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Thread: Do to know what to cut if you had to?

  1. #11
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    There's a lot of fluff in my budget. First to go would be my wine club memberships. I only belong to three and SO to three, but each one is roughly $200-$300 4x per year. Next would be "luxury" food. I'd be eating a lot more beans and scouring the multiple grocery stores near us to find cheaper alternatives to the kinda pricey Icelandic yogurt I eat for breakfast and fancy cheese I put on my salads every day for lunch. We'd also stop, or at least cut back, on our Friday night dinners out. It's the only night we don't typically cook at home but we easily spend between $100-$150/week on those because we don't really think about cost. As far as streaming and subscriptions go, all of the streaming TV is paid for by SO since I don't watch TV except with him. I have pandora- $6/month, AllTrails-$16/year, Wapo-$20-something/year, iCloud $1/month. $10/month on average isn't much to cut so I'd probably keep all of that. I think that's it, so not a lot to reduce because really the only areas I splurge are food and wine, and travel. And travel isn't an ongoing expense so if I had to cut back on expenses I simply wouldn't plan any more.

    The only other BIG expenses we have are the various renovation projects we've been doing but they were all paid for with cash on hand so it's not like we've put ourselves in debt that will still have to be dealt with if our finances change. We're doing a minor upgrade to the kitchen/downstairs bath next week that will probably run about $20k but after that we will be completely done with all planned projects except the master bath and that is going to have to wait until at least next year's bonus since this March I don't expect to get a particularly large one for various reasons. Overall, though, our house is solid, so there isn't much that will likely NEED to be done so if money gets tight we won't have many unexpected house expenses.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by happystuff View Post
    I'm thinking it would have to come from reminding family members to take short showers, wash full loads of clothes, turn off lights when they leave the room (2 minute rule), etc.
    Supposedly LED bulbs which is most of what most people use these days (me too though I have one fixture that isn't) use so little electricity that it's hardly worth thinking about (I suppose might be virtuous to do out of principle, but I suspect we are talking pennies in terms of savings). Big appliances of course do use a decent amount of energy.
    Trees don't grow on money

  3. #13
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Interesting responses, thanks.

    I think more than half the battle is just knowing what you could cut if you had to. Like the friend I chatted with that inspired this post, a lot of people seem to not have thought about the topic much, if at all. For sure enjoy whatever you’re spending on, but if you have to cut it, you have to cut it.

  4. #14
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tradd View Post
    Interesting responses, thanks.

    I think more than half the battle is just knowing what you could cut if you had to. Like the friend I chatted with that inspired this post, a lot of people seem to not have thought about the topic much, if at all. For sure enjoy whatever you’re spending on, but if you have to cut it, you have to cut it.
    That's exactly why when I do my budget two of the major categories are "needs" and "wants". So if I have to cut back, all I have to do is chop the "wants."--and I always know exactly how much I have to earn per month before I go over the edge into a strictly needs-based household economy.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  5. #15
    Senior Member jp1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ApatheticNoMore View Post
    Supposedly LED bulbs which is most of what most people use these days (me too though I have one fixture that isn't) use so little electricity that it's hardly worth thinking about (I suppose might be virtuous to do out of principle, but I suspect we are talking pennies in terms of savings). Big appliances of course do use a decent amount of energy.
    Growing up my parents were obsessive about "TURN THE LIGHT OFF" when one left a room. I've finally gotten out of that habit since most of our lights are LEDs (we still have a few compact florescents, but the only old school incandescent is the light over the stove) and the amount of electricity they use is so minimal in comparison to incandescents like when I was a kid. In my office I could live without the lights, at least on sunny afternoons, but I always turn them on in the morning and leave them on until I'm done working. It's just part of the ritual that helps me keep work life separate from home life even though I work at home.

  6. #16
    Senior Member SiouzQ.'s Avatar
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    I seriously need to cut back my personal spending as I don't have any income coming in. Right now most of my money is going towards paying doctor co-pays and reaching my deductible, then my out-of-pocket medicals expenses. Part of me is in panic mode about where my life is right now, and the other part is grateful for all those years of scrimping and saving so I can finance this.

    My car insurance is due next week - I've always paid 6 months at a time but now that I am driving the much-nicer car my mom gifted me, the insurance is a LOT more than my old Suburu Forester. I owe $565 next week if I pay it all, or $94/month if I pay it monthly. I think mentally I will just suck it up and pay the total so I don't have to see the $94 get withdrawn every month.

    I am going to negotiate with K. about reducing by a little the amount I give him every month to help pay for the mortgage/cell phone expenses. I am also going to negotiate what I pay on one of my medical bills monthly and have them add to the running total without the monthly payment going up because I now I am going to have two more hefty bills coming in soon for some testing that I had done in the last two weeks. I'll probably put those on a payment plan as well for now.

    I think I am going to end up in over $5000 in medical debt when it's all said and done. It's a VERY uncomfortable position to be in and I am having a hard time dealing with it.

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