Sacrifice is hard to swallow

Raun's BlogAs Timothy’s arrival date approaches, we’ve finally started to look with a discerning eye at our budget.  We decided long ago, that we both prefer for Liz to stay home with the baby.  That means our income is being cut dramatically.  I earn enough at my day job for this whole thing to work but not much more than that.

We’ve changed our car insurance and our trash service to save some money.  Those were easy decisions.  We don’t really see the changes there.  Our coverage is the same, the cost is lower.  The trash gets picked up on Wednesday instead of Thursday.  I can deal with those.

The decision that has been the most difficult is about cable TV.  We both enjoy having it.  We’d really like to keep it.  But it is a lot of money going out the door every month.  We don’t have HD service and we don’t subscribe to any premium channels.  We do, however, watch shows on the networks we get beyond basic cable.  The 3 I watch the most would disappear with a downgrade.  That hurts.

I keep asking myself which is better — Having access to those channels or having some more budgetary freedom.  My brain knows an answer and my heart knows an answer and they don’t agree.

We knew we would sacrifice money for time with the boy.  Sacrifice was just a concept out in the future sometime.  Well, that time is here.

Here are the options we are looking at:

  • Drop cable TV completely and only keep high speed internet.  This would save about $120 per month.
  • Drop to a more basic cable TV package that includes high speed internet.  This would about $100 per month.
  • Stay where we are and squeak by with very little wiggle room.

What would you do?  Can you think of any other options?

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About Raun Lauterbach

Optimistic realist, life enthusiast, outdoor cook, Midwest traveler, husband, father... Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Get updates in your email
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  • steve

    We switched to vonage, $13.00 per month and I can send faxes with the same line. cable company wanted $30.00 per month for the phone alone.

  • Chris Peek

    You could always go mystery shopping. :) We used to be a two income household before my wife developed health issues and wasn’t able to work any longer. It was a real shock to our budget. I’m not sure how we made it at times. The only thing I knew is that I HAD to make more money. Cutting is good, but combine that with finding new income streams, and you’re golden.

  • Raun Lauterbach

    We’re in ok shape for phones. We actually don’t have a home phone. We both have older cell phones, but our plan is too good to change given how little we actually use them. We only pay about $65 per month total for both phones. It makes it really hard to upgrade to smartphones given how inexpensive our plan is. I suppose that’s probably a good thing. :)

  • Raun Lauterbach

    Chris, I’m glad you commented. We have discussed mystery shopping a couple of times and we just might give it a try. We should chat sometime because I’d like to pick your brain a little bit.

  • Chris Peek

    You won’t get rich, but you will be able to increase your income if you make it a priority and are strategic about it. Sure, I’d be happy to speak with you further. Just let me if/when you would like to do so.

  • Raun Lauterbach

    Awesome, Chris! Sometime after the baby arrives I’ll reach out to you. Thanks!

  • Chris Peek

    Sounds great!

  • GettingITRIGHT

    You have to remember all the taxes you paid to earn the 1400. In reality you are saving about 1650 a year.