With my work year coming to an end, I need to trim my budget. It looks like my monthly income is about to be cut in half. I applied for a summer school job, but I haven’t heard back one way or another, so I’m guessing I didn’t get the job and I need to prepare for that.
There are fun activities that the kids want to do this summer, and they all cost money, so I need to trim a bit more so we have the opportunity to have some fun.
Here are a few ways that you (and I) can save some money and free up room in our budget this summer.
Start by looking over your family budget. Is there anything you can dump? Streaming services you no longer use, monthly subscriptions that no longer serve you? For us, we are dumping Netflix next month. We no longer use it enough to justify the $20/month. Feel like you are overpaying for your cellphone or other services, look into switching carriers or plans. If you don’t have a family budget, here is an easy way to put one together.
Use It Up, Wear It Out, Make It Do, or Do Without. This is an oldie, but a goodie. And by this statement, I mean that use what you have on hand. Eat the food in your kitchen (meal planning can help with that), wear the clothes you’ve got, and repair them as needed. Don’t forget that there are groups like Buy Nothing, where you can share and receive goods and services from those in your neighborhood. It’s hard to not want to keep up with the Joneses, especially in our society where it seems like everything is based on presentation and showing off what you’ve got on social media.
Take advantage of programs in your community. There are so many free and low-cost programs meant to help families during this time of unprecedented inflation, low wages, and other social issues that contribute to financial instability. Here in San Diego County, there are resources for free food and free clothing.
If you have someone in your family who requires electricity for their medical devices or if you are low income, check out your local power companies website to learn about discounts you may be eligible for. This post has details and more tips.
If you are looking for some free summer fun for the kids, there are events like Kids night out, and summer reading programs. And in California, there will be free breakfasts and lunches for kids under 18 throughout the summer through schools and local parks and rec. As soon as I have more details on those, it will be a separate post.
My final tip- Don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. There are so many programs and resources out there to help. Even if you feel like there are people and families out there who “have it worse”, you deserve help. This isn’t a “who has it worse” situation. Everyone deserves to live a good life. Take advantage of opportunities that come your way.
Talk Back- If you have tips or tricks to help with lowering your Out of Pocket, I’d love to hear it!