Difficult to cut back?

United States
May 26, 2009 6:16pm CST
Most of the world is dealing with issues due to the recession. Many people have been working on cutting back on their spending, cutting out unesseccary spending, and going without things they want and are used to. The recession has not hit my family, but since we moved 2 months ago, our expenses have grown a bit. We have a few more bills than we're used to, and this has made us have to cut back in other areas, especially in our "extra" spending. We enjoy going out to eat and probably spend too much on that. I'm finding it difficult to cut back though. I got accustomed to doing things a particular way, and sometimes forget that I can't always spend money this way. Have you had a difficult time adjusting your lifestyle to fit your income? Did you find it hard to cut back on things?
11 responses
• United States
27 May 09
Unfortunatly I don't find it hard to cut back on things. As I've been going with out since I've been at home. And I went thru some really hard times in college as well, so in a way I feel like I've been repeating that since I've been home it's just not nearly as bad as it was when I was in school. The hard part is when you can't cut back anymore or you can't refinance because your DTI is too high. It's like you are stuck in such a hard place, you can't cut back any further but between kids and the economy it's hard to think it'll be any easier for some time. We also have to adjust to for the time of year as there's a busy season for both hubby and I where we get alot of hours & he get overtime. Life seems great til you get the heat bill and seems like all this "extra" is going out the door so you can pay this bill. *sigh* I just keep saying to myself the following.... "Life will get better when...we inherit a relitives estate, or when we pay off the van loan, or when we pay off this loan.... ect ect. Only problem is it seems so far away.
• United States
27 May 09
I know the feeling. Hubby gets so down about that sometimes. One year we had to give the power company our entire tax return so they didn't shut us off. Hubby was so mad! Right now we are already talking about having to sell a car in order to pay the current power bill. Not something we want to do, but we can't be shut off either. I do spend far too much time thinking about when it will all get better. For me it's when the younger kids are in school and I can get myself a part time job. I suppose I could try for one now, I might think about it in the fall, especially if my 3 year old goes to preschool this fall like I'm hoping he will. I know someone who might be willing to babysit for a few hours if I can line up a job.
• United States
27 May 09
I got my pt job in Sept. as a seasonal cashier and prayed that they'd like me enough to keep me on and they did. But working for a bit over minimum wage isn't the greatest but it helps especially in winter but right now my 5 hrs a week isn't getting me too far. That would be a shame to have to sell your other vehicle. Perhaps there's a way around it? I hate pondering when things will get better. If I talk to my MIL about such things she only says.... "we've been there too" And I think in my head sure you have... you've been just getting by because your husband DRANK his check away when her kids were growing up for over 20 yrs! They could of been fairly well off today if it wasn't for that. Life just plain costs too much. YOu know like they said the other year with groceries going up... "well it's the cost of gas...." ok gas fell but have the prices of groceries???? NOPE! It's really sad when the lousy grade of burger costs as much as a roast on sale does per lb! So if you've read a previous post a bit back we switched to ground turkey in the rolls we can find that for 1lb rolls for $1.19 @ Aldi or 10 for 10 on sale elsewhere and it's better for you too!
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
27 May 09
We have made quite a few changes. For example we purchase dried whole milk for the children as it is almost half the cost of fresh cow's milk. Things like that. We have cut down on their supermarket snacks and I make cookies or they get whatever fruit is in season. We have cut down on the amount of meat/chicken that is used to make a meal. Lots of stir fries etc. We have almost cut out sodas and drink more water and the children have juice but the juice is limited or diluted. We have lots of things growing in my small garden. Potatoes are doing well in tyres and I have banana and plantain trees. I grow pumpkin, callallo (like spinach) a bread fruit tree that should bear this year, green peppers, and I am now going to plant snow peas. I am reaping tomatoes. Not a lot of anything but trust me, it really does help with the grocery bills. In the house we have low energy bulbs and I am forever tirning off the water heater. It needs to be on only 3 hours a day for everyone to have two showers each. I also unplug tv plugs and any other plug eg microwave as I have finished using whatever appliance that I neede. Clothes are ALWAYS washed in cold water and I only wash with a full load. All clothes are hung outside unless it is raining. when they are brought in then they are put in the dryer for 10 minutes awith a fabric sheet to soften them. They are folded or hung up immediately so that we do not have to use the iron. Was it hard? Yes at first but seeing the electricity bill get smaller was a big motivation and it is very satisfying to grow the veggies etc. The savings I have made are going to pay fro my cruise end of August. I just keep putting extra money on my credit card and have nearly finished paying for the fare. I will have July and August to save some spending money. You have such fantastic sales and garage sales and yard sales - all kinds of sales. I would be buying all that my kids needed to go back to school in September. Look for almost new school bags in these sales and anything else that has been gently used. I would go to Goodwill shops in the best part of town and see what has been donated. I would take advantage of coupons that are avaialble etc - we do not have anything like that out here. I would get the older kids to clip coupons and help. It is difficult but with coooperation from your family you can do it.
• United States
27 May 09
The things you mentioned that I'm capable of doing, I already do. I buy store brand foods because they're cheaper. Usually store brands are even cheaper than a regular brand with a coupon, which is why I hardly bother with coupons. I only clip coupons for items I already plan on buying. I was making cookies a lot in the winter, but now the house is too hot to use the oven that much, so I've cut back on that. The kids drink a lot of water, and I buy them a powdered, sugar free drink mix which is very cheap so $1.50 lasts a whole week. My yard is too small for a garden or for hanging clothes, but I do wash in cold water, always have. I don't turn off my hot water heater only because with 5 people I have too many showers and dishes per day and I'll probably forget to turn it on in time for the water to heat up enough for me to use. Shopping at garage sales is something I probably don't do enough of, but I do look for clothes and shoes etc at thrift stores. My children don't own too many brand new items. I'll even give used clothes as birthday gifts (along with a toy of course!).
@cynthiann (18619)
• Jamaica
27 May 09
That's amazing. You have covered all bases. Congratulations!
@4ofmyown (1119)
• United States
27 May 09
My family is like yours, a little on the larger size and we like to go out to eat every once in a while. I know that it normally wouldn't be that big of a deal but as the kids are getting older they eat more and the $4 kids meals don't always cut it anymore. I look forward to our dinners out because it gives me a break every now and then, since I cook every night. I don't mind cooking but it is nice to have a break. That has to be our biggest area that we have had to cut back on and it has been really hard.
• United States
27 May 09
We try to find cheaper things to fill up my oldest. Like Olive Garden was once doing an all you can eat pasta bowl, and it was only $8, so he got that. IHOP did an all you can eat pancake thing, I think that was only $5. What's hurting us right now other than my oldest being too old for kid's meals is that my youngest is now too old to just eat off our plates. He still doesn't eat a full kid's meal, but he eats more than a couple tiny bites, so he's needing his own meal now. Plus we're pretty bad about getting appetizers and such. We don't normally get desserts though.
@TrvlArrngr (4057)
• United States
27 May 09
I have been trying to cut back for a few months now. The hard part is explaining to my children why we should not buy something now or why we need to eat a certain way or go to the 1.50 movie theatre. My utility bills are hard to change. My kids still leave the lights and air conditioning on all the time. I try to let them know to shut things off if they leave the room or leave the house.
• United States
27 May 09
Kids are like that. Mine are the same way. They use more toilet paper than they should, put a wet wash cloth on the toilet paper so the whole roll is ruined, forget to close the bread so the whole loaf goes stale, take 1 bite of something and throw the rest away even though another child may have eaten the rest for them, etc etc. It's really hard to change that, it's a kid thing. My oldest takes out the trash, and before we moved we had to use a $1.50 trash sticker on each bag or the garbage men wouldn't take it. It was hard to get him to make sure the bag was as full as possible before taking it out. Now garbage is part of our rent and we have a huge can we can overfill if need be, so I don't care how full or empty the bags are that he takes out.
@ersmommy1 (12600)
• United States
26 May 09
My hubby us the king of save it for a rainy day. So it really hasn't been that hard. His boss did cut back drastically on the overtime. Which took a big bite of the family income. So a few changes have been made. Not anything I can't live without. I only have a once in a while moment where I say, "Ouch"
• United States
26 May 09
We've pretty much always been down to the necessities, I'm a very frugal person. But when the bills are paid we tend to blow the rest of silly stuff, and that's hard to cut back on.
@gemini_rose (16194)
30 May 09
We have been hit pretty hard by the recession since round about february and have had to make a lot of adjustments. Luckily I had started cutting back before we were hit and then since we were hit I have adjusted even more. I have financially planned ahead to next year for if hubby is still out of a job but hopefully that will not be the case!!! When hubby does finally get a job I am going to keep things the way they are because then we will have loads of money to save!!
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
27 May 09
not really. my hubby has been let go from jobs in the past so we have been living frugally for years, even before it became cool to be frugal. hubby and i both are working right now, but who know what life will be like in a year?
@Bearballew (1149)
• United States
27 May 09
Great discussion and I'm sure it's on everyone's mind. We haven't been hit by the recession either. I know it's reality for many and I think it would only be wise for everyone to pinch... and give. Give to churches, charities... any place you can think of that is truly trying to help people. Those of us not hit can cut back and help others. It might make a huge difference in their lives and teach us with much about "enough". I'm glad you started this discussion! BearBallew
• United States
27 May 09
We've been hurting for quite a while now...We haven't been out to eat in who knows how long, don't do ANYTHING that we don't HAVE to do or go anywhere that we don't NEED to go. My step-sons can't understand why Mommy buys them new toys on almost a daily basis, and they're lucky to get a few on their birthdays/Christmas at our house. But DH got laid off and had to take a lower paying job, and child support doesn't go down just because income does...It's been really hard to cut back even more than we already were, but we're managing somehow...
@jugsjugs (13045)
27 May 09
We are cutting back on alot of things like cakes,the way i look at cutting the sweet things out is that you also lose those extra pounds and get healthier with cutting back.We also go around the house and turn the tvs off and lights now as the electric bill has gone high.We dont go out anymore as a family which is sad but i look at it this way a roof over our heads is more important.
@lelin1123 (15643)
• Puerto Rico
27 May 09
Not at all because I'm not a spender I'm a saver especially now that I don't have a job. I had to go thru this after 9/11 too so I know how to adapt and have no problem doing so. I'm not at all high maintenance and I really don't like shopping. So I can definitely deal with less more than others can.