In times of uncertainty, the prudent thing to do is to save so that you can weather whatever the world throws at you. That rule has been and always will be one of the unassailable ideas in personal finance (unless you’re facing rampant and runaway inflation, fortunately that has never happened in the United States) and that’s the mantra I, and many other people, have started to live by.
The first step is to cut back on spending somewhere and we’ve decided to cut back on eating out as often as we had been. My wife and I are fortunate to have disposable income and we treated ourselves to eating out at restaurants several nights a week. We didn’t go to lavish restaurants or anything like that. We’d go to our local pizza joint for a $20 meal of pizza and calamari or our local pho restaurant for a $15 meal of pho (those are totals for two). Even at a mere $15 a night, three nights a week, ends up being $180 a month.
We’ve replaced them with more cooking. We’ve made cooking a fun activity that’s part entertainment, part sustenance. Cooking is also much cheaper, makes more (for leftovers!), and saves us on gas (we can walk to our grocery store). A simple, delicious meal of some pasta and tomato sauce can’t cost more than a dollar or two per person and can feed us for several days.
In our case, we’ve “cut back” financially but enrished ourselves in other ways.
Where have you cut back?
(Photo: wallyg )