The phone is so pressing, so overt, so immediate, the only socially appropriate reason to use it is if you’re trapped in a fiery building or someone’s in the hospital.
– Derek Powazek, The Etiquette of Modern Communication
We’re saving for a down payment, and the conservation mentality starts to snowball after awhile. As a result, we’re looking at a few previously untouchable expenses to determine if they are:
- Essentials Necessary to Survival, such as groceries, electricity and Blockbuster Online.
- Effectively Marketed Products slickly positioned as Essentials Necessary to Survival. These items can be difficult to identify, as they differ depending on which member of the household you ask. Eye cream, for instance, is most certainly NOT effectively marketed. Therefore, neither are web design books, even if they are the second edition of a title one already owns (after all, things change and one has to keep up). A bottle of the new Absolut Peach may or may not be effectively marketed, but it depends on the week one has had.
Something’s going to fall to the chopping block, it’s just a matter of what. We’ve identified a few regular expenses that would yield some decent savings:
- Cable. Currently wearing a big target. We’ve got the most basic cable package you can buy, mostly because if we had more, we’d watch more. And everything’s on DVD these days, right? Potential Savings: $30/month.
- Landline. Another strong candidate. We signed up for one because, well, that’s what you DO when you move. But the only reason to keep the phone plugged in is for emergency purposes (911 can track the call if, you know). Can’t say the same for the cell phone. Potential Savings: $40/month.
- Internet. I just put this in here for shock value. We’re not crazy.
- Cell phone. I made it 23 years without one. True, it’s proven invaluable when I’m lost or late, but I’m wondering if the cell phone’s invaluability (it’s a word) is similar to Tivo’s: I’ll certainly miss it when it’s gone, but I’ll manage just fine without it. Potential Savings: $50/month. Throw in Renate’s (not going to happen): over $100/month.
What do you think? Would we miss one moreso than the others? Are we overlooking other options? Comments are on.