EXACTLY TWO YEARS AGO, I sat in the Cashel Palace Hotel with a page open in a book about effectively reducing outgoings. I'm doing the same thing again, except I'm not in the Palace.
Back in 2009, I wanted to cut out more than $500 from my monthly outgoings. I succeeded in trimming only EUR 300--almost the $500 I had targeted. We've taken a hit in the household income in 2011 and expect to have to pay at least EUR 500 more to the Irish government next year as the December budget unfolds. Our biggest sacrifice is travel--we don't make annual oceanic crossings anymore. The little blue dots in the photo still illuminate our kitchen countertop but there are fewer things in the cupboard, fridge and wardrobes.