Let me just start off by saying I am so impressed by other bloggers who cut pretty much every “luxury” out of their expenses to pay off debt and save money. Unfortunately, that isn’t happening in our situation and it is not going to. So many people are willing to forsake their iPhones for prepaid phones or start using only Netflix for entertainment. We just aren’t those people and let me tell you, it is okay if you aren’t willing to give up absolutely everything. Personally, I would rather focus on making more each month instead of cutting back. Really, truly, you will make it through and have good cell service along the way.
Smart Phones and AT&T
Since I’ve pretty much started discussing the topic of our cell phone bill already, let’s start with that. We use AT&T and have smartphones. We also pay for my in-laws’ smart phones. The bill each month is anywhere between $350 and $400. Yes, yes some of you have probably passed out and are trying to comprehend that number. But please, pick your jaw up off the floor and hear me out.
My husband and I are currently living in Washington in the land of endless evergreens, sandwiched between two mountain ranges. AT&T is working and I feel like with all of nature’s barriers, that’s kind of a miracle so I really don’t want to mess with that. His parents live in Colorado, home of the Rocky Mountains and random rock formations in the middle of civilization. I just don’t want to risk the cell service.
Not to mention, switching everyone to a new carrier is going to be difficult since we are not all in one place. It is also quite expensive to buy our four phones out of the contracts. Despite all the ads, carriers don’t actually pay you to switch. They credit you the amount you paid to get out of your contracts sometime after you switch to their service. And who knows when they get around to doing that.
Now, this bill is significantly smaller, about $160 or so a month. Clearly, that amount would be a significant to save every month and put toward debt but right now, that’s not happening. First of all, Netflix, Hulu, and an antenna, are not going to offer the countless ESPN channels that exist, and I can’t bring myself to take that away from my husband. If I’m being honest, I personally wouldn’t have cable but my husband works a lot and I think it is important for him to be able to relax at home with ESPN. We can’t afford to do much else.
I’ve read a few blogs that talk about lowering their car payment or getting rid of it completely by trading in their vehicles for ones that are less expensive. This is definitely an incredible way to save! I have also heard of selling your second car.
Well, I would love to be able to sell our second car because that would mean we have a second car. We don’t. We are already a single car family and plan to stay that way with our beloved Chevy Equinox. The payment is between $300 and $400 every month and it was a car we bought when we had to move cross country. With a toddler and a baby on the way, I can’t imagine having anything smaller or of lesser quality.
What expenses does your family cut to save money and what little luxuries are you not willing to live without? If you want to learn more about my family’s story and the financial mission we are on, check out this post here.