It's ironic that some of the suggestions for cutting spending actually cost money, thereby minimizing the cost savings. For instance, theater tickets, dance lessons, etc. Not only is there the cost of those items, there is also the cost of getting to those places. Dance lessons usually require a specific number of lessons, so you are committed to going to the studio a certain number of times. How many additional miles does that add to your standard driving? How much gas? If you live in a city & have to take a taxi, that can get expensive. Public transportation may not be available to those places.
I live in an area where the nearest grocery store is more than 5 miles away, so cutting out driving is impossible. Instead, I combine my errands, and if I have to go to the mall, which is 40 miles away, I do all my shopping in one day. I keep a running list on the refrigerator of what I need, and what stores I have to go to, so when I do shop, I don't forget anything. When I need clothes, I shop the outlet malls, or sale catalogs.
As for the movies, nobody says you HAVE to eat at the movies. If you must, then bring your own drinks & snacks. Make a bag of microwave popcorn & bring your own bottles of soda or water. I do it all the time. With my refillable water bottle, the water is free & the popcorn is less than $1.00 for both of us.
There are movie rental subscriptions, or you can go to your local video rental store instead of going to the movies or paying for premium movie channels through your cable TV. On the other hand, Pay-per-view is cheaper than going to the movies if you calculate the cost per person, and include the gas you save by staying home.
Three years ago my husband & I gave up our cell phones because they were costing us about $100 per month & we rarely used them. Instead, we opted for 2 phones where we pay per minute for each call. We've saved nearly $3600 in those 3 years because we only use the phones for emergencies.
I stopped buying books (fiction) because I only read them once anyway. Instead, I utilize the library for books and videos. I rarely read magazines because they average over 50% advertising for things I don't want or need. I get my news from TV & the internet.
Before offering suggestions, please think them through thoroughly, and consider the additional costs incurred by making some of the changes suggested. Nowhere does this article mention cutting out the daily lattes!
- 7/15/2008 8:58:53 PM