What Would You Give Up in a Financial Crisis?


I was listening to CBC Radio this past weekend and I heard a piece of a conversation with one of the guests on air. They were discussing the recession and the things people are excluding from their budgets in order to make ends meet, or to prepare for possible financial crisis.

It really got me thinking. We already follow a pretty tight budget in our household and there’s not a lot of money left over for luxuries. But then I wondered if perhaps we’ve included luxuries in our budget such as extra spending money for ‘incidentals’ like going to the movies, clothing etc.

It was really tough for me to pick something that I could give up. One of the things that came to mind was our bi-weekly house cleaning that we pay for. Really, this is a total luxury but it’s not something that I could part with.

As a full-time working mom, there isn’t much time for cleaning and I certainly don’t want to spend the precious weekend hours cleaning the house in exchange for quality time with my daughter. One of the reasons we moved to a condo in the first place was to have more ‘free’ time. We don’t spend any time doing yard work or shoveling snow, cleaning gutters, washing windows etc.

But if I’m not willing to give that up what would I give up?

Our cable bill comes to mind. We have lots of extra channels, PVRs, time shifting channels, home phone, two cell phones, data plans and high-speed Internet. But again, I’m not sure I could part with any of these either.

I love my TV at the end of a long day. It’s a way for me to unwind and tune into mindless happenings that aren’t my own life. And I need my data plan, imagine if I couldn’t tweet while out of the house? And no Internet means no life, so where to give?

It’s obvious that should a financial crisis strike our household, I’d be in for a very, very rude awakening. This knowledge doesn’t sit well with me and I don’t want to be in a desperate situation. It seems the natural thing to do is to simplify life now, when things are okay.

I’m not making any promises but I’m curious to see what I could live without in my somewhat pampered life. A little experiment if you will. I don’t have the details just yet but I will devise a plan and share it for public viewing (this always help to keep one committed) and make it my little project.

What have you given up to help with your finances? In a financial crisis, what’s the first thing that would be cut from your budget?

Image: Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net