I’m remembering the scene from The Wizard of Oz. You know the one…
It popped into my head when I started thinking of ways to cut dollars from our budget.
clip clip here, buzz buzz there, and a couple of tra-la-las
That’s how we [something] the day away…
(that’s how I sing it, anyways)
The other day as I was studying our budget line items to find something, anything that could be cut, I was coming across a lot of untouchables. Nope, mortgage isn’t going down. Nope, not gonna touch the cell phone plan. Insurance, not changing carriers. This line item ain’t changing. And neither is this one.
Maybe I could shave a little off of this, this, and this, but I can’t see that amounting to very much, so why bother going through all that effort?
[Insert sound of me whining here.]
In the back of my head, I was hearing a mantra commonly spouted all over the personal finance blogosphere: you can always cut more than you think.
[Can you hear that? Yep, still whining.]
So I took a break from the spreadsheet, got into a better state, and came back a week later with a different approach.
Instead of mentally accounting for the things that could potentially be cut, and dismissing them as trite, I put down hard numbers.
$25 per month off the coffee bill if one of us (who shall not be named) could break her (or his) dependence on afternoon caffeine.
$15-ish per month off the power bill with some energy reduction efforts.
$100 could possibly be shaved off the restaurant tab by focusing on coupons, discount gift cards, restaurant.com, etc.
$25 here, $30 there, and so on….
In the end, my potential savings column totaled $300 per month. And even though some of these items are last resorts and may never be touched, at least they’re there in black and white.
It’s a starting place.
Speaking of, I think I’ll be starting with the energy bill, because I have absolutely no emotional attachment to our energy consumption. Painless budget cuts are the best kinds. Plus, I’d get to finally buy these cool power strips.
Cut cut here, cut cut there…
(Photos courtesy of Parody Files)