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Food for thought

August 26th, 2008 at 03:53 pm

What are your personal standards? Some of you are financially secure, some of you are struggling like me ... but what will you absolutely NOT sacrifice on? It can be anything from a certain kind of food to ... well, anything. On the flip side, what did you THINK you would NEVER sacrifice ... then did ... and then were totally, 100% OK with it? And on the flip side, what did you give up *thinking* you'd be OK with it, and then end up freaking out and needing it back?

For me, there are some things I've sacrificed on ... but not nearly enough. I've pretty much given up any frivolous shopping trips. I actually desperately need a pair of sensible work shoes, but am holding off on that. (I can still get away with some of my more conservative, erm, flip-flops in my quite casual office, but the weather will soon get cooler!) I budget for eating out, but don't do it nearly as often as I used to, and plan to cut it down even more in September. I'm really conservative in that I now make sure any light that I'm not using is turned off ... and long, luxurious showers turned as hot as I can stand it are a no-no.

*But* still got the cable TV, the Internet, two phone lines (land and cell). I'm not looking for advice on how to get rid of any of the above, because trust me ... I've done the research. I know of the way cheaper alternatives. I could definitely go absolutely without the cable and one of the phone lines. But I just haven't.

It's a bit of laziness thrown in with a bit of panic ... it's not like I watch a lot of TV or talk nonstop on the phone, but I feel that if I cut them out completely, I might just go insane. (Overly dramatic? Sure. But don't tell me that I'm the only person in the entire world that has ever felt this way!)

*But* they are also a source for additional debt repayment.

And here the logical versus the selfish parts of me continue to battle it out.

So did YOU ever face a struggle? And what was it between?

Discuss.

4 Responses to “Food for thought”

  1. greengirl Says:

    hmmm. interesting topic! thankyou Big Grin i have struggles with eating out and takeaway. last year, we used to have takeaway nearly three times a week, at $15-$20 per meal. this year, i have probably had takeaway a total of 10 times, and it's august. (this is due to the fact that we moved to a different place, with a different flatmate. it has a bigger kitchen, and also is located near hardly any good restaurants! haha)
    eating out is still a big expense, though we've cut it down dramatically and only reserve it for special occasions. we probably eat out for dinner once or twice a month, and lunch maybe once a week.
    again, when we moved, i had to set up the phone plan, which was previously governed by our flatmate. BF, new flatmate and I all agreed we didnt need a home phone. i have a good pre-paid plan, flatmate has a good post-paid plan, and BF doesn't pay for his mobile at all. so that was another sacrifice, i guess. it costs us $25 less a month for that.
    i could probably never sacrifice having coffee with a friend every week. it costs under $10 a week, but i don't have many friends that like to do this, so it's something i could never give up!
    we don't have cable tv, as we don't actually watch a lot of 'tv' at all, though we all collect series on dvd's though (scrubs, arrested developement, 21 jump street, futurama, black books, x files, robot chicken, the mighty boosh...etc etc).
    so i guess music and to a lesser extent, dvd's, are a sizeable expense for me, and BF as well. my dad works in the music industry, so i get a lot of freebies which helps though!

    i could never, ever, ever, give up espresso coffee. i've only ever had to resort to instant coffee a few times in my life, and couldn't bear drinking the stuff every day. i guess that's the one thing i could never give up!

    i never thought i would give up buying magazines and books, but they were such a large expense every month that i had to. I joined the library (i was probably the last person on the planet to join) and my dad got me a surprise subscription to a very good magazine called Mindfood that takes care of my addiction for most of the month. (actually, i bought a Cleo mag the other day to read in the car as a treat for myself - and realised i am not missing much by not buying them...!)
    Books, now, I will only buy if I really really want them. I used to shell out $30 for some that i thought 'would just be a good read'. They now just sit there, read once, which is a bit of a waste. My main book expense is now recipe books (a bit of an ode to the not eating out sacrifice, i guess!)
    clothes are a big expense, but i am cutting down my exposure to shopping malls, and really asking myself if i need something before i buy it, which, 90% of the time, I put it back. I'm very proud of myself.
    the other thing i don't think i will give up is good quality food. while there's nothing wrong with other people buying a cheap loaf of white bread, personally if i had to buy bread i would be buying something that's good for me, like a sourdough rye, or an eight-seeded wholemeal bread. i don't like buying food that's cheap because it's, well, cheap, and is only going to fill you up, not be good for you.

    thanks for the chance to 'discuss' Big Grin (i think i just wrote an essay...)

  2. greengirl Says:

    OMG :O i didn't realise how long that was. im sorry!

  3. Personal Finance Student Says:

    I can't imagine getting rid of the internet. I considered it for about an hour one day and then realized there is no way I could do it. I email my family, do research, etc. everyday. All my family lives states away and this is the best and easiest way for us to stay in contact.

    We went to one car for several years and many people thought we were crazy, especially to stay at one car even after baby #1 came and my husband's commute was 50 miles each way. It wasn't that bad though. I just stayed home and eventually he took the train each morning and I took him there. It was actually kind of nice in that it created more times when we HAD to be together in the car; it brought a closer together. I think sacrificing together does that too. My husband would probably add the fact that we went without cable for so long as a HUGE sacrifice too.

    Thanks for the food for thought. It's important to look back at the sacrifices we made in the past and realizing we're already living the "good life" and don't need to keep spending money on new things. Smile

  4. sillyoleme Says:

    Nice topic. Smile
    One of our sacrifices is cable television. Normally I don't mind it as much, but we only get one channel of normal TV, so it makes for little selection. And it sucks sometimes more than others... like when the Olympics were on, that's ALL we could watch. And now that college football is starting, we won't get to watch our home team play because it's only televised on cable here.

    Another of our sacrifices is eating out at restaurants. We still spend way too much on fast food and snacks while at work, but we haven't been out to eat at an actual restaurant in SO long. I don't think we've been since we moved here in March, except for when our parents came to visit once. Before, we never ate out more than once or twice a week, but to even think about spending $25 at a Chinese place weekly would kill us now.

    I sacrifice my shopping trips now. I've always been a mostly clearance-rack shopper, but even that makes me feel guilty in our present situation.

    As for things I don't think I could give up - internet. I use it to keep in touch with family, track and pay financial stuff, and for some of my work. I probably COULD get by without it if I absolutely had to, but it would be much harder and missed. Reducing to one car for me & BF would be impossible right now. We work in different towns (mine 45 minutes away), at different times, and he doesn't know his schedule more than a week in advance. And there is no public transportation nearby. It must be challenging for anyone!

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