As I prepare to expatriate for a bit, I’ve found that living on the cheap is really…not so cheap. Even though I’m currently crashing with my parents and my apartment in South America is already paid for, there are still a whole slew of expenses that I just can’t get away from, most of which provide little or no value.
Cell Phones — Sure AT&T would love to help us cut the cost of our expensive plan…since their service is essentially useless in South America, but put the whole thing on hold? Not a chance,”…we’re not Netflix, you know”. The best they will do is cut our rate plan to the minimum and eliminate some of the ancillary charges, but we’re still paying $60+ per month, and for that we don’t even have voice mail.
Car Insurance — If you’ve ever lived without a car, you know that insurance companies don’t give a cr*p whether or not you been with them since you had pimples. Terminate your policy—even for a month—and you lose ‘continuity of coverage’. Lose continuity of coverage and your rates go through the roof. Now I have no choice, though my car won’t see pavement anytime in the next 3 months, I’m still going to pay $180 just in case the garage caves in.
Medical Insurance — Lost my job back in March; sporadic work since then; COBRA is too expensive, but I still need coverage of some kind. Since I’m traveling outside of my new home state, no policy I can get will do any more than help me cover an emergency, and then only after I fork out $20,000. And for that privilege, I’m going to have to cough up $170.00/month.
About the only recurring cost I have that actually provides some value is the rental on my storage locker. Yes indeed! 150 square feet at the best price per square foot ratio you can find in the Bay Area. Hey!? Perhaps I should move back to Sodom by the Sea and live in my storage locker. It’s climate-controlled and all of my stuff is already there.