Mar 1, 2009

What Are You Doing to Weather the Current Financial Storm?

e’ve stopped all non-essential buying. I’ve been selling merchandise on eBay (extra money—whoo-hoo!). We moved our five-year-old from a private school ($500 a month!) to a good-quality public school (free, albeit with lots of mandatory fund-raisers). We eat vegetarian once or twice a week, with one of those nights being a beans-and-rice night (with homemade cornbread, it’s not so bad). And we are actually completely eating up our leftovers (we used to view them with condescension—now we look at them as eating opportunities). My husband takes leftovers for his lunch every day, instead of eating out (we have yummier-than-average leftovers, since I am a fanatic foodie), and we eat out as a family only once per week, and that is lunch, which is cheaper than supper.

We make trips to the local library once or twice a month to borrow books rather than buying them (who needs the clutter anyway?), and have found it fun to go online, check the catalog of books available, and put a desired book on hold. When the library gets it, you get an e-mail. All you have to do is swoop in and pick it up. Renewals on-line make it all easy, too. Libraries ROCK!

Lastly, we own a small shack in the mountains of NC (across the country from where we live), and we have been gloriously forgiving of the current tenants, who pay the rent intermittently at best, because we know the "bird in the hand" adage to be true (their rent money helps us pay our property taxes in California—we are grateful for that). Whew. These have been changes that we have consciously made (so far, painlessly).

Now, what are you and your family been doing to cut back financially? Has it been successful?

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