07 December 2009

Pinching Pennies

Today I finally get to cancel our family cell phone service. I've really been looking forward to this. (Sounds kind of pathetic, I guess, but hey, you've got to get excited about the little things.) We had a pretty cheap plan for three phones, but since I can't use a regular phone anymore I thought I'd see if we couldn't do better with a plan for just two phones. Looking back over the last couple of statements to see how much we used the darn things, I found we were averaging, maybe, 10 minutes a month for the three of us. We don't talk on the phone much. So, yeah. We switched two of the phones to pay-as-you-go, and today I get to cancel the service.

While our house has been torn apart, we've had a bunch of stuff stashed in a self-storage place. I thought it would only be for a month or two, but it's been a year. In the next week or two, our remodel should be close enough to being done that we can get that stuff out of there. I'm really looking forward to that, too.

As an aside, if you can get along without something for a year, you've got to wonder how bad you really need it. There've been surprisingly few things we wished, at some point, we had handy, and only one or two items we needed badly enough to go down and retrieve. I think there's a lesson lurking in this somewhere...

While it seems kind of Scrooge-ish to be looking for ways to pinch pennies this time of year, the transition from gainful employment to retirement benefits made some significant changes in our budget. We've had to distinguish between what we need, what we want, and what we really can do without. I'm not sure that's bad. We can do without cell phone service we don't use. We don't need to rent a storage shed for stuff we don't need. With my birthday, my dad's birthday, Tuffy's birthday, solstice, and my brother's birthday coming one after the other, it's easy to get crazy. Tuffy's tuition is due in January. Let's keep our priorities straight. We'll still buy presents. We just won't be spending money for the sake of spending money. We'll try to focus on what we're celebrating, and why.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to cancel my cell phone service...


  1. Yep, lessons. I am looking at those pay as you go too. Partner and I on SSDI at same time---big hit. But we have never been into material things anyway and nobody to buy for. Just my mom now. I grew up poor so it is no big deal to me. You have a family in a beautiful city---you are rich.

  2. It is amazing what one can live without.

    I must the only person who thinks paper towels is not an essential commodity. LOL!

  3. Diane, do you are right -- I am rich. As long as we can afford dog food, we're doing OK!

    Sherry, I admit it's ecologically irresponsible, but for me, paper towels are right up there with TP :)