General Question

LuvBubble's avatar

How much have your spending habits changed in recent times?

Asked by LuvBubble (140points) April 2nd, 2009

Im just curious to see how people are curving their budget. I know that I am not dining out as much as I used to. I have also cut out my online gaming and other things. How about you?

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32 Answers

wp1211's avatar

My husbands pay was cut by about 25% recently, and we have been saving double what we were before, and eating out MUCH less. Thankfully we are still way above water, hopefully it will stay that way!

dynamicduo's avatar

My spending habits have not changed substantially as I life a frugal life.

If anything, I’ve been spending a bit more money recently because I got back a large amount for filing my taxes.

JellyB's avatar

I haven’t changed anything. Maybe ‘cause we haven’t been affected in SA.

essieness's avatar

Extras are pretty much non-existent for me anymore. No pedicures, no new clothes (except for that pack of wife beaters I bought recently), no eating out… My luxuries anymore are books and mary jane.

LuvBubble's avatar

I hear ya. Its not easy going from substantial to frugal. I am definitely struggling at trying to change my ways.

Aethelwine's avatar

We can’t afford to take the children out to eat or see a movie anymore. We will be getting rid of HBO soon. We buy most of our clothes at Goodwill now. Instead of celebrating our wedding anniversay by going out to eat this weekend, we will be ordering Chinese takeout. I could keep going but I’m starting to get depressed now.

essieness's avatar

@jonsblond It’s kinda depressing, but I think that this is an awesome time for our country in a way. Families don’t have as much money to go out and do things, so they’re spending more time together. I know I’ve enjoyed that aspect!

Aethelwine's avatar

@essieness I am looking forward to some nice weather. We will be able to spend more time at the park then.

jrpowell's avatar

I live in my sisters basement and trade room and board for cleaning the house everyday. I saved up a bunch of cash while I was working. Now I just live off savings and go to school. I’m the cheapest mofo you will ever meet. I pull out 400$ every month from accounts I have and live off that. I get my next payment tomorrow and I still have 150$ in the bank. I’m not sure how I did that.

avalmez's avatar

@JellyB although it’s true Texas has generally been spared the effects of the current economic downturn, that is expected to change so plan accordingly.

@essieness i am always amazed how some people are able find the silver lining, but it’s a stretch to refer to the current economic mess as an awesome opportunity for our country, though i do get what you mean.

personally, i haven’t changed my spending ways significantly but i feel guilty about that when i think about it – seems irresponsible for those of us that aren’t frugal to begin with not to find ways to cutback on expenses. although, now that i think about it, we have changed our vacationing habits last 2 years but that’s mostly due to a desire to spend money in the good ole’ usa. now i have to stop else i’ll convince myself i’ve cutback enough.

JellyB's avatar

@avalmez Oh, hold on…I mean SA as in South Africa! :D

avalmez's avatar

@jellyb just showed my us-centric perspective, no? sorry about that! but in that case…

…nah, i’ll stop at that :)

essieness's avatar

@avalmez I can’t help it. I’m eternally optimistic. I’m broker than broke, but I would go crazy if I didn’t look for the silver lining. Our country and society has become entirely too materialistic in my opinion, and I’m enjoying a break from that :)

JellyB's avatar

@avalmez LOL! No worries! :D

avalmez's avatar

@essieness i should have added i envy your ability to see the bright side. many things about life here may have changed permanently (e.g., standard of living), and it’s going to take something of your kind of perspective for the rest of us to transition. thanks for your responses!

casheroo's avatar

When we had our son, money wasn’t a huge concern..I could go out and drop hundreds on baby clothes. It’s not like that anymore because my husbands career is so unstable.
We rarely eat out, no extras…but we do still rent movies. We only have the basic channels with Comcast, but it’s still hundreds of channels (just no hbo, starz…etc) We are very good at making our food last, which cut down on our spending immensely.
We’re very lucky and my parents like to buy us things. My mother just got me quite a bit of clothing today…because she can, and wants to.
I also make a lot of my home cleaners, and face wash. Its a little bit of money up front, for the ingrediants, but I haven’t had to buy anything for a while.

Dog's avatar

I cut up my credit cards a while ago when our income dropped by 50% when my spouses place of employment filed bankruptcy last year. My thought was that it would be too tempting to live off credit rather than learn new spending habits to live within our newly lowered lifestyle.

So I have learned to stretch every dollar and have cut in every way imaginable but really I am good with it. To me I am marveling at how much money I used to just blow when it was coming in regularly. When things get better- and things will get better – I will be able to save and have a much better perspective of what we need vs what we want.

But man, oh man, I would kill for some sushi right now!

casheroo's avatar

@Dog we have a great sushi restaurant that does half-price sushi. we take full advantage lol

avalmez's avatar

@dog perhaps you should post a q asking folks to provide examples of both simple and not-so-easy ways they found to cutback. i could use some help there!

Dog's avatar

@casheroo you are a cruel, cruel woman :)

VzzBzz's avatar

My entire lifestyle has changed since 2007. Gone are scheduled manicures, pedicures, hair trimmings, new clothes, weekly dinner and movie jaunts, live music shows, new car payment, house parties, monthly flights out of town to see friends, money sent to relatives, home decor/remodeling, etc. All is at a halt aside from basics until I build a reserve again.

miasmom's avatar

Our income went to one after our daughter was born a year and a half ago, things were tight then, but now it is getting better, we’ve stopped eating out, we use coupons for groceries, etc. And I’ve started taking cash to the grocery store because it is harder to spend frivolously and it helps us stay in our budget. We also only have basic cable and my hubby started car pooling. We should have been doing this all along though, we could have saved a lot of money.

jo_with_no_space's avatar

They’ve changed very little, other than that I’ve had to naturally limit my spending as I recently quit my job. But that’s irrelevant to the financial situation.

Likeradar's avatar

They’ve changed a little, but only because I keep hearing about how bad the economy is. My job is stable, and I only have me to support. All the talk about the economy being in the crapper makes me spend less on clothes, beauty stuff, and little extras, which is good for my wallet but not the economy.

YARNLADY's avatar

I was raised in a very frugal household, and have never changed. I was taught to re-use, make do, and do without. I have always purchased my clothing at charity thrift stores, or make my own, and never have used cosmetics. I cut my own hair, and find all the best bargains at the grocery.

Snoopy's avatar

We have always been really frugal, so no significant changes. I constantly look for ways to save more money…looking at money saving blogs, etc. for tips. I am happy to say that much of what are new concepts for many, we have been doing for some time…always open to new ideas though :)
I saw a link (maybe from Miasmom, above ^^^^—I can’t remember for sure….) for a new (to me) website just last week that I have found useful:

asmonet's avatar

I did the math for this question, for the last three months I have lived on a dollar a day or less on average.

So, yeah. Bit of a change.

miasmom's avatar

@asmonet What have you been doing?

asmonet's avatar

I was fired, my mother was diagnosed with cancer in August and I’ve been unable to find a job. So I got food stamps, eat small meals, and my only cash which generally comes from the sofa, or a generous friend lending me some goes to toiletries and necessities.

I don’t even want to look at my credit card fees. I haven’t even thought about paying them in four months.

I wouldn’t recommend my system.

essieness's avatar

@asmonet I’m basically in the same situation, but I was lucky enough to get a job waiting tables until the job market gets better or I finish my degree. Before I moved in with my mom, I was making decisions like, “Do I eat today or put gas in my car?” I was taking my medicine every other day because I couldn’t afford to refill it. I got really sick because of that. I still struggle and still get bills in the mail that I can’t pay. It’s scary, it sucks… but it will get better :)

asmonet's avatar

@essieness: Yep, I’ve had the gas/food dilemma. Thanks.

Strauss's avatar

Dining out less, driving the same cars for a little longer, staying home for vacation, drinking less beer, etc.

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