Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Cutting Back and Balancing the Checkbook

Since the economy’s demise... okay, that was a little harsh... since the economic situation has caused significant belt tightening around these parts, I’ve been doing a little maneuvering of ye olde finances. The first thing I did was consider things to cut out entirely, and regular monthly bills I could cut down on. My TV Options were one of the considerations, for sure.

It’s not like the old days, when you bought a set and the only thing you were paying for was the electricity. If I didn’t have cable or Direct TV nothing would come in on my television because they really don’t make ‘em with plain old antenna’s anymore. Cable can cost quite a bit, for very little. Even the basic package was starting to stretch the limit of what I could rationalize for entertainment purposes when I should really be cutting back, so I started checking into Direct tv.

Of course, there are other areas where I can cut things out, too. But I have started comparing different plans for phone, television, and internet needs because you can save a lot just by being informed. How about you? Has the economy started you budgeting yourself? Are you clipping coupons, or just putting off vacations? See, I think this was a pretty good wake up call for me to be a little more frugal – how about you? Do you think of it as a blessing in disguise? A thing to be borne? Or just one more bump in the road to be gotten past and forgotten?


shelly said...

Hi Merry,
I just stopped in to say hello. I've been reading your older posts, but decided not to comment on those, as I suspect you won't see the comments. (Well, I did comment on one.)

I've been a little out of pocket, but wanted to pop in and see how things are going. Hope 2009 has gotten off to a good start for you!

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Shelly,

You can comment - I've got my blog set to email me comments, so I find even the ones on ancient posts... somebody commented on the Mists of Avalon discussion from, what, almost two years ago?

Things are okay over here? How about you? Have you been traveling again? I'll have to stop over by you and catch up.

spyscribbler said...

Merry, I hear you! I cut out cable entirely, and pay for good internet. If there are shows I want to watch, I can see them online at either hulu.com or the network. (ABC, NBC, CBS, etc.) I got a Netflix subscription instead.

I thought I would miss it, but I don't, not one bit. I cut out the telephone, and kept my cell. I did get a GrandCentral.com phone number (free), so that I could choose who gets forwarded to my cell or not, LOL.

I cut a ton of things; I cut our expenses hugely. The funny thing is, I thought I would miss these things. I don't miss them one bit. Not a single tiny bit.

Merry Monteleone said...

Hi Spy,

You know, there are really so many things we don't need and can do without... if it wasn't for the kids, I think I would just cancel the television and watch movies on the dvd player... okay, the husband type person would kill me for the lack of sports, and I'd hate missing the baseball games, but otherwise, I could do without it... there are shows I really like, but I don't think it would bother me much to go without.

And that's the other thing. There are so many things that are really just luxeries that we treat as necessities. Time to trim the fat. I don't think it's going to be as bad as people fear, financially, but I do think it's a good reminder to save for tomorrow and live within your means...

Shelly said...

Hi Merry,
I have been traveling a lot, and will be at it again at the end of the month. Life won't exactly be routine for me in 2009, but I think it will be fun!

Things have been going well enough. I've got several poetry projects I am working on and really enjoying, with some new projects possibly on the horizon.

How is your manuscript doing in the big wide world?

Josephine Damian said...

I have DISH network - and cut back to the cheapest package they offer (no CNN or TruTV).

I'm not turning on the super expensive electric heat on during this cold snap - wear layers/hoodie/hat in house.

No renting movies from video store or go to movies - rent for free from library. No more buying books unless it's for research for a writing project AND my library doesn't carry it.

Sushi once a month as opposed to once a week.

Hang clothes line so don't have to run 20-yr. old dryer so often.

Am de-cluttering and taking stuff to local consignment shop for sale.

I did break down and get high -speed internet gizmo - very expensive, but w/other cutbacks I've made - should balance out.