What's Stopping You From Cutting That Budget Line Item?

What’s Stopping You From Cutting That Budget Line Item?

I am a big fan of making sure I get value from my money. Each month as I look over the month’s spending, I look at where I can improve and where I can optimize and where I’m happy with my spend. Each budget line item should have a purpose. So often, we get stuck with ones that don’t, so why do we avoid cutting them?

Things Change, So Should Your Spending

We used to cloth diaper, but with health problems after Lui’s birth, we stopped. Paying for diapers was worth the expense.

This week, we returned from a 2-week vacation to visit the kids’ cousins in Nebraska and Texas and I realized diapers are no longer worth the line item on our budget. Lui’s 3 now and is ready.

Change is Hard

I’m not one of those moms that mourns the fact my son will (hopefully) soon be out of diapers. So why have I waited? Because potty training is THE WORST. I’ve told you my thoughts on parenthood, but if you hear someone talking about how much they love potty training, THEY LIE (or they should start a business and I will throw them my money).

In reality, Lui is still in diapers because it’s easier… for me. That’s so true for all budget optimizations. There are things that we keep paying for because they are easier and changing would require a period of discomfort.

Time to Get Uncomfortable!

It’s time to look at your budget and figure out what you’re ignoring because you don’t want to deal with it. Maybe you don’t know how to cut your cable bill (we have a step-by-step guide!), you don’t want to face that gym that still charges you monthly even though you never go, or you still buy lunch at work because you haven’t wanted to deal with figuring out what you would enjoy eating (we eat turkey pesto sandwiches, if you needed an idea).

I’m spending this week in the bathroom with lot of apple juice, Netflix, and a pantsless toddler attempting to clear “diapers” off my budget (accepting all positive vibes)! Whatever you’re avoiding can’t be as bad as that… so get to it!

This week, figure out what you’re avoiding and get it done. Next Month’s budget will thank you.


Daily Spending and Saving in 2016


Why I Want to Move to the U.K.


  1. I feel like I can’t have this baby yet because I’m so conflicted about diapers (and because I’m only 6 months along ha!). I can already tell that I’m going to have to learn to roll with things much more than I currently do. This is a good reminder about looking at your budget as a means to stay flexible no matter your situation in life.

  2. I enjoyed your humorous approach to discussing what we all struggle with in terms of our budget. For my husband and I it would be his cell phone plan. He hardly ever uses his phone for anything except the occasional time to call me or deal with work. We don’t have a home line so he does need a phone plan so people can reach him, but $60/month is kind of high for not using it.
    All the best on your potty training this week. I think we can all work towards slashing something out of our budget.

  3. I set a goal a year ago to cut down all spending of anything associated with a screen. I am not kidding when I say we were spending almost $6K a year on cell phones ($250/mo) and cable/internet ($250/mo). So far, we have kept all of our service and cut about $150 off the monthly bill. The new step will be to cut the cable cord. Problem is – we like having it!

  4. We’re not far behind you on potty training our youngest. We already had one now aborted attempt when he was just barely two. I suspect we’ll give it another try in the next two months. I’ll be happy to have that cash back. Good luck.

  5. Point taken! We still have the cable for a number of reasons, including sports. I understand there are workarounds now, but it still doesn’t sound any more fun to set up than potty training.

  6. Haha! I got it easy in this regard. Mrs G is a cost-cutting ninja when it comes household budget line items. After wrangling as much savings as possible from our cable, cell phone, and insurance bills, she’s now turned her sights on our monthly food bill. I expect to see a significant cost reduction soon. Thanks for this very important reminder, Maggie. We all need a good kick in the pants every now and then.

    • MaggieBanks

      Nice! I do NOT have ninja skills. When it comes to dealing with people to slash the budget, I am terrible at it. 🙂

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