When money gets tight because of job losses or cuts in pay, cutting expenses and figuring out what is necessary quickly comes to mind. Also, with health care costs rising and the unknown ability to pay for health costs, it also becomes necessary to think about long-term issues which may become costly. Below are several suggestions for cutting finances which address both short-term needs and possibly long-term financial issues. The basic premise for living without something is not just “will I starve tomorrow if I do not have it?” but also, “what are my choices going to do to me in twenty years?”
1. Cable Television
Cable television costs a minimum of $30 a month, if not substantially more. Cutting out the cable bill and heading to the library for a free book can do as much for your mind as for your wallet. Network and public television can suit most television needs, as well as the internet.
Getting rid of a smoking addiction has more long-term benefits both for finances and health care costs down the road. It also helps in maintaining the value of the stuff you own – it can be difficult at times to resell a car or a house or a couch which has consistent contact even with a smoker who just smokes outside.
3. Soft Drinks
Again, for finances and health. Water is cheap and healthy. Soft drinks are not, particularly if obtained from the soda machine every day. If you are looking to lose weight (which saves health care costs down the road), soft drinks are actually an excellent start.
4. Car payments
Despite some “conventional wisdom,” many cars run well for a long time with proper maintenance. Only real lemons with improper care last less than 200,000 miles. Unless your needs radically change, save up and buy a used cars to save on long-term costs, and ride them for longer.
5. Name brands
Simply switching to generic drugs, food, and clothing can save you a bundle of money. Always ask a doctor if generic drugs will work – most of the time they will say, “yes” if a generic is available. Generic foods are almost the same as their name-brand cousins, particularly the staple products. Name-brand clothing is often overrated – good quality clothing without the high-end logo may just be one rack over.
Figuring out life’s true necessities can be difficult, particularly when society and advertisers attempt to impress upon everyone what cannot be lived without. If you can think long-term and make decisions on life and health based on what we know happens physically due to what you eat and drink, long-term costs can be alleviated as well as cutting down on short-term costs at the supermarket.