I bit the bullet and fought the slippery slope

Obstacle Race - Dornoch Highhland Gathering 2007
“Obstacle Race” by Foxypar4 on Flickr

I ordered internet for my home today.

I know usually when you see that phrase it’s associated with the cutting of services instead of setting them. In my case though, I’m bracing myself because Internet at home has become a necessary expense. Eldest’s class is going to be using it a lot for homework. I guess I wasn’t ready for that. Second Grade and Internet. I guess it makes sense. They’ve been taking computer classes and use the Internet at school.

While bracing myself to get down and do this, I realized how slippery a slope this kind of thing gets. Lifestyle inflation or whatever.

In order to use the internet at home, I need my monitor repaired. Granted, I’d been planning on repairing the laptop regardless but the plan was to repair it so I could use it on trains and at cafés. So, I’d shell out the $150 to fix it but that’s it. Free internet. Now, I have to pay for both.

I did a lot of research and am paying $36.99 before taxes and fees a month for internet with Comcast. I’d found less expensive options at AT&T until I realized the $19.95 they were offering was for internet 1/6 the speed of Comcast. Ouch. Also, AT&T wanted to charge me $149 for installation and another $100 for the modem. Comcast is charging me $7 a month to lease their modem. Obviously, AT&T’s modem would come out cheaper in the long run but I do plan on buying a modem for Comcast since their equipment isn’t proprietary like AT&T. They’re only charging $9.95 for the install because I chose the DIY option. Had I gone fancy and requested their presence, I would’ve paid $39.95. Still, a bargain compared to AT&T.

I’m not exactly excited about this. The price I have at Comcast is only good for 6 months. Then it goes up to $44.99 another 6 months and then it’s free to go up to whatever they deem appropriate pretty much. Spending this much money on internet is really bothering me but I have to be realistic.

The thing is, despite the fact this price is annoying me badly, I automatically start thinking of the other things I could use now that I’m looking to join the people of the world who have Internet at home.

Like Netflix for instance. I shot that one down for now. I have Amazon Prime (a gift from Dad) and I’ve heard they do streaming. Plus I love renting movies from the library. And the kids have a bunch of dvd’s at home. So, no Netflix.

What about cable? Deals abound when you start bundling services. And the kids love the Disney Channel and Nick Jr. Then again, I don’t watch TV. And I don’t like the way my kids act in front of a TV. And there’s a huge difference between watching DVDs and watching TV and that is that a DVD ends. Ok so, no Cable.

Do Second Graders have their own computers? Maybe Eldest would be better off with his own computer. Ok, whoa. Did I really just think about buying my 8 year old his own computer? That’s insane.

I need want a wireless router.

I need want a laptop case.

Maybe I should look into self-hosting. I mean now that I’ll have internet at home, I can put more time and effort into this site and self-hosting really opens up a lot of opportunities for design changes and functionality and interaction.

Do you see what I mean? In the end, I’m reigning myself in. Monitor repair and internet installation. That’s it. For now.

What about you? Do you do battle with the slippery slope or do you not even realize you were on it until you crash into the bottom? Or are you one of those people who is always grounded firmly?


15 thoughts on “I bit the bullet and fought the slippery slope

  1. aye… ive had internet at home for years… i am ashamed to say i completely depend on it… what would life be without internet at home? oh i know… id be less addicted to the word wide web >.<

  2. I love this, “Lifestyle Inflation”. Awesome!

    Um, yes, slid, sliding, slide-tastic! The thought of not having internet in my home gives me heart palpitations, but I know I could live without. Keep your eyes on Comcast though, sneaky, sneaky and I’ll leave it at that.

    My lifestyle inflation came in the form of a useless, pain in the butt Blackberry. I do not know why I pay for this. Naturally makes my life a whole lot easier, and if I can keep up with e-mails and people throughout the day, it’s less time on the computer when I get home. So that is how I am justifying it, but really, it costs as much as cable in the home. Ridiculous.

    • I had to drop my data phone and plan when I dropped internet and cable too. Man I thought I was going to DIE. But it’s worked out fine. Now, I’m preparing to re-install the data for phone. However, I’m going through MetroPCS this time. I know the phones are more expensive but they have no contracts and the full data plan is $60 a month including taxes and fees. So I’m setting aside some cash for a new phone and will be making that switch very soon. I actually can’t wait!

  3. Hi mutant, I really need/want to have internet at home, helps me keep up with the bills, news, ect. That being said, I could do without it if I had too, but with young kids in school, it’s becoming more of a need. I would just call Comcast in 6 mos. and ask for another discount. Good luck!

    Terry @ A Little Bit about everything

  4. I NEED Internet at home. I will confess I’m kind of an addict, but I can also justify it because of my profession. Cable, on the other hand… I just have basic cable. No HBO, no premium channel. If I could get UNIVISION through Premium cable package, I would. I miss my Mexican soap-operas so hard!!!! I can only get Univision through Satellite Dish, though. I rent an apartment, and can’t install it. I would cancel cable if I wasn’t a political junkie. Every time I decide to do it, it’s election season (and I follow even City Council elections), so I want my TV to watch the political shows.

    Netflix comes and goes. Now I have it, in 6 month I may not. As far as “Lifestyle Inflation”, I’ve refused to go the way of a Smartphone. And I am surviving without a problem.

  5. Ah you gots to do it to huh? I’m trying to research around here to find the best deals too. I never expected 90% of my school work to be internet based. Bah. I hate the slippery slope! Good luck!

  6. I completely rely on Internet at home, but I also telecommute at least two days a week. I have Comcast, too, and just had to call them today to cancel their TV portion of the bundle I had installed just over two years ago. The bundle deal to get basic (very, very basic) cable plus Internet was actually comparable in monthly cost but installation was free with the bundle and not with just Internet. I needed someone to come to the house since the wiring need to be put in place. My bundle deal was supposed to be good for only one year, but when I called them a year later to cancel the TV portion they said that my price would continue to remain less if I kept the TV. Last month I guess that finally expired and my bill jumped from about $55 a month (the bundle plus modem rental, taxes, and a wire maintenance plan) to $85 a month. When I called today they said that my Internet only price would go up, but the total of everything (Internet plus modem rental and taxes only) was just under $67. That’s less than $85 a month. I never used the TV service. I get great HDTV and lots of channels through my roof antenna for FREE. Still, my overall Comcast bill has increased by 22%. I could buy a modem and stop renting theirs, I guess, but that’s the only cost I can cut. If DSL service weren’t so awful in this neighborhood I’d be glad to switch. *sigh*

    • When I had Comcast, they were usually pretty good about finding me a deal if I wanted to cancel. I’d try calling again and seeing what else they have. Tell them you’re considering AT&T or something. They to tend to jump their bills up as soon as they can but like others have mentioned, they also tend to work with you. I’m not looking forward to adding a bill but hey, it’s necessary this time.

  7. Oh, and I also wanted to mention that you can still watch shows without Netflix. Many of the studios stream shows and clips on their websites for free (you just have to sit through a commercial or two) and Hulu is free when you access from a computer, too. I love that I can catch up on a TV show the next evening if I had to miss the regular broadcast time.

    And I do rely heavily on my home WiFi. I sometimes have watched movies in bed this way, worked while sitting on my porch on nice days, and referenced online recipes directly on screen while cooking in the kitchen. I am a home WiFi addict. 🙂

    • Yeah I know there are tons of options that aren’t Netflix. I’m sure I’ll never be without entertainment.

      I used to LOVE WiFi too. I’m pretty sure it’s something I’ll eventually buy but I can’t afford it all at once right now.


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