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September 09, 2010

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Unfortunately, I think our whole family has become tethered to the luxuries of premium channels, internet access, and yes of course cell phones. It is hard to fathom that they are not "Must Haves" and are merely wants but at the end of the day we could probably live prosperous lives without them.

We did get rid of our land line last month... Does that count as a baby step toward filtering out necessities? ;)

I got an antenna (one time installed, et., about $125) for 24 channels FREE, so no cable, I bike/walk/bus often so I drive less than 6K miles a year,saves a lot but, I'm semi rural w/no bus service and a bit in the country so need a car(Jeep actually:), I have "low cost internet" since it connects me w/ the world for entertainment, more TV, radio, etc., but, it's just $40 (CRICKET Wireless), gave up the landline phone many years ago and have just a limited cell plan that is no roaming in US w/ texting, cost is $37 w/ all taxes. PLUS: try turning (down in winter/up in summer) the thermostat a couple degrees when awake and 5-10' degrees when sleeping (more when gone for several hours) in addition to lowering hot water temp by 5'F. That saves a lot too...

I'm going to be that person and pop in to say that your iPhone costs are exaggerated.

-$30 required data plan

That leaves $100 for minutes and texting. Really? Even if you get unlimited texting ($20) that still leaves $80 for minutes which is a heck of a lot of minutes and hardly an "average" cost, especially when AT&T allows you to keep rollover minutes.

But I like your overall point of evaluating expenses. Even if you get a metro pass for the winter to avoid walking in the cold, you still come out ahead over the year.

Interesting.

Very impractical in my position and point in my life.

I would prefer to fall of the grid but between work, wife and other reasons the electronic teather , interent access and transportation is a fact that can not change. No getting away from it.

I'm actually trying to ramp up my use of electronic devices in order to improve my life and increase my free time.

I tend to be a (very) late adopter. Very very very and ridiculously late, like embarrassing. I can afford pretty much anything, but frankly I have better things to do than figure out how to buy and use the latest fancy e-thing.

But it's come to the point where keeping better track of my kids and work email & schedule is worth it to me. So I got a smart phone for me, and text phones for my kids, & I'm trying to figure out how to use them.

High speed internet at home is a lifesaver--it allows me to "appear" to be at work even when, due to my kids and the typical family disasters etc, I'm not. Also the internet is such a time saver for buying stuff and paying bills--yay, no more time-consuming trips to the mall or bank! I love being able to get the kids' school clothes/snow boots/winter coats/snow pants/ etc etc etc shopping done online in a few minutes.

Hooray for technology, I say! I just wish it was more transparent to figure out how to use all the the upgrades.

Next on my list: trade in my awful 5 yo work laptop for something newer and faster. I just hate having to get adjusted to a new touchpad, though.

Giving up cars altogether may be tough depending upon where you live. However, I do think that it is possible for two car families to give up one car under certain circumstances. Growing up, we only had one car for quite awhile. My mom was a stay-at-home mom and my dad worked. He would take the car during the day to commute to work, and my mom stayed home without one. We either walked or took the bus. Finally got a second car when my mom went back to work.

Also growing up, we never had cable TV either. We had an antenna on the top of our house. My parents did splurge for a VCR so we could at least rent videotapes. When I moved out of the house and got my own apt, I also didn't get cable just because I was used to not having it. I finally ended up with it when I moved in with roommates who had it. After getting married, I continued to get cable mainly because my wife insisted but partially because I was "hooked" after having it with the roommates.

I have toyed with the idea of going cable-less mainly because with Netflix and Internet Video, you can pretty much get whatever programming you want. The main thing that is keeping me with it is the live sports. That is one thing that is hard to get over the net.

If you have kids, internet is a must. Around here, in middle school and up, they don't buy enough textbooks. You are expected to read it online. Yes, you could do it - after schoool or at the library, but that is not always practical.

Interesting post. For me, getting rid of the smartphone could work, and getting rid of cable could work (though my oldest child wouldn't be too fond of that, I imagine). I got rid of the home phone a while ago.

Internet and car? Where I'm at in life these days, I need both.

I commend you for being able to get rid of all. The fewer expenses, the better. Save, save, and save some more.

I have no iPhone, no TV, and no car, but I NEED internet, since I use it for my freelance business. Honestly, I don't see how people can live without the internet. It's a source of money (there are so many internet sites to sell things on, and to offer services). If it didn't exist, I'd be on welfare, since I'd have no job, and I wouldn't have any ways of making extra money, other than perhaps digging through trash cans to find cans to recycle?

Interesting - I couldn't give up any of those 'luxuries'.

A. I work online. My business is digital. And my costs are much less than yours - DSL, $35/month.

B. iPhone. Again with the digital - I have have a smart phone to be checking on clients digital assets, etc. But data costs again are much much cheaper than yours. I pay 10$ a month of an unlimited data plan, because I've been a long time customer of Tmobile. Thanks Tmobile for being a great service! Total a month: 80$

C. My main form of fun is hiking and biking and snowboarding. I am an outdoors gal. Must have a car to get to all the wonderful outdoor pursuits I enjoy! And no, I'm not pestering friends for rides on the weekend - I'm not in college anymore. Car is owned outright. Insurance: 70$/month.

Sometimes maybe you just need to shop around, rather than give up on 'luxuries'. But I do wish I read more books, and am working on spending time at the library more often.

My husband have lived without cable or satellite tv since 2001. At first, it was out of necessity since we were in severe financial trouble and had to find a way to cut some expenses. We also cut our landline phone, saving us around $40 (I think) a month since then. He uses a cell phone with the least expensive plan we could get and it costs $48 a month. I use a prepaid ordinary cell phone, because I don't use a phone much and could justify a family plan. It has helped me to stay in touch with my hubby when I go on trips for work a few times a year. We do still have internet with a fairly fast connection for about $50 a month and Netflix for $22 a month. If I were not married, I could easily do without internet and use the internet at the library. I could also easily do without Netflix and check out dvds from the library, but I have made some concessions for my husband.

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