4 Replies Latest reply on Feb 28, 2011 9:40 PM by Chrysalis

    Financial diet: cutting back

    MyR Community Manager
      Have you ever put yourself on a financial “diet”?  What are some of the expenses you cut back on?
        • Re: Financial diet: cutting back
          Yes, while in between jobs. Cut eating out weekly, entertainment, vacations, new anything.
          • Re: Financial diet: cutting back
            The most important question when opening the wallet:   Do we "need" this or do we merely "want" this?

            The second most important question:  Will we still want this around in the future? 
               For example, we buy clothes that will remain appropriate for years instead of the latest hot fashion that will be of style a few months later.   Clothes buying is restocking as items wear out -- not trying to be cool.

            • Re: Financial diet: cutting back
              I'm on a strict diet right now in order to pay off credit card debt, accrued over the last 6 months, after an income reduction. I don't eat out--even on the road, I pack a lunch or snack; I don't go into stores or even window shop to avoid temptation; I throw out the catalogues as they arrive, especially clothing; and I try to be efficient with car trips to town (28 miles roundtrip).
              • Re: Financial diet: cutting back

                Yep, been there, done that. Had one really bad year a couple of years ago. Dozens of small economies saved us over $1000/month. AND even when our finances improved, we had were amazed at how much we could do without and survive just fine. So once we were both employed again,  we maintained our new lifestyle and paid off all our debts within 18 months.

                Cancel cable TV, have either a cell phone or a landline but not both, only buy food items at a grocery store and get ALL non-food items (soap, toilet paper,  sponges, etc) at a cheaper store, stock up on everything on sale (should reduce your grocery bill by 20%), if you have storage space get as much as you can at warehouse stores, switch from imported beer to domestic, fix cars again and again instead of buying another car, no movie theaters--rent DVDs instead, cover windows with plastic film in winter, use floor fans instead of AC as much as possible, use cash (the folding green stuff) and divide it into 7 plain envelopes (one for each day)-- any money left at the end of the day goes into the "Saturday" envelope for a treat, go to the library instead of the bookstore, buy gardening tools at Goodwill or Salvation Army, buy seeds instead of plants, color your own hair, cut your own grass.

                Basically, live the way your parents did. Make it yourself, fix it, use it up, buy it used, pay cash, or do without.

                There are lots of websites that talk about economizing--look especially at the sites for stay-at-home-moms. Borrow a copy of Dave Ramsey's DVDs and do the worksheets.