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Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

Posted by Kathy_ (My Page) on
Tue, Oct 14, 03 at 19:15

I gave up my computer when it died and now go to Mom's house (a mile away) and the library (thank YOU Mr. Gates!!). She gets her newspaper delivered 2 hours earlier then we do and said I could have it when she is finished. Hmmm. I was thinking of paying half so we both would save. Caller ID is another thing we probably could live without but I love knowing who is there. Anybody else facing tough decisions like this?? You want to scrimp but when it comes to doing it your heart goes "eerrkkk"! Kathy_PA whose hubby's job is on the line and works in a state where tight budget cuts are coming in January


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

I've never had Caller ID Kathy - yeah, I'm sure it's handy, but honestly, it's just as easy to screen calls through the answering machine for me. I read the paper online, so no big sacrifice there at all either.

I don't have cable/satellite TV, or a cell phone, and honestly, I don't miss them, because I'm so used to *not* having them. I choose not to have them so that I can have other little luxuries (money for craft stuff, my gym membership, etc) - it's all a matter of priorities, and what's most important to you. If cable TV were important to me (and there's nothing wrong with that), then I'd cut back on something else to afford it.

Don't let "guilt" be part of your decision though - if something like Caller ID is important to you, figure out what else you can cut back on to keep it. Odds are, if you aren't willing to scale back in some other area of the budget to keep it, it's not important enough to keep. :-)


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RE: Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

YES. I am currently debating about cable, which I finally put in on 9/10/01, and living so close to NYC, on 9/11, all other TV was out. So I felt connected and a little bit informed as the F16's shook the house. I can't get CNN with just basic cable, and I watch all the decorating shows, which has eliminated buying the magazines the library didn't carry, like Do It Yourself, Paint, etc. Still, it adds up fast, and I did without it for 45 years. I would have to keep basic as the reason I put it in was very poor reception, despite all kinds of rabbit ears, big antenna, etc. I don't spend very much per month otherwise on entertainment, maybe $30.00, some months $10.00, as my big idea of fun these days is reading a good book from the library, working in my garden, or on my house, or on a curbside find. This will be tough. I feel like I should, but I have grown to love it, and I do feel like I get my moneys worth out of it most months....ARGH!


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RE: Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

Dh and I made a few changes last year when I quit my job to become a SAHM. I honestly don't miss a lot of things like eating out or buying things at the spur of the moment. I guess our life changed so quick especially with a big move that I've found new and cheaper ways to entertain myself. Plus, our kids are small so we've had to focus more on them than ourselves anyway. For me, it's easy not to feel poor because I'm able to look at what I've gained.


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RE: Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

Yeah, some things are easier to cut than others. Right now I'm taking a long look at my Internet expenses. I have a separate phone line for the computer, which is beginning to look like too much of a luxury. I don't have cable TV (the only set I use is the 9" model in my kitchen), and I really enjoy using the computer and leaving it connected all day (no extra charge) even when I'm not sitting in front of it.

The telephone line costs me about $25 a month, and Internet access costs an additional $20. I'd be happy to give up my cell phone instead, if it weren't for the safety factor. (I do a lot of driving alone.)

Susan


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RE: Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

When my DH got laid off shortly after 9/11, I wondered what we could do to cut costs--we don't have cable, don't have any phone extras, bring lunch from home, etc.

I do need to look into a slightly cheaper phoen set-up, but there's not much else we can actually trim. Well, he could buy cheaper foods perhaps (we got into an argument about generic Rice Krispies), but not much else.

And I refuse to read the paper online--it takes too darn long, and I can't do it on the train in to work.


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RE: Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

I agree it's tough to give something up. Recently having lost a job and now temping....giving up fabric shopping is hard for me but necessary. Sound frivilous, I know but it WAS a luxury that I can't afford. The up side is...not going shopping for the sake of looking around is saving me lots of money because I am not tempted. I am also USING my fabric stash and making those quilts etc.
Eating out less, cooking huge meals on weekends to freeze into dinner portions for later in the week is great. It's like have a restaurant at home at a fraction of the cost. Nothing nicer than having a few meals on the stove Sunday afternoons while outside cleaning the yard. Nothing better than just having to microwave or quicky heat things when I get home from my temp jobs to have a hearty meal ready.

The other thing I give up freely - TIME. I try to do something for someone on a regular basis. The payback is tremendous....something money could never buy...personal satisfaction and free smiles.

Hang in there everyone!
McPeg


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RE: Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

Thanks all for their words of wisdom. I think the newspaper is getting my money tomorrow. At least for another 3 months. I had visions of no newspaper and no computer and snow falling all around...can you picture a caged bear?? Also there would be the getting to Mom's and what if she was not finished with the paper. So I'll cave - this time. Talked to my nephew today and his satellite dish is $45 per month - now that I will live without! Kathy_PA


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RE: Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

I've not yet been faced with the cost cutting realities you've just shared.

We don't have "call waiting"; I DO mind, and hang up immediately when someone asks... sorry! "last called, first served"?! I DON'T THINK SO. I use the answering machine or simply say, "No thank you, I never accept telephone solicitations, please remove this number from your call list" IT WORKS.

We're thinking seriously about dumping cable, but haven't done it... not really sure why, to be quite frank.

I would sooner pay for internet access than cable TV; but then I don't care a fig about the Red Sox or other major league sports teams, LOL!

We have no dishwasher, no dryer, no microwave, no cell 'phones, no financed cars, no credit card debt... so cable TV is not a "must cut" right now...


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RE: Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

Chelone - why no microwave? Just curious.... it saves money when heating stuff.
I don't have a dishwasher either or central air which is a big user of electricity.
I understand about the cable - I would probably have it if I could get it here in plain folk land. My neighbors have no tv's so it's not much chance the wires will ever come here. Hubby would love to get the sports but I think he watches too much football on the "standard" stations we get with the antennae.
Our money this year went to our "future" vacation retirement home and property. We bought the property last year and this year paid cash for the newer vinyl sided mobile home, setup and new septic system. So we are in the process of trying to get the savings account built up again plus keeping in mind hubby's job is always on the line (has been for over 10 years).


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RE: Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

My DH's job is also on the line, so we are facing these questions. It's very hard! This is when you find out what your priorities are, and it really varies depending on the person. It's sort of like "I'll give up this so I can keep having that." I, too, would rather have internet than cable, but DH loves some speed vision channel so he won't give it up. I very rarely watch TV. We've pretty much stopped going out to eat and I am very good about making a shopping list and going to the warehouse rather than our local grocery store. But I still go to Starbucks and I know how much $$ it is. It's my little treat to myself that I know should end....(sigh). We gave up the gym, gave up caller ID, gave up the weekly paper, I cut DH's and DS's hair. Yet there are areas I still haven't cut back on yet.


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RE: Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

Hi all,

It's pleasant to have pensions and not worry about lay offs.

One of the pensions, non-contributory, could disappear some day in future, but not currently a worry.

Prior to a recent trip through the U.S., when purchasing travel medical insurance, lady seeing my "No" answer to about a dozen questions re current medical problems, said that few people over 70 who come in there can answer everything, "No". Four day (minimum) coverage $28. On return, 3 day at $8.00 cost $24.00, with no questions about current medical status.

I find that the newspapaer articles online give only a thumbnail sketch of the full article, want me to pay if I want to see it all.

I have no cable, no AC.

No call waiting, call display or call forwarding; but double phone line (one supposedly business that's pretty well wound down now). If I buy high-speed internet service, I could cut one phone line, but I pay $9.95 monthly now and high-speed phone would be nearly $40. I can get med speed for about $30., and talk on phone while on internet.

I think that you can look forward to some inflation in the U.S., for they're printing money like it's going out of style.

And huge individual and gov't debt.

Cutting back on costs now could enable one to retire earlier.

One dollar invested at age 15 at 5% rate of return grows to $11. and change at age 65; at 10% growth it becomes $117.+ and at 15% growth rate that single dollar grows to $1,070., more or less.

But there are two rats that eat our cheese: income tax people want part of each year's income. And inflation eats part of each year's asset.

The rats eat first - we get to keep what's left.

Have a great week, all.

ole joyful


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RE: Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

Sigh. This post connects with a lot of things in my life right now. I'll try to keep it short. ;-) Being a single mom & full-time student with increasing funding cuts, I've had to reevaluate what we could do without about every 3-4 months (at the time when my funds are cut, yet again). Although I easily qualify for food stamps income wise, I don' twork. I have to work a min. 20 hours per week to qualify. They consider school an "option". ?!?

Some of the things that have helped: I was very lucky to be able to move into an apartment that is well over $100 cheaper a month & much nicer that my last rat hole - uh - apartment. Plus, I have a garage, storage area, a much quieter & nicer neighborhood for my son, and I got to keep my cats! Being content with what I have, and finding creative ways to reuse what I have instead of buying something different just because what I have doesn't "work" any more. Plus the usual: comparison shopping (been doing that one for longer than I care to remember), buying in bulk when things are on sale & I can afford it (got my uncles old freezer now, yeah!). Will grow my own veggies next year, have worm bin for "composting" this years waste & to help with next years garden. I like the thought of reusing & contributing less waste to the landfills, and tending a garden *really* helps me relax & destress. We rarely eat out, & we go to $1 movie night at the theatre down the street (takes awhile for new movies to get there, but I don't mind waiting).

I've tried to live with the bare minimum, but I end up feeling deprived, which brings on depression - a lifelong struggle. Then I would get a few things I really liked, but it would cost more than the generic/cheap equivelant and I would end up feeling guilty. I just finally came to the conclusion that it's what I am able to live with & without - wiithout driving myself nuts. So what if I spend $30 a month on my DSL? I can live without all the frustrations of dial-ups, & it's my one luxury. It was a choice between my cable or DSL. I figured the internet would help by keeping me in touch with other people, and then I found GardenWeb. Talk about Mana from Heaven! But I digress. :-)

I really miss my cable, thoough. My shows help me to relax, unwind, learn about the world, lift my spirits, and make my "little grey cells" work. I only watch about 8 channels, but they're so spread out on the channel spectruum that I have to get extended cable just to see all of them. Over 100 channels! What a waste! I would love to have both, but, well... I can live with my DSL, and it is *almost* as good as my cable. :-)

I guess, to make a long story short (er, too late!), it all depends on what you can individually live with or without - without driving yourself nuts, and everyone else be -uh -darned! (Somehow, that doesn't have quite the same ring to it)


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RE: Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

Xena, the budget counselors who helped my folks dig out of Chapter 11 (or whatever--pre-bankruptcy, I was a kid and don't remember the details) said that they needed to budget in "fun" or "leisure" or "luxuries"--budget them, so they could control how expensive they got, and so they didn't spend all their time feelind deprived.

Smart you, to figure that out!


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RE: Giving something up - sometimes it's tough

What a diverse set of individuals we turn out to be, each with different values, sets of priorities, income levels, etc.

Yet we can be concerned for one another and considerate of others' concerns.

Our thoughts are especially with you, Xena, as you continue your daily struggle to make ends meet - with a bit of luxury here and there to keep you sane.

Hope you're all finding this season a delightful time.

joyful guy


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