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

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tradd's Avatar
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    Do to know what to cut if you had to?

    I was chatting with a friend over the weekend. She told me shes worried about finances as her company is threatening layoffs. I asked her if she had thought about what to cut from her budget. She was surprised at the question and I had to give her ideas such as streaming services, eating out, other subscriptions, etc.

    I put this question to the FB Tightwad Gazette group Im part of. Some people had no clue. A lot of people did know what they would cut. My budget is pretty streamlined, but more careful grocery shopping would definitely be one thing. My only streaming service is $5/month for PBS Passport, for example.

    So what would you cut from your budget if your finances took a turn for the worse?

  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Geez, we have craptons of things to cut.

    * I would start with cutting all art buying.

    *Follow it with cutting any further buying of flower show containers and hard supplies since I have a basement full of it.

    * Follow that with cutting Amazon Prime, which would flag me to cut way down on ordering stuff that may look necessary but is not always necessary

    * no more new iris cultivars at $65 each; no more new lily cultivars

    *i suppose we could sell our condo

    * Dave Ramsey would sputter at us having 4 vehicles plus a farm tractor and would demand we sell at least three of them

    ….and on and on…we have a lot to cut but the above list is the fat, a LOT of fat as you can see

    I could continue to buy clothes at Goodwill, though, but woild need to curb shopping there regularly since I buy flower show stuff there and home decor fabrics.
    I am not a serious person.

  3. #3
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Here's my list:

    • All non-nutritious food: sodas, for instance, and expensive desserts (A bag of our favorite cookies costs almost $6).
    • Subscriptions
    • I'd put a moratorium on non-essential clothing purchases and would thrift the "essentials"
    • I'm with IL on this one--no new plantings, boo hoo. Lobby for gift cards from my favorite nurseries for my birthday and Mother's Day
    • I'd have a tough talk with DH about selling the boat. I know that sounds like a no-brainer, but you don't know DH and his boat.
    • Cut out joyrides in our gas guzzler truck, and only use my Prius.
    • Cut back on how much we spend on entertainment--make our kids chip in on all the food and drink they consume when they come up (They do contribute now, but I would expect even more and I would insist DH stop ensuring we have enough liquor for them. )


    That's a good start. I'm sure there's more, like cutting cable and going solely to a streaming service.
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  4. #4
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    Much is necessities OR would be a lot of effort to reduce and most of the time it's not worth all the extra effort (like going to many different grocery stores every week chasing deals) but:

    - no thrifting stuff for amusement
    - no buying plants for amusement (and I have just a tiny plot that I garden, plus a few potted plants)
    - no acquiring a few more kitchen or less often household items
    - eating more soup (this might be odd, but it seems to have reduced my grocery budget significantly)

    So I've done this and more (like not even buying clothes barely and I don't have excess clothes to begin with) when unemployed but it does become INCREDIBLY tedious. Like I start fantasizing hard about finding an extra $100 or even $40 or something, like I have some mystery tax or other refund coming that I don't know about, maybe I'll get a gift, maybe some money got lost in the sofa, maybe .... I start daydreaming about it, and of course it never happens, THERE IS NO MAGIC MONEY. And unemployment still of course didn't pay enough to live off of and I depleted savings, so mostly unemployment sucks, I'm glad I'm not unemployed And it's part of why I acquire things I might generally use when I'm not unemployed (like some kitchen items ha) as well because I can. So I'm not sure one really ends up more frugal from it. I'm not a hoarder though.

    If I was for sure to lose a job soon, I might stash more in bank savings than retirement also. Maybe I'd try to sell on ebay a few items I'd otherwise just donate.
    Trees don't grow on money

  5. #5
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    Just out of habit, we already live close to the bone. My only splurge is buying seeds and a couple of online subscriptions which will get canceled when I can get back outside to garden again. Got rid of Prime and Netflix long ago. We only eat once a month or so but that could go. The curious thing is we save much more money retired than when we were working even with income cut in half.

  6. #6
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    We could cut way back on grocery shopping and use menus and lists. In fact, I want to do this!

    No shopping on Ebay for a year.

    Get a gift card for a hundred dollars and use that to shop at Amazon and don't buy more than one card a month.

  7. #7
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    Like pinkytoe, I think we are already pretty close to the bone - for the most part. We have no subscriptions, cable, or streaming services - so nothing to cut there. I believe we are already on the cheapest internet/provider now, so nothing to cut there. 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. The usual thing that I feel we have the most control over is groceries. Shop more sales and make meals at home accordingly.

    On the other side of the coin, it would be to start trying to sell stuff.
    To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Mahatma Gandhi
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  8. #8
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    We can always economize on groceries, I just haven’t felt the need to do that. But our food waste is minimal.
    I am not a serious person.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    First to go would be digital subscriptions like Prime or Netflix or other online magazines and such. I could probably sell some things on eBay that I don't use much and too good to send to Goodwill. No dining out. I'd cut the landline and get a Tracfone if I hadn't already. Review insurance policies for changes in deductibles to reduce rates. Commute or shop by bike if possible. Switch to a plant based diet and start a vegetable garden. Build a cold frame to grow vegetables in cold weather. Depending on how deep the cuts had to be I could trade down on house and car. Pretty sure I could not buy clothes for a very longtime.
    "what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" Mary Oliver

  10. #10
    Yppej
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    My state has the most generous unemployment benefits in the nation the last I checked. I would be fine. My income would go down some, but I would save on all the commuting costs (about $70 a week or so for gas alone, plus more frequent car service and repairs).

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