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April 20, 2010

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All great points!

When I was in college, I found one of my biggest money drains was going out for a drink, or 2... with college buddies. After a few drinks, I noticed a few times when I would hand the bartender a $20, but he/she would make change for a $10...

So, on top of the drinks being expensive, if you had more than a few drinks, you were apt to be ripped off with a few of the less scrupulous bartenders!

Potential loss...: $25 to $50 (and this was at least 10 years ago)!!!

Today, I'm sure the potential money loss is even greater!

I concur, especially about the vacations.

One of my friends is having $ problems due to divorce, her ex not working and therefore she has no child support, she is having trouble working herself due to health issues (and her job is one of those where if you don't work you don't get paid), and she moved in with her BF but she hasn't been able to sell her old house for over a year and still has to pay a mortgage on it. Every time I see her she is complaining about how poor she is! Yet she went to Disneyworld last summer together with her BF and 3 kids! Her reasoning was that "they all deserved it" after such a rough year. So weird--why not just take the kids to local attractions every day for two weeks and save 90%? I don't get it....

You can cut from your grocery budget pretty quickly by changing the kinds of things you buy, and eliminating some things entirely. Cut out meats, pop, coffee, most processed food, and out-of-season fruits and vegetables. Go heavy on pasta, rice, and peanut butter. Get toiletries at the dollar store. Cut out paper goods except for toilet paper.

What you say is totally true. Staying out of debt is the next step. (Jackie great thoughts)
Strategic grocery shopping (will this build my health or bring it down?)
Do I need these lights, this radio, this TV running all the time?
Can I put in long underwear?? (we did this winter)
And we DID start a hobby with the intent of slowly building it up in '79. When hubby lost his job a year and a half ago, we were in the position to punch it up big time.
We started it because we didn't want our kids to think money "just happened". We put them on time cards. They have been thanking us ever since.

I'd suggest no more soda, cigarettes, or alcohol...pretty much any daily "habit" is a money drain.

I wrote a post on what we'd cut if we lost a job. We'd cut:

-Gas $40
-Mortgage Overpayment $160
-Massage Envy Membership $49
-Vacation Account $250
-Eating out $100
-Entertainment Expenses $50 – We don’t go to the movies or participate in many paid activities, so that’s as much as we could cut. We’d still hang with friends, have potlucks, and board game though.
-“Fun” Money Allowance $150
-Groceries $100

That’s all we could cut and still be happy. That adds up to $995.50 and includes cutting back on our extra mortgage principal payments.

If we were about to starve, I’d stop contributing up to matching in my 401k and stop maxing out our Roth IRA to save that $575 a month.

Sorry, the above total comes to $899...$995.50 would mean cutting our biweekly maid service and newspaper subscription as well.

I have to admit I have heard these things over and over and am always convinced I don't throw my money away with them.

But I do. Maybe not more than the "average" person but definitely more than I should.

Thanks for the kick in the right direction again.

I'm pretty good about most of these things. I do take a cruise every couple of years though. I can afford to do it and I still go on the cheap side. I get the inside room and I avoid the extra frills. MC's comment reminded me of an article I read a while back. It was called the TWO WEEK MILLIONAIRE. It was about how many of us do so good money-wise throughout the year and then when we go on vacation, we spend more...because, I guess we rationalize that ...we deserve it...or..."what the heck, we're on vacation", sort of thinking. I could see myself in some of what they talked about. I'll spend more for a shirt while I'm on vacation then I would if I was just shopping at home.

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