Today’s Editorial May 02: Spending cutbacks easy

Generally speaking, when a budget address begins with a solemn reference to the Bible and later includes a missionary hymn, listeners can assume all is not well.

Although we here in the Cayman Islands can indeed count many blessings as Leader of Government Business Kurt Tibbetts told us we should in his address, he should excuse us if we must sniffle from the budgetary cold we caught from the United States’ economic sneeze.

It’s all well and good the government can forge ahead with its ambitious capital spending plans despite declining revenue by delaying and reallocating here, borrowing there, and building up government debt. Many us, however, don’t have the same luxury in our personal lives. Our stomachs don’t like it if we delay eating; the banks don’t like it if we reallocate mortgage payments to insurance premiums; and our credit cards have maximums.

Be that as it may, we can take control of our spending in ways that can make a real difference in our lives immediately.

To start with, we can eat less, which has the added benefit of reducing the incurrence of diabetes, heart disease and strokes. We can walk more, which not only saves on gas money, but it too reduces the incurrence of many diseases.

We can bring our lunch to work instead of buying it every day – which would also save gasoline expense as well.

We can shop around for better deals, or buy the foods on sale for the week at the grocery story.

We can take up a cheap hobby like reading instead of going out to the movies or seeking other more expensive entertainment. Books are free at the library and very inexpensive at places like the Humane Society thrift store.

We can plan our vacations right here in the Cayman Islands. There are millions of people who would love to vacation in Cayman but cannot afford it and we don’t even have to buy an expensive airline ticket. Go to the beach, rent a wave-runner, take a North Sound trip (at a great resident discount!) and treat yourself and your family to some nice restaurant dinners, all for a fraction of the cost of a trip abroad.

And if you don’t need to do any of those things because your revenue hasn’t been affected by the economic downturn, consider doing them anyway and donating the money saved to a group that helps people here who have been affected.

Breakout:

We can take control of our spending in ways that can make a real difference in our lives immediately.

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