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Better to go Cold Turkey When Cutting Spending?

February 14th, 2009 at 07:56 pm

A quote that really stuck with me from the TV series that I just discovered called "Maxed Out" was a woman saying it was easier to just stop spending money than to try to just cut back. This was in reference to eating out. Makes sense, sort of like alcoholism, you have to stop, not just slow down!

But realistically, severely scaling back can be a great feeling. Then it feels just wonderful to splurge once in a great while on very small things. It seems more special when it is unusual. The habit of eating out all the time drives me bonkers - what a waste of money!

We've still got a long way to go, and it is very hard for me because it's indirect, in that I'm trying to control my family's spending, although I still take challenge in making my frugal ways even more frugal. What I've realized is that my accounting sucks. It's not a be all and end all to know where the money is flying away, but it is a necessary first step to getting control and setting a realistic budget. It gives me a common language to use with them, like "we did very well on eating out last month, so we can go out once this month, etc." If it all just gets sucked up into the big black hole of debt, it's much harder to visualize. I think that is what most of America has lost with Credit Cards, that necessity of give and take to balance things out. It's like a cultural collective madness - I'm sure most people just follow the crowd, most of who can't afford to go out all the time either. That's why I've always appreciated the viewpoint of depression era people - they know the deal.

2 Responses to “Better to go Cold Turkey When Cutting Spending?”

  1. NJDebbie Says:

    I completely understand you! You know what I can stand it's when you spend money on food that is not even worth the money you spend. I agree that you scale back big time and still treat your family from time to time. We eat out once a week, usually pizza and a chicken roll (about $15) and we bring it home. That saves us the tip and drinks.

  2. boomeyers Says:

    Okay, after having an absolutely horrible of waste of money meal tonight (that we shouldn't have done!), you have inspired me to make my menu for the week. I find it so much easier to stay on track if I know what I am doing. And I will occasionally splurge on a restaurant type of food at the grocery store in order to spice up a home made meal. But, as you state, it is so easy to slide, and slide we are! Cold turkey here we come! Smile

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