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Money Saving Technique: Try Living Without Something

In reading Ed’s post about cutting budgets [3], I came to realize a budget cutting technique I’ve used but never actually wrote about. The basic idea is that a lot of your needs are actually wants, so how do you objectively separate the two? You can’t and it’s futile to try! So instead of trying to ordain which is which, go through your needs one by one, scale them back or cut them entirely and see how it affects your life.

Take one of Ed’s brief examples: “Is it necessary to have the fastest internet possible? Would a slower speed connection be ok?” Cancel your internet or reduce it to dialup, how is your life truly affected? Personally, I had no internet access for a month when I first moved in and I visited the library quite a bit (it’s within three minutes walking distance, no car involved) but I truly missed having an internet connection at home.

So cancel that Netflix [4] subscription, replace it with some time scouring the internet for Red Box promotional codes and see if it truly impacts your life in any appreciable way.