This is the second in what will hopefully be an ongoing series of quick blog posts about how we afford to travel.
In the last post, I talked about how we freed up more than $750/month with the sale of our cars and lowering of our auto insurance.
I also talked about how we track everything we spend, and everything we earn.
This is something I HIGHLY recommend.
However, these posts aren’t really here to tell you what to do, but more so are just here to show you how we afford to travel, hopefully giving you ideas about how YOU can afford to travel (or do whatever you want with the time and money you have – and can create).
Today, we’re going to talk about phones and communication.
In Colorado, our “communication” bill was:
- $140/month shared cell phone plan (with taxes and fees)
- $30/month VOIP based house line (with taxes and fees)
- $5/month ($60/year) Unlimited Calling through a Skype-In/SkypeOut plan
- $15/month RingCentral/800# type service
- $55/month High-speed Internet
I’m going to set aside the high-speed Internet and include that in a future post about housing costs.
So our monthly “communication” costs for the first 9 months of 2009 averaged out to $190/month.
(Again, we know this because we tracked it every month, and continue to do so.)
When we left on our travel, we lowered our cell plan (and are talking about lowering it further) to a $70/month plan, which rounds out to $82/month (after taxes+fees).
Money freed up = $140 – $82 = $68
We moved our VOIP based house line over to Phone.com (which lets you forward the number to any number you want), for $5/month.
Money freed up = $30 – $5 = $25
After taxes, fees, and other incidentals, in phone communication alone, we freed up over $90/month.
Adding cars and phones, this gives us a total of just under $850/month to use in a different way than we had been using it before.
I’ll be continuing this in another post, but hopefully these last two posts have given you some ideas of how you might be able to free up money on a monthly basis to be able to travel or accomplish whatever goals you want to accomplish.
For us, the process started with tracking what we were spending and earning, so that we could see where there might be areas to improve both what we were spending and earning.
Do you like these posts about how we afford to travel?
If you do, PLEASE comment below and let me know.
I can continue doing them… but if you don’t like them, let me know and I’ll get back to posting just pictures and videos!
And, in case you’re interested…
How our phones work now:
Old VOIP number is hosted with Phone.com for $5/month.
(Phone.com actually emails me voice mails that come in on that number as email attachments, which I like.)
The old VOIP number forwards to our SkypeIn number.
Both of our cell phone numbers also forward to our SkypeIn number.
When someone calls us, SkypeIn rings on the computer, whenever (and wherever) we’re signed in to Skype. If we’re not signed in, SkypeIn also includes voice mail, so people leave a message which we pick up when we are signed in.
Through SkypeOut, we make all our outbound calls to the US and Canada (no matter where we are in the world) for $30/year UNLIMITED. Calling other countries varies, but is super affordable. (Interesting Statistic: In 2009, 12% of ALL WORLDWIDE international call minutes were completed through Skype.)
We really like Skype.
There are other similar services, but none that we’ve tried out have been as good, reliable, useful, or downright nifty, as Skype.