Have you ever had one of those months when you look at the expenses coming up and you look at how much you have coming in and you cringe? How are we going to make the numbers work this month?
This month was one of those months for us. My husband’s side job is usually slow to non-existent in the month of January and February so we knew we would be cutting it close. I used the EveryDollar app to log in our numbers and we were still coming up in the red, so I needed to start cutting expenses.
Here’s how I found an extra $500 in our already tight budget.
- Cable- we called our cable company and explained that if we couldn’t get a better deal we would have to cancel cable. They offered us $50 off per month. Total savings: $50
- Groceries- we had upped our grocery/household items budget to $500 a month for our family of 4 so we cut it back down to $400 a month. Pasta, rice and beans, we got this! Total savings: $100
- Restaurants- We’ve done many no-spend months in the past so this is nothing new to us. This is a month where we’ll have to skip the coffee shops, smoothies, restaurants and even fast food. Total savings: $50
- Hair cuts- We have clippers at home so I’ll be cutting my boys’ hair this month. If you see them and it doesn’t look good, don’t tell me. Total savings $50
- Clothes- We can get by for a month or two with what we have. We can probably just wait until the weather starts getting warmer and do some shopping them. Total savings: $50
- Fun money- This is all the other stuff. Trip to the movies? We can watch a movie at home. Toys for the kids? They have more than enough at home. Cute coffee mug with an inspirational quote? I must say no. Total savings: $200
Total savings: $500
When I get bummed out by having to cut back this month I remind myself that this used to be our reality every month. We can cut all extras for a couple months. The kids may complain but I know it’s what we need to do and it’s good for them to have a month like this here and there to remind them of what a need is vs. a want.
Cheers to figuring out a way to make it work instead of burying your head in the sand when the numbers don’t look great!
*If you work a job where you can pick up shifts, make more sales, work overtime, etc than you should definitely take advantage of those opportunities. I plan on doing that myself this month to add more to our income this month as well.