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Cost Cutting

The cash flow problems at work are now affecting me in real life. It's not that we can't pay our bills, just that we can't pay all of them right now. The money is out there. The check's in the mail (or should be). It's a sticky situation to have to negotiate, and it's the reason I'm answering the phone less and less.

There's no real crisis, at least not a long-term crisis. I guess everything's a crisis until the check comes in, but the solution is to communicate with the people we owe and trust that they remember our track record. They always get paid, as soon as we get paid. I leave it to the Boss to placate them. I just take names and numbers.

Dealing with the non-crisis makes me think that I could probably be smarter with the money I personally have, while I still have some. So today I took a look at my cell phone plan and did something I should have done a long time ago. I hardly ever use all of the cellular data I signed up for. In fact, I hardly use any of it. Most of the time when I'm using an app, it's at home where it's covered by wi-fi.

In fact, I think the only time I used any significant amount of data was when I first got the phone and had it at Suzanne's house while Aiden was there. Aiden is used to cell phones that can do anything; at the time, I wasn't. So I let him use it, and he played a few YouTube videos (he likes country music) and watched part of a movie on the Netflix app (Rango) and played an interactive game.

None of that would have mattered if I'd been able to connect to Suzanne's wireless network, but nobody can remember the password (and nobody can figure out how to get it). Even that much usage didn't make much of a dent in my monthly allowance. I should have realized at the time that I had contracted for more data than I'd ever use, but I never did anything about it until today.

So I downgraded my monthly plan from four gigabytes to 300 megabytes. I won't even use that much, but I have to have a little wiggle room. That saves me $25.00 a month on my phone bill. That's real money that I can probably use for something that I use, instead of cellular data that I don't use.

It would be nice for the company to do some similar cost-cutting, but I don't have much control over that. My office expenses are mostly paper and ink, and they don't add up to much. Once that phantom check arrives, we'll be able to satisfy the suppliers and pay for the overhead. And maybe I'll be able to cash my paycheck, which (believe it or not) we're using to float some company bills right now.


Now that I'm looking into things like this, nothing is off limits. I'm close to making a decision to downgrade my satellite TV programming, or at least to drop the soccer channel that I pay extra for, now that it carries mostly rugby (and isn't available in HD full time). I don't watch rugby, and I watch even less television in standard definition any more. Once you go HD, it's almost impossible to go back. That's one area where I won't compromise, regardless of the cost. I'd have to have no TV at all before I'd do that. (I guess that means some things are off limits after all.)

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