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Old 01-19-2013, 11:58 AM   #16
cmwade77
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Ok, here are some things to consider:

Do you have cable? If so, cancel it and get a Roku Box and Hulu Plus. If you want movies get Amazon Prime or Netflix. Average cable bill is $80 per month around here or $960 per year. Even of you got all three services, you would end up at about $280 per year, but you most likely wouldn't need all three.

Do you have a land line and cell phones? If so, ditch the landline. Where we live, the cheapest landline is about $40 per month. This adds up to a savings of $480 per year. Also, check for the most current cell phone plans and make sure that you aren't over paying. You should be paying no more than $35 per line for unlimited talk and text or $45 per line for unlimited talk, text & web. Do your kids have cell phones? Many companies will now let you have two phones on the unlimited plans and the others with something like 500 anytime minutes, unlimited text, night & weekends and mobile to mobile for around $5 per month.

Are you shopping the clearance items at your grocery stores? You can have very large savings by doing so. If the items are on it because they are about to expire, remember most items can be frozen for a month to a year. In many cases its on here because the box cutter they used to open the case cut into the product, but the inner seal is still sealed. You can also combine these days with coupons. For those that love in an area with Fresh & Easy markets, they don't accept manufacturer's coupons, but sign up for their friends card and make sure you put what you are going to buy on as bonus items. They will also send you coupons for something like $5 off of $20, the exact amount varies each time. Additionally if say something is normally $6.99 each or 2 for for 10, you would normally get $1.99 off of each one of you bought 2 of them. Of they are on the clearance rack for $1.00 and you buy two of them, you will still get $1.99 of of each one, essentially resulting in an overage of $1.98 that you can use on other items in the store, the system won't usually give you cash back though. By using this technique, I have walked out with four shopping bags filled with groceries for $0.10. You can usually do similar deals with coupons at other stores.

Shop for unprocessed, GMO free foods. While slightly more expensive to start, you will find that you will end up eating smaller portions and being full faster, causing you to eat fewer calories. This will reduce healthcare costs as well, not just because of the weight loss, but because of eliminating the GMO foods. Also, look at whole grains that are high in protein, such as Quinoa, Amaranth and don't forget other items like Flax And Chia seeds. You can use these items to reduce your meat costs, increase nutritional value and reduce fat an cholesterol. But make sure the whole grains are GMO free, this is especially true for wheat. You can also mix things like Quinoa in with you meat to stretch it if you family doesn't like the flavor it's self. Overall by doing these things, you will probably save around 35% of your current food costs and reduce your healthcare costs by about 50%, as you will need fewer medications, doctor's visits, etc. but dot forget your fresh veggies. If you can't get fresh, flash frozen is ok as long as there are no additives and it is GMO free. But fresh is always better.

Out here we have a seconds store that sells stuff that the box got damaged, the product is fine but because the box is damaged, the regular stores won't sell it. I figure I am going to throw the box away anyway and then I can buy these items at a fraction of the cost. Look for similar stores near you.

For everything else, if you have a smartphone download an App called Redlaser and scan everything you are thinking about buying, it will tell you if there are local or online stores with a lower price.

When buying online, use Google Chrome and install an extension called Invisible Hand as well as one that will tell you if coupons are available for the site you are on. I do this and always start with Amazon.

Sign up for cash back sites like BigCrumbs or fatwallet and use them whenever possible.

Also sign up for the automatic cash back sites like iDine, Plink, UPromise, etc. that you can simply enter your credit card number and it will automatically track your purchases and give you cash back on qualifying purchases.

Use a rewards card like the Disney Visa rewards card for all purchases, but do not charge more than you can pay off each month and pay it off each month.

Never purchase something just because it is a good deal. Only purchase what you need.

Recycle your cans and bottles by taking them to a recycle facility that pays you instead of putting them in your recycle bin.

Sign up for RecycleBank and get rewarded for your other recycling as well as that of your neighbors. The more people in your neighborhood that sign up, the more you will get.

Use Swagbucks instead of google. You get pouts for your searches and they can be redeemed for Amazon gift cards. I average about $300 a year in gift cards. They will also give points for shopping and their sites are different than other rewards sites.

These are a few things that you can do to reduce expenses. There are many, many others that can be done as well.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:02 PM   #17
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To the OP I would do away with the house phone if you have cell phones for starters. If you use cell phones I would look at the cost. We went to Stright Talk phones found at Walmart. These plans can be as little as $30 a month for one phone with a 1000 minutes, 1000 text, and I think 3mb's of data or $45 for unlimited of each. If your cell phone is a AT&T or T-Moble phone you can have it unlocked and use it by getting a sim's card from ST. (no this is not an add for stright talk nor do I work for them.)
We droped our cable plan and just kept the internet service (we have a son that just started college so it is needed) this alone saved us $180 a month and added NetFlix for $8 a month for movies.
Another thing I might look at would be to pay off the car loan with any savings I have now. This in the long run would save you that extra payment each month.
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Old 01-19-2013, 12:13 PM   #18
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Budget

Write down everything you spend, *think* before you buy (do I really need this?)

Set aside money each paycheck, and don't touch it!

Do you eat out often? Cook at home instead. We did that many years (except for VERY special occasions) and it's amazing what you can save there. Put that money (for each time you *would* have eaten out) in a separate acct. with your *set aside* money from each paycheck.

Buying additional clothing - most of us can well do with what we have, instead of always needing/wanting the latest.

We saved in the ways above when we really needed to save fast - *and it works*.

Good luck!
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:00 PM   #19
Marionnette
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Originally Posted by SnowWhite607 View Post
My husband is a PE teacher and a high school football and softball coach. Well there was a hiring shuffle and hubby got left out in the cold on his football job. Now what that means for us is a reduction in pay and the loss of the summer bonus check. He has already checked with some friends and he thinks he can get hired on at a smaller school for less money though (jr high as opposed to high school). So best case scenario we are looking at about a $2000 reduction in coaching pay plus the almost $3000 summer bonus check. Worst case, about $5000 reduction in salary plus the $3000 bonus.

If we know a layoff is coming (he will continue to get paid the same amount as we get now thru the end of July) what are some things I can do to prepare now to fit in this new pay into an already pretty tight budget? I work also so me getting a job is not an answer (since I already have one).

Any ideas on how I can get a jump on this and make it a pretty painless transition. In a few more years it wont be so bad cause our car will be paid off, child support will be over and my child will be out of her braces. But until then.........any ideas for me?

Thank you!!!
Losing that kind of income is going to hurt and there are no two ways around it. If your budget is already tight, I don't know where you can do your cutting. Stocking up on groceries now is not going to change the fact that once those groceries are gone, you're going to have to replace them, and you'll do it at prices that are much higher than they are today! Stockpiling alone is not going to make up a $600+/month deficit in income.

Someone will have to get a job that comes close to closing the gap. Since teachers traditionally do not work summers and weekends, your husband may want to look toward seasonal employment for the summer and something for the weekends the rest of the year. If he's certified as a lifeguard, he might be able to get a job working at a pool. If he has a background in a core subject like English or math, he can work as a tutor.

In the meantime, keep adding to that emergency fund instead of stocking up on groceries. If anything should happen during the lean times that are ahead of you, you'll be glad that you have cash in the bank instead of cereal on your shelves.
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Old 01-19-2013, 03:02 PM   #20
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Thank you for the replies. I will attempt to answer a few questions.

Hubby has a cell phone that runs about $45 - $50 a month. I have a Tracfone that I add minutes to when needed (once every 3 months or so I guess).

A few months ago I looked at our eating out - we spent over $500 in November! So we have cut that down but are still spending about $200 a month.

Now obviously if we took a $600+ monthly pay cut, we would petition to get the child support down (I know, not gonna be very popular with some people here at the Dis Boards but if we dont have it, we dont have it). We pay about $700 a month in child support so if we could even get that reduced a couple hundred, that would help.

We are in South Louisiana, close to New Orleans for the person who asked. And yes, we have Angel Food boxes.

He never works during the summer but all the idea about some sort of camp are good ones. He has actually thought about doing that for softball before since he is a softball coach as well. He gets a paycheck during the summer but I do not. However we will be okay until July, I think thats when his pay is reduced.

He said the promise of a new job looks good but it will still be a couple hundred bucks a month less than what we have now.

I like the pantry stock up idea as well!
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:10 PM   #21
Marionnette
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowWhite607 View Post
Thank you for the replies. I will attempt to answer a few questions.

Hubby has a cell phone that runs about $45 - $50 a month. I have a Tracfone that I add minutes to when needed (once every 3 months or so I guess).

A few months ago I looked at our eating out - we spent over $500 in November! So we have cut that down but are still spending about $200 a month.

Now obviously if we took a $600+ monthly pay cut, we would petition to get the child support down (I know, not gonna be very popular with some people here at the Dis Boards but if we dont have it, we dont have it). We pay about $700 a month in child support so if we could even get that reduced a couple hundred, that would help.

We are in South Louisiana, close to New Orleans for the person who asked. And yes, we have Angel Food boxes.

He never works during the summer but all the idea about some sort of camp are good ones. He has actually thought about doing that for softball before since he is a softball coach as well. He gets a paycheck during the summer but I do not. However we will be okay until July, I think thats when his pay is reduced.

He said the promise of a new job looks good but it will still be a couple hundred bucks a month less than what we have now.

I like the pantry stock up idea as well!
I want to add that if you have ANY Disney trips in the planning stages, that you should probably put them on a back burner until you are in a better place financially. If you petition to reduce child support for your husband's other child(ren) while taking your daughter to Disney World, it is not going to be looked upon too kindly.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:32 PM   #22
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I want to add that if you have ANY Disney trips in the planning stages, that you should probably put them on a back burner until you are in a better place financially. If you petition to reduce child support for your husband's other child(ren) while taking your daughter to Disney World, it is not going to be looked upon too kindly.
Nope! No Disney trips planned! We went in June 2012 and no plans to go back anytime soon......maybe one day but not for the foreseeable future. DD wanted to take a girls trip but that may have to wait for a while.

And DH has one child who is now 19 and in community college part time (so we're not talking about a baby here). Old enough to get a job if need be. I am not looking to screw anyone but if our pay is cut by 600 or 700 a month and we still continue paying the $700 in child support that we are paying now, we are gonna get foreclosed upon.
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Old 01-19-2013, 05:51 PM   #23
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Nope! No Disney trips planned! We went in June 2012 and no plans to go back anytime soon......maybe one day but not for the foreseeable future. DD wanted to take a girls trip but that may have to wait for a while.

And DH has one child who is now 19 and in community college part time (so we're not talking about a baby here). Old enough to get a job if need be. I am not looking to screw anyone but if our pay is cut by 600 or 700 a month and we still continue paying the $700 in child support that we are paying now, we are gonna get foreclosed upon.
Doesn't child support end at high school graduation? Where I live it does.
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Old 01-19-2013, 06:09 PM   #24
Marionnette
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Doesn't child support end at high school graduation? Where I live it does.
It depends on the state and on the support agreement that the parents have accepted. Some states require support while the child is in college full time. And some parents agree to support through age 21 even if the state does not require it. Every case is different and is always open to review when the circumstances of either parent changes (for the better or worse).
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Old 01-19-2013, 08:55 PM   #25
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Hey if you are in South Louisiana what about getting a job working offshore during the summer months. I grew up there and knew a few male teachers of my own that did that and when I did live and teach in one of the local parishes I knew several teachers who would go that route for the summer.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:37 PM   #26
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It depends on the state and on the support agreement that the parents have accepted. Some states require support while the child is in college full time. And some parents agree to support through age 21 even if the state does not require it. Every case is different and is always open to review when the circumstances of either parent changes (for the better or worse).
Right. Child support goes thru the DHS or whatever it is in that state......stopped when the child was 18 and then was reinstated when she enrolled in a college program. I think its normally 18 if not in school, 21 if they are in school.
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Old 01-19-2013, 10:56 PM   #27
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bank your tax refund. Couponing is a great money saver. Our grocery store prints on the recipe what my yearly running total in coupon savings is and right now I am close to $500 for a 12 month period!


Since your DH is not working in the summer he could mow grass for extra money.


Check with your insurance company and see what a difference increasing your detuctible would have on your annual payment.

Consolidate errands that need to be run. Make sure your tire pressure is set properly to insure good gas mileage.

Buy things in bulk. especially meats. My grocery store charges $5.00 for a one pound package of stew meat yet Sams sell a 5 lb package for $13.00- just got some today. Then repackage it into small packages. Oscar Mayer hotdogs 30 count pack was $3.00 verses the 8 count for $4.50 at the grocery store!

Have a garage sale.
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Old 01-19-2013, 11:15 PM   #28
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He never works during the summer but all the idea about some sort of camp are good ones. He has actually thought about doing that for softball before since he is a softball coach as well. He gets a paycheck during the summer but I do not. However we will be okay until July, I think thats when his pay is reduced.

Are you a teacher as well? And neither of you work during the summer? That's your solution right there-can one of you get a summer job to make up the lost income?
When income decreases you can either cut expenses like you are getting suggestions, or increase your income elsewhere. If you're working a full time year round job trying to fit in a second job that's one thing. (especially coaching which I know is a lot of extra hours). However many teachers I know work during the summer. Some do seasonal things like lifeguarding, managing a pool/swim club, summer recreation programs through the town or parks department, sports camps, etc. Or they teach summer school.

Another idea would be umpiring or refeeing. I have a neighbor who is a softball umpire and it helps out financially.
Good luck! It's good you know it's coming and you are taking steps to plan for it.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:31 AM   #29
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I have a few thoughts. If I may,

1) Is refi'ing your house an option, some people we know just did this and it made a huge difference in their monthly payment, I think a saivngs around 400.00 plus dollars a month.

2) Take a look at all of your appliances(sp?) - do they need repair, or something small that has come up fix it now.

3) For your car, have the oil changed, tires rotated, or tune up (only if it is time for a tune up they are very costly) preventive stuff can save big bucks later on.

4) Stock your pantry with basic items, find a closet for overflow, if you coupon con't, I always check store promotions, combine there store coupon with mgr. coupon to get the most for your money.

4 1/2) Do not go to the store hungry!!! Make a list and use it, impluse buys are very bad. Stay with seasonal items.

5) In the overflow closet, stock up on toothpaste, shampoo, body wash, personal care items. Household cleaners, baggies, foil, trash bags etc..

5 1/2) You will get into a cycle with the sales, try to keep on hand what you will need for about 3 months, then buy accordingly.

6) Do you take your lunch to work? I know alot of school teacher eat free or at a reduced rate, use this benfit. If not you and DH can take lunch, include soft drinks and snacks for during the day, the vending machine is not your friend. Do plan on lunch out once in a while with friends or co-workers.

7) Eating out, this is a huge cost. Plan on once or twice a month having dinner out? DH and I have really started checking out mom and pop resturants, and have found better food and service at a much better price.

8) Do you have kids involved in after school or other activities, football, baseball, dance, cheerleading these are important but costly, You might have to have them pick the one they like best. Keep snacks and drinks in the car, no drive thru.. that add's up quickly.

9) What can you cut out, home phone, premium channels, can you get by with out them. Magazines and the daily newspaper, maybe only go to Sunday delivery so you can get your coupons, and TV guide.

10) Turn your heat or air up or down 1 degree, have someone be the light police, turn then off when not in the room. Make sure the dish washer, washing machine is full when using. I air dry lots of items or lay on top of the dryer, sweaters, blouses, and jeans.
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Old 01-20-2013, 03:11 PM   #30
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When DH lost his job last year the first thing I did was cut all our meals in half. The meat we normally would have eaten for one meal was now turned into two. None of starved.

We also turned down our heat about 8 degrees. At first I thought I was going to freeze but I put on more clothes and just got used to it.
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