how my intuition helped me to know how much money I wanted to save (and do so without stressing out about it). Recently, it's been nagging me to deal with our household budget...
Our budget has been pretty stable for years. We initially used the 50/20/30 Rule popularized by Elizabeth Warren in order to evaluate whether or not we had a decent balance in appropriate categories. It provides a nice framework because it's both simple enough and specific enough to help you to categories and evaluate where you are spending your money. Over the years we've trimmed the fat to such an extent that our necessities only comprise about 35% of our after tax income so as to reallocate those funds to our financial goals. This accomplishment brings a tremendous amount of joy into my life. I derive great pleasure from saving, investing, and eliminating debt because doing these things makes me feel like I am investing in my own freedom. I can't think of anything I'd rather spend money on. We cut the cable cord and felt amazing about the money we freed up. Meal planning has kept our grocery budget extremely stable, and we rarely spend money on dining out. All in all, I've been feeling great about the dollar amounts we trade for the services we receive in the form of bills. This is a good thing. Feeling good about these things is a pretty good indicator that you're achieving a positive flow with your money, in other words, balance. It's really important to understand that we really do want money to flow, and in both directions. While that might leave you scratching your head a bit, just think about it. You clearly want money flow effortlessly into your life, but don't you want the flowing out to feel effortless also? People joking declare that they have no problem "spending money!" But spending money and letting it flow are two different things. It's easy to spend money, and feel terrible about it. This is your intuition (internal guidance system) kicking in to make you aware of the fact that it might not be flowing well. If money is flowing (even when it's outgoing), you will probably feel good about the trade that's occurring. For example, I feel really good about the kinds of meals we prepare and eat. I enjoy them; they feel healthy. I also feel like I am receiving wonderful things for a price that feels good to me. That part of my budget is flowing for me. In fact, pretty much all of the parts of my budget are flowing for me.
Except one... When I think about our bills, I feel really happy. It's like a game, and I'm winning. I am receiving goods and services I want. I am trading an amount of money for them that feels really good to me... Except this one thing. For the past several months, whenever I think about our cell phone bill coming out, I feel irritated about it. With everything else, I feel great. Suddenly, when it's my cell phone bill, there's this huge cloud of resistance around it. That resistance is really my internal guidance system dropping some major hints. It's time to take some inspired action. I mean, seriously! I feel terrible about my cell phone bill because I feel as though there is an imbalance when comparing the price I've been paying with the service being provided to me. So, really I have two choices. I can either use this negative feeling to inspire me to take an action to change things or I can sit around and do nothing, feeling terrible every time the bill comes out of my account. I'm the sort of person that chooses action. I like to feel good, so I decided to do something about it.
My partner and I were on a cell phone plan that resulted in about $190 per month for two lines after taxes and fees. That felt insane to me. Every time I'd look at the bill, I'd be irritated by some ridiculous seeming "line access fee." They were charging us $40 per phone line for the plan, but then another $40 or so per phone line for each smart phone attached to the plan. That already brought the total up to $160 before they attach their misc taxes and other fees. Every time I though about it, it made my blood boil. Honestly, the only way I could stop feeling angry (and ripped off) was to start investigating and figure out how to get rid of the thing that felt the worst to me: the line access fee. Well, after some investigation, I figured out that if I switched to a prepaid plan, that fee would literally be eliminated. They only charge a "line access fee" an regular "post pay" accounts. The prepaid accounts do not have this fee. There's no logic in it to me, but that's what I learned. I chatted Verizon online, and they ensured me that they could have this whole thing switched and taken care of withing 30 minutes. Long story short, it took them 4 hours. I'm not kidding! 4 hours! It was really one of the most frustrating customer service experiences of my life. In the end, I got a prepaid plan that cost me $75 for both lines (double the data we used to have) before taxes. That's a huge savings! Now, I feel really pretty good about my cell phone bill; much better than before, at least. I still have some negative emotions that surround the experience, plus one additional negative. When I travel to Canada or Mexico, I can only use my cell phone if I pay an additional fee of $5 per day. That leaves a bad taste in my mouth... In other words, I think my internal guidance system (intuition) is trying to tell me something. I feel significantly better with this prepaid plan (A WIN) but I'm not feeling great about the company due to a really bad experience switching and a poor international usage plan. This indicates to me that my work in this part of our budget isn't done yet. I think we really need to switch carriers. My intuition pretty much always steers me right, and I imagine this time is no different. My intuition steered me to cutting our cell phone bill nearly in half, perhaps now it can steer me to better international usage and customer service experiences.
If any readers have a cell phone company/plan that is inexpensive and has a good international usage element to it, I would really love to hear about it.
Sense with Cents chronicles our journey using Law of Attraction while pursuing Financial Independence, and the belief that everyone can win with money, We believe that mindset, emotion, and financial knowledge are the keys to success. All opinions are our own and do not constitute financial advice. Although this blog also contains affiliate advertisements and links, again, all opinions are our own. See disclosure page.
Sunday, September 22, 2019
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