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If you have questions about this change, you're in the right place. Our editors, experts, and community of change optimists have answers!


Question:Where do you start when you're making cuts in your spending?

What did you or what will you cut first? Cable? Going out to eat? Clothes? Food? All of the above?

Asked by wishuponastar on 11/4/08 5 Answers»


Believe it or not, one of my biggest expenses has been coffee. Even the $1.90 cafe Americanos add up to about $10 a week. Now that I have my own coffeemaker (and actually use it) I've noticed I've got a lot more spare change.

Answered by: alegria on 12/22/08


This year I have managed to save money by
1. Bringing my lunch to work obvious I know - saving at least $5 per day.
2. Stopped buying the paper everyday and started reading the paper online saving $1.10.
3. Had an cable broadband internet plan of 12gb per month costing $59 per month but was using no more than 6gb, so when another service provider offered mobile broadband internet at 6gb for $39 per month with the first month free I switched saving $20 per month.
4. Price of fuel has gone down so saving around $20 per week.
5. Interest rates on my loan gone down so I am keeping the repayments the same but in the long run will save even more.

WITH ALL this saving I am making $40 a month in retirement savings, and $40 per month in general savings.

Answered by: lonewolf on 12/14/08


the cable will probably be the next thing to go. it's not a necessity. i do need wireless internet and phone, so i'm going to do some research and see what's the best deal i can find.

it's going to be a lean holiday season, but i'm looking forward to seeing how taking money and presents out of the equation can make it all more meaningful.

Answered by: springshine on 12/12/08


Here is what I did. Purchase bread at the discount bread store and freeze for when you need it. Use the local church for help if your unemployed, practical and helpful. You can always donate when you get back on track. Let others help once a month. Purchase lots of soups and fresh vegatable at Aldi. Use 1/2 cup less detergent when doing washing with cold water. Saves soap and energy. Clothes are not usually very dirty from just regular wear. Dial down your thermostat to 65, wear extra layers and slippers and use a throw blanket for watching tv or reading. Only use one appliance at a time, reduces your energy use and if you use it early or late in the day, that reduces the kwh. Plan car trips so you don't go in different directions. UPS uses the right turn only routine to improve gas mileage. Sounds nuts, but it works. Use your computer for messaging, its cheap and fast. Cell phones are expensive, potentially life threatening and irritating to me. Use lysol wipes for cleaning up instead of using water. Microwave for reheating instead of the oven. yep, I have been unemployed for a long time due to back problems. These tips work. Good luck.

Answered by: JEANNETTE117 on 11/6/08


So far, I've ...
1- Cut my cable bill (HBO is going away once Bill Maher's show goes on hiatus, and we got rid of our 2nd box).
2- I picked a cheaper phone plan and upped my text message allotment since I realized I texted more frequently. That saved me about $30 a month.
3- I've started cutting back on our heat/energy use. I figure I can put on a few more layers and use our lights more sparingly if it will save me from having a $130 bill every month.

Answered by: AnnieChance on 11/5/08
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