MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

November 3, 2009

Cutting To The Bone (or Where Oh Where To Save Some Money??)

Cut back.
Due more with less.
And my favorite: We all have to make sacrifices. (Gag me!)

These are just some of the currently trendy terms our politicians (and liberals) love to spout about how you and I as citizens need to get by with less money while they tax and spend like drunken sailors. Sickening isn't it?

But this article isn't necessarily about the politics. It's a realistic (because that's what I always am) view of what exactly can be cut back and "sacrificed" on to save money in your life.

I can only speak from my own life so the observations made here may not completely apply to you.
For a long time (long before President Obama and VP Biden made "sacrifice" a patriotic act) I have been looking at what me and my family could cut back on to put some more cash$$ into our pockets each month.

And this is what I have come up with: Not much!

Traditionally I have always been of the belief that no matter how close to the bone your financial life is there is always something you can reduce to save a few bucks. But lately I am at a loss for ideas. Or rather, the ideas I do have result in mere pennies of savings by comparison to the greater dollars of the cost of living.

There are few things we could do.

We could drop our Netflix account (about $5/month).We could drop our XM radio (about $10/month).We could drop our Tivo service (about $12/month). (*)

(* This option would then require me to replace our Tivo device with a cable converter box and our cable service company would charge me about the same $12/month for the box. So the savings from Tivo and the cost of a replacement box pretty much net out to nothing saved.)

And that's about it!

So even if I did cancel these things (even the Tivo, not including the replacement cable box), at best I am saving about $30/month. Big deal. That isn't going to help pay my mortgage or put my kids through college. It's not such terrific savings that is going to have an impact on my life.

We don't have premium cable channels like HBO.
We don't go out to dinner on any sort of regular basis (and even when we do it's dinner at the corner diner or maybe Applebees half-price appetizers, not a Peter Luger steak house).
We rarely go to the movies and even then we get tickets half price or free as part of our cable service.We don't have season tickets to a sports team, opera, theater, etc.
We don't have a swimming pool (gave that up years ago already, but it was nice when we did! Wouldn't mind having one again some day.)

On the positive side:

We already switched about 80% of our light bulbs to CF's for the energy cost savings (long before it was so popular now).
We added a second layer of insulation to the attic.
Anytime we have replaced an appliance, a window or door it has been with an Energy Star efficient model.
In the summer the central A/C is set at 75; In the winter the heat is set at 67 (which is still damn cold!).

So where to cut back?

Lights? (like that Domino's commercial)
Food? (kinda already am; couldn't tell you the last time we had brand name orange juice in the house!)

So where to cut?

Funny how government tells us the people to cut back yet they buy themselves new jets, take trips to Europe, and always seem to be wearing new sharp clothes. Let me see your budget. I'm sure I can make some cost cutting suggestions.

As for me and mine, if anyone has any significant cost saving ideas please let me know.

(note: Moving to a cheaper living area, while I would love to, simply isn't practical at this time so don't suggest that.)

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