Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cut Your Expenses! The Ones You Don't Have!

Classic example of why I'm writing this blog.

I picked up "You're Broke Because You Want To Be" by Larry Winget at the library the other day. He has some generally good advice as far as I've read, which is about halfway through the book.

I get to the chapter on "How to Cut Your Expenses and Increase Your Income", and I'm excited. The book's been decent so far, maybe he'll have some good tips! Here's what he says:

  • Give up cable TV. Save $100 a month!
  • Get a cheaper car. For example,  instead of one with a $900/mo payment, one with a $150-200/mo. payment.
  • Move. Somewhere cheaper.
  • Give up your high-speed internet.
  • Get rid of your home phone.
  • Get a new cell phone plan.
  • Cut your insurance expenses.
  • Stop eating out.
  • Stop going out.
  • Give up the salon.
  • Drop your gym membership.
  • Stop smoking.
That's it. These are great tips....if you're already a wealthy middle-class overspender. But excuse me for being responsible. Let me run through those again:
  • Give up cable TV. Are you kidding me? I've never even HAD cable TV in order to give it up!
  • Get a cheaper car. You mean one that's cheaper than my (paid-for) $2,500 Civic? Maybe you have a free one you'll give me?
  • Move. Good advice, except I paid $70k for a fixer-upper, and my mortgage is lower than anywhere I could possibly rent.
  • Give up your high-speed internet. I pay 21.95 per month for non-high-speed internet service. I suppose I could cancel it.
  • Get rid of your home phone. You mean my only regular phone?
  • Get a new cell phone plan. As opposed to the tracfone that I have only because my pizza delivery job requires that I have it. The one that I buy the minimum possible minutes for-- ultimately less than $7/month....?
  • Cut your insurance expenses. Check and check. We did this what seems like ages ago. Our auto insurance agent was super helpful telling us what reductions in coverage would net the most reduction in premiums, and our homeowners' insurance deductible is as large as our emergency fund.
  • Stop eating out. This assumes we eat out in the first place. Which we don't.
  • Stop going out. Because going out for drinks with your co-workers or friends doesn't count as eating out...
  • Give up the salon. Right. I'll call my stylist immediately and inform him/her that we won't be coming in. They'll be super-confused, since neither I nor my wife ever go anyway.
  • Drop your gym membership. Yes, the one I don't have...
  • Stop smoking. Good advice for smokers, I guess.

So much for cutting my expenses. Maybe he'll have better advice on how to increase my income. I hope so.


How to increase my income? Get a second job. Oh. Right.


Reasonably sound advice in the end, though:
  1. Know where you are.
  2. Take responsibility for the situation.
  3. Feel bad about it. Experience remorse.
  4. Make the decision for things to be different.
  5. Know exactly what you want your life to look like.
  6. Create an action plan to get there.
  7. Know what you are willing to give up to get what you want.
  8. Spend less than you earn.
  9. Figure out ways to earn more.
  10. Stop all unnecessary spending.
  11. Pay off debts as quickly as possible and only go into debt for things with long-term value.
  12. Build a cushion. Save!

All of which I'm already doing. As far as I know. I just want to do it better. WAY better.

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Does "claim" sound weird in your head now? It does in mine.