2.23.2012

Preparing For a Drop in Income

What things would you do if you were notified that you'd be suffering a loss, or atleast a significant drop, in income in the next few months?

Would you cancel your cable?  Lower your cell phone plan?  Buy less stuff?

Do you have a plan?  Savings?

Although I can't really discuss the details right now, our family has suddenly been thrown into this situation.  We will be suffering a significant loss of income sometime within the next three months. And it sucks.  Really.

But immediately we took action.  We started to cut back in every area that we possibly could.  It won't make a huge dent and it certainly won't supplement that lost income, but every bit helps.  Every penny counts, as the saying goes.

Now there's alot of areas that we've already cut back on over the past year.  We've eliminated and saved in so many areas in order to pay off our car loan and most of our credit card debt.  We now had to look harder to find even more areas to cut spending.

So here's a quick list of some of the immediate changes we've made:

-Hardly any take out/going out to dinner
-Eliminated my morning cup of hot tea from Dunkin Donuts
-Replaced hot tea and iced tea with water throughout the day
-Limited use of lighting in the evenings (when watching tv or on the computer)
-Lowered the thermostat
-Being extra careful not to let food waste or expire
-Got more serious with couponing again (going to more than 1 store to snag the great deals)
-Swapped some hot breakfasts for cereal
-Not participating in some school fundraisers
-Buying only necessities - like groceries
-Going back to cutting our son's hair ourselves
-Less frequent professional dog grooming
-Took the internet access off our cell phones
-Cancelled our Netflix account
-Considering different brands if our favorites aren't on sale

Hopefully these things will help us save a decent amount of money each month.  Obviously this will not make up for the drop in income, but it will help lessen the difference.  We'll also be cutting back on paying off our last major credit card.  It'll get done, just maybe not as soon as we'd hoped.  But atleast it's still got the 0% interest through November.

Trying to keep optimistic in this situation.  Also, trying to keep myself focused on this plan of action.  Makes me feel a little more in control of things that are totally out of my control.

Have you ever gone through a loss in income?  Or a significant reduction?  What did you do?