Ah, those recurring expenses: cable, cell plan, internet access, health club membership. These are examples of some of the biggies; financial experts always exhort you to negotiate on these or cut them out entirely.
Some are really big. When my in-laws moved from the house in Pasadena with the under $500.00 annual tax bill (thanks to Proposition 13), they incurred a tax bill on their new home about 20 (not a typo) times higher, even though the houses were of equal value. My parents bought a condo in a Florida community with a clubhouse, which now costs my mother about $500.00 a month. Without it, her social life would be non-existent. Both parties would, I am sure, say these monthly expenses were worth it. I guess the moral is: be aware at the outset. My mother said some people left the community and moved elsewhere (Or tried to. Florida condos are not easy to sell) because, with the decline of their investment portfolios, they simply could not afford the club.
Then there are the little recurring expenses. These are ones we barely think about, because they are measured in dollars, not hundreds or thousands. I have an Amazon gift card (a great gift! Thanks to the giver!). I was looking under Grocery and Gourmet items, because they sometimes have decent prices on food, my favorite gift, because it is--literally--consumable. I sorted by Bestsellers, because often the ephemeral bargains show up there: the limited time markdowns.
Guess what most of the top-sellers were in Grocery and Gourmet foods?
. . . . . . PAUSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
DIAPERS (not food, I know, but they showed up) and COFFEE PODS.
All I have to say is: if I, the least domestic, slacker-type housekeeper on the face of the earth, can use cloth diapers, anyone can. At least you only need them for a few years. When I see the prices, I realize that my children's college funds were jumpstarted by the cloth diapers we used.
As for coffee pods: do these have any redeeming features? You buy one of those coffee makers and are forever locked into a wasteful, expensive, un-green system. And, in my experience, the coffee isn't very good. I read a while back about a GREEN coffee company (organic, fair trade, and so on) that had a crisis about these: they were big money-makers, but the antithesis of green practice. They ended up making the product somewhat less wasteful, but still...I forget how they justified the product.
Have you gotten locked into monthly fees that end up being budget busters?