The Decluttering Project, Day 7
Welcome back to the Decluttering project.
Today, I want to talk about a different type of decluttering: decluttering your life of contracts.
During the years, we acquire lots of contracts: our health insurance, the insurance for our cars, or houses, the phone contract, our internet connection…
It’s easy to get into one of those contracts. You make a phone call, and bum! You instantly sign an insurance policy for your car. However, it’s not that easy to cancel those contracts.
Indeed, sometimes canceling one of those contracts involves sending a physical letter or a fax somewhere. The whole process seems to be designed to make it hard for you to cancel anything, probably in the hopes that you will end up paying one more subscription or fee.
Conversely, most online services nowadays are easy to cancel. I can close my Netflix account anytime by just entering their web interface. The same applies for Uber or AirBnB.
As a result, there is an important gap in my opinion between those types of services.
Additionally, the “old-style” contracts usually require a more or less awkward situation on the phone with an employee of the company. Most of the times, these conversations are not constructive at all, and today I’ve found myself losing my patience and composure more than once.
Lesson Learned: No More Contracts (If Possible)
The whole experience has been (and still is being) definitely negative for me. Thus, in accordance with my new Digital Nomad lifestyle, I have decided to get away from any contract that I can possibly avoid.
Of course, you eventually would need some kind of contracts, but in those cases, I will certainly make sure I don’t end up tied to something I cannot easily get rid of.
As an example, I have contracted a yearly health insurance to stay in Riga. It’s something you pay yearly and does not involve a recurrent fee. You renew it by going to the health insurance company and paying it again for another year. At 34€ for a whole year coverage, you cannot ask for more.
I plan on getting a phone contract in Riga, but I will stick to the cheapest possible, and make sure it’s something I can cancel over the phone.
My Advice To Declutter Your Life Of Contracts
Most of the companies you have contracts with will try to make it really hard for you to get rid of those contracts. My advice is the following: be patient.
You need to be aware of the fact that you are up for some awkward phone conversations. You will talk to employees that don’t care about you and have been instructed to prevent you from canceling anything. They want your money.
My suggestion is taking a stoic approach to the whole process. It’s being hard for me, but ultimately, your goal should be getting rid of all those commitments and subscriptions that are mortgaging your life.