With gas prices going up, and the economy struggling, what have you cut out or cut down on?
Well, I've always cut down on prices. Never buy something without a discount or coupon. So I really haven't cut down or cut out anything. My budget gives me a $20-40 cushion for each paycheck so I can always go over, or just dump that into the rest of my savings.
I've cut back mostly in my groceries and going out. We only eat out once a week now and use coupons and sales for our grocery purchases. We are doing more things at home to avoid going out and wasting gas or money on entertainment.
I use a combination of thing to cut down including coupons and the old trick asking myself, "is this a want or a need?" In addition I ditched cable tv and have never looked back!
http://richardpac.hubpages.com/hub/Save … et-Free-TV
I'm giving that a lot of thought these days. I don't use much gas but as soon as I go out to my daughter's a couple of times a week, my gas tank goes down quickly. I think we need to look at our budget and weigh if we need all those DISH channels and two cell phones. We have no debts other than a mortgage so unless it is food, I am not sure where to cut.
I've cut down (or completely out) a lot of things since an early retirement precipitated by an accident that left me with limited mobility and a sharply reduced income. I established priorities. My closet contained enough clothing to probably last me the remainder of my life, with a few exceptions, so buying clothes is not in my budget.
Eating safe food is a major priority, so I purchase only organics and mostly whole foods. This means I cook from scratch and never go to restaurants. Don't miss that scene at all, and I know what I'm eating. Same goes for feeding my beloved dog: homemade food from organic ingredients. Even with buying organic foods, not buying junk foods or eating out helps me keep my food budget in check. Eating unsafe food ends up costing more long-term with illnesses and healthcare costs. "We are what we eat" has never been more true, especially in the U.S. where the FDA and USDA cannot be counted on to look after consumers' welfare. (Those corrupt agencies are too busy looking after Big Business and Big Pharma.) Because healthcare costs for both my dog and me are priorities, those stay in the budget.
I do not have cable TV (wouldn't watch it anyway), and I use my public library card weekly. I have a Netflix account for $8.55 per month and own a Roku (small one-time cost) that allows me to watch on my TV set. Reading, playing music (CDs I already own and playing my electronic keyboard), writing fiction and articles for HP, corresponding with family and friends and via phone conversations--these are my entertainment. Gas prices don't concern me, for I rarely drive more than ten miles per week.
Regardless of an individual's or family's financial situation, it comes down to what is important for her, him or them: setting priorities and reducing or giving up those things that are not priorities.
Sounds simple, but this does require attention and work!
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