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Budget Changes

February 20th, 2014 at 03:52 pm

Well, I think I've already reported that I will have to pay $30 more for my train pass after March. That made me wonder if it was still more economical to get the pass than to drive. I got onto one of those online mileage calculators, and according to it, it will be cheaper to drive -- even factoring in the $100 parking pass. I don't know. The problem is there is a lot of idling in rush hour traffic, so I don't know if it is accurate. On the other hand, I wouldn't be paying for transportation on the days I stay home, unlike with the train pass, which is a flat monthly fee. I think in April, I will test it out. See how much it truly costs to drive instead of ride for one month.

My other budget change is the $20 increase for cable/internet. I don't feel like hassling with Comcast again. Whatever happened to customer-driven service? Not profitable, I guess. I think I will confer with my son, who is my techie expert, to see if I can viably drop cable. My fear is that it will mean upgrading my TV, which is an old-fashioned tube.

Just when you think everything is on auto-pilot, someone changes the rules!

Today it is raining and thunderstorms and heavy winds are predicted. There is danger of flooding. That doesn't affect my property, which is on the second floor, but it may get into the basement, where my storage unit is. Most things are in Rubbermaid containers or off the floor, so I think I'm okay. The only piece at risk is a wooden headboard and footboard. I should prop them up on something.

All the streets and sidewalks are already like swimming lanes. I dread picking my way back to the station after work. I have PT tonight, so I think I will ride the train straight to that exit, and then train back to my home station after the session. That way I won't have to bother with moving the car or finding parking. However, it might be icy if the temperature drops. Decisions, decisions.

One more budget change -- my smartphone costs me about $50 a month, whereas my old flip phone, on a prepaid plan, cost about $35 per month. So altogether I have about $65 in monthly increases to make up for. Oh, that doesn't even count the rise in assessment fees, which was about $15. Need to put my thinking cap on.

As for my $300 challenge -- I'm still on track, since my vacation expenses aren't counted in that. Still have $94 left for the month. With only 8 days left, that's quite doable.

7 Responses to “Budget Changes”

  1. Kiki Says:

    Your $300 challenge, what do you use that money for or what are you allowing yourself to use the money for?

  2. CB in the City Says:

    The $300 challenge is just a test for myself to see if I can spend only $300 on everyday discretionary spending in one month. It doesn't include fixed expenses or big ticket expenses like a vacation.

  3. scottish girl Says:

    Budget changes are happening here too Frown I need to put my thinking cap on too.

  4. Kiki Says:

    I'm interested in doing this in March hence the questions. Does that mean groceries, gas, dr cleaning, gifts, movies or other activities?

  5. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    Is Comcast your only choice? Did they not have any offers such as if you signed up for a year, etc? What do you watch on cable that you could not get via Hulu+, Amazon Instant Prime or Netflix? In other words, could you drop cable completely and just use these various sources?

  6. Looking Forward Says:

    I'd call Comcast. I did a few months back and only had to spend a few minutes on the phone. The CSR was very helpful and quickly got me a lower rate.

    Good luck with your driving experiment. Smile

  7. CB in the City Says:

    Kiki, what I count in the $300 is: groceries, eating out, household supplies, pet supplies, gas, entertainment, clothing, gifts, haircuts, parking meters, oil changes, co-pays, prescriptions, etc. I would count dry cleaning if I ever did it! I don't count budget items that are fixed: mortgage, assessment fees, train fares, laundry, phone, utilities, insurance. And I don't count big ticket items like vacations, furniture, home repair, big medical bills etc.

    As for the cable dilemma, I think the only thing I would miss is broadcast news. But I still need internet, and the last time I haggled with Comcast they wouldn't give me internet only for any less than the "basic tv" package. I know I need to call them again, I'm just too tired to deal with them!

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