I tire of gold and trinkets: MidwestCoder's Journal

Where are you and where are you going?
MidwestCoder
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:05 pm

Re: I tire of gold and trinkets: MidwestCoder's Journal

Post by MidwestCoder »

A couple of money saving thoughts:

DW lowered cell phone bill by $30 by removing the insurance from two phones. One phone is too cheap to insure and the other is an iPhone 10 which would be expensive to replace but is already over a year old. We'll just take our chances. $100 copay anyway if we used insurance. We are still paying another $70/mo for "device charges" which is the 0% loan for buying a phone through Verizon. I am not sure when that ends, but when I have to get a new phone I'm getting something CHEAP.

Talked about shutting down the cabin next year to save ourselves $50-80/mo in propane costs during winter months. May also save some electric.

We also talked about cancelling DirectTV but decided we'd have to stop being sports fans altogether or we'd end up going to the bar and watching the games, which would be a lot more money than NFL sunday ticket. It sure would be nice to cancel DirectTV as with the NFL package its about $115/mo. The only other option for watching NFL games at home is illegal streams which are full of ads and are low quality. So I guess we keep DirectTV for now, fully knowing it might push back retirement by 6 months! ($34,500 asset returning 4% to generate 115/mo) Probably more due to compounding.

UPDATE: after writing this post I looked into it, and I determined we could suspend direct tv and only pay $7/mo. So I did that for the next 6 months saving me $450. We actually pay $47 (programming inclu $40/mo promo) + $35 equipment charge. This doesn't count $300/yr for NFL. When suspended we only pay $7/mo instead of $82/mo. We'll see if we get used to not having it, maybe we'll change the suspension into a cancellation if we decide we don't need NFL.

Hristo Botev
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Re: I tire of gold and trinkets: MidwestCoder's Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

MidwestCoder wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:48 am
We also talked about cancelling DirectTV but decided we'd have to stop being sports fans altogether or we'd end up going to the bar and watching the games, which would be a lot more money than NFL sunday ticket.
No advice, just an anecdote. When DW and I were in grad school we thought we were being really frugal by not having cable. Instead, we would spend every Saturday at the bar from about noon (when my crappy college team usually played) until usually about halfway through the 8:00 game (when DW's much better college team usually played). Needless to say, we didn't save any money. Now, we still don't have cable, but we also don't watch as much college football, and the only NFL we watch is our local team, which is on broadcast (antenna). But for soccer (MLS and World Cups) and baseball, we tend to just do a streaming service for the 2-3 months out of the year that we want to watch.

That said, I lost it this year when the college football national championship game was on ESPN and not ABC. I really wanted to watch that game, but I didn't realize until it was too late that we had to have a streaming service to watch it. All of this cable/streaming nonsense is infuriating, and it just makes me want to tune out permanently.

bigato
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Location: Brazil

Re: I tire of gold and trinkets: MidwestCoder's Journal

Post by bigato »

It’s such a sweet deal that DirectTV have if paying 115/month is actually the cheapest option NFL fans have! I’m impressed they have this kind of hold in the market.

MidwestCoder
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:05 pm

Re: I tire of gold and trinkets: MidwestCoder's Journal

Post by MidwestCoder »

Yes indeed the NFL is a total rip! Sadly we are both avid fans of two different out of state teams. I'd love an NFL only streaming option that didn't force me to also have DirectTV.

Hristo: How did you and your wife quit becoming fans, was it tough?

I'm all in on the NFL. I even watch other games that are not my team, usually because I have a fantasy football related reason. Maybe this is one guilty pleasure I keep. Suspending DirectTV for 6 months out of the year will at least lessen the impact. Not very ERE that is for sure.

Hristo Botev
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Re: I tire of gold and trinkets: MidwestCoder's Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

For college football, our losing interest (mostly) was a combination of: (a) DW's team getting bad (she was always a bigger college football fan than me, in part because she just went to a better football school); (b) me getting more interested in watching our local NFL team (I didn't grow up with a local NFL team, and was never really a fan until after grad school); and (c) both of us falling in love with soccer, when we got an MLS team in town a few years ago (and when our kids started playing league soccer). So it wasn't tough, because we really just moved on to other sports. That said, in our house our kids know that the only thing they can ALWAYS turn on the TV, without having to ask permission from us first, is sports (really, any sport). There's so much crap on TV aimed at kids, and so sports seems to be the last vestige for people like DW and me who aren't cool with our kids' minds people filled full of society's junk via the TV. But honestly, sometimes we need them to just leave us alone so we can get ready in the morning, or get dinner/dishes/laundry done. And the TV can be very helpful for that. Anyway, my point is that in our house, we don't think too much about signing up for a streaming service for a month or two when the seasons for soccer or baseball (or college football) are hot. During the off/slow seasons, my kids are still at an age where they can be entertained for hours just watching Patrick Mahomes' highlights, or Messi/Ronaldo highlights, or whatever on YouTube.

Hristo Botev
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Re: I tire of gold and trinkets: MidwestCoder's Journal

Post by Hristo Botev »

I should also add that, during college football season, our Saturdays are now full with escorting our kids to/from various sporting events, so the days (when we were kid-less, and when they were babies/toddlers) of devoting most of the day to watching the games is long gone. And that's a good thing, honestly, because what a waste. It goes to Jacob's point about living life as a participant/doer; and not as a spectator.

Scott 2
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Re: I tire of gold and trinkets: MidwestCoder's Journal

Post by Scott 2 »

That was going to be my question. How many hours a year are you spending watching NFL? My hesitation wouldn't be just the price, but the opportunity cost of burning premium free time watching someone else live.

I'd rather funnel that direct TV money into doing something. Attend a couple special games, enjoy a monthly game with friends, etc.

MidwestCoder
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Re: I tire of gold and trinkets: MidwestCoder's Journal

Post by MidwestCoder »

Scott 2 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:50 pm
That was going to be my question. How many hours a year are you spending watching NFL? My hesitation wouldn't be just the price, but the opportunity cost of burning premium free time watching someone else live.

I'd rather funnel that direct TV money into doing something. Attend a couple special games, enjoy a monthly game with friends, etc.
Hours a year? I'd guess about 60 to 100 hours. Part of it is watching my team, the other part watching my wife's team (her team is like my 2nd team) and the rest is related to fantasy football.

MidwestCoder
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:05 pm

Re: I tire of gold and trinkets: MidwestCoder's Journal

Post by MidwestCoder »

Today I made a small money saving step. I unplugged our old garage fridge from the 1980s after reading that it probably cost $150/year to run (local util rate per kwh is roughly 11 cents). That sucker used at least 1500kwh (versus 350-400kwh for my modern fridge in the kitchen), and maybe more considering it had a bad seal and sometimes I'd go to the garage to find it wide open. I moved all the soda and beer (all we had in there) into our fridge in the house with a little organizing. Well not all of it, just about half, I figure I'll just transfer warm soda from the garage to the kitchen fridge whenever I run low.

Related, I emptied the old food out of my chest freezer, and moved a few items (pizza mostly) from the unplugged garage fridge into it. I read that garage chest freezer costs about $30/year to run, so that seems like a worthy appliance to keep using. I'm going to try to make a point of using the garage chest freezer from now on.

MidwestCoder
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Joined: Mon Jan 27, 2020 11:05 pm

Re: I tire of gold and trinkets: MidwestCoder's Journal

Post by MidwestCoder »

Thought about my work anxiety today. Read a quote from Epicurus in one of my philosophy books. I forget the exact quote but the gist of it was that anxiety is caused by wanting something that you have no control of. In my case, wanting to keep my job even though I have no control if I get laid off. Or fear of looking like I don't know what I'm doing, etc. So I made a decision to really try to be more fearless in all aspects of my life. Too much worry, it needs to end.

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