I just canceled my smartphone’s wireless internet package. I’ll still be able to connect through my home wifi, but no longer will I be able to browse the net and buy and download eBooks while on the road. My phone’s GPS is also gone, meaning I’ll have to rely on paper maps again. Undeniable inconveniences, but I lived the first quarter century of my life without these technologies, so I’m sure I’ll survive it.
Financially, it means 65 dollars less per month on my phone bill. That, I finally came to the conclusion, was worth the inconvenience.
What made me see this light was, strangely enough, the mild increase in my book sales this year.
My series isn’t selling at any rate good enough to quit my day job even if I wanted to (which I don’t), but nevertheless it is selling much better compared to last year. And I think that watching these sales have made me much more tuned in to the value of money.
Even after I quit my previous job and went into self-employment, running my own EFL school, I was nevertheless getting a single salary at the end of each month. A lump sum of money from which I would pay my utility bills and mortgage, save a bit and squander a lot.
I’m not the most mathematically oriented person around, so as long as I stayed in the black, I was never too aware of how much money I was really spending on entertainment and conveniences.
Entertainment and conveniences are important parts of modern life too, and I don’t feel particularly guilty about spending money on myself. But still, 65 dollars a month for wireless internet begins to feel a little too far on the extravagant side when you break that down into numbers of books. Considering that eBook novels these days cost an average of something like 6.50 dollars or so, that’s 10 books worth of money. And looking from the royalty receiving point of view, I’d have to sell more than that since Amazon and other stores take a (justified) cut of my sales.
Maybe I’m just getting stingy in my old age, but that’s not such a bad thing in the modern world’s increasingly unstable economy. I live in Japan, arguably one of the richest countries in the world, but that doesn’t make me personally a rich person. Living costs here are pretty steep.
I just never expected my self-pubbing side business to open my eyes to my personal finances in a way that, in all these years, my main day job couldn’t.