Survey Results: Cutting Spending vs. More Income
This survey originally ran in
the 3/12/03 DebtSmart
To take the survey click here.
What do you think is the faster way out
of respondents said "Cutting Your Spending"
of respondents said "Increasing Your Income"
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."
"It seems like the more you make,
the more you spend."
"I'm sure we all spend money in
ways we aren't conscious of."
"Increasing income usually leads to
"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."
"I have already cut my spending
almost to the bone."
"If you increase your income, you
lose part of that to taxes and work-related expenses!"
"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'."
"Not everybody can increase
their income, but most of us can cut spending on wants
(entertainment) to spending on needs (food, rent) only."
"Provided I do not increase my
spending! Increasing my income will help provided the net increase
is used to pay off my debts."
"Much easier to cut spending
than to increase income at this point in our lives."
"The more you make the more you
What do you think would be easier for
you to do?
of respondents said "Cut My Spending"
of respondents said "Increase My Income"
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."
"I'm unemployed at the moment, so
income would be a little easier in my case, ha, ha."
"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."
"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."
"I am at the bare bones now, so
increasing my income is my only resource."
"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."
"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."
"We're at the top of our earning
power right now - can't go much higher."
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."
"Groceries, my husband loves
junk food but it's not healthy and it's very expensive."
"Cut the meals out, cable,
"Cut phone bills, eat out less,
buy less on e:bay."
"Groceries, phone, cable,
internet.. looking for cheaper ones and not eating out."
"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."
"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."
"Down to bare bones now. No
cable, no credit cards, no silly expenditures."
"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."
"Grocery store and Walmart
trips. Also the cable bill (do we really need premium channels?),
long distance, phone bill, magazine subscriptions,
"Recreation/entertainment - cut
out cable - shop second hand - be more organized for grocery
"Eating out, cooking cheaper
meals, riding the trolley, checking out free entertainment, finding
an e-mail service that is free."
"'Extras' - gym membership I
don't use, limit grocery shopping (decrease treats/impulse
"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
"Breakfast and lunch. Right now
I'm buying at work. Bringing food from home is more cost
"Cable, internet, snack-machine
spending (take lunch to work every day), keep car maintained (better
gas mileage), utilities-gas."
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!)
"Taking more lunches to work vs.
eating out. Planning errands better to eliminate unnecessary driving
thereby saving on the expense of gas, oil, etc."
"Recently married, so we have
two cars between us - we're looking at selling one car to cut our
"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."
"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
"Frivolous purchases or 'doo-dads'."
"Not eating out or going
shopping without a list."
"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
"Extras, like clothes, gifts,
junk food, eating out and my garden."
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."
"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."
"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."
"Husband can work on
"By taking on a second job or
cutting out 401k."
"Sell some unused items - e-bay,
half.com, garage sale (maybe too much work), consignment shops, or
newspaper classified ads."
"Work extra hours,
"Raise the rates I charge for my
work. Take on an additional part-time job."
"Secure a JOB!"
"Hoping for a raise."
"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."
"Get more jobs."
"Change the exemptions claimed
on our taxes (w-9), but that would just mess us up at tax
"Work OT - second job."
"Second job, changing
"Garage sale stuff I no longer
use/need look into e-bay sales for better items."
"Promotion. Career Change. New
"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
"Start some sort of home
business (in addition to my full time job) but I haven't a clue what
to do yet."
"By spending it wisely."
"Sideline business--income tax
preparation, odd jobs, whatever."
"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
"Start own business."
"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."
"I can't. no time to work extra
hours You could always pray."
"Overtime, write some articles,
design some weddings at home."
"Extra job after work."
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