In these trying times many families are looking for ways to cut costs. I recently sat down with a family learning to cope with a layoff. Their income dropped by forty percent and they were forced to cut down their spending habits immediately. They shared with me the five biggest measures they took to save money and be safe from losing their home.
1. They took two cars off the road. Instead of having a car each as well as an SUV for the family, the two individual cars were taken off the insurance and parked until money is not so scarce. By leaving the biggest car on the road they are able to carpool together and in effect save money on gas.
2. They changed their cable to basic cable, opting out of the movie channels. They miss out on some of their favorite shows on premium cable, but know that there will always be reruns. With kiosks like Redbox available, they are able to rent movies they want to see for a few dollars a month instead of paying for movie channels that play movies they were not interested in.
3. They scour the newspaper for deals and coupons, as well as the internet. Sites like eBay are full of people selling coupons they have cut out. As long as the coupons cost less to buy than the money they save, this is an excellent way to save money. When there is a manufacturer’s coupon for something already on sale, they are able to get ridiculously good prices.
4. They reduced their cell phone bill. By calling their cellular provider and letting them know about the layoff, the company was able to cut down their bill by about $20 per month. When dealing with cellular providers, it is best to be calm and informative, other people have tried to forcefully get this discount and it did not work. Have patience with them and it will definitely pay off.
5. They no longer eat out or go to the movies. They used to go to the movies and out to dinner every once in a while, but have completely cut that out. Instead, they make all their meals at home and go bowling one to two times per week. Their local bowling alley offers $1 games at certain times during the week. They have also invested in bowling shoes so they do not end up paying more to rent shoes than a pair would cost to buy. The bowling allows them to get out of the house and enjoy time together as a family without going broke.
This family was able to cut costs without drastically lowering their standard of living, while still making family time their number one priority. Even though they have been successful in saving money, they stressed it has not been easy at any point and they want to wish everyone in this situation the best of luck.