Saturday, January 1, 2011

Cost cutting

We found out two days ago that Rob's hours are being cut at his full time job, losing all his overtime.  To explain how much this is, we're out $9360 a year.  Fortunately we can absorb this without too much difficulty thanks to my job.  But still I have been looking for cost-cutting ideas.

A lot of what I've found on the internet have been suggestions on how to afford to keep the wife home.  Since we don't pay for child care(my mom watches Josh on Mondays, and Rob is home Thursdays), I don't pay much for work clothes or lunches out, and we would have two vehicles regardless, I didn't find much of the ideas very applicable.  I'm afraid I can't save a whole lot by clipping coupons, especially since most of the coupons in the paper aren't for anything I would buy and the local stores don't accept internet coupons, doubling or anything else. I have been trying, though, but only really seeing about a $5.00 a week savings.  I also won't save how much money I'm bringing home in gardening, canning, sewing our own clothes, or any of the other cost cutting suggestions I've found on the internet.  We already don't have cable, paying for Netflix streaming instead and renting movies through the Redbox, and we eat at home most of the time.  We figured out the cost in depreciation, water, time and electricity, plus the basic costs for cloth diapers, and it didn't really save us anything to switch from disposables.  I spend less than $10 a week on baby food, so going to purely making our own isn't going to save me much either.  Formula is a big expense, but one we can't do anything about.  I'm working on cutting down on our electricity usage, but since our average bill is around $50 a month, I'm not sure we'll see much savings there, either.  Garbage is a fixed cost, and our water bill is dirt cheap, too, so not much savings there.  We're cutting movies out to twice a month, buying Joshua's clothes on Ebay, and trying to limit our driving.  Unfortunately, our biggest expenses are fixed--my student loan payment to the tune of $500 a month, mortgage, credit cards, car payment, old medical bill payments and health insurance, and there is nothing we can do to bring those down. 

But I'm not sure that even cutting us down to the bare essentials, because of the factors above, is going to make up for an $9360 a year loss.   So for now I'm going to keep looking for ideas online and hope that he either gets his overtime back soon, or that we can pick up a lot of extra hours at our second job.


Trina said...

Oh, I know what you mean about coupons. It just doesn't work - we're too rural, and I've never seen a coupon for the stuff I buy regularly, like fresh, local veggies and whole wheat flour! LOl Seems pointless to me, too.

I agree that there's not a whole lot to do to cut costs any further than you have. I am in the same boat - trying to spend less, but realizing most of the money going out is pure essentials. I have decided to visit the thrift store less...I'll just keep wearing the same clothes and sacrifice variety.

I hope you guys can pick up some more hours! It's got to be tricky to try to adjust to all that...