When I started working for Cloud 10 I was so happy. The job offer couldn’t have come at a better time because that’s when my sweetie wasn’t working due to a work-related injury. Sure he was receiving workman’s comp but it wasn’t nearly as much as he used to bring home.
That meant I had to make my money stretch and stretching a $10.00 an hour paycheck to support the needs of a family of six was going to be a challenge. Since my check was dedicated to groceries, the utility bills and other expenses, the first thing I had to do was change the way I shopped and managed my expenses.
Don’t think I’ve gone and reinvented the wheel and did something so spectacular that I lived comfortably on $10 an hour. No way, Jose! What I was able to do was learn how to stretch my dollar and keep more money in my purse.
Here are some adjustments I made to stretch my paycheck.
I put our monthly expenses on an Excel sheet. I have a list of all my creditors, when the bill is due, and how much it is. What I like about this is I can see whether I’m saving money from the previous month.
Check if your electricity provider has monitoring features. My provider sends me an email once a week with my usage information. I admit I ignored these at first but then I realized it could help me make quick adjustments to lower my usage for the following week and by the end of the month have an affordable bill.
Feeding a family of six especially when it includes a 6’3” teen that weighs about 300 pounds who has a hearty football player’s appetite well, the grocery bill tends to add up.
The first change I made was making a grocery list and sticking to it. I started clipping coupons and going to stores that have programs I could use. Kroger has a point system that takes .10 cents off the cost per gallon of fuel. And as a card holder, I get more coupons in the mail tailored to my shopping habits.
When we went from buying whatever we wanted to only buying what we needed, we’ve never had such a rude awakening. I had to learn how to be a savvy shopper. I found out about sites like Ebates and BeFrugal that offer cash back rebate coupons for all our shopping needs. Not only was I saving money but I made a little extra money on the side too.
If you’re going for take-out, don’t miss out on “kids eat free” nights.
Take advantage of coupons and deals like two-for-one meals.
Don’t fall for those deals “you couldn’t pass up”. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
You can also call and ask creditors to lower your credit card interest rate. As they say, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
If you travel and stay at hotels, look for promotions like a free night’s stay or kids eat free.
Over To You
If you’re living on a work-from-home income what are some of the ways you’re stretching your dollar? Let’s help each other out and exchange ideas. Fill out the comments section below.
I would really appreciate it if you shared this post with anyone you know who could use these suggestions!
Corina is a work-from-home mom rolling with the punches while trying to balance a family and an online business. She is dealing with teens, grey hair, and wrinkles all at the same time! She recently launched a new blog known as Not Now Mom's Busy which talks about teen issues, juggling family life with work life, living on a budget, and so much more.