Thursday August 14, 2008 Talkback Question:

If you had to drastically reduce your monthly expenses, what non-essential bills would you get rid of?

The first thing to go in my house would be cable tv and home phone service (packaged with cable and Internet). Right now, I pay around $180 for cable tv, phone service and Internet service thru Comcast.

Talk to me, I want to know you what expenses are a drain on your wallet.

HSBC Direct - Strategy


  1. Anonymous // August 14, 2008 at 7:47 AM  

    I guess mine would be cable too. We have everything packaged. I have already cut out two premium channels, since I usually watch HBO or Showtime, I just kept those. I could easily get rid of my house phone since I never use it. I would cut my cable back now, but it is pretty much my means to entertainment since I don't spend money on anything else. Beats going to the movies and spending $20. I just wait for movies now til they come out on cable.

  2. Kara // August 14, 2008 at 8:43 AM  

    I also would cut out cable, and all eating out.

  3. Tom // August 14, 2008 at 8:54 AM  

    Begrudgingly it would be cable and internet also. Eating out and most forms of entertainment like movies would have to go, but those aren't really bills.

  4. Ellen // August 14, 2008 at 10:13 AM  

    I don't have cable but I might try asking for a cheaper plan on my cell phone, although I think I'm on the lowest plan already. All movies and nights out, prepared food from the grocery store, lunches on the one day a week I don't bring mine. I think Netflix would be the last to go because it's a great frugal entertainment, but I might downgrade to 1 disc at a time and borrow more movies from the library.

  5. Melanie // August 14, 2008 at 10:57 AM  

    We would cancel our cable T.V.,our cell phones, and our Netflix.

  6. Paul // August 14, 2008 at 11:22 AM  

    Drastically reducing my expenses has already been done. We sold off all our toys (2 cars, boat, 4 jet skis, 4 ATVs, vacation house), downgraded to the least expensive cable package, bring my lunch every day, don't have a home phone, bought a car for $200 and converted it to run on vegetable oil, and raised my deductible on my insurance.

    I don't know where else I would cut. I have expenses already at the bare minimum (don't go out to eat anymore, don't get Netflix or blockbuster anymore, forced my employer to pay for my internet because I wasn't paying for it anymore, convinced my employer to give me a cell phone, eliminating the need for me to have one anymore).

    I refuse to cut activity fees for my kids, which is why I go without most of the things I used to do - to free up $$$ for them.

  7. Anonymous // August 14, 2008 at 12:19 PM  

    Ooh that's a hard one, I think I'd cut cable and internet (we have a library nearby whose internet I could use after a 5 min walk)... then eating out.

  8. Tiffanie // August 14, 2008 at 5:37 PM  

    cable for us too. we have all the HD channels and movie channels and although they're nice, if we HAD to...we could get rid of them.

  9. forever_student // August 14, 2008 at 8:46 PM  

    cellphone can be changed to prepaid, and cut off the cable entirely

  10. Jerry // August 15, 2008 at 12:18 AM  

    Cutting back would lead cable and the land line to go out the window. We don't eat out a lot, as it is, but we would cut that back as well. Only the essentials. If we could, I would like to get rid of a vehicle (for gas, insurance, and other savings).

  11. Anonymous // August 15, 2008 at 11:40 AM  

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  12. Anonymous // August 15, 2008 at 1:09 PM  

    That's it for me too - $180 on Comcast (On Demand is just so damn sexy! haha).

    I've already seriously cut everything else i can from my life to budget for the Mrs. going to Grad School next week....Comcast is all i have left, and i'm clinging on baby!

  13. Anonymous // August 15, 2008 at 3:20 PM  

    tough one. i have roommates so i'm not sure i can cut back on cable or utilities. i'd cut back on lunch during the week and all eating out. my gym membership would go. things would get sold.

  14. Canadian Finance Guy // August 15, 2008 at 11:28 PM  

    Cell phone. THis one always seems to take a chunk of cash out of our bank account when it feels like we do not get much in return.

  15. chocolate crunch // August 18, 2008 at 4:52 AM  

    i will let go of my cable but i will retain my internet service since i can watch my tv shows online. next will be netflix, i have one movie at-a time promo now. i'm switching to my local library for movies. i always cook my food and make me my own sandwiches and coffee. the only time i buy starbucks is when i get a free gift card from work or from a friend.i canceled my gym membership and started using the treadmill i bought three years ago. i planted a lemon tree, nectarine,summer squash and tomato plant. my next plants will be green beans, limes, valencia oranges, peppers.

  16. Anonymous // August 25, 2008 at 11:37 AM  

    I actually did drastically reduce my living expenses. I've been increasing my debt repayments and cutting out excess expenses.

    The biggest saver was cutting out cable. I've been watching Hulu instead - they have most prime time tv shows online now.

    I also started buying more fresh produce and nixing little grocery store extras (like those impulse bags of nuts at the checkout).