Reducing Expenses That Don’t Spark Joy

I itemized our expenses when I computed for my target emergency fund. From that exercise, I found 3 expense items that aren’t painful to remove or reduce.

Expense #1:
Scribd

Scribd

Scribd is a subscription service for books, magazines, podcasts, and paid articles (e.g. articles by The Atlantic).

I used to listen to audiobooks on my commute to work (pre-COVID-19). These days, I’m more into listening to podcasts which I can continue doing on Spotify. I also still have books from the Big Bad Wolf book sale from earlier this year. I might resume my subscription when I finish my unread books but for now I can do without the service.

Additional savings per month: $8 (around PhP 400)

Expense #2:
Globe Postpaid Plan

Since I’ll probably be working from home for the rest of the year, I don’t have as much need for mobile data. I can just connect my phone to the Wi-Fi at home.

I also checked my statement for my actual SMS and call consumption for the past 6 months and learned that I don’t really need Unlimited All-Network SMS/Call add-ons.

I logged in to my Globe account and downgraded my plan from PhP 799 to PhP 599. The latter is still too much for my needs right now but it’s the cheapest plan available. I could save more if I go prepaid, but there’s currently no way to switch and keep the same number. Thankfully, I was on a no lock-up plan, so I didn’t incur additional costs when I downgraded.

Additional savings per month: PhP 200

Expense #3:
PLDT Home Broadband

Telco companies usually change their pricing from time to time so I checked the PLDT website to verify if we could get the same service for cheaper.

We are paying PhP 1,825 for our 25mbps Unli Fibr Plan with “free” landline. On the website, the same plan is only PhP 1,699.

I checked our statement and apparently, we’re being charged for a Super Bundle add-on (caller ID, call waiting, and one other thing I can’t remember).

I also found out that the “”free”” landline isn’t really free. What gives, PLDT?

PLDT August Bill

In the billing statement, there’s a line item for Residential Line Service Charge which costs PhP 617.63.

PLDT Unli Fibr Plans – Does this count as false advertising?

It’s been hard to get through their customer service hotline the past several days, but I’m planning to reach them through other channels (e.g., twitter) this week. I’ll update this post if I’d be able to get the Super Bundle and landline cancelled.

Potential savings per month: Php 826.15 (Super Bundle + Landline + VAT)

Total Potential Additional Savings
Per Month: PhP 1,426.15
Per Year: PhP 17,113.80

What I learned from this exercise

It was interesting to note that all of these expenses were automatically charged to a credit card, which made me inadvertently avoid feeling the pain of paying for them. I also think automating the payments made me less inclined to review my billing statements.

I switched off my auto-charge arrangement with both PLDT and Globe and decided to pay for them manually every pay day. While it seems more convenient to automate bills payment, I don’t think it fits my money personality.


I’m glad I did this before going after the small things that bring me joy, like ground coffee and makeup.

10 thoughts on “Reducing Expenses That Don’t Spark Joy”

  1. I also downgraded my Globe postpaid plan. Took me long enough, but was seamlessly done thru their Globe One App. We pay 1,899 now for PLDT, for the same plan. Okay that sucks. Will have to check that out. Hayyy PLDT…….

    1. I set a recurring reminder on my calendar to check PLDT and Globe plans from now on. I realized that my loyalty to these utilities will not automatically be valued or reciprocated. Sucks that we have to be the one to check if they changed rates 😦

  2. That’s the advantage of buying a phone outright and not getting it with your postpaid plan as there’s usually a lockup period where you can’t modify the fixed monthly fee. It unnecessarily inflates your fixed costs. Also contemplating downgrading my postpaid plan once we have a speedy home wifi in place!

    1. I hope you find a good provider in your area!

      Also, YES re: buying a phone outright. I don’t know if this also applies to apple phones, but whenever I buy a new android phone, I ask the store if they offer a discount if I pay in cash (or straight) because they usually do. Also works with appliances 😅

  3. Congrats on reducing your expenses and thanks for the idea! I know we have Call Waiting and NDD. My mom used to work in Cavite so NDD was useful before, but since we all have cellphones now, just being able to call within NCR should be enough. I’ll look into getting those removed (it has been gosh darn impossible to get through their hotline) and good luck with yours too!

    P.S. If you have Paymaya, they’re offering P50 cashback per month if you pay your PLDT bill through their app. 🙂

  4. I also asked PLDT to remove our landline fee but my request was declined since it’s really part of the plan daw. I hope PLDT’s policy has changed from the time I called them years ago and that you’ll have better luck. An extra Php900 per month is no chump change, specially when you don’t really use a landline anymore.

  5. Ohhh this made me think! I’m also fully working from home and rarely using my phone’s data nor SMS or call service. Too bad I’m already at the lowest plan of P599. Now I’m thinking if I can let go of it altogether. Hahaha. I was also a victim of that bundled Broadband and Landline service. I thought all along that we were going for only a broadband until the technician brought out a phone unit. Haha. Ayay. We kind of have fun with it since now our families from the province can call us. But if you get an update if disconnecting it is possible, it’s still worth considering. 😛

    1. Same re: letting go of my postpaid account, but I can’t kasi sya yung OTP sa banks and amazon. I wish Globe would offer plan Plan 299, and then we’d just subscribe to extra GoSurf when we need it.

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