Budget Priorities: If I Had To, What Would I Cut?

Budget Priorities: What Would I Cut?I have started to work on our household budget for February and this question came to mind: if I had to cut back on our spending, what would I cut?

The scenario that usually runs through my mind is this: what if I lost my job tomorrow? I am the primary income earner in our household so we would officially be in the middle of an emergency.

Well first of all, I would have to remember to protect the four walls: food, shelter/utilities, transportation, and basic clothing.

In our situation, we should be able to cover those 4 walls with our emergency fund.

So what would be cut or eliminated? In other words, what in our world would not be an essential expense?

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My Budget Cuts

This is my list. You have to evaluate your own financial situation and the priorities of your household. The key is making sure you know how to decide on needs vs. wants.

  • New Clothing: Meaning, we would not need to buy new clothing. We could easily make do with what we already have. Laundry/dry cleaning expenses would most likely be cut or reduced as well.
  • Restaurants: Well, with little or no income, we would have no business eating out so we would definitely cut this area almost completely.
  • Landscaping: We use a service to take care of our yard. We could eliminate this expense. It just means I would be spending a little more time outside :-).
  • Cable: We have a very nice TV package. We would look to eliminate or reduce the expense to just have the very basic channels. Just have to remember that there is not that much on TV that’s very good.
  • Internet Service: My wife and I both rely heavily on access to the Internet. The key here would be to identify the least expensive, most basic level of service.
  • Cell Phone Service: Initially I got a cell phone for emergencies. Now, it is really an useful tool and it also offers a degree of entertainment. Similar to the internet and cable service, I would need to look for the most basic service.
  • Entertainment: This covers items like going to the movies, sporting events, etc. Again in the middle of an emergency, this would be an area that we could really reduce in our our expenses.

There is one area which I did not address on my list but it would merit some consideration. That’s the area of giving. I have written before on how our generosity is not to be limited by the size of our bank account.

However, giving is very personal. You would have to evaluate very carefully and prayerfully what do in terms of giving if you are facing loss of income for an extended period of time.

In our case, I believe we would find a way to continue giving as part of monthly financial plan. I have faith that God would provide for our needs as He has to this point.

Question: If you had to do it, how would you adjust your budget?

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2 thoughts on “Budget Priorities: If I Had To, What Would I Cut?”

  1. Before my wife & I got married she became unemployed so she decided to cut back. She canceled all non-essentials including cable. We have yet to put cable back into or lives. Instead we put that money towards reducing debt, savings, emergency fund, etc.
    Living this way allows us to have a reserve so that if we become unemployed again we’ll have less to worry about.
    Willingness to cut back during unemployment is a good attribute to have. But, the fact that we can live without certain things when we don’t have a job proves we can live without them before reaching that point.

    1. Absolutely! There is always an opportunity cost. What can I do with that money? Knowing and sticking with those priorities allows you to win. Thanks for the comment!

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