Cutting Our Expenses- Fast!

We didn't plan to decrease our income, yet. We have been working to pay off all of our debts and have made several frugal changes over the past few years. I felt that we had already done all we could, then my husband accepted a job that will reduce his income by quite a bit. Now we need to look for other ways to cut expenses...

Here's what we've done so far-

  • Cut our cell phones. We had 3 phones on a family plan. Luckily it was time to renew our contract, so we cut 2 of them. We want to keep one, if we can. It makes my job simpler.

  • Cory had vacation time built up and had to cash it out. With that check we were able to pay off one debt. We will not have to pay that bill each month anymore. Yippee!

  • We have a personal loan from a family member. We asked if we could only pay ½ of it for the next 3 months, so we can get used to our new budget.

  • We were able to reduce our car insurance by dropping full coverage on Cory's car. It's over 10 years old and starting to rust.

  • I asked to work one more day a month.

  • We won't have to pay daycare any longer. We only needed daycare for 3 hours, one morning a week, but even that added up.

There are several things we planned on doing anyway-

  • We're planning to put in a large garden this summer. It most likely won't produce too much this first year, but we're going to try our hardest. I'm hoping to can/freeze as much of our winter supply of veggies as I can. Either from our own garden or by mooching.

  • I'm excited to get back to using my clothes lines, now that Spring is here. Also, we won't have to worry about paying for heating for a few months. These things are only temporary, but will make the transition smoother.

And several things we've been slacking off on-

  • We're 'sposed to have a weekly budget meeting, but we rarely do. I've signed us up for a free lesson from Financial Peace University and I'm hoping this will help us get back on track.

  • I need to make sure there is always kool-aid and iced tea in the fridge. My husband is a Mountain Dew addict. He can drink up to a 12 pack a day (after “cutting back”). This is a huge part of our grocery budget and I need to get serious about counteracting it. He will drink some kool-aid, if it's in the fridge.

  • We've been watching our electricity and have installed power strips for the computer, tv, and all their little friends. Now we just need to be vigilant about shutting down the power strips at bedtime. I'm also going to start shutting my BUNN coffee pot all the way off (not just the hot plate), so it's not heating water all day.

  • I need to finally make myself some Mamma Cloth. I made some earlier this year for a friend and they were so easy to make and so pretty! Even if I only use them part-time, every little bit helps.

  • One of the best ways to save money, that I have problems sticking to, is to stay home. Whenever I go to the store I come home with more than I plan to. I do much better when I order on-line.

    I'm looking forward to this new challenge. My only regret is that we didn't do these things sooner, when we could have applied the savings to paying off debt. But I'm grateful that this change in income was our choice. I feel this is where God is leading us as a family and He will make it possible for us to live within our means.