10 things American are still splurging on


When I lost one of my freelance editing gigs in mid-January, I panicked. With my husband and me in a field that is shedding jobs like there's no tomorrow, we were already on a budget.

Still, I ran the monthly expenses once again, trying to figure out where I could save: Ordering in food two times a week instead of four times a week, and then only from inexpensive places. Magazine subscriptions will not be renewed. No more buying books either -- I've dusted off the library card. Starbucks chai lattes with skim milk? history.

But there was one area that I had to splurge on: pilates. After twice hurting my back so badly that I had to lie in bed for a day or two last year, I needed to strengthen my body. So I made room in our tight budget for the $75 a week lesson.