Slay the ‘Little Extravagances’ and Improve Your Finances
Are sacred cows hurting your financial future? Learn how to slay the little extravagances to improve your finances and your financial future.
In years past, when we helped people one-on-one with their finances, we regularly saw one scenario repeatedly: The Sacred Cow.
In India, many people consider cows to be sacred. Bovines freely roam the streets and countryside, nosing through rubbish and gently begging food from passers-by. While millions around them go hungry, they are untouched, free to consume all they desire.
What is an Economiser Sacred Cow?
An Economiser Sacred Cow is a term we used whenever we encounter a “luxury” item that folks who were struggling financially were unwilling to sacrifice on the altar of fiscal responsibility.
All of us have things that might be called “little extravagances.” And if you have your finances in order, with savings in the bank and debt under control, you can freely enjoy these blessings, guilt-free. But if you are living paycheck to paycheck, or dodging creditors, then read on. Eliminating sacred cows can help lower monthly expenses and may even take you from deficit spending to a wonderful surplus.
Examples of Sacred Cows
Here are a few sacred cows we’ve seen. If any cause you to cringe or toss your computer across the room, we apologize in advance for hitting a sore spot. The list includes Cable TV (if you can’t pay your other bills, then this is a luxury), the daily newspaper, bottled water or a water cooler, the spa or health club membership, buying lunch out everyday, magazine subscriptions, first showings of the latest movies, acrylic nails (sorry ladies) and season tickets to your favorite sports team.
Start living better for less.
Subscribe to get money-saving content by email that can help you stretch your dollars further.
Twice each week you'll receive articles and tips that can help you free up and keep more of your hard-earned money, even on the tightest of budgets.
Subscribers receive a free copy of our eBook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better for Less.
We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.
Financial Sacred Cows
Even investments such as 401(k)s or IRAs can be sacred cows, especially if they keep you from meeting your monthly obligations. We’ve seen families investing large percentages of their income while struggling to make the house payment. This list could go on forever (but we’ve probably offended most of your already, so we’ll stop now). In reality, there is nothing wrong with any one of these things, unless you’re behind in paying utility or other bills, scrounging for food money each week or just making minimum payments on your credit cards.
What ‘Little Extravagances’ Can You Slay?
It takes courage to identify an expense that you’re willing to sacrifice, but there is hope. One friend of ours finally gave up his daily newspaper habit, saving $30 each month, only to discover that someone brought it to the office everyday to share for free!
So, what are you waiting for? Get a rope. We’ve got to get that cow to the altar.
Reviewed May 2021
About the Authors
Steve and Annette Economides are authors of America’s Cheapest Family Gets You Right on the Money: Your Guide to Living Better, Spending Less, and Cashing in on Your Dreams (A New York Times Best Seller). Visit them at MoneySmartFamily.com.
Subscribe to The Dollar Stretcher, our free twice-weekly newsletter aimed at helping you live better for less on the money you already have!
Subscribers get a copy of our ebook Little Luxuries: 130 Ways to Live Better...For Less for FREE!
- 7 Habits of Highly Frugal People
- 5 Simple Budget Cuts That Can Save $200 a Month
- How to Track Down Unclaimed Funds Owed You
- 32 Ways to Save Money on Your Utility Bills
- Do You Need Credit Life Insurance When Buying a New Car?
- How to Maximize Profits When Selling Online
- Staying Motivated to Continue Digging Yourself Out of Debt