If your household income dropped by 50%…

…what would you give up?

Here’s the reality:  Let’s get hypothetical.  (How’s that for a paradox?)

I would like to start a discussion on what you would do if your income was drastically slashed.  This is not as far fetched as one might believe. It’s happening all over the world as we speak.  So what would you give up?  You’re currently living in your own house(I assume).  Would you downsize?   What about your utilities? Would you become more vigilant about turning off lights and spending more than 5 minutes in the shower?

Or what about the luxuries?  Would you get rid of cell-phones, internet, cable/satellite?

Then there’s holidays.  We don’t spend a lot on vacations but we’ve certainly spent more in the past 2 years than we ever have.  Would you give up your annual Cuba or Mexico vacation?  Would you look for discount hotels instead of the 4 or 5 star you’ve been used to?

What about eating out? How often a week do you eat out and what amount do you spend?  Would you get rid of that luxury all together?

So, let’s get real. What are you willing to give up?

7 thoughts on “If your household income dropped by 50%…

  1. We could do it (and we have). When my hubby went back to university to get his masters our income was cut by 2/3’s! Now that’s a wake up call. I grocery shopped different then, cut out extras like coloring my hair and extra curricular activities and we had 4 kids then. In our entire marriage we have never had dual income so that helps because then we aren’t used to lots. I remember once thinking that we could use an extension cord but not buying one because we didn’t have the money for it. I think it was $12. I am very fortunate to have married a saver and not a spender (as I am a spender). I shudder to think where we would be if my hubby hadn’t been frugal.

  2. You know in 31 years we’ve lived everything from taking back pop bottles (some of them scanvenged and found) to buy milk, to flipping out that gold Visa card to pay for a Hawaiian vacation and then paying off the balance the same day. I grew up in a family that never wanted, but never flaunted. My parents modelled good money management skills (give some, save some, invest some and spend the rest with joy!) and even when they went through some financial difficulties with their business in the 80’s, never missed a beat. They downsized, clipped grocery coupons and continued to give and share and be gracious.

    We had a rough patch a number of years ago and sold a 1600 sq ft house with all the bells and whistles and moved into a 1000 sq ft townhouse that I renovated (learning some valuable skills along the way) on a shoe-string budget and ended up loving life there. What I’ve learned…you can have lots or you can have little. Do you share? Do you give? Do you have joy? Are you teaching your children that memories are what count and that stuff is just stuff?

    • Darlene, I just love your response!! You are so right! I hope that we have modeled for our kids the importance of giving more and getting less. It is a tough world
      to navigate these principles in. And yes, we’ve taken bottles back to pay for milk AND I’ve rolled pennies to buy diapers!! It makes you appreciate the good days!

  3. I can’t vote because really, we’ve been living frugally for our entire marriage. I would have loved to give up our cable and internet last year but we were locked into a contract and we would have had to pay the remaining months to get out of it anyway. We’ve gone without cell phones forever,(unless they were being paid for by work) so that’s old news to us. The one we have now is pay and talk so that if we have a tight month we don’t have to worry about a cell phone bill. We got rid of our car when the lease was up and instead of getting something new we’re driving my parents old car and putting the “car payment” towards our credit cards. It is really, really freeing to live simply. We don’t own a home yet, and won’t until we know we can afford all the things that come with home ownership. When we eat out we eat cheap. $5 pizzas, $.99 burgers, etc. Restaurants are a rarity. And we like it this way. I would move back into a plain old apartment if I had to and do so with a smile on my face. It’s something we’ve talked about doing when we start saving for a home, so that we can just keep our expenses to a minimum and save more. We’re a little abnormal that way, at least among our circle of friends. I think Glenn living for 4 years in the Philippines close enough to poverty and squalor that he could smell it, and then living in a pastor’s home his whole life gives him a different perspective on things. And I just like life to be as simple as it can be.

    We’ve lived our whole marriage on one income so if that got cut in half or Glenn couldn’t work or find a job, I’d work. Easy peasy. We would be just fine. But we really hope that doesn’t happen because we are REALLY trying to get out of debt this year!

    • Ya, you guys are a rarity and I have to say that we lived pretty much that way for many years too. And then you just have to buy a house to build up equity(which has been great) but yes, it does add a whole list of things that need to be paid for. Having young kids does make it easier to do the .99cent burgers and all that~ unfortunately in my house the boy who once could be fed with a McD’s Cheeseburger now wants(and needs) the combo PLUS another sandwich just to sustain him. Gone are the days of $20 trips to MacDonald’s. They’re now about $45 trips! And eating out at BP or somewhere similar easily runs us up to $80 or $90. So, ya, those visits are extremely few and far between.
      Vacations have become a necessity. As the kids get older we’ve found that we need to stop buying stuff(so easy to do with kids) and spend our money on making memories together. These have been wonderful, cherished times for us. But we’re still cheap. We have yet to fly our family to a “warm destination vacation” as many of our friends do. I never grew up that way and it’s just not our thing. Maybe someday we will splurge but for now it can’t be justified.

      • I actually fear how much it will cost me to go for burgers with my boys when they’re all teenagers. Olivier is our little porker…he eats anything and everything in sight. I’ve never had a baby/toddler like this. He eats twice as much as Andreas does already. I may have to get a part time job just to pay for groceries when they’re older.

        I do look forward to taking vacations and I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to remember them. Right now the splurge is passes to Heritage Park or the Zoo. It’s about all they can handle anyway being so little and they can’t get enough. I want to do road trips with them when they’re bigger. There is so much to see in Canada alone that it would be so worth it to spend time showing them their own country. And the Philippines. We’re definitely taking them there but not till they’re teenagers.

        Maybe you will go on vacations to warm places when your children are grown, and can pay their own way. 😛

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