I hate gas prices right now. Don’t think I am just another American complaining about gas prices over here while Europe pays extreme prices. Paying four dollars a gallon really hurts. I have been underemployed for the last nine months, and unemployed for the five months prior to that. This has caused problems for our budget and forced me to cut back where I can. Mr. Truly and I have done pretty well slimming down the costs in our lives, despite my minor protests.
We do everything that that traditional experts tell us to. The first thing to go was our fancy digital cable package, which gave me all the channels I could want. We originally had this because of the World Cup. Then we switched cell phone companies to avoid a data package fee. Next we started making coffee at home. Then cut out extra trips anywhere. Finally, unable to avoid it any longer, we cut cable out all together. We held out until the Summer Olympics were finished and then kissed cable goodbye.
To be honest, I really thought I would suffer much more from the lack of television. But my crazy life is crazy busy. I hadn’t been watching TV, and I had wandered away from the majority of shows in my nightly line up. Project Runway is the only staple that I WON’T give up, and I don’t have to. Lifetime is wonderful and provides the full episodes online! I can even watch the new one right away. Who needs to watch it on television?
The other thing that has saved me is Netflix! Netflix streaming has a wide variety. If you haven’t tried it, check out this review by Selena MacIntosh. Netflix provides all the shows my children watch, and while they might not be the most recent episodes, previous seasons are usually available. Anyway, my two year old doesn’t realize she can’t watch the newest Phineas and Ferb. I have a wide selection of romantic comedies, even adorable ones from Great Britain. I miss On Demand once in a while, but on the whole, being without cable is fine. I have the Internet, thank goodness!
What I truly miss most is my freedom. I hate that gas prices determine where I go and how often I go. I want to see my family and friends. For some reason, all my close friends live an hour away. I used to be able to go up on weekends without thinking about it. I should be able to go any time I want. If I want to see my mom everyday, well dammit, I am going to see my mom everyday. But a financially responsible person can’t think like that. I know exactly how many trips I get per fill up and how many miles I get before I have to fill up. Sometimes I want to stick my tongue out at the pumps and say, “Screw you!” But I don’t. I consolidate trips and make a visit to Seattle, once a month if I am lucky, and I look forward to special occasions, like our annual Christmas gathering, that I will never miss.
So in the times of tightening our financial belts, what have you given up that you miss the most?