Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Planning for the worst, hoping for the best

My company announced that layoffs would be coming in the next couple of months. Even though I don't know if my job will be impacted, we've put the brakes on spending. Things we previously considered "necessities" have been downgraded to "luxuries" and eliminated. It's been a good exercise even though I fear we're effectively screwing the economy. Sorry everyone.

Here are some of the cuts we've made recently.

Our pipes are old and our water is not fluoridated so the lovely folks at Cascade Springs had been bringing 5 gallon bottles of clean, fluoridated water to our doorstep. Clearly a necessity, right? Wrong. We've installed a faucet filter and are getting fluoride drops for free from the pharmacy.

We live in a wooded area and thus have problems with pests. Ants, yellow jackets, four-footed-furry-friends, the works. In order to ward off these unwanted visitors, the fine folks from Barrier Pest Control spray toxic chemicals all around our property once a quarter. Not exactly the healthiest choice but hey, neither is having mice scamper through your pantry. Since the hubby is doing most of the work (he is the Great White Hunter you know), he has decided to take over all extermination responsibilities. Beware critters.

Gone are the housekeepers. (This has been the hardest cutback by far!) Buh bye magazine subscriptions. So long Netflix.

It really hasn't been that hard to cut out these little extras. In fact, I'm wondering why we needed them in the first place. And since those were so easy, I've got a few other ideas rattling around in my brain. I'm considering eliminating our land line (except we bundle this service so I'm not sure if that would save any money in the long run). I'm going to talk to my hair stylist to see if we could do color every other appointment.

Although this has been a good exercise, my hope is that my job is secure and we don't need to make anymore cuts. Frankly, that next layer of expenses wouldn't be as easy to cut and would impact our standard of living. Bottom line, it would hurt a little...but not a lot.

How about you? Has this economy caused you to make changes? Any advice for saving money?


Anonymous March 18, 2009 at 12:44 PM  

I have taken to pre-planning all my meals for the week on the weekend before. I have noticed my weekly shopping bill go down a little bit, and the added perk of knowing exactly what I need at the store, thus spending less time there wandering around. I have also seen a huge reduction in food I have to throw out, which equals less money wasted! Michelle

Mindy March 19, 2009 at 7:59 AM  

We are also menu planners and try to make sure each dinner provides lunch for the next day and no other waste. We've also talked about adjusting the puppy's insurance to get rid of the wellness plan and dropping full coverage on our cars. We're going over our budget again over Spring Break to see what else we can do.

The Tucson Gang March 19, 2009 at 11:28 AM  

We have been looking at the same things. When considering what type of home or none at all on our property - we were weighing much of our decisions on just how much we wanted cut-back, scrimp and save. We were considering many of the same things you have mentioned as well as the land line - it is rarely used, although they do say that with kids you should have one - in case there is a babysitter or they need to use the phone in an emergency. Maybe that's the phone company propoganda though!?!? I'm trying to preplan meals and occassionally cut and USE coupons(previously looked at and cut out a few coupons - but never remembered to use them). Not as much as we could, but every little bit helps. Trying to buy less at the store each visit - since much goes to waste and/or gets thrown out. AND, drum roll please...I'm avoiding TARGET...gasp..because everytime I go in there I spend at least $100! Now, I have increased my spending at the Nike Factory Store - thinking of you sissy! ;-) So, probably avoiding the mall at all would be helpful! Can't wait to see the other suggestions!

Matt Mikalatos March 19, 2009 at 8:27 PM  

I've stopped putting gold leaf on the fancy chocolates I make for the children.

Just kidding.

Ladd April 1, 2009 at 12:42 PM  

Laid off in February, and it turns out it was the best thing that's ever happened to me! lol

You're right though, we found that the things we've cut back on aren't missed now and weren't really necessary in the first place.

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