Saturday, September 1, 2012

5 Year Plan - Frugal Connections

I love everything about Saturdays.  Sleep-ins, extra cups of coffee, hot breakfast, snuggling with Stormy while she watches Strawberry Shortcake are just a few of the things that I love.  Saturdays are also the day that I work with our  on-line stores.  I leave feedback on eBay, post more music, shop for more inventory, and suffer through more SEO learning and marketing.  None of that will be happening today because my internet is acting very badly.  

Internet is a sore subject with me today and I think it is time to research some other options.  Right now we pay around $70/month for a sluggish connection and sporadic service like today.  In  5 years we are hoping to have our living expenses under $500.  It's not hard to see that something needs to change.  

Cell phones we have more of a handle on.  Currently we have 2 phones and pay $200 a year for them.   The phone I use is prepaid from one of our local providers.  I pay $100 each year for my plan.  It gets me 750 minutes and unlimited texting.  I text more than talk so I usually make it last a year.  The teenager has a Trac Phone.  We buy him a $100 card each year that gives him 1000 minutes of talk but charges for texting.  He has to pay for anything over that.  

The mechanic doesn't want a cell phone.  But  he does have a mobile phone.  For a couple of years now we have been using Skype for our long distance.  A great service but the mechanic always hated being tethered to the computer. His solution was to use his iPod Touch.  He downloaded Skype to it and now is free to wander about the property or find a wi-fi hotspot if he's not at home.  

Of course, neither of our phones are smart phones and I'm holding out because I don't want the monthly plan.  We are not lacking though.  We own a Xoom tablet with all the cool apps but more than anything else we have a Kindle.  A pretty old Kindle that I will hold on to for as long as I can.  It's not a tablet or even in color.  The reason I love it so much is because it came with 3G access all included with the purchase price.  It's what we travel with to look up maps, phone numbers, movie times, ferry schedules, etc.  When internet service is down in the house we use the Kindle to keep in touch with the eBay and AK Music Storm  stores.  It's slow and black and white but it gets the job done with no extra charges or minutes used on our cells.

Our connections: Xoom, Kindle, LG phone and iPod

 Here's hoping that I can publish this with the next internet burst.  I'll be calling Tuesday to put in yet another work order.  No doubt they will make me reset my router before they'll come reset the line.  Thanks to the Kindle I'll be in touch but I don't know how I'm going to take care my castle in Castleville.  Hopefully a neighbor will go feed my unicorns before they run away.  This weekend I'll be puddle splashing with Stormy instead.

Lovin' the connected life in Alaska, at least most of the time.

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