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Plugging the money leaks.

We have, in Lara's words, been "hemorrhaging money" for quite some time now; just coasting on auto-pilot, oblivious to bills, because I could easily pay them out of the ever-shrinking Amazon stock option booty. We haven't waited until the void came within spitting distance, but the time to shake off the torpor of the last two years has come.

Today, I made two phone calls that reduced our monthly household telecommunications costs by about $80 a month. When I got my cell phone, I was playing the rich bohemian devoted to self-cultivation. That meant lots of travel to conferences, workshops, scenic spots, and distant shores. I had a calling plan that gave me 300 minutes of calling time with no long distance or roaming charges for about $90 a month. At the time, it suited my lifestyle, and I generally exceeded my 300 minute limit and paid the additional fees without a care. Now, I rarely drive more than 10 minutes up the road to go to the grocery store, bank, and video store in Port Hadlock, and I never fly, yet for months I have continued to pay for the privilege of having super-mobility on my cell phone.

Since moving to Port Ludlow and adding a baby to the house, my cell phone has morphed into the car phone. Don't leave me a voicemail message on it. It could be days before I notice. In recent months, we've been consuming about 20 of the 300 minutes we pay for. It amazes me that I let this go on for months.

Today, I changed cell phone calling plans. Now we get 250 minutes a month for $30. I can't call out of state without paying an additional 15 cents a minute, but for a phone kept in a car we rarely drive further than 10 miles from home, that will do just fine. And in an emergency, 15 cents a minute won't make my top 8 things to think about.

So, with one phone call, I plugged a $60 hole in our financial arteries. I plugged another $20 worth of hemorrhaging by having the phone company shut down the second phone line that Lara used when she telecommuted for Amazon.com. Bang. One phone call. Done.

Lara and I talked about our financial "toning up" today. She said that she'd rather learn to live on less than work more in order to afford more. I'll go one step further and say that I don't ever want another JOB. I look forward to temporary collaborative efforts in the future and lasting relationships with businesses and corporations, but I've had as much of the corporate hierarchy lifestyle as I care to experience.

On a very different note, I heard a news story about a ship traveling up and down the African coast that has been getting turned away from every port now that word has gotten out that the ship carries 250 children whose parents sold them into slavery.

I expend plenty of energy pointing out the abuses of the US Government, but I have to say, I'm sure glad I live in the US and not some part of the world where parents sell their children into slavery and other people stand ready to buy, transport, and re-sell them to plantation owners. Yes, I know we have a Federal Government which systematically funnels black youth into the criminal "justice" system; an existence only marginally better than slavery, but I've decided to cut the Feds some slack today. No (more) ranting.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 14th, 2001 11:50 am (UTC)
Did the people from whom you bought your house have any garden space?

Now that Logan's on the scene, you could follow my parent's lead and teach your youngster the importance of working outside.

Once he's 27, he'll realize that all of his complaining no longer matters. He may even use his experiences as a small posting on his friend's journal.
Apr. 14th, 2001 01:22 pm (UTC)
You a silly man, Paul Gude.
You forget, I know psychological kung-fu. The boy will WANT to work the plantation. He'll have an allowance of hours per week that he can spend in the surgar cane feilds, and if he does something to please his parents, we can reward him with a few extra hours of unpaid, back-breaking grunt work.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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