Ask the Readers: Is There Anything in Your Budget You Could Live Without?

By Ashley Jacobs on 7 August 2012 (Updated 14 August 2012) 155 comments

Editor's Note: Congratulations to Rebecca B.A.R., Happy Love, and Amy for winning this week's contest!

Almost everyone knows the difference between needs and wants. Needs are things you absolutely must have in order to get by while wants are more luxury items you might not need. Everyone knows one of the best ways to save money is to reduce spending money on wants. But when it comes down to it, what wants would you really be able to let go of if you needed to make cutbacks?

Is there anything in your budget you could live without? Cable? Coffee? Dining out? Facials? Pedicures? Or...?

Tell us if there is anything in your budget you could live without and we'll enter you in a drawing to win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Win 1 of 3 $20 Amazon Gift Cards

We're doing three giveaways — one for random comments, one for random Facebook "Likes", and another one for random tweets.

Mandatory Entry: 

  • Post your answer in the comments below 

For extra entries (1 per action):

  • Go to our Facebook page, "Like" us, and leave a comment on this article telling us you did, or
  • Tweet your answer. You have to be a follower of our @wisebread account. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it. Leave a link to your tweet (click the timestamp for the individual URL) in a separate comment.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post OR you have a photo on flickr to share, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Monday, August 13th at 11:59 pm Pacific. Winners will be announced after August 13th on the original post. Winners will also be contacted via email.
  • You can enter all three drawings — once by leaving a comment, once by liking our Facebook update, and once by tweeting.
  • This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered, or associated with Facebook.
  • You must be 18 and US resident to enter. Void where prohibited.

Good Luck!

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Guest's picture
Dayla

i guess if i had to, i could give up netflix. hard because we don't have cable, but there is always the library to source movies and tv shows. pretty much everything else is an essential, including savings!

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Anne

I could certainly live without cable, which is the next item on my list that I will be cutting out. I've already saved money by eating out much less, making more meals from scratch, driving less, dry-lining some of our clothes, performing my own manicures and pedicures, and making my own brown sugar body scrubs. I'm sure there are other things I can cut from our budget!

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Holly S

The only item in our budget that we could live without as a family I think is our home phone. I have a cell phone and both my teenage boys do as well but it's such a minimal cost since it is bundled in with our satellite service and internet, I just haven't called to cancel it.

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Kelly

Coke Zero. I know it's awful for me and it's an expensive habit, but I just haven't given it the final kick yet.

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Bethany

Chocolate!

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I already like you on Facebook!

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Lakia

I could live without cable television & going out to eat for lunch...
TWEETED >>>https://twitter.com/KYLOV/status/233274202310991872

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Mary W

I could give up the pricey media package for all our cell phones. That would save a ton of money!

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Susan P.

I am very frugal and utilize a lot of freebies but would have to say I could cut out picking up food on the way home from a late class on Wed. nights and fixing food at home.

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Sarah

This one should be pretty obvious to anyone who shares my habit. I can live without them. In fact I will live longer without them, beel better without them, and have about $200 extra dollars in my pocket every month without them. Cigarettes. Wish me luck!

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Susan P.

I like the FB page and posted on Facebook.

orchidlady01

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Susan P.

I follow on Twitter and tweeted my answer.

https://twitter.com/orchidlady01/status/233279485141721088

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Glovam Patel

Willing to giveup : Outside Spending on Coffee & Foods Snacks, that friends or People around me enjoy having, As they are tempting,

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Scoutmaster

We love our $2. movie night at the local theater every tuesday since i cut tv out of our budget (we still watch dvds on the television)
We hit the "dollar" menu at fastfood places when we travel each month as a treat. (i cut all weekly fastfood outings & save for trips instead)
I buy a few extra can goods when they are on sale to bulk up my pantry and to share with the church food bank.
I gave each child $5-$10 at the begining of each trip to teach them how to handle their own $$$ on treats...what they don't spend they can keep!!! (It's amazeing how many items they will deside they don't need rather than part with "their" money.
We could give up almost anything i we needed to...we try to teach the kids how to be wise with $$$ and have joy in their lives.

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Cristi

I could leave without new clothes and shoes for a while..... The supply I own should be enough for years. Even the shoes... Yah. I know.

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Lisa Under the Redwoods

Eating out and generally giving less walking around money to my teenage daughter.

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CyndyNY

Cable TV! I'll read more :)

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Patrick

Home phone (land line) and eating out would be the first two to go. I could probably trim back on the amount I spend on gifts to people. I should trim the amount I spend on gas by taking public transportation, but my work hours are so unpredictable that I'd likely often be stuck at the office without a ride home.

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Lynda

hmm, if i really HAD to cut something out i guess it would be the gym.

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Lynda

i like wisebread on facebook

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Guest

Okay, wine is probably not an essential. But I buy it at Grocery Outlet so it is usually about $5 a bottle. Not bad!

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MELISSA HANSSON

My beauty spending is definitely the one thing I could do without, but I'm addicted to the gift with purchase!

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MELISSA HANSSON

"Liked" on Facebook, too. Thanks!

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Michael

I wish I could cut soft drinks out of my budget, for financial and health reasons. I drink a 2 liter every 2 days... its not a huge amount of money, but would be nice to free myself of my caffeine addiction!

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Raina

I've been getting weekly massages, which aren't cheap. Could I live without them? Yes. Do I want to live without them? No.

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Jairo

For me is renewing my non income producing domain names, it costs me 50 a year, but I dont want to let them expire for all the backlinks they have....

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amanda

Coffee and soft drinks

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aylaeh

i could do without cable tv.... and in fact i have for the last year and half!

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Jessica

Honestly, I can live without cable tv. I don't really watch that much tv anymore, with work and raising a toddler. Any show that I read up on that catches my interest I can always catch it online.

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Betty

I could probably do away with the land line phone. I think that's about the only thing that wouldn't bother me.

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Betty

I responded on Twitter. https://mobile.twitter.com/#!/1bets1/status/233700660292509696

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Betty

I liked you and your post on Facebook.

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Debra K

I could live without our restaurant and fast food budgets (which have gotten significantly smaller lately). We could also live without our Netflix streaming and Gamefly rentals.

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Debra K

I liked Wise Bread on FB.

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Guest

I just cut cable and I miss it! I could give up my summer monthly pedicures or my daily soda but a girl has got to have some fun!

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cwaltz

There are many things that I could and have lived without. That being said, I don't want my budget to be a prison. I want to allow myself things I enjoy because even though it is intelligent to plan for your future, there is no guarantee that the future you plan for will be there. Balance is something I've learned. Enjoy a little today and save a little for tomorrow.

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SK

Junk food. I can live without junk food.

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kristina

I could probably live without my organic chocolate bars. I really don't need them anyway.

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Rollie

Electricity!

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Guest

Food? Water? Just kidding. There's plenty in my budget that I could live without, starting with cell phones. I could eliminate Internet service, cable television, my automobile in favor of public transportation. I could easily cut my grocery budget by a third or half by only buying real food and no processing, prepackaged junk. I could slash my budget by skipping dining out altogether. I could further cut my budget by becoming a vegetarian (meat is expensive and not especially healthy for you anyway). I could eliminate buying toothpaste in favor of a big box of baking soda, which actually works well. I could go to the dentist every other year instead of yearly, and do well there, too. I could cease watering my useless lawn, which is immortal anyway. That's just for starters.

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Veronica

I could do without dining out. Lately it has been a big drag on my finances. Plus, for what I pay for in a restaurant, I can make healthier more flavorful meals at home, better planning and less laziness!

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the magi

To everyone thinking about cutting cable, take the plunge. We did it a year ago, and my teenage son and I have never looked back. We started using the free version of Hulu, and get free movies on Crackle, but have never needed to upgrade or add Netflix. We do go to the local $1.50 about every other month. Redbox is a big hit for us, esp with ample codes available for free/reduced rentals. We have a nice DVD collection, so that helps bridge the occasional entertainment gap. Living in a good sized city is a bonus, as there are lots of things to do on a limited entertainment budget.

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Angie unduplicated

Netflix. I seldom get off work early enough to use it, but my disabled "nephew" loves it.

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Rusty

I could live without cable. So many things to do outside.

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Jennifer B

I could live without my daily Dr. Pepper if my budget got too tight

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Maggie B-W

I have been thinking about this a lot lately as I would love to work less and still pay off my student loans really fast! There are a lot of things that can be cut still - junk food, eating out, coffee shops, entertainment, my "miscellaneous" budget. But the total of all these items for my husband and I is only about $150/mo and makes our lives so much better that we are willing to pay a little less on the loans to be able to have some fun with friends and family right now.

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Spinnabel

I am pretty frugal with my grocery buying, but one thing I could live without? Animal products. I occasionally buy high-quality meat or cheese (the high-quality part is a neccessity, otherwise the lack of health benefits negate the money savings). But when I was a vegetarian, my grocery budget was still significantly less. I still cook largely vegetarian meals, but could find a way to do that more!

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Ellie

I think two things that I could budget out are expensive makeup-admit Sephora shopper and wine. I could use drugstore make up but I just feel like I am getting a better product if its name brand. For example I have spent up to $56 on a makeup foundation where if I bought it at the drugstore it would cost me under 10 bucks. This is just about monthly that I shop there. As for wine I am crafty about it cause I buy it at costo but sometimes I buy a couple of bottles a week open them and then drink them randomly. I wont have finished a bottle and I will buy another. I'm sure if I cut back one those I could save some money.

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Sara N

I could live without a DVR and soft drinks!

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Janet

Like many others, extended cable. We had cut back appreciably at one point, but was persuaded to add some channels back in.

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Alissa A

I could eat out less and stop buying so many dvds :)

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viv

i could live without cable and DVR. you can hulu most things and find exercise videos on youtube! and there are so many channels- and nothing to watch!

Guest's picture

We've already cut so much out of our budget there isn't much left. I think hot water usage is my weakness, and if I were to cut out a few luxury bath sessions and shorten my shower time that would help.

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Whiskers

No, there's nothing left to economize on as we have deleted everything that is not absolutely necessary for our lives these last 10 years since we lost virtually everything we own, home and possessions. My wife and I just spent this evening playing table games (she whooped me), we never go out anywhere that costs money that has to be used for our bills.