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Upbeat
08-03-2008, 10:14 PM
'Experts' cited today in a MSN online article about overspending, claim that many budget complaints come from folks who consider some luxury items - necessities.
Based on the basic necessities of food, water, clothing, and shelter, some 'experts' say that many who complain of budget problems now think of such things as a latte, a pedicure, a flat-screen TV, etc.,. as necessities rather than as luxuries.
What could you do without if you had to cut your spending?

smoothseas
08-03-2008, 10:16 PM
Cable television.

But I'd slice my wrists if I hadda give up my Internet....

robeiae
08-03-2008, 10:18 PM
Prostitutes.

A. Hamilton
08-03-2008, 10:28 PM
cable would be the first to go
the thing I have the hardest time curtailing when the budget is tight is eating out-but it could be a significant chunk.
and wine, I could trim my grocery budget a tad by eliminating alcohol.
already do my own yardwork, skip the manicures, rarely have lattes. guess I could cut Netflix too-yikes.

melaniehoo
08-03-2008, 10:31 PM
Since moving, I no longer get my hair professionally cut or colored, we didn't have television for a year (we recently got a satellite), we don't go out to eat, I don't buy new clothes... you find ways to adapt.

shawkins
08-03-2008, 10:44 PM
I used to get coffee+breakfast on the way to work and eat lunch out most days--now I'm raisin bran + brown bagging it. I'm doing a lot more library and a lot less amazon. I pretty much stopped buying DVDs altogether.

Also I'm pimping out my beagle.

ChaosTitan
08-03-2008, 10:45 PM
Based on the basic necessities of food, water, clothing, and shelter,


I'd argue that, while necessities, food and clothing are two areas in which most people can save money without going without.

I won't go into the food thing, since there's an entire thread dedicated to it in the Food forum. But for clothing, the prices people pay for a label just boggles my mind. Sixty bucks for a pair of jeans? Hit the thrift stores and you can find the same jeans for five dollars. Rummage sales and thrift stores are great places to find cheap, name brand clothes, and often in like-new condition. Clearance racks in factory outlets are also good sources.

Personally, I just don't splurge on luxuries. I don't have an iPod, a plasma TV, an awesome new cell phone, or eat out every week.

I'd cut video rentals completely and limit buying DVD's or boxed sets to blow-out sales only. As it is, I can go to the flea market and buy VHS copies of movies I've never seen for a buck, rather than rent the DVD for $4. And then I can resell it, so no money lost.

RLB
08-03-2008, 10:49 PM
Television. Actually, we don't have one in our place right now, though that's a probably going to be a temporary, summer thing, so we're not buying DVDs or renting movies either.

We haven't turned on our air yet this summer, and if I want my toenails painted, I do it myself.

But eating out, going to an occasional movie, vacations, frappucinos... these things are all still part of our life and could go.

I'm saving a lot on groceries these days since the area we recently moved to doesn't have a handy Whole Foods (a weakness of mine), but I could cut even further since we eat a lot of fresh produce (which I try to do cheaply, but not always) and manage to go through things like olive oil and balsamic vinegar at an alarming rate (not to mention yummy cheeses). Wine could go too I suppose.

When we moved last month, I tried two weeks without internet and nearly lost my mind. But I got a ton accomplished on my WIP.

nerds
08-03-2008, 10:51 PM
I'm out of stuff to do without.

But I'm so very glad that "the experts", whomever in hell they are, think that I have a flatscreen tv, cable, and spend my days having others cut my hair and attend to my feet while I drink grande lattes from Starbuck's. Yeah.

CBumpkin
08-03-2008, 11:10 PM
Don't get me started on this topic! I'm one of those who feels that Americans are spoiled and have the "I'm owed something" mentality. The new phrase, "We've become a nation of whiners," is true. People complain about having to cut back and think they're being deprived. There are lots of ways people can cut back on expenses if they think about it and are honest with themselves. I created a list of over 50 ways people can save money. Most of them are ways you don't read in your typical magazine article because I don't think many people really want to do what it takes to save money.

I'd post the list here, but the last time I posted specific and substantial information like that, several people took the information and used it in articles they wrote for magazines and got paid for it. All I got was ripped-off.

Take my word for it, the list of ways you can save money is almost endless... it's more a matter of asking, "Am I willing to do what it takes to save money?"

I'm not a cheapskate but I'm in a time of saving money by cutting back expenses. My friends can't believe how much I've cut back. They think it's past the point of deprivation but that's because they have a consumer mentality. Even in all of my frugality, there are still ways I could save even more money. If the economy gets any worse, I'll be taking those extra steps.

Siddow
08-04-2008, 12:08 AM
If I had to, I could cut everything. I could get food from the food bank, live in a shelter, wear the clothes that were donated to me...if I had to.

Do I win? Is this a contest?

JLCwrites
08-04-2008, 12:16 AM
I could live in a smaller house, in an area where the temps didn't go too high or too low. (No need to have a heater or AC) I could grow most of my own food, have chickens for eggs, and drive a small car. (Electric maybe?) I could have my own compost pile to put trash that decomposes, and have solar panels to offset the energy I use. I would actually LOVE to live like that. :)

I wouldn't need television, but I would still need my computer and internet access. (I'd miss you guys if I didn't have the intertube!)

Seaclusion
08-04-2008, 12:17 AM
I could give up watermelon Jelly Belly jelly beans if I had to but..

Richard

soleary
08-04-2008, 12:31 AM
Prostitutes.

Robeiae's prostitutes. I hear they're very expensive :)

SpookyWriter
08-04-2008, 01:08 AM
Prostitutes.Really? You willing to spend those lonely evenings with the wifey, eh?

robeiae
08-04-2008, 01:10 AM
I could also do without Spooky.

SpookyWriter
08-04-2008, 01:12 AM
I could also do without Spooky.That's not what you said during the last oil crisis. :D

Disa
08-04-2008, 01:17 AM
I'm one of those who has pretty much cut what I can. I've colored my own hair for years. Only get it cut every 4-6 months. Do my own nails. I've always tried to conserve gas by doing all my errands at once instead of going out 4 or 5 different times and things like that. We've only had 2 real vacations in 17 years. We only really buy new clothes when ours have pretty much worn out or if there's a special occasion.Geez...

So when we had financial problems a couple a years ago, we got the $12 basic cable service just to get better reception than rabbit ears, we dropped all our extra features on the phone so when people call they might actually get a busy signal.

There's more I could cut out if I had to. But I think that by doing all these things on my own for all these years helps save up for when times are really tough. I'm a person who knows I can live sparsely if I have to. I'm not one who really cares about keeping up with the Joneses, etc... I don't have to have the biggest house or the biggest car to make me feel important :)

We do eat out occasionally which I could totally cut out. I could stop buying books (gasp)

I will not, however, go without internet. No way man.

Silver King
08-04-2008, 01:23 AM
Robeiae's prostitutes. I hear they're very expensive :)
Maybe he should switch to cheap whores and save a few dollars? ;)

I'm trying to cut back, but all I seem to be doing is spending more and getting less. Everything has gone up so much in the past year or so that if I could spend what I did only twelve months ago, I'd save plenty of dough and have far more bang for my buck than I do now.

The grocery stores alone are killing me. Meat and fish are up more than fifty percent from last year. Sure, I could save a few dollars here and there and buy more Hamburger Helper and crap like that, but I don't skimp when it comes to feeding my family. They eat well and will continue to do so until I go broke...

SpookyWriter
08-04-2008, 01:27 AM
Maybe he should switch to cheap whores and save a few dollars? ;)

I'm trying to cut back, but all I seem to be doing is spending more and getting less. Everything has gone up so much in the past year or so that if I could spend what I did only twelve months ago, I'd save plenty of dough and have far more bang for my buck than I do now.

The grocery stores alone are killing me. Meat and fish are up more than fifty percent from last year. Sure, I could save a few dollars here and there and buy more Hamburger Helper and crap like that, but I don't skimp when it comes to feeding my family. They eat well and will continue to do so until I go broke...Or buy less expensive condoms?

I'm not feeling the effects too badly since I live alone and have a decent income. But I do cut back on the expensive booze when a lesser brand has a good sale. Oh, and I started importing contraband smokes because they're way too expensive here.

Seaclusion
08-04-2008, 01:28 AM
. Meat and fish are up more than fifty percent from last year.

You need to switch from catching tarpon to snook.

Give a man a fish--feed him for a day
Teach a man to fish and he has to buy a $1200 rod and reel, a $60000 boat, $50 worth of bait, $300 in fuel, $200 in beer...

Richard

Seaclusion
08-04-2008, 01:30 AM
Oh, and I started importing contraband smokes because they're way too expensive here.

We tried that here too but the DEA didn't think to kindly about it.

Richard

SpookyWriter
08-04-2008, 01:31 AM
We tried that here too but the DEA didn't think to kindly about it.

RichardThe DEA is in on the cut. Just saying...

Disa
08-04-2008, 01:43 AM
If I had to, I could cut everything. I could get food from the food bank, live in a shelter, wear the clothes that were donated to me...if I had to.

Do I win? Is this a contest?

Yep! You win!

Silver King
08-04-2008, 01:51 AM
You need to switch from catching tarpon to snook...
Hell, I can barely afford to fish these days, and when I do, I stay close to port to save on fuel. I've gone out less this year than at any other time I can remember since owning a boat. Lucky for the fish, eh?

I love the sweet taste of snook, but I stopped keeping them long ago, along with reds and trout and the rest of 'em. Well, except for grouper and snapper, which I have no qualms taking for table fare. (Fresh grouper is close to twenty dollars per pound in my area, more expensive than filet mignon. Never thought I'd see that in my lifetime.)

Seaclusion
08-04-2008, 01:54 AM
The few snook I've ever caught, I've kept. It is the best tasting fish I've ever had. Most of the snook I've eaten has been caught by friends. I'm no snook fisherman.

Richard

Silver King
08-04-2008, 02:10 AM
The few snook I've ever caught, I've kept. It is the best tasting fish I've ever had. Most of the snook I've eaten has been caught by friends. I'm no snook fisherman.

Richard
Did you know snook are nicknamed, "soap fish?" That's what they taste like unless you remove the skin prior to cooking. They're a bitch to skin (much like mahi), so when folks skip that step, they're greeted by a sudsy surprise.

Cassiopeia
08-04-2008, 02:15 AM
Cutting corners in my world means no eating out, cable tv, prepackaged foods, beans and brews or starbucks, candy and I figure a person can get by on one pair of sneakers, dress shoes, seven pairs of underwear bought from a store that is NOT in the mall, brand labels are out, two pairs of jeans, one skirt and seven different tops.

In other words, I don't put much stock in buying tons of clothing. Also no fancy car is needed just one to get you from point A to point B.

Mr Flibble
08-04-2008, 02:15 AM
I did have to cut spending quite drastically when I became ill

I gave up: Haircuts - only ever had one a year anyway. Books - bought them at the charity shop for 50p a pop or the hospital 'give a donation you can afford for a book' rack. Gave up going to the cinema, in fact pretty much anywhere 'out'. Satelite has only recently come back into our lives, as have going almost anywhere other than the park ( or anywhere free) with the kids. No treats ever, only the cheapest most crappy food ( for us, the kids got he good stuff. I spent a year living on toast and marmite so they could eat right). If I never go to Asda again it will be too soon. Not even any stilton! Had to even give up on the life insurance at one point because money was so tight.

You do what ya gotta do. We kept as much for the kids as we could - they never missed out on anything if we could help it. Luckily my parents and in-laws helped out with clothes and shoes for them. But hell's teeth we had to give up loads.

truelyana
08-04-2008, 02:29 AM
'Experts' cited today in a MSN online article about overspending, claim that many budget complaints come from folks who consider some luxury items - necessities.
Based on the basic necessities of food, water, clothing, and shelter, some 'experts' say that many who complain of budget problems now think of such things as a latte, a pedicure, a flat-screen TV, etc.,. as necessities rather than as luxuries.
What could you do without if you had to cut your spending?



I don't spend enough as it is. In fact, I don't spend anything on luxury items. I am quite happy with not spending anything I needn't. :) Money does not rule my social reality.

Pagey's_Girl
08-04-2008, 03:43 AM
I admit I used to love getting my nails done, but I just don't have time for it now. I'll sometimes treat myself to a Friday latte or frappiccino. but that's about it from that list. The only "luxury" I'd rather not give up is DSL.

Perle_Rare
08-04-2008, 03:59 AM
I could do without my husband's expensive photography hobby. Does that count?

Susie
08-04-2008, 04:07 AM
Mr. Susie made you start this thread, upbeat, didn't he, to get me to stop spending money on chocolate altogether, huh. I knew it. I only buy a parsley chocolate bar a week. Sheesh. :D

Upbeat
08-04-2008, 04:45 AM
Mr. Susie made you start this thread, upbeat, didn't he, to get me to stop spending money on chocolate altogether, huh. I knew it. I only buy a parsley chocolate bar a week. Sheesh. :D
I eat everything chocolate in site - without parsley!

September skies
08-04-2008, 04:56 AM
uughhh..... That's a tough one. I love my luxuries and can't imagine having to give them up. But I guess cable. Television in general too - um, until the new season begins. Then I coudln't do without "The Office" -- which I love!

Susie
08-04-2008, 04:58 AM
I eat everything chocolate in site - without parsley!

:roll: I definitely do not like parsley chocolate. :D PS I meant to say paltry.

mario_c
08-04-2008, 05:01 AM
I'm out of stuff to do without.

But I'm so very glad that "the experts", whomever in hell they are, think that I have a flatscreen tv, cable, and spend my days having others cut my hair and attend to my feet while I drink grande lattes from Starbuck's. Yeah.Hell yeah to that. 'Cause you know, they live like that so they assume everyone lives like that. Which makes them expert in - what? Arrogance? Myopia? Snobbery?

You work for the basics - living indoors, clean clothes, food and water. You work a second job for the fun stuff - restaurants, cafes, sports weekends, a better TV, spas and on and on. You don't NEED these things, but they make life fun. Actually I would make internet/cable a 'basics' item because this is the information age, and without information, without being connected to the world outside, you really can't make a living in modern society.

One personal item: I made a calculator to help you out! (Click the 'Visualize it' (http://www.mariocaiti.com/flash_resume.html) link, and hire me as a web programmer!) Speaking of a second job, or needing one...

Write4U2
08-04-2008, 05:11 AM
I'm out of stuff to do without.

But I'm so very glad that "the experts", whomever in hell they are, think that I have a flatscreen tv, cable, and spend my days having others cut my hair and attend to my feet while I drink grande lattes from Starbuck's. Yeah.

nerds R Us:

The experts never met me, either.

All the things I don't do or buy:

Buy designer labels and actually haven't bought clothes for a long time
Starbucks
Manicures
Pedicures
Spa treatments (massages, facials, workout in a club)
Eat out
Go to movies more than once every six months and don't buy snacks at the food counter anymore.
Don't buy bottled water. I freeze half a bottle and fill the rest up with filtered water from the spigot.
Buy any food item that's not on sale
Buy DVDs
Don't buy TV dinners if not on sale


All the things I still do:

Turn off lights in any room not being used.
Turn off all TV/radio when not watching.
Turn off computer when finished for the day.
Still have my hair colored - that will be the very last thing to go - I'll starve first!
Use coupons and shop on special days when advertised food prices are lowest, and comparison shop.
Use the car one day a week and do all errands on one day in a circuitious manner.
Get prescriptions refilled at Wal-Mart now for $4 instead of $10 at Walgreens.
Won't give up DSL - have cable savings package with DSL, phone and TV combination.
I have two dogs. One of them is crazy about a dried duck wrapped sweet potato treat. It costs $10 a bag. I was buying four bags a month, but now I cut up and dry sweet potato treats for them.
I bath the dogs myself and only take them to the groomer once a month. (They're hairy little Yorkies.)
I cook frozen chicken tenders for the dogs. I used to buy a roasted chicken from the supermarket, but they raised the price from $3.99 to $8.99. Sorry.
No more prepared foods. I make everything from scratch now.
We're eating more veggies and fruit and less meat.

I can't think of anything else to give up.

kristie911
08-04-2008, 05:48 AM
This spring I lost my renter (she went and got married...damn it) so I lost $400 a month. The first month was tight...now 5 months later, it's fine. I don't know where I cut back but I did. Groceries definitely...I just bought less and bought smarter. But I still buy quality. We're not going to survive on white bread, baloney and mac and cheese. Things aren't that bad yet. I definitely drive less...way less, so that's made a huge difference.

I suppose if I had to cut further, I'd have to cut television, phone and internet. But what's the point if you can't have a couple of little luxuries? :)

maestrowork
08-04-2008, 05:51 AM
Toilet paper, soap, haircuts, underwear, clothes, and deodorant.

nancy sv
08-04-2008, 06:08 AM
Hmmm... we each have a grand total of three changes of clothing, we cram into one small tent which we pitch on the side of the road somewhere, we don't buy gas, we eat a ton of pasta.... I'm not sure where we could cut. I suppose we could possibly eat plain ol' pasta and rice with no sauce if we had to...

But that's now. If you asked me when we were living at home - heck yeah - we coulda cut a bunch then. Now we're little on only the necessities.

Upbeat
08-04-2008, 06:37 AM
Hmmm... we each have a grand total of three changes of clothing, we cram into one small tent which we pitch on the side of the road somewhere, we don't buy gas, we eat a ton of pasta.... I'm not sure where we could cut. I suppose we could possibly eat plain ol' pasta and rice with no sauce if we had to...

But that's now. If you asked me when we were living at home - heck yeah - we coulda cut a bunch then. Now we're little on only the necessities.
Fascinating lifestyle.
Is your tent equipped with electric or is your computer operated via battery?

Fraulein
08-04-2008, 08:36 AM
I just went through my cosmetics collection, and I'm really amazed! There was so much stuff inside my bathroom closet that I couldn't get to, because I only have five feet plus five inches to work with. So, the stuff that's been hiding in my closet with see a rebirth.

French manicure at-home kit here I come... :D (I was really tempted to buy this brand new recently.)

September skies
08-04-2008, 10:19 AM
I don't do manicures and pedicures nor get my hair done too often.....
so I can't give those things up.
And there is no way I'm giving up my Egyptian cotton sheets or Starbucks. Those two things stay no matter what.

Bmwhtly
08-04-2008, 02:40 PM
I don't know that I'd give anything up, really.

I rather think I'd cut back on the things I do buy (like food and drink).

SpookyWriter
08-04-2008, 02:56 PM
I don't know that I'd give anything up, really.

I rather think I'd cut back on the things I do buy (like food and drink).I really don't have anything of material value to give up. The apartment television belongs to one of my room mates, and all the furniture belongs to the owner, so I don't own anything except my personal belongings. I do have a cell phone now, but hardly ever use it.

Most eveything I own in the world can fit into two suitecases. I like to travel light.

If I had to cut back there isn't much to begin with except food and drink. So I'd buy (already do for the most part) less expensive generic brand foods and drink. Cheap vodka and generic orange juice still gives me a good enough buzz as the expensive stuff.

Pagey's_Girl
08-04-2008, 04:47 PM
....I suppose if I had to cut further, I'd have to cut television, phone and internet. But what's the point if you can't have a couple of little luxuries? :)

Awhile back I was reading an article on personal financial planning, and the author (I believe it was Melody Hobson from ABC News' website) said that the reason a lot of people failed at budgeting was because they cut out too much - including everything they enjoyed. She said that if you have a hobby you love, or something you just really enjoy doing, you should allow for it in your budget as much as you're able. She pointed out that the reason you budget is to be in control of where your money is going, not to deny yourself any fun at all.

Fraulein
08-04-2008, 05:20 PM
Awhile back I was reading an article on personal financial planning, and the author (I believe it was Melody Hobson from ABC News' website) said that the reason a lot of people failed at budgeting was because they cut out too much - including everything they enjoyed. She said that if you have a hobby you love, or something you just really enjoy doing, you should allow for it in your budget as much as you're able. She pointed out that the reason you budget is to be in control of where your money is going, not to deny yourself any fun at all.Like Taco Bell? I had bean burritos and/or a cheese quesadilla on Saturday and Sunday. :D

ChaosTitan
08-04-2008, 05:23 PM
She pointed out that the reason you budget is to be in control of where your money is going, not to deny yourself any fun at all.

Same reason people fail at diets all the time. Going to the extreme to cut out things, while at the same time depriving themselves in an unhealthy way.

soleary
08-04-2008, 05:48 PM
Maybe he should switch to cheap whores and save a few dollars? ;)

LOL! I'm in marketing. As I like to tell colleagues: "The only difference between a call girl and a dime store hooker is how they sell themselves. The service is essentially the same. You always want to be the call girl."

Pagey's_Girl
08-04-2008, 06:15 PM
Mr. Susie made you start this thread, upbeat, didn't he, to get me to stop spending money on chocolate altogether, huh. I knew it. I only buy a parsley chocolate bar a week. Sheesh. :D

Chocolate is a necessity. No question there.

September skies
08-05-2008, 07:08 AM
Oh, I know. I'd cut back on eating out. I want to eat at home more but due to hectic schedule eat out way too often. Cutting back would be a treat.

Lyra Jean
08-05-2008, 09:21 AM
I cut back on sodas and snacks at work during my breaks and lunch. That's $8.50 a week. I don't do the grocery shopping in my house and I only buy clothes when I need them. I stopped using my credit cards which were only good at the store anyway.

I buy a bottle of water at work during the week and just refill it from the watercooler in the break room. On the weekend they give out free bottles of water. I'm also eating healthier and I realized I'm spending less money on my sandwich ham, tomatoes, and strawberries with chocolate than if I bought a value meal at the McDonald's or bought a TV dinner. Sometimes I buy I just buy ramen noodles.

Since I haven't had time to quilt I stopped looking at material. I need to finish my current project anyways. I have all the material for that. Just waiting to be sewn together.

Woodsie
08-05-2008, 09:27 AM
I'd get rid of a car and get rid of my cell phone.

Deccydiva
08-05-2008, 10:51 AM
I've been through this process since I lost my job fifteen months ago and it is surprising what you can cut down on if you have to. The main problem is I live out in the wilds, it's four miles to the nearest shop along a very hilly road and there's no public transport. As I live alone and don't know the neighbours (the nearest is a ten minute walk anyway) a car is essential so I am trying to hang on to that!
I have a night meter for my electricity so it is half price between midnight and 9am, therefore I use as much as I can where I must use it at all, between these hours. The washing machine has a timer so if I want to go to bed early, I just set it to come on after midnight. I have changed my telephone and internet provider and the tariff on my mobile phone which is saving me around €225 a month. Food is a big area for saving, as I am on my own I am not obliged to cook "proper" meals so I eat a lot of bread and potato, anything which is on offer at the supermarket and if I call in at the town bakery on a Saturday afternoon I can have free bread. I cook fresh food instead of ready meals and use the microwave instead of the oven whenever possible. I don't go out, don't drink alcohol or smoke, holidays are out of the question. I still do dog shows to save my sanity and a friend takes me, usually I win more in food or money than the entry fee so it gets me out at little or no cost. Clothes - when an item literally drops to pieces I might replace it, unless I can make do with an alternative. Last week I had to decide between a pair of wellies and a pair of slippers. Wellies won as it's wet and muddy here a lot of the time and my old slippers, though holey, still stay on my feet so they will do for a little longer.
Needless to say, I can't pay anyone to do work on my unfinished house but there were a lot of materials left behind by the builder and I have become quite good at plastering and painting which is costing nothing at all. It would be good if I could afford a carpet for the main room and save me walking on bare concrete but hey, I have a roof over my head. At the moment!

Broadswordbabe
08-05-2008, 03:27 PM
I've really reduced the amount of meat I eat, for eco-friendly reasons - but as a nice side-effect it's made a noticeable difference to my grocery budget.

I get most of my clothes, shoes and books from charity shops - but I could go less often. Might manage to use that time for writing instead...

Unique
08-05-2008, 05:18 PM
Eating.

Or this $10 internet connection.