I’ve got too many blogs on my RSS reader….some of those include saving money/self help financial type blogs. One thing these types of blogs always seem to miss is saving money when you have chronic medical issues. I have allergies and asthma, those include food allergies and intolerances. Luckily, my food allergies are not *that* bad…I can eat wheat, corn, gluten and have no known issues with any vegetable. And I’m not even mentioning hay fever type allergies here! Further, such recommendations usually don’t consider places of extreme temperature. Few other things too… like access.*
For example, a person who is lactose intolerant (or allergic to fish) probably can’t eat cheap meals like tuna noodle casserole without substitution of some kind – or being sick later. Chemicals like MSG is another issue too… Season packets need to be MSG free, which automatically makes them more expensive.
Then of course there’s pollen. You can’t open your windows in the middle of allergy season if you’re deathly allergic to what’s out there… which is just a few periods of 2-4 weeks for me….but that sure is long enough.
Gluten free foods are usually more expensive. Foods specifically manufactured to be a certain allergen free are usually more expensive too.
Specific to your region
You aren’t going to open the windows in June, July, August, or even September and go without the air conditioner in Texas or other southern states just as you aren’t going to go without heat in December, January, or February (or March or April?) in Minnesota and other northern states. Some areas of the country see more extreme temperatures than others.
Cost of living. Some things are more expensive depending on where you live…. gas…food…transportation…housing…the list goes on. (And this isn’t even counting states like Alaska and Hawaii.) Transportation varies depending on where you are as well. If I lived in a northeast city I might be able to use public transportation to get from my house to point B…but I don’t. I couldn’t use the bus when I lived less than 15 minutes (by car) from campus to get to school.
Utilities and broadband, cable providers vary by city too. A cheaper option might be available, but you might not have access to. This can be as simple as what side of town you live on.
I can’t specifically think of anything but I would bet money there are cultural or religious requirements that would not allow people to do something that might actually save them money.
Just another thing that varies wildly and really effects your budget. The cost of the insurance as well as the costs after insurance both vary and should be considered. Dropping health insurance to save money isn’t a viable way to save money.
Maybe you have family you can rely on to help out – like you have dinner at your parents every weekend and they pay for it. Maybe your family relies on you and you could save money if they didn’t. Well, you can’t really cut out your family now can you? You could throw daycare in here too. If you have a family member to babysit for little to nothing then you save money on daycare. A large amount of money – which also varies depending on where you live.
So I guess I’m saying one of the problems with giving advice on the Internet is you don’t know what kind of access a person has to resources – necessary resources or just things that are nice to have. Like, I live under an hour from an ikea, and they have cheap furniture – but not everyone lives that close to an ikea.
*This post was actually sitting in draft form on my hard drive since sometime last summer. I finally finished it because I was looking for something to write today.