Author Topic: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?  (Read 10538 times)

gecko10x

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Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« on: July 10, 2013, 07:09:01 AM »
I sure could if I spent what these people do! They are spending more in 1 week than I do in 6 months :-0

Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?

DocCyane

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2013, 07:38:20 AM »
I guess we're supposed to applaud the fact that she gave up a tea? It's sad what people think they need to have. Life will get very hard for them at some point.

mpbaker22

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2013, 08:38:39 AM »
Wait wait wait.  The second person spend $386 on clothing, but still needed to buy more the following week!!!
My clothing budget fluctuates between $10-$20/month and most of that is spent on shoes.

And the 3rd one -
Quote
How She Did it: Lucia learned she could have fun without spending a lot of money.
Did she really learn that?  She spent $626 in 7 days.  On a monthly basis, that's about my entire income, yet I save 50+%
« Last Edit: July 10, 2013, 08:41:09 AM by mpbaker22 »

lisahi

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2013, 09:18:04 AM »
Even at my most unmustachian I don't think I would have ever spent nearly $800 a week solely on discretionary spending. I'm not sure I could think of what I would want for all that money, week after week.

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2013, 09:56:28 AM »
I will refrain from commenting in this thread (re: glass house/stone throwing clause) :)

Megatron

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2013, 05:30:43 PM »
I think I see my old self in those people to some degree. Coming out of college with my first real job as an engineer, I couldn't grasp the mentality of why anyone would want to bring a lunch and eat in the office. There was one guy that brings in lean cuisines and tv dinners for lunch. I think he ruined it for me in the beginning. I was single, didn't know how to cook, so I thought I would have to bring lean cuisines to work too plus it's really hard to cook for yourself being single. I had all this new money every month after switching from a college student lifestyle to a professional one and roommates so my rent was less than 10% of my pay. I had all this fun money and as long as I put in the matching % for the 401k I thought I could splurge all I want. gawd, it was horrible. the kind of crap I bought on impulse. I wished I could get in a Delorean and go back in time and punch my face everyday for eating all those $15 work lunches.

arebelspy

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2013, 05:37:03 PM »
You missed a huge key part: they didn't even need to cut their entire spending in half... just the non-essentials.

FTA:
Quote
DailyWorth challenged three women to chart their discretionary spending for a week--basically anything that wasn’t a recurring expense (think: mortgage, utilities and childcare)--then try to cut it in half the next.

WTF, they could exclude all mortgage, utilities, I'm sure car payments were included in that.  So basically they had to cut back a little bit on luxuries.
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dragoncar

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2013, 05:52:13 PM »
I think I see my old self in those people to some degree. Coming out of college with my first real job as an engineer, I couldn't grasp the mentality of why anyone would want to bring a lunch and eat in the office. There was one guy that brings in lean cuisines and tv dinners for lunch. I think he ruined it for me in the beginning. I was single, didn't know how to cook, so I thought I would have to bring lean cuisines to work too plus it's really hard to cook for yourself being single. I had all this new money every month after switching from a college student lifestyle to a professional one and roommates so my rent was less than 10% of my pay. I had all this fun money and as long as I put in the matching % for the 401k I thought I could splurge all I want. gawd, it was horrible. the kind of crap I bought on impulse. I wished I could get in a Delorean and go back in time and punch my face everyday for eating all those $15 work lunches.

Wow déjà vu.  We had a frugal coworker who would bring the saddest looking balogna sandwiches, which really put me off the idea of bringing lunch.  I didn't Jane a savings goal beyond the textbook 401k match, Roth, etc. so I bought tons of junk just cause I could.  Definitely pick me up in that Delorean!


Zamboni

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2013, 07:29:13 PM »
Quote
spent only $50 on a Saturday night dinner and movie

They make it sound like this was some sort of miraculously thifty event, yet for me this extravagance would be a rare treat that happens only once or twice a year (and I am paying for 3 people, while she is single.)  Ugh.

Frankies Girl

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2013, 07:39:05 PM »
Wow. My fun money is about $25 a week and most weeks I don't hit that.


nawhite

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2013, 09:09:55 AM »
I like the mental exercise of "Could I cut my spending in half?" I've been thinking about it more as a "what if I lose my job, could we live off just my wife's income?" I'm not sure I could cut things in half. I'm at a 50-60% savings rate right now and I really don't think I could get to a 75-80% savings rate. Anybody else think they could get there?

arebelspy

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2013, 09:29:37 AM »
I like the mental exercise of "Could I cut my spending in half?" I've been thinking about it more as a "what if I lose my job, could we live off just my wife's income?" I'm not sure I could cut things in half. I'm at a 50-60% savings rate right now and I really don't think I could get to a 75-80% savings rate. Anybody else think they could get there?

Yes.  The wife and I are at about a 70% savings rate, and think we could get to 85% if we pushed ourselves; we don't really try to save money, we just don't buy stuff we don't need, and that leaves lots of money.  If we followed frugality tips and cut coupons and lowered our cell phone bill and stuff we could save much more.

Especially if, as in this article, you only counted discretionary spending - i.e. mortgage, utilities, etc. weren't counted.  Then we could cut it 100% (i.e. just don't spend any money on luxuries).

I'd think most Mustachians could cut it at least 50, 60, 70% under that wonky definition.  (See: Frankie's girl above, who only spends about $25 on discretionary spending.  Could she cut it to $12.50?  You bet.)
We are two former teachers who accumulated a bunch of real estate, retired at 29, and now travel the world full time with two kids.
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Albert

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2013, 12:43:27 PM »
My discretionary spending (minus rent and insurance) is currently ca 280 $/week. If there was any need I could cut it by 2/3 not just 1/2...

Rural

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2013, 06:14:48 AM »
If we're excluding groceries, fuel to get to work, and utilities, I would have the choice between no cut or 100%, but nothing really in between. We tend to eat out once a week, but generally we buy nothing else between grocery trips.

Last week was an exception, of course, since we spent over $1,000 on lumber...

nawhite

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2013, 08:48:00 AM »
I guess I was thinking more along the lines on if you count all spending not just discretionary. Sure I could make by discretionary spending decrease by 75-100% but thats easy: just don't buy anything.

But the discretionary spending is already less than a quarter of my total spending so if I cut all discretionary spending my total spending is only down 25%. I want it down 50%!

Forcus

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2013, 08:53:15 AM »
Sure, our vehicle cost per month is pretty high, it would be easy to get down to one. But a divorce from carpooling together would cost more :)

davisgang90

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2013, 12:43:19 PM »
My weekly discretionary spending is a ridiculously opulent $75.  I'll use it to buy stuff for my bike or to buy lunch once a week.  I save most of it for a hunting trip this fall with my dad and brother.

Albert

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #17 on: July 12, 2013, 01:25:21 PM »
I guess I was thinking more along the lines on if you count all spending not just discretionary. Sure I could make by discretionary spending decrease by 75-100% but thats easy: just don't buy anything.

But the discretionary spending is already less than a quarter of my total spending so if I cut all discretionary spending my total spending is only down 25%. I want it down 50%!

Most people posting here are already on a frugal side. Cutting down spending by further 50% is likely to move the situation from cutting out wasteful spending to seriously reducing quality of life.




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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #18 on: July 12, 2013, 01:27:34 PM »
I think we could all cut discretionary spending to $0 if we really needed to -- it's discretionary!

We could all live without buying takeout, clothes, and drinks for a week. I'm willing to bet that we could all do that for a month -- or more. 

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2013, 01:52:42 PM »
stan beat me to it. Anyone can cut discretionary spending by 100%. By definition it's optional extras that we don't need in the first place.

Albert

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2013, 02:10:34 PM »
Are groceries and commuting costs not included in discretionary spending? If so then of course it could be reduced short term to almost nothing.

matchewed

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #21 on: July 12, 2013, 03:24:06 PM »
I would not consider food and transportation costs discretionary. You need to eat and get to work, how you do those two things is mutable but necessary.

ender

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #22 on: July 12, 2013, 05:15:39 PM »
Wow. My fun money is about $25 a week and most weeks I don't hit that.

I give myself $100 a month for misc (including fun). Most of the time... I don't spend it all, either.


From the article:

Quote
spent only $50 on a Saturday night dinner and movie

Wow, only $50 on a dinner and a movie!

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #23 on: July 12, 2013, 05:55:11 PM »
Quote
spent only $50 on a Saturday night dinner and movie

Wow, only $50 on a dinner and a movie!

That's not too bad actually. To tell you the truth, this is one area we struggle a bit on...in that we're not spending enough money in the Date Night category. Have $50/wk budgeted, and we're spending nowhere near that.

I know, I know, one shouldn't need to spend money to enjoy time together, yadda yadda. I get that. But the funds are there so we won't feel guilty for the occasional babysitter so we can go watch a movie and/or have a nice meal together (or perhaps, babysitter so wife and I can go on a picnic). Week after week goes by and the Date Night category just keeps filling up more and more. I've (semi-jokingly) told my wife that we need to get someone to watch the kids for a week and go take a cruise, just to bring the balance back down some.

Anyways, in the context of the article, yes we could definitely cut our (discretionary) spending in half. As for total spending, I dunno. Yeah, we can cut out all travel and other leisure spending (entertainment budget of $50/mo, restaurant budget of $20/wk, misc budget of $50/mo for each of us, aforementioned date night budget of $50/wk which is hardly used anyways), but we'd have to reduce our living expenses quite a bit. We're already on the low end for rent, not too bad with utilities, bit over $10/mo for both mobile phones, $80/wk for groceries, not a lot left to cut. If I had to, I'd get rid of the car (maintenance costs are minimal, but it's over $400/yr to keep registered), drop the internet (about $60/mo), cut the kids' allowances ($5/wk for the 4yr old, $8/2k for the 7yr old), and...I dunno. I guess it might be doable, but it would definitely eat into quality of life.

ender

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #24 on: July 12, 2013, 07:04:35 PM »
I guess I didn't think it was for a couple?

$25/person is a lot more reasonable :)

NumberJohnny5

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #25 on: July 12, 2013, 07:40:44 PM »
I guess I didn't think it was for a couple?

$25/person is a lot more reasonable :)

I guess I was responding with my own personal bias, as I don't think I'd ever go to a dinner and a movie by myself. Wouldn't even want to go to a movie by myself, though my wife has (least, I HOPE she has...). Reread the article, it does list her as single, but single people go on dates (with dinner and a movie pretty common). I dunno.

$50pp still wouldn't sound TOO bad to me, if it was an occasional expense. I wouldn't feel bad spending $100 every two weeks, for example (maybe $30 for two nice meals, $30 for movie tickets and popcorn, $40 for a babysitter).

Albert

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #26 on: July 13, 2013, 01:18:50 AM »
I'm pretty sure this challenge was meant for people who spend pretty much everything they earn. So the more appropriate question would be: could you save 50% of your income every month? The answer from most of us here would be we already do or could with just a minimal extra effort.

arebelspy

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #27 on: July 13, 2013, 10:18:47 AM »
I'm pretty sure this challenge was meant for people who spend pretty much everything they earn. So the more appropriate question would be: could you save 50% of your income every month? The answer from most of us here would be we already do or could with just a minimal extra effort.

It's easier than that, cause it doesn't count mandatory payments, only discretionary.. likely half their budget is mandatory, so it's really asking if you could cut 50% of the 50%, aka could you have  a 25% savings level?  You're right though, the vast majority here already do.
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MrsPete

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #28 on: July 27, 2013, 10:03:54 PM »
No, I could not cut my expenses in half.  They're too low for that to be possible. 

Jamesqf

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #29 on: July 27, 2013, 11:50:38 PM »
Only by selling the house, and finding a much cheaper (cardboard box, maybe?) place to live, because the mortgage (plus taxes & insurance) is about half my spending.

arebelspy

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #30 on: July 28, 2013, 09:19:52 AM »
Heh.  Good way to see who actually reads first, versus just throwing out an opinion.

Mortgage payments don't count, only discretionary.  Basically cut your fun money in half for the week.  (And if your budget is low, that's even easier to cut in half.. Basically you just got to $0 for the week on frivolous expenses.)
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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #31 on: July 28, 2013, 11:15:14 AM »
I guess I was responding with my own personal bias, as I don't think I'd ever go to a dinner and a movie by myself. Wouldn't even want to go to a movie by myself, though my wife has (least, I HOPE she has...).

Instantly thought of that scene in Knocked Up :)

Jamesqf

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #32 on: July 28, 2013, 11:26:54 AM »
Mortgage payments don't count, only discretionary.  Basically cut your fun money in half for the week. 

I know that was what the original article asked, but since I basically don't spend "fun money", that's irrelevant.  And the thread title allows latitude...

AlmostIndependent

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Re: Could You Cut Your Spending in Half?
« Reply #33 on: July 30, 2013, 02:20:04 PM »
I like the mental exercise of "Could I cut my spending in half?" I've been thinking about it more as a "what if I lose my job, could we live off just my wife's income?" I'm not sure I could cut things in half. I'm at a 50-60% savings rate right now and I really don't think I could get to a 75-80% savings rate. Anybody else think they could get there?

I had this same thought. I could come close if I tried but the vast majority of my expenses are non-negotiable in the short term (mainly my mortgage.) My mortgage is just under half of my spending every month so unless I got really good at gardening and keeping the lights off and heat down I don't see it happening.