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When I started on my path to fixing my money problems I was so worried about just paying my existing bills that I wasn't thinking about cutting out the non-necessities of my spending. When I finally DID get rid of the things I didn't "have" to have, and started really taking control of our spending, I was able to really see a difference in my bills.

Canceled our satelite TV, which "only" cost about $40 a month. We now rent books, movies, tv shows etc from the library rather than buying from the book store, going to the movies, or renting from a video store or netflix.

Canceled home internet and home phone, saving over $80 a month. If I need internet I can use the library one or work computer.

Overhauled my insurance ... should have done it years ago!

Cut down on our driving a LOT, anywhere not required right away gets combined with at least 2 other stops. No more driving into town to go to the movies or shopping or bowling on the weekend! Stay local!

Stopped shopping at WalMart or other "convenience" stores ... the "impulse" items were KILLING me. I stopped buying snacks, sodas, ice cream etc. I started planting my own vegetables and fruits, raise chickens, butcher deer for meat, etc. On top of being much healthier now, I have our grocery bill at a manageable amount ... I used to spend about $300 a month for food items, now I am less than 1/2 of that.

make my own laundry detergent, bread, etc, a lot more "from scratch" meals .... just think Little House on the Prairie!

Do I resent having to cut out some things? Sure. But do I regret it. NO.

the obvious result has been that I have saved money. But also I now have a closer relationship with my husband (primarily due to not having the TV and internet be involved at all in our home lives), and other than occasional "money stress headaches", my health has never been better.

give it a try, you'll be glad you did!

I have heard some people who are daily Starbucks customers say how much money they can save by NOT doing the daily thing at Starbucks. If you figure around $4 for a drink and say $2 for a scone or something= $6 a day X 5 days a week! Geez $30 is not a lot to some but when you multiply by a month=$120 and then a YEAR=$1440.....YIKES. That would be a big savings right there!

I guess its like anything---it can become a habit. 20 years ago I used to smoke (cigs were $1 a pack), I can't imagine smoking now (for more reasons than one) at $5-$6 a pack.

Sub: #1 posted on Tue, 07/29/2008 - 23:42

Lorri Lorri
(Posts: 1721 | Credits: )

Lots of good suggestions, Smo. I've also been taking a good look at our finances lately and trying to cut out a lot of the non-essentials.

Since we run a business from home, we really can't cancel the phone and internet, but we did have a second business phone line for my husband's business, which I recently canceled. I found a device that will work with distintive ring and route the calls to a different answering machine. So for the price of two months worth of phone bills, we bought that device and canceled the second line.

We've also cut out most non-essential driving and almost never go to the movies, etc. Pretty much the only eating "out" that we do is an occasional $5 pizza. And I've spent some time with my mother-in-law this summer, canning fruits and jams, since they grow more than they can use.

Every little bit helps!

Sub: #2 posted on Sat, 08/02/2008 - 16:28

alias1958 alias1958

(Posts: 1230 | Credits: )

Also, some other ideas. . .

Adjust your thermostat. It does make a difference! Turn off the lights when you leave a room. Turn off the computer when not in use. Run shorter washing machine cycles and shorter dishwashing cycles. Take clothes out of the dryer sooner and let them finish by air drying. Use coupons for grocery shopping and stock up on regular use items while they are on sale to avoid paying full price for them when you run out.

I keep a budget spreadsheet of all of our monthly bills and expenses, and basically I looked at every expense category to see if there was any way that it could be reduced. I tackled the most obvious ones first, and I continue to review it monthly looking for any other potential savings.

Sub: #3 posted on Sat, 08/02/2008 - 16:44

alias1958 alias1958

(Posts: 1230 | Credits: )

Remember to recycle aluminum, plastics etc. Yes, you can re-use plastic water bottles, but never more than a few times--then recycle them. I heard on tv that plastic water bottles are made of a type of plastic that, after using can become pitted microscopically and then bacteria can be trapped in there when you re-use.

Sub: #4 posted on Sun, 08/03/2008 - 18:53

Lorri Lorri
(Posts: 1721 | Credits: )

It's amazing the amount you can save in a year by cutting out those small weekly/monthly expenses. Like Lorri mentioned about recycling... in my city, trash removal was costing me $24 per month for the removal of 2 55 gal. cans each week. I started recycling plastic, glass, aluminum, cardboard, and newspapers. Our city has a recycling yard set up for all of these disposables, and the good thing is it's between my house and work. So when the cans get full, I drop them off in passing. Because of this free recycling effort I'm able to cut back my trash pickup service to 1 can a week. Saves me $8 bucks a month - therefore just shy of $100 per year.

Same with Internet service. Was paying rediculous prices of $43 per month for 100mps Internet access through Comcast. After saying to myself, "why do I need that much connection speed," I made the switch to Verizon DSL and got a promotional rate of $15 per month locked in for life. Right there's over 300 bucks saved in a year.
Like SMO mentioned in the origional post, I found myself saying quite a bit, "it's 'only' this much money..." The thing is, 'only this much' can add up pretty quick.

Sub: #5 posted on Tue, 08/05/2008 - 15:38

amiller2 amiller2

(Posts: 12 | Credits: )

Saving money is easy and it is not always a case of doing without to save a few bucks. Advertising's purpose is to get consumers to spend their money right? They lure you into thinking that some item is such a bargain, so wonderful, so delicious, etc. that you HAVE to have it--NO MATTER WHAT THE COST.

I will give you a perfect example of advertisings lure. There is a Burger King commercial that adverstises their "loaded steakhouse burger" it has fried onion ring thingys on it, etc. I kept seeing the commercial (it never mentions the price) and I HAD to have one. Well, when I went to BK I notice the price on this thing---it was something like $6 (just for the burger). I looked at the picture, looked at my money and decided that I probably could satisfy my craving with a regular burger and onion rings at half the price.

The commercial then was successful--it got me into BK. I THOUGHT I needed the "loaded steakhouse burger", but goodsense one out.

Think about what you NEED the next time a commercial comes on.

Sub: #6 posted on Wed, 08/06/2008 - 17:45

Lorri Lorri
(Posts: 1721 | Credits: )

it's breaking your habit that is the hard part ... how many people stop at the quickie mart for coffee and a doughnut every morning just because?

Sub: #7 posted on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 07:53

smo65d11 smo65d11

(Posts: 1468 | Credits: )

That is so very, very true. Anything that you do for (I think its a month or so many times in a row) is considered a habit. But, fortunately the types of habits we are talking about are very easy to change.

Sub: #8 posted on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 19:58

Lorri Lorri
(Posts: 1721 | Credits: )

As of right now I have no cable or internet I also go to the liabary to get online. I miss it but I find I have a lot more time to get things done around the house. Also how doyou make your own laundry soap.

Sub: #9 posted on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 20:12

jodymarie1979 jodymarie1979

(Posts: 20 | Credits: )

Sub: #10 posted on Thu, 08/07/2008 - 20:22

alias1958 alias1958

(Posts: 1230 | Credits: )

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