Unnecessary Bills To Cut During Job Loss
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Bills To Cut? SOOOOO many people need help with this right now.
They are facing an uncertain future with mandatory layoffs, have no income coming in, are looking at a mountain of credit card debt, as well as wondering how they are going to make their house payments.
Life is about choices, priorities if you will; it is what we choose to do that can make the difference! Some people make good choices, some people aren’t as savvy, and it can be the smallest things that make a huge difference.
Did you know, that if you cut your spending $3 a day and deposited that $90 each month, with a 3% interest rate (trust me, it WILL go back up), you would have $23,000 in just fifteen years? That $3 could be the daily coffee from Starbucks, the half pack of cigarettes you smoke a day, the McDonald’s drive-through…again, a choice to make. It really is that easy to make a difference in your savings.
How about this sobering fact:
If you have $4000 in debt with 18% interest, in four years, it will double according to the “Rule of 72”.
This fact takes me back to a high school Economics class (we just won’t say how long ago that class was). Take the number 72, divide it by the interest rate; you end up with the number of years for the money (balance makes no difference) to double.
Let’s look at what you can do now to tighten that belt.
Unnecessary Bills To Cut During Job Loss
Pause the Gym and Club memberships.
Let’s face it, with “social distancing” in place, we can’t go anyway, and it is an expenditure you don’t need. That $50+ a month can be the difference between groceries for a week or gas for the one car that is required to get to work. Use YouTube for new work out ideas, and practice that golf swing in the back yard.
Cut the Cable TV.
When looking for bills to cut, cable is an easy one. Now is not the time to shop for an antenna so you can watch for free – but it is roughly $8 a month to stream a service like Netflix, or you can use your Amazon Prime membership for movies and TV series. Should I Cut The Cable Cord? Our answer is yes! While you are at it, check our Secrets to Get FREE Stuff On Amazon.
Drop the Private lessons.
Junior doesn’t need to practice batting or that arabesque. Even the violin lesson can wait until there is more money. Use YouTube again for hints and tips.
Kiss the House Cleaner goodbye.
I love my housecleaner – I do, but that is money that will have to wait. You need to scrub your own toilets right now or get the kids in on the action.
Kiss the Spa goodbye.
While giving up services like a house cleaner, also put off that haircut and manicure. You can get a bottle of nail polish at the dollar store, and even a barrette to keep those long bangs out of your eyes. Try our 5 Ways to Pamper Yourself For Pennies on the Dollar. You can also look at our sister site for ideas on DIY care: Beauty Awesome
Get Outside Yourself.
ow is not the time to pay for yard work or even snow removal. I’m not saying to do your lawn fertilizer, but you can learn the most basic gardening skills online. We like www.TryToGarden.com
Work on the car.
An oil change runs over $25, and a car wash averages $9. Grab a bucket of soap water with the kids and make an event out of cleaning the car, and pick up a pint or two of oil to drain and fill yourself.
Cook at Home.
This goes without saying, eating out is off the table for the moment. Dinner for four can quickly run $30, and that is almost two bags of groceries if you shop smart.
Use public transportation.
Are you able to work away from home? Here is a good example of Unnecessary Bills To Cut! If you have to pay for parking at work and add in gas and vehicle insurance? That monthly bus pass might be a better bargain for a short period. Make sure to drop your car insurance to a different policy if you aren’t driving it.
Adjust Your Insurance.
While talking about that car insurance, you might want to look at your homeowners, medical, and auto insurance to work on a bundle, possibly. It might be worth it to raise your deductible too.
Request a credit card rate reduction.
Most companies want their money and will work with you to get it. With a lower rate, you can stick with the minimum payments until you are flush enough to work on paying it off.
Cancel newspapers and magazine subscriptions.
If you have them paid in full, in advance, you might be able to get some money back. If you are a “gill as you go,” drop that added expense.
Other ideas to help your budget besides looking at Unnecessary Bills To Cut:
Cut the Fabric Softener.
I know — this isn’t the cheapest alternative to soft clothes, adding white vinegar to the washer is more frugal. One simple fact: I can’t stand by the washer until that magic cycle and add it. THAT is why I love dryer sheets.
When you are a couponer — you get these for a lot less than the $9/box price. Maybe it’s a Target deal where you get back a $5 gift card when you use a Target Web Coupon and a Manufacturer’s coupon. Perhaps it’s like me where you got a deal at Walgreen’s on Register Rewards? No matter what you end up paying, there is a straightforward trick to make them go even further: Cut them in half!
Just like the people who make laundry detergent, these babies have 2-3 times the softening that your clothes need. Grab a pair of scissors and Viola! You magically turned 120 dryer sheets into 240.
Baby Safe Bubble Bath.
It is OK to pamper yourself when you are having a tough time. Unnecessary Bills To Cut doesn’t mean you can’t have a little “Me” time. This is a great recipe, and it does double duty: besides cleaning the kiddos and making them smell great, it cleans the tub too! It’s also an easy recipe and very thrifty – it makes a lot!
– One box of Dreft powdered soap
– One 2# box of Epsom Salts
That’s it. Those two ingredients!
Combine them and put into a container — it only takes about 1 Tablespoon per bath – so this lasts a LONG time.
My favorite thing about this (besides it being so cheap to make)?
It doesn’t dry out the skin of the little people in the winter — and is designed for gentle skin. It lets you pamper yourself for pennies.
Make your own sidewalk chalk
Even when you are stuck at home, this can help you make a little fun for the kids – for just pennies. If you don’t have the supplies on hand, you can do a Michael’s pickup or order on Amazon.
– 1 cup plaster of Paris
– 1 cup of water
– Powdered tempera paint
– Mold for chalk (small paper cups, ice cube trays, tissue rolls, etc.)
– Mixing bowl and spoon
In a large bowl, mix the water and plaster of Paris. Add the powdered tempera paint to the mixture. Once the paint has been mixed in well, set it aside for a few minutes. Pour the mixture into the mold and let it dry. This can take anywhere from several hours to a day (or maybe longer), depending on the size of the mold. Remember: The bigger the shape, the longer it will take to dry. Once the mold is dry, remove the chalk. If the chalk is still moist, let it air dry for another 24 hours.
Kid Safe Playdo:
Do this with your kids and make a few different colors.
– 1 cup flour
– ½ cup of salt
– 2 tsp cream of tartar (you can substitute 1/4 tsp of lemon juice or white – vinegar for each 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar. Be aware if you use vinegar, the play-doh will have a vinegar smell)
– 1 cup of water
– 1 tbsp oil
– Food coloring (blue and green are the best, but any color will work). A couple of drops will usually be enough. Too much, and your hands will be bright blue for a couple of days.
First, combine flour, salt, and cream of tartar in a saucepan. Mix liquids and gradually stir them into the dry ingredients. When the mixture is smooth, cook over medium heat, constantly stirring until a ball forms. Remove from heat and knead until smooth. Store in a Ziploc bag.
Shop the Bread Outlet
Bread can be expensive if you don’t make it yourself. $2-4 a loaf, depending on what kind you buy can add up for a family of sandwich eaters. Let’s face it – it is a great way to use up leftover chicken, pork, or beef!
Getting the ingredients to make it yourself is expensive too if you don’t get it on sale or with coupons, and then, there is the time factor involved.
Let’s talk about the bread outlet stores!
Cinnamon Raisin bread tastes SOOOO much sweeter in the morning when it was only $.75 for a loaf! Chili dogs taste better on buns that were $.30 a package! French Toast was “frenchier” when it was from a $.50 loaf of wheat bread! Let’s talk fun things like Monte Cristo sandwiches, pocket sandwiches, meatball hoagies, and so much more!
Check out your local bread outlets — see what is available to you. Just keep in mind that they sell a lot of OTHER stuff too: chips, dips, desserts, etc. and those items are RARELY a bargain but are being made convenient.
Make your clothes last
**Wash them correctly.
Pretreat stains, make sure you know how to use your machine, use a little LESS soap than the bottle or box tells you, wash clothes inside out to prevent fading, and line dry items with elastic.
**Repair them quickly.
It’s easier to fix a small tear in a hemline than waiting until it ALL needs to be repaired. Put that button on before you lose it. Patch creatively while the item still fits! Repair means fixing hems, getting out stains, putting on new buttons. You can usually make it go a little longer for a lot less than you can replace it.
If you can’t repair it – will it work for cleaning something? Can you make a toy or doll clothes out of it? Can you take a T-Shirt and make a bag out of it? How about a dress for a little girl? Think quilt fabric, covering a picture frame, making fabric flowers for a headband, seriously. There are a TON of ideas; just a Google Click away!
I don’t mean to scrape it off your family’s plates and serve it again; I suggest getting creative with leftovers when you make a meal. This is a huge thing you can control when looking at Unnecessary Bills To Cut. You can make a roast chicken for meal #1. What is left after dinner can be pulled off and turned into chicken and dumplings with carrots and pearl onions for meal #2. Boil the carcass to make noodle soup for meal #3. Leftover chicken and dumplings can become creamy chicken a la king over biscuits or chicken pot pies when you add peas for meal #4, and those leftovers can be turned into creamy chicken wild rice soup (by adding cooked wild rice) for meal #5. If you have any soup left, thicken it up a bit and use it as a filling for crepes, and you have meal #6.
That is six meals from one roasted chicken!
You can turn leftover rice into a dessert or brand new entree and creating pizzas with that 1 cup of meat you have leftover from sandwiches a few days before and even making soups! We used to joke at my restaurant: What is tomorrow’s soup? Cream of today’s special! You can stretch your food dollar by getting a little creative and adding a few fillers like rice, noodles, potatoes, or bread.
You can also check out Frugal Meal Ideas for When You’re Broke.
Get a $1,000 lunch bag
Sound insane when you are trying to save money? It doesn’t COST $1,000, but it can save your family $1,000 or more!
Just think about it:
If you work outside the home and you buy lunch out almost every day. If you only spend $8.00 a day on lunch and a soda, get two weeks of vacation a year, that is 50 weeks at $40 a week, for a total of $2,000 a year with nothing to show for it!
If you were to bring your lunch from home, use up some leftovers and your juice/tea, you could easily save $1,000 or more a year. If you are married, DOUBLE those savings!!
We haven’t even added in breaks or afternoon chocolate pick-me-ups…
However, if you brown bag it and use plastic wrap, foil, zippy bags and so on, four of those items plus the brown bag is only about $1.15 a day that you throw away. That adds up to about $359 per person, per year in the trash! (Let’s not get started on how bad that is for landfills, etc.)
That is about $4,300 over 12 years of school – per kid! Just to throw out!
So, create a set of reusable lunch containers, with an insulated bag, and you will have a $1,000 lunch bag set of your own!