When you find unemployment is in your home and not just a story on the news, you start making changes in your life to save money. So many people feel they have cut back to the bare minimum and still find they are short on funds every month. The fact is, most people are still keeping many things that are sucking their wallets dry. When your situation is desperate, it is important to not just save a little money, but to drastically cut your expenses. These are some extreme ways you cut down on your living expenses.
To start with, see if it is possible to sell your car or cars. Next to your rent or mortgage this is probably the largest item that is sucking your bank account dry. You will not only save on a car payment, but also on insurance, gas, and maintenance. This could mean up $1000 a month cut out of your expenses. If your city has a good transportation system, it is very possible to do without a car.
If you do really need a car or your job, or there is absolutely no other means for you to get where you need to go, then start thinking of how to downgrade. Sell your car and get a cheap car for $1000 or less. This will save you the biggest expense of a car payment if you are not upside down in your current vehicle. Also, make sure you only get the bare minimum for car insurance. These steps alone could easily save you $500 a month and you will still have a vehicle.
Another big expense that you need to cut down is your electric bill. You are probably already turning down your thermostat a few degrees, but have you turned it off completely? Open windows the when the house is getting too hot and only where just enough to cover yourself. If the house is getting cold, bundle up. Only use your AC or Heater if it is absolutely necessary. People went without these luxuries for thousands of years, so you can do it to.
In addition, make sure you unplug everything after you are done using it. Keep lights off and only use natural light. Also, wash all of your clothes in cold water; you really do not need to use that warm water setting. You can also turn your water heater off or at least down a few dozen degrees. Your water heater is a big part of your electric bill, so conserve that energy any way you can.
Food is another large expense that you can cut down significantly. Learn how to extreme coupon. There is a woman in Houston who only spends $800 a year on food because she knows how to shop. Learn from people like this and you could save several hundred dollars a month on your grocery bill. Yes it is a time consuming thing to do, but when your nest egg is shrinking it you must take drastic measures.
Finally, start cutting off your cable, cell phone, and internet. There was a time when we went without these luxuries and were quite happy. Return to those times while your money is tight. If you just can not stand to lose your internet, keep it and lose the home phone. You can make calls with something like Skype or Magic Jack for only a few dollars a month. This way you have internet and you can continue to make phone calls.The bottom line is, you may feel that you have cut spending as low as you can but there are always ways to spend less. So many of the things in our lives are luxuries and when money is extremely tight we have to be able to sacrifice those things to survive. Find out what your real needs are and put some effort into cutting down to just those things until life turns around for you.