Tomorrow, I’m going to post my March budget. This is something I haven’t done since switching to cash. But I think I’m in a good groove with my new living situation and can now properly judge what I’ll be spending each month. (Weekly spending reports will be making a return appearance this weekend, as well.)
Some of the numbers may surprise you. Rent, especially when you live alone, is expensive in Victoria. The city was recently named the second best to live in, in Canada, and there’s definitely a price tag that comes with that. Nonetheless, I’m able to afford it and pay down my debt, so I have nothing to complain about.
My food and transportation costs are about the same as before. Restaurant amounts have been up but I’m cutting them in March. A gym fee has been added to the budget (yay/boo). And my entertainment budget is ready for a ticket to the Canadian Personal Finance Conference.
All that’s left is bills. Bills, bills, bills. My cell phone is at approx. $78 right now. I’ll put aside a few bucks for the electricity/heating I’m now paying for. And that’s about it. Are you wondering how I’m writing this post, if I’m not paying for Internet (or cable and a home phone)? It’s really quite something…
When I found out I was getting this apartment, I contacted Shaw. My plan was to only get Internet, because that’s really all I need. In December, however, Shaw was running some of the best promotions I’ve ever seen. You may have even seen the commercials for some of them.
Originally, I had budgeted $40-50 for just Internet. This is a pretty standard amount in BC, so I wasn’t expecting much in terms of a deal. But, in December, Shaw was offering Internet, cable and a home phone, for just $49.95 per month. For 12 months. Not 3 months or 6 months. Twelve months. And those commercials I was just talking about? They were also offering a $100 VISA gift card, for every service you signed up with.
So, I said yes. I said yes to cable and a home phone. The installation went smoothly and, a few weeks after I moved in, $300 in VISA gift cards showed up at my door. Holding them in my hand brought up a couple different feelings. First, I wanted to go shopping for new clothes and shoes. Then I wished I could somehow put them on my real credit card debt.
But I think I made the best decision of all. I put all $300 on my Shaw account and won’t have a bill to pay until May/June. When the 12 months are over, I’ll be cancelling my home phone. North American long distance at $0.04 per minute is nice but I don’t make enough calls to justify keeping it. And cable… well, if my credit card debt is gone, I’ll see about that.
What’s the best promotion you’ve ever been offered by a service provider? And would you have said yes to this deal?