I thank you too, Greger, Sticks, and Garden Toad too. I'm sorry for the struggles and hope things get better for you soon.
We live such a streamlined life that I don't exactly know what would be substantial to give up.
We both quit our higher paying, higher stress jobs years ago (me...20 years, he 10 years). Our design was to live on what we make on the cleaning business I started. We have always managed our money very carefully because we don't make that much money.
Yes we have some money in savings to fall back on but we try never to touch that. We had to a bit when my daughter got married (her dad didn't help with that much) and when my younger daughter got her first car.
Everything we have is paid for so that helps.
I don't get all the preventative procedures I should get (I've never had a colonoscopy for example) because all we have is catastrophic coverage. I won't give up going to the dentist or my gynecologist once every 1 1/2 years.
Our telephone/computer/tv is all tied to the same cable deal we got a year ago. When that contract is up here soon, they will sock it to us costwise I'm sure so we'll go with something else. That is probably when we'll finally give up our land line and get cell phones (no we've never had one yet).
I rarely watch tv so I don't need cable there. All our news we get online so I don't feel we could give this up.
We rarely go to movies but we go to a lot of concerts. Local concerts are very cheap usually though plus sometimes we're even on the guest list...
. We don't drink that much so those aren't expensive. I guess IF I HAD TO (kicking and screaming), we'd give up the little trips out of town to see concerts in Atlanta, Asheville, Chattanooga, etc. because those usually mean a hotel stay too. Plus those are usually the pricier concerts.
Concerts are really our only "extravagance" so things would have to be pretty bad for us to give that up.
Afterall, we're not getting any younger so you gotta wonder how long we're going to be able to do it anyway.
At least as long as Phil though...right?
I'm not a shopper and don't buy that many clothes. We do spend quite a bit on groceries so I could probably cut back there.
My husband is a retired CPA so he works on our taxes all year long and projected income, etc. If it looks like it's going to be a "loss" year, we give up trips and cut back going out to eat, and maybe even a concert or two.