Ways to save Money - Cincinnati,OH

Updated on August 05, 2013
J.D. asks from Cincinnati, OH
14 answers

My husband got laid off and we will be living off my salary which is not enough to cover all the bills. We have some money in savings which will help for awhile. We have been eating in more, I buy mostly store brand.

do you all have any fabulous ideas on how to cut back costs?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all the great advice and tips. It looks like we have enough savings for about 1-1/2 to 2 years. I know we can get through this but it is a little scary. I am going to stay positive. We will stop eating out because its almost $20 each time and I feel better when I eat in. We have no credit card debt, no cable but do have cell phones but are dumb phones. We have to pay my sons summer camp off. I have to pay on my car for another 1-1/2 years.

I want to continue these savings ideas even when my husband gets employed again and I plan on taking what I pay on my car and putting it into savings each month. I am going to take a different idea from each of you and go with it because I would love to retire some day. I will have more sex to keep my self sane.

I also decided that when some of you get a little stern with me, its that your putting my butt back into reality not necessarily yelling or being cruel.

More Answers


answers from Washington DC on


I'm sorry your husband got laid off. We've been in your shoes. My husband was laid off, along with 30 or 40 other people, in July 2011. It took him 10 months to find a job. It was 86 miles away.

This is the time that you THINK before you purchase. Do you WANT or do you NEED - a NEED means you MUST have this to survive. And a dinner out? Is NOT a need, it is a want. So IF your salary isn't enough? Sorry - you shouldn't be eating out at all.

If you have credit cards - No more credit card purchases.

If you have your children in after school activities that cost you money. Sorry - but tell them until your husband gets a job - your have to cancel your spot. Same goes for other activities like baseball, la crosse, football, etc. MANY leagues have sponsorships - so if you really feel it's necessary? You call the league President and tell them what is going on and ask if there are any scholarships/sponsorships available. Someone paid for my son to play ball during my husband's unemployment - to this day - we do NOT know who did it so we don't know who to thank for their generosity.

Now is the time for you to take a serious, hard look at your budget.
Cancel anything that is NOT mandatory - magazine subscriptions that might be coming due - let 'em lapse.

Call around to find out if you can bundle phone, internet, cable - if you can't but still want to have TV around? Check into Netflixs or HULU+ - they are $8 a month and allow you to watch TV.

Your husband needs to sign up for unemployment. That will help a little bit.

We had savings. At the time, I was not a full time employee - I was a contractor.

Check all of your investments. Find out their values so that you can liquidate them if necessary.

If you have insurance through your work - do a significant life change and get your family on your plan. It will beat paying the high fees of COBRA.

Find out if your life insurance policies are whole life or term. If they are whole life - do you have any equity you can borrow against? You will have to pay it back - but if you have enough that will allow you to keep your mortgage going - do it.

Make a menu for the meals for the week. Then look in the sales flier and coupons and ONLY purchase things that are on sale and you have coupons for for meals.
One day a week is leftover night so no food goes to waste.
Where do you grocery shop? There are some stores that offer "rewards" for money off gas if you shop/spend there.

Eat a lot of bread? Start making it yourself. the initial costs may be a little high for yeast, flour, oil, sugar, wheat germ, etc. but your family will be eating healthier.

Do you have a yard big enough for a garden? Start growing your own veggies - that alone can save you a good $20 or more at the grocery store.

If you shop at COSTCO or other "big box" stores - go with someone else and split the costs....especially on things you will not be able to use all of before they go bad.

You can purchase meats there and freeze them. I have a Food Saver and LOVE it.

Turn lights off in rooms not in use.
Turn the AC up to 78.
Use room fans.
Take your lunch to work.

Contact your electric, gas, water, sewage companies. Find out if they have a flat rate plan - get signed up for them.

If you have to run errands? Make a list of everything you need to do. Then go in order to the errands - do NOT criss-cross all over town.

Call your insurance company and see if you can change your policies to a higher deductible for a lower payment.

Find out if you can do the same with homeowners insurance. heck - find out if you "bundle" your home/auto/life policies together - do you get a discount and save even more money?

We have USAA - we get to choose - monthly, bi-annually or yearly. If we pay for the year in advance? We save almost a quarter of our bill.


Call your credit card companies - if you have credit card debt - and see if you can rearrange payments or consolidate all the debt to one, low interest rate card.

If you own your home? Try for a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) so you can use your home's equity to stay afloat. I would only do this as a last ditch effort.

Do you have dry cleaning needs? Find out if your dry cleaner accepts competitors coupons.
Find out if you can use the Dryel - and do it at home instead of paying for it.
Shirts? Start ironing 'em yourself.

If you honestly feel the need to purchase new clothing? Go to Goodwill or other shops like that...even consignment shops./

Now is the time to purge. Go through the house - room by room - you haven't used it in six months? It's gone. Set up a garage sale - this will give you cash in hand for your own stuff.

Collectors items? In between your husband searching for a new job and needing to step away from the job boards - he take pictures of things and start listing them on ebay or craigslist.

Attic? You are storing something you haven't used. Is there meaning to it? Nope. Okay- purge it. Your family needs cash on hand. All the cash you get from garage sale and such? Grocery money. If you feel the NEED to go out to eat? use that money. Otherwise - again I will state - YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO OUT TO EAT.

There are MANY things you can do. You really have to be honest with yourself and your family. You MUST talk with your children and let them know that it's a FAMILY effort.

Your husband needs to ensure his resume is updated and current. Are you willing to relocate should he get a job somewhere else?
He needs to get his resume on monster, careerbuilder, etc.

YOU CAN DO THIS. It may seem hard right now. It may seem insurmountable - but as someone who has been there? YOU CAN DO THIS.

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Try to look on Dave Ramsey's website. I bet he has some.
Yard sales can raise cash from unneeded things.
Try to always cook once and eat at least, twice.
Videos, books, come from the library. You can also find books on saving money and cookbooks that cook once, eat twice.
Watch how much you wash and dry. If you wash your towels every time you bathe then cut back to once every four days.
Lots of tube steak! Hot dogs! Really, Find ways to reduce the meat you eat. Cut out ready made foods. Bake.
When you have a need, wait. Find it at a yard sale or wait till it goes on sale.
Barter. You have a skill, barter that for what you need. Especially among friends. I once bartered piano lessons for use of our lawn mower.
Borrow, where possible. Tools, etc.
never drive without planning your errands to make the most of gas money.
Look for sales on food and freeze things. Pantry shop. Figure out the sale patterns at your stores. Look for manager specials and freeze them.
Hope this helps!

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

I just googled "Saving money during unemployment," and there are all sorts of links! You might want to look through them for ideas. There's also a website called "The Dollar Stretcher" which I like a lot. Dave Ramsey's site should be very helpful, too.

Here are some ideas for saving bits here and there, for what they're worth:

I have always been a thrift-store buyer. I imagine Cincinnati may have a lot of good thrift stores. You want to hit thrift stores before you think about resale shops or consignment shops; the prices are considerably different. You have to get the hang of thrift-store shopping - for instance, look for winter clothes in the summer, and try to adopt a classic style so it's easier to coordinate the clothing you find. Look on it as a treasure hunt: you often have to look through a lot of "dirt" before you find the gold. Children's clothes are worth the search, since they often grow out of clothing and shoes before they wear them out. Toys, books, and small appliances (for instance, toasters) are worth a very careful look. In fact, you may be surprised what you can find on a given visit, but be discriminating.

I am different from many mamas in that I don't look at advertisements or commercials. I don't look for sales or coupons, either, unless there's something I need particularly. This is because I can't quite shake the idea that if something's on sale, I should get it because I'm saving money - when, actually, I'm spending money! Ignoring the ads works best for me.

I go on an almost-totally cash basis. I have only one card - for gasoline and for things I can only get online - and I pay it all monthly. If I can't pay an item off by the end of the month, I don't put it on the card; I pay cash or forget about it.

Pennies count! At the end of each day I take all my change, except for $1 worth of pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters, and put it in a home bank. This month I'm also putting in all the dollar bills I have at the end of each day. The money's there if an emergency comes up and I need it, but it's out of sight and out of my wallet.

When I see or think about something non-essential and tell myself, " I NEED THIS!", I shelve the idea for a day or two, and see if I still "need" it as much then. Most of the time, I don't. (Teach this one to your children, too.)

While you're on this austerity program, make a little room for treats and good times. Go on cheap dates, and cheap family outings. Don't be so money-conscious that you can't take your children out for ice cream once in a while, or pick up popcorn for your at-home family movie night.

Reading aloud is free. Playing in the yard together is free. Telling stories is free. Hugs are free. Smiles are free. What you and your husband do in your bedroom at night is free.

A good attitude is something everyone can afford, and it makes such a difference in hard times! Model a positive, adventurous mindset for your children (and for each other). It sounds quite hokey, I know, but it will have an effect when you decide that there's a huge difference between being miserably poor and just not having much money.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Williamsport on

I don't know what your habits are now, but several years ago we went through an employment emergency, IRS debacle and chapter 7 and we were BROKE. I cut us to the very necessities and we haven't added most of them back on now because we really didn't need them so now we're saving money because our expenses are so low.

1) I pulled my oldest from her private K4. I haven't had any of the kids in daycare or private school since. I'm home, I watch them. I homeschool but may put oldest in public school next year if she wants to go.

2) We shared one paid off car. We needed a new one but drove it about three years past when we should have. We have since gotten a nicer car, but it's still used and we still share it, but my husband travels all the time so it's mainly me driving it.

3) We shut off satellite and only have Netflix instant streaming through Roku. I LOVE having NO commercials and there is way more to watch than I need. We also have news and PBS channels.

4) We shut off cell phones. Now I have a basic pay-as you go and husband has work pay for a basic one for him. Our monthly phone/internet bill is now $99 with Verizon. I put about $35 on my phone every three months.

5) We eat healthy and RARELY eat out. We stick to fresh food, not packaged and almost no meat. We drink mainly water and watered down juice and brew pitchers of herbal iced tea instead of buying "drink products".

6) I'm careful to time errands to not waste gas.

7) I'm careful to save electricity and water.

8) If we can't afford it, we don't buy it. No credit card debt. If you have credit card debt, choose ONE card to keep and call Greenpath debt consolidation to shut down and pay off the rest at a fraction of what you're paying now. This was the most amazing thing we ever did and if not for the impossible nature of our IRS issue for husband's band, we would not have needed to file chapter 7 once our payment and expenses were manageable through debt consolidation. We should have done it much sooner. DON'T whittle your savings more than necessary, ditch those cards!!!

9) I almost never use a babysitter and have no housecleaner.

10) Kids LOVE cheap and free things. We love the library and lots of other free community events. Picnics at parks etc. If you have a homeschool network in your community that posts to an internet meet-up group, you should join just to be able to see all the activities you could do in your area on your own schedule. We have tons of great experiences for very little money.

11) Simplify, purge and ebay a couple items every weekend so that its not too time consuming, yet a little money is coming in and some stuff is going out.

12) Thrift stores! Nice stuff for practically free.

You'll get through this. Now that we are in the clear we could go back to spending more, but it feels so good to spend less and watch your money troubles disappear. You can do it! When he gets back to work his salary will seem bigger if your expenses have gotten smaller!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Does he qualify for Unemployment compensation? That will help out some.....

It isn't easy, I know.... my hubby was laid off in 2008 and was out of work for 2 1/2 years.

Do you have children? Will they be able to qualify for the free/reduced meals at school? That has helped us in the past... every little bit helps.

Go over your budget now and see if there are other ways you can reduce your expenses.... drop some of the more expensive parts of your home entertainment (HBO, extras on cable, etc.). Possibly you can reduce your car insurance costs by shopping around, or going with a higher deductible. Do you have an extra car you could get rid of? That could possibly eliminate a car payment (if you have a loan for it), and the associated insurance costs.

Fortunately, you have a job that will really help. When he was laid off, he did get unemployment for 99 weeks, but I was just a substitute teacher, and that sure didn't pay much, but it did help.

Good luck!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Both Safeway and Giant have programs where you earn 10 cents a gallon off gas for every $100 you spend . Frequently, there are special promotions that allow you to earn as many as 8x the gas points. I haven't paid full price for gas in over a year. Don't forget to get a tuneup for your car and rotate the tires because it will save on fuel costs.
If you can, buy necessities online (don't forget to look for the free shipping codes) so that you don't have to pay taxes on your purchases.
Figure out what you are already paying for and maximize that. My union membership includes discounts on everything from auto insurance to Jiffy Lube to movie tickets. I have Amazon Prime which gives me free two-day shipping. It also comes with the ability to stream hundreds if not thousands of free movies and tv shows. I even buy some of the staples in our pantry (tea, miso soup paste, etc.) via Amazon. They're cheaper because they are in bulk.
Get a homeschool teacher's discount card for places like Barnes and Noble and Michael's craft supply store. You can use it for things that your kids need for school.
Eat seasonally and you will automatically save. Buy seasonally and freeze for winter and you'll save even more. Blueberries are almost $5 a pint in the winter, but right now they are practically being given away (2 pints for $2). Freeze them or make jam. Corn is ridiculously cheap. Buy 20 ears and freeze them (whole or remove the kernels).
Go to the farmer's markets at the end of the day. At that point, the vendors are tired and the last thing they want to do is to repack the truck with produce that didn't sell. I did this a lot last fall and never paid more than a couple bucks for bags of organic fruit & veggies. Once, a young couple gave me a entire box of pears for free. We ate some fresh and I made pear butter with the rest.
Reduce the amount of meat and dairy you eat. During WWII, Americans ate Meatless Mondays and Wheatless Wednesdays to help the war effort. My mother was a war baby and her widowed mother never dropped the habit of these two days.
Have soup for dinner at least once a week. Make the soup using leftovers. I have a container in the freezer where I put the odds and ends that I want to use to make soup. If your DH and kids normally balk at leftovers, they won't even notice that the beans in the soup are from a couple nights ago.
If you can, shop the local international markets (Latino, Asian, African) for produce and fish. The prices will be much, much lower and the products are always fresher than what you'll get at your chain grocery store. I came home last night with a 10 lb container of ripe plums that was only $2.50. Our grocery store wanted $1.99 a pound for rock hard plums.
Buy "day olds" from the bakery. Make friends with the baker or the counter staff and tell them that you are interested in buying the "mistakes". When I was little, my mom would buy the overbrowned loaves because she was going to cut the crusts off anyway.
You'd be surprised what you can buy at the Dollar Store and never tell the difference between it and the grocery store brands. Plus, both Family Dollar and Dollar General often carry name brands (even non-perishables). For example, I bought composition books for $1 at Dollar General because the cheapest ones I could find in Target or Staples were $1.99.
Dilute your shampoo and laundry detergent in advance. Most people use way too much of both of these. I keep an empty bottle and add 1 part water to each part shampoo or laundry detergent. I get almost 100 loads out of the 64 load bottle.
Switch to online bill pay and you'll save postage costs as well as the gas of driving to the post-office.
If you have bundled Cable/Internet/Phone, call your provider and tell them that you need to cancel. They will panic and work out something cheaper for you. I did this when I moved and my bill is 15% lower! If they won't budge, drop the Cable and watch TV on the internet through Hulu, ABC.com, or another streaming service.
Find out who the folks are in your community who will barter or who are interested in pooling resources. From my neighborhood listserv, I have borrowed tools, scored a free solid wood bookcase and dresser, and even traded a jar of my homemade pickles for a fancy calculator my older daughter needed for school.
Have a clothing swap with other moms to get B2S outfits for your kids. This is always a lot of fun.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

So sorry to hear this. It's important that he sign up for any benefits he's entitled to such as unemployment. Then sign up for COBRA for medical insurance or look into an alternative program from your state for lower income brackets. He should start looking at job-search groups and networking groups immediately, and look into a resume professional to get his CV in order. That's especially important if he has skills that make him employable in other areas besides the most recent industry. He should line up his job references as well, before those in the company who were also laid off wind up scattering to new areas.

You can do the obvious like cut coupons and subscribe to a coupon service on line (but these are often for name brands which can be more expensive than store brands. But if you combine manufacturers' coupons with store coupons and sales (check the circulars), you can do pretty well.

Take a hard look at your groceries - cut way back on convenience foods and prepared foods. Cooking together as a family on the weekend and creating a weeks' worth of meals for the freezer is a time saver, money saver, and family bonding activity. Check your library for free magazines (our has a free exchange) for things like Rachael Ray meals-for-a-week ideas. Don't eat out. Ever. Make pizza at home rather than going to the pizza place. Try the farmer's markets for stuff that's in heavy supply and therefore more affordable.

Look at your budget and be very clear about what's really an essential, and what's a luxury that you just think is an essential. Cut cable TV, either entirely or back to a basic package. Cut out newspaper subscriptions and any magazines that are not fully paid for. See if you can get your utilities on a budget plan so you know exactly what your monthly payments will be. Cut memberships - the town pool, the dance and karate school, etc. See what the town recreation programs have that your taxes already cover. If you have any in-home services like cleaning help, this may be the time to cancel. Cut back things like haircuts and hair coloring - go to beauty schools for students who are learning (with teacher supervision) who need people to practice on. Cut out any luxuries like manicures - not singling you out here, but there are probably things your family members assume are part of the routine that are not essential.

Play board games instead of going to movies, rent an occasional movie on Netflix but watch those bills so they don't add up. Turning off the TV and having family time is really a great alternative and it builds up fun memories as well as make you realize what's really important.

Shop in consignment shops for work clothes and back-to-school things -- most stuff is hardly worn and it will seem new to you. Declutter - have a major yard sale, and take your unused items to consignment and resale shops. That won't bring in money right away but it will start to trickle in about 30-60 days from now when your savings are being depleted.

Go to the free park instead of the paid amusement parks, put out the sprinkler instead of going to the beach with the high admission cost, use the state parks (where there's usually just a car parking fee) and go with friends to cut the cost-per-family. Have picnics and BBQs instead of expensive recreational options.

If you have credit card debt, work with the companies or a credit counseling service (there are legitimate ones as well as rip-off ones) to work a settlement or some delayed payments. Most companies will work with you and they will happily take less money they can count on over harassing your for money they're just never going to get.

Suze Orman and other experts will say not to use credit cards at all when you're in a pinch, and not to touch your retirement money no matter what.

Meantime maybe your husband can find temp work or seasonal work while he's looking. A lot of times the postal service or FedEx are hiring for drivers, and the stores are even starting to hire for retail help. Temp agencies also have temp-to-permanent positions sometimes -- those let you work at a company and see what it's really like, and let the company check you out and see that you're a good worker and maybe a great fit for another area that's hiring or that will be in a few months. Don't rest on pride - there is no shame in an honest day's living!

Take out books at the library instead of buying things new. There are lots of craft and nature activity books that show kids what a good time they can have doing simple things. Figure out some neat things to make for holiday gifts for the family in case the job search takes a while.

Mostly, stay strong and try to find joy in small pleasures so you all can keep your heads on straight! Make this a positive time when you all worked together rather than a spirit-crushing terrible time.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

You say eating in more - that needs to say eating every meal in.

Make your own laundry detergent - I have an HE front loader and yes, you can still use homemade in those. No reason to spend $15 on store bought when you can make your own for cents per use.

Sell things on ebay - you will be amazed how much you can make - that gap sweater you never really liked but still looks new, the shoes the kids have outgrown but still have tons of life, the baby's bouncer he is now too big for....you get the idea. You can make enough to float the electric bill and then some by doing this.

Have a yard sale. Get rid of everything you don't need - and learn what is a need and what is a want. You don't need 12 pairs of shoes, even though you like them all. You need a few. Same applies to all sorts of items in the house.

Start to pick up odd jobs (or have hubby do it) such as cleaning house, mowing lawns, hauling trees, anything he or you can do. Blog for pay. Nothing is too minimal or beneath you right now. I have a great degree but if I ever lost my job I would be scrubbing my neighbor's floor till I had another job.

Plan all your trips wisely to save on fuel costs. Don't go across town and then back and then across again.

Absolutely no shopping, I don't care how good of a deal it is.

You better not still have cable or a cell phone - if you do, you should go turn those off, and then come back and write this post again asking for help.

Grow your own food - even herbs like basil, a few tomato plants, it really does save money. And healthier!

Freeze everything - buy a cow or whatever you choose in bulk and freeze it. If you don't know whether you will use it and it expires soon, freeze it.

Your life is going to *suck* until this is over. And if it doesn't suck, you aren't doing it right. You need to be living off of absolutely nothing right now. You can do it, but you and hubby both have to be willing to. I am not sure how much you make, but if you and hubby really try, I bet you can spend less of that savings than you had anticipated.

YOU CAN DO THIS. Tons of people have gone through this and come out better in the end. You realize what is important and what you really need to be happy.

Good luck to you.

Oh, and seriously, have more sex. Trust me. Whenever there is a lot of hubby/wife stress, there needs to be more intimacy to make up for it, or you guys may just tear each others' heads off. Just make sure you're on the pill ;)

check out daveramsey.com - he will change your life.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Raleigh on

So sorry to hear this. I grew up with a single mom, and times were REALLY tight. But, I learned how to make a dollar stretch.
One thing you can do to cut down on electricity is line dry your clothes if you can. Always hang whites out in direct sun (a natural bleacher) and darks in the shade. Then you can bring them in and fluff them on no heat in the dryer. Keep all the blinds closed and drapes pulled during the day really helps with the heating/AC, thereby lowering your monthly bill. Always run the washer, oven, or dishwasher before 8 AM and after 7 PM. Electricity is cheaper after "business" hours.
I also use vinegar for most household cleaning. It's a great general household cleaner for kitchen and bath and I also use it in the place of liquid fabric softener in the wash. Always wash cold. Limiting your showers to around 5-10 minutes is a big help on the water and electricity.
You can really stretch your shampoo and conditioner by adding water to the bottle. It suds and cleans the same even if it's diluted. Vinegar is a good and cheap conditioner, as well.
When doing your grocery shopping, always look at the grocer's label and comparison show by the cost per unit. What may seem like a good deal might actually be costing you more per unit. If you have a farmer's market, you can really save on produce. Usually there's no sales tax on farmer grown produce as well (because farmers pay the tax on the seeds). Buy in bulk and freeze or can it if you have more than you can eat. Cut out all sodas and store bought drinks. Make tea or lemonade to really save. Also, the frozen concentrated juice cans are a much better value over bottled juices.
I would suggest stop eating out altogether, but if you do slurge and eat out, always order water with your meal. Markups are huge on drinks in restaurants ( and water is MUCH better for you and free!).
I hope this helps some!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I am sorry you're having to go through this. Don't let him get depressed and start getting used to staying at home all day. Hopefully he can get back out there and find something else very quickly.

I suggest that you and he sit down and make a budget. So he'll see where the money has to go and what is now a luxury.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

When I decided to be a SAHM we had to really cut costs. I cancelled all subscriptions, except for the morning paper. I changed our phone plan to basic, no cell phone, no long distance, call waiting or answering service. I cut the cable down to basic. I paid more attention to the price of groceries and stocked up when items were on sale. I started using coupons. I made use of my pantry and my deep freeze. I stopped buying convenience foods and cooked from scratch. We stopped eating out. I found lots of free and cheap entertainment. I started shopping thrift shops and garage sales. I only bought new if I absolutely had to. I borrowed books and movies from the library. I sold my used stuff. I got a subsidy for our YMCA memberships. We changed the insurance on one vehicle to pleasure and got a cheaper rate because I wasn't driving it to work. At one point when my husband was laid off and I was still SAHM we cancelled insurance on one of our vehicles, and used only one vehicle until he was working again. We stopping laundering clothes that had only been worn once and were still clean. I started doing all laundry in cold water. If you watch your pennies your dollars will look after themselves.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

Shop your home/auto insurance with an independent agent, you don't have to wait until your renewal to move. Also, never pay full price for ANYTHING. I buy every single thing either used or on clearance, including food. And only buy what you really NEED. When you pick up something, really look at it and say, do I REALLY need this or can I live without it for awhile until we have 2 incomes again? Even if it's on clearance and a great deal, only buy what you really NEED. My mom is struggling financially and I swear, she buys EVERYTHING that is on Safeway's 50% off shelf. I'm like mom, you bought a box of mac and cheese 50% off but its STILL over $1. You can buy generic for .56. HELLO! So you are not really saving money when you do that, IMO. Even when your husband gets another job, still try to live your life this way. You would not be in a panic right now if you had money saved up for something like this. Do these things now to get by but continue to make it easier next time something happens. Hope things get better for you soon. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Make sure he applies for unemployment, so you can have a little more money coming in.

Bring lunch to work instead of buying food at the cafeteria or going to a restaurant. See if you can carpool to save on gas money. See if you can reduce your bills; many utility companies have programs for those who fall below a certain income level. Work harder to save on utilities, too - turn off lights, TV and computer, take shorter showers, wash clothes in cold water, etc. Can you cut back on your cell plans? If you have a smart phone, get a more basic cell phone to use just for calls, rather than paying for a data plan.

Clean out your closets and see what you can sell. See if you can trade services with someone rather than paying for something.

Also, switch to a cash-only system and, whenever possible, go into the bank instead of using an ATM. With cash only, you really can only buy the things you afford and you won't rack up debt on a credit card. Remember, all of the interest you pay on a card is just wasted money - avoid it as much as you possibly can. And, by going into the bank instead of using the ATM, you'll be more conscious of what you're spending. It won't be as easy to just grab a couple of 20s whenever you need (or want) them.

What skills/talents does your husband have? Can he do handyman type jobs? If so, pass out fliers around the neighborhood so people know he's available to do work. Remember - no job is too small. If a neighbor is willing to pay him to walk their dog, do it. Any way to make a few extra dollars is worth it.

I'm sorry you're in this situation. I'm sure you will get through.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

I had some dark days before getting married. Had some unexpected disasters.

Gather all of your regular bills. I was disappointed to discover there were a lot of things I couldn't cancel - the cancellation fees were higher than the total monthly fees remaining on the contracts. BUT, I could reduce services for most of them. For instance, maybe you can't cancel cable without paying a huge cancellation fee, but you can drop everything except basic. If that is the case, pay attention to when the contract comes to an end, and cancel as soon as you can.

Turn the thermostat up three degrees during the day in the summer, down three degrees during the winter. That could be up to 10% of your power bill.

Dry cleaning - tags say Dry Clean or Dry Clean ONLY. They don't have to be dry cleaned unless they say Dry Clean ONLY. If they only say Dry Clean, then they can be washed on the delicate cycle - hang dry or flat dry, if it's a loose weave.

If you have pocket money, spend only paper money. All of the change goes in a jar. At the end of the month, the money in that jar goes as an extra payment to whatever bill you have with the highest interest rate.

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