February 2012 Budget – Big Birthdays, Conferences, Comcast Can Go to Hell

by Shawanda Greene

Pen and paper budgetUnless I find a way to drastically increase my income between now and the end of March. It looks like my hopes for a week long vacation in Barbados have been dashed.

I’m disappointed, but if Winter 2012 continues as it has, missing the Caribbean this year might not be the worst thing to happen since the cancellation of Arrested Development.

Plus, there are more important – and perhaps even funner – experiences I’m spending money on.

For instance, my mama’s 60th birthday is approaching. And my brother and I want to get the family together for an entire weekend to celebrate. So, we’re planning a trip to Orlando in March. I’ve been tasked with the responsibility of finding accommodations for up to 17 people. Sending 100 emails to different vacation rental property owners to see if they’ll rent a 7-bedroom house for two nights is gonna grrreat.

I was a no show in 2011, but this year I’m going to FinCon12. For the time being, I’ll budget as if I’m paying the full price for registration. But you know as well as I do that the hunt is officially on for a promotional discount code AND someone to sponsor my attendance to the event.

The only company I despise more than Comcast is…Never mind, I hate them more than anything. Since February 2009, like an idiot, I’ve paid Comcast a monthly modem rental fee. It started at $5 and has ballooned to $7. I’m pretty sure the price of my monthly internet service is rising at the same rate as health care costs in America. To that I say, enough of this [expletive]. Comcast can go straight to hell. I’m buying a modem.

In January, I had the pleasure of paying 100% of my health insurance premiums. I went ahead and paid for February as well. That’s why you’ll see a $0 amount for the expense this month. But next month, you can look forward to me budgeting $391 for health insurance.

Well, those are just a few of the items I wanted to highlight.

Without further delay, feast your eyes on the February 2012 Budget.

February 2012 Budget

How do you plan on reducing your expenses this month?


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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

A. Gonz February 2, 2012 at 12:19 PM

You pay $71 for internet! They don't have AT&T in your area?


Shawanda February 2, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Isn't that ridiculous?! Unfortunately, my only options are Comcast and Verizon FiOS. :(


YFS February 2, 2012 at 6:16 PM

I only have Comcast in my area as well. I was able to negotiate them down to their new promotional rates last week. tell them fios is in the area and you are interested in their service. They should lower your rate real fast.

I have to ask what is the 8 bucks toward "Real Housewives" for?


Shawanda February 2, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Ha! Since I don't have cable, I pay $2 per episode to stream The Real Housewives of [Fill in the Blank] from Amazon. The $8 is for 4 weeks of Real Housewives.


Shawanda February 2, 2012 at 6:51 PM

I forgot to add that I do call Comcast periodically to request a lower promotional rate. It used to work all the time. Lately, they've been a a lot more stubborn. Next time FiOS is running a great deal for new customers, I'll give Comcast another call.


YFS February 2, 2012 at 11:24 PM

I just got my Comcast bill reduced by 30 dollars and a step up in service. Try negotiating via chat at their website. SMH at your "housewives" addiction. I can't front I like watching the rachetness myself from time to time. Well I have too, since my wife does celebrity interviews I have to watch so I know what the hell she is talking about. She is about to do an interview with Kim Zolciak or however you spell it about her shoe collection.


kim February 3, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Uuugghhh this grates on me too. I bought a supposedly compatible modem that wasn't. I'm also in the DC area – I don't even have the Verizon option, only Comcast!! Our condo association won't allow satellite dishes. I do think it's time to renegotiate with them.


Shawanda February 3, 2012 at 8:31 PM

I'm hopeful an alternative is just around the corner. Someone needs to invent a device or service that will free us from the claws of Comcast and other traditional internet service providers.

In the meantime, I'll continue to periodically negotiate. But talking/chatting with them makes me so frustrated. I have to be in the mood to deal with them.


"Frugal Fox" February 5, 2012 at 5:01 PM

Just curious–what type of cell phone service do you have? $120 seems pretty steep. I'm reluctantly paying $75 (for talk/text/data), but hope to lower that once my contract is up.


Shawanda February 6, 2012 at 5:04 PM

Isn't $120 a month for a phone terrible?

Here's the breakdown:
$30 for unlimited data
$5 for 200 text messages
$70 for nationwide unlimited calling
The rest is taxes, fees, and other foolishness

I'd rather pay for unlimited calling than risk going over my minutes. Plus, I don't know what I'd do without my data plan.

I'm sure there are companies that provide similar services for cheaper than what I'm paying, but right now I have an iPhone and my wireless provider is AT&T.


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