Husband Won't Cut Cable Bill and We Can't Afford It Right Now! ADVICE PLEASE...

Updated on May 18, 2011
C.D. asks from Sanibel, FL
43 answers

Morning, I need some advice on how to make my husband understand we need to cut back the cable bill. I have mentioned it a few times and he absolutely says NO WAY and it will not happen. It is really causing a strain between us as it needs to be done and he won't. I pay all the bills online and budget for the family and it's just too much right now as things have gotten tight. WHAT do I say to make him understand that the extra $50 bucks a month savings would really help us out. HE REFUSES I MEAN REFUSES TO EVEN TALK ABOUT IT NOW! I can't cut the bill myself as I'm not on the account and they need the account holder's approval (Oh wonderful)... PLEASE HELP and give me words of wisdom as it's becoming too much emotionally for me to keep getting upset over. THANKS...

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So What Happened?

WOW, thank you so much for answering so quickly. For your info we have already cut back as far as we can (don't go out to eat, I use coupons, lowered are cell phones, cut down on auto insurance etc...) and that is why I posted this because the cable is the last stance...For those that take my husbands viewpoint, we got Netflix so the Kids and Hubby would be happy with so many show and movie choices so I was hoping that would make it easier to cut back...He is very stubborn and a Big sports guy...Hopefully he will see how much I am sacrificing for our family (I work part-time to make ends meet) I am very low maintence (Haven't had my hair done in 5yrs, don't shop for myself except consignment maybe once a year, don't wear makeup everyday, don't go to gym or really don't do much for myself at all!!!

Featured Answers


answers from Norfolk on

If cable is the one thing he won't do without, what else can he give up to come up with the $50 needed to keep the cable going?

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Does he have "stuff" around the house he could sell? Stuff he never uses?

My husband has made some great extra money selling his "collected items" and items he finds at Garage Sales for some pretty good money.

For Mothers Day money he sold an Anvil, he had found at a yard sale and made $150. profit!

He needs to help find a solution. Just saying "no way" is acceptable.
I also agree about calling the cable company and asking them how they can bring down the bill. I have doene this a couple of times and am amazed how they can find a new plan for us about once a year.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Well, what can you cut instead? I would sit him down with the budget and say that you need to cut that $50 from something. Should it be his beer money or sporting event money? Do you think you can get by on $50 less gas or groceries? I think if you show you are being flexible, he won't act like such a child. That you would prefer to cut out the cable (lots of people are doing this now), but that you are open to other suggestions.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

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answers from Chicago on

We just got our bill cut down significantly because there are several competitors in our area. Our company wanted to retain our business. Call and see what $$ you can negotiate down. :)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Find something else to "cut" instead... like his snacks, beer, movies, steaks, soda. Whatever you need to cut out of your monthly grocery bill to equal the cable bill. Let him know ahead of time that you will be doing so and make sure he knows that he will no longer have:
- Chips ($10 month)
- Beer ($30 month)
- Soda ($10 month)
If his cable is that important to him, he won't care. If it's not, you'll know very quickly.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Charlotte on


5 moms found this helpful


answers from Springfield on

It does seem as if he's being a little bit stubborn in simply refusing, but aren't you being stubborn in insisting that this is the only way to save $50 a month? Perhaps the two of you could sit down with all of your bills and bank statements, talk about where your money is being spent and together come up with ways that you can make some cuts.

You did come up with one very good solution, but there are many different ways to cut $50. I'm sure the two of you can come up with something that you are both ok with.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Don't pay it and you will get cut off. Tell your husband that you couldn't afford it this month and you tried to tell him but he wouldn't listen. Stop paying it online and they will probably send you a bill/s. When they come in give them to your husband.


4 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I gotta say, I empathize with your husband. Things are really tight for us too, but I remember saying to my husband "It's okay if we're too poor to go out, but I just can't be too poor to even watch TV!"

I concur with the other posters who suggest that you sit down with your husband and figure out where that $50 is going to come from. Maybe $20 worth of beer and $10 worth of groceries and $20 worth of something-else-for-your-husband. Good luck.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

Apparently he enjoys television. If I had to shut off internet I'd be pretty mad. My cable and my internet are about the same each month, and I've shut the cable off before myself... and my husband has asked "why dont you shut of your internet instead?" LOL, what a lame question I tell him... since this is how I pay the bills. I dont have any bills coming in on paper anymore.
I suggest you play with your grocery bill, I bet you can save 50 bucks a month there without messing up your tv options. The grocery bill is the biggest bill I have per month, and it's easily tweeked.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

I am going to assume that your husband is a hard working man and this cable is his one repreive in his mind. My husband is very similar. Just give him his remote and he is happy. He doesn't have to spend a lot on fancy things, just wants his cable. Try to take that and he is not very happy.

However, when things were tight for a while in our house, my husband was the first one to speak up about canceling the cable. And we did cancel it for many months.

I understand your husband wants the cable. However, if you cancel it, it doesn't have to go away forever. Talk to him about a compromise. Cancel it for 6 months and then see where you stand financially.

Also, my husband has gotten some really great deals in the past by calling the cable company and telling them we are about to shut off the service due to finances. They may work with you to find an affordable package your husband can live with (ie get you a "deal" on just the few channels he really loves).

I also think he needs to come up with a solution if he keeps the cable as is. For example, sell things on ebay, help you organize a yard sale, cut down costs on other things for himself, ie beer, cigars, golf, red meat ____(insert favorite item here). He needs to sacrifice just like the rest of the family.

Try to approach this in a calm manner. I know this is upsetting and he is acting childish, but harsh words will get you nowhere. Talk to your husband about a compromise. You two get through much tougher things together, you can get through this.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

This is why I have the bills in my name... your other (less honest) option is to contact them via instant message and claim you're your husband and cut the extras out. I took all the extras off my bill when my guy was unemployed (but again, they were in my name) and he whined forever until I showed him the updated bill... what a difference! Now that we're getting back on our feet, we're slowly adding those extras back.

Another alternative, since he won't step up and remove the extras, cut something else out that is 'his'... like if he has to have a certain snack in the house... stop buying it. Soda and juice... stop buying it, he can drink water. If he starts whining about that, tell him that you can afford these things once the extras are cut out of the cable bill!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We haven't had cable for 6 months. We went to all Internet-based TV using, computer, Wii (for Netflix) and bought a Roku player We also have a TV that connects with bunny ears and we get the local channels that way. It is a pain when the weather is bad and I want to watch something live because the signal cuts out, but it's not a huge deal just to wait a day. It takes some getting used to, but we've managed.

I'll say this though... I was so psyched that we "ditched" cable, but we still needed Internet (of course) and we use a home phone for faxing (we both work at home and VoIP doesn't work for the size faxes we send). Our Verizon bill was $190/month for the bundle of TV+Internet+home phone, and we had a home media DVR ($17/mo) and 2 extension boxes ($8/mo each). I cancelled the cable and the bill went to $89/mo. Great, right? Well, a few months ago, I started getting Verizon promos for all 3 services for $99/mo. I called them and griped at them about the whole thing and they gave me the 3 services, a regular DVR (not home media), and 2 boxes for $99/mo for 1 year. They actually are coming to install today. I know I'll have to renegotiate it next year, but it saved us a bunch of money in the meantime.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Cumberland on

Call the cable company and at least see what reductions can be made-when he finds out he is giving Lifetime and TCM or whatever-he may see things differently.Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Redding on

Why does it need to be HIS stuff you cut out? Why not YOUR stuff too? Families waste a lot and I bet there is something you spend too much on too. Do you get your hair cut, colored, styled? Nails? Dinners out? Makeup isn't cheap. Toys for the kids they dont need? Maybe TV is his big entertainment and relaxing time and taking it away will leave him depressed, bored and mad at you. Can you cut back drinking, smoking, shopping for clothes, yard stuff, house decorating, and kids activities? You've been given many suggestions for alternate TV veiwing, and calling the cable place and asking for a reduction in cost is a great place to start. Bundle the tv, phone and internet to save too. I'm sure you will find ways to save well more than $50 a month if you try. And when you do, be sure to show him how you did it and saved his cable. He will probably be really proud of you and that should be worth something.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I think that married couples really need to sit down a do a budget. And AGREE with everything that is "on" the budget. Sometimes that makes it really clear where money is bleeding out. If he won't do that, ask him where else you can cut $50 off of the expenses.
If he won't do that, he is financially irresponsible.
Stop paying the bill and see how he likes having NO cable. Then get it turned on in YOUR name and with YOUR features.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Show him the other alternatives to cable that are available. We have not had cable in over 10 years and it is not missed around here. With the digital switch we get all the network channels (crystal clear) and they have added several channels to that list. We have a blue ray player that is hooked up to the internet (a blue ray disc has never been used on the thing - we don't have any and we have never rented a blue ray :) ). We watch Netflix "Watch It Now" on there all the time. Yes, we may have to wait for things to get on DVD, but most of the time, it's not a big deal (generally after the initial shock of no cable). Our DVD player also has several sites that show television shows that we can utilize. For the adult shows, we have a laptop in our bedroom that we hooked up to the tv. There are several, and I mean several, websites that you can watch the current episodes of cable tv shows. If he is a sports nut, then cable may be his best choice. Fortunately, my hubby isn't too into sports for the most part. Do some searching though and see the options. Even if the option is to cut back on the cable to the bare minimum for his sports events. If TV is an important outlet for him, maybe he just needs to see that it's available in different formats. We missed cable for about a week. Then it wasn't a big deal. And now it's not missed at all. In fact we are more selective about what we want to watch and we watch much less tv. It has been a good financial and family decision for us.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Greenville on

AppleTV. If you have high speed, you can buy one that allows you to watch programs from online, like Hulu, sports, netflix, etc. It is SO much cheaper than cable, which will probably obsolete in the next 10 years. Local channels are available via digital antenna. Look into it!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

What aspect of cable is so important to him? What shows are a must for him? Is it internet access? Could you switch to Netflix?

What are his other creature comforts? If he has has loads, then cut those out. If he has few, then this is tough one. Did you mean to say that he is not paying the bill? That alone will take care of the cable issue. The company will cut you off.

I would start feeding him dollar store food items and make him wear his clothes/socks/underwear twice to cut down on laundry expenses and say you're trying to cut costs so he can keep his cable. Once it starts to adversely affect him in his personal realm he might wisen up.

But don't become pissy over this...just cut costs in ways that he'll notice.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Tallahassee on

I have a suggesstion. Do not pay it and it will get cut off. If he wants it back, suggest that he can get a second job to pay for it and any other luxuries he might want. That is what I did with my husband and he did go out and got a second job. It might not sound like alot but $50.00 can help with food, light, gas. Important stuff. Good luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Cleveland on

he can watch sports online on espn if he wants to watch the game



answers from Gainesville on

First I would insist he sits down with me while I pay the bills. If he refuses I would tell him that we don't have enough $ & I need you help I don't know what to do. Hopefully you can sit down together and figure stuff out. If he refuses i would not pay the cable bill. One time not paying will not affect your credit that much and its pretty easy to turn on again although it does cost extra sometimes. If he gets mad be honest and say I paid all essential bills firsy like food, electricity and gas and left non essentials til last and I just did not have enough this month for the cable. Good luck - I had a lot of issues like this with my ex. I never solved it, tried to hand the bills over to him and we were late on everything- or "i don't have time can u just do it" ..



answers from San Francisco on

Stop arguing about it. Just keep doing what you are doing to stretch your budget. You have talked and nagged til' you are blue in the face. He is not going to budge on this.

Soooo, talk to him about where he thinks 50 bucks can be cut from the family's budget...maybe ask him to start paying the bills for a few months. Sounds like you are the only one worrying about the budget and have your hands on the paying of bills. He is far removed from it so it has not sunk in.

Lovingly ask him take over the bills and you will take on some other responsibility around the house in its place that he does. Don't do it angrily or begrudgingly. Just a little experiment right now.

Good luck. I feel for you and the stress you have on your shoulders....not having your husband on your side when you have asked and pleaded is simply sad and a shame. Marriage is to be a partnership...and each looking out for the other. I hope you find some compromise soon with this budget matter.



answers from Dallas on

Sounds like he's being an a$$. In hopes of overcome his hopefully temporary state, you need to show him a written income versus expenses. Show him you have no more room to scrimp and let him figure out a way to bring in more income to cover his expense.



answers from Boca Raton on

sounds like you are conscious of what gets spent. I have one big suggestion, have you tried just buying fruits, nuts, seeds, grains and veggies? Most indigenous cultures survive on just that and are the healthiest and strongest of all peoples, also from poorer areas. This means no processed foods and just fresh healthy foods. You can't imagine how much money you'll save, not to mention how great your health will be. Think of no need for all sorts of medications (over the counter included). There are over a hundred types of grains TONS of different veggies and usually local in season veg and fruit is least expensive AND the healthiest for you.
Do that and his $50 tv will seem like nothing.
Then again, have you tried metro pcs for cell phones?
Buying an antenna is a good idea too, get all regular stations without paying. You can usually even get one at the local recycling center free.
Can he take turns going to a friend's house to watch games that he 'can't miss' that aren't on free to air?
I love my internet so I get it but seriously what did we all do for a life before cell phones, internet and cable?
Do you guys have enough to get a garage sale going? Sell some stuff on ebay? Sell his sports stuff, kidding!!!
Being stressed and acting like a martyr isn't healthy for you, your kids or your marriage. Do what you can and accept the rest.



answers from Cincinnati on

who is your cable company. i have comcast and I know with them they are constantly running sales for there current customers. I lowered our bil from$110 to $65 for the next 6mnths because they were having a sale price on the services I currently subscribe to. Also do you have a cell plan. If you have a home phone cell phone are not a nescesity, we don't have one even though my hubby is on the road alot. my parents just use phones with cards and dont use a plan this saves money too.



answers from Utica on

Just dont pay it and when they cut you off he will have to be the one to turn it back on and realize that there just isnt any money in the account to pay to have it turned back on. It sounds harsh but if you are not able to do anything other than try to talk about it with him then you just might have to stoop to his level and do what you can about the situation.
Good Luck



answers from Fort Wayne on

We use an antennae and the internet to watch our shows. I suppose between Netflix, Xbox Live Gold and Hulu Plus, I could have just gotten satellite and been done with it. LOL!

Why not cut out the Netflix? if you have cable, there's probably no need for both. I know Netflix isn't $50 a month, but it would help a little.



answers from Fargo on

We cut out our Dish Network. I didn't want to! My husband wanted to for the exact same reason that you want to cut your cable bill. I really, really, really didn't want to give up my HGTV, FoodNetwork and American Idol!!!!
But, I put on my big girl panties and did what was best for my family and I HAVE SURVIVED!!!!!

So, from one TV junkie to another, tell your husband to put on his big boy panties. :) Without a TV to stare at, you get a lot of nice family time in.


answers from Houston on

Its obviously important to him, make him give up something else, or tell him find the extra income. If my husband told me we'd "have" to cut off something i liked (like ac) then id find a way to make it work without losing it.


answers from Washington DC on

$50 a month is $600 a year.......

What is sooooo damn important on the cable that he can't give it up?

If he won't give it up - tell him he has to come up with the money each month to pay the bill as you will not pay it from this day forward...he wants it THAT bad - HE CAN pay for it. PERIOD.

I know that sounds sophomoric - however, he needs to see what is going on with the bills....if you have been taking care of it and he doesn't think $50 is that much - let him figure it out - seriously - he needs to understand the big picture...




answers from Detroit on

If you pay them on line you should be able to change your package for the cable bill right on line I don't think you need to have his permission then. We love netflix and are contemplating cutting down on the Direct TV bill and take off HBO or Showtime to save some. Things are so expensive today they get you hooked then raise the price. Maybe you can get a special offer or something. If you are on the account you could call and work out some kind of deal you just threaten to have it shut off completely if they don't help lower your bill. Good Luck and PS Sports might be important to him but being able to live and have food and keep your home seems a bit more important!



answers from Los Angeles on

I don't know what is in your budget or what else you are paying for because you didn't give us that info.

I personally would do a lot of cutting before I would turn off my basic cable. How much do you pay for groceries? My wife and I spend about $30 per week per person and we could go much lower if we had to. When I was working, my co-workers would send someone out for lunch every day. The average bill for lunch was $6-$7. Some of the finicky eaters were spending more. If he works 5 days a week and buys his lunch every day, he could have cable for brown bagging 50% of the time.

And then there are lots of other things . . . are you filling up at the least expensive gas station or do you spend several more cents per gallon at the majors? Do you go out to eat every week or several times per week? I have purchased a rotisserie chicken at Sams for less than $5 and used it for two to three meals.

We have switched to no-name brands and I always shop the discount bins in the grocery stores first. Buy the discounted (day old) meats. Go to the local markets that have cheaper fruits and vegetables. The kids should brown bag to school.

As others have suggested, I would sit down with your husband and see what he suggests you cut. Then I'd add the kids and your or his mother to the mix, if she is still living with you. Then there is always doing a garden. In Flordia you can grow lots of vegetables and tomatoes. I'd take out light bulbs from three or four light lamps and turn the water heater down.

Good luck to you and yours.


answers from Dover on

Just like SB said, we had our cable turned off back before Thanksgiving. In the beginning it was torture because we watch several shows & have 2 young kids. After a while it was less & less of a big deal. We did get an antenae (sp?) for I think about $30 at Radio Shack & that gives us ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX & the CW I think. We still have our Dish Network box & can watch whatever they've got going for the free preview of the month or week or whatever. We also have the laptop to catch episodes of shows we miss since there's no DVR anymore, plus the DVD player & Red Box. It'll be fine. Sit him down for a real, grown-up conversation & explain all of the options to him. Tell him it's a temporary thing until things are better for you guys financially, but it absolutely must be done unless HE comes up with an alternative.



answers from Boca Raton on

You can call any utility company (and they will permit a spouse's call, so yes, you are on the account) and request a break. Especially cable. They typically will reduce the fee for a substantial period of time. Do the same with all of your utilities and even credit cards. You must be diligent. It's draining at times; but be nice and ask the customer service rep: "How can you help me?"
They are human (mostly) too and usually empathize with you.
Just take matters into your hands. If your husband wants to watch tv, then let him feed the baby during the football game, or rock or walk the baby back and forth. There are many ways to overcome this.
Best wishes, S.



answers from Saginaw on

this is the exact reason everything is in my name, I do the finances I have the say! IMO this is a battle you will not win right now. Drop it and then take a different angle on it in a few months. Until then work your way back up to trust and then get your name on the acct. Also call them you'd be surprised what they are willing to do if you say you can't handle it anymore. And if you are lucky you might have a husbands name that can be a gender neutral and if you know the info they need you can "be him" on the phone from the get go. :)


answers from Milwaukee on

Cut back on food...HIS food. A few days of pb&j may make him change his mind.

good luck


answers from Kansas City on

Have you looked for cheaper car insurance, house insurance, life insurance? Have you unplugged things that aren't needed, shut off the lights, turned the air conditioner and heater up or down as needed? What about eating potato soup from time to time and cooking more cutting out convenience foods? There really are other ways to save.

Ouch... One of the moms below said that you should let it get shut off and that he can get a second job for it. I sure hope you don't listen to that since your working only part-time. I would like to suggest that the issue here is bigger than cable. Maybe hubby feels you should work more than part-time? Would he feel better if he thought you were willing to work full-time? How about you start to look for full-time jobs and tell him of your efforts and see if he decides that it would be easier to keep looking for ways to cut back. Whatever the real issue is, you need to get to the bottom of it before it becomes bigger than it is.


answers from San Francisco on

If you pay the bills, stop paying that one. Eventually it'll cut itself. Problem solved. When my husband lost his job, the cable was the first thing to go.


answers from Phoenix on

$50 per month really isn't worth all this stress and fighting over with your husband. Let it go. Good luck.



answers from Detroit on

If you're already getting Netflix, tell him he has a choice, but you can't do both (or find something else that may be threatening him with Macaroni and Cheese for dinner 5x a week). Give him the choice, but tell him something has to go. I would also try calling the cable company and see if they will reduce the charges.

Good luck. My hubby is like that too and we'd have subscriptions to everything if I let him.



answers from New York on

I feel the need to say here that I am not the "peacemaker" in our family. I don't always look for the most amicable solution. Especially when someone is trying to play hardball - which it seems like your husband is.

If it were me and I had tried to discuss this without so much as a possible open ear - I would remove the TVs until he was ready to talk. I would be very calm about it and in place of the TV he watches the most I would place a large sign that said "I sold the TV to pay the cable bill". Of course, I wouldn't sell the TV, but I think it would drive the point I was trying to make home.

My reasoning - our kids need to eat, our essential bills need to be paid. Period.

I would view this - if it were from my husband - as very selfish. I don't know your personalities or you as individuals so please take that as my view of my own family member and not an affront to you or your family member(s).

I think the idea of selling some things is a good one. If there has to be sacrifice for what is - basically - a luxury, then it should be made by the person insisting on the luxury.

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