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How do you handle a lay off and adjust to the pay cut?

My husband just got his last paycheck. We still need to pay for everything is due this week,but now a few other things have come up like my daughter's deposit on her dorm room needs to be paid so she has a place to live at collage This fall and her cap&gown payment is due (high school graduates must buy the cap and gown!). We have enough food to last a month and not go shopping. So I'm not worried about that. What I want to know is how do the bills get paid and take care of the kids needs also when the income has been slashed in half. How do I train myself to cut out the things I could live without?
I live in a rural area where jobs have already been cut and there aren't any openings anywhere within 40 miles.
I just need to get some advice on how to pick and choose on bills that All need to be paid and cut down on spending

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Asked by Anonymous at 1:51 PM on Mar. 25, 2009 in Money & Work

Answers (6)
  • Go look into the Dave Ramsy group. They have alot of good advice on how to live lower than what we are used to. I listen to him on the radio. His believe makes sense: FOOD, mortgage, utilities, transportation. Period. Everybody else (creditors) can all wait until you have the money to pay them. It's make sure you have the necessities.
    I was afraid of "losing" my job last year. I started selling Scentsy last year. I'm almost at a full time income (depends on the person how much and how fast). But I work it while I continue to work my f/time.
    You may look into something on the side. To help out and bring some extra in. But also ck into some groups here that can you cut in half your budget. The college & Dorms: can the kids take on a part time? Theres more I could give but my "characters" are getting shorter and shorter.
    You are welcomed to come to my website for info on the Scentsy. GOOD luck to you.

    Answer by gr-mom2 at 2:35 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • I saw a good article recently, not sure where except it was online. It was titled something like "What to pay for if you can't pay everyhting". Other than that, I'd talk to the college financial aid office and explain your new situation. Also see if your daughter's high school has any suggestions. Perhaps you can get a free cap and gown through freecycle as the kids only use it once. Or if you have a local thrift store, check there. The standard approach is to cut your budget down to the essentials. Food, housing, transportation, health insurance. Wait on clothing unless it's absolutely necessary. If it's really tight, college may have to wait. Our son had to take a gap year to work and save, we couldn't help him. However it's been a good thing, he's really grown in the process. Three online resources that have helped us, Wisebread, Dollar Stretcher and Budget Stretcher. Look through article archives. Hope this helps.

    Answer by oddfox at 2:45 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • Is there anything you can sell gold is going good this year. See if the school can help or what other skills does you hubby have is good as a mechanic or a carpenter. You just have to think of what is most important it going to be hard but if you write down everything you buy in a day then you can see where you can actually save.............................Good Luck

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:52 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • Tell the High School you want other options like to rent cap & gowns. In this economy it should be a given. Go to financial aid at college and get a grant or loan for her dorm deposit. She can work the loan money off if she has to get a loan. As for cutting back, it's amazing what you learn to do without when the money is gone. You learn priorities and what is really important to have. You learn to budget very closely. Set down with your income listed on a piece of paper then write down all your "have to " bills like mortgage, utilities, food, gas, etc. Luxuries have to be put on hold. It's a do-able thing. I've had to do it myself. Once adjusted it's not so bad. Going back to the simple things in life is pretty smart if you ask me.

    Answer by admckenzie at 4:16 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • It is not easy to reduce your income but I know that it can be done. My income was reduced by half last month and we really had to make some hard decisions. First it started with the easy things, not eating out, not going shopping, the things you didn't need to do to begin with. Then it was looking at the current bills you have, if you combine some can you save. We combined 4 and saved about $100 per month, then we cut the cable, internet and phone to the bare basics saved $100 per month. We started budgeting every trip to the store, we only get what is on the list and we now shop with coupons, this has saved us about $200 per month. Just recently we had to cut our health insurance, it was the largest bill other than our mortgage so it needed to go. Hopefully not for long but we need to survive also. I hope that helps. Just let your kids know what is going on they will completely understand.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:53 PM on Mar. 25, 2009

  • Thank you for the ideas! I have some learning and adjusting..for instance I can tell I'm going to the store for milk and while I'm there I come across things on sale and when I get home hubby will ask me how much I spent and he will tell me that milk shouldn't cost $30! he is right, I'm just bad
    Because the grad gowns are a specific color I won't be able to just go get one...I might just borrow on that one from family. The deposit for a dorm is the same as a deposit on an is what it is and there is no help for it. Either she gets a room or not...I'm trying to muster up courage to ask my ex's mom for help with that. I'm sure she would but i would have to go through some sort of lecture first...yep! she still acts like a MIL, even though it's been 12 years since I divorced her son.
    Anyway thank you ladies!

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:25 AM on Mar. 26, 2009

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