Monday, September 13, 2010

What is Your Splurge?

The other day I was reading a blog where they told how they never spent money on cable, home phone, and trash pick-up. It came off kind of judgmental in the way that it was worded, but as we all know it's hard to tell tone from the internet. Maybe what bothered me is I don't like anyone telling me what is and isn't a waste of money because really it all depends on the person. It also bothered me that people who commented on this post were also quick to make judgments about a person's character and/or parenting based on what things they "wasted" money on. For example, some were saying that those with cable don't spend time with people, don't get things done, etc. or "my kids have never had cable and that is why they are able to entertain themselves!"
 So, let me be real with you. These kind of mentalities annoy me. I have satellite tv for several reasons. First, we had cable, but it was awful and they kept raising prices. Second, we pay less for more channels plus DVR then we were paying for our basic cable before. In fact we pay less to have phone, internet, and tv then to just have cable and internet through the cable company. My husband and I watch a lot of shows that just aren't online or available through Netflix. Mainly things on History, Discovery, Animal Planet, and Bravo. We DVR them and when our daughter is in bed, we watch them. It takes infinitely less time because you can fast forward through the commercials. Our satellite also offers us programing about our church, which is nice. I get plenty done during the day because I don't have to watch it right then because I have the DVR. When cleaning or cooking, I can put on the music channel and not have to buy fancy ipods. But guess what even though my daughter has been around tv since the day she was born, she still is capable of playing by herself. 
Our tv is the vast majority of our entertainment budget, so I can justify having it.
Now as for the landline, I need it to get internet, but to be honest I would keep it anyway. I live in South Florida. Hurricanes are a real threat, and so are really bad thunderstorms. Many people say, "I don't need a home phone because I have a cell phone or because I have voip," and my frugal side would agree, but my emergency preparedness side says no way. If you lose power your voip is no good, and your cell phone is only as good as the battery (and do you really want to waste precious fuel either for a generator or car to charge your phone?) There's also the problem that during national disasters cell towers often become jammed. So I have a very basic landline phone, no fancy bells and whistles.

The fact of the matter is we all have a line on what we are willing to splurge on, and it is different for each of us. I like tv, while you may like your iphone. I may like eating out, but you may like going to the movies. So you won't be finding me telling you what is a waste of money, but I sure will tell you how you can save money on things you splurge on (even if I personally wouldn't waste money on it :-)  ).
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