What do you consider a necessity? Are there things or services currently in your life that you can do without?
There are many things my husband and I do without in our pursuit to live within our means. I’ll be honest, I was very reluctant, at first, to do without a couple of things I’ve listed below. But I’ve surprised myself and found I’m very content without those items! Who knew! I’ve actually come to enjoy life without them!
My husband and I used to have two cell phones. One for each of us. Two bills every month. Both phones used to do a lot of sitting around doing nothing while our landline was getting all the exercise. When we were first married, my husband had a job that pretty much required a cell phone, since he was on call most of the time. But as my husband moved on from that job, he cancelled his phone plan. I still had mine. I had it for so many years that I wasn’t sure how I was ever going to get rid of it. But eventually, with my husband’s gentle prodding and the satisfaction of knowing we’d be saving $50 a month, I cancelled my plan. I really don’t miss it! And if there ever was an emergency while I’m out and about, do you know how many people have a cell on them these days? Tons!
Before we were married, I was seriously wanting a brand new Mazda 3. It was my dream car. One day, I decided I’d go out and get one since I could do whatever I wanted with my own money. But I decided to lease the car since the dealer was offering 0% interest. That was a poor decision on my part. Especially since I didn’t own my own business where I could at least write off some of the costs. I was paying $250 a month to rent a car that, in the end, I would give back. I had nothing to show for all the money I spent on my dream car.
My lease contract ended after we were married and my husband did not want me going out and getting another brand new car that way. We looked into buying the car out, but that meant we would have to take on debt. Since that time, we’ve agreed that we, personally, will not take on debt for things that decrease in value over time.
I’m happy to report that we paid cash for a great used Toyota that should last us a long time! And the best part? I’m extremely content driving the Toyota because I know I don’t owe anything, the gas mileage is great and my insurance costs are lower!
Ever since I’ve been living on my own, I haven’t had cable TV (or whatever the fancy systems they have available these days are called…PVR’s?). TV is actually the one thing I did not have a problem with not having. I don’t watch much TV. We do own a TV though, for movie watching or when we occasionally feel like seeing what’s available on our one channel. If there is a show I would like to watch, more often than not, I can find it online, for free!
There you have it! Three of the more substantial things we’re doing without at the moment. Now, hear me when I say this, I don’t think any of these things are bad. These are just some of the things we’re choosing to live without for the moment! Each person or family knows what is a necessity for them personally. But ask yourself this, are there things or services in your life you can do without for a time to help your reach your financial goals faster?
Stay tuned for my next post about the smaller things we’re doing without, to save a buck or two!