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Old 12-15-2011, 02:22 PM   #41
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6. ...... ride the bike for short distances. This is better for your health too.
I'm seriously considering going car free as I already do my shopping on my bike.
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:30 PM   #42
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Buying food on sale and in bulk packages.
Joining and eating/drinking at Legions and VFWs and private clubs. Cost savings adds up, especially on beverages.
Hanging wet laundry indoors and then only running dryer for touchup.
Using cold or warm wash versus hot cycle for laundry.
Volunteering to get exercise and free meals/beverages/take home extra food as reward.
Buying raffle tickets...so far I won $50 on a football board and a very nice wine basket ($5 ticket). I use all non-winning tickets as tax deductible donations to eligible organizations (503c something or other types).
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Old 12-15-2011, 02:32 PM   #43
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1. Content with a prepaid cell phone for $8 per month
2. No cable TV or fancy internet, just basic landline plus DSL for $55/month
3. Minimal heat and a/c
4. Track every expense and plan for contingencies
5. Stop after one child
6. Exercise and eat well to stay healthy
7. Use free community gym to workout or home videos
8. Hand-me-downs for our child
9. Limit eating out and alcohol consumption
10. Don't buy stuff or get it cheap/used
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:46 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by sirion
1. Content with a prepaid cell phone for $8 per month
2. No cable TV or fancy internet, just basic landline plus DSL for $55/month
3. Minimal heat and a/c
4. Track every expense and plan for contingencies
5. Stop after one child
6. Exercise and eat well to stay healthy
7. Use free community gym to workout or home videos
8. Hand-me-downs for our child
9. Limit eating out and alcohol consumption
10. Don't buy stuff or get it cheap/used
I enjoy looking at ways to cut costs, and I know to each is own, but I sure dont get the freezing in the winter and sweating in the summer to save on costs in your home. If I am going to be poor and not have money to do things, then at minimum, I am going to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer in my house. If I have to walk around naked in my house all summer and wear a parka in my house in the winter, well its time to go back and get a job
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:37 PM   #45
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Was so impressed by the thread below of budgets and expenses for 2011, I thought I was frugal and now believe I am a fat spender after reading about people that love on 12k per year. That is amazing! So you have all inspired me to clean up and overhaul, however it seems like every time I try and cut back I get stuck. Could you please share the three best thing you have done to cut your expenses?

Thanks in advance for sharing
When I was single I could "love" 2-3x a week on 12k a year, now that I am married it is quite a bit more!
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:44 PM   #46
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If I have to walk around naked in my house all summer and wear a parka in my house in the winter, well its time to go back and get a job

Agree 100%!
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:46 PM   #47
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When I was single I could "love" 2-3x a week on 12k a year, now that I am married it is quite a bit more!
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:08 PM   #48
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I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned MY favorite way of reducing my budget (when necessary, which is isn't right now). That is to ruthlessly cut any recurring expenses, no matter how small. Cut back to the cheapest cell phone contract available, if you have to have one. No newspaper or magazine subscriptions, gym fees, internet website paid memberships, cable TV (if you can bear it, or at least bare bones basic if you can't). And so on. Become debt free so you don't have recurring payments for car or other loans. Go through your recurring expenses one by one and chop, chop, chop. This really helps me to LBYM when I need to do that.
Yes, yes, and YES.

This is exactly what I started doing when it occurred to me that if I didn't spend less, I might have to get a job Cutting down on recurring expenses is the gift that keeps on giving. You soon get used to doing with less, or without, but the monthly savings just keep on coming.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:14 PM   #49
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Me too, but then garage sales are so much fun. I usually don't see anything but now and then I run into something special. I got the perfect little side table at one for almost nothing a week ago.

I agree about the YMMV, though. It's a lot easier to stumble into something at garage sales (like my table), than it is to find something one is looking for.

I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned MY favorite way of reducing my budget (when necessary, which is isn't right now). That is to ruthlessly cut any recurring expenses, no matter how small. Cut back to the cheapest cell phone contract available, if you have to have one. No newspaper or magazine subscriptions, gym fees, internet website paid memberships, cable TV (if you can bear it, or at least bare bones basic if you can't). And so on. Become debt free so you don't have recurring payments for car or other loans. Go through your recurring expenses one by one and chop, chop, chop. This really helps me to LBYM when I need to do that.
What she said.
Also no dryer.
Do most of cooking from scratch, and much from garden.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:45 PM   #50
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I enjoy looking at ways to cut costs, and I know to each is own, but I sure dont get the freezing in the winter and sweating in the summer to save on costs in your home. If I am going to be poor and not have money to do things, then at minimum, I am going to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer in my house. If I have to walk around naked in my house all summer and wear a parka in my house in the winter, well its time to go back and get a job
It's more a case of lowering the thermostat just a few degrees when you are sleeping and using an extra blanket; and putting on a layer beneath a sweatshirt. Agree, that lowering the heat so low as to need a parka is too extreme. As for airconditioning, where I live there are only 2-3 weeks in August that air conditioning would make it easier to sleep. So I tough those weeks out and might turn on a fan if it becomes too extreme.

I agree some cuts proposed are not for everyone and would making 'living' less fun than 'w*rking'. Each of us has different priorities which dictate where we are willing to cutback.
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Old 12-15-2011, 05:48 PM   #51
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I enjoy looking at ways to cut costs
We're a funny lot aren't we?
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:03 PM   #52
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Take some lessons from the way you ancestors lived.
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Old 12-15-2011, 06:55 PM   #53
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Take some lessons from the way you ancestors lived.
I am not going to run around in a bear-skin for anybody.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:19 PM   #54
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That is to ruthlessly cut any recurring expenses, no matter how small. Cut back to the cheapest cell phone contract available, if you have to have one. No newspaper or magazine subscriptions,
I will say that magazine subscriptions are so cheap, especially on discount, that they are a lot of pleasure for little money. We stopped them though because I hated how often Dear Spouse had to take the bin to the recycling center. It's often enough just with junk mail!
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:25 PM   #55
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I will say that magazine subscriptions are so cheap, especially on discount, that they are a lot of pleasure for little money. We stopped them though because I hated how often Dear Spouse had to take the bin to the recycling center. It's often enough just with junk mail!
They seem like they are just giving them away anymore. Too cheap to pass up. I get Money, Kiplingers, Golf, and SmartMoney for about $10 a
piece per year. They make excellent " distractors" while Im walking on the treadmill.
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Old 12-15-2011, 09:31 PM   #56
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How about the following:

1) Compare life insurance cost through employer vs other life insurance provider. I've found I can do better than my employer's prices. This is of course assuming you are employed!
2) Get rid of 3rd car I did not need.
3) Raise auto insurance deductible to $1,000.
4) Axe cable/SAT TV; get high definition TV for free over-the-air.
5) Stream programming from Hulu to my TV; I'm watching the Daily Show right now through Hulu on my TV.
6) Make full use of flexible spending accounts.
7) Mail order prescriptions.
8) Do own home repairs.
9) Change own car oil, brakes, etc.
10) Drive cars longer (both are over 7 years old).
11) Refi mortgage to 4 1/8 % (that is if you have a mortgage).
12) Cancel land line and use Ooma instead; works great!
13) Shop around for best internet; U-verse is quite competitive.
14) Change filter on furnace/AC.
15) Cut back on watering lawn.

Hope this helps.
One item here check the $10 or equivalent list of generic meds at Wal-Mart or your favorite grocery store. Its possible that they may be cheaper than the co-pay thru mail order. In addition insist that unless there is a strong reason to go with generics in general. (My thinking here is that if bad reactions were to occur they would have shown up before the drug had become generic)
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Old 12-16-2011, 05:26 AM   #57
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I am not going to run around in a bear-skin for anybody.
How about beaver, raccoon, deerskin, or some wool longjohns?
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Old 12-16-2011, 09:43 AM   #58
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My recommendation is to not become chronically ill.

Health insurance and medical expenses now impact my budget to the tune of almost $20K a year.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:10 AM   #59
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One item here check the $10 or equivalent list of generic meds at Wal-Mart or your favorite grocery store. Its possible that they may be cheaper than the co-pay thru mail order. In addition insist that unless there is a strong reason to go with generics in general. (My thinking here is that if bad reactions were to occur they would have shown up before the drug had become generic)
Very true about the meds. I found that my thyroid med would cost me 3X as much through my mail order source than my local pharmacy. It's such a low cost med that the minimum cost through the mail order source is way over priced.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:18 AM   #60
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My experience has been housing, taxes, transportation, food and insurance are all that really reward optimization.

We live in less house than we can afford and will downsize when the time comes to sell.

My wife and I share one car that was bought used for about $6500. We did not have a car for about 5 years.

Insurance rates have been shopped and sized apprioriately for our income and net worth.

Investments and participation in company benefit programs is setup to maximize long term tax savings.

Most of our food comes from Aldi and consists of basic wholesome ingredients that combine together easily.

You can waste an awful lot of energy chasing that last $1000 in savings on the little stuff. I have in the past, but no longer do. Much better to focus that time on earning more, IMO.
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