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To ask you what specifics you’re cutting back on

196 replies

Bunnyfuller · 24/09/2022 11:13

The only trickle down I can see from Tory economic policy is lots of people’s incomes dropping. As this recession really grips, the small number benefiting from the tax cuts at the top won’t be enough or spend enough to keep many businesses profitable.

what things have you cut back to help you manage your household finances?

caveat: I 100% realise that there are many people who are already cut back to the bone, and have no further cuts they can make. I think there will be a growing number in this situation as prices continue to rise, and people only spend if they have to.

so us -

we used to go to Waitrose/M and S for occasional treats or stickered items. No more, price increases mean even stickered items are too expensive.

Main shop at Lidl. Stopped going to Sainsbury or Tesco as the quality isn’t much better and it’s too expensive.

Go to Asda for branded items because the fucking cat some want only the original

Haircuts - will get them done 4 months/6 months and I’m not having the colours done any more

Window cleaner - stopped

Restaurants - only on 2 for 1 vouchers, once every 2 months if that. We drink tap water

Takeaways - we make 1 Chinese last at least 2 meals, one takeaway a month from a Saturday night every week.

DIY - we had planned to recarpet upstairs and get wood flooring downstairs. Won’t be happening.

Were going to get garden fences painted (large garden so lots of fences) - not happening

Ditto the door on a cupboard upstairs, the bi-fold doors in the living room and the wall move/2 bathroom revamps

No new clothes, Charity shops/Vinted/eBay etc

No new furniture, as above if needed (recently bought a heated surer to avoid using the drier).

We’re a family of 4, I’m not sure what that takes out of the economy annually. I am conscious of the knock-on effect to hairdressers, Tradies etc. This in turn will force them to spend less…..

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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Bunnyfuller · 24/09/2022 11:18

Anyone?! Very busy board today, falling off the cliff!

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mamabear715 · 24/09/2022 11:21

We don't use hairdressers & I am the window cleaner, lol! Rarely go out for meals but do like a Just Eat..
I paint fences etc myself.. no plans to alter anything in our home at the moment. We buy new clothes as we need them (not often) & I shop online with Tesco for groceries.
I do smoke.. (waits for backlash!) none of us drink.. we are discussing cutting back on netflix etc, the kids seem to have watched everything on there! I don't use it, am happy enough with freeview.
We don't have a car.
I guess the next thing to look at is the grocery shop. We do have lots of treats. Interested to see what others say.

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Bunnyfuller · 24/09/2022 11:29

I’m an ex-smoker, so I kind of get it. The cost is eye watering though, isn’t it? That would give your finances a massive boost?

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Mamamia7962 · 24/09/2022 11:30

OP - You can paint fences yourself. I bought 3 tins of Ronseal woodstain one coat reduced to £5 a tin at the end of the summer. They were reduced from £15 a tin, so a good saving and saves having to pay someone else to do it.

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GasPanic · 24/09/2022 11:31

Got rid of amazon prime. I don't need the fast delivery and there is plenty of stuff to watch on telly on iplayer etc. I may get it again for 1 month over Xmas, watch all the stuff I want and then cancel again.

Got an air fryer instead of using the oven. That is saving me in electricity. Bought a blanket, heated throw so I don't have to turn the heating on. Optimised the electric - switched the xbox from instant on mode to off mode and optimised a few other electric things.

Bought a lot of stuff like muesli and tins in bulk because it lasts forever and the price is only going to go up in the future.

Got a window cleaning pole so I can clean my own windows including upstairs.

Haircut I do myself.

Takeaway only have 1x per week and that is fish and chips so not very expensive. I love fish and chips.

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Mamamia7962 · 24/09/2022 11:33

Also recommend buying an air fryer, so much cheaper than using an oven.

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Randomword6 · 24/09/2022 11:34

Meals out are out, as are: salmon or steak except maybe for a birthday, weekends away, gardening purchases, endless tat for presents at Christmas. Low hanging fruit I know but I feel cost of living crisis will bite deeper soon and expectations will have to change.

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Confusedteacher · 24/09/2022 11:36

We’ve always shopped at Lidl, so no change there. But we have resolved to stop nipping out to the local Tesco express when we run out of something/fancy a treat, and to stick to what we have bought in the weekly shop.

Cancelled the cleaner. Yes I know this was a luxury anyway, but we both work full time and have 5 kids between us!

Shopping on eBay/charity shops. I used to do this anyway, but now resolved to only do this if possible. I’ve also started selling stuff on eBay.

Second hand school uniform.

Seriously considering going down to one car. It would mean DH getting the train to work and making the DC use public transport to their after school activities sometimes.

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Bunnyfuller · 24/09/2022 11:37

Our garden is big, 40 fence panels, and health issues would make it a 10 years job. Prior to my heart issues and arthritis we painted shitloads offences, but the amount here combined with physical limitations make the DIY route a non-starter.

Got an air fryer off FB, still learning it 😊

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Sunbird24 · 24/09/2022 11:38

I’ve switched my car to a slightly newer but less fun expensive one, gone to a sim only deal on my phone and the basic Netflix package. I don’t spend very much anyway so not many places I can cut back. I have applied for a promotion at work that would give me an extra £5k a year if I get it though, and after my next embryo transfer I won’t be pursuing IVF any more, but that’s predominantly an age thing. It’ll still mean I spend a lot less in the future than I have in the last 2 years. Unless it actually works, I guess…

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Bunnyfuller · 24/09/2022 11:39

@Sunbird24 good luck with your IVF. DD1 is an IVF baby

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Sunbird24 · 24/09/2022 11:42

Thank you @Bunnyfuller - after 4MCs and one failure to implant I have low expectations, but that means I can only be surprised to the positive doesn’t it! 🤭

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NellyBarney · 24/09/2022 11:46

Heating, hot water, showers, amount of washing and drying. Shopping at ALDI and LIDDL. No new clothes, second hand school uniform. Holidays. This year we did 5 nights rather than 7 nights, next year maybe only 1 or 2 nights away. Do food (pooches get stale bread etc instead of treats, cheapest vat free working dog feed - they are very healthy and already lived well beyond their expected life span). Price checking and comparing everything, waiting until something we truly need comes up on sale. Christmas. Luckily kids are not into Christmas Dinner, so we got the thumbs up when we asked whether Pasta for Christmas followed by ice cream would be OK. No presents from us, but DGP will get some. No presents for adults. We are rather well off though but nearing end of house renovation on top of spiralling bills and inflation so dc's living standard is currently well below what one would consider a 'normal' middle class upbringing.

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Bunnyfuller · 24/09/2022 11:52

Very similar to us @NellyBarney , in terms of what you’re cutting back on. We both work full time, but inflation is eating what used to be disposable income.

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NellyBarney · 24/09/2022 11:55

Oh, and we get the kids meal at the Fish and Chips shop for adults, too, if we do have a takeaway. If we do go out e.g. for a birthday, we go for a lunch special or afternoon tea rather than dinner, and no alcohol, tap water only.

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girlfriend44 · 24/09/2022 11:57

Nothing that I can think of but watching with interest.

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NellyBarney · 24/09/2022 12:00

To be fair, a lot of this I have always done, and it's not really a hardship for me.
I don't enjoy something that I feel I wasted money on, e.g. a dinner that I know costs 1/3 less if ordered for lunch, or I can't really relax on a holiday that I know costs a fortune, even if I could afford it.

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PollyEsther · 24/09/2022 12:02

We tried changing from Sainsbury's to Asda but it cost us more. We only have a takeaway once a month and very rarely eat out (birthdays, usually. Although we did go out just DH and I last night as we've both had a horrific month and just needed to let our hair down. It's the first time this year that we've done so). Going back to Sainsbury's next month! Our food budget is modest but we eat well.

Have just taken on a cleaner tbh, which might seem profligate/contraversial, but I've just gone back to full time work so we don't have time to do it. Back to full time because we need the money so... I don't know if that counts?!

I've cut hairdressing down slightly, but I don't colour mine so it's not been overly expensive. Just moved from 6 to 8 weekly.

The biggest change(s) we've made this year to our outgoings have been consolidating and/or paying off debt to lower interest rates and buying a washing line. That last one sounds really crass, but we were regular tumble drier users, and will probably have to continue using it once it gets cold/wet, and we've saved hundreds of pounds from our electricity bill. We were also fortunate enough to be able to replace both our oven and fridge freezer, which were ancient and very energy inefficient.

Our cars are both 10 years old, but we own them outright and they are both reliable and relatively cheap to run. We're extremely fortunate that neither has (touch wood) needed anything particularly expensive doing.

We cut back on Christmas crap a few years ago after falling into the trap of feeling like we needed to spend excessively so that DC didn't feel 'poor' compared to peers. We have 4, and 2 of them are getting relatively expensive tech gifts this year, but that's because they don't own laptops/tablets at all (they are 9 and 11) and actually need them for homework. Everything else will be useful, no shit at all.

I try really hard to be sustainable around clothing, shoes etc also. We hand things down between DC and to others. I'm aware that we are extremely lucky to not be feeling the pinch between heating/eating etc and can continue with DCs extra curricular activities, eat well, have a nice home and so on. We donate as much as we can to those who aren't as lucky as we've been there and remember the crushing, relentlessness of poverty only too well.

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Dippydinosaurus · 24/09/2022 12:04

After 2 mat leaves and 2 young children with expensive childcare we're just coming out of the other side of having no money for the last 5 years so we don't have much to cut back on. We would have had more disposable income not having to pay for nursery anymore so this doesn't feel fair that yet again we're going to have no disposable income. But still at least we have that buffer. We shop at lidl but even there is expensive now. A weekly shop was £70 now £100 a week on basics only. I changed my car to a better mpg and zero car tax. We don't really have takeaways and am considering a ninja multi cooker as a birthday present.

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PollyEsther · 24/09/2022 12:04

Oh I forgot the phones as well, actually. DH needed a new one, so we managed to trade his in and get a very good deal on a sim free handset, so he is on a super cheap sim-only deal. Never been able to do that before! DS1 also on a cheap sim-only deal, so just DS2 and me with the expensive contracts now 😳I did reduce the cost of mine though by trading up/switching on a really good sale offer!

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TheRubyRedshoes · 24/09/2022 12:05

As pp said we already don't do a lot of what you mentioned including hairdresser.

I trim DC hair, and my own.
Dye my own hair.

Get free stuff on Freecycle, always brought cheaper charity shop stuff anyway, for myself I only buy clothes from Sainsbury etc or h and m.

We had a strict monthly budget with £ assigned to fun stuff , so that is retracted and directed elsewhere.

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Wrinklydinkly · 24/09/2022 12:09

Never bought Christmas cards,no gifts except small one for grown up kids, halogen oven, heated throw,/ hot water bottles, boil kettle once a day ,fill large flask for hot drinks. buy only chicken drumsticks for slocooker, use lentils and beans more, mushroom risotto in slow cooker, cook in bulk. 1 shower each a week, rest of week bucket of hot water and flannel do ok in the shower cabinet. No TV, power oak charged from car,runs and charges phones/ laptop.no takeaways ever . No subscriptions cheap internet phonedeal. Don't have tumble dryer. Switched off big freezer,use little one over fridge,lots of dry and tinned foods. Use seasonal veg and fruit. Vinted for necessary clothes.getting out of the house when not working for long walks uses less power in the home generally. Shop at Aldi, lidl.

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rrrrrreatt · 24/09/2022 12:10

We shop in Lidl already but I’m going to try and cut down on top up shops from the Co-op. I get very few branded bits anyway so my once a quarter trip to ASDA will continue.

Earlier this year I started turning down nights out/gigs because we’re buying a fixer upper. Our mortgage is in place but our sale’s been delayed and, with the rises, I’m terrified about interest if we need a new one so I’m really doubling down on not going out except for special occasions now.

We eat out a few times a month and I don’t plan to change that - we both work from home so its nice spending that time together out. I’m also going to continue having my nails down - the lady who does them is lovely and it’s the only time I really take for myself.

I’ve started buying bits for our house renovation in final markdown sales (sink, taps, toilet, etc) and I got some free moving boxes so I’ve stashed them away ready. We started with dreams of a few high end bits in each room but we’re going all budget unless it delivers energy efficiencies. Will still have pricier appliances if graded more energy efficient and having a free consultation about other energy saving measures & energy efficient heating.

My delicious lovely cigarettes will have to go too. I quit for ages but started again with the stress of our house chain stalling, the price is too eye watering to sustain.

We’re nowhere near the breadline and our jobs are very secure but it feels crazy taking on a huge house project as we’re entering a recession. Any extra savings we make go in the pot for the work!

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Misandre · 24/09/2022 12:11

Similar to you OP. We've more or less stopped eating out and I've stopped getting my hair coloured. We will skip a family holiday in 2023 in favour of daytrips from home. We are spending less on alcohol at pubs and when eating out.

How this unofficial budget is going to do anything other than feed a recession is utterly beyond me.

I'm not getting an air fryer. I only use the oven once, maybe twice a week so I think it would take ages to pay back. So much stuff I do is fine on the hob.

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mamabear715 · 24/09/2022 12:12

I forgot phones too! I have a dinophone. PC still works well & I don't need to read emails while I'm out & about. NOT a dig at people who do use smartphones, I can definitely see the appeal, just not for me!
@Bunnyfuller are there any young folk around you who might want to earn a bit of money cash in hand to do your fences? My garden is tiny & it took me forever to paint mine!

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