The personal website of Chris Coyier

Things I Pay Monthly For

I just recently started paying AT&T an extra $20 a month so I could have WiFi at Starbucks. I like the “local” coffeshop much more, but it’s so popular there is never a table to sit at and the WiFi is suck slow. Then, just a month later, I decided I was going to try Sprint’s 4G portable WiFi thingy, which is $60 some dollars a month but gives me WiFi to all my devices whereever I go (4G in big markets, 3G most other places). The big idea is that I could “save money” by buying the WiFi-only iPad but still basically have internet anywhere for it. Then I could cancel the AT&T/Starbucks WiFi as well as not pay for the 3G iPad plan.

It’s all too easy to just start chucking stuff on to the pile of things that I get billed monthly for. I’ve decided to take stock in the things that I pay on a monthly basis. I’m breaking it down into categories. I’m not including things like food and gas because 1) those aren’t optional and 2) they aren’t fixed cost.

Entertainment

$15 TiVo
$10 Netflix
$125 Comcast Cable/Internet
$40 + $15 Simutronics (game I used to play)
$205 Total

I also go see movies sometimes, buy DVDs & BluRay movies sometimes, buy things off iTunes on the AppleTV sometimes, and download torrents sometimes. Of all the things I feel ridiculously oversaturated with, it’s the number of video entertainment options I have. I think if I lived alone I would cancel cable, but with two of us and the variety of stuff we watch, we might as well keep it. And if you have that, you might as well have the TiVo. And Netflix is only ten bucks, so might as well keep that, since it works so good with the TiVo anyway. Oh yeah plus we have a PS3. Cripes.

Home / Life

$80 Maid Service
$80 AT&T – Cell service
$20 AT&T – Starbucks WiFi
$63 Sprint 4G/3G WiFi Thingy
$690 Rent
$39 XSport (gym membership)
$80 Car Insurance
$1,052 Total

I also pay for health and dental insurance, but it’s taken directly from my paycheck so I don’t really notice and don’t consider either of them optional.

Loans

$180 Student Loan
$180 Total

Just a few months ago, I was very fortunate to be able to be able to pay off all debts I had other than my student loan. No credit card debt, no car payment, no mortgage, nothing. It’s an awesome feeling and the first time I’ve been that way since leaving for college.

Total

$205 Entertainment
$1,052 Home/Life
$180 Loans
$1,437 Total

What I was hoping for by writing all this up is that I could guilt trip myself into canceling some of it or reducing it somehow. But now looking at it all together it’s really not that bad. I just gotta look over it all like this once in a while and make sure it’s not getting out of control.

Business Things

I’m not going to factor all the business stuff into this, but there is a bunch of stuff that has monthly fees that I pay for that are purely business related:

$30 E-Junkie accounts
$15 FoxyCart account
$130 Slicehost hosting
$20 Media Temple (gs) hosting
$15 Joyent hosting
$30 Wufoo
$15 Freshbooks