Cutting the Biggest Expense of All

Now that I’m looking at my budget and trying to find other ways to cut costs, I’ve come to the grim realization that the biggest expense of all which needs trimming, is my living arrangement. True, my rent is equal (if not less) to what I would probably pay anywhere else, at the same time it costs quite a bit to run a house this large. It is only myself and a 6 year old living here…do we need all of this?

Here are the cuts I’ve made in the last year:

I canceled the land line.
I stopped eating out.
I’ve stopped using my credit cards (which means no extra spending on the frivolity of cute shoes and handbags at the very least).
I take my lunch to work.
I do not have my hair done professionally, even though my cousin is pretty professional.

Here are the cuts I have not made but intended on:

My cellphone bill is still too much. I have not tried the Walmart pay as you go plan that I had considered.
I have not yet tried to make my own dryer sheets with coffee filters.
I have not traded my 2007 G6 for a cheaper clunker (okay, this wasn’t ever my intention anyway).
I have not grown any of my own food or really tried to make anything except the Valentine card box.
I have not tried sewing our clothes.
I have not canceled the Dish Network, even though my contract is expiring at any minute.

My goal is still, to be in a position to comfortably buy a house for my daughter and myself, especially since small town bank specifically said I’d never be able to. The problem right now is that a) my expenses are still not lowered enough to afford a house and everything it entails. b) my credit is a bit askew because of the medical bills and credit cards.

Most likely I will move into my parents’ home for a little while to save some money and get my bills paid off. I will still pay rent and expenses, but it’ll be considerably less than renting an entire home. Granted, I don’t look forward to having to move myself and my daughter into mom and dad’s but…you do what you gotta do.

I’ve also looked into a position as a resident manager of an apartment complex, which could also save me quite a bit of cash. Unfortunately, trying to squeeze a house full of stuff into an apartment could be hell, not to mention adding yet another job to my current list could end up sending me to live with the Amish. I’m not sure, but I did apply.

It’s a lovely house I live in. I think sometimes we have to sacrifice in order to make it to the end, though. I know there’s some kind of deep and meaningful saying somewhere about living like a bum in order to afford a house one day, but right now I can’t think of it.

Ugh…here’s to paying things off early and getting what we want…

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3 Comments

  1. Mneiae
    Posted February 15, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    I think that you have the right idea. This is the right time to make the sacrifices. Somehow, though, you might be happier as a resident manager rather than moving back into your parents’ house. There might be all kinds of intergenerational conflicts. I know that your job is taxing, but you gotta do what you gotta do. You could try having a friend or two move into the house that you’re renting now to cut your rent cost, if it’s that much bigger than what you need. It couldn’t hurt and you wouldn’t have to leave your house.

  2. Posted February 16, 2010 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    what great goals – and I don’t blame you one bit for considering moving home for a bit to save some money…. I know I would if I needed to

  3. Posted February 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Along the lines of sharing with friends, have you considered sharing with another “together” single parent? Even if your current place isn’t right for it, there would be a lot of positives for both parents then- not just lower rent.

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