I've been thinking the same thing, given my plans for the summer and my hopes to buy/build a retirement home in the next five years.
So what have I cut back on, without much thought?
- cable TV
- expensive skin and hair products
- new books
- manicures and pedicures
- meals out
- Starbucks and coffee cart coffee
- household goods
Expensive skin and hair products: I have learned to resist the lure of magazines and ads, and to use sites like www.beautypedia.com for advice about worthwhile products and www.drugstore.com for sales and discounts. Luckily I don't have to spend money or time on my hair, and with the purchase of my Clairsonic my skin has so improved.
New books: I buy eBooks at a decent price, "books" at a half-price shop, and use a library for everything else. Again, the bennies of My U. I also sell back books I buy.
Mani-pedis: Use to get superb ones from a place nearby at a great price. The woman I always asked for moved, to another shop under the same chain but closer to her kids. None of the other operators were as good, and I also realized I could easily do my own mani-pedis for free. So I do.
Meals out: Favorite restaurant closed, partner in crime moved away to another job. The result is that I eat out rarely. Less than once a week, in fact. I'm cooking and eating at home, which is truthfully a pleasure since I can better control my calorie intake. Eating out is more about meeting friends, and eating in will allow me to put the Pantry Challenge into play.
Expensive coffee: Yeah. At $2/cup it is better to use the Senseo in my office or the hot water kettle for tea. Or carry in a thermos from home, along with snacks and lunch.
Household goods: Since decluttering my house, I have no desire to re-clutter it. So I am paying attention to what I already have and love, not buying new stuff. I do need to buy another set of sheets, but that's it.
What do I want to spend my money on? At least one trip per year. This year: Paris for a month. Good jewelry. Maybe a Hermes scarf or two.