I have been re-evaluating my budget lately as I am nearing the point where I will not be pulling a pay check. I am very glad to be at the point I am a today and going through thing has made me feel a lot more secure than I had felt before.
My monthly bills 7 years ago looked like this (I was married at that point, I won’t include ‘his’ expenses. Also, I am leaving health insurance off simply because it is infuriating to me, that will be a rant for another time 🙂 ):
- $2239.00 Mortgage
- $502.00 Car Payment
- ~$180-$250 Home Utility Payments (Gas/Electrical)
- $32.00 Water/Sewer/Trash
- $42.00 Home Insurance
- $78.00 Car Insurance
- $100.00 Cell Phone
- Food/Gas Costs
That makes my monthly total $3,273-$3,243 a month plus all of the food and gas needed! On top of that, at that point there was another car, more car insurance and several other misc. bills. We were paying out more than $5K a month for ‘things’. That’s over 60K a year on hard costs alone for two people, no kids (though there were a few dogs). Completely ridiculous! At that point our combined income was six figures a year. It blows me away because I have NEVER felt as stressed financially as when we made so much money! I have never had such a small amount of savings either. On top of that EVERYONE was trying to extend us further lines of credit for furniture, or TVs or anything. It is SO easy to let things get out of hand so fast (especially when you can’t get on the same page with your partner, but that is a whole other story too)!
From there I have found my way to where I am today, these are my current monthly bills:
- $200.00 Monthly Property Rent
$502.00 Car PaymentPaid Off!
- ~$6.00-$50.00 Home Utility Payments (Gas/Electrical/Water)
$42.00 Home InsuranceNot Insured
- $38.00 Car Insurance
$100.00 Cell PhoneSee Below Food/Gas Costs
That brings me down to about $242.00-$288.00 a month. My TOTAL living expenses for hard costs are about half of what my car payment was before. That’s pretty amazing really. This may all change as MiniM arrives a little (or a lot) but I think it is something that is manageable AND allows me to save large portions of money at a time so that the next phase of my life can be paid for up front with cash and that biggest and worst payment per month (the mortgage) can hopefully stay WAY off my radar.
The reason for this particular post… I have an idea to spare me the cell phone bill above as well, the main reason I am writing this is to get some feedback from others on why more people don’t do this. I am a person that nearly never talks on the phone if I am not required to for work, my phone gets used for browsing the internet, texting and keeping a calendar if I’m lucky. It drives me nuts that my biggest bill is for this basic thing which seems like it could be accomplished so many other ways for free with today’s technology.
So my plan is to get a Nexus 7 Android Tablet (because I refuse to buy Apple products) and use Google Voice (free service) as my cell service.
- I wouldn’t have a cell phone bill.
- I would have a tablet, a small one but it will work better for the things I use my cell phone for.
- It’s cost is about the same as a new phone would be.
- I am officially out of contract with my provider next month so I am excited at the idea of not being in contract with anyone (there are Tracfone and other options for that but I still don’t like the recurring fee idea…)
- No emergency service for calls (when am I ever not around a neighbor or stranger whom I can ask for help or to make a call)
- Dependant on wifi (when am I ever not around wifi…)
- I lose my cell phone number. No Biggie.
Maybe I am over simplifying things? Why would more people not go this way? I am hoping for some good feedback but if there is nothing too far out of my realm of considerations I am going to commit to ditching my cell phone, at least for a year, that is saving $1,200. It is a lifestyle adjustment but I am not so young that I can’t remember a time before cell phones :). Thoughts?