Skip to comments.Dealing with Reduced Work Hours
Posted on 01/05/2014 3:59:01 PM PST by RKBA Democrat
I'm in real trouble. I've been living on the edge for months. I'm just barely able to pay my bills. I don't spend anything on myself. Last week, my boss cut my hours. I'm really stressed out. What can I do when I've already cut my budget to the core? Brooke
If you've been following the news lately, you've seen the headlines. You're not alone. Because of the economy or concern about the costs of covering full-time employees under the new healthcare law, a number of companies are reducing the hours of their employees.
That can be a serious problem, especially for people like you who are already living on the edge financially. Let's see if we can't find some frugal answers for you.
The first and probably most important step is to have good information on how much you're currently spending and what your new income will be. You need to know how much you're short.
Once you know how big a gap you're trying to close, you can begin the hunt for dollars. We'll look at ideas from the simplest to the more severe.
Start by taking another look at your current expenses. You've already cut the easy stuff. This time you'll have to go deeper. It's time to eliminate any expense that doesn't feed you, heal you, put a roof over your head, or make it possible to earn an income.
Get creative! Try to look at each expense with fresh eyes. Don't skip anything just because you don't think you can live without it. Make sure that's really true.
Spend some time searching for solutions that are new to you. For example, have you ever visited a "salvage" grocery store? They often deal in overstock items or products in dented cans.
Or try visiting a bakery outlet. Stop there before you hit your local grocery store.
Groceries are an excellent place to look for savings. Most families spend between 10 and 20 percent of their take-home pay on food. Plus, you make purchasing decisions almost daily. That means that your food budget offers many opportunities to save.
Plan on eating and preparing all your meals at home. On average, people spend about 40 percent of their food budget on food prepared outside their home.
You can have a steak dinner at home for the price of a big M meal. Or you could make your own burger for a fraction of the cost. The same thing is true of any restaurant or takeout meal.
Cook "from scratch" as much as possible. Basic food items aren't that expensive, but if you're buying food that you just pop into the oven or microwave, you'll pay top dollar. Eliminate single serving and convenience items.
Collect some frugal recipes. Even with grocery prices that seem to go up each week, you can still make some meals that are nutritious and frugal. Often the trick is limiting the amount of meat and sticking to staples.
Cooking isn't as hard or time consuming as you might think. There are many resources online that can teach you. Doing your own cooking will save you money every time you prepare a meal.
Learn to use "in season" fruits and veggies. We've grown accustomed to having the produce we like available year round, but when it's out of season locally, it must be shipped in, and the prices reflect that. Let your diet change seasonally. Take advantage of the food items that are grown in abundance locally.
Look for ways to avoid purchases of all types, especially things that you'll only use a few times a year. It's easy to fill your garage with things like carpet scrubbers and wood chippers that you can borrow from a neighbor. Offer to pay them a few dollars for the "rental" and you'll be doing them a favor, too.
You may find that paring your food budget to the bone and eliminating entertainment, clothing, and other smaller expenses aren't enough to get to your goal. Then you'll need to be prepared to make bigger sacrifices.
Before you consider deeper cuts, you'll want to see if either government assistance or a part-time job could help.
A reduction in your hours might make you eligible for a partial unemployment benefit. Check with your unemployment office. Also, find out about food stamps.
Don't be afraid to take on part-time work. It might take a bit of schedule juggling, but it's not like you're not used to working more hours, and having an extra source of income could be real helpful if the cutbacks aren't temporary.
Finally, you might find that the only thing that can save you is a serious lifestyle adjustment. You may find that you need to move to cheaper housing, take in a roommate, or sell your car. Those aren't easy choices, but they can provide serious monthly savings.
Hopefully, the reduction in hours will be temporary and you'll find making up the shortfall easy. But, don't go in with that assumption. The economy looks dicey and you'd be wise to be prepared for the longer haul.
Hat tip and thanks to TBW2 for the link.
Vote to impeach 0bama.
Another option is to look at moving to an area with plentiful employment opportunities.
The advice about reviewing your expenses with a fresh eye is critical.
As is the advice about eating out. If you don’t have a job, you should not eat out, period.
Thing like cable should be gone on day one.
Drop Cable, drop high speed internet, drop cell phone data plan. That’s $200 per month right there.
Or at least “remember that government programs like Obamacare are the reason your hours are being cut when you go to vote next year”.
Yeah I know...dream on....
But think about it: this person wants to work but can’t so she’s advised to check into gov’t benefits and food stamps. Let’s say she’s eligible and her budget gets some relief...which part is she most likely to vote for?
I would drop cable, but there are people who need the Internet for a variety of profession related things...I can’t recommend dropping internet out of hand.
But cell phone data plans..yep. I also don’t think a family should have five cell phones in that situation either.
People get crazy when you suggest that, but people lived for centuries without their kids having cell phones.
Hell this ones too easy, I ve heard the answer over and over right here on FR, start your own business, go door to door, have a bake sale! I wish to God I was being sarcastic!
Now you have time to sign up for Obamacare!
A person can do the prepaid cellular for around $7 per month or less. They just have to eliminate the chatty phone calls and restrict the use of the phone to job hunting, etc.
A person can also find food bargains at the dollar type stores: Family Dollar, Dollar General, Dollar Tree. And if available, the sack-your-own type grocery stores can be bucks cheaper than the regular grocery stores.
If available, a person can check out temporary agencies. They may have long term and short term positions. Many companies use them as screeners for prospective permanent hires.
Hey Kart, sometimes folks like to have suggestions on money saving tips...this might be good for discussion ping.
New Ways to Avoid Getting a Real Job
I was waiting for him to suggest moving to London and becoming a male escort...
-— For example, have you ever visited a “salvage” grocery store? They often deal in overstock items or products in dented cans.
Or try visiting a bakery outlet.
Happy days are here again.
I am the head cook, bottle washer and baker at our house. All our meals are prepared at home. Most meals are prepared to provide more than one meal, you know - leftovers, another main meal or a lunch or two. I usually also have a garden to provide veggies, and fruit trees for some fruit. Anything we don’t eat fresh from the garden is caned for winter months. All the flour we buy is in bulk 25 lb. sacks (same with rice) and is stored in 5 gallon food quality buckets. It lasts us for months and months.
Welcome to the Obama/Democrat 30 hour full time work week! Candy Crowley recommends this type of policy.
local food pantries and thrift stores
Also, cut out all sodas, switch to kool-aid about $1 for 10 packs. I freeze it in reusable containers and have a cold drink that lasts for hours, I have also acquired a taste for lemon water. Freeze tea/lemon tea as well. Saves alot of money.
I probably don't get the part about being sarcastic, but there is only so much that can be done by cutting expenses. As your income shrinks you can only cut your expenses so far and then the effect of further cuts is limited. For example, saving money by buying bread at a discount is a good idea, but if you only buy $14.00 in bread a month, getting it at 50% off only generates $7.00 in cash.
Trying to find a new income source can be difficult, but even infrequent and fairly small amounts of new income help overall. For example, even a couple of $300 interior painting jobs per year will make more of a difference than $35 a month in savings. One small painting job a month adds $3600 a year to the top line, and one every two weeks adds over $7,500.
Efficiently spending money is important, but focusing on more income usually is more effective.
Agreed. Cable is such a waste. I have been TV-free since 2004. I don’t feel like I’m missing much. Sometimes I’ll check out DVDs of popular shows from the library and watch them on my laptop (that’s how I discovered Monk.) Occasionally I’ll splurge and buy a set if I find a show I really like (Sherlock!) But for the most part, I don’t even know most of the shows on nowadays, and when I hear about them, they sound dreadful.
One of the great blessings in my life was going out on my own when I was in my 20's. I never looked back. Some years were pretty tough, but because I was building my future it didn't seem so bad. One thing I have learned over the years is not everyone is cut out to run their own business. The stress alone can be too hard.
Being happy includes knowing your limits.
It's also a trap that saps the will to be independent. Once you start tapping into govt aid it gets easier and easier and the desire to take a risk gets less and less.
I agree that the outflow is only part of the picture. Income is perhaps more important. But its also been my observation that people in economic distress rarely have a written budget or even an idea of what they can and cannot cut out in the way of expenses.
Or, easier, try cutting off the cable and giving up your cell phone plan for a pay-as-you-go plan. Yet to meet a waitress without a nice cell phone.
All luxuries that many peeps get to enjoy, complements of 0's $tash (You & Me).
I’ve been tv free since ‘86. Unless I’m on a trip I have no idea what is on. I watch an occasional dvd but that’s about it. I actually enjoy talking to folks about tv since they can fill me in on the highlights without my having to waste time watching it.
Sometimes when I’m visiting a friend of mine, we flip through the channels and it’s literally hundreds and hundreds of channels and nothing to watch, so she orders something from Netflix. I think: wow.
Ditto your remarks. We think alike. I am retired and am the chief cook and bottle washer for three people. I would add, I buy mostly basic ingredients and cook from scratch. I plan my menu based on what’s on sale this week. I try to serve a meat and two veggies when possible but I do find myself cooking junk food more than occasionally. I can cook a close imitation of any Mexican Inn, Italian Inn, KFC, McDonalds, Long John Silvers, Pizza Hut, etc menu item for a fraction of the cost.
America is blessed. Take a little time to learn to cook using basic foodstuffs and you can dine as well or better than Obama does in the Whitehouse. Bet he wishes he had some Texas BarBQ, chilli, tamales, enchaladas, etc.
We lost our last chance to stop this cancer Obamacare when the millions of voting Republicans went against Romney. Have no sound ideas except take it on the chin. I have two adult daughters that are in the same boat and I’m not sure I can help enough since I am 81 and limited. Looks like America is finished.
I guess that makes 3 of us. I do about 90% of the cooking. I’ve just started trying to bake bread. Did 2 sourdough loaves yesterday. Net cost; about $1 for the flour and salt and the ammortized cost of the sourdough starter. Was pleased with the results. OK so I brew my own beer, raise bees and a garden and cook most things from scratch. Where do people find time to watch tv?
“have a bake sale”
***knock knock knock***
Hi. Im from the government. Do you have the proper permits to sell cakes and cookies you baked? Is your kitchen up to government standards? Do you have your sales tax ID? Did you have any help? If so, are you paying minimum wage and social security taxes?
Government also encourages dependence and punishes ambition. I found that out personally when I got laid off from my job. First they told me I was ineligible for unemployment for 2 weeks because I had received severance pay, so I took a 2 week temporary job which messed things up so badly I didn't get a check for months. Then I took a minimum wage job, part time with no benefits in the hope that I could convince them I was worth taking on full time. When it became obvious I was wasting my time I quit to look for full time work. The state then cut me off completely because I quit rather than being laid off. If I had just sat at home on my butt eating bonbons and watching tv I would have received $330 per week with no problems. Instead I tried to work so between July 2013 and November 2013 I received 3 checks, one of which they demanded I pay back to them. I finally found full time work but I appealed the cutoff of benefits just so I could tell the hearing officers that they were a bunch of worthless bureaucrats who lived off the misery of others and had no incentive to actually get people working again. I don't expect my appeal to be approved.
I was lucky enough to have no bills other than small utility bills, plenty of food stored on hand and a rainy day fund to tide us over. If you aren't in that situation and have to collect unemployment I would have to advise you to sit at home, collect your check and keep on applying until you find a full time replacement for the full time job you lost or else the state will punish you.
There’s a reason why a lot of businesses advertise by word of mouth. Being private about you dealings has some real benefits.
I’ve posted this before but here’s a Schlotsky’s sandwich recipe that’s super simple despite so many steps. Without the genoa salami which isn’t sold here, I can make 5 sandwiches (still on the pricey side vs. bp&j) for the price of one store bought. Scroll down: http://texascookin.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2012-01-01T00:00:00-06:00&updated-max=2013-01-01T00:00:00-06:00&max-results=20
Same here on the frugal cooking. The Thanksgiving turkey was boned and the carcass boiled and frozen for soups later. The Christmas ham was picked and frozen and the bone is going into a pot of beans tomorrow, brrrrr! Might make some cornbread, too. Last night, the leftover roasted chicken became pot pie and desert was banana bread from some old bananas pulled from the freezer that were bought on sale. I haven’t been to the store since before Thanksgiving but have to go tomorrow because the dogs ate the last of their food. I’ll stop eating before I scratch those monsters from the bloodless rock of a budget.
I don’t know why. TV is not entertaining any more. Nothing but liberal news and propaganda. I guess, they enjoy being told what they want to hear - that they are all victims of something caused by somebody else, and the government better find the solution fast and fix it for them. So they wait for the government to find them a job, raise the minimum wage, provide healthcare, etc while they sit around the TV.
Making bread is tougher than it looks, I’m working on it. The only bread I make regularly is cornbread - the kind mama used to make. Some meals you just got to have cornbread. Like New Years - black-eyed peas (home canned) and cornbread (home made) are a tradition in the South.
I have had a victory garden for the last 35 years. I had to give up my bees and winemaking when I became diabetic. I am thinking of trying to make a batch of wine again (for Mrs. Texicanus) if my apparatus stored in the barn is still functional. I have also been looking into fish farming.
When I was younger, I had some really bad experiences. I learned how to survive by planning ahead in the good times and cutting expenses in the bad times. I also learned a man can’t serve two masters.
I agree that bread making is difficult. There are some good videos and tutorials online, but it’s obvious that the people who do it all the time are bringing skills to the table that I don’t yet have. The sourdough was a good first attempt, but a little denser than I wanted. Not as sour as I like and it blew out along the seam while baking. But I still liked the final product and most has since been devoured. Just lessons learned for next time.
Corn bread is a staple at my house. I make it or buy it pretty much weekly. Chili + cornbread = heaven.
Sorry to hear about the diabetes. I enjoy my bees and I’m flat out addicted to good honey. I never got into wine making; I prefer to buy it. Beer on the other hand is something that I prefer to make.
Right on. I once survived a hard time by eating a fried pie and Dr. Pepper every other day. I know, a moon pie and RC would have been better. I was working but I could barely make ends meet, just enough income to keep the creditors off my back. I could have gone back home and lived with my parents and looked for a better job but I was too proud. When I did visit my parents, mama noted that I was losing weight. I told her I was dieting. She slipped me a twenty. Mama knew.
Thanks for the sandwich recipe. People never appreciate good food until they have to live without it. I’m not a prepper, but I try to have enough of everything to survive for 3 months. After that, I’ll be following the sparrows around for a handout.
Be prepared for the day when people will toss their worthless food stamps/EBTs into the streets. It’s just a major/minor power failure away.
Take heart, maybe you should move in with a friend’s family and combine the families under one roof, that way expenses are lessened...
You know like they had to do under communism...
One of the saddest side effects of excessive government regulation is its effect on people who need to just earn a small amount of money, or who are just starting out. All taxes and related regulations should exempt small amounts of income to simplify and encourage self reliant individuals.
Go to a second hand store and get a bread maker. I paid $5 for mine. I make sourdough in it using yogurt. There are recipes online for every bread imaginable. I also use it to make cinnamon rolls and pizza dough.
My bread is like a crap shoot. I never know what’s going to come out of oven. So like you and wine making, I buy the bread, at least for now.
Yes, I agree, chilli must definitely be eaten with cornbread.
After Mrs. Texicanus and I married, we decided honey was healthier for us than sugar. That’s why I kept bees for many years.
In 2002 I became a type-1 diabetic overnight. I was diagnosed with cancer of the bile ducts and underwent surgery (Whipple procedure) where I lost my pancreas, gallbladder, spleen, lymph nodes, 1/3 stomach, and several feet of the small intestine. Result: no pancreas, no insulin. After the cancer operation, doctors told me to control my sugar and honey intake which is another reason I attempt to cook.
Thanks for the chat and good night.
“You know like they had to do under communism...”
Shades of Dr. Zhivago.
I tell my workers, ‘Keeping your job IS your raise.’ Make the best of it until 0bama is gone. And even after he’s gone, don’t expect much as it’s going to take DECADES to get American back to fiscal solvency. If ever!
And in my head I’m thinking, ‘Oh, you VOTED for that POS? TWICE? Well, YOU go to the BACK of the pack if raises are EVER again available.’ ;)
I know. I’m kinda mean that way...
1 can of Progresso Light vegetable soup (low sodium).
1 can of stewed tomatoes
1 can of black beans (rinsed)
1 can of sliced mushrooms (or 4-6 uncooked mushrooms, sliced)
Add water or vegetable stock.
You don't have to confine yourself. The point I'm trying to make is that there are several healthy meals from this, and about the same as you'd pay for one Happy Meal (maybe less).
BTW, my 11YO son and 3YO grandson love this soup.
“I know. Im kinda mean that way...”
Not really. They still have their jobs. People who support policies that result in unemployment should be the first to be unemployed.
Thank you for the validation. My feelings, exactly.
However, you gotta walk a thin line with these Madistan LibTards. They were there when I got there, and you never know when they’ll go postal, LOL!
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