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July 10, 2021

Which expenses would you cut first?

By Jason Buckland, Sympatico / MSN Finance

You get the sense that now, more than ever, major telecom companies are shaking in their boots.

Yeah, profits are sinking and, sure, costs seem insurmountable, but I think what’s really hitting the Rogers and Telus’ of the world is that people are finally figuring they just may be expendable.

Such was the finding of the Washington Post, at least, who detailed a new survey yesterday that shows mobile data plans are of the most vulnerable expenses consumers would cut if the going gets tough.

To be clear, mobile data plans are about as fairly-priced as dinner at that 360 restaurant in the CN Tower. I feel so bad after paying my cell phone bill each month that it’s as if Rogers just took me home and didn’t call the next day.

And so it’s maybe no surprise that, according to the new U.S. survey, nearly half (48%) of mobile phone users said they would drop their data plans completely if they were “facing budget hardships.”

Another 19% said they’d drop their cell phone altogether but, despite being a definite plausibility, isn’t likely an honest reality for most of us.

So this all got me thinking. It’s one thing to sit back and preach about what others could do without, but if times got tough (or tougher), what expenses would we legitimately be able to cut from our lives?

I looked up and down my apartment for answers on this one, yet no matter how many unworn shirts or crappy seasons of Prison Break  on DVD I found, nothing even comes close to warranting as much of a reduction as my cell phone and cable TV plans.

And this brings me back to my original point: who, with more than ever looking for ways to trim the fat, is more susceptible to having their services downsized than the major telecommunication companies?

Browse about the Internet and you’ll find oppositions to this, most of which suggesting brown bag lunches and ditching your air conditioning should be the first moves you make.

But I still stick to my stance on this one. Agree? Disagree? What would be the first to go for you?



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

James HaversJames Havers

James is the senior editor of MSN Money living in Toronto. He has worked for the Nikkei Shimbun (Tokyo),,, Canadian Business and other publications. Havers turned to journalism after teaching overseas.

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...