The things you won’t give up.

I’ve been dreaming about finances….

That’s what happens when you are unemployed for nearly 10 months. Eventually the money starts getting tighter and tighter. To-date I’ve stayed out of debt and kept ahead of the bills… but it looks like that time is coming to an end.

So – where to cut?

I’ve already started doing most of my shopping at WinCo rather than New Seasons. I’ve given up the idea of any new clothes. I only go out a couple times a month and I haven’t purchased a DVD or bought anything on iTunes in forever.

It wasn’t like I was a spend-a-holic before.

That is a bit of a problem for me, not because I can’t cut things out, but because I’m rather frugal so to decrease my spending now means that I will have to get rid of things that I don’t like living without.

Single Malt Scotch – for instance.

Yes – I may have to cut back on my scotch in order to afford to have my house cleaned. Not having my house cleaned is necessary for my existence. Well if not existence – then my health. And health is one of the reasons why the budget has constricted.

Because the government’s assistance with COBRA has run out and my ~$150 a month COBRA has now jumped to ~$500 a month. Not exactly something that I can afford. I’m currently waiting to hear back about the private healthcare that I applied for last week. If that works then I won’t be plowing through my savings quite as fast.

Now it is time to look at every expenditure.

And I mean every penny – from how much I am spending on food to if I can get coffee I like for cheaper. Can I cut back on my Netflix? I don’t have cable TV but I do need the internet. I could stop going out altogether – but that seems drastic – and I’ve already switched from scotch to wine when I go out – a rather amazing savings but harder on me since the wine can trigger a migraine.

Where else can one cut? Or is there really a point when you can’t go any farther?

Okay – you can always go farther. But at what point do you start to lose the things that have become a part of you? When to you say… “STOP I want my life back?” I don’t really want my old life back. I miss the paycheck – but not much else. I’ve discovered I really am a recluse who likes to spend all day working by herself. And it isn’t like there is a lot of jobs out there – my state still has 10.7% unemployment.  

I’m going to have to look at what I can cut – but in January. For now I’m just going to hope I can finish the Christmas shopping without breaking the budget or killing too much of my savings.

I know there are a lot of us out there – without jobs or dealing with the season with less pay – how are you doing it? What are you funding vs. what are you giving up? I’d love to know…

~ Tess Anderson


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