What do I do when I just lost my job? How do I make ends meet when money is tight? We all encounter financial setbacks at one time or another. When that happens, analyze the severity of the situation and then take appropriate steps. Depending on how big is the setback, this may be a time to temporarily practice an excessive frugality. Again this is temporary and for family harmony, such an extreme approach should not be long term but may help weather a storm until the situation improves. Some suggestions to consider are:
- What nonessential expenses can be cut? Cable, magazine subscriptions, gym memberships, extra phones, eating out, etc. are all nonessential expenses that could possibly be cut out. Check to see if a contract has to be completed, but if not try to cancel early. When canceling magazine subscriptions, ask for a refund of what balance remains. Postpone nonessential home repairs.
- What necessary expenses can be curtailed? Adjust the thermostat so that the temperature is cooler in the winter and warmer in the summer. Plan trips so that less fuel is used. Plan inexpensive meals at home; egg burritos, rice and beans or even peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are all very economical meals. Only water the yard enough to keep trees, shrubs and grass alive.
- What can be sold? Books, CD’s, furniture, sporting equipment, etc. can be converted to cash if necessary. If your family has more than one car, consider selling a car as well (especially if there are ongoing car payments involved) and remember to cancel the insurance on the sold car as well.
- What can be done for additional income? Mowing a neighbor’s yard, buying garage sale items and flipping them on Craigslist or Ebay, or even returning unused items that have been recently purchased can all be sources for needed cash.
photo credit: via Flickr cc License – Shiny Penny 2001 – 8/23/15 with no changes