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
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