Thurs., Nov. 3
Making Do With Less
During this recession - whether we're still at the beginning, somewhere in the murky middle, or slowly digging out - people have had to make hard choices. No money and no jobs means cutting budgets down to the bone, doing things yourself, or just plain doing without. That harmless cup of coffee on your way to work adds up. Same goes for gym memberships, cable, Netflix, mani-pedis and yard service - all nice to have, all adding to your bottom line.
Savvy shoppers clip coupons, thrift and "freecycle" to keep costs low. Some grow and can their own veggies and cut their own hair. But even a DIY, roll-up-your-sleeves ethos may crumble at the first sign of a Groupon email blast or a Marshalls sale. Saving is well and good, but it's hard, and we're a country that has learned to love little luxuries.
We want to hear from you this hour. What has your family decided to do to save a little money? What can you NOT live without, even if it does cost a little money? Can you live without Netflix or cable? Would you cut your own hair? How hard would it be to stop ordering in Chinese food or the occasional pizza? Leave us a comment on our Facebook page or Tweet us: @CallieCrossley.
Natalie McNeal runs the personal finance blog The Frugalista, where she writes about being "frugal and fabulous." She's also the author of The Frugalista Files.
Joel Schwartz is Director of Moving from Debt to Assets at the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization.
Timothy Wilson is a professor of Psychology at the University of Virginia. He is co-author of a 2010 research paper about how our happiness is affected by the way we spend our money. He's the author of the new book, Redirect: The Surprising New Science of Psychological Change.