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Question: If you lost your job today, what three things would you cut out of your life to help save money?

By Erik Folgate

I’ve been trying to spur some reader participation lately, but have not had much luck!  I enjoy reading comments from you all out there!  Anyway, I heard this question posed on the radio today, and I thought it would be an interesting one to think about.  Here are my three: 

  1. Eating out (even the little $6 meals that you don’t think about as much).
  2. Home improvements (I’ve spent way too much money at Lowe’s and Home Depot lately).
  3. iTunes downloads  (have not done it lately, but when I do, it’s not pretty!) 

So what three things would you cut out?  One of the most common ones is Starbucks.  I just don’t see why people spend 30 – 40 dollars a week on coffee!  Unbelievable.  You know, Mcdonald’s and Dunkin Donuts have great coffee for a third of the price, and it is a lot less fattening than the double mocha whip cream frappachino. 

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • Jennifer

    Commute expenses, obviously. Switch to low milage car insurance, lower gas usage, nix the fast food and coffee because you get home too late and leave too early, nix satellite radio, nix the extra cell phones, the extra day care, the extra car maintenance . . . Also, I’d sell any unnecessary vehicles, especially if I was still paying for them or if they are gas guzzlers or hard to insure.

    The other thing that will have to go is unnecessary pride. Too many people are above mowing lawns, cleaning out neighbor’s garages, ebaying thrift store finds and taking in baby-sitting when they REALLY need money. But the thing is, there are people out there who can fund their IRA on the money they make from these little tasks. They shouldn’t be underestimated.

    The last thing that will have to go is the consumerist mentality. If you are REALLY strapped for cash, you must convince yourself that you have enough clothes, enough shoes, enough entertainment, enough red meat in your freezer, enough of everything. You must convince yourself that you are completely happy and completely satiated just as you are and that the only thing that you really really need is the fulfillment that comes from having a job that you really really love.

  • Upward

    I asked myself this question lsat year and came up with: EATING OUT, BOOKS, and HANDBAGS. Today, my list would be: CAR, MINI-VACAYS, and EATING OUT (reform takes time, right? =)

    I don’t remember how I came across your site, but great reading!

  • http://msminiducky.blogspot.com msminiducky

    But the whipped cream is so good! =) Just kidding. I actually don’t even drink coffee. I *sniff* stop buying comic books first, along with regular books. Then I stop shopping entirely other than groceries. It’s usually not difficult to avoid eating out when I’m working, actually, but I don’t know if it would be easier to avoid if I was at home all day applying for a new job.

  • http://www.hberry.net Mike

    If I lost my job today, I would still fortunetly have my second job, but I would still be cutting a lot out of my budget to stay afloat. First of all, no eating out, at all, period. At most I would go to a cheaper place like chilis or the 99 once a month. Second, no going out once a week to the bar with my friend and getting drinks. We usually go play darts, which is free, and have a few drinks, now perhaps darts and water all for free. Thirdly, cancel cable, I don’t watch it enough now for it to be worth it, so I may as well cancel it and save 40 bucks a month.

  • http://madsaver.com Mac

    Yep, eating out is a big one. No more of that. And cut out all entertainment expenses, but of course still enjoy the free events available…and there are plenty around. Lastly, well, that’s a tough one. We’re already quite frugal. Guess I’d have to go with home improvements as well. It’s easy to rack up quite a bill at Menards & Home Depot as I’m always trying to improve this place.

  • bryan

    Hm, I don’t have a job, but I think I would continue eating out for every meal because I’m in Thailand and its cheaper. But I bought some really quality chocolate today that costs more than my 4 meals out, I probably wouldn’t have bought that if I was running out of money. Like I said though I don’t have a job, just been bumming around asia for a long time.

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