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Cutting Down to Necessities

November 7th, 2007 at 04:06 pm

I would love for us to be able to cut down on our spending. What I cant figure out is how the heck to do it!

We live in a fishing village in Alaska.

Let me repeat that.


We already buy in bulk whenever we go to Anchorage. We plan it out carefully, too. We HAVE to. Because we've come up short at the Sam's checkout counter more than once.

We dont drive, the village has no cars, so we dont have to worry about gas. We both HAVE cars, they just arent here. And we have the insurance on them down to the minimum - we wont sell them, because we're planning on leaving here the end of this year, and we're going to need them.

We don't use cash in the village, except to pay our babysitter. The school cashes a check for us. We get direct deposit. So, we cant collect spare change.

We share wireless internet with our neighbor - we dont even pay her for it, we just take our her trash with ours.

We dont have to pay electricity or water or sewer - its all included. Our housing is supplied by the district, so we cant move anywhere cheaper.

The only thing that stops me from putting all the "extra" money towards our debt is concern that we might have to make an Anchorage trip unexpectedly.

If we go in for health reasons, then we get 90% of the plane ticket back. But still, that takes a while. Plus, then there is the hotel and food and picking up anything we've run out of..

Honestly, Im stumped. I have no idea how to cut our budget down any further.

8 Responses to “Cutting Down to Necessities”

  1. kinchan Says:

    The first question I would have is why do you want to cut down on your spending? Do you feel the pressure from others around you and just think you should, or do you think you are actually overspending and being frivilous? Perhaps there's no way to cut down your spending in your current situation and you need to make more money. Have you thought about online opportunities for a home-based business?

  2. mom-from-missouri Says:

    What do you spend it on?? What do you get at Sams? Good food staples or chips and soda type of stuff??

  3. nance Says:

    I was in Sam's this week, and noticed that most of the food seems to be highly processed "convenience" food. It was a "revelation" of sorts. Shopping there is not necessarily conducive to saving money.

  4. gruntina Says:

    Nance -

    When you’re in Alaska, you aren't going to find a lot of fresh produce. Most canned veggies and meat are in oil due to lower temperatures there.

  5. scfr Says:

    Since you're in a fishing village, is your main source of protein fish bought directly from the fishermen? If not, would making fish a dietary staple help you cut the grocery budget?

  6. db1974 Says:

    What else are you spending money on? Do you keep track of all expenses? I wonder if you could cut back in the areas of entertainment, household items, stops for coffee or a quick fast food meal? I'm assumng it might be a small village, but I'm sure there are places to eat out and/or a place to rent movies.

  7. quippymcflippy Says:

    i think you need to be a little easier on yourself... once you're north of 60, the co$t$ are pretty much unavoidable. there's a reason the canadian government provides its citizens with a "northern living allowance." Smile

  8. Caoineag Says:

    Having had a friend who lived in Alaska, I am probably going to vote that you just try to relax, enjoy life and keep some cash available for emergencies. Once you move somewhere where expenses can be more controlled, you can work harder on your debt. They didn't pay my friend $50k to teach when he was fresh out of college because you could live cheaply in an Inuit village. I think he said peanut butter was around $9 or more because everything had to be flown in.

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