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Drastic Times Call for Drastic Cutbacks

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

There's no quick fix for the economy, and jobs are disappearing daily. Even seemingly secure jobs are causing some people to look at their futures with a budget cutting scissors in hand. If it makes you feel better to cut back now in preparation for the worst, then by all means cut back. Maybe drastic cutbacks aren't such a bad idea anyway. After all, we could all use some extra cash these days.


Hang It Up

Cell phone bills are outrageous, especially for large family plans. The average cell phone bill tallies up to $1,000 or more a year. Maybe it's time to say goodbye to the cell now rather than later.

Find out when your contract expires and note the date. Avoid early cancellation fees entering your life by opting not to renew the contract. It's the perfect time to buckle down and cut back.

Going without your cell phone plan doesn't mean going without your cell phone. Pay-As-You-Go plans allow you to cater your monthly budget accordingly. The committal to extra fees is gone, and so is the outrageous phone budget. It also works well for teenagers since they can be responsible for their own minutes. No money this month? No minutes. It's an easy lesson that anyone under eighteen can learn.


Trade Down

Gas prices may have fallen, but it's not a bad idea to trade down on your vehicle. Large trucks not only use more fuel but also cost more for repairs and yearly tags. Are they worth it? For some, the answer is an adamant yes. For others, maybe not. If you're driving a heavy duty pickup just to haul weekend toys, you might be able to downgrade your vehicle and pick up a cheaper, lighter trailer.

Similarly, if those monthly car payments are taxing, imagine what they'll feel like if job cutbacks affect you. Trade in now when you're not feeling so desperate and opt for something that's softer on your budget.

Eliminate the Extras

You may not be willing to get by without your cable TV or your landline phone, but those bills don't necessarily have to be as high as they are right now. Look at your next month's bill with a highlighter in hand. Highlight every extra service listed on your bill, both phone and cable. Can you live without some of these?


Try to gradually tighten your utility budget belt. This month eliminate one premium channel listing. Next month, drop call-waiting. Then, caller ID followed by DVR services. Could you drop your voice mail service and purchase a cheap answering machine instead?

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May 6, 20090 found this helpful

5buckdinners AT $5.oo dinners plus websites for lots of great coupons,etc.

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May 11, 20090 found this helpful

I would also add contact the utilities before dropping anything. We were trying to tighten the belt a bit and decided to drop call waiting. Hubby called the phone company and told them we wanted to drop caller id to save money. In the end not only did we keep caller id, but added something else that I don't even remember right now because the company had lower prices on that particular pkg than just dropping all the extras. We end up saving about $10.00 a month over our previous bills.

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