SURVEY SAYS: Cutting Back Expenses

August 27, 2012 -- Last week, I asked NewsDash readers, if you had to cut back on expenses, what would you definitely not give up?

By Rebecca Moore | August 27, 2012
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The most selected response was “other,” and I have to say, I did not include pets or pet care because I considered that a “given.”  Aside from pets and pet care, the “other” responses included alcoholic beverages and coffee, books, all of the above, heating and air conditioning, hair appointments, church tithes, and golf.  

Among the listed choices, “driving” was the number one selection, made by one-quarter of responding readers. “Personal cell phone” and “personal Internet connection” ranked second and third, with 21% and 17% of votes, respectively. Five percent of folks said they would not give up their cable or satellite TV, 3% would not give up vacations or trips, and 2% would not give up going out to eat. No one selected “magazine subscriptions” as something they definitely not give up.  

In the verbatim comments, some respondents expressed how difficult the decision would be to give up any of the listed things, while others indicated they had already cut expenses and were fine without them. A few offered tips for cutting back without completely eliminating.  

I often think like the reader who said, “I am waiting for the day my children grow up and leave home. My grocery bills and utility bills will be greatly reduced. Then I can save big bucks toward retirement,” although my children are grown already; they’re just not going anywhere.  

But, Editor’s Choice is a tie between “My household will do our version of an RFP: shop our current expenses in the marketplace,” and “The price of black oil sunflower seeds have skyrocketed in the last few years, but the pleasure of watching birds at the feeders is worth the price.”