Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community

Early Retirement & Financial Independence Community (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/)
-   FIRE and Money (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/)
-   -   Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes (http://www.early-retirement.org/forums/f28/savings-cable-tv-cell-phones-and-internet-attitudes-19311.html)

mb 01-22-2006 01:58 PM

Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
From the San Jose Mercury News:

55% - People that consider themselves disciplined savers

80% - People that admit to saving less than 5% of their income

49% - People that said cable/satellite TV is essential

46% - People that said a cell phone is essential

44% - People that said high speed internet is essential

I'm curious as to the attitudes of those on this forum?

My opinions:

- Save >5% mostly with automated deposits to mutual funds (I guess that's disciplined)
- Don't have cable or satellite
- Have a cell phone but could easily live w/o it (although work colleagues have expressed some displeasure about not being able to contact me when I don't have it)
- Have high-speed internet and it is one of the last "luxuries" that I would give up

It's sunny and getting warm outside.* Time to go for my bike ride.

MB


free4now 01-22-2006 02:30 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
These days you can get high speed internet for about $20 a month if you are willing to follow the deals, so it's not really more expensive than dial up. Seems like a must have.

Cell phones I think are still definitely a luxury, and it amazes me that so many low income people pay $50 dollars a month for them. The monthly service costs for cell phones seem to have stayed about the same for a long time now. You do get more minutes and features but they are still sucking the same number of dollars out of your wallet. I have a cell phone just because I have a corporate plan where I pay a flat $12/month and 6 cents a minute, with nights and weekends free. If I had to pay retail I don't think it would be economical for me.

Cable is a requirement for me because I can't get HDTV without it over the air (canyon location) and I have a fancy HDTV projection system. I know it's a luxury, but it's one I prioritize.

Nords 01-22-2006 02:47 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
We regularly saved 25% of our dual-income take-home pay during our working years.* At one point we'd paid off the mortgage and our savings briefly rocketed up to 80%, but then our toddler started growing faster & eating more.

The only thing that CATV is essential for in our house is family harmony.* I can't believe that we're paying over $400/year for the likes of MTV & E! channel but if I complain then spouse starts editing my honey-do projects list while watching HGTV.

If satellite drops below the price of cable then we're switching.

Cell phones aren't worth the price of being reachable.* I was lucky enough to never have one for work, and when spouse had one for work she sincerely regretted it.* So until they start giving them away in cereal boxes, and cell bills are cheaper than landlines, we're staying with the landline.* Listening to our daughter complain that she's the last kid on earth without a cell phone?* Priceless.

I never needed a 9600-baud modem.* Then I never needed the Internet.* Then I never needed a 14.4 kbps 28.8 kbps 56.6 kbps (not 57.6 kbps?) V.90 V.92 modem.* Then I never needed a cable modem.* Then our local cable provider ticked me off and proved me right, so now we can't live without DSL.

I refuse to go back to anything less than a 21" LCD monitor.* In fact if our computer desk somehow suffers a fatal accident and we have to buy a bigger one with more room for the display, then the only way I'll be able to "console" myself will be with a 32" LCD monitor.

Quote:

I'm curious as to the attitudes of those on this forum?
Me too, but I suspect that most of us posters here were born with those attitudes...

Marshac 01-22-2006 02:49 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
Cell: $100/year (tmobile prepaid. My VoIP service has unlimited LD, so the cell isn't needed for that anymore)
Internet $80/mo ( :o I know, but I have a block of static IPs, and a 7mb connection. I host my own web/email now, saving me $12/mo in web hosting fees.)
Cable: $80/mo (HDTV, onDemand and TiVo are the main reasons)
Savings: >30% gross, although this includes 401k contribs.

REWahoo 01-22-2006 03:06 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
Saved an ever increasing % of income, probably averaged 40% the last few years before retiring.

Cable not available, do have satellite TV. Not essential, we can get over-the-air HDTV signals, but we enjoy it and it fits in the budget.

We also have cell phones, which are very convenient, but certainly not essential. They also fit nicely within the budget.

No DSL or cable available, so we have dial-up :P. Giving some consideration to getting satellite and doing away with our land line and dial up, which could fund most of the additional monthly cost. Anyone using satellite for Internet connection and got an opinion on this option?

Lusitan 01-22-2006 03:13 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
- yes, I consider myself a disciplined saver

- easily save > 5% ... closer to 50%

- no cable/satellite TV for us

- mobile phones only because they are provided by work, no personal mobile phones (although we do reap the benefits of having them now); I see it as a luxury

- we have DSL (also paid for by work) and I'd have it even it we had to pay for it ourselves; I don't see it as necessary, but it is one of our luxuries

kat 01-22-2006 03:26 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 

Always been a saver.

No cable or satellite.

Canceled cell phone after 2 year contract expired and keep for 911 only. May some day get a pay-as-you-use-it cell phone.

Never had high speed. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough but it seems the deals don't apply to Macs, in the fine print. Doesn't make any sense to me, so I keep meaning to look harder. For now, Earthlink wanted me back so dial-up is especially cheap.


cute fuzzy bunny 01-22-2006 03:37 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
If the money squeeze came on it'd go in this order:

- Cable modem (no dsl around here, but theres a wireless provider for $20 a month that I'd probably grow to dislike intensely in a month or two due to reported frequent outages and the fact that they ran out of money last month and the founder 'stepped in' to keep a few people around and the electricity turned on. Probably back to dialup which would probably cause me to fold up the couple of laptops around the house and result in several additional hours of free time a week...

- Directv dropped from "the kitchen sink" (they're giving me $25 off a month for the next six months) to the $42 'basic package'. As a football fan, cant really drop ESPN or the NFL channel, and without the Oxygen channel my wife would drop into deep depression. Besides, if I put up an antenna the size of most peoples homes, I might snag 2 or 3 channels good enough to bother watching.

- Drop the VOIP phone for a landline with no options. Right now $30 a month with every feature and free long distance coast to cost is tough to consider trading for $20-something a month with no long distance and no features. This would, however, be a casualty of losing the cable modem.

I'm spending an average of $30-35 a year to maintain three prepaid cell phones to use for "want anything at the store" and "I know i've been out shopping 3 hours, i'm not in jail" calls. No real savings there.

Cut-Throat 01-22-2006 04:07 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Marshac
Cell: $100/year (tmobile prepaid. My VoIP service has unlimited LD, so the cell isn't needed for that anymore)
Internet $80/mo ( :o I know, but I have a block of static IPs, and a 7mb connection. I host my own web/email now, saving me $12/mo in web hosting fees.)
Cable: $80/mo (HDTV, onDemand and TiVo are the main reasons)
Savings: >30% gross, although this includes 401k contribs.

I am interested how you got the $100/year Cell. My wife has a cell.

I don't do cable. I get free HDTV off the air. I have DSL Which is $25 A month total. Cancelled my other phone line for dial- up, so DSL is cheaper.

Outtahere 01-22-2006 04:24 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
Very disciplined saver, so much so that we are debt free, that's saying a lot with the debt I took on 5 years ago for a great investment that's now pays off. Save 60% of my salary and 100% of all distributions I get (minus taxes).

Cell is paid for by work as well as high speed internet.

Cable for dh is a must to keep the peace here but it's only basic. His cell is a very cheap plan and we use his free nights and weekends to keep our land line to the basic cost.

We like the cell phones and when I leave work we'll probably add to his plan. High speed internet would go but probably replaced with DSL. Cable would stay just basic since we're happy with that now.


Marshac 01-22-2006 04:26 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
I am interested how you got the $100/year Cell. My wife has a cell.

T-Mobile ToGo has a $100/1000 minute option whose minutes don't expire for 365 days. If you use very few minutes, it's an awesome deal. I average about 50 minutes per month.

FreeBird 01-22-2006 04:41 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
  • Saver: I've always been in a low income category so I've had to be an above average saver. I'm WAY above the average on this item.

  • Satellite TV: I live so far back in the North Carolina mountains that I can't even get the major 3 networks so satellite is my only option less than going cold turkey. Just paid my $447.00- 2006 bill (includes frickin' taxes!) for the Dish 120 package which is 8 or 9 percent increase over '05. Also just got an above average raise so it's amazing how we ("I") justify stuff! I'd much prefer to pay say $200.00/year for the 5 channels of my choice but the programmers will never let this occur.

    Also, I just can't imagine going back to CBS (even if I could get it) after having so much more in choice such as the Fox News Channel, however satellite would be the easiest to give up since the internet is so much more powerful in gathering the broadest spectrum of information and entertainment.

  • Cell Phone: Never, ever want to become this accessible so I'll never have this bill.

  • High Speed Internet: Once again, I live in such a rural location dial-up is my only option but I seem to get everything done just fine.

edited: Can't spell "wurth" a crap!

Cut-Throat 01-22-2006 04:56 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by FreeBird


Also, I just can't imagine going back to CBS after having so much more in choice such as the Fox News Channel,

The Fox Channel may be a very successful Business enterprise. But, as Aaron Brown of CNN has said 'Don't ever confuse Fox with News - It is an entertainment channel for the right wing'.

Pablum for the white trailer park masses.

REWahoo 01-22-2006 04:59 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Pablum for the white trailer park masses.

Hey! What about parks with other color trailers! ;)


HFWR 01-22-2006 05:00 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
If all I could get were network channels, I'd sell my tv... *:-\

FreeBird 01-22-2006 05:04 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
The Fox Channel may be a very successful Business enterprise. But, as Aaron Brown of CNN has said 'Don't ever confuse Fox with News - It is an entertainment channel for the right wing'.

Pablum for the white trailer park masses.

And CNN is "fair & balanced" ??? ... that's pure fairy tale reality * ;D

CNN is "pablum" for the far-left ivory tower elite. I'd trade for a trailer annnnnnnnny day. *:laugh:

dlhanson 01-22-2006 06:35 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
Cable TV - we don't have it - we don't watch TV because it is too garbage laden. During election night I did hook up rabbit ears to our old TV to watch my hero win ;)

Cell phone - one Tracfone for each of two cars - $90 each per year

High speed Internet - $34 per month for the slowest high speed internet from Charter Communications - I love it compated to dialup

Phone service - Vonage VOIP - $16 for 500 minutes of North American outgoing calls per month - no charge or no minutes for incoming calls

Jarhead* 01-22-2006 07:04 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Hey!* What about parks with other color trailers! ;)


They get no Pablum.

Doesn't seem fair somehow.

AltaRed 01-22-2006 07:11 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
Cable (no premium channels) and high speed cable modem - $96/mo, considered essential in this house. *Will be investing in HDTV sometime this year when and if a quality 40 inch LCD or plasma with tuner breaks below $2k (no offbrands for me).

Cell - company phone at no cost to me. It goes when I retire. *Will not have a personal cell phone. *

Land line - basic service for ~$35/mo, no extras like caller id.

Savings about 50% of take home for a few more months yet!

REWahoo 01-22-2006 08:15 PM

Re: Savings, Cable TV, Cell Phones & Internet Attitudes
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jarhead*
They get no Pablum. Doesn't seem fair somehow.

"Pablum was...Invented in 1930 by three Canadian pediatricians..." :D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pablum





All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:42 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.