Where would you cut?

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Where would you cut?
110
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 12:19pm

With all this talk of cutting budgets in the air, I am wondering what options people have considered if their families were forced to cut expenses.  What changes in your spending would you make if you had to cut your spending by thirty percent?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2011
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 2:38pm

Jams, forget about how much of it you have to cut.  Off the top of your head, if you had to dramatically reduce your monthly expenses, how could you make that happen?

 

Avatar for jamblessedthree
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 2:34pm
First I'd have to determine what 30% of our EXPENSES are to begin with, Lol. I really don't know, We'd probably pay the only car we have a lien on off, We could afford to cut back on impulse items too, or as DH would call nickel and dime stuff, that's all I can think of.... I wouldnt' cut back the gym b/c even if I'm not personally using the Y I know our dues and donations go to a good cause, Likewise other charities.

 

 

Avatar for savcal2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 1:35pm
Oh, and I'd *hound* xh (to the point of a court order if necessary) for the medical and other kid-related expenses he owes me.

"I don’t mind a banshee, that’s fine. 2 banshees? I HATE you. I actually wish bad things upon you." -- Day[9] Daily #459 P1

Avatar for savcal2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2010
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 1:07pm

30 percent? Man, you make this tough, lol. 

The first would be eating out.  We don't spend a lot eating out, but we spend enough that we could see some savings.  Second would be alcohol - a bottle or two of wine a week can be $25-50.  So that could be significant.

We could easily, and probably would, cut clothing and accessories budgets. And hair color for me and The Girl (which is only $9 every six weeks for each of us). 

Next, we would probably cut all iTunes purchases for both movies and apps, and reduce our cable bill (but probably wouldn't cut it completely and we wouldn't get rid of our internet service).  Hulu plus membership could go. 

If necessary, we would ride together to work and make The Girl take the bus to/from school on days she doesn't have guard practice. I would cut my chiropractic visits back.

Things that wouldn't go:

Internet
my Diet Pepsi habit, lol
Cable completely
my HRT
Car or health insurance
basic medical care
nutritious food (we would cut our grocery bill some, but we wouldn't go down to "cream of" soups or rice and beans every night)
gym membership
The Boy's trumpet lessons
The Kids' activities (band mostly) costs

"I don’t mind a banshee, that’s fine. 2 banshees? I HATE you. I actually wish bad things upon you." -- Day[9] Daily #459 P1

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2013
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 1:06pm

I'd hate to cut charitable giving, but if I had to, I could. If we needed to cut 30%, I'm guessing we wouldn't need tax deductions as much, kwim?

On Wednesdays we wear pink.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2013
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 1:05pm

Get rid of third vehicle (it's a luxury, not a necessity), cut cable/internet/landline phone, eat out less/budget grocery bill more carefully, stay out of Target, cut back on cell service (get rid of unlimited data plan, etc), turn the thermostat down (its been at 75 most of the month and that bill is going to be UGLY)...that would probably do it. ;)

On Wednesdays we wear pink.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-08-2009
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 1:03pm

We are lucky in that almost all of our spending is "discretionary" these days.  We would stop adding to our retirement accounts, or add only minimally (we're at a point where my husband could retire at any time on what we have, and almost there with me).  We would cut our discretionary (non-work-related) travel.  We seldom eat out, but we'd stop doing that entirely.  We would also cut down somewhat on our charitable giving -- we join several museums every year at premium levels, not only to support the museums, but also to be able to go to members-only events.  Since we're not travelling, we would not join at premium levels.  We'd make my older son pay his own phone bill.  I said I'd pay it as long as he is in college and on our plan, but he's working right now and more hours than I think necessary, so he could take over the bill easily.  I think that's pretty much thirty percent.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2011
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 12:54pm

The very first thing we would look at is our grocery budget.  There is a lot of "fat" that could be trimmed.  We could sell one car, or at least stop driving it, eliminating the need to insure it.  That may or may not effect fuel costs, unless we also eliminated some of our driving.  Which brings me to a couple of outside activities that could be cut aswell.  Would definitely reduce our clothing budget, to *need* only.  And, if it came down to it, we would look for different housing.  While our home is affordable, it's very large, and the utilities are quite expensive.  We don't have cable, but do have internet.  We would litterally have to be on the edge of homelessness to give up internet.... It's part of our livelyhood.  We don't drink or smoke or have any conumer debt.....

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 12:40pm

We have been analyzing our budget lately hoping for me to either go and work from home, knowing there would be an income drop, or and much more likely, moving back to where we came from and our families are to be closer to family.  Our daycare bills right now are our single largest expense, even with one in school all day, we are still paying one full time bill plus before and afterschool care.   We are cutting cable shortly and going with simple internet based supply of it.  We are also watching what we spend at the grocery store, we have cut out most convenience foods in favor or home made foods and we are planning on doing a garden this year to also cut down on food costs.  Both of our little ones are in daycare and we opted not to have them in any activities this year, which I am glad about.  My ODD is in several activities, but she foots the bill with the money from the job she has.  One thing we would talk about would be to have her contributing to pay for her car insurance, something we have not done so far, but in 6 months, she goes off to college and will not have a car on campus at all, so I know our insurance will go down significantly when that happens.  I know our YMCA membership should be cut, but with summer coming up, we use it all the time for the kids and the pool (we live in Texas) and I also use it about once a month for free babysitting service for either a date night with DH (usually a dollar theater date) or to get a few hours at home to catch up on chores and stuff.

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Avatar for BeaArthurisMyReligion
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2013
Mon, 03-04-2013 - 12:31pm

we would probably try to scale back the cable/phone packages... we'd drop our gym memberships, we'd take a harder look at how we could economize in the grocery store, we'd stop eating out, we'd stop shopping for anything but necessities... we'd cut out the extra curricular activities for the girl etc..that would be a big blow and the thing I'd try to do last but if it came down to keeping a roof over our head or dance classes the roof would win

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