Thursday, January 9, 2014

When you've cut your budget to the bone

What's next?  This is just a post to start a converstion and hopefully give some helpful information to someone out in blogland who could use it.

This is for that family or person who is in financial danger: either they lost a job or the salary they make can not meet their bills.

For starters..........have you really cut your budget to the bone?  Have you cut out cable?  Yep, cable.  I know............we love to watch sports in my house but if I lost my job or couldn't pay my bills, out goes cable and I will go back to basic tv.  I know this cut could be painful but it would have to happen in case of emergency.

Cell your provider and see if a deal can be worked out.  If you don't have a landline, you need basic phone services somehow.  Can you go to a basic plan that does not include texting, or taking pictures?  Once again, I know this may hurt but it would need to happen in case of emergency.

Utilities............can you contact the companies to work out a payment plan?  Some will work with you while others won't but you never know until you try.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

You can't reduce your mortgage/rent payment so that has to be primary importance.  You must keep a roof over your head.  I personally think that you also have to keep the water.   I mean come on we need water to survive but..use it wisely.  If you have an older dishwasher it may be more economical to hand wash dishes.  Put one side of the sink to wash, and fill the other side with clean water to rinse.  Don't let the faucet run on and on.

Use products as little as possible.  Figure out how much dish detergent, laundry detergent/fabric softener you really need and use that amount. Find out how low you can go until you reach the ick point.  Vinegar is excellent as fabric softener.  It cuts down on residues on clothing.  The scent does not linger either.  One reason I love blue Dawn detergent is you really only need a little bit.  I find bargain dish detergents are no where near as good.  I end up using twice as much compared to Dawn.
Vinegar mixed with water is also an excellent overall cleaner.  I like to mix in some essential oils to make it smell better.  Bleach works wonders as well if you can take the smell.  Baking soda is good to use as a scrub.  Mix a bit of baking soda with liquid soap to make a paste to use as a kind of "soft scrub".  Baking soda is also good obviously for cleaning commodes.  Put some in the bowl, scrub, mix some vinegar.  Wait for Mount Vesuvius to stop exploding and voila a clean commode.
Some folks use baking soda as deodarant and toothpaste.  Not me,I can't do that.  Yuck.
Cut down on other products as well such as toothpast, make up, shampoo, conditioner.  I do shower every day but maybe I could cut down on the amounts I use. Once again experiment until you reach the ick factor. 

If you've done all of these plus myriad of other ideas and still find yourself in a bind then I would suggest you need to go somewhere to ask for help.  That help could come from many place:
  1. family
  2. friends
  3. church
  4. charities
  5. government
these are just a few of the place one could go to.  I don't want to debate welfare here as that is futile but if you have been working, you've paid into the system and time to let someone know that YOU need some help now.  Please be aware that many charities and churches will require you to show proof of your need, they will not just take your word for it and I can't blame them.  they have limited funds to help.  Some have income restrictions so you still may make too much money for them to be able to help.  Just be prepared. what other suggestions have I missed?  I know there are tons of them.
I did not mention groceries because I think that is a given and there are tons of blogs that speak of this subject in depth!!  Generic and couponing are jus 2 ways to save big at the store.  And hey!  we could try our new found skills at gardening.

So go at it!!


  1. I think another venue worth checking out is the free section on Craigslist. I've given away a number of items on there that have value but I don't want to sell. I've given away extra produce from my garden this way. I think there are a number of websites with free items.

    1. totally forgot about that. I've never used Craigslist but I have friend who have and they have liked it.

  2. Three minute showers, lights off when you leave a room, cold water for almost all laundry, line dry all but towels /sheets, cloth diapers, rags not baby wipes, no cold cereal...pancakes, toast, eggs or muffins are cheaper....I could go on and on. We lived lean to assure I could be SAHM. Now we gave amassed wealth on hubs salary alone is osud & we gave resl estate and substantual saviingsbut we still do many of the same things....eating homemade toasted bread versus cereal did not diminush our quality of life. My being gone 8(+) hours /day at a job though, was nit OUR vision for our family life. Dh is now retired and we are enjoying the fruits of our frugality greatly!