I think I’ve been on a tight budget a bit too long. I’m finding myself wanting to buy things that I’ve already decided aren’t things I need, at least not at this point. Thankfully, my budget will loosen up a bit after this month (too many weddings and family vacations crammed together), but I still don’t plan to be spending just because I feel like it.
The latest draw is Netflix. I’ve never been a Netflix subscriber. I do like movies though, and I especially like watching movies at home. For the most part, I tend to wait until a movie is available on DVD before seeing it, unless it’s something I really want to see or a friend suggests we make an evening of it. I think this year, I’ve seen Under the Same Moon and The Other Boelyn Girl. That’s it. (And I highly recommend Under the Same Moon – excellent movie.) I’ll probably go see the upcoming X-Files movie in the theaters, just because that seems to be the sort of movie that would be best on a big screen, plus I was an XF fan for so many years that it seems appropriate.
So I seem like the type of person who Netflix would be great for. I love the idea of being able to create a queue. I love the idea that I don’t have to go anywhere to get my movies. I don’t love the idea of spending $20 a month for this service. While I like movies, do I actually rent them all that often? No. Maybe twice a month, and as of late, I’ve been using Redbox and getting them free. InsideRedbox has a list of free rental codes that you can use at Redbox locations. Even if you don’t use a code, a rental is only $1 a day. Yes, the selection is limited. But it’s $1 a day, or even free! You can’t beat that.
I have a fairly sizeable collection of movies and tv on dvd at home, some of which I haven’t watched in years. I’m embarassed to admit I even own dvds I’ve never watched, things that were gifts or picked up on sale. Rather than go the Netflix route, I think I’m going to make it a point to watch every single dvd I own – both tv and movies. Once I do that, then I can consider a Netflix subscription. Or maybe suggest it as a Christmas gift.
It’s easy to hear about great products and think “Oh, that’s perfect for me!” because you hear the good points and how other people use the product and don’t think about how it’s going to work for you. I just need to continue to think through my purchases. I think we could all save a lot of money if we just slept on it. 24 hours later, would you still think it was a good idea?
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.