Monetary Pondering

I’ve got my utilities set up at the new apartment. Everything has gone smoothly except for getting cable. Time-Warner apparently has an uncollected amount of money and equipment from a prior tenant in my apartment – and I have to jump through hoops to prove to them that I’m a new tenant. To which I say: “screw”. I am doing an end run on them (hopefully) by getting an account with Earthlink and having them give me cable Internet service instead of T-W.

In doing this, I have also decided to stop watching cable television. After a bit of thought, it occurred to me that I have watched a lot of television mainly because there is almost nothing to do on Cape Cod. This will surely change for me in New York. Also, almost every show I watch on television is now available online – so basically I am paying $50 a month to a cable company for the privilege of watching a network show that I can get free online after it airs. Or, if there’s a series I want to watch on premium cable channels (like OMG Dexter which is SO GOOD), I can wait until it gets released on DVD and get it through my Netflix subscription (which I am keeping).

Ending my cable and TiVo habit saves me $70 a month. That’s pretty damn awesome. My rent includes heat… I was paying around 100 a month or so on a balanced billing program. I also figured out that the total cost of ownership of my car was around $300 a month over ten years – factoring in transportation costs in NYC, I’m saving about 200 a month by not owning a car any more. This amount of money that I’m saving is roughly the differential in rent between my old place and my new one, so my budget should just about even out.

I’m also going to cut down my comics purchasing a little, and start eating more meals at home, and do a few other things that will help me save cash for spending in other ways. I know things are generally more expensive in NYC (special NYC tax on top of state and federal), and I know there’s a lot of stuff I want to do like see cool (expensive) movies and eat at amazing (expensive) restaurants. But I know things will balance out as I settle in… it’s hard to believe I’m only hours away from getting the hell off this godforsaken island (and moving to another differently godforsaken island).

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