General chatter - Hard Times Ahead ~ Your Plans/Thoughts?




EZMONEY
10-05-2008, 06:27 PM
With the current situation in our :( :mad: economy :mad: :( ~ Housing ~ Jobs ~ Food ~ Fuel ~ Banking ~ Etc ..........

Many of us are already in or will be facing hard times ahead....maybe more than many of us could imagine.

Talking with several people at church today I found out some of my friends, about to retire, now find themselves unable to because of current situations.

I was wondering what some of your thoughts and ideas are to survive....

WITHOUT BEING POLITICAL!....BLAME GOES ON ALL SIDES IN THIS MESS! :mad:

ANGIE and I have already started cutting back on going out for dinner and trying to save a little more each week.... we are the lucky ones right now...both still have jobs....kids are grown.

We are starting to make simple changes....I stay away from amazon ;) I really don't need all those CD's I didn't buy years ago after all! And I probably will never watch the first 3 seasons of Everybody Loves Raymond or Lost that I have....among others ;)

I have promised ANGIE that I will continue to wear all my old T and Sweat shirts....much to her chagrin....in order to do my part ;)

WHAT ARE YOU GONNA DO?


nelie
10-05-2008, 06:36 PM
I talked to my parents today and they were told that they might not get paid, for who knows how long. You'd think working for the state would guarantee them a paycheck but I guess not.

Times are going to get rough but what I say is:
1) Keep your savings in check. If you do lose your job or if for some reason your employer can't pay you, then you will have it.

2) Cut out some of the unnecessary items. For us, we thought cable was unnecessary and we started renting Netflix. Of course, we've been so busy that we haven't been using our Netflix lately. I may look for a slightly cheaper plan.

3) Learn how to cut costs that won't really affect you. An example I could use is I used to rely heavily on canned beans. Bulk beans are so much cheaper so I cook them in the crockpot. It doesn't take any time yet it is cheaper.

4) Second guess purchases. There are some things I wouldn't think twice about buying but I think sometimes you need to say "Do I really need this now? Can I wait a month?"

5) Don't forget your charities. I know a lot of people will be having a really rough time for the next few years. Charities will be one of them. If you aren't struggling, then please keep your favorite charities in mind.

jahjah1223
10-05-2008, 07:08 PM
I think the most important thing right now to do is VOTE.


LisaMarie71
10-05-2008, 07:33 PM
I agree that voting is crucial right now, but I won't elaborate bc I know we can't venture into that kind of discussion too much.

As for a crappy economy, this is a really bad time for it for me! I chose to take a year's leave of absence from teaching to stay home with my new baby, so we're living on only my husband's salary (he's also a teacher, so it's not much) and we have tons of debt. Eek!

zeffryn
10-05-2008, 07:49 PM
We've been taking measures to bulk up our savings. Instead of striving to have just 3 months of living expenses in our immediate savings, we're going for 6-9 in our immediate savings while also trying to beef up our long term savings as well.

Thankfully, DH got a large raise (almost 200% - which brings us over the poverty level - graduate student stipends are next to nothing :() so, the economy won't be as hard on us as it was in previous months. We still plan to live on one income.

Thankfully, we're debt free. It's been a really tough few years, but we've managed and every extra dime that we had during better times to pay down debt when we incurred it.

These times have prompted me to enlarge my garden - growing organic produce is much cheaper than buying organic produce.

We don't waste - all leftovers get either eaten or frozen for later use. We only buy what produce we will use within the next 2-3 days. Also, even though we're making more money....we don't live like it. We still keep our going out to dinner to once or twice a month and any unnecessary purchases are discussed and budgeted for.

We've rearranged our schedules to make errands on one day a week. We also conserve energy costs by doing laundry at night to save the a/c from working so hard to keep the house cool. We're moving into a much more energy efficient place - instead of paying $200 to cool/heat a 1100 s.f. home, we're going to be paying around $70 to cool/heat a 1550 s.f. home - that might seem like a lot, but southern Louisiana is HOT.

We carpool as much as possible.

GatorgalstuckinGA
10-05-2008, 08:08 PM
dh and i love by a budget...and i do mean live by it. We have figured out bills, including vet bills, budgets for medical expenses, and food etc. We check it every week to ensure we are staying on plan. If our food budget is going over, we learn that week we need to be tighter on food purchases.

Since leaving college, i have never carried a balance on my credit card..and continue to do so. My credit card company probably hates me since they give cash back reward for paying off the card every month...got to love it (:

I have decided that certain things aren't worth it. Do i really need that shirt, is it worth the price etc.

we have downgraded our cable to the least possible. We use to pay $100/month for lots of cable...yes i miss food network and bravo...but its saving us almost $60 a month.

We are cutting back every way we can...but i think the biggest things is our budget. I highly recommend everyone do it. Its tough at first..but you really start learing where all your spending is going.

weegreenlassie
10-05-2008, 08:11 PM
We've started budgeting.. This stuff is hitting us hard--boyfriend is in the casino business (no money, no gambling!), and I'm teaching dance. We were quite low for bills this month (I won't go into how low... but low enough that it's the 5th and we haven't paid anything yet... :S)

We're trying to save enough money to start budgeting things, but as it is, there's no money to save. We've stopped eating out, almost exclusively, unless we can pay with cash. I don't even know the last time we bought new clothes... Let alone anything else.

I think the scariest moment was about 2 days ago, when I realized we didn't have enough money to buy kitty litter... We're scooping, and stretching it for as long as we can... but.. guh. Our poor kitten deserves better. Thank god we don't have kids yet...

It's silly, because on our (6 year) anniversary on Monday, we didn't really have any money to "do" anything-- so we took a walk on the beach. As we were making our way back to our car, there was a gentleman that needed some change to get a drink from a vending machine-- So I gave him the 35 cents in my purse. Evan (the boyfriend) and I were thinking how interesting it is that 35 cents is SO important these days, even if it's just to get a drink :)

I dunno--moral of that story is that I'm still trying to help where I can, even though we, really, have nothing to give.

junebug41
10-05-2008, 08:24 PM
We've started operating on a cash-only basis. We set out our cash for the week (including groceries) and when it's gone, it's gone. We definitely think a little harder about our purchases!

Also, we've 86'ed eating out... boy does that add up after a while.

I'm looking for a job.. freelancing is too scary in the current economy.

We downgraded our cable. Don't even miss it.

JayEll
10-05-2008, 08:31 PM
So far we have felt no effects, except that the retirement accounts have shrunk in value. :(

We already live frugally--have no debt except for a little travel expense, paid off the mortgage, have no car payments. We have kept up on our savings.

I've been working on contract (freelancing) for many years, so I'm used to the ups and downs. It's not for the faint of heart. :eek: My biggest fear is that work will dry up, but as I said, so far things are holding steady. Next year might be another story.

Mostly it's status quo for us.

Jay

zeffryn
10-05-2008, 08:43 PM
We also use an envelope system for our budgets - Once the money that goes into each envelope is gone, it's gone. No digging into other envelopes.

blondebritbrat17
10-05-2008, 08:45 PM
Well.. I consider myself and my husband one of the lucky ones.

I got a job this August as a teacher's aide in education at my old elementary school. :-) I don't bring home very much money but it's my insurance policy in case things slow down at my husband's job much more. And I go to night/online school to finish up my bachelor degree in teaching instead now. My hubby is a mechanic and works off of commission and it has been slow at his job for the past couple of months. So in some ways I sacrificed getting my degree sooner but am getting great job experience to put on my resume and more financial security.

I'll make a list of what we've done to help ourselves

1. I got a job that brings home 1k a month-got lucky to get this job or God was watching out for me whatever your beliefs are

2. Hubby asked and got a $1 raise thank goodness and we are waiting to see if his job will follow thru on their promise to give him the other two $1 dollar raises they discussed that is supposed to come at the end of the month and again in Feb.

3. Stopped going out to eat to help our budget and our waistlines- I now think fast food is disgusting and even some sit down restaurants now

4. aggressively paying off debt and a student loan with what I bring home

5. Kept my perfectly decent running 12 year old car despite pressure from family and friends for me to get a new one to "reward" myself for getting my new job

6. Have not really "upgraded" our lifestyle in any way despite us being a two income family now

7. We are now finally trying to save as well and have a 1 year's worth of living expenses eventually in a savings account then save as close as we can get to 20 percent down for a house

8. Shopping smarter at the grocery store-getting store brands instead and clip coupons and even go to the dollar store or Big Lots for canned goods and off brand Coke and household cleaners when we run out of those things

9. I bring my lunch to work with me everyday and hubby comes home for lunch most days from work to also let the dog out to go do his business

10. Stopped driving around so much doing nothing in general on weekends especially

11. We stay away from stores/mall-before we were in the habit of going to the mall when we were bored on a Sunday for example and we would always end up spending at least $5 dollars just on drinks from the food court while we walked around looking and sometimes up to $100 dollars before we realized it

That's what we've done so far and I don't really see any other way to reduce our budget without driving ourselves crazy being stressed out with keeping to such a strict budget since we do not have car payments, no house phone since we both have cell phones instead, have basic cable since my internet is tied in with my cable bill for school. So we are hunkering down and riding it out.

murphmitch
10-05-2008, 09:48 PM
I'm in my 50's & I'm definitely thinking about working longer, much longer, before I even think about retirement. We already don't go out much, rent videos instead of going to the movies and I take my lunch to work. I have combined errands with more efficiency and stopped shopping so much on my days off. We don't have much credit card debt, but I'm working on paying off what debt I have. I'm fortunate to not worry about my job (I'm a nurse) as the economy has not affected it at all, in fact I work a fair amount of extra shifts frequently, but I do worry about my spouse's job. Fortunately things are good for him at the present.

I shop more at Walmart for groceries now as their prices are usually cheaper than anyone else in town. I don't plan to spend as much at Christmas and we'll probably keep the thermostat a little lower this winter. We have one son still in college, the older two are finished, but none of my kids have married yet, so I worry about affording weddings in the future. We met last week with our financial advisor and he advised us to have at least 6 months worth of income in a savings account. That's something I may try to do. My husband's 401k has really taken a hit. We used to get a pretty sizable gift of cash from my in-laws every year but that has come to a halt. I do think we're pretty blessed compared to a lot of people.

EZMONEY
10-05-2008, 10:09 PM
One of the reasons I started this thread is that I too am doing OK, although to be honest it wouldn't take a whole lot to disrupt that, what has bothered me recently is the amount of men out there on our job sites looking for work. Now this has happened in the past but it has been quite some time since we have had this many. I probably have turned away 15-20 men this week looking for work on my project.

I was able to put 3 men on. Two have lost their homes, one had lost his car, all 3 were out of unemployment money. Although the wage they are receiving is pretty good for construction in our area...union...$35 an hour....I can only use them 2-3 weeks for the drywall taping. Every day they tell me "May Jesus bless you Mr. Gary"

I have also had 4 of my son's friend's looking for work....these young men have military experience or jobs they have had since high school....they are 27 yrs. old.

Our church has asked us to up our donations to our food pantry because the cupboards are bare....in the past years they were always (mostly) full. More and more people are coming by for help.

We are car pooling more....and my gas is paid for....to help out. We are rooming together when in the past we had our own rooms when working out of town. Glad to have a job.

Found a store called WINCO in Sacramento area the last few months....want one here!

You all have such great ideas!

Oh and weegreenlassie....something tells me you have more to give than you think....it isn't all about $$$....:hug:

benchmarkman
10-05-2008, 10:20 PM
Fortunatly the economic down turn is not effecting me and in some cases is helping me because prices are dropping. I have started looking for a town house as an investment because I am currently renting. I have no debt, I have a stable job where I am saving between $1,500 and $2,000 a month after expenses. I've always tried saving money and don't buy unneeded things. I only go out for dinner once or maybe twice a week because I enjoy cooking and restaurants are evil for weight maintenance.

Mom2QJandT
10-05-2008, 11:04 PM
We've stopped eating out and I'm watching the grocery budget closely. We don't go anywhere unless we have to. I'm very worried about heating my house this winter. I don't know how I'm going to afford it and to also put gas in my car. I'm making more money this year and yet have more financial worries. It doesn't make sense, but I'm lucky, I have a really good job and I can work from home 2 days a week to cut down on gas and childcare. The people that I am worried about are the senior citizens on fixed incomes that have no way of affording their medications when other expenses rise.

weegreenlassie
10-06-2008, 02:41 AM
Thanks, EZMONEY :) And thank you for starting this thread! Once we get this month in order, I'm hoping to implement a lot of the ideas from everyone else :)

Spoz
10-06-2008, 06:08 AM
We're in the uk and our prices in pretty much everything have gone up to! I know millions of young people are trapped in a very bad housing market and many won't be able to get onto it for years. Our family is having to cut back on pretty much everything and my stepfather who is a self employed handyman on some days can't afford to go out to work because he can't fill his truck.

JayEll
10-06-2008, 08:08 AM
Just a note for those who may not know--I have a friend who lives in UK, and gasoline costs at least THREE TIMES what it costs here... maybe FOUR. That's actually common in Europe. Imagine spending $100 for a tank of gas!

Jay

nelie
10-06-2008, 11:23 AM
Gas prices have actually dropped around here but we've still stopped driving as much as we used to.

yoyonomoreinvegas
10-06-2008, 11:53 AM
My company is moving out of state so I'll be out of a job in December. I'm an old broad so competing with the youngsters might be a bit tough but being in better shape than I was a year ago should help me make a better first impression :D. DH is still doing OK but my salary will be missed and we are in for some lifestyle changes until I find something.

We've started operating on a cash-only basis. We set out our cash for the week (including groceries) and when it's gone, it's gone. We definitely think a little harder about our purchases!

Also, we've 86'ed eating out... boy does that add up after a while.

I'm looking for a job.. freelancing is too scary in the current economy.

We downgraded our cable. Don't even miss it.


That's pretty much us too. We've focusing on paying down the credit cards so we don't get eaten alive by interest payments. We almost have them all clear. We're going to keep 2 of the major ones open so we have something in case of an emergency but they will be kept in a drawer so we won't be tempted to use them, but the store cards are all going completely bye-bye.

I've also gone back to my old habit of clipping coupons. I'm really dead set on sticking to my healthier eating even if it means cutting back on something else. Oh, yeah, come November 15 (Great American Smokeout day) the cigs are history. That should save us a ton of money.

Not going to be an easy road, and I'm thinking it's going to take several years to get completely back to normal, but I'm keeping fingers crossed that things will at least start to level off after the elections - maybe consumer confidence will rebound no matter who wins.......

suetalks
10-06-2008, 12:17 PM
Being retired and on a fixed income, we are worried about the pension funds going belly up. Other than that we have always been frugal and saved for our "golden years". Trouble is they aren't quite so Golden when prices keep rising. Things we planned to afford are out of sight now.

My worry is really for the younger generation who are finishing school and thinking the future looks bleak. We basically did these youngsters an injustice by wanting them to have more than we had growing up. Now a lot of them expect to have more than their parents do right out of the starting gate. A rude shock for all!

I think we are in for a rough patch, but I believe America will be okay. We are all survivors.

modkittn
10-06-2008, 12:52 PM
DH and I have been operating on a budget for over a year now. Our debt will be paid off in January and I can't wait! After that, its save save save. We always pay off our credit cards at the end of the month as well.

We don't eat out, but we do have a monthly "allowance" that we get to spend. Oh and we do have all those cable channels, but that is, most of the time, our only form of entertainment. So I don't really mind spending the money on that.

We haven't really been effected too much. The worst was seeing how much higher our oil bills would be this winter. That put off paying off the debt from Nov/Dec to January. But its all budgeted in now, and I'm very confident that everything will be paid off in January. My job is extremely secure, and DH doesn't really have any need to worry right now about his (luckily).

mandalinn82
10-06-2008, 01:08 PM
We are fortunate to both be doing OK despite the tough times.

We went through a period where we were BROKE...could not pay the bills broke...in college. Since then, we've lived well below our means, simply because we're afraid to be in that position again. So we consistently put money into savings, pay off our cards when they come due, and try to live below what we have.

Still, we're looking at ways to economize on Christmas (making more things), paying more attention to where we're buying our groceries, and considering purchases more carefully. We are trying to buy a house right now, so we'll get a bit of benefit from the sinking economy if we get a good price.

We have eaten nearly all of our meals at home since we changed to healthier eating, so that isn't a change. I cook 6 nights a week.

I'm using all of my leftover yarn from knitting projects last year to knit simple hats, which I'm donating to the local homeless shelters. It's a small thing, but hopefully it'll bring a little warmth to those less fortunate.

Amy8888
10-06-2008, 01:09 PM
I love this thread and all the great ideas/reminders.

Yesterday we drove an hour and a half to meet our in-laws at a pumpkin patch. The drive itself cost us a lot in gas, but we learned some good lessons. First, all the activities at the pumpkin patch were free. The kids (well, toddlers) loved everything they did there, and it didn't cost a dime except that we bought a couple of pumpkins, which we would have done anyway. So it doesn't need to cost anything to have fun. The kids like to go to the store with us, but they like to play in the backyard even more. So, we need to do more of that. Also, it's better for the waistline (no temptation to buy candy in the backyard).

We planned to eat out since we were away from home most of the day. When we got to where we were going, all the unique little places we wanted to check out were packed, so we ended up having to eat fast food. I used to think this was at least an inexpensive option, but not anymore! You can't even count on bargains at fast food restaurants (not if you're feeding my family, anyway). So this exercise reinforced that we need to be eating at home more and not try to cheat by getting fast food on the way home from work. That's just not a cheap option anymore.

We've actually been pretty good about eating at home more. Cooking is a fun activity (which I need to be reminded of sometimes), and it's fun to create new stuff out of leftovers. We're trying to cut down on how much we waste. So last night I took some of the leftovers from Saturday's dinner (chicken, broccoli) and reinvented them into chicken/broccoli fettucine alfredo with a pre-packaged sauce that probably cost $1.50, and pasta in the cabinet. We got another cheap dinner out of this, and then I packaged up the leftovers into small containers to make into ready-to-grab lunches (cheaper than Lean Cuisine, which I used to reach for). This is another thing that's good for the waistline. I prefer healthier foods when I prepare them...I don't go to a restaurant to eat healthy food!

When I try to cook more at home, I find that I get annoyed at the amount of junk in the cabinets that just gets in my way. So cooking at home is a good reminder when I'm at the store to focus on my list and not buy the extras we don't need. And by not having all that junk, I can focus more on creative ways to use what I DO have at home.

I've started doing a lot of my shopping at Aldi (thanks to a thread here, actually). This place is great, if you have one, start using it. They have most of the basics there most of the time and SO cheap. I'm starting to realize that if they don't have it, I probably don't need it. I used to follow up a trip to Aldi with a trip to the other grocery store. Now I am finding that if I just put off that second trip, I don't tend to make it. And that's a good thing!

A weakness I have and I'm trying to get over is shopping for new clothes. Part of the problem is that I've gained a lot of weight through pregnancy over the last couple of years, and I never had a full wardrobe in my current size. So I started buying a shirt here and there, that sort of thing. I know this is healthy from a self-love perspective, but I really want to go down in size because then I can shop out of my own closet as I access my old wardrobe, and it will be more thrilling than buying something at my current size. So I hope that will become another way to save money: lose weight!

So that's about the gist of it for me: Cook at home, play at home, and hopefully lose some weight once and for all!

modkittn
10-06-2008, 01:15 PM
I've started doing a lot of my shopping at Aldi (thanks to a thread here, actually). This place is great, if you have one, start using it. They have most of the basics there most of the time and SO cheap. I'm starting to realize that if they don't have it, I probably don't need it. I used to follow up a trip to Aldi with a trip to the other grocery store. Now I am finding that if I just put off that second trip, I don't tend to make it. And that's a good thing!

Wow, really? I can't shop at ALDI alone, and there are a lot of things I can't get there. Even last night I couldn't find boneless turkey breast at my regular supermarket (let alone ALDI, I wouldn't even bother looking there). I shop a lot by recipes, and I just can't find everything there. I do buy a lot of canned goods at ALDI, though. I can't get lactose free milk there, and a lot of times I can't get good fresh produce either. In fact, there is only a very small section of produce at my local one at all. I also try to look for foods like bread without HFCS and it is hard to find that there as well (although I astonishingly found that at Walmart this week). But, they are great for those canned items. We just eat so much fresh food that I only end up going to ALDI once a month, at most.

Amy8888
10-06-2008, 01:46 PM
Wow, really? I can't shop at ALDI alone, and there are a lot of things I can't get there. Even last night I couldn't find boneless turkey breast at my regular supermarket (let alone ALDI, I wouldn't even bother looking there). I shop a lot by recipes, and I just can't find everything there. I do buy a lot of canned goods at ALDI, though. I can't get lactose free milk there, and a lot of times I can't get good fresh produce either. In fact, there is only a very small section of produce at my local one at all. I also try to look for foods like bread without HFCS and it is hard to find that there as well (although I astonishingly found that at Walmart this week). But, they are great for those canned items. We just eat so much fresh food that I only end up going to ALDI once a month, at most.

I don't want to be misleading and say I never go to the grocery store. :) I rely quite a bit on frozen veggies when I'm cooking, so when I'm at the regular store I stock up on those. We've also been getting a lot out of our garden and it's hard enough to keep up with that, so I'm really not looking into buying a lot of produce right now. I've been buying Romaine hearts at Aldi and they've been great sliced up. Their produce section has gotten a lot better (at my local store) lately.

I buy most of the staples there though: milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, chicken breasts, bread, lettuce, beans, canned tomatoes, soup, pasta, rice, etc. With the staples and spices I keep on hand at home, I can put together some really decent meals without getting to another store. But that's just what works for me!

alinnell
10-06-2008, 01:46 PM
Thankfully my husband and I are doing just fine at the moment. It was quite depressing to see how much my 401k lost in just a week and it's even worse knowing that a 1 week drop like that will take years to build back up. That particular 401k has lost $30,000 just this year with the bulk of it last week. And now today hits. I can't imagine how much I'll lose now. We were hoping to retire in 10 years. That may not happen unless things turn around.

Business is slowing down a bit due to the economy and while that won't hurt me and my husband, it may force us to lay off employees in the coming months. I don't look forward to that at all.

Anyway, we do watch what we spend. We bring our lunch 4 days out of 5. We eat dinner out only about once a month. We're kind of homebodies, so we don't spend a lot going out to do anything. We tend to only go to movies in the summer, so I doubt we'll see anything new for another few months. Certainly Christmas spending will be cut back dramatically this year.

What's hard is having a kid in college and the trials and tribulations that brings. Thankfully her tuition is very reasonable being at a Cal State school, but it's still hard. Even worse when she called today to say she'd lost her wallet--with her driver's license and all her credit cards. What a hassle!

mikkos
10-06-2008, 02:27 PM
Pack more lunches and eat at home on the weekends more.

alinnell
10-06-2008, 03:02 PM
Perhaps I should add that I don't plan on doing any traveling for quite some time! The airlines are really finding more and more ways to charge more and more for a flight. This is going to be a huge challenge next summer when DS has a conference across the country. I may send him alone this time (whereas my DH and I often accompany him).

zeffryn
10-06-2008, 03:19 PM
Perhaps I should add that I don't plan on doing any traveling for quite some time! The airlines are really finding more and more ways to charge more and more for a flight. This is going to be a huge challenge next summer when DS has a conference across the country. I may send him alone this time (whereas my DH and I often accompany him).

my DH is participating in a race in North Carolina in a few weeks...I checked airfare and it was $1200 per ticket! $3600 for just my DS, DH and I to go.

Needless to say, he's driving...alone.

My family lives 1300 miles away from us and we like to see them at least twice a year. We used to fly, but when it became abundantly clear that it was MUCH cheaper to drive we started driving. This past trip, we saved $1100 on plane tickets by driving instead.

nelie
10-06-2008, 03:20 PM
Oh don't tell me about travelling... Tickets to San Diego right now are around $600/each. Its going to be an expensive trip and my family would throw a fit if I said we want to postpone it.

Also, our goal was to do an international trip every 18-24 months. My husband and I already talked and I think our priorities have changed in that I'd like to push off our next big trip out at least a year. I want to do my rock climbing next year and also we are spending money on running, biking and swimming related activities. So our plan will probably be to do a smaller, more local trip sometime next year.

lizziep
10-06-2008, 03:30 PM
we basically watch every single penny we spend, all our credit card debt has been moved over to low apr balance transfers, we invested in a car that we can rely on and while we do now have a car payment it's better then the surprise repair bills we were getting monthly from the old car. My husband works from home now 3 days a week, only has to commute two - and that is saving us a couple of hundred dollars a month in gas! I take the bus to work when he can't drop me off. I was working as much overtime as I could until I just- couldn't do it anymore. We plan for everything, we hang out at home, we don't have cable, we read a lot of books, and i make our dinners most nights.
We are looking into getting a house, a lease to own- in January. For one- I feel like if I have a house that I enjoy and want to be in, I'll be more likely to want to STAY IN IT. Right now, I hate my apartment & whenever I'm not working I just feel - antsy to leave and leaving the house = spending money. :) so hopefully what we spend extra in our new place will save us in other areas as well.

KateRN
10-06-2008, 04:41 PM
i'm leaving san diego and moving back to pittsburgh for a lower cost of living and friends and family being around to help support each other.

peachcake
10-06-2008, 04:55 PM
I live on a single income and I live alone... but it gets harder and harder each week. Grocery bill is going way up and I live in a town with a Safeway and a Roth's (you all know Safeway, and Roth's is even more expensive). The closest Wal-Mart is a 20minute drive so I only go there when I am already going to that town. Ugh.

Clothes shopping is a big challenge too because I've lost 28 pounds and am still losing, so a lot of things don't fit anymore and I HAVE to be clothed! I don't have an outrageous full closet or anything but I just cleaned it out and took a HUGE black garbage bag stuffed full of clothes to goodwill.

modkittn
10-06-2008, 05:00 PM
I live on a single income and I live alone... but it gets harder and harder each week. Grocery bill is going way up and I live in a town with a Safeway and a Roth's (you all know Safeway, and Roth's is even more expensive). The closest Wal-Mart is a 20minute drive so I only go there when I am already going to that town. Ugh.

Clothes shopping is a big challenge too because I've lost 28 pounds and am still losing, so a lot of things don't fit anymore and I HAVE to be clothed! I don't have an outrageous full closet or anything but I just cleaned it out and took a HUGE black garbage bag stuffed full of clothes to goodwill.

Can you afford to do a once-a-month Walmart trip? I try to do that sometimes - I will buy shampoo, conditioner, paper products, non-perishable items, etc for a month and just store them. Of course, you have to have room for storage too I guess! That works great when you have lots of coupons too.

Where in Oregon is Silverton? I will be traveling to Portland next month. It is so beautiful out there!

carinna
10-06-2008, 05:02 PM
I really need to crack down and do a budget.

tikanique
10-06-2008, 05:21 PM
It's bad all around! I have a trip planned home that I'm doing my best to keep but other than that, I'm gonna be at the house. Also, I told the Crew that they could get one large gift, one medium gift and two small gifts for the holidays and that's it. I'm having to grocery shop smarter, bring my lunch EVERY day and coupon clip.

Hat Trick
10-06-2008, 05:45 PM
I don't go . . . anywhere. I filled my car up Friday a week ago (9/26) when I picked my daughter up from college (gas is 12 cents a gallon cheaper there vs here.) It's barely below Full right now. Seriously, I go nowhere unless I absolutely have to. I'm trying to cut to grocery trips to once a week too. I usually go on Thursdays and do all my errands then and go back on Sunday for the 'milk, bread, lunchmeat' run for the week. Maybe I'll just shop on Sundays.

Husband and I have both lost weight and needed new clothes but everything was on sale. My daughter works at Target so we use her 10% too. $5 Hanes sweatshirts/pants -- good deal!

I did buy 3 new pair of pants and a couple of tops because I had nothing - literally nothing - to wear for the colder weather. My sweatshirts are 20 years old; no kidding. You can nearly see through them! Although having lost weight, the few things I had from last year that were too small now fit nicely. Yeah! Some of the stuff is just too big. :D

We rarely eat out anyways but even less so now. We ordered a pizza Sat. night and it's the first one in . . . I have no idea how long. My work has slowed to a crawl. Layoffs abound in the field so that has trickled down to less work for me. :(

Any credit card debt -- paid off in full each month. Have always done this though. We also dumped all store credit cards like Sears, Depot, Penney's etc. We have three major credit cards: One for credit purchases that gives us cash back based on percentage of purchases, a Target Visa just for Target purchases (you can only get the 10% discount w/cash (not ATM but CASH) or Target credit so we ONLY use it there sparringly, and one that is just for any internet purchases (it has a lower credit limit on it). Rarely use that either.

Refuse to turn the heat on until Halloween. I'm dreading heating the house this winter. Might invest in some space heaters. Unfortunately, our heat controls the whole house vs. just being able to heat the upstairs or downstairs. Wish we had that option.

Our second car is almost paid off so that will help. We plan on keeping them till they rust out!

I agree with a previous poster -- the most important thing you can do for the economy right now is to vote!

Sweetcaroline
10-06-2008, 07:46 PM
I just dropped my black leather pocketbook and winter dress boots for 'repair' instead of 'replace'...

My contract was up on my cell so I bit the bullet and gave it up... I have a land line so I bought a Tracphone for $15, will use for emergencies only, figure I can save at least $50 a month by giving up cell... and texting instead of voice saves too...

I'm sending payments to everyone, some don't even get mininums, but they get something...

Please don't forget the pet shelters, more and more people are giving up their pets because they don't have the money to feed them... I try to make a donation of food etc. each week. Luckily there is a receptacle in the grocery store lobby to make easy deposits...

Glory87
10-06-2008, 08:41 PM
Wow, I just bought plane tickets to visit my mom on her birthday Nov 12. Round trip, 5 days, San Diego to San Antonio (layover in Dallas) - 225.00 with fees.

grneyedmustang
10-06-2008, 08:54 PM
I've stopped buying processed/convenience foods more and more. Since I'm on South Beach, I was already eliminating the foods with preservatives and avoiding foods with HFCS, but I was buying "convenience" foods (i.e. South Beach lunch wrap kits, etc.). Since grocerires seem to get higher and higher daily, I've stopped buying those and started making dinners that will last throughout the week. I've also reduced my weekly Trader Joe's/Whole Foods visits to twice a month.

I am also trying to reduce my credit card debt as much as possible. As far as conveniences around the house, I've gotten rid of XM radio and the cable might get downgraded, too.

Lastly, I've started shopping at the farmer's market and Aldi's more. I can't get everything I need at Aldi, so the next stop, especially for produce, is the farmer's market. If I go to walmart, I make a list and STICK TO IT. I don't allow myself to wander around wal-mart, because that's when the trouble starts...

I am going to need some "transitional" clothes pretty soon, so when I do need them, I'm going to hit up some of the thrift stores around here.

If things get really bad, I'm thinking about renting out one of the rooms in my house. I'm sure with this mortgage mess, someone might need it.

lizziep
10-06-2008, 09:00 PM
for those of you who don't want to heat up your whole house- you can go to home depot or walmart and they make these magnetic vent covers will force the air back up and out another vent - save you some money.


hubby and i just looked at our 401Ks. sigh.