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Tighten the Belt

February 6th, 2017 at 03:17 am

It became painfully clear that my income will pretty much be non-existent these next two months, if not longer. It will cover insurances, but that is literally it.

Luckily, I have been hoarding cash so I can last a good four months if I don't get any income by only paying the cash-only items, but that also means my credit cards will be maxed out by then. Let's hope work turns around soon and that I get some supplemental income from somewhere. So I made a plan and have started executing it.

I applied for a part-time job that will hopefully fit in the little time I have during weekdays and give me a preschool discount. It only works if I can bring one of my kids with when I work. Since my oldest is already there two half days a week, it shouldn't be a problem.

I have also applied to six every-other-weekend jobs. If I don't hear back from any of the others by next weekend, I will also go and apply at low-pay retail. That just involves going to locations and I do not have time to run around until then.

I also applied for eight online work-from-home-when-you-can jobs and have another two in the works. They are website testing, transcription, and data entry work. They won't pay a lot, or frequently, but it will be something.

I am plotting what I want to list on Craigslist to sell. I should be able to start listening next weekend. I have also joined Swagbucks finally. It is kind of a pain, but I already have 700 points in five days. Every bit helps. I hope to use those cards to counter my household costs.


As for expenses, I actually tracked every penny for January for discretionary items. I typically generally do this, but I went down to the penny this time.

$124.24 for gas (my new car and filling up my mom's twice after I borrowed it)

$429.42 for groceries (me and my two toddlers - they are on a gluten-free, dairy-free, and picky-eating diet)

$55.90 for dining out (one "family" meal, two fast foods)

$275.52 for "household" (I group all else into this since most of my shopping is Target and I am typically too lazy to split it out. I did split it out this month - $144.87 on medicines and supplements, $83.65 on diapers and wipes, $47.01 on gifts (a birthday), charity (only $10), and surprises (preschool all by himself reward- a very big deal for us!))

February, thankfully, is a short month and will be low spend. Dining out will be gone. My household budget needs to be slashed by a lot. I should be stocked on diapers and wipes to last through the month. And there is no reason for gifts or surprises. I will need more medicine here soon, no way around it, but we should be done with antibiotics and inhalers. We basically have been sick all month. With my oldest starting preschool, I am not surprised.

Groceries will go down a bit, but we typically do not buy too much extra or waste. They have extremely picky/specific diet, so I cannot just shop deals, switch brands or cut back much. Gas is pretty much dead on. Might decrease a little, but probably not much, especially if I start driving to a new work.

My fixed expenses are my $210 car lease, $30 cell phone, and... that's it, actually. Preschool is covered by child support. The lawyer bills will be going on credit cards still to deal with later. Luckily I do not have any housing costs right now since I am living with the parents. I will forever be grateful.

So, that is where I am at... not a good place, but with a plan. I can make this work! I always do.

4 Responses to “Tighten the Belt”

  1. snafu Says:

    Coincidently, Lucky Robin's mentioned making bread and I too enjoy making bread but have not yet attempted Gluten free. Making bread is a wonderful process for thinking through ways to solve here and now problems It's a very cost effective DIY, my family loves home made breads but there is always a downside... it too easily shows up on my waist and caboose.


  2. alice4now Says:

    If you are already working during the week, I understand how picking up a second job adds to the difficulty. Hopefully it will only be temporary, to give you some breathing room. Perhaps if you find the right job, though, it may become a more permanent thing and help get the family ahead. Particularly if your parents are there to help during the hectic times.

  3. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Eli I'm reading this and I'm cheering for you that you get some permanent family friendly income! I'm hoping there's a side business with your name on it!

  4. Carol Says:

    Wishing you all the best!

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