1. What’s your monthly technology/communications bill, itemized? Don’t include new purchases, just recurring charges.
2. What’s the first item you’d cut from that list and why?
3. What’s the last item you’d cut and why?
1. Wired phone/long distance: $50
Satellite TV/TiVo service: $45
Cell phones (2, on Virgin pay-as-you-go plan): $13
Pay-Per-View/DVD rentals: $20, more or less
Online subscriptions (Consumer Reports, Writers Marketplace): $6
Web hosting: $17
Hey, that’s not bad. For someone who’s not embarrassed to admit he’s a tech junkie, I spend less than what a third of U.S. households do on technology.
2. The first cut I’d make is a bit of a cheat: I’d get rid of the standard wired phone and sign up for an online service like Vonage. That would decrease the phone bill from about $50 to $30. If I had to completely cut out one of the items, it’d probably be the online subscriptions. But then I’d have to buy the paper version of Writer’s Marketplace, so that’s not really a savings. I guess it’d have to be the cell phones (even though I just cut this bill by about $23 a month). I hardly ever use them anyway, so this cut wouldn’t be too painful.
3. The last thing to go would be DSL. I can use the DSL line as a crude substitute for most of the other items — it’s the most versatile part of the whole deal.
Meme away, netizens!
Update: I suppose I should also include my son’s $15 per month World of Warcraft subscription. He pays for it out of his money, but it’s definitely a “household” technology expense (and the money originates with me anyways). Sigh. That moves us squarely into the top third of technology users. So much for frugality.