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Johnswife 11-19-2008 11:06 AM

Need suggestions on cutting back / $$
Just found out that the entire staff here is going to eventually be mandated to cut back to 3 or 4 days a week. Management included and we'll be paid for the 4 days a week. The first quarter forecast is really ugly.

Anyway, that means I'm taking a 20% pay cut. Now, we've been careful to not get in over our heads. We've got a small mortgage and I pay a little extra on it every month. I can back that off to the actual payment only. We've got hubby's Explorer payment which is too much, but not really high. I'm just very opposed to any car payment. Can't do much about that. He's got to have an SUV as he can't get into a car anymore because of his back and he's got the kids, so he needs more room than a truck. So selling the Explorer and paying cash for something cheaper isn't an option. And we'd probably only break even selling it anyway, which wouldn't leave any money for another vehicle. So, stuck there.

We can let the cleaning people go. I'll just have to chip in and help out more. And if I'm going to be home 3 days a week I might as well be doing that anyway.

We've cut back as much as we can with the pets. I dropped their food to grocery store brands which killed me. We're not taking in any more rescues which kills me, but what can we do? We couldn't properly care for them right now anyway, so it wouldn't be fair.

We're fortunately down to just the 2 girls; the other 5 kids have finally moved on. We have one that may wind up coming back in the spring, but the others seem to be settled where they are. So that saves us a fortune on food and utilities.

The girls are sharing the big bedroom downstairs so we don't have to heat upstairs. We're having the cable moved to that room (which we'd planned on doing anyway since we're turning it into a library) so they just heat that one room. The dogs (with the exception of my daughter's chihuahua) are in our room with us. Her dog is in the room with her at night and with us in the day, so we don't heat the living spaces. No sense in it.

Should mention - we don't have central heat and air. Just a window A/C unit in the summer and space heaters in the winter. Last winter having to heat the entire house cost us over $600 a month. So it should be a pretty decent savings only heating smaller spaces.

My commute to work is 2 hours each way. Can't do anything about that. The car is pretty good on gas and I'll only be making the trip 4 times a week. Other than that, can't change anything there.

So, other than what I've mentioned, and the obvious (cutting back on the types of food we eat, not eating out, etc) do you guys have any suggestions on other ways to save some money until we get past this crunch?

DashAwayAll 11-19-2008 11:52 AM

Move in with Dashie.:-P

Johnswife 11-19-2008 12:25 PM


Originally Posted by DashAwayAll (Post 193092)
Move in with Dashie.:-P

No way!!! You got that white stuff that falls out of the sky way more than us. Could you imagine the poor torties having to be locked up all CT winter long? They'd revolt!!!

Johnswife 11-19-2008 12:29 PM

BTW - Have a peek at your little man. He was 1 pound when you left. He's now almost 7 pounds!!!! Eating and growing like a weed!!

NorthernMama 11-19-2008 12:52 PM

I find that many people that have to deal with cutting back for the first time, or the first time in many years pay for many extras that I wouldn't even consider most times, and definitely not when times are tight. Here are some examples:
--name brand clothing
--new clothing just because
--cell phones
--TV, if you want it cut back to the very basic package
--internet options
--extra trips to the store, etc.
--trendy snack foods and lunches; stick to the basics for better quality and bang for your buck (I buy lots of popcorn for munchies in the house)
--coffees and snacks on the go - these are a killer!

Best way to decide where to cut back is write down EVERYTHING that you spend on over the course of two weeks and then add it up by category. You may be surprised where you can cut back.

kickshaw 11-19-2008 03:00 PM

when you have lunch at work, bring it from home or go to a local grocery store and pick up enough for 3-4 days. (I was spending $8/day on eating out for lunch, now that I'm bringing it, it's roughly $3/day - over $750/year savings!)

keep your gas tank full, and tires properly inflated. drive with cruise control when you can, and at a slower speed (55 or 60 on the highway)

conserve water - wash full loads of clothes and dishes (newer dishwashers are far more environmentally friendly than washing by hand) turn off the water while brushing your teeth, shaving, etc. Put a brick in your toilet. Fix leaks. (I don't know about your water bill, but average ones in Atlanta are around $80 at some of the properties we service!)

blankets help cut down on how much heat is needed

cook at home

do you really need a landline/telephone line? we cut ours down to just the very basic local service - bill went from $105 per month to $19 per month

cable/satellite - again, cut out the extra "fluff" - We cut out HBO and save $35 per month!

when you go to run errands, run them all in one swoop so to avoid little trips here and there

buy store brands and use coupons!

drink water from the tap - it's cheaper and healthier than bottled water

hope these help:-)

free_sprtd 11-19-2008 03:18 PM

depending on where you are isn't tap worse than bottled??
and what does a brick in the toilet do?

wow i can totally relate...i was just thinking to myself this past 2 months we have severely been affected by the economy. all these tips are wonderful, and it's great to know that someone else is going through the same things :(

kickshaw 11-19-2008 03:37 PM


Originally Posted by free_sprtd (Post 193282)
depending on where you are isn't tap worse than bottled??
and what does a brick in the toilet do?

lol...i hadn't thought about bad water in other places :-P

a brick in the toilet makes the tank think it's fuller than it is, so you flush with less water ;-)

Kincsem 11-19-2008 04:26 PM

Buy clothes at Goodwill. Mine usually come from the $1. racks. Buy energysaver bulbs they may seem expensive but they pay for themselves many times over with lower electric bills and last much longer. If you get milk buy it powdered. It cheaper and keeps well. Use comforters instead of or in addition to blankets. They are much warmer. Got one like new at Goodwill. Buy food that keeps without refrigeration,put it in plastic storage containers and shop less often. I load a cart to overflowing every time I go to WalMart. I get a lot of Ramen Noodles. They have gone up to 17 cents a package. Instead of coffee I buy 100 tea bags for $1. Wearing layers of clothes indoors helps keep warm.

TaMMa89 11-20-2008 04:03 AM

When buying food, clothes, toiletries etc. buy the most cheaper brand you find. Check also price-cuts and flea markets.

As to Internet/cell phone service provider, race them and choose the most cheapest provider.

Lower you room temperature with a couple of degrees. I know it doesn't sound very significant but it is because it cuts down heating costs.

Turn off every light/electronic device that you don't need just then.

Think about your hobbies. Is there something which you would cut out?

I think these are pretty basic things and you've perhaps noticed them already. I still wanted to brought them out on the chance that there's something new to you.

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