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Wednesday, May 27, 2020   
 

Survey Results: Cutting Spending vs. More Income
by Scott Bilker
Scott Bilker is the author of the best-selling books, Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt, Credit Card and Debt Management, and How to be more Credit Card and Debt Smart. He's also the founder of DebtSmart.com. More about and DebtSmart can be found in the online media kit.
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Scott Bilker This survey originally ran in the 3/12/03 DebtSmart Email Newsletter.
To take the survey click here.

What do you think is the faster way out of debt?

82.35% of respondents said "Cutting Your Spending"
10.78% of respondents said "Increasing Your Income"
6.86% of respondents said "Don't Know"

"Income would have to increase at a higher level to match cutting spending, since when your income increases, you have to pay taxes on that money. If you cut spending, it is like getting that money tax free, since you are paying the same of taxes on the money you take home, you are just keeping more of your take home money."
--Donna

"It seems like the more you make, the more you spend."
--Carol

"I'm sure we all spend money in ways we aren't conscious of."
--Anonymous

"Increasing income usually leads to more spending."
--Anonymous

"If you cut your spending and paid more toward the debt, you would be free from it faster. Increasing the income would just mean you spend more. The idea that as income increases, so do the bills."
--Julie

"I have already cut my spending almost to the bone."
--Stephanie

"If you increase your income, you lose part of that to taxes and work-related expenses!"
--Pam

"It's easy to spend more when income increases because there's the mind-set of 'I have more money to spend', not 'I have more money to save'."
--Tamieka

"Not everybody can increase their income, but most of us can cut spending on wants (entertainment) to spending on needs (food, rent) only."
--Don

"Provided I do not increase my spending! Increasing my income will help provided the net increase is used to pay off my debts."
--David

"Much easier to cut spending than to increase income at this point in our lives."
--Melinda

"The more you make the more you spend."
--Jodi

What do you think would be easier for you to do?

69.61% of respondents said "Cut My Spending"
19.61% of respondents said "Increase My Income"
10.78% of respondents said "Don't Know"

"I think if we all look at our budget, there are things we consider necessities that are really luxuries. In this economy, I am thankful that I got a 3% raise this year. Many people are finding they do not have a job anymore, or they are having to take a pay cut to get a job."
--Donna

"I'm unemployed at the moment, so income would be a little easier in my case, ha, ha."
--Anonymous

"Income is, in our case, pretty much determined by our employer. There is one time a year when raises are given and they are not much."
--Julie

"It would be easier for me to cut my spending but I've already cut to the bone. All I am saying is that it is easier to cut spending than to increase income."
--Anonymous

"I am at the bare bones now, so increasing my income is my only resource."
--Linda

"We are already on a tight budget - I keep tabs on everything we spend money on, and review those records every month to see where we missed the mark, if we did. At this point, it'd be easier for me to take on a p/t job or do something as a sideline to earn a little extra cash."
--Anonymous

"The easiest way to improve is to cut a few major items out of my regular expenses. Expenses not required to live or earn income can be reviewed as potential areas to cut back."
--David

"We're at the top of our earning power right now - can't go much higher."
--Melinda

Where could you cut spending?

"Non-essentials like satellite TV. I would probably look at my phone service and maybe cut that out all together. Food is a good place to look, because you can always choose less expensive menu items."
--Donna

"Groceries, my husband loves junk food but it's not healthy and it's very expensive."
--Carol

"Cut the meals out, cable, newspaper etc."
--Anonymous

"Cut phone bills, eat out less, buy less on e:bay."
--Joan

"Groceries, phone, cable, internet.. looking for cheaper ones and not eating out."
--Anonymous

"Grocery, Entertainment (Eating Out, Movies out), Gas - Plan your trips and make them count, Utilities - turn out lights, run only full loads in the dishwasher, hang clothes to dry on weekends."
--Anonymous

"Being more watchful of where the money goes and more conscious of what my goals and values are so that I'm spending more wisely."
--Anonymous

"Down to bare bones now. No cable, no credit cards, no silly expenditures."
--Anonymous

"Not eat out as much, go out less. Don't go shopping just for something to do. I try to remember the saying "need vs. want". Do I need it? Or do I just want it? This does work well for me."
--Denice

"Impulse buying."
--Terry

"Grocery store and Walmart trips. Also the cable bill (do we really need premium channels?), long distance, phone bill, magazine subscriptions, non-essentials."
--Julie

"Recreation/entertainment - cut out cable - shop second hand - be more organized for grocery shopping."
--Jenni

"Eating out, cooking cheaper meals, riding the trolley, checking out free entertainment, finding an e-mail service that is free."
--Anonymous

"'Extras' - gym membership I don't use, limit grocery shopping (decrease treats/impulse purchases)."
--Anonymous

"Get rid of my telephone service (unrealistic) turn off the heat and AC (maybe doable) drive car less (I already drive only to work and combine trips so this would be negligible) replace light bulbs with more efficient compact fluorescent (but I have to come up with the money up front) Become more efficient in growing more food in my very small garden (possibly doable)"
--Stephanie

"Breakfast and lunch. Right now I'm buying at work. Bringing food from home is more cost effective."
--Anonymous

"Cable, internet, snack-machine spending (take lunch to work every day), keep car maintained (better gas mileage), utilities-gas."
--Tamieka

"Entertainment (movies, concerts, music, magazines, papers, cable) new clothes that are not needed. Trips that are not needed. I try to control my lifestyle & stop keeping up with the Joneses or whoever I see. Rent (I moved back with my parents until I got a better job, & if I had stayed I would have been debt free faster!)
--Don

"Taking more lunches to work vs. eating out. Planning errands better to eliminate unnecessary driving thereby saving on the expense of gas, oil, etc."
--Anonymous

"Recently married, so we have two cars between us - we're looking at selling one car to cut our costs."
--David

"Buying self-help material -- good books, audios etc Spending less on family outings Buying diners Walk for short distances ie. take car out less often."
--Naseem

"Don't eat out as much - don't buy as many "toys" - don't go overboard on gifts like we have in the past - cancel long distance service and go to calling cards; we get charged a minimum fee on our long distance service now and lots of months we don't use it - don't go out for casual shopping; we always pick up stuff on impulse buying - don't renew subscriptions to magazines that we don't have time to read anymore."
--Melinda

"Frivolous purchases or 'doo-dads'."
--Jodi

"Not eating out or going shopping without a list."
--Anonymous

"Entertainment, cable and movie rentals Groceries, shop with coupons and shop sales Telephone services, delete caller id and pay for cell phone plans according to actual use."
--Anonymous

"Extras, like clothes, gifts, junk food, eating out and my garden."
--Dee

How can you increase your income?

"That is harder. I could take a second job, but that would be difficult since I am going to school 3/4 time now."
--Donna

"I've been a free-lance designer for years but pretty much quite the free-lance business after my son was born two years ago."
--Carol

"Get a part time job, make sure you are competitive enough in your current job, go to college to get a degree so you have future income increases."
--Anonymous

"Husband can work on weekends."
--Joan

"By taking on a second job or cutting out 401k."
--Anonymous

"Sell some unused items - e-bay, half.com, garage sale (maybe too much work), consignment shops, or newspaper classified ads."
--Anonymous

"Work extra hours, freelance."
--Michelle

"Raise the rates I charge for my work. Take on an additional part-time job."
--Anonymous

"Secure a JOB!"
--Anonymous

"Hoping for a raise."
--Anonymous

"No idea."
--Anonymous

"Find a better paying job. Get a second job, but really no extra time to do that. Sell things that I no longer need or use."
--Denice

"Get more jobs."
--Terry

"Change the exemptions claimed on our taxes (w-9), but that would just mess us up at tax time."
--Julie

"Work OT - second job."
--Jenni

"Second job, changing jobs."
--Anonymous

"Garage sale stuff I no longer use/need look into e-bay sales for better items."
--Anonymous

"Promotion. Career Change. New Job."
--Anonymous

"Find a job that I could do during vacation? (I don't think this is a good option... I'm already pretty exhausted and use my vacation to just stay home and rest)."
--Stephanie

"Start some sort of home business (in addition to my full time job) but I haven't a clue what to do yet."
--Anonymous

"Avon."
--Anonymous

"By spending it wisely."
--Tamieka

"Sideline business--income tax preparation, odd jobs, whatever."
--Anonymous

"My wife can get a job. We can both work towards building our direct marketing business (which is working OK but not yet significant as an income). Another option is to gather finance from other investors (such as bank finance) to invest in a collaborative deal that a friend of mine invests in, which has returned approx 5% per month for the past three years. This would be done through my company. Investors would receive up to half the profits plus their capital of course. The rest could be used to offset my debts through a low interest consolidation loan from my company. My income as company director would then be used for living expenses and to make repayments off my company loan. Any other profits above that could be invested into other assets like rental property."
--David

"Start own business."
--Naseem

"I'm open for suggestions! investments is our only avenue at the moment and that isn't a viable option till the market comes back."
--Melinda

"I can't. no time to work extra hours You could always pray."
--Anonymous

"Overtime, write some articles, design some weddings at home."
--Dee

"Extra job after work."
--Anonymous

What do you Think?
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Reader Comments

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--Carol

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--Melinda

--End--

 

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