livin’ cheap

one friend told me privately that bringing my lunch and making more of my own food is probably the best thing i could do to save money over the long term.

well, i did the math, and it turns out he’s right. i kind of figured he might be.

now, i’ve decided that netflix can probably go after july. there’s a couple more things i want to get from them, and then i’ll cancel my service– or maybe see if i can bump down to a lower rate with fewer movies out. and that, as it turns out, is the biggest bill-shave that i can muster.

next biggest is my earthlink service. i have DSL through them which includes 20 hours of dialup every month. now i very rarely use that dialup and it could probably go, though every so often it _completely_ saves my ass or the ass of someone i know. _but,_ and here’s the big _but,_ i’m pretty well entrenched in that earthlink email address of mine. now i might start switching over to an addy at a domain that i own, and that would probably be wise. but even so, i’ll give up that earthlink address very reluctantly.

of course, i could get rid of my land-line. that would save me a whopping $450 a year. although, then i’d have to switch over to cable for my internet access, which means that i _have_ to have cable. i’d rather be tied to a phone line than to cable. and i like my phone line, and voicemail, a lot. a lot. when the call comes that my dad is dying, or one of my grandmothers has died, i sure as hell don’t want to be struggling to hear. those calls will all be coming within the next few years.

there are other things i _could_ do, but really don’t want to. i could remove web access from my cell phone, or both web and picture access. i could force a couple of web sites that i host to pay their own way (they only cost me $12 a year though). i could get rid of my tivo, i could get rid of cable or bump cable down to basic. but you know what? i don’t really need to. and man, i seriously don’t want to.

some of you may be wondering where all of this is coming from. well, a couple of things.

first, i promised myself that, once the car was paid off (which it was in may), i’d start padding out my savings account– and so far that hasn’t happened.

i’m also working on padding out my 401k, so i don’t have to work until i’m 70.

apparently my response to not being micro-managed for the first time in 14 years is to fear for my job. after this week, i’m feeling a lot better about things, but i have really been feeling insecure off and on all year. i mean, i really don’t think i have anything to fear, but i just want to be _ready_ if, say, the owner of the company suddenly decides to retire and sells us off or shuts us down or something dreadful like that.

and of course, as i am sure all office workers do, i feel the restlessness. i feel the four white walls closing in on me every day, and the growing feeling that there will come a day when i just quit and sell the house and go live in the van.

i wanna be ready.