utilities $$$ = rental $$$…. did that ever happen to you?

inflation last may was 9.6%.

this is old news already. everybody knows about it now. a good number of us already felt the pinch of the rising prices last month. that 9.6%? that is done and over with.

experts predicted a double digit inflation in June- this month, which is even worse but which is really something that we saw coming. but are we prepared for it?

when the fuss about the rice shortage took the papers by storm, i leaned back on my chair and shrugged. i do not see how the kilo of rice jumping to Php40 would affect me at all, seeing as i have been paying Php25 for a cup of it in restaurants. when the gas prices continued to rise, i told foo i am still glad i do not have a car. imagine paying Php57/liter on top of the parking fees? jeez, i’d get a cab.

looking back at such attitude now almost makes me wonder if i was just playing dumb or i really got it wrong. how can it not affect me? at the end of the day, i would still end up saving less than before. and the not so funny thing about this now is that my utilities (water, electric bill, laundry fees, PLDT bills, SunCellular & Globe Billls, plus the DSL) is almost the same as my monthly rental!!! i do not know when did that start happening- blame it to me taking too much holidays off. i am so not financially inclined when i am in my holiday mode.

the good thing about me though is that i am one strange girl. i like my excel and cash management and budgeting more than any hobby i have ever tried. and so, it wasn’t so hard sitting down and re-evaluating my cash position.

i did figure out how to downsize my utility bills:

1. junk the PC at home and replace it with a laptop. i bought a desktop for Jesse two years ago and although we have been talking about how we should just ship it to the internet cafe shop back home and get her a laptop, we never got round to it. for one, because i didn’t want to keep on buying her stuff now that she has a job… and for the other, we were just really lazy to get it going even though i knew very well it would lessen our electricity costs extensively. so, in the end, what did it cost me? even without my laptop for a month and a half (i had to get it serviced by HP because it was behaving strangely), my electricity bill still shoot off. And no, its not just because it is summer. the desktop never sleeps. you do the math.

2. stop the subscription with Sun Cellular. i cannot do that til November because i am currently in a 24-month lock in period. i know. i know. that network sucks big time. for some reason, when my relationship with David was done and over with, my affinity with Sun Cellular stops. i had no issues with it when we were still seeing each other, believe me. and then when it was over, i can barely get a signal when i am inside my apartment! jeez, i cannot even text Zsolt with it. and still… the charges i have to settle every month, you would start to think i have a split personality that has this obsession with excessive calling.

3. give up the PLDT phone line + DSL Plan and get the newest bundle which is 50% cheaper (Php999/month). i am paying about Php2k/month for both the DSL connection and my phone line for the same service that only costs consumers now Php999/month. if i can get rid of my current plan now, that would mean 50% savings on fixed costs at least (seeing to it as my overseas call charges will continue to be present until both father and zsolt move back here).

i couldn’t do much with the water bill (php1k/month); the freakin building administrator charges us electricity used to run the motor for the pump on top of our water consumption. yes, i screamed about it once but it didn’t get me what i wanted.

i am guessing after these changes, i would still pay quite a sum for my utility bills but at least they won’t have to be almost the same as my rent.

i know you’d think this is nuts, but any savings from this will have to go to my holiday fund. yes, out of the pan and straight to the open fire.

at least, that’s one expense i would have fun paying for. so no, don’t raise your brows at me. that is just how i see this thing with me and money will ever work: i will spend it where i find it fun.


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