No one really wants to cut back.

It seems as though everyone would rather make more money than cut back on expenses.

Just the other day, I heard the following lines coming out of The Idiot:

“We don’t have any money coming in now, but we CAN’T give up cable TV!

What would we do all day in the home, since I’m not working now?”

Uh.. cook instead of buying pre-made, processed, frozen meals?

Go to the library and read?

Play with your kids and teach them how to sing, learn, read and be children?

Go to the park and take a walk?

Rent DVDs for free from the library?

Do all the little chores you’ve been ignoring because you were soooo busy?

It totally sucks to be at home, doing nothing, trying not to spend money, but when money is tight, or you are going into debt with each passing day, you have to make drastic cuts and changes.

But to be fair, he isn’t the only person to say that, nor will he be the last.

I’ve heard it from my brother, my sister, my friends, and just in general online around the blogosphere.

“Nuh uh.

No way.


My nails and my hair are THE most important things about me.

I am NOT giving up my manicures, pedicures or blowouts.”

I have heard that coming out of a girl at a party I was at.

She was willing to go into credit card debt for her nails and hair each week, because they were the definition of who she was.

While I can understand that taking care of yourself, and dressing nicely is important.. I don’t see how it can become so important that it defines who you are.

Or that it requires you to go into debt for it.

“We NEED a maid and gardener twice a week, we just don’t have time to clean, because we’re working so much.

And we eat out all the time because we have to.”

(My brother)

Uh.. if you didn’t have to pay your maid and gardener, and cut back on your lifestyle inflation, you wouldn’t have to work so much.

And no one has to eat out all the time if you’re organized.

You can spend 4 hours cooking one major pot of soup for the whole week, making stock from scratch to do it and it would not be a waste of time.


Because you can supplement it with freshly cooked chicken or sausage during the week to add to it, and having pasta inside for a heartier meal.

There, slightly altered meals for the whole week, that are different enough to be interesting.

But then again, I am the type of girl that LOVES to eat the same meal over and over again, if I really love it.

“It was $3000 a month for a mortgage and about $2000 more than we wanted to realistically spend, but the baby needed a house and we couldn’t live in that tiny shack.”

“We didn’t want a starter home. We wanted to just skip all that.”

The Idiot and a former co-worker said those choice lines to me.

moneyhouseWell, at $3000 a month, I am not sure you will have anything left for the baby.

Or for emergency savings, or college fund savings.

No one needs a house.

Much less, a baby. A baby doesn’t care if you live in a mansion or a small, but cosy home.

A baby wants food, shelter, love and attention.


So let’s be clear. We all want a house.

We all want a place to call our own and to do whatever we want, but no one NEEDS one, when there are other options out there, like renting.

And if you have to start with a small house, then do it. You’ll find that you seem to make do, and if you feel like you need to upgrade later, then you can do it.


Not now, before you’ve even made the money.

“We NEED a break. We work so hard, and we need to treat ourselves. Our debt can wait.”

The Idiot again.

Everyone needs a break.

Everyone works hard.

But it’s up to YOU to set the priority of whether or not you can have a short-term, blow-it-all vacation in Las Vegas for a week, or put that money towards your debt instead.

If you decide to go to Vegas anyway, then own it.

Live with your decision and love it.

Don’t feel guilty about it after, and think: “Gee I should have put that towards debt.”

No one is forcing you to do anything.

But sometimes, I feel like people need to step back, and say “Do I really need, what I think I need?”

You may be surprised at what you can live without, do without and actually need.

bamboe500-3You may find that NOT having a membership subscription at Barnes & Noble for discounts, may make you feel less pressured to spend money on books to make up for the cost of the membership (true story, happened to me).

You may also find, that giving up that membership, will force you to get out of the home, go to the library and spend a wonderful day, being able to check out ANY book you desire, to read and peruse.

And if you love it, you can buy it after. Not before.

You may find that no one cares if you wear the same sweater or outfit twice, and you do NOT need to buy a new outfit each month.

You may do a little organizing while you stay at home, trying to save a couple of bucks, and find that cherished necklace behind the dresser you thought was lost forever.

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.