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No More Universal or Netflix

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I recently published my latest budget. And frankly, I’m pretty proud of how thorough it is.

While the categories are general, they work for our life. And I know my numbers are right after months of tracking every penny spent after reading Your Money or Your Life.

As I was doing some planning, looking back and looking forward, I remembered my Universal and Netflix line items on my last budget update. And I never gave an update on my decisions for those two items.

Universal Passes Cancelled

With Universal, I completed my year long commitment and cancelled the passes. I struggled with it for a little while as I was holding on to my dream of how I want things to be, or the life I thought I would have. But in the end, I know it was the right decision financially. And more importantly is reflective of our life changes.

I can no longer cling to the lifestyle I hoped for. I have to accept the life we lead now. Rather, I do accept the life we lead now. And I’m now able to embrace that in all aspects. Cancelling the Universal passes was just a sign of that growth and change in me.

Netflix

I cancelled our Netflix subscription in June, just before the kids left for camp. While it was not cost prohibitive, it was no practical anymore. The kids were going to be gone a great deal over the summer with camp, trip to Texas and sports training. I decided it just made sense to take a break.

We’ve rented Redbox movies a couple of times but have otherwise been without any “TV” type entertainment this summer. To be honest, I’m not sure we miss it at all.

That being said, Princess has recently asked if I would get Netflix back. Evidently there’s some new seasons or series she would like to watch. I’m considering it.

TV Alternatives

Cancelling Netflix and Universal shaved right at $70 off my monthly budget. And we haven’t missed them. But during the winter months…it’s nice to have something to veg out too.

We haven’t had cable since 2007 when my husband and I split. Over the years we have had Netflix, Amazon Prime and used free TV channel apps on our iPads and computers, along with an occasional DVD rental from the library or Redbox.

While I’m not sure that’s the norm, I definitely think it’s a growing trend. Do you have TV service? What about the TV alternatives? What is your favorite and why?


May Budget – Hope

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I have revised my monthly budget for our current circumstances and for this current month. While it doesn’t completely eliminate the drain from my savings. My stable of clients who require work every month is growing steadily.

Monthly Budget – May

Hope's Monthly Budget - May

Eliminated Expenses (temporary)

You will notice some line that were included in previous budgets have been removed at least temporarily:

  • Gymnastics – I have worked out an arrangement with the gym for four months (April-July,) buying me a little time to get back on my feet.  I am so grateful for their willingness to work with me.
  • Health Insurance – After draining the bulk of my savings over the last 3 1/2 months, we now qualify for Medicaid. The qualification is good for a year (based on income) and just began this month. Again, a temporary measure.
  • Food – In addition to the health insurance help, we now qualify for food stamps.  It’s a six months qualification, also beginning this month and also dependent on income. I don’t imagine we will qualify for long if I am able to continue to grow my business steadily. But for now, it takes a huge load off.
  • Credit Card – I continue to roll the credit card. This means, I am paying on the credit card and then turning around and paying bills with it. It is definitely my #1 debt goal to pay off this credit card as my income increases.

Annual Payments

I did not include quarterly or annual payments in this snapshot budget. First, none of them are due this month. Secondly, because with such a high deficit still in income versus spending, I can only take one month at a time. I can’t look at the big picture right now.

The payments I am referencing are:

  • Life Insurance (paid quarterly)
  • Certain Business expenses (most paid at the end of the year)
  • Amazon Prime (renews in September) speaking of that, what do you think of the increase in the cost for the Prime service?
  • and more that I can’t even thing of right now.

Income

I have broken down my income based on my three current clients who require regular work. These amounts are the minimums contracted for each month and in each case the amount may vary. And by vary I mean may increase. For instance, one client has contracted a minimum of 10 hours per week at $17 per hour, but this past week, I invoiced for over 25 hours.

In addition, I continued to seek out and pick up project work such as website development. I have just completed a brand new, large e-commerce site and am finishing up a local flooring company’s site. The project income will vary from month to month.

Expense Elimination

I realize there are still some extras in my budget, specifically, Netflix and Universal. To be honest, Netflix is something we use ALL the time. Since our extra budget is $0 with a capital 0…having the option to watch movies or shows is kind of nice.

As for the Universal passes, it’s me clinging to the someday when travel returns to our lives. But I know I need to cancel it. If I can’t return to the black back the end of the summer, I will cancel it. I just need to cling to that hope a little bit longer.

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