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#1 of 14 Old 10-01-2005, 09:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi momma's

I'm new to this forum and need help! I just did our budget last night for the basics and it came to $1,458 and we only bring in $1,400 per month! HELP!

No wonder the past 2 months we've had to borrow money to pay the rent.
I'm starting to get worried with x-mas coming... hubby's b-day, anniversary etc... we have no extra

I make jewelry but don't know where to sell it... plus we owe people almost $2,000!!! luckily no credit card debit...

How do I make money? I want to do something from home. How do I save more money?!

Amanda, wife to Ed mama to Logan, Phoenix, Indigo and snuggle bunny EZRA RAIN has arrived
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#2 of 14 Old 10-01-2005, 09:25 AM
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Have you considered selling your jewelry on some of the existing wahm congo sites? There are quite a few (check out the wahm section here for some more ideas and site names). Shop yourself around and you'll most likely find someone willing to put them on your site and help you make some money. I have no idea if jewelry sells on ebay or wahmchicks.com (free auction house), since I've never shopped for that online. Offer to trade with other wahms for gifts. Maybe ask your health food store if they're interested in consignment?

If I were in a money crunch, I'd sell anything with value around the house on Ebay. I might offer to clean houses or take in laundry to wash/fold yourself (check out your local laundromat for current prices). Maybe babysit a friend's child regularly. If I were really desperate, I'd look for an evening waitressing job a few nights a week when DH could be home and dc was sleeping (and not nursing constantly, LOL).

Making a menu that includes all your meals helps save money at the grocery store. You only buy what you need that week and plan for/incorporate leftovers rather than shopping to stock your pantry. Examine your car insurance. You may be able to get away with cancelling collision if the deductible is higher than the car's value. Check to see if your phone/cable/internet company has a lower end service that would meet your needs. If you have a cell phone, try to negotiate a less expensive plan if you can. These are pretty basic ideas... but I havent' had my coffee yet this morning... lots more suggestions in other threads too!
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#3 of 14 Old 10-01-2005, 03:57 PM
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PP had a lot of good suggestions. I'm not sure of your lifestyle--

--don't eat out. I know a lot of people who waste a lot of money on dining out. Try to find some cheaper meals to eat at home. i.e. spaghetti, etc...You can always cook things that make other leftovers--like roast, carrots, potatoes one night and make vegetable soup with the leftovers. It makes things last a little bit longer and you can stretch your money.

Clip coupons, go to wholesale grocery stores (the type where you bag/box your own), try to sell/consign any clothes or baby items you are no longer using.

I'm sure there's a lot more things. I personally cut down on our phone bill by eliminating long distance and we have dial-up internet because it is significantly cheaper.
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#4 of 14 Old 10-01-2005, 10:22 PM
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I found it to be helpful to really track what we were spending $$ on. Lots of little things added up and were really not that hard to cut out. For example, dh brings his own lunch to work daily, we bring drinks/snacks with us rather than buying them out anywhere, we have been trying to cut back on gifts to others by making them or doing something nice for them, etc. As for anniversary and our b-days, we just don't have the budget right now but we have been planning ahead for Christmas so that we won't go further into debt. There are a lot of other great suggestions already mentioned here. Good luck!
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#5 of 14 Old 10-01-2005, 11:53 PM
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Hey Momma! Just popped in for some inspiration and thought I'd post some of the things we do to save money.

~Keep lights off as much as possible.

~Don't use AC unless we have visitors or it is EXTREMELY hot....we don't want the kids to be miserable. We do have ceiling fans in nearly every room that we use if it gets hot. Keep the heat down pretty low and bundle up with sweatshirts and blankets in the winter.

~We don't have cable.

~We have one cell phone and we share it. I only use it when I drive to Indiana, otherwise Josh has it because I'm usually at home.

~We don't buy books, movies, CDs. We use the library a lot for these things.

~We have a membership to Costco that we split with another couple.....we only pay the fee ($45/year) every other year because of this. We save a lot of money buying in bulk.

~Never turn down gifts/hand-me-downs/etc. Even if it is something we don't need or like, it lets the giver (usually my MIL) know that we are accepting, and occassionally we will hit the jackpot and she'll give us a bunch of stuff we need. If we won't ever use it, we just donate it, give it away, or regift.

~Speaking of regifting.....I do this a lot too. We seem to get a lot of gifts we don't need, like knick-knacks, candles, etc. I regift these.

~Use cloth.....I haven't figured out how to make cloth diapers, but I do make my own wipes. We've never had to buy any for Bella. These can also be used for other family members to save on toilet paper.

~We use shredded newspaper for cat litter.

~I resell kids clothes (we don't plan on having any more kids) to a children's consignment shop.

~We don't eat out.

~We don't buy the kids toys except for holidays/birthdays.

~We really don't buy anything new. I shop a lot at thrift shops. If we do "need" something, I try to find something else to use instead that we already have. I always try to wait on purchases because my "needs" usually aren't true "needs". We can usually do without.

~We don't buy junk food.....no soda, chips, candy, etc. We splurg on ice cream very rarely, but only if it is truely on sale. I miss ice cream....

~I only shower every other day and the kids only get bathed every other day unless they get really grungy outside.

~I don't wear make-up or fix up my hair, so no money spent on beauty supplies. I cut Josh's hair and the kids' hair and have my mom cut my hair.

~Let people know if you are looking for something. EX: We need a new bed for Bella (actually for me and Bella because we are having a hard time co-sleeping with Josh....he snores and keeps everyone awake!) I put the word out with family and we now have a bed coming our way. The only thing we have to do is unbury it from my MIL's basement and clean it up. A little work, but hey, it's free!

~Josh and I don't buy each other gifts. Sometimes we'll buy something really small, but not usually. We both understand that paying bills is more important so there are no hurt feelings if he doesn't get me anything for birthday/anniversary/holiday and vice versa.

~I pack Josh's lunch so he doesn't eat out everyday.

~I don't throw anything (food-wise) away, unless it has fuzzy stuff growing on it. Even if there are only two bites of peas left, I'll put them in the fridge to use later.

~Make our own baby food.

There're more, I just can't think of them right now.
And re: your jewelry.....you could always make jewelry for gifts (one less thing to buy!). We also have a craftmart down the street. It is a year-round craft show. Maybe there is something like that in your area where you could sell your jewelry?

*OT~I need to sit down and write you, but I've been drowning myself in reading. Trying to escape reality for a bit!!!! Things have been nutty around here!
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#6 of 14 Old 10-02-2005, 02:18 AM
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Amanda, maybe if you posted your budget we could help find places to trim it...


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#7 of 14 Old 10-02-2005, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Budget: Monthly

Rent: $605

Water: $33

Electricity: $100

USAA (car insurance): $80

Surgeons bill (DH had appendicitis a few months ago) $50

Anesthesia: $25

Gas: $100

Food $200

Loan $70 (to get some credit we did a secured loan we still have a yr of paying this)

Home Phone: $45 (Just basic no long distance)

Internet: $10 (dial up)

Church: $140 (this is really important to us)

TOTAL: $1,458

Plus this is what we owe:
Bruce: $360
Robin (midwife): $800
Grandmother: $500

DH brings in $1,400 monthly
I just started watching DH boss’s children 1 day a week so I make $50 a week, 1 week though that $50 goes to cell phone.
(I also didn’t include diapers, we would do cloth but we don’t have the $$$ to get a stash and we have 3 cats)
I feel like we are pretty basic, no cable, no health insurance, we don’t really get haircuts, don’t buy soda etc… DH packs a lunch everyday…

Amanda, wife to Ed mama to Logan, Phoenix, Indigo and snuggle bunny EZRA RAIN has arrived
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#8 of 14 Old 10-02-2005, 09:41 PM
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So if I'm following correctly you watching the extra kids brings in 200 a month, minus 50 for cell you have 150 left over that makes up the difference right?

If not, call the hospital or whomever about the hospital bill see if they can work with you.

I understand that the church is important but honestly I think if money is that tight they would understand.

I'd also check out the diapering forum, there are ways to cd really cheap, and you are literally throwing that diaper money away.

How about this, for just one month don't donate to the chuch (I know go with me) that gives you more than enough money for a good cloth diaper start. Then from that point on you would have 30-40 more dollars a month to send to the church or pay down bills.

Mom to ds 9 dd 7 : and dd 3/08 : if I can I go to
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#9 of 14 Old 10-02-2005, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Rebecca
If I were in a money crunch, I'd sell anything with value around the house on Ebay.
This is what we are doing this month! So far I'm clearing out my overstock of diapers and wool. So far I've gotten over $75. Great for now, but dangit I've gotta raise more fast. Dh's monthly paycheck was over $100 less than expected (when here we thought he'd get a raise) and lisencing fees are due on the car plus the plumber (for our flooding in the basement) and the tree-cutter (for the half of our tree that blew over during a windstorm and landed on a power line, nearly cutting off power to our house!).

Great suggestions thus far though.... sorry I don't have any to add right now!

Judy, wife to my Catholic deacon husband, mothering my five girls and a boy, and
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#10 of 14 Old 10-06-2005, 02:12 AM
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I'm in California, and don't really know about Virginia, but our Utility and Phone Companies have programs for low income families, based on the income and number of people in the family. I think it's called CARE or something like that. And it really does help. Also check if they have a level pay plan, that can sometimes help. They evaluate your usage and charge you a set monthly price over the 12 month period. Is there any way to get your Gas & Electric down, $100 seems really high.

If your cell phone use is minimal, then you might want to consider switching over to a prepaid plan. One that rolls over unused minutes or money. T-Mobile and Virgin Mobile do that, and it's only $20-25 dollars every 90 days. And if your cell phone is a GMS phone it can be unlocked and used with any sim card service provider.

Call and negotiate a lower payment with the surgeon, and anesthesioligist(sp?). Even if they aren't nice about (but hopefully they will be), just explain that things are very tight right now, and though you don't want to quit paying them all together, you will have to give them less for awhile.
Explain the situation to your other people to (Bruce, Robin & Grandmother), offer to work some of it off in someway, like does anyone need their house painted or car worked on, or...well you get the idea.

Put the word out in your church that you are willing to accept cloth diapers, and anything else like that you could use, you would be amazed at the offers you may receive and the amount of things. They are your family, too.

As far as gifts and Christmas, sit down with your dh and go over it all with him, then make an agreement not to spend money on these things until you are in a better place financially. For anniversaries, have someone babysit (that won't charge), and have dinner alone with candle light, it doesn't have to be a fancy dinner, just what you would normally have, but the candlelight and together time will make all the difference. For birthdays, do something like give him a massage, or something like that. And Christmas, do homemade gifts, like coupons for a free house cleaning, or dog walk. Or just explain to your family that you are trying to conquer debt, and won't be giving gifts this year, you may also want to not receive any this year either. Instead make it about being together, and celebrating His birth.

As far as tithing goes, I understand the importance of it, and support you in your decision to continue it. He is capable of seeing you through, so don't forget to turn to Him.

This may not help you right now, but I'm going to share a plan my sister did to get herself out of debt, and it really works. I will use your secured loan for the example, and we are assuming that you have worked out your short fall of $58 a month...So in a year your secured loan is payed off right. Now you are left with an extra $70 a month. Instead of adding it to your grocery bill or something like that, and since you already have it budgeted out (so you know you can live without it), add that $70 to the next smallest debt you own, say the anesthesioligist payment, so now you are paying the anesthesioligist $85 a month, but your budget hasn't increased at all, then when that one is paid off(and it will be paid off much quicker now), add those 2 payment to the next smallest debt, say the surgeon, so now you are paying the surgeon $110 a month, and can get that debt paid off faster, but still your budget hasn't increased. Get the picture, you just keep adding payments together until you get your debts completely paid off. Also, once you are up to a few combined payments, if something unexpected happens, then you have room to breath because you aren't obligated to pay extra that month. This system really helped my sister pay down her debt quickly.
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#11 of 14 Old 10-06-2005, 11:39 PM
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Your phone bill is REALLY high. I have the low income unlimited calls phone service and it's under $10 a month. We have call waiting and no caller id. I would definetely call around on that. Also I second the pp on the CARE program, it gives us a 20% discount.

Sarah knit.gif married to Micah, mama to dd1 (9), dd2 (7) and ds (2). We love to homeschool.gif h20homebirth.gif goorganic.jpgchicken3.gif
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#12 of 14 Old 10-07-2005, 12:09 AM
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That is a really high phone bill. But you have a cell phone, too? Is it necessary?

Diapers can be asked for on Freecycle or post a notice anywhere in your town that has a bulliten board that you need free diapers. Don't be afraid of the old-fashioned pins and rubber pants. They'll get you thru until you want to buy something nicer.

It sounds really like you need more income to get those loans, hospitals bills, etc. paid off. Can you take in another child to watch? Can your DH work late a couple nights or one day on the weekends or anything? Sometimes, we can save money as well as possible, and it still boils down to we're just not making enough, ya know?

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#13 of 14 Old 10-07-2005, 12:23 AM
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Post a request for diapers on the trading post in the mdc giving area. You'd be surprised at how many mama's have been where you are and will send you dipes.
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#14 of 14 Old 10-07-2005, 02:49 AM
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You could also part time EC your babe until you build up a big enough diaper stash (although I'm sure you won't go back )
It's cheaper to hold a babe over the potty than to use a disposable each time or wash more diapers. We EC at home in the daytime and it's really cut back on our use, even with accidents, etc.
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