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I Win

Sadly no, I didn’t buy the winning lottery ticket.  Yet.

However, I am alive, ambulatory (without the walker, though it’s been a near thing some mornings) and very happy to have found a couple of solutions and a bit of serendipity.

I have been wracking my brains to try and figure out how to pare away several hundred bucks a month from a budget that’s already pretty damned near nekkid.  There are people who live without electricity.  I’m not one of them, honey.  So that stays.  Water?  Um, yeah, also not something we can drop.  And I can’t cut Internet because 1) I need it for work and 2) I need it for my sanity and 3) I need it to PAY aforementioned bills.  Can’t cut the house payment (obviously) or the driving-related expenses.  Thankfully my cost of commute will plummet in a few more weeks.  Daughter unit’s school semester wraps mid December.  When she returns next year it’ll be on her own set of wheels and she will be paying her own travel expenses.  Let’s see how long it takes her to figure out just how much that entails.

We don’t go to the movies.  We rarely eat out and when we do it is the cheapest fast-food option we can stomach.  I don’t do vacations except for medical procedures or moving, apparently.

So that left pretty much TV and phone.  TV was a no brainer, being turned off this week.  I’ll have to pay an early cancellation penalty.  Oh well.

Phones are a bit more problematic.  My phone bill – which started out about $60 a month back when – no frills – has gradually ballooned to $200 a month even after discounts I get through my employer.  We can’t realistically drop phone service because both daughter and I drive eighty-something miles a day every day and it’s a safety issue.  But I hit the point that the math was catching up with us.  This month’s perfect storm of unavoidable expenses put me some $1500 in the hole and I can’t absorb that kind of numbers for one month, much less ongoing.

My younger son is a manager at a phone store, a different company than my current one.  Likewise it’s going to sock me with early cancellation fees, but by switching I will cut the bill down to roughly a quarter of what I’ve been paying.  He finagled one phone for me for free.  (It was a manager demo of the new Windoze phone – he demo’d it enough to know how it works, then passed it on to me.)

My spousal unit is allergic to answering his phone and he literally never calls anyone, so we are getting him the cheapest prepaid plan on Earth: $100 for 1000 minutes that are good for a year.  (I’ll be surprised if he uses half of them.)  That breaks down to $8 a month or thereabouts.  The cheapie prepaid phones from Wally World run considerably more than that.

I worked today on the premise that they’d kick us out early.  They always do – you usually get sent home two or three hours into your shift on the holidays.

It didn’t work out that way today.  They sent us home roughly twenty-five minutes before the end of our regular shift.  That’s a mixed blessing: I would’ve liked to have half a day off, but that 2.5x pay will be a godsend when it hits my bank account, particularly since I’m having to make up for the huge fiscal hit this month.

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