This certainly won't apply to everyone, as I am sure most people have already cut back on their personal spending. Just in case you haven't, take a look at what can get trimmed and don't forget to enlist the help of you family.
Here's a list of most, not all, personal spending areas. Your challenge is to reduce your spending in as many areas as possible.
Now, here are some tips you might have thought of but not tried yet…
Groceries: Have you been buying in bulk from Sams or BJ's or even Wegmans? If buying in bulk is too cumbersome, consider sharing the cost of some of the items with a friend with similar buying patterns. Hey, you could even commute together, saving fuel. The other option you may want to check out is Aldis. It might take some experimenting to find the right new brands, but cost savings are definitely there!
Dining out: Easy, just stop. Make snacks to go for when you have a busy family schedule instead of eating fast food.
Electricity: Coincidentally, it helps with the green initiative too. Turn off the lights and get back to basics. Enlist the help of family and share the results next month.
Phones: Home and cell- If you haven't investigated Vonage or other internet options, they have come a long way. Many people are dropping their land lines in favor of mobile phones. Just make sure you shop around for the best packages. Always be leery of the sales people and what they are pushing, it may not be the best option. 2 yr contracts do trap you in, but if your contract is up soon, talk to people about the mobile carrier and packages they are using. If you have family, talk about working together to decrease the mobile phone bill.
Clothing: Go green and visit second hand clothing stores. Amazing finds at amazing prices. But shop only when you NEED something. Visit the sales racks first.
Barber/salon: How often do you really need to go? Can you go an extra 2 weeks? Do you really need to get that pedicure? Are there an alternatives to highlights or color treatments?
Entertainment: There is so much to do in Rochester for free. Especially now that the warm weather is here. Instead of Netflix or buying from cable, share DVDs's with friends or go to the library!
Gifts: Keep a gift drawer. Buy on-sale or clearance items too good to pass up and keep in a special drawer or closet for your next occasion. Sure, gift cards are practical, however, might you be inclined to spend less on a gift? It is about the personal connection, not the value.
Fuel for auto: check around for the lowest gas prices and plan you fill up accordingly. Car pool if possible. Take the bicycle instead of the car whenever possible or walk.
Credit cards: Don't carry them, stop using them.
If you haven't called your mortgage company and credit cards, you should. Let them know you have lost you job and ask what they can do to reduce your payments for awhile. I have heard that they have allowed people to just pay the interest on accounts in good standing for awhile. Any break is better than none. Ask, you never know.
Any other tips you want to share? Please add a comment!
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.