“Boy, you thought the economy sucks now, wait until you see what it will look like in the next quarter.” That is what my friend told me who works for a big box store when we were discussing ways of saving money and dealing with ramped inflation. Already I have scaled back my spending to not only meet the inflationary rate hikes, but also saving for that inevitable slowdown as the businesses I work for either do lay-offs, or operate at reduced capacity. For my friend, it is a matter of time before he claims that lay-offs are going to happen at his workplace. He figures with his seniority he should weather it OK, but warns that if business drops more than thirty percent then he could be facing the unemployment lines. Me, I could be facing it sooner. Either way, I have started making preparations for it.
Spending is something that we are either forced to do, or plan with vigilance. I prefer to do it in a planned manner so that I am in full control of my future budgets. This means that any unnecessary expenses must go. Cable and residential Intranet service are first on my chopping block, no more movie channel and broad band internet—I can get those at the university now.
Next, scaling back on my utilities, such as cutting off my propane, my source of heating, and switching it over to electric heat. Unfortunately we are not allowed to use wood heat. I have partially done this already for this winter, but I have maintained some fossil fuel heat as a back up for when it got really cold. This year I also invested in a huge insulation program when I insulated various parts of my home for better heating efficiency. I have seen a noticeable effect on my bills, but I want to go even further. Savings so far about $800.00 pre year.
Financially, I have cut up all of my credit and carry a debt free balance on my credit. This means going even further by eliminating all of my Bank accounts, line of credit and any other parasitic service charges that seem to be increasing along with inflation. Cash is the new means of handling my affairs now, and it seems to be a lot cheaper. Savings, about $1400.00 per year.
Next, vehicle insurance. Gone are the unnecessary extra third party and ancillary premiums that seem to be flogged every time I go into renew. I now carry just the basics; only what is required by law. The savings, $600.00 pre year.
General driving. Cutting way back now, and I’ve started a strategy of planning my trips so that I can do more per trip than just doing a bunch of separate trips. I’m hoping to save about one third of the total fuel bill. Perhaps a savings of $2000.00 per year.
Laundry, doing that at home now. Well, the washing part I still do at the laundromat, but I’m taking my wet clothes home and hanging them up on a clothesline. Because I only rent pad space, the property owner has a few things to say about hanging clothes outside, so I hang them inside over my bathtub. I estimate a savings of about $150.00 per year.
This is just a sample of what I have managed to do so far. Of course the argument here is that all of this cutting back is going to hurt the economy ever more. Well, here I believe that we need to examine the rule of economics to the bitter end—this is a market adjustment and we all need to adapt to it whether we like it or not. No one is going to bail us out, especially the working class, so don’t ask for help from the Harper and whiner government, you are not going to get it from them. Buckle up folks, this is going to hurt.
Added: Just a side note, most of my cut backs had started months ago. Some of you know that I am back in Univerity as a mature student. I have gone part time at work in order to keep up with the work load that I get from classes–the dreaded homework. So my finacial situation is probebly very diffrent from most of yours. I live the life of a student, and this means that my current lifestyle is based around lack of sleep, too much reading, Kraft Dinner and Root Beer, plus worring about cramming for exams. Partying and panty raids are myths perptrated by Hollywood, although I do not live on campus so I could be wrong. *yeah, I just an evil thought too once I re-read that…*