I am generally oblivious as to who controls anything in our world. I don’t watch the news. Even when I am outright told who does/did what, I am still skeptical. I am just a conspiracy theorist at heart. So, when I say “the economy”, I have no idea who I am really talking about.
1. Cell Phone charges: When cell phones first became popular, they were all the same: Little black Nokias that you just could not destroy. It had one game: snake. The battery lasted for weeks and the bill was about $20 a month.
Now, you either choose up front how many messages you will send each month (or minutes you’ll talk) or you choose unlimited. Unlimited is so enticing – what if I have a bad day and need to vent to my gal-pal? What if something fantastic happens to me and I need to brag to all my friends…
That’s convenience. And, convenience comes at a price. Ours was approximately $200 per month. What the shit is that?!
Also, the phones are getting easier to break, which causes you to purchase insurance up front or risk buying a $500 phone again in two months. Why is the phone $500 in the first place?!
*Solution* Get rid of cell phones. Check! Danny and I are down to a house phone. No cell phones. No more $200 bill each month.
2. Cable (satellite)/Phone/Internet bundles: First of all, if I have Internet, I don’t really need the cable/satellite. TV/movie services are available online. Everybody is either available via email or Facebook these days and I have phone service through magicJack. We have the basic channels of Dish and that’s about $50 a month. For 290 channels of QVC?! You can’t even get the classic Comedy Central, Adult Swim, etc. on the basic channels anymore. Why? Because they want you to commit to that $75-$100/month premium bundle.
*Solution* Get rid of cable/satellite. There’s YouTube, HuluPlus, NetFlix, Amazon Instant Video, and many others just waiting for you.
3. Gas prices: They’re up, they’re down. I don’t know why I drive 5 miles to the “cheap gas station” when the $.10 difference is only saving me about 2 bucks. Ignorant bliss I guess. Nonetheless, they are getting pretty high. Lucky for Danny, he works half a mile from home, so he fills his car up once every three months. I’m paying $50 once a week to trek back and forth to work.
*Solution* There is none. Well, there isn’t If you live where I live. You have to have a car. Otherwise, find a city with public transportation. I always thought it would be cool to ride the train to work everyday.
4. Social pressure to have an extravagant wedding: After Danny and I got engaged, the first question asked was, “How can we do this whole thing for about $1,000?” I was definitely not wanting to put out money to throw a party for a bunch of people I barely knew. The venue was $400, the dress was $700, the food, the setup, the music, etc. Infuriating! Why start our life together with massive amounts of debt? After three months of our engagement, we threw that idea out and went to the Justice of the Peace. That’s more my style. It was never my design to be a bridezilla anyway. I am just as married (and happier) after spending only $75 for the JP than some showy, extravagant wedding day.
*Solution* Quit watching Bridezilla. Decide what you want for your wedding. Don’t let society’s pressure push you into something you don’t want.
5. Christmas: When I was a child, I wondered how my parents could afford all the unnecessary shit they and/or Santa got me for Christmas. I still remember feeling sorry that they spent all that money on things I knew I didn’t need. I appreciated everything I got, but I knew they were struggling to make me happy. So, as an adult, I don’t participate in Christmas.
How did we decide to associate the birth of Jesus Christ with Santa Claus? Something about the three wise men bringing gifts, correct? I’m seeing less Jesus-related commercials/themes and more Santa and gift-giving commercial/themes. It seems to be about one-upmanship and I end up feeling like shit because I didn’t spend enough on a gift.
Let your loved one know just how much you adore them: Buy them a Mercedes. I buy gifts for Danny year-round. I don’t need a holiday to tell me I need to get my husband a gift.
*Solution* Turn the TV off. Appreciate your loved ones all the time, not just once a year. Make them a heartfelt gift instead of buying something.
That’s it, folks. That’s what’s on my mind today.