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How do you guys do it on one salary? I am not used to doing it on one salary and I need pointers on how to make ends meet because we are having a hard time. I have always worked, but I quit my job because I couldn't stand where I was and I was getting depressed and losing my sanity. So now I need to know how to budget and still meet our needs and the needs of our daughter. Thank you for all input.

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Asked by psurmont at 12:56 PM on May. 26, 2010 in Money & Work

Level 3 (14 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Write it all down. Keep track of all your receipts/purchases for one month and see if it actually adds up - usually people underestimate what they are spending on non necessities. You may have to cut out certain things (specialty coffees out, high end shampoos/soaps, etc.) that you were able to buy when you were working. It's a different lifestye, for sure! You can almost always cut back on cable and/or cell phone services (my dh and I went from an unlimited plan when I was working to a 2000 mins plan that was MUCH cheaper and we haven't noticed a difference in the service). When applying for summer camps, extracurriculars, etc always ask if they offer scholarships or financial assistance - I've been amazed at some of the places that do!

    Answer by missanc at 1:01 PM on May. 26, 2010

  • this is how i do it.

    Coupons. Try to have a coupon for at least half the things in your cart.

    Buy store brand. If you look at the ingredients, more often than not the ingredients are the same.

    Have breakfast for dinner at least once a week.

    Eat vegetarian at least a couple of times a week.

    One big package of ground meat is great for 4 meals, (at least 4 my family, there's 4 of us) chili one day, baked ziti the next, i like white rice, ground meat and corn or peas and carrots, mmm.

    make your own cleaning products. Baking soda and vinegar are wonderful products.

    Theres more. if i think of any i'll write back.

    GL! Lisa

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:03 PM on May. 26, 2010

  • Coupons and price matching are ways we cut back weekly. It is a game for us now--every Sun morning we gather up flyers from everywhere and make our list--and stick to it. Plus, we shop with cash only , so if it's not on the list and we don't have money left over, we don't really need it then. Another way we save is by shopping clearance racks all year round-we use alot of the deals we find as Christmas and Birthday gifts.

    Answer by mom2LandL at 1:03 PM on May. 26, 2010

  • I cut out unnecessary expenses. We pay mortgage, electric, heat, phone (bundled with internet & Dish network, that's one unnecessary that hubby wouldn't give up), and insurance. Hubby has a prepaid cell phone but rarely uses it. I don't have a cell phone and survive just fine. Our vehicles were purchased used and are paid for.

    Since I'm a SAHM, I figure it's MY job to find ways to save $$. I don't use coupons because store brand is still cheaper. I plan meals & cook from scratch. By planning meals, I cut my shopping trips down to 2 or 3 times a month, using less gas. Buy store brand & in bulk when possible. Cut back on how much meat/dairy you use. Fresh veggies are good but frozen is almost as good & a lot cheaper. I grow a large garden and preserve what veggies/fruits I harvest, & sell what I don't preserve. We use energy efficient appliances/ light bulbs. I learned how to do simple household repairs myself.

    Answer by michiganmom116 at 1:26 PM on May. 26, 2010

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    Answer by customcat2000 at 2:38 PM on May. 26, 2010

  • I would first write down your monthly expenses and make sure you can pay for it on one salary. But there are many ways to save money on everyday things.

    Besides wonder answers like coupons or store brands you can save money on other items and be "green" at the same time.
    Traditional household cleaners and detergents not only have toxic chemicals you are putting in your home that you and your family breathe in but they are expensive.

    You can make an all purpose cleaner for PENNIES. Take an old spray bottle or buy one at the dollar store and fill it 3/4's with water, the rest with white vinegar and if you wish a teaspoon of baking soda and shake. It can clean any surface in your house and it SANITIZES.

    Make your own laundry detergent....about $3 with make a 2.5 gallon bucket that lasts MONTHS and cleans better than any detergent on the market.


    Answer by Mom2Jack04 at 3:37 PM on May. 26, 2010

  • I buy a 3 pack of ivory bar soap at the dollar store.

    Grate it and put it in a pot of water and melt it down. Once melted pour it into a 3-5 gallon bucket, then add 2 cups of Borax and 2 cups of WASHING soda (you'll find both on the detergent ailse as a laundry booster in most grocery stores, target or wal-mart, washing soda is in a big arm and hammer box) Then add 2 gallons of water and mix. 1/4 cup per load, though you have to stir it briefly as it can gel on the top. But it cleans great and costs SO much less.

    Fabric softener you can put a half a cup into the fabric softener spout in the washing machine (no your clothes won't smell like vinegar) or you can just put a wad of aluminum foil in the dryer.

    I also recommend going to Farmer's Markets and growing veggies. I do spend a little more for Organic plants, but it's worth it for me. I buy a lot of make suagr free preserves and freeze and can veggies.

    Answer by Mom2Jack04 at 3:47 PM on May. 26, 2010

  • You can also get the cheaper cable plan or cancel it altogether, most TV networks let you watch episodes a week or so after they aired free...some right away.

    Buy clothes and household items and toys at yard sales and thrift stores.

    If there are stores within walking distance start walking on nice days and save the gas in your car. I average about 30 miles a week just walking with my daughter while running errands or going to the park or zoo. In fact I don't even have a drivers license, don't want it, don't miss it.

    Use libraries for movies and books. Most library systems get newly released movies, you may have to request them and wait for it to come in, and some libraries charge...mine charges $1 if you request a movie, but of course it's free if you find it on the shelf. I read books and magazines from the library and copy recipes I want.

    Answer by Mom2Jack04 at 3:52 PM on May. 26, 2010

  • Even doing something simple like putting cell phone chargers, tv's and their equipment and computers, printers on power strips and turning them off at night can shave as much as $20 from your monthly electric bill. Your state may also be deregulated with energy...meaning you can keep the electric company that delivers the electricity but you can change providers, there are many cheaper ones out there such as AMBIT energy that will save you more on your electric bill. (they also save on the tax charges of the delivery company...and you still only pay ONE company, the one you pay now!!! nothing changes but a smaller bill

    If you do plant a garden get a garbage can with a lid and cut your gutters downspout to be at the height of the lid, cut flap in the lid and put the downspout into it....that will collect your rain water which you can then use to water your garden, saving on your water bill.

    Okay thats just some ideas

    Answer by Mom2Jack04 at 3:57 PM on May. 26, 2010

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    Answer by IraqiVetWife at 4:04 PM on May. 26, 2010

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