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Snip, Snip: 12 Little (and Big) Luxuries We've All Cut Back On

Snip, Snip: 12 Little (and Big) Luxuries We've All Cut Back On

Last week readers shared some of the pre-recession luxuries they've cut back on in the last few months, and I was somewhat relieved to learn we're all scaling back on the same things. While tightening the budget and eliminating your favorite little pleasures isn't enjoyable, there's something reassuring about knowing we're all in this together. What so-called extravagances were the first to go?

  1. Clothes and shoes: It's clear most of you are shopping less, but that doesn't mean you have to wear the same boring threads. Spectra says she's been re-purposing her wardrobe and trying to come up with new looks without having to buy new stuff.
  2. Spa and beauty treatments: Beauty routines have gotten a make under. Facials, mani-pedis, waxes, haircuts and colorings were among the first beauty-related luxuries to go. Many of you have taken to coloring your hair yourself, or trying less pricey alternatives. luna08 says she now visits a local cosmetology school instead of a professional salon. "Eyebrow waxes for $2, mani-pedis for $10, facials for $20. Not a luxe atmosphere, but it gets the job done!"
  3. Take out and eating out: Making dinner at home more and brown bagging it to work is a national fad these days. It doesn't have to be all PB&J though — Smacks83 allows herself to eat out about once a week and carries cash instead of a card so she can see her spending.
  4. Bar tabs: Who can afford the lounge mark up? Most of you say you're going out less. While your wallet may be fatter, one reader reports her waist line is decidedly slimmer from avoiding alcohol!
  5. Coffee: Sorry, Starbucks! Most of you are making drip coffee at home these days and pouring it into a reuseable mug instead of buying your java on the go. It bodes well for the new instant Starbucks packets.

For the rest of the list,


  1. Brand names: Now is not the time for labels. One reader says she now picks up the store brand soda instead of Pepsi.
  2. Fancy cable: Premium channels were the first to go, but many of you report you've canceled cable all together.
  3. Transportation: More of you are hopping on the bus to save on gas and car costs.
  4. Travel: While airlines are pumping out great deals, most of you say you've cut back on travel. pia suggests vacationing at national parks instead of going overseas.
  5. Newspaper deliveries: A number of you say you've cut your daily newspaper deliveries and get your news online instead.
  6. Jewelry purchases: There are plenty of ways to sparkle. GlowingMoon has stopped spending on jewelry and is using extra funds to upgrade her home instead.
  7. Books and iTunes: Many of you say you've cut back on books and downloads. You might consider swapping media with friends by starting a book, movie and music trading club.


Join The Conversation
Strawberry2718 Strawberry2718 8 years
I don't believe in feeling deprived. I like my luxuries even though I think I live quite lean. I make sure I receive points off my credit card (I only have one, so that I get maximum points) I process all my bills through this card. With the points can get merchandise, gift cards. Lately I've been going after grocery gift cards (so that I can use my money budgeted for groceries like spending money) and Starbucks gift cards, because I do like having coffee and relaxing there from time to time :)
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
A lot of things, shopping, hair, nails and such.
wildegurl wildegurl 8 years
my library card has never seen more action in its life than it has now!! i never realized how much money i threw away buying magazines every month at barnes and noble... now i just save a saturday or sunday and read them at the library. you only read magazines once anyway! (i USED to work in the magazine industry so I feel slightly guilty saying this!)
snarkypants snarkypants 8 years
good tips. i haven't cut back on the clothes and shoes either though. it's hard cuz there are such good deals out there right now! bad economy = great shopping.
bluepuppybites bluepuppybites 8 years
We've cut back on pretty much all those things or else they didn't apply, but we've had to add in new expenses. We have to get new baby gear, and I'm needing some new clothes and shoes since I've outgrown my other stuff. Our daughter will need a new bed and her birthday is coming up. So I'm stressed again.
Ms-Priss Ms-Priss 8 years
Great post. I haven't stopped buying clothes and shoes honestly, but I have definitely cut back on EVERYTHING else.
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 8 years
jennjennnbubba jennjennnbubba 8 years
I have definetly cut back on the Starbucks and buying music. As for the pedicures, I go once a month instead of twice a month. I must get my spa time! :spa:
laurelm laurelm 8 years
I have always saved Starbucks/fancy coffee for once in a while, it is just so expensive and it is more special when I decide to treat myself. I joined my library though as a way to save money, I read so much and no longer live near a used book store where I just always used credit.
greenapples1987 greenapples1987 8 years
luckyly we have not had to cut back on the things we enjoy.
luna08 luna08 8 years
Bluebellknoll, I was thinking the same thing! :)
bluebellknoll bluebellknoll 8 years
I love that cup. Ironically, this post is about cutting back but I so want to buy that cup right now!
Spectra Spectra 8 years
LOL, that's a cute cup! I have a big travel mug that I fill with coffee and drink on the way to work. It's cheap and I think my own coffee tastes way better than Starbucks anyway.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
Starbucks has been all but eliminated from my life for the time being. It's just too expensive. Going out to eat is now a luxury also.
Frenched Frenched 8 years
I have that same re-usable cup! It's really cute. And yes, I've cut back a lot.
kscincotta kscincotta 8 years
Did you mean reusable mug instead of disposable? That would make more sense. Thanks for the list!
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