I'm in: 1) 2 of 2 working in secure jobs that we have both had for almost 10 years; Big Daddy would like to change jobs to reduce some stress but is concerned about a change to a company whose stability he can't be sure of. We are both with strong companies. I work for one that has never had a layoff or downsize in 57 years. My brother has a stable job with a strong company but would like to make a change. He won't be, however, because there isn't anything available in his geographic area, moving is not an option and stability of another employer is a concern too. At the moment we do not have any friends out of work. A couple who are businessowners are tightening up their hiring and not replacing employees lost through attrition. 2) After a combination business/pleasure 2 week trip to Hawaii in 2007 we are happily downsizing travel this year. We have planned monthly long weekends to go to concerts. Something we did several years ago when we had little money for vacation luxury. It was a blast then, hope to have as much fun this year. We both have quite a bit of windshield time for business so we try to combine personal stops in route on business to reduce personal mileage. 3) Cutting back on eating out and groceries primarily due to middle aged lifestyle changes (aka reduce the size of the fanny) but getting financial benefits too. We began spending more time at home entertaining in the backyard last summer as have many of our friends. We spent more time having people to the house last year to watch our alma mater's football games/pro football to avoid the expense of sports bar food, drink and cab fare. 4) We have shopped at Sam's for several years but now we look to get more items there than we had in the past. Some successes, some failures. Made the effort to invest in several really good work wardrobe pieces and stopped shopping for entertainment. I pay more attention to proper care of those items to make them last longer. I can't believe the difference in the clothing budget. 5) I have used coupons for...ever and even though it's less necessary now to meet budget, I still use them. It's "money"!6) Noted above: more time at home. We also have opened our home to our daughter's college age friends to hang out when home on weekends. They spend more time here early in the evening, they bring munchies to share so they aren't eating out and then they go to meet other friends later. They pay attention to avoiding places with cover charges if they can. It's interesting how financially aware these kids have become in college as opposed to their attitudes in high school. Some are embracing the "poor college student" identity. They hav little competitions to see who can come up with more fun for the buck entertainment.7) Adding my own: Christmas spending 2007 - the kids in our extended family are all getting older so the adults went together on big ticket items this year. Everyone received something "over the top" and it was affordable. Of course, there were less items under the tree, less mindless spending. We calculated this year's spending versus the past and it was less. It wasn't necessary to return anything this year and the kids were really happy to receive something they really wanted instead of a lot of little things that were just ok. The added benefit is that some of the "kid" gifts entertained the adults for the day too. Everyone, including Gpa, tried their hand at xbox - good family memories and laughs (at Gpa's expense!). FC365
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