Joyful Cost Cutting
Like most Americans, my husband and I have been working on cutting costs. We recently realized that we had allowed “budget creep” to increase our spending in the past few years and that our relationship with money could be healthier.
When we examined our business and personal expenditures, we found many ways to cut costs. I hope this list inspires you to make your own cost cuts. We:
- Reduced the number of movies we get from Netflix
- Reduced our cable services
- Changed to a cable phone service
- Refinanced our house
- Cut dry cleaning costs (we changed dry cleaners)
- Shopped online for lower prices for health supplements
- Eliminated some unneeded business services (Send out Cards [I am sending electronic greeting cards now)], Quicken Online [We went to the software version of Quickbooks], aol.com)
- Cut down on grocery spending (we started shopping at a local store instead of a chain and reducing the high dollar items)
- Payed off credit cards (we found that our rates had been raised significantly even though our credit is very good. I guess banks have been doing this to everyone.)
- Cut down on and cut costs on eating out (we cut down on the number of times we go and started using coupons)
- Reduced entertainment expenditures
- Vacation expenditures (we found a cruise for $429 a person)
- We also identified a fraudulent business charge that had been added to our phone bill without our knowledge
We’ve recorded our cutbacks and we take great joy in seeing the cumulative monthly savings we’ve made!
I’m enjoying the challenge of finding the best dinner coupons when we go out and using the coupons has gotten us to go to some new restaurants. We’ve gotten back to enjoying the many low and no cost things to do in our area.
With all these cost-reductions I’m not feeling deprived, I’m feeling empowered! I feel a greater sense of control over my life. I feel more secure, and, best of all, I’m having more fun.
I advocated having an austerity month twice a year to recalibrate your spending habits, but I believe that America’s current wide-spread belt tightening is a chance for us all to create a healthier relationship with money and in turn, a happier life for the long term.
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