15 Expenses Poor Americans Are Cutting Out To Survive

Money’s tight for a lot of folks these days. With prices going up on everything from groceries to gas, many Americans are finding it harder to make ends meet. People are having to make tough choices about what they can and can’t afford.

To keep their heads above water, many are cutting back on things they used to take for granted. From small treats to bigger expenses, folks are finding creative ways to stretch their dollars.

Cable TV

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People are ditching pricey cable packages. Instead, they’re using cheaper streaming services or just watching free videos online. Some are even going back to basic antennas for local channels. It’s a big change, but it saves a lot of money each month.

Eating out

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Restaurants and takeout are becoming rare treats. More folks are cooking at home and packing lunches for work or school. They’re learning new recipes and using cheaper ingredients. It takes more time, but it’s way easier on the wallet.

New clothes

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New clothes? Pass. They’re mending old clothes instead of buying new ones. When they do need something, they shop at thrift stores or look for big sales. Some are even learning to make or alter their own clothes to save money.

Coffee shops

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Daily coffee runs are becoming a thing of the past. More people are brewing coffee at home or at work. Some are cutting out caffeine altogether. It’s a small change that can save a surprising amount of money over time.

New tech gadgets

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Upgrading phones and computers every year is no longer a priority. People are keeping their devices longer and only replacing them when necessary. They’re also buying used or refurbished electronics to save money.

Haircuts and beauty treatments

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Salon visits are becoming less frequent. People are learning to cut their own hair or asking friends to help. They’re doing their own nails and skipping expensive beauty treatments. It’s not always perfect, but it saves a lot of money.

Also read: 15 Depressing Facts About the US That’s Causing People To Emigrate

Car ownership

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Some folks are selling their cars and using public transit or bicycles instead. Others are carpooling or using car-sharing services. It’s a big lifestyle change, but it saves on gas, insurance, and maintenance costs.

Impulse purchases

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Shopping outside can lead to impulsive purchases of unnecessary items. To solve this, people are making shopping lists and sticking to them. Some are waiting a day or two before buying something to see if they really need it. This helps them avoid wasting money on things they don’t really want or need.


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People are cutting back on gift-giving or finding more affordable options. They’re making homemade gifts, giving experiences instead of things, or agreeing with friends and family to skip gifts for certain occasions.

Alcohol and cigarettes

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These habits are expensive, so some folks are cutting back or quitting altogether. It’s tough, but it’s good for both health and wallet. Some are finding free support groups to help them make these changes.

Convenience foods

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Pre-cut fruits, bagged salads, and other convenience foods are out. People buy whole ingredients and do the prep work themselves. It takes more time, but it’s much cheaper in the long run.

Home Services

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Tasks like lawn care, house cleaning, and minor repairs are being done by homeowners instead of hired help. People are learning new skills and putting in the extra effort to save money. It’s not always easy, but it can make a big difference in the monthly budget.

Pet expenses

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These days, owners get creative in maintaining their pet’s health and toys. They make homemade toys, look for cheaper food brands, and learn to groom pets at home. Some are even trading pet-sitting with neighbors instead of using pricey kennels.

Subscription services

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Canceling things like music streaming, video services, and monthly subscription boxes becomes non-negotiable for these folks. They choose one or two favorites instead of having many. Some share accounts with family or friends to split the cost.


Image Credit: Pexels from Pixabay

Big trips are off the table for many. Instead, people are doing “staycations” at home or taking short day trips nearby. They’re finding free local activities and exploring their own cities. It’s not the same as a beach resort, but it’s a way to relax without spending a lot.

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Victoria Omololu

Victoria Omololu is a fashionista exploring the world on a budget. She co-founded Only Earthlings in 2023 to show her travels in North America, Europe, Africa, and everywhere else. Victoria loves writing about travel tips, itineraries, packing guides, and taking photography from all over the world.

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