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RedDeerGuy1's avatar

What do you cut from ones budget, when times are lean?

Asked by RedDeerGuy1 (24047points) June 7th, 2023

What areas do you maintain funding at all cost?

I was taught not to cut food.
Also to cut eating out.

What are your priorities?

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18 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Movies. Restaurants. Vacations.

chyna's avatar

Eating out, shopping for clothes.
Probably all of us have enough clothes to last us a lifetime if our weight doesn’t shift. They may be out of style, but they are still wearable.

Blackwater_Park's avatar

There is not much to cut out of our budget that really makes much difference. We can drop streaming services, stop eating out. When times are lean I usually side hustle something or sell a few things we don’t need anymore.

ragingloli's avatar

Military spending, corporate subsidies, politician’s salaries.

LadyMarissa's avatar

I don’t cut food; however, I do cut specific foods that mess with the budget…steaks or roasts become NO longer a necessity!!! They are one of those things that IF I find a good sale, I’ll buy; but at regular price, NO thank you!!! Restaurants tend to be one of the first things to go also. I repair my car in place of replacing it. I drive a LOT less being more careful to plot a shortened route. I STOP running out to pick up things on a whim opting to go to 4 or 5 places that lead straight back home. At the current prices, I can save a fortune on gas. If need be, I’d repair my computer over replacing it. Don’t replace your cell as often as you think you should. Yes, the latest & greatest is nice, but you’d be surprised how long you can push one of those things to go.

We’re ALL used to spoiling ourselves & when need be there are MANY places we can cut back even when we don’t want to!!!

Caravanfan's avatar

Streaming services.

jca2's avatar

I eat in restaurants less, eat less takeout food. That’s a luxury. I will say to myself “eat at home.” I buy less clothes. I have so many clothes and am trying to get rid of clothes. If I see something in a store that I like, I say to myself “do you really need it? Can you afford it?”

flutherother's avatar

Number 1 priority is the flat, followed by electricity and heating and food.
Eating out, holidays, and clothes I can do without.

cookieman's avatar

This is the order we start to remove things…

Travel/vacations first.
Eating out second.
Buying clothes and accessories.
Food shopping at Wegman’s and Trader Joe’s.
Food shopping at Market Basket and Walgreens.
Shopping now only at Dollar Tree.
Car maintenance ends.
Paying bills on time.
Sell house, move in with mother in law.

Only once have we made it through almost the whole list, stopping short of selling the house and moving in with the MIL – but it was close.

Currently, with the kid in college, we are not traveling — but I’m working four jobs.

smudges's avatar

Eating out, which I only do a couple times a month anyway, but I’ll order pizza 2–3 times/month.
Hobby purchases that aren’t necessary.
Skin products/make up/soaps/lotions/potions.
Some food items.
I only pay for 1 streaming service (HBO/Showtime), so that’s not going anywhere. I get Paramount and Netflix free.

KNOWITALL's avatar

We cut back streaming (I miss Netflix!!) And I bargain shop for groceries, like sales.

I reduced my 401k contribution since the company isnt matching right now.
We haven’t had any entertainment lately like concerts, movies out or events.
Clothes or anything not necessary are off the table, too.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I noticed that no one said Lotto tickets.

Thanks all.

filmfann's avatar

Expensive food (we love crab)

SnipSnip's avatar

Entertainment and services go first.

jca2's avatar

I live in an area where every woman has a mani-pedi. If times were lean for me, that would be one of the first things to go. Thankfully, I’m not into manicures or pedicures so I don’t have to worry about cutting it from the budget.

seawulf575's avatar

Gotta have food/water, warmth, and shelter. Beyond that, all things are options. Cut out vacations, dining out, entertainment. Additionally, even though you need food, what food or how much of it you eat is a variable. Instead of buying steak you might start buying ground beef or you cut out a bunch of junk food snacks. Learn to drink water instead of energy drinks or alcohol.

Smashley's avatar

Never really had an issue. My tastes are cheap, and I long ago whittled my lifestyle down to mostly the essentials. I go out to eat once or twice a year because it is wasteful compared to the pleasure I get out of it. I take a plane trip once every two years and a big trip once a decade because I prefer camping locally, or staying with friends when I want to get out. I don’t have cable because I put up a rooftop antenna: I get more pleasure in getting free live sports, Saturday cartoons and nightly news than I do in the endless firehose of entertainment at 700+ dollars a year.

In general, I reject the notion that quality of life is measured in experiences. I’m all about building, and my expenses beyond maintenance are usually investments of one sort or another. So in that sense, if I am feeling a little strapped one month or another, I might not get a replace a rain jacket or boots, and push the old ones another month, but I never feel like I have to cut things out to make ends meet.

I’m not sure if I spend more on food than others, but it is an area in which I will not compromise. But I buy in major bulk, and all vegetables and meats come directly from farmers, or my back yard, so I cut out the middle men. The price is basically incidental to me.

LadyMarissa's avatar

@RedDeerGuy1 I forgot about the lottery tickets!!! We have 2 drawings a week so I used to buy 2 a week. I cut that back to 1 a week & I just realized that it’s been more than a month since I bought my last one.

Actually, I don’t consider that $3 a waste of money because it gives me sooo freakin much pleasure with my dreams of what I’m going to do when I win!!! It’s more pleasure than spending $5 to stream a movie so it’s actually a $2 savings!!! ;-}

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