Being connected seems common place nowadays. Everyone wants to be connected all the time. While some of that connection comes face to face, a majority of it comes through a phone or over the Internet.
I never really considered taking a good look at what I spend on communication, at least not directly. We went through a few phases of cost cutting in our household that started with canceling our cable TV a number of years ago. Later we canceled our land line phone service. And earlier this year I made the conscious decision to not buy a fancy new smart phone, even though I really kinda wanted one.
Here is our current spending on communications related expenses.
|Cell Phone Family Plan||$91.69||$1100.28|
Not long ago I may not have lumped Internet in as a communication expense, but with all the facebooking, google plussing, twittering, skyping, and emailing, it definitely has a large communication component. That component has also clearly entered the cell phone and hand held device arena.
The items absent from my expense list because we don’t have them are the land line phone and mobile Internet. The land line phone was running us about $50 per month ($600 per year.) Mobile internet on a smart phone or hand held device ranges between $20 and $60 per month ($240-$720 per year), per device.
Communication is an important component to analyze when looking at your family budget. I think we tend to overspend on communications when taken as a percentage of our overall expenses. Additionally, we tend to look at the monthly costs rather than the yearly costs, which makes it even easier to overspend.
If you are looking at $147.62 per month, that doesn’t sound too bad. But when you look at $1771.44 per year, that starts to sound like a lot of money.
Take a look at that as percentage of income. If you made the U.S. medium family income of $50,000 per year, you’d be spending 3.5% of your salary on phone and Internet.
I’d really like to see the day when mobile Internet can replace land-line home based Internet, and do so for a reasonable cost. Right now, due to the pricing structures and the limitations placed on mobile Internet by the service providers, it’s not entirely feasible or cost effective. I think we are gradually getting closer, but we really need to get to a point where it becomes a per family cost, rather than a per device cost.
Communication expenses are certainly worth looking at. Do you think you may tend to overspend on communication? Have you done anything to reduce your communication expenses?