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Friday, October 16, 2009

Preparing for No Income

Some of you may know my dear Hubby works for Fedex. We were so happy when he got this job a year ago, thinking it's a steady income he will get a pay check every week. Unlike he previous job where he might have worked one day this week and be off for the next 2 weeks. It was hit and miss and very hard on the budget. We thought this new job was a blessing.

But things changed soon after starting, he was making more money but was getting paid salary and working 60+ hours a week. This company has been full of lies since he has started. They load him up with 50+ more stops than anyone else cause they know he will do the job. It has finally coming to a breaking point. His blood pressure is through the roof and refuses to be put on medicine, so some things need to change. As most of you know it is gonna be hard to get another job right, especially where we live. If he can find anything it will be a major pay cut.

So in order to keep him from having a heart attack he is faced with the choice to turn in his notice. Things are still trying to be worked out but I don't think anything will change. So to prepare here are a few things we will do now.

1. Cut down food budget. We are currently spending $100.00 a week for food and household products. We will need to make a major decrease to $60.00 or less a week. Today I will go through my pantry and see what we can use and then make a meal plan.

2. Make more foods from scratch. I am already doing this for most foods compared to a couple years ago, we were buying everything packaged. What a difference in the food budget it makes.

3. Change Auto Insurance Companies. I have searched different companies to get a lower rate and have found one with a savings of almost $40.00 a month. I just need to purchase the new one and cancel the old.

4. Lower our electric bill. I am afraid to know what the bills will be like this winter, we already have our furnace running and its mid-October. Scary!!! I know a lot of people are trying to hold off but have a 3 month old I can't do that. We will be unplugging items when not in use and trying to not run some electronics if possible, like the dishwasher. Limiting the dryer time, my husband can't stand line dried clothes. Clothes will be hung till damp then put in dryer, keep in mind that we have to turn on our dyer 3+ times to get a load of clothes completely dry. Not very energy efficient,

5. Gym Membership. My husband pays $265.00 a year for his membership. I know that is not a huge amount of money but it will be coming up for renewal soon.

6. No eating out. We currently eat out one meal a week, while this is a treat we will not be able to do this either unless it is free of course.

7. Lower Phone Bill. We currently only have our cell phones and get a good discount with Hubby working for Fedex. While we will loss this discount we can lower our minutes because he will not be using his phone as much for work. I know we could lower it at least $30.00 a month if not more.

8. No more UFC Paper views. These are very expensive at almost $50.00 a fight. We always have a big get together with friends as our treat. We usually only get one every few months.

9. Lower Cable Bill. Some would say why not cancel it now, but we wouldn't do this until we knew Hubby wasn't gonna be working. Then we could watch TV on the internet.

10. Lower Internet. I have already done this. I am not sure what the bill will be yet but should be a savings of $20.00 a month.

Have you been in this situation? If so, please share what you have done or are doing.


  1. entertainment is a hard one for me to cut out. thankfully we made the cableless transition w/minimal pain. but i can completely see why you don't want to lose the basic cable while he's still working.

  2. We've done this. We went 8 months with no income in 2007, and have had a half income since then.

    One thing that I tell people all the time is that I wish I had cut the cable bill earlier. I kept thinking we would have some sales. Unfortunately, we didn't. It was totally unneccessary. Hulu wasn't a choice then, but it is nice now!

    I also wish I had cut our phone bill sooner. I don't have a cell phone. I did have call waiting on our home phone (no long distance, though). It was only $6 a month for call waiting, but it was $6 we NEEDED. I wish I had cut that sooner. My home phone bill is $15.62 a month for local service.

    If your clothes are taking that long to dry, it sounds like it is mostly because your washer doesn't spin them out real well. I am guessing that you have a top loader. When I switched to a front loader, my drying time was cut in half (and I dry everything on low, too!). Try running an extra spin cycle on things that are really wet and take longer to dry (like towels and jeans, for instance) and see if that cuts your drying time.

    Though our electric rates has increased 11 times since January 2007 (mandatory rates increases here), I had managed to lower our bill by almost a third during the hot months (which is most of the year here; I am trying to not turn on the a/c today!) Things that I did that helped:
    turn off the computer at night (saved $50 in one month).
    turned off all lights in the kitchen excpet the ones we ate under during dinner (saved $20 in one month).
    turned off all ceiling fans in rooms that we weren't in (about $100 in one month). Ceiling fans CAN help you feel cooler, but if you're not in the room, turn them off! We have ceiling fans in all rooms except the bathroom (including one over the kitchen sink). It is over 100º 6 months of the year here.

    We have a programable thermostat. We changed to a cooler temperature in the winter and a warmer one in the summer. Just the difference between setting the a/c to not come on at 77º but 79º saved us a LOT on our bill. Having more blankets on the baby can help you, and several layers, including a hat, will help during the winter.

    Other ideas:
    See what meals are the cheapest, and make those more often. Per pound, potatoes are one of the cheapest food you can eat. Oatmeal is a lot less than cold cereal.

    I have more ideas on my site, plus menus and recipes if you're interested.

    Because of the nature of my husband's business, we could be without income at any time, and for any length of time. I work to be prepared for that possibility happening again to us at any time.

  3. You have some wonderful ideas here. Our grocery budget is $100 a week also but I would love to lower it some more.

  4. Like Lauren said, you have some great suggestions for cutting costs. I wanted to respond to your point number seven, cutting phone bills. I actually work for the consumer advocacy website (powered by a company called Validas) where we slash the average cell bill by 22 percent, which equates to over $450 per year in savings for the average user. Validas acts as the wireless bodyguard protecting you against frivolous charges that over-inflate 8 out of 10 cell bills. You can find out for free if can modify your wireless plan to better suit your usage by going to the website.

    For more info, check out Validas on Fox News at .

    Good luck on cutting your household expenses, especially in light of this tough economy.

    Take care,

    Consumer Advocacy,


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