Editors note: I wrote this a few weeks ago intended to be a resolution for the New Year. The irony that I would publish it today, mere hours after ordering a GPSDO for my IC-9700, hasn’t escaped me. My only defense being that one-off equipment purchases will continue, it’s only the recurring charges getting the stink eye in this treatise…
Retirement appears larger in the viewfinder in 2020 and that’s got me paying closer attention to the budget as we adjust spending in preparation for the eventual retired life. There’s certainly a lot of low-hanging fruit in our discretionary spending that can be cut.
Brenda and I chuckle when discussing the fees for mobile phone service, cable TV, and Internet access. That’s because none of these even existed when we got married! My expectation is that the three-hundred dollar a month Verizon and Comcast bills will be slashed as we either opt for lower tiers of service, or eliminate them altogether when we retire.
Multiple, individual streaming services, magazine and book subscriptions; all these little “ankle biters” seem like pocket change on their own, but when tallied together they begin to look more like the national debt.
And it’s not just household items on the chopping block. When confronted with it on paper, I’m forced to admit that I spend too much on ham radio subscriptions and memberships.
I’m going to drop several of those as they expire this year, and the rest next year. I’m a Life Member of ARRL so that will persist along with QST, but everything else is subject to cancellation. I’m not particularly happy to end my decades long membership with AMSAT but the shenanigans of the current leadership team have made this a little easier.
And while it never amounted to much, I closed my Patreon account. No more tipping or donating to blogs, podcasts or YouTube creators. If you want to make interesting ham radio content that’s great, but you’ll have to bankroll it yourself, or at least without me.
Of course a placeholder remains in the budget for ham radio. Equipment will need to be added and replaced on occasion and we look forward to retirement to allow us more time to travel to visit more hamfests and conventions every year.
But the non-essential fees and recurring subscriptions are going to be eliminated. Then perhaps at some later date I’ll discover something that adds so much value to my radio experience that I can’t live without it and will be happy to resume whatever that might be.