Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Living On Less - TAIT

Welcome to Talk About It Tuesday!  As part of my Work @ Home series, I'm adding thoughts on how to Live on Less and learn how much is enough.

I have really been reviewing where my family's hard earned income goes. Who exactly is it that has our money since it always seems that we don't...  My first 2 thoughts were of course:

Cell Phone

Car Expenses:
  • GAS
  • Insurance
  • Registration
  • Maintenance
  • Parking Permit
We have already paid off our car for the time being, which we are very thankful for.  Even without a car payment, after adding all the numbers up for just my cell phone and our family's use of our one car- I discovered that I work at my 4-day a week job for over a month and 1/2 straight every year just to pay for these expenses!  I spend a month and 1/2 at my job when I'd rather be spending time with my son.  I was totally shocked at the numbers!  What in the world is going on here?!

Then I started to consider what would it take to live without these things.  I'm serious.  Do I HAVE to have a cell phone and a car to survive and be happy?  Have I just been brainwashed into thinking that these conviences are now necessities required to live a pleasant and productive life?  The answer:  I don't know.  I have never even considered the idea.  My family always had a car and my cell phone offered the ease and convenience of on-the-go plan changing and being able to make calls to anyone at anytime.  Is it possible to function in today's society without them?

I thought of the people I knew without cars.  They bike or take the bus when they have to go to work or go shopping.  They don't seem any worse for it.  In fact, they seem to have more because of it.  What about the holidays when we have to go visit family in the next town over?  Rent a car or get a ride.  Maybe they can come see us instead if they want to.  And when it comes to the cell phone, our land line is included in our rent.  I'm already paying for a phone, why pay for two?  It doesn't make sense besides the convenience.

These are just some of the things I went over, considering the possibility of freeing myself from these financial burdens.  Thus freeing up money and time to spend with my quickly growing son. 

My husband of course was just shocked at the idea.  One of the points he made that did cause me concern was getting around when winter hit.  A possible solution - make use of my free bus pass.  As students we recieve a free bus pass for our city's bus system to go wherever we want for free.  No charge, just go to the parking building and get your free student sticker.  I went over so many things from making menus and planning shopping trips better to make my trips more efficient.  There are lots of things involved, but is it possible or not - that's what I really want to know.

So, I want to slowly start to make the transition until I can completely experiment on the idea of living without a cell and a car.  I really want to see if its possible.  If its worth the money saved on gas and all those other expenses.  I may find at some point before totally making the transition that it is not reasonable, which at that point I will go back to the drawing board.  But, until then, it seems to me that a month and 1/2 is time wasted if it's not spent with my family.

What are you up to today.  Link up and share with us!

5 bloggy friends commented:

Sarah @ The Pumpkin Patch said...

Hi Sarah, Just so you know, your link isn't working. It says submissions don't start until May 10th.

Sherry said...

Great post! I have actually ran the 1 car by hubby, but he isn't totally convinced. I did get him to agree to basic cable instead of all the bells and whistles. We've saved $480 in 8 months. WOW!

Sarah said...

That's great Sherry! Every little bit helps.

Heather said...

A friend of mine doesn't have a car and uses the bus system here in +the twin cities, and while it works great and he gets where he wants to go... it takes him a lot longer on the bus than it does in a car. Depending on where you want to go, it can take an hour to get somewhere that would otherwise take 20 minutes. He doesn't mind, but Im not sure I want to spend so much time in transit.

One thing that my boyfriend and I have done is stop wasting food. We spend an incredible amount on groceries and only eat half of them! We save about $40 a week!

Melissa said...

I've toyed with one car - but husband isn't convinced. We only use trac phones so we have the convenience when it is absolutely necessary but we aren't wasting money on a plan we won't use...

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