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How to Live without Netflix

by Bethany

True Story

Maybe it is a Millennial thing, but I felt a stab to my heart when I cancelled our Netflix this past week. We cut the cable a long time ago, but we were still holding onto Netflix because who doesn’t love Orange is the New Black. I thought to myself, how am I possibly going to live without Netflix? No more Criminal Minds binge fests, no more documentary filled weekends, no more tear jerking episodes of Queer Eye!? I will most certainly not make it.

Yet, here I am – one month later- still alive. Turns out there is plenty more to do other than Netflix. I still found entertainment online and in the form of TV.  I also found something even more more valuable than dare I say it, the Seeing Allred documentary, and that is time. (Still-everyone needs to see that documentary).

Here is how I survived without Netflix.

You Tube

By far one of my second favorite forms of entertainment and it is Free! Some of my favorite YouTubers are Sarah Nourse, Lavendaire and Sweet Potato Soul.

Amazon Prime

We already pay for this service and yet we NEVER used the streaming that was included. When I went on a flight and wanted something to watch I thought I would try Amazon Prime videos and download some to my phone. Worked well and now we use this if in the mood for a movie. [Edit: we may be canceling this too as an experiment in order to break our addiction to two-day shipping. We might actually have to shop at a store for more than produce now!!]

Read a Book

I know this sounds like my Great Grandmother telling me to ‘Read a Book!”, but it is true. This past year we have upped our book consumption by about 90-100%. Going from reading 1, maybe 2 books per year on our vacations or breaks to reading 20-30 books per year is pretty darn good. Here is a list of books that have helped us specifically on our FI journey.

Listen to Podcasts

Something that HisFI is certainly more into than myself, but I have slowly developed a taste for podcasts. We found they are also perfect for those long road trips when the radio is spotty. To see some of our favorites head on over to our toolbox here.

Work on a Hobby

I know, not really a novel idea here- but with the removal of Netflix we are able to devote more time to our passions. I have more time for creating and photography. HisFI has more time for biking and cooking. Plus, we both have more time to devote to the blog, podcast, hiking, kayaking, and hanging out with our fur-babies. We fin that we plan more time with friends or doing what we love and make conscious choices about our time when Netflix is not the first option upon arriving home from a long day at work.

Cook More

While this may sound more like a chore- consider that the more you cook at home– the more money you will save and the more healthy you will be. Removing the temptation to eat a bag of chips for dinner while binge watching Netflix- which, by the way, does not even stop between episodes anymore- is good for your health and your wallet. It was true for us anyways.

Stream It

If you really need to watch the latest movie or you have to stay up to date on Handmaid’s Tale (like me) then you can typically find a streaming service and rent it. $1.99 every two or three months is still better than $12 per month for Netflix.

Movie Nights

We have found that now we schedule movie nights or Game of Thrones nights with our friends creating a new social aspect. No, we are not just bumming our favorite shows off of friends- although I can see how you may think this. We make sure to reciprocate by hosting bon-fires, fall get-togethers and always bringing the food when we come for movie night.


The results of canceling Netflix were surprisingly positive. I removed the source of distraction and mind numbing entertainment (even if it is good entertainment). My productivity in terms of writing and creating shot up and I gave myself back some money in my pocket. The only downside I can see is not being in the loop on the latest Netflix trends- which will drop my cool factor as a teacher– but then again I am already crazy cat lady.


Marc @ Vital Dollar August 27, 2018 - 4:50 am

We also don’t watch Prime videos every often, but they do have a pretty good selection. It could definitely serve as a Netflix replacement for someone who already has a Prime membership.

Bethany August 27, 2018 - 4:53 pm

Yes! I am considering dropping our prime membership, but that one bites more than Netflix.


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