Household Economics, Circa 2011

So that amount, $176.49 is my monthly car payment, right?

Try, my July cell phone bill.

Make that my family’s July cell phone bill.

That’s what it cost for three lines with unlimited minutes and data; insurance on 3 devices (4 when son #2 is old enough); and the cost for a “hotspot” that allows your phone to act as a mobile Internet access point — never a bad idea when you can’t take chances finding an open Wi-Fi.

Oh. . . and I might have charged a new carrying case last month, too.

Still, that’s a lot of moolah for something that most people paid exactly $0 for 20 years ago. 

Admittedly, $200 a month doesn’t begin to cover the full cost of owning a car; gas and insurance can easily double it.

But increasing mass transit — and innovations like ZipCar — are lowering transportation costs.

Meanwhile, I don’t see my cell phone bill going down any time soon.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

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