Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Dealing with Reduced Work Hours
Dollar Stretcher ^ | 12-31-12 | Gary Foreman

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.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: homebudget; parttimeemployees; reducedincome; stretchingdollars; survivingsocialism
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-68 next last
Tips on what to do if your hours are cut. I don't happen to like the advice about seeking government assistance. But realistically, there are some folks where that is what they need to do.

Hat tip and thanks to TBW2 for the link.

1 posted on 01/05/2014 3:59:01 PM PST by RKBA Democrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: freespirited; oblomov; Jet Jaguar; wastedyears; nascarnation; Henry Belden; petercooper; ...
Surviving Socialism Pinglist
Stories and tips with a financial emphasis to help conservatives SURVIVE and prosper during difficult times.

To be added or taken off this list, please send a FR mail to RKBA Democrat. FAIR WARNING, I'm one of the worst pinglist administrators on FR. I ping infrequently then I ping a lot. I forget to add people to the list. I disappear for months at a time when I get fed up with politics. But I do try to make sure that the articles pinged are worthy of your time. If you have an article tip, please send me a FRmail. Search the keyword "survivingsocialism" to see previous articles and pings.

2 posted on 01/05/2014 4:00:22 PM PST by RKBA Democrat (Having some small say in who gets to hold the whip doesn't make you any less a slave.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

Vote to impeach 0bama.


3 posted on 01/05/2014 4:02:22 PM PST by Paladin2
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

Another option is to look at moving to an area with plentiful employment opportunities.


4 posted on 01/05/2014 4:09:26 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet (A courageous man finds a way, an ordinary man finds an excuse.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

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.


5 posted on 01/05/2014 4:11:27 PM PST by rlmorel ("A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral." A. Hamilton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

Drop Cable, drop high speed internet, drop cell phone data plan. That’s $200 per month right there.


6 posted on 01/05/2014 4:11:59 PM PST by Yo-Yo
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Paladin2

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?


7 posted on 01/05/2014 4:15:47 PM PST by bigbob (The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly. Abraham Lincoln)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Yo-Yo

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.


8 posted on 01/05/2014 4:16:58 PM PST by rlmorel ("A nation, despicable by its weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral." A. Hamilton)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: 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

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!

9 posted on 01/05/2014 4:18:09 PM PST by Mastador1 (I'll take a bad dog over a good politician any day!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat
Forget your middleclass/comfortable blue collar existence and get used to living like a rag picker.

Thanks, Obama!

10 posted on 01/05/2014 4:19:19 PM PST by Wyrd bi ful ard (Gone Galt, 11/07/12----No king but Christ! Don't tread on me!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

11 posted on 01/05/2014 4:21:06 PM PST by Neidermeyer (I used to be disgusted , now I try to be amused.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Now you have time to sign up for Obamacare!


12 posted on 01/05/2014 4:22:18 PM PST by Rio (Proud resident of the State of Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: rlmorel

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.


13 posted on 01/05/2014 4:25:54 PM PST by TomGuy
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat; Kartographer

Hey Kart, sometimes folks like to have suggestions on money saving tips...this might be good for discussion ping.


14 posted on 01/05/2014 4:29:19 PM PST by TEXOKIE (We must surrender only to our Holy God and never to the evil that has befallen us.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

New Ways to Avoid Getting a Real Job
http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/upgrade-your-life/new-ways-to-avoid-getting-a-real-job-155115466.html?vp=1


15 posted on 01/05/2014 4:29:34 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (Pubbies = national collectivists; Dems = international collectivists; me = independent conservative)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

I was waiting for him to suggest moving to London and becoming a male escort...


16 posted on 01/05/2014 4:33:14 PM PST by Delta Dawn (Fluent in two languages: English and cursive.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

-— 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.


17 posted on 01/05/2014 4:39:28 PM PST by St_Thomas_Aquinas ( Isaiah 22:22, Matthew 16:19, Revelation 3:7)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Paladin2

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.


18 posted on 01/05/2014 4:44:08 PM PST by Red_Devil 232 (VietVet - USMC All Ready On The Right? All Ready On The Left? All Ready On The Firing Line!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat
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.

Welcome to the Obama/Democrat 30 hour full time work week! Candy Crowley recommends this type of policy.

19 posted on 01/05/2014 4:52:08 PM PST by Chgogal (Obama "hung the SEALs out to dry, basically exposed them like a set of dog balls..." CMH)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: RKBA Democrat

local food pantries and thrift stores


20 posted on 01/05/2014 4:52:28 PM PST by digdem
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-68 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson