Have you ever faced a sudden drop in income ? we have several times unfortunately and each time it sucks that little bit more.
This week a supplemental part of our income that we rely upon weekly was halved. Without any time to prepare and with no warning. I have to admit my first reaction to this sudden drop in income was to panic. Sometimes it feels like the universe is against us. It seems that no matter how many steps forward we take something happens to push us even further back.
After spending the day worrying and feeling pretty miserable, I dug deep and pulled out the strength and resilience that I’ve had to rely on far too many times. I reminded myself that I have frugal skills, I’m thrifty by heart and I’ve been in much worse situations before.
I’m taking those feelings of despair and defeat and I’m turning them into fuel. The anger I feel at being in this situation once again will be the driving force behind my determination.
I thought I would share with you my plans to survive on less money. I hope that some of it might help if you are in or ever find yourself in the same position.
The first thing I did was to look at the bills we pay each month. This is an area where you can usually make the biggest and quickest savings. Could you reduce your fuel payments by switching supplier ? Could you cancel any subscription services you are signed up to ?
For example, we have two possible places of reduction. We could if we need to take our car off the road saving on insurance and road tax. We could also apply for a better interest rate credit card and transfer the balance.
Sitting down and making a plan for the money you have left after paying your bills is essential. The biggest area we can cut back on is food. I’ve made a 7 day meal plan which includes breakfasts, lunches and evening meals. I’m going to stick to a rolling menu which means repeating the meals for a whole month. I’m having to put aside my worries about everyone getting bored with eating the same thing all the time. The important thing is that everyone gets fed.
Need vs Want
I don’t know about you but this is the thing I struggle with the most. With a drop in income it’s more important than ever to be able to differentiate. You have to totally honest and really strict with yourself here. I’m afraid you also have to get tough with the rest of your family too.
Having to make cut backs, especially on the things you enjoy doing might seem unfair but at this point it’s totally necessary. Keep reminding yourself that it’s not permanent, it’s just the situation for the moment.
Ask For Help
If the drop in income is going to cause you to have no money to live on at all then please do ask for help. There are services you can turn to like The Citizens Advice or the Money Advice Service. There might be local services and charities that could help too. Never ever feel ashamed if you need to ask for help.
You will also find a ton of helpful information on websites and forms like The Money Saving Expert. Reading through them might seem overwhelming but you will find many people in the same situation who can offer advice and support.
Look For Extra Work
This might be the last thing on your mind but it’s the quickest and easiest way to replace that loss of income. Could you work some extra shifts in your current job or get some weekend work ? There are tons of legitimate ways to earn money from home too. I’ve been working from home around the children for a couple of years now doing things like surveys, focus groups and product testing.
One forum I find particularly find useful for finding earning opportunities is The Money Shed. I have a guest post written by the owner of the website and forum which is worth a read.
I hope some of these suggestions have been helpful to you if you are in the same situation.