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Cutting Back with the Joneses

21 October 2011

I attended a party the other night and the topic of conversation turned to an article that appeared in a national newspaper. According to the article, fear of an uncertain economic future is creating a new cultural mindset in which less is more and people are devising ways to cut back on their spending. The article said that for years it was a status symbol to "keep up with the Joneses" but now the Joneses are cutting back on little luxuries and others are following along.

Most of us admitted that they were making a conscious effort to cut back our spending and shared some of our suggestions for doing so with the others. We agreed that it is easy to forego buying large items such as a new car or house when the economy turns bad, but for many of us cutting back on some of the simpler luxuries we took for granted was more difficult.

One friend said that he had given up buying his daily gourmet coffee from a well-known national chain and was now brewing his coffee at home. He figured that he was saving at least $50 a month making this one change in his routine. He said he also buys soda from the supermarket and brings a can to work instead of purchasing it from the vending machine which saves him even more money each day.

Another couple at the party said that instead of going out to a movie twice a month they spend about a quarter of what that cost by subscribing to one of the mail order movie rental companies.

I was not the only one to admit that I have given up on buying bottled water and have opted instead to placing an inexpensive filter on my kitchen faucet. Other suggestions were the obvious such as giving up the fast food lunches in favor of bringing something from home or shopping at the local discount store instead of the more expensive shops at the mall. Everyone at the party had some suggestions for cutting back on expenses without completely giving up their favorite item completely.

There are several alternatives you can choose to cut back on the amount you spend for coffee, movies and other items you buy, but what if your favorite form of entertainment is visiting the casino?

I recently ran a poll in which I asked my readers if the economy had changed the number of times that they visited the casino in the last few months. Fifty-two percent of those that responded said that they gone less and another 13 percent said they are planning on cutting back on their visits in the future.

Many players felt the only way to spend less at the casino was to just cut back on the number of visits that they make. This is the probably the most practical alternative, but it does not have to be the only one.

Transportation

For most of us the rising price of gasoline has had the greatest impact on the pinch we feel in our wallets. It has certainly added to the cost of going to the casino. One way to save some money is to carpool with friends, if possible. Instead of meeting your friends at the casino, you should meet at a location close to where you live and drive together. My friends and I take turns driving or split the price of the gas. Some casinos offer shuttle busses and you may find it is cheaper in the long run to take the bus. Once you arrive at the casino, you can save a few dollars by self parking instead of using the valet. Although many casinos offer free valet parking, you still have to tip the attendant.

Playing the Games

We love to win but our main reason for playing the casino games is entertainment and the money we spend gambling is usually our biggest expense.

One way you can decrease the amount you spend is to play at lower limits. If you normally play dollar slots, drop and play the quarter machines. If you play quarters, go down to nickels or penny slots. Unless you play a progressive slot machine, you can also cut back on the number of coins you play on each spin. Playing one coin per line will stretch your gambling budget. If you play tables games, choose the table with the lowest minimum bet.

Dining

Dining at the casino can also be a large expense if you always eat at the higher end restaurants. One way to cut your expenses is to choose dining options that are less expensive. Instead of the steak house, try the café or choose the buffet or food court. If you are going to the casino for a day trip, you might want to have a big breakfast at home before you go and then you can get through the day with a light lunch. If you are going for the evening, it will be less expensive to have your dinner at home before you go.

Be Creative

These are just a few suggestions for stretching your money at home and at the casino. I'm sure if you give it some thought, you will come up some creative ideas of your own that you can use to cut back on your expenses and save some money. There is no rule saying that some of the money you save in one area can't be used for something else. Cutting out that morning latte may save you enough money for a few extra spins of the slot machine.

Until next time remember:
Luck comes and goes.....Knowledge Stays Forever.

Bill Burton
Bill Burton is a gambling expert and best-selling author of Get the Edge at Low Limit Texas Hold'em and 1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets. He is the former Casino Gambling columnist for About.com.

Burton's Texas Holdem book was published in 2002 long before the game became a national phenomenon. The producers of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown used his book during the first season to teach the game to the participants.

He writes for several national gaming magazines and newsletters. These publications include: Casino Player, Strictly Slots, The Southern California Gaming Guide, Midwest Gaming and Travel magazine, Southern Gaming and Destinations magazine, Midwest Player and Blackjack Insider.

Burton is an instructor for the Golden Touch Craps dice control seminars teaching players how to gain the advantage in craps. He is an expert at all casino games and can teach players how to play any casino game as well as offering them advice to get the most out of their casino visits.

Bill Burton Websites:

www.billburton.com
www.goldentouchcraps.com

Books by Bill Burton:

1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets

> More Books By Bill Burton

Bill Burton
Bill Burton is a gambling expert and best-selling author of Get the Edge at Low Limit Texas Hold'em and 1000 Best Casino Gambling Secrets. He is the former Casino Gambling columnist for About.com.

Burton's Texas Holdem book was published in 2002 long before the game became a national phenomenon. The producers of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown used his book during the first season to teach the game to the participants.

He writes for several national gaming magazines and newsletters. These publications include: Casino Player, Strictly Slots, The Southern California Gaming Guide, Midwest Gaming and Travel magazine, Southern Gaming and Destinations magazine, Midwest Player and Blackjack Insider.

Burton is an instructor for the Golden Touch Craps dice control seminars teaching players how to gain the advantage in craps. He is an expert at all casino games and can teach players how to play any casino game as well as offering them advice to get the most out of their casino visits.

Bill Burton Websites:

www.billburton.com
www.goldentouchcraps.com

Books by Bill Burton:

> More Books By Bill Burton