Budgeting tips anyone?

Budgeting tips anyone?

Joined: February 10th, 2009, 9:24 pm

July 27th, 2011, 6:20 am #1

DH and I are dealing with severely reduced monthly income/potential for job loss and large medical bills. I am looking to reduce all expenses. Any and all tips, small or large, would be appreciated!!

Thanks!!!!

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Joined: February 22nd, 2006, 4:05 am

July 27th, 2011, 11:58 am #2

Z.
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Joined: January 24th, 2007, 2:25 pm

July 27th, 2011, 1:44 pm #3

DH and I are dealing with severely reduced monthly income/potential for job loss and large medical bills. I am looking to reduce all expenses. Any and all tips, small or large, would be appreciated!!

Thanks!!!!

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i cant do it anymore. it is such a luxury to be home with the kids. but that is my luxury--no nice clothes, no vacations, although i am getting a new car this month. i need it, or all 3 wont fit in our cars!

but i have had this (well, all of them are really) shredded bra and for two years now i have said i have to throw it out. and if the strap pops out around people (because, lets face it, it wont stay up. its just a bunch of threads), i call it my "sahm mom syndrome". anyway, i have told my bff i was going to cut off the straps and send them to her, so she could have a good laugh. that was a year ago! now all i keep saying is "it'll break soon enough and then i'll have no choice!" how pathetic!! i had even cut the lining off before the straps started to go. and i finally threw out a pair of sweat pants that literally had one thread holding them together in one spot on the waste, with no crotch--it was completley worn out! and do you know i got so mad at myself yesterday because i couldnt find them at bedtime, and then remembered i bit the bullet and cut them up for rags. i was mad because i thought "geesh! they were just fine for bed!!"

i was reading how you can start a coupon club at work. just ask people to bring in coupons, organize them (in a box, by date, or some way that is very simple--not sure, i'll have to look it up again) and then you can take advantage of all the coupon flyers everyone else gets.

read your nanny post. so glad all worked out for you.

eta--ebay has a cheap coupon organizer for $5bucks--free shipping! and you can get more cards for just $1.20 more. that includes shipping. i am going to order as soon as i save changes on this thing. can you believe i was too cheap to buy it!? yikes! i have issues. being a sahm mom is hard. you really feel like you cant spend a cent... and dh is not one to be mad at me for getting something i want. but everyday, we do have the talk about "zero sum game. what goes out cant be greater than what comes in... how can we cut expenses..." its nerve wracking.

Last edited by Ndn--NY on July 27th, 2011, 1:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 24th, 2007, 2:25 pm

July 27th, 2011, 2:15 pm #4

http://cgi.ebay.com/Closed-Side-Flag-Ha ... 53e879a83a

its ugly, sure. but i am not one who cares. the reason i opted for the closed sides design is because while both hold coupons, the one with closed sides can also hold pencils and pens and other small items.

i also ordered the cards.http://cgi.ebay.com/Index-Cards-Hannah- ... 0710856317 and last night, dh was giving me a hard time. "cnat you make more cards?" really?! it's $1.70 for goodness sake!! give-me-a-break! he also said my excercise dvd was "expensive" at $10. see what i mean? sahm syndrome affects many areas of life. i swear, i am not complaining. honest. just a tad annoyed at the un-necessary comments sometimes. make index cards? how much with that cost me?! geesh!! oh , i know, i can go out and buy 150 for 4.99--that'll put us ahead! sure.

i had another idea for you... but now i forgot it... oh ya--consignement shops! i hardly, if ever, buy new for my kids and certainly not for me (if i need something for a wedding, like i did right after i got rid of all my maternity clothes.) and the most recent phenominon around here is trading kids clothes for services. a few hairdressers around here will take kids clothing for free hair cuts. my friend and her friend are doing it now. hand me down clothes. not new. its not like you have to buy clothes--just pass them along, and get your hair cut. its worth asking your services people, esp if they are pg or have kids littler than yours. i am thinking dry cleaner, hair, nails (now that is one luxury i sure wish i could afford!), babysitting...

def keep us posted. maybe we should consider putting together a coupon club here. just posting good deals and links and stuff, weekly, kind of like all sorts... i have thought about that. and i have thought about the organizing club--were you the one who mentioned that one? anyway. for another day, i suppose. off to get myself dressed. now, which bra will i wear today...?
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Joined: December 29th, 2006, 10:07 am

July 27th, 2011, 2:21 pm #5

DH and I are dealing with severely reduced monthly income/potential for job loss and large medical bills. I am looking to reduce all expenses. Any and all tips, small or large, would be appreciated!!

Thanks!!!!

Pink
to save on food bills, I buy reduced food and store in freezer. I know when some of my favourite shops put out their reduced stuff!

I also find online shopping cheaper because if I go into a supermarket for one thing, I will come out with 20 things!
try to keep energy costs down - no tv on needlessly, radio, stuff on standby, heating not on unless necessaary. Try to use the car less. Try to take kids to free stuff - mueseums, events, parks and picnics always.

I live very close by a sunday car boot sale and I check it out as I buy brand new books for kids for absolute peanuts

I buy all my clothes in the sale plus boys stuff and I buy ahead (so this year, I buy 5 year old stuff for my 4 year old that he will grow into next year.

Also stop cakes/coffees, eating out - very special treats only. Also just frittering money away on nothing really. Always trying to save, save, save where I can - birthday, xmas money into bank accounts (unless I really need something)

good luck

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Joined: February 22nd, 2006, 4:05 am

July 27th, 2011, 4:13 pm #6

http://cgi.ebay.com/Closed-Side-Flag-Ha ... 53e879a83a

its ugly, sure. but i am not one who cares. the reason i opted for the closed sides design is because while both hold coupons, the one with closed sides can also hold pencils and pens and other small items.

i also ordered the cards.http://cgi.ebay.com/Index-Cards-Hannah- ... 0710856317 and last night, dh was giving me a hard time. "cnat you make more cards?" really?! it's $1.70 for goodness sake!! give-me-a-break! he also said my excercise dvd was "expensive" at $10. see what i mean? sahm syndrome affects many areas of life. i swear, i am not complaining. honest. just a tad annoyed at the un-necessary comments sometimes. make index cards? how much with that cost me?! geesh!! oh , i know, i can go out and buy 150 for 4.99--that'll put us ahead! sure.

i had another idea for you... but now i forgot it... oh ya--consignement shops! i hardly, if ever, buy new for my kids and certainly not for me (if i need something for a wedding, like i did right after i got rid of all my maternity clothes.) and the most recent phenominon around here is trading kids clothes for services. a few hairdressers around here will take kids clothing for free hair cuts. my friend and her friend are doing it now. hand me down clothes. not new. its not like you have to buy clothes--just pass them along, and get your hair cut. its worth asking your services people, esp if they are pg or have kids littler than yours. i am thinking dry cleaner, hair, nails (now that is one luxury i sure wish i could afford!), babysitting...

def keep us posted. maybe we should consider putting together a coupon club here. just posting good deals and links and stuff, weekly, kind of like all sorts... i have thought about that. and i have thought about the organizing club--were you the one who mentioned that one? anyway. for another day, i suppose. off to get myself dressed. now, which bra will i wear today...?
you should get into comedy. I'm cracking up at your posts AND you're hugely pg in this friggin' heat WITH a sense of humour???? Oh yeah, I think you should take a serious crack at stand up comedy. Ok, maybe just a daily funnies column/blog for now until baby arrives, lol.

I'll subscribe.
Z.
p.s. - I think we all have bras/sweats like those. It's just that only some of us will admit it. I'm admitting
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Joined: February 22nd, 2006, 4:05 am

July 27th, 2011, 4:17 pm #7

to save on food bills, I buy reduced food and store in freezer. I know when some of my favourite shops put out their reduced stuff!

I also find online shopping cheaper because if I go into a supermarket for one thing, I will come out with 20 things!
try to keep energy costs down - no tv on needlessly, radio, stuff on standby, heating not on unless necessaary. Try to use the car less. Try to take kids to free stuff - mueseums, events, parks and picnics always.

I live very close by a sunday car boot sale and I check it out as I buy brand new books for kids for absolute peanuts

I buy all my clothes in the sale plus boys stuff and I buy ahead (so this year, I buy 5 year old stuff for my 4 year old that he will grow into next year.

Also stop cakes/coffees, eating out - very special treats only. Also just frittering money away on nothing really. Always trying to save, save, save where I can - birthday, xmas money into bank accounts (unless I really need something)

good luck
"Also stop cakes"

I wanna save but not THAT much.

mmmmmmmcostco pound cakemmmmmmmmm. I just had a piece.

Look, if I get too skinny I'll have to buy new clothes so it's better for me to just stay as I am and fit into the clothes I already have - for free, lol.
Z.

moan - I do have to lose SOME of the mommy belly though.
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Joined: December 29th, 2006, 10:07 am

July 27th, 2011, 9:06 pm #8

is trying to cut down on coffee and cakes at cafes.

I still eat plenty of cakes but not at the cafe's inflated price
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Joined: September 4th, 2004, 1:08 am

July 28th, 2011, 1:00 am #9

DH and I are dealing with severely reduced monthly income/potential for job loss and large medical bills. I am looking to reduce all expenses. Any and all tips, small or large, would be appreciated!!

Thanks!!!!

Pink
I just started getting back into following a budget and trying really hard to cut back. I am doing this in a few ways, I made a strict grocery list of only what I need to make the meals I am planning and going to try to stay in an acceptable range. Our grocery bill has been out of control the past 6-12 months. I make our dinners at home but not as good with snacks so that is a goal of mine to try to make their snacks. I am also incorporating breakfast for dinner once a week and a few meatless meals to save money. I want to look into our cable bill and see if we can cut back there, we only have basic cable but our phone and internet is through them as well. I am also really considering shutting off my iphone, it is so expensive, like 100 a month..ouch. But I love it and use it all the time. On a day to day basis I am trying to drive less and be more aware of my outings and try to plan to do errands that are close together at the same time, I got gas today and it was 4.11....that is truly insane! If there is anything you are doing that is helping, please share!
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Joined: July 14th, 2006, 8:19 pm

July 28th, 2011, 1:01 am #10

DH and I are dealing with severely reduced monthly income/potential for job loss and large medical bills. I am looking to reduce all expenses. Any and all tips, small or large, would be appreciated!!

Thanks!!!!

Pink
I had to manage the house on unemployment alone and it was no fun BUT it was doable. Still, we were really blessed because my dad is our lender and he lets us pay interest only until my practice gets going. But here is what we do and it works for us:

1. Basic cell phones. They call and text and that is it. No iPhone, data plan, etc.

2. Basic telephone at home. Get an answering machine. Use your cell for long distance. Heck, lose the landline (DH won't let me or I would).

3. Digital antenna for t.v. instead of cable. We use netflix ($6 a month) for streaming movies and shows. We don't rent DVD's unless from red box.

4. MAKE A MENU FOR THE WEEK! This is vital. Shop once. If you don't have something you think you need in the fridge, wait until the next week.

5. Use as FEW processed foods as possible--cookies, crackers, snackfoods, cheese sticks, etc. are expensive and full of junk anyway.

6. Eating out should be a major major treat.

7. I don't use coupons because they usually are for all the processed crap.

8. DOLLAR STORE: believe it or not but it is GREAT for some foods (name brand) and a great place for craft supplies and school stuff for the kids.

9. I check my balance everyday to see where the money goes.

10. Buy generic and if something you use alot of is on sale, buy more of it.

11. Stay away from Sams Clubs etc as they really aren't the bargain you think they are.

12. If you lose your job check to see if you qualify for any benefits like WIC or health insurance for the kids. This has been a lifesaver for us--when I lost my job we had no insurance for the kids (much less us) but we qualified for medical assistance.

13. Call anyone and everyone that you owe money to and EXPLAIN your situation/job loss. Ask them to work with you. YOu will be stunned at how flexible they are on payments. Before I got insurance I had to have an u/s done--cash cost was $800 but after speaking with billing they brought it down to less than half of that.

14. Cleaning supplies: dollar store or good old fashioned vinegar and club soda (and olive oil for woods)! Ok, I am not great at this because I am rather addicted to cleaning supplies, but someday...

Ok, I am sure that is WAY more than you asked for but it has become a lifestyle that I rather enjoy. Am I cheap? Maybe, ok, yes, but not about everything. Sometimes we just go out and splurge buying plants, or take the kids to dinner, but its rare and it makes it extra special.

You will be surprise on how little you actually need in life. I know this time is really hard and I am thinking of you. You guys will really bond going through this together. Hang in there!

Check Chick, One Tube and Ovary, FSH 15.9
Me: 37, DH: 37
DD: Born 5/25/07 via c-section. 8 pounds 8 ounces, 21 3/4 inches long!


DS: Born 3/9/09 via c-section. 8 pounds 15 ounces, 21 3/4 inches long!
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