How many recurring bills do you pay every month? Five? Ten? Have you ever
gone back through your bank statements or credit card bills and realized that
you’d been paying monthly charges for a service you rarely (if ever) use?
I’ve definitely been there. I’ve shelled out fees for access to music sites,
news services, and other subscription-based websites that I used once and
promptly forgot about. Recently I decided that paying more for
one-time use might be more economical than watching cash disappear from my
checking account every 30 days.
In my case, I was paying $30+ a month for a mobile broadband card from
Sprint. What’s that, you say? It’s a nifty little gadget that enabled me to get
online high-speed Internet access from my laptop anywhere I got a Sprint cell
signal. It was pretty handy the first few times I used it—in airports, on an
Amtrak train—and a great tool for a journalist who sometimes works from the
road. But then I stopped working from the road so much, and the fee started to
seem a little steep.
Unfortunately, without a month-to-month contract, Sprint’s mobile broadband
card was basically an electronic paperweight. But Verizon Wireless, it turns out, offers a Mobile Broadband
Day Pass that will hook me up to the Internet for 24 hours for $15. If it was a
service I used all the time, that’d be too pricey, but it’s perfect for my
occasional-use purposes. Sold!
Now I only pay for Internet access when I actually use it, which seems more
Have you trimmed any of the recurring-fee fat from your budget?