Bright and early Saturday morning, I acquired up and paid the cable invoice. Then I began pondering, which is rarely a factor.

We positive pay so much for media round right here.

At this level, there are solely two of us in the home. We haven’t added companies or bought a lot in the best way of pay-per-view movies (and 0 in terms of film tickets).

But our month-to-month invoice for media, communications and leisure is up 13.6 % from the final 12 months, from $831 in May of 2021—together with amortization of some quarterly, semi-annual, and annual funds—to $944 this 12 months. That’s a present tab of about $11,328 12 months, not counting some stray journal purchases, up from $9,972 the 12 months earlier.

To me, that was a little bit of a shock. No motion pictures. No subscription information blasts. Certainly, no Broadway reveals. But the embedded value of our modest media life is up sharply from 12 months in the past, thanks partially to the expiration of a ‘welcome aboard’ deal from Spectrum. And it’s headed larger as Verizon implements some already recognized worth will increase and the Los Angeles Times makes its yearly try to up our invoice by about half (yearly, I negotiate down by calling to cancel).

Granted, all the pieces else are rising. On Friday, we should always get May’s inflation statistics from the federal government; the April year-over-year quantity was 8.3%. With gasoline in Los Angeles bumping $8 a gallon and a 2 lb. rack of lamb promoting for $102 at Gelson’s, it’s exhausting to anticipate excellent news on that entrance.

Some prices, in fact, you simply determine to eat (however not that lamb, thanks). Our house insurance coverage is up 33 % year-over-year; however, so is the price of the building and all the pieces else go into property restoration and alternatives. Auto insurance coverage jumped by 12 %. Painful, however, Owen Wilson’s Tesla simply had its wheels stripped someplace within the neighbourhood—anyone’s acquired to pay. Health insurance coverage inevitably retains climbing. We’re not getting any youthful.

But our earnings aren’t rising, not by greater than some extent or two every year. A 5.9 % hike in Social Security was greater than offset by the Covid-collapse of funding. Some minuscule pension pay-outs from the New York Times are static, although, thus far, strong. We’re not uncomfortable. Semi-retirement is what it’s.

Still, these media, communications and leisure prices.  Something’s acquired to offer. Satellite radio, I’m preserving.  Someone right here nonetheless reads The New York Times. But possibly lose the Los Angeles Times for actual this 12 months? That would save a couple of bucks. Or drop the not-so-free Verizon line that helps an iPad they as soon as gave me for “free.” Or lastly lower the cable wire, although it’s all tied up with the Internet, cellphone traces, and the alarm, and form of a hassle.

Certainly, we gained’t add something new. Sorry Puck, no newsletters. No premium film purchases. No new streaming companies. We’re in for a spherical of media belt-tightening, and I don’t suppose we’re alone.