Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
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Well, we've been going through budget cuts ourselves recently. With our new house, the payments are much higher and we had to take some serious looks at what we're spending. I cut my cell phone package way back. We gave up cable entirely - still have high-speed internet with DSL, but the cable was $100 a month. I did mitigate that by signing up for Netflix so that for $15 a month we could still see movie and get last season's tv shows on DVD. I took a look at some of the other bills, and we cut back on some of the phone services we had like CallerId.
Each of us has our own checking account seperate from the joint one where we get a "fun money" allowance each month, and we each gave up a little from that. This way, we still get to decide what we're going to spend our disposeable cash on and not feel like it's the other person's fault. But we've always done that since we were married - just we used to have more in our personal accounts. I don't want to know how much my husband spends on CDs vs. eating lunch out vs. video games, and I'm pretty sure he doesn't want to know how my clothes/crafts/coffee shop budget works out. But we do have a rule that we don't use our credit cards unless we can pay it off that month or if it is an emergency like the car needing fixed.
Groceries are a huge expense in our house, and I am committed to cutting way back on those. I'm going to shop at the less fancy store, use dried beans instead of canned, eat less meat, and buy less organic produce (which kills me, but we gotta cut some corners). I buy very little pre-packaged food anyway, but we're cutting back on that too.
Oh, and before, I had my daughter signed up for lots of fun art, music, swimming, etc. classes. Those add up fast! We're stopping those and will be looking for free activities this winter instead.
Shopping at second-hand shops for her clothes has never bothered me, and hitting the clearance sales at the end of the season can yield some great deals as well...except last spring I bought a ton of 4T clothes and she's still wearing 3Ts with the cuffs rolled up. Oops! Hope the styles don't change too much in the next year! And, it's a little late in the season, but garage sales are great too.