"Affluenza" is a clever combination of the words influenza and affluence. The term is derogatory and used by critics of over-consumerism. In fact, the term was popularized by a man named Oliver James, who wrote an entire book called "Affluenza".
Let's face it, a lot of us have, at one point or another, been subject to this condition. However, by sheer necessity, very few people can afford to now.
So, what I'd like to cover today are some "cures" that I've recently become aware of.
If you haven't already heard of this website, I highly recommend http://www.lowermybills.com/. The site is fantastic, especially when it comes to auto and homeowner's insurance. I'll give an example: I recently plugged in my auto insurance coverage details into GEICO's website. I also got one through "lower my bills". The latter was less than HALF! The site is also incredibly easy to use and you receive voluminous quotes.
As to grocery shopping, in my experience nothing beats the 99cent stores http://www.99only.com/. They have expanded at an incredible rate. The website, to which I have provided a link, searches for store locations. They're SO good, that during a recent trip to Ralph's, nearly all of the employees told me, off-the-record, that they shop at the 99cent stores!
Another phenonemal cure is the AT&T "U-Verse" program www.att.com/u-verse. It has an extremely attractive bundling of broadband, local and long distance phone service and a large cable TV package for about $99 per month!
Have you tried actually SPEAKING to any of your service providers? I have. I, also, threatend to leave unless they lowered my rates. In each and every case, it worked! Honestly, you may have no idea how good of a deal you can get unless you threaten them with switching to someone else. If you're not the type to be confrontational, then have a friend do it.
Finally, I want to reiterate that there is indeed a program for mortgage relief, even for the unemployed. I wrote about a friend's experience with Wells Fargo's program a few days ago. Apparently, it's quite new and being offered by other banks as well. I don't think it warrants a huge explanation right here, but you won't be aware of it if you don't call your bank and ask whether such a program exists with them. This is so new, that it's possible your bank may not be offering it at the moment. The article I read that drew this to my attention was dated December 4th and was published in the "Sacramento Bee".
At this point, I think we can all have some real fun. I've put out some of my suggestions, so why don't you suggest yours? Therefore, all of us can benefit from each other! By the way, I do know of some other savings methods, but for the sake of brevity I'll stop here.
I would LOVE to hear any of your other money-saving ideas.