26 answers

Are You Making Adjustments?

I am looking for ways to save money once again. I have scaled back my impulse purchases a lot. But it seems that no matter how many adjustments I make, more and more of my daycare parents keep getting laid off. It's been hard on us all. They have had to take part-time jobs, work odd hours, bargain me down to less days so that grandparents can work and what I've been left with is a strange hodge podge of families and hours that makes me look like I should be busy and making money but it's worse now than it's been in years and years. To top off the fact that I am still open 24/7 and barely making ends meet, the cost of all my expenses are souring through the roof! I can't believe the cost of utilities these days.

I have not yet been willing to pull the plug on cable and internet. Internet is my biggest source of advertising and my ONLY way to reach out to the outside world and have sane conversations with other adults. My daycare moms are coming and going fast and way too stressed these days to provide that sort of friendship and support.

How is everyone else surviving these ridiculous times? Have you given up any hobbies you love? I keep asking myself if it's time to get rid of all my fish tanks and seahorses. But these seahorses are so cool and so dear to me and the daycare kids. Our gardening efforts have been nice and given us a lot of time in the sun and our grow room experiment has been ok... But mostly it's been expensive and after 2 years of trying to save money through gardening I think it's about to come to an end. At least indoors that is.

I need tips!

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone :) These are some great ideas. I have another month I think before I'll be locked into another 15 month cable agreement. I know I could possibly find it cheaper. But we have the bundle and every time I compare there is always something I don't like about the other plans. We can't do without the land line because it would be against all regulations to have a daycare and not be directly tapped into the 911 system. We have 4 cell phones in the family and there's no way I'd get rid of them. I know we survived when we were kids without cell phones. BUT, in this day and age the way the world has gone terrorist, the cell phone might bring our families very last words to us in a terrible situation. THAT'S DARK I know. But I will do anything I have to in order to keep my family just a call away. The cable is another thing I won't get rid of, but not for me and not even for the kids. It's my mom. She's lived with me for 8 years and I can't afford to pay her for all she does in the daycare. The only thing she gets for all she does is the biggest bedroom and the cable/movies she loves so much. My husband try and give her money when we can. But then she spends that and more of her own on us. She only makes 800 per month and has to spend some of that on her medicare supplement insurance, copayments, doctor bills from the past, and she gives to the Christian's Children's Fund. She loves to read, but her eyes can't handle reading for long and she has dark spots on her eyes. She will see double in just about 20 minutes and then has to rest her eyes. So no, the cable stays no matter what. I'd get a night-time job and leave her with the couple of night kids I have before I'd get rid of that.

MEALS...that's something I can save on. Sadly, I love to cook and I can save. BUT... I have finally lost weight because I've cooked for the kids and family and then ate only pre-packaged, pre-portioned meals for myself. It's expensive but I've lost 31 pounds I wouldn't have lost otherwise. I still have 60 to go. However.. I am thinking about looking for slotted freezer dishes and making an investment in myself. I think that if I try I could make my own pre-packaged foods like they talk about in the once per month cooking books. I've not tried it. BUT... how hard can it be?

I totally agree about those stupid bulbs. If you read all the different packages.. Most require us to pay for shipping and many want us to save the packaging.

S.

Featured Answers

Hi S.,

Have you thought about multiple income streams from home? You said you love to be on the computer doing what sounds like social networking, you should get paid to do it! Their are a hand full of legimate ways to bring extra money in. I'd love to share what I've done for the past eight years as a work at home mom to help out finances. E-mail me if you want to chat. ____@____.com

S., I understand the need to cut back, we recently took a $700 a month cut in finances so I have had to be really creative with finances.
I make a meal plan each week and only buy what we need. I am seriously limiting impulse buys as well.
Looking forward to reading the responses as well = )
B.

S., several years ago a friend introduced me to Melaleuca. www.melaleuca.com is a website that I order all my "Walmart" shopping list items. I save hundreds a month. Their products are superior in quality and much cheaper. I buy all my home cleaning products, which by the way are all completely safe around children (great for daycare situation). I also buy all my laundry detergent, dish detergent, hand soap, etc. and my vitamins, and over the counter meds (tylenol, allergy meds, etc.). Anyway, all my supplies are delivered to my door, therefore, no impulse shopping! I have saved a ton of money! Anyway, I compare it to like Sam's club, you buy a "membership card" for I think $25.00 and then you shop at the discount price. Order once a month everything you need, that simple. Their website can be a bit confusing at first, but I would be happy to help you with it. Also, they do pay "referral" bonuses, so you could even get some money back by referring others. Email me if you would like all the details, I can share with you.

More Answers

S....if misery loves company then there are a LOT of people in the same boat that you and your family are in!!! Even if this horrible situation that we find our country in manages to turn itself around in the next year or so, it is going to be good for ALL of us to learn to cut corners, stretch our dollar and make do with less "fluff" in our lives.
A big place that a lot of us can save money is in the kitchen. It is much cheaper to make our food from scratch, instead of using all of the pre-packaged things that are so inviting and time saving at the grocery store. I only buy the ready made things when I have coupons and they are on sale, to make them more affordable. Make friends at the Farmers Market during the summer, fresh fruits and vegetables are SO much healthier than canned or frozen and when they are in-season you can normally get the locally grown things cheaper.
Plan your meals around the specials in the ads each week and don't forget to clip coupons!! We have a "coupon co-op" at work, all of us bring in the coupons that we dont need and all of us go through them to get what we can make use of. Offer to be the "organizer" for a coupon bin at church or the YWCA, or some other place that you frequent that has a lot of women that come through. You would be surprised at how much you can save when you start using coupons.
Are there rooms in your house that are basically un-used? Close the heat/ac vents and dont pay to heat and cool rooms that aren't being used. Common sense things like turning out the lights when you leave a room, opening and closing drapes/blinds to either make use of the sun to warm your house or keep the sun out to help keep your house cooler in the summer.
Get involved with an online Mothers Co-op in your area, they can help you find fun and FREE things to do with your children that can enrich your life and save money at the same time. Trips to the library where you can check out books and movies to entertain your little ones at no cost to you, information on parks and other free attractions in your area.
Make a game of saving money with your children, start teaching them now how to be thrifty and cost conscious, it will serve them well when they are grown and out on their own!!!
Let us know how things are going.
R. Ann

2 moms found this helpful

I have known lots of people who have saved a TON of money through the Grocery game. I think the website is www.grocerygame.com. Basically it is just watching the adds and clipping coupons but it really is amazing how much money they are saving. I haven't personally done it but that is mostly because my brain just can wrap around it. Check it out.

1 mom found this helpful

S., like you we are feeling it too. consider that (i heard somewhere) that the average american needs to get a raise of .50 per hour annually to keep up with the cost of living increases. mine has never topped .30! i was so depressed when i started thinking about that for too long. anyway, we got rid of the cable over christmas, and it has helped a bit. we kept our internet and phone (if you have a cell phone, the land line might have to go if it was me). having no cable sucks! but we have dvd's and my son is 2 so he loves the same five movies over and over again anyway...*sigh* it stinks but what are ya going to do. we're all in the same boat sister! (if that's any comfort! lol)

1 mom found this helpful

Good Morning S., I think we are all feeling the pinch, some a lot more then others. I swear the other day wal-mart stock went UP by 2.00 and I told Hubby IT wasn't me I didn't go to Wally World today!! :)
We've changed our light bulbs out in almost every place, once the old ones burn out the new energy savers goes in.

I haven't stopped a hobby but have scaled back some. Or maybe I have picked up a craft I had left behind a few years ago to finish, instead of trying something new.
My passion is reading lately and I used to buy 4-5 bks every time I walked into Wally world. Now I limit my trips and only get 1 or 2 bks.

We planted things in our garden we seldom bought at the produce department. This year we are going to do more smart planting. We've gone to Sam's every 2-3 months to stock up on the bulk items.

S. I really don't know how you do it, having people in and out 24/7 . I don't sleep much either but I need at least 4 hours and it doesn't sound like you would have even that.

I wouldn't give up your pets though, they bring so much joy and entertainment to everyone.

I guess the main thing is just use common sense AND that is one thing everyone does. We went to less expensive Cable switched to Dish Network. I still have cox Internet though.

I pray all of us can HOLD on tight to what we have left. Doing the best we can in a definitely serious situation.
Look for Coupons online. Sure helps the food bills. But if it's on sale and you don't really need it leave it until next time. So much of my personally spending is WANT it not needing it. Wrong Wrong Wrong...lol

God Bless you Suz
K. Nana of 5

1 mom found this helpful

S., I am also a day care provider. I haven't really cut back, but I am looking for cheaper lunches to serve to my kiddos. The Day Care Connection is usually a good resource for that. One of my favorites, and the kids favorite too, is scrambled eggs for lunch. Eggs are cheap and they eat them like crazy. I haven't lost anyone to lay offs, but I have lost a couple to move on to pre-school. I was not able to find a full-time client to fill that spot, so I'm now taking a couple part-time kiddos. Hang in there and watch the grocery adds!

M.

1 mom found this helpful

S., several years ago a friend introduced me to Melaleuca. www.melaleuca.com is a website that I order all my "Walmart" shopping list items. I save hundreds a month. Their products are superior in quality and much cheaper. I buy all my home cleaning products, which by the way are all completely safe around children (great for daycare situation). I also buy all my laundry detergent, dish detergent, hand soap, etc. and my vitamins, and over the counter meds (tylenol, allergy meds, etc.). Anyway, all my supplies are delivered to my door, therefore, no impulse shopping! I have saved a ton of money! Anyway, I compare it to like Sam's club, you buy a "membership card" for I think $25.00 and then you shop at the discount price. Order once a month everything you need, that simple. Their website can be a bit confusing at first, but I would be happy to help you with it. Also, they do pay "referral" bonuses, so you could even get some money back by referring others. Email me if you would like all the details, I can share with you.

I have been looking at Hulu as an alternate to cable/dish. Haven't tried it yet, but still shopping around. I do use Netflix...which has saved us a ton of $$. I have switched over to a resale bookstore, & rarely buy new books. I plan my weekly menu, allowing for usable leftovers & shop the ads. All of these are daily basics....a new way of life. I have been reading Dave Ramsey & other financial websites to help focus my $$.

On another thought, if you switched to just daytime daycare - wouldn't this make your ends meet closer & allow you the time to work a 2nd job? Or what about shutting down the daycare & working completely outside of the home? Are these options for you? & as for the cell phone vs. landline: in emergencies, cell phones are NOT reliable. Nothing beats a landline with a corded phone....our neighborhood has suffered 2 tornadoes in the last 5 years. All cell phones were OUT, as were cordless phones. We were the only house with a phone working! & think about the recent Presidential Inauguration...very few cell phones got through!

All of these thoughts are based on my own situation: I also provide childcare & have noticed that if I expand my hours, then not only does my profit level drop/expenses increase - but I also find that I feel a personal loss...of time, family, & personal space...all of which lead to an inability to focus/sleep. Good Luck & we'll all be thinking of you!

Hey S.! I have also been making adjustments for several years. My husband is in law enforcement and they have had their pay frozen since, well, I can't remember. Pretty much since 9/11. Anyway, last October I also took a 10% pay reduction. We were already bare bones (no land line, basic cable, etc.) so there wasn't really any more fat to trim. My friend introduced me to an online store that manufactures safer healthier products that are highly concentrated, so you purchase them less often which saves you money. The products are amazing, I absolutely love them. And I get a great sense of comfort knowing they are safe for me and my family, including our puppy! The company also pays me for anyone I refer so not only am I saving money on the products, I'm saving time and actually earning an income too! I haven't been doing it long, but I've already started making more than enough to cover what I spend each month! WalMart never paid me to shop there! LOL! The membership fee is only $29 (less than Sams or Costco) and it's refundable for 4 months. Also, the products are fundable for 60 days from the date you purchase them, even if the container is empty! Again, WalMart never gave me a refund if it was opened and used!

Also, they have studies that show that ADHD has been linked to reactions to toxins in household chemicals. If you are home all day, the indoor pollution in your home could be causing some of your focusing issues. Indoor pollution is one of the leading causes of cancer in stay at home moms!

I'd love to get all this information and more to you! Give me a call or email and I can help you out with your finances and your health! Thanks!

D. S.
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____@____.com

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