Friday, November 7, 2008

How are you cutting back on spending?

The economy is in the toilet. Retirees are running scared. You have worked all your life to get to a comfortable life style level and it is now gone. Banks are failing. Homes are being lost. Sounds like a report on the 1930s. But it is now.

So, what are you doing to cut spending? Christmas is coming and we all go a little nuts then. We all need ideas. No matter how much or how little you have, your life style has been effected. Well maybe really rich people haven't noticed the problem. Although P. Diddy gave up his private plane.

I have listed some of the things we are doing to cut back. I have gone back to ironing shirts and blouses instead of taking them to the cleaners. We don't eat out as much as we did before. (hate that one) Car trips are planned. After I come back from the marrying couples in downtown Oakland, I go to the grocery and the library on the way home. I shop more at Ross and much, much less at my favorite Boutique. I am looking at the 2 for one items at the grocery. And I think much harder before buying anything. No impulse shopping allowed.

We are putting on our North Face shirts and keeping the temperature low in the house. We would turn out more lights, but we use fluorescent bulbs. If you are coming back within 2o minutes it is cheaper to leave them on. We watch more TV and go to fewer movies. I use the Senior Citizen discount everywhere I can. I now shop at Ross only on Tuesdays, senior discount day. I am giving more time and unfortunately less money to non profit organizations. We cut back on the number of plays we will see, We only bought tickets for two instead of the usual four seats. We are not renewing subscriptions to some newspaper and magazines. We can read them on line. None of these is a huge item, but they will add up. The huge money leak is Christmas.

Christmas we have several guest from out of state coming. In the past there has been an orgy of gifts. Not this year. We told them to be creative to find items that are inexpensive. We all want to unwrap lots of goodies, so this has been a challenge. To help we have a 9 page survey we all filled out. Some of my guests have never met, and I haven't met one of them.

This survey helped us get to know each other and see what we wanted for Christmas. We listed colors in our home; needs for our cars; favorite movies/TV shows; hobbies; vegan, vegetarian, or meat eaters, and one of us is all of these. There were lots of silly answers and that too told us who people are.

I took my seven surveys and I spent a good part of yesterday organizing the list, and deciding what to look for. Then I went shopping online. is my best friend. I paid only $1.00 shipping and had six items shipped. I found things on the lists, they are not tacky, and I saved money. I did not have to burn gas and I could do my laundry at the same time. I have more to buy and will do most of it online also.

So what are you doing to spend less? Leave a comment and share your ideas.

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