan Maccarelli?
Check out my simple step-by-step guide for cutting cable!