It’s no surprise communication costs are creeping up as one of the bigger line items on your monthly budget. Our phones have become our lives. I can admit it, I’m totally addicted to my phone. There’s no way I can give it up which means I have to make room for it in my budget. This week on Fox 59 I talked to Ray Cortopassi about the best tips and tricks to help you manage your communication budget.
After you total up your mobile phone, tablet, and wireless bills, it’s likely you are spending anywhere from $300-400 a month on communication. Yes, it’s a lot of money but you could argue it’s all necessary. You may not be able to cut any costs (especially if you’ve already gotten rid of your landline and you’re on the right mobile plan). So what next? Something has to give, meaning other areas of your budget will have fill in the gap created by this high expense. Your budget is all about give and take. If you spend more on communication, then you’ll have to spend less on entertainment or gifts or medical.
Honestly, spending a lot of money on something isn’t the real problem because you can easily make up for overages by spending less in other places. The real issue comes in when we look at your financial goals. If I asked you what your #1 financial priority is you’d probably say getting out of debt or building an emergency fund or saving for college. But when it comes down to your every day spending, are you paying more for your cellphone than your actual #1 financial priority? This is a problem. If you truly want to prioritize your #1 financial goal, then you are going to have to make sacrifices. Use the guilt of not funding your kids college or your retirement to fuel any cut backs you have to make.
I’m not saying get rid of your cellphone, but comparing your goals with your actual every day spending can shed light on where you are off track.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.