So your spouse is a seasonal worker? Then you understand how financially difficult the winter can be on families. If you have a mortgage to pay it can be downright impossible to survive, unless you found these tricks ahead of time. First you need to total your expenses per month for the four months you will be without income. Once this has been done put that figure aside. Now you know what you will need.
You have to start saving from that very first paycheck. There really is no time to relax and increase spending, until you have set aside what you will need later in the year. Take your “needed for winter” figure and divide it over the amount of paychecks you expect to receive until winter. This is the amount you will absolutely need to deduct from every paycheck. If done correctly this amount will cover the absolute essentials in the winter.
Start looking at your spending habits. Are there areas where you could try harder to save money? For example, grocery shopping is a big expense. You could start coupon cutting, then use the coupons to buy the item when it is on sale. Any money you save from this venture should be put aside with the winter survival fund. You can literally save over $100 a month or more just in this area. Another big ticket item is the electric bill. Buy energy saver bulbs, and put them in every lamp or light in the house. You may need to start getting a little “scroogy”, and remind everyone to shut off all electric appliances when they are not in use. Candle light in the evening can be romantic and money saving. Have you ever wondered how much the dryer costs to operate? Well, it’s a lot of money to heat up your dyer every time you use it. Try setting up a laundry line in your backyard. Not only will your laundry smell breezy fresh, but you will save big on the electric bill. You should be able to save a minimum of 1/3 of your current electric bill.
Depending on your lifestyle, you could save money on gas as well. Many people are turning to alternate methods of transportation these days, to save on gas. A motorcycle uses much less gas than a car, about 4 times less. Scooters save even more, and a bicycle uses none. Public transportation is very inexpensive and available in most rural areas. You could save over $400 a month on gas alone, depending on your situation. From the looks of things, gas isn’t going to get cheaper. Now if your one of those people that can’t be without a vehicle, try car pooling. You can ask each person you drive for a portion of the gas. You are also helping the environment. Another option is the new Hi-breed vehicles, but buying a new car won’t help you save right now.
What do you do with the money you’ve saved so far? Go to your financial institution. Ask the bank representative to recommend an interest bearing account, with a good rate. Explain that you will be drawing off this account in the winter. They should make sure there will be no early withdrawal penalties involved. Many banks would be happy to help you with this endeavor. They might recommend a Christmas club account, or something along those lines.
If you follow these tips you’ll be sure to save enough money to survive the coming winter season.