Thursday, January 29, 2009

Frugal Living - Downsizing

Well, we finally took the plunge - after having cable for many years, we decided to try satellite for our television service.

When we first moved here, we invested in the television/Internet package with the cable company. But wow! When the introductory offer expired on the Internet hookup after the first 6 months, our Internet payment rate skyrocketed. Six months later, the cable TV rates went up as well.

In order to save some money each month, we switched to DSL with our phone company when they offered a really great deal on a fixed rate for Internet service for the life of our account. It has worked just fine, despite the turtle-slow claims the cable competitors make about DSL.

Finally today, we parted ways with the cable company all together, switching to the satellite service. Everyone we talked to in our neck of the woods seemed satisfied with their service which costs less than half the price we were paying for cable.

Many of the people I have talked to over the last several weeks have said the same thing - they are considering downsizing the services they already have in order to live more frugally as things tighten up economically. Many are limiting the use of their cell phones and going to "pay-as-you-go" plans. Another friend is giving up her land line and using her cell phone exclusively rather than having two payment packages.

Others are switching from higher priced Internet and TV services to lower priced ones or downgrading their service to a less expensive package. Many of the folks I know are even shutting off their TV all together and using the mail order video plans or upgrading their computers so they can watch movies or television shows online.

Many of my friends who watch a lot of movies have found it is more cost effective to go with a video mail order service like NetFlix rather than pay the extra cost for pay-per-view movies or the higher rate movie channels. Some have decided to shut off their TV service all together and just use these video rental services.

No matter what options you choose, downsizing is a good way to cut back. Not only will you be able to save money, you may just find yourself exercising more, learning new skills like cooking from scratch, finishing projects that have waited for a rainy day or just spending more quality family time.

Frugal living will be what we make it - a hardship because of all the things we feel we must "give up" or an adventure where we enjoy each day in Christ as He helps us find creative ways to cope. The choice is ours.

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