No more internet, sort of

In all of the personal finance blogs that I'm reading the most basic formula for financial freedom is to increase income, decrease expenses and pay down debt. The first big expense reducing step I'd LIKE to take is to slash my home expenses by swapping out a rent check for a mortgage payment. Since my present circumstances make renting more appealing I'll have to stick with that and think of smaller steps to take in order to lower my monthly expenses. One of the benefits of renting is that you live near a lot of other people that are sometimes willing to share their wireless internet. In my situation the clubhouse on the complex has free wifi. Unfortunately for me I'm slightly out of range. My plan is to purchase one of the many wifi boosters available online and see how well it works. I also have internet on my phone so I can tether that to my laptop with PdaNet. (I haven't quite convinced myself to live without internet on my phone... even though the $30/mo is hard to swallow).

Okay, on to the numbers. How much is free internet worth in the short and long term?
Here's what I currently pay per month:

Cable internet: $49.38
Netflix: $10.69    (I'm also cutting Netflix, I'll post later on how I managed to live without it)

Total: $60.07
Real total once my introductory rate goes away: $75.69

How does this look on an annual basis?  12 x $75.69 = $908.28

How about if I instead invested what I would have spent over 9 years with a modest 5% annualized return (adjusted for inflation): $10,570

That may not seem like a ton of money over 9 years, and you may be willing to pay that amount to avoid the hassle of "jury rigging" your internet. I think it's a great example of how our standard living expenses add up and can significantly affect our nest egg. 

This is my first major step in reducing my expenses. It's not an extremely scary one and I don't feel like I'm making much of a sacrifice, but I feel that it's a significant first step nonetheless.

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