How To Survive A Sudden Drop In Income

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.

 

Assess

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.

Meal Plan

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.

 

Family, Frugal & Home Goals For June 2017

Sharing my goals last month certainly gave me the motivation I needed to get on with it. We smashed almost the whole list. Apart from a few home jobs that I’m going to re-add to this months list we met all our goals. I love sitting down with Chris to set our goals for the month ahead. I think it helps to keep us both motivated and inspired. As we enter June, the halfway point for the year I’m feeling even more determined than ever.

Here are our family, frugal and home goals for June.

Family 

  • Enjoy our first family holiday.
  • Continue focusing on our health.
  • Have at least 2 family days out.

Frugal

  • Start a savings fund for Christmas.
  • Focus on a meal plan to save money on food.
  • Continue to line dry as much as possible.
  • Search for more online earning opportunities.
  • Have 2 no-spend days per week.
  • Use up what we already have.
  • Look for free activities to do in the Summer holidays.

Home

  • Fix or replace the kids curtain poles in their bedrooms.
  • Paint the bathroom radiator.
  • Keep on top of the gardens (mowing, hedges, weeds).

It’s a short but sweet set of goals for June. I can’t wait to get going on working on them.

Five Frugal Things For May

I can’t believe I haven’t written one these posts since January ! Although I’ve been busy increasing my income I’m still taking the time be as frugal as possible. Here are my five frugal things for May.

  • I have been line drying as much as possible this month. It’s amazing how much electric we save when we don’t use the tumble dryer as much. I’m also checking the clothes that go in the laundry basket to make sure it is actually dirty. If I think we can get one more wear out of it then it doesn’t go in. This is helping to avoid unnecessary wash loads.
  • Instead of spending money on the weekends we have been making the most of the garden and staying home. We have also used the time to sell lots of things we weren’t using. I have a blog post coming soon about all the ways we have made extra money in May.
  • Our television package was due for renewal, we have been on a pretty good deal so far. Chris phoned them more than willing to totally cancel if they couldn’t match our current offer. They went one better and actually reduced the payments further. I know the most frugal thing to do would be to cancel completely but we do make use of it so are willing to pay as long as it stays cheap.
  • I won a £100 shopping voucher last month and used it to stock up. This will save us money from our weekly shopping budget.
  • I’ve started checking Freecycle and Freegle regularly again for anything we might need. I got a brand new packet of printer cartridges for our printer that would have cost us over £20.

 

Family, Frugal & Home Goals For May

I used to post our goals every month straight after Chris and I had our monthly meetings. They really helped to keep us accountable.  The meetings fell by the wayside and in turn so did the posts. We are determined to get back on track and make the second half of this a productive one. Here are our family, frugal and home goals for May.

Family 

  • Celebrate Jake’s 3rd birthday.
  • Continue eating more healthily and getting some exercise.
  • Have at least two family days out.
  • Make a Summer bucket list.
  • Start preparing and packing for holiday.

Frugal

  • Use Ebay to sell the higher value items we have to sell.
  • Look for more online earning opportunities.
  • Line dry as much as possible.
  • Make a meal plan for the month.
  • Look for free local days out and activities.
  • Check balances and get to cashing out points on survey sites.
  • Remember to use the cashback shopping apps.

Home 

  • Weed the gardens and keep on top of mowing the lawn.
  • Deep clean living room.
  • Fix the curtain polls in the kids bedrooms.
  • Depp clean all the window frames.
  • Do a tip run.

I think that’s plenty for us to be getting on with for now. Do you make goals every month ? if you do how do you stay motivated ?

Five Frugal Things For January

Although my focus for this year is increasing my income I’m still a frugal girl at heart. I won’t be going hardcore frugal but I will still be implementing those little frugal wins in to my month.

In January I find I’m at my most motivated with frugality. After the excess of Christmas and the great declutter that comes afterwards I’m more than ready to scale right back.

 

  • I challenged myself to a no spend month, buying only what was essential or budgeted for. I’m happy to report I’ve stuck to it. I avoided the temptation of all the pretty new season things in the shops. My prize £250 gift card did arrive so I have treated myself a little but I’m not counting that as it didn’t come out of the budget.

 

  • After having a huge declutter I managed to sell some things and make some extra money to put in our holiday pot. I used Zeek to sell some unwanted gift vouchers and Ziffit to get rid of some books and DVD’s. I’ve also sold some little bits on the local Facebook selling pages. I have a few larger more expensive items to sell so I’m trying to figure out the best way to do it.

 

  • My eldest daughter Jess gave me a huge bag of second hand clothing for Jake. There were loads of goodies inside like pyjamas, fleeces and tops which you can never have too many of. Lots are the next size up so I will be storing them for next year.

 

  • As we have had to use the central heating a lot more than we usually do I’ve been busy trying to reduce how much electricity we use. I’ve been running around after Chris and the kids turning lights and sockets off that aren’t in use. Do you live with one of those people who think you need every light on in the house, you have my sympathies.

 

  • I have actually managed to stick to a meal plan and shopping list this month. I’ve gone for simple meals that are quick to prepare and make. This means that I haven’t been tempted to indulge in a take away.

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Five Frugal Things For December

I’ve really had to dig deep and remember what frugal things I have done this month. I always knew that December wouldn’t be the most money saving month but I had a planned for that fact.

I’m constantly having to remind myself that doing something frugal no matter how small does make a difference. I find it’s like a balancing act between knowing where to save and where to spend. Writing these posts every month has helped me to celebrate the little wins and to identify where we need to improve.

Here’s my five frugal things for December.

1. I ordered something and when it arrived it wasn’t what I expected at all. I was really disappointed with the quality and In the past I would have just put up with it. This time I packaged it back up and returned it for a refund. It’s only a small refund but every penny adds up.

2. Thanks to a good stock of meals in the freezer I have been able to miss a whole week of shopping out. We may have eaten some unusual combinations but nobody has gone hungry.

3. Chris and I sat down and planned our financial goals for 2017. It was good to look back on our successes and useful to see what our failings were in 2016. I’ve got lots of new ideas to incorporate next year. What frugal means is a very individual thing for some it’s living to the extreme and for others like myself it’s about small changes that can make a big difference.

4. With the mixture of temperatures in December there have been some days that we haven’t needed to put the heating on at all. This makes my heart very happy although anyone who visits usually remarks on how cold my house is. I say put a jumper on !

I must reassure you that the kids are never cold I like to think I’m contributing to them having a strong disposition.

5. I’ve carefully packed away the unused wrapping paper and gift bags to re-use next year. I’m not ashamed to say that I haven’t had to buy any new wrap for a few years now. I highly recommend buying the 10 metre rolls in the January sales.

Family, Frugal & Home Goals for December 2016

It’s December already and I can’t believe that this will be the last monthly goals post of the year. It’s probably been said every month but where on earth has this year gone. Sharing our goals with you has really helped to keep us on track. It’s definitely something I want to continue with in 2017.

There are lots of celebrations and events in December so we don’t worry too much about the frugal side of things.

Our focus for December is just to enjoy the festive season and not to stress too much if things don’t go to plan.Family

  • Celebrate Daisy’s 5th birthday.
  • Host a little Christmas Eve get together.
  • Carry on with family film night on Saturdays.
  • Make a Winter bucket list.
  • Enjoy Chris having some time off work.

Frugal

  • Freeze and use up all leftovers.
  • Plan a budget for 2017 (didn’t get round to it last month).
  • Use up wrapping paper from last year before buying new.
  • Organise financial files (paper & digital).

Home

  • Sort out toys (store,donate,sell).
  • Wipe down doors and frames upstairs.
  • Keep on top of daily cleaning.

It’s a nice short and achievable list for December. As a planning and organising addict you can imagine how excited I am for a brand new year. I will be back next year with a fresh new list of goals for January.

Five Frugal Things For November

November has been a bit of an odd month. It started off well and we managed to squirrel away some extra savings. Along came some unexpected expenses that almost depleted what we had saved. I also find it more challenging to be frugal this time of the year with festive temptations but as always I have tried my best.

1. After another price hike and our special discount coming to an end we contacted our broadband supplier to negotiate a better price. Much to our surprise we came away with a brilliant deal. Our bill is now lower than before the price increase. If only all service providers were as generous.

2. There have been a few birthday celebrations and instead of buying new I’ve reused gift bags and wrap. I also made sure to buy cards well in advance to avoid paying over the odds.

3. I think we are doing fairly well with keeping our energy costs low. With the sudden cold snap turning the heating on has been a necessity. Keeping ourselves and the house well insulated helps. stockings-1816094_19204. A meal plan has been formulated and we have a plan of action. Sticking to a plan will mean we can add a few ‘Christmas’ food items to our weekly shopping list. I have found buying little and often is more affordable.

5. I’m not sure if this one counts as a frugal technically. The bedroom that I won from Dreams arrived, it’s absolutely beautiful and the mattress and pillows are heavenly. We would never have been able to afford such luxury. It will last us for years as it’s such good quality. five-frugalthingsforHas November been frugal for you ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

angela

Family, Frugal & Home Goals For November 2016

October was another really busy month and despite the busyness we still managed to meet all of our goals which makes me very happy indeed. I had a little downtime at the beginning of this month so my November goals are a little late which is fine as there is still plenty of time ahead to get working on them.

My focus for November is getting the rest of the house deep cleaned in time for putting up the Christmas tree and making our home all festive and cosy for Winter.

happy-new-year

Family

  • Celebrate my 39th Birthday
  • Celebrate my biggest girls 19th Birthday
  • Have one family film night every week
  • Complete our Autumn Bucket List
  • Wrap up all the Christmas gifts.

Frugal

  • Stick to a meal plan
  • Look for free festive days out & activities
  • Plan a budget for 2017
  • Pay £50 extra towards credit card debt

Home

  • Deep clean bedrooms
  • Recycling centre & charity shop run
  • Deep clean upstairs bathroom
  • Store all garden toys for Winter

I’m looking forward to getting stuck in to our goals for November, what are your goals for this month ? do you like to have a big pre-Christmas deep clean ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

angela

Five Frugal Things For October

This months post will be a little underwhelming as I don’t feel like I’ve done anything spectacularly frugal in October it’s just been a pretty normal money saving month. I’m also posting a little earlier than usual as Daisy is odd school for half-term for the next two weeks so we will be busy having fun together.

This month has been so busy which has meant we have had a few frugal fails but that’s okay we will put those behind us and move ahead. I should start including those fails in this monthly round up so you can see that it’s pretty normal to fall off the wagon every now and again.

five-frugalthingsfor1. Although we did have to turn our heating on yesterday due to having visitors I’m still counting it as a frugal win that we lasted this far when most other people have already relented. As a rule I don’t like to put it on before November but I’m still going to limit use until then, you can read my tips for keeping warm without putting the heating on here.

2. We have been cooking up some delicious filling Autumnal dishes and saving the leftovers for the following day to stretch our pennies a bit further.

3. We sold some more things from around the house using Gumtree and cashed in the spare change tin we had been saving all year and put the money towards Christmas savings and paying extra off our credit card debt.pound-414418_19204. I have been busy making budget friendly plans for the upcoming half-term, we have paint, glue, stickers and activity sheets at the ready. We are having some friends round and plan to meet them on the park as well (weather permitting) and the rest of the time we will watch movies and do some baking.

5. My cousin and I used to go to the cinema a lot together but since the price of tickets become ridiculous we’ve not been able to go as much. Through work she managed to get us a brilliant discount and we ended paying just £5 for us both so I’m counting that as a frugal win. We watched The Girl On The Train which was absolutely fantastic and as we left I picked up some free activity sheets and posters for the kiddo’s, bonus!

What frugal wins have you had in October ? leave me a comment I love hearing from you.

angela