April 22, 2009

One step forward - Two steps back

"How to be frugal" sites are popping up everywhere, Dave Ramsey and Mary Hunt are probably making millions more right now. Google hits - "frugal" = almost 10 million, "save money" = 120 million! Seems to be the popular topic right now.

We have been working on getting out of debt for a few years now. January 2006 was our wake up and geturdone month. We stopped using credit cards. We had accrued quite a bit of debt ~ our own spending and just stupid mistakes. I started coupon shopping. Taking our groceries from almost $1,000 a month (7 people) to between $200-$400 a month today. So here we are, three years later. We did pay off one car and three debts. We still are not using credit cards...debt coming down. But still basically in the same boat. Living paycheck to paycheck. Saving when I can.

But, it seems like every time we get a step ahead of the game, something happens, and we are two steps back....

My hubby works at a local hospital and it is being taken over by yet another company. But this one is making major changes. What does that mean to us? Well, possible layoff, possible massive hours cut...we really do not know yet...but it does not look good. My hubby has worked there for 20 years! I have heard of companies firing long time employees to hire right out of college employees at half the salary. So I am trying to think now about how to adjust our budget to put back everything we can. But the hospital has already started cutting back on call. Pulling call is a big deal to his paychecks. We need a certain amount from each check to make our bills for the month, and in the past four months he has consistently made around $600 less than that per check! Argh!

We actually had a nice little savings at the end of last year (one step forward) but then in December of last year things started breaking and needing fixed. Bye bye savings (two steps back). Now we started putting more back in and his call is cut ~ no extra money to put back and not enough to pay the bills. We have cut subscriptions, turned off the heater/AC, stopped driving as much....doing what we can.

I have been looking for ways to save money and make some extra cash (See the google ads?). Every work at home program I found turns out to be a scam. I still have two homeschoolers at home so getting a job outside of the home is not feasible right now. Plus I have been out of the job market for NINE years. It is hard enough to find a job right regular people!

What is your best frugal idea? I am open to ideas!!

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