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I could find $12,000 per year if I had to

By JLP | June 13, 2008

A few days ago, JLP came up with a list of things he could give up to find over $13,000 if money suddenly became tight. He encouraged readers to come up with their own lists, so I thought that I would share mine:

That gives me total annual savings of $9,150 to $11,750.

If I paid for cable, I would cancel it, but since it’s included in my homeowner’s association dues, that would have no impact on my expenses. Unlike JLP, I’m not willing to give up my landline and internet access either. Well, if things were really dire, I would, but I think I’d rather sell my house and move first. I could live without the landline, but I like having it during emergencies. And since we have DSL, our internet access is connected to our phone bill and I suspect that canceling the landline would cause our monthly internet charges to go up, canceling out any savings.

I’m actually surprised that I can’t think of more ways we would save money in a financial emergency, but these are our luxuries. If one or both of us no longer had a job, we would make the changes I outlined, but we would also have much lower expenses due to not having to pay income taxes and other mandatory deductions (though we might have to pay more for health insurance), as well as childcare. But hopefully, we’ll never have to take a serious look at this list!

Topics: Miscellaneous | 8 Comments »

8 Responses to “I could find $12,000 per year if I had to”

  1. Mrs. Micah Says:
    June 13th, 2008 at 3:50 pm

    Like you, the internet connection is pretty important to me. Among other things, it’s where half my income comes from…in one form or another. I can see it being more of a luxury for some people I know.

  2. sam Says:
    June 13th, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    One sentence in your post caught my eye. “And since we have two young boys that we have to entertain, we go to lots of places.” It is a shame that parents feel like they have to constantly entertain their children, or that children need constant entertainment. I’m probably showing my age, but as a youngster, I entertained myself, riding a bike, playing with friends, reading, even occasional TV(a couple of B&W channels). My parents didn’t feel the need to keep me entertained. I did have the advantage of growing up in smaller, safer towns in Oklahoma and Wyoming, and so my parents didn’t feel the need to constantly keep me in sight for safety’s sake. What ever happened to parents letting their kids out the front door in the morning and telling them to be home by dinner time?

  3. Cathy Says:
    June 13th, 2008 at 5:45 pm

    @Sam – If I let my kids out without supervision, I’d be arrested for criminal negligence. They are 1 and 3 and have a lot of energy. We go to the park as often as possible, but the weather isn’t always cooperative, nor is it always safe, depending on the time of day and number of people. I am looking forward to having to entertain my kids less, but I certainly don’t feel like a bad parent!

  4. Bozo Says:
    June 13th, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    Any expenses relating to children (or grandchildren, in our case) would be the last to be cut. My wife and I always plan our budget so we can spoil our grandchildren at Christmas.

    We forego those updated cars (my wife and I each drive cars over 15 years old), and find having no car payments is nice. No credit card debt is also nice. Actually, you can save a lot of money by saving money, i.e., by spending less than you make.

    It’s amazing how many people have their budgets eaten up by interest payments.

    Live within your means, spend less than you make, save the difference. I know it sounds old-fashioned, but it seems fairly reasonable.



  5. Scott Says:
    June 14th, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    I read both JLP’s and CFO’s posts, and my first reaction was “Good Lord, these people eat out a lot.” Then I was inspired to run a report on my own spending for last year, and found that I spent $1450 on dining out myself. That’s a lot less than JLP spent, but way more than I thought. Most of it was my wife and daughter eating fast food while out running errands. We occasionally hit the Chinese restaurant near the house, and maybe once a year go to Captain George’s. I spend a lot of time traveling on business, so I enjoy homecooked meals whenever I can get them.

  6. Cathy Says:
    June 14th, 2008 at 10:01 pm

    @Bozo – I agree, a budget helps to set priorities. Your grandchildren are lucky :)

    @Scott – LOL! We spent more than $2600 eating out last year with a new baby in the house, but we’ve been doing better this year. I would love to cut it by half ($100 per month is my ideal eating out budget) so that’s what I’m working toward. Do you think you would eat out more at home if you didn’t travel so much?

  7. sam Says:
    June 16th, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    I agree that 1 and 3 year olds can’t be let out to entertain themselves. I was thinking more of grade school aged kids. My perceptions differed from your reality.

  8. Cathy Says:
    June 16th, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    @Sam – I understand your original point quite well, and I admit I get a little defensive when someone questions my parenting – sorry! I agree with you that there are some parents whose kids who are old enough to entertain themselves that go too far with constant entertainment, but I suspect that these parents are largely those who work long hours and don’t actually spend that much time with their kids, and then feel the need to make the time that they are together memorable in some way. I, for one, can’t wait until my kids are old enough to play organized sports so someone else can run them ragged!