Well, I have been lucky I haven’t completely lost my job but my enrollment is down at least 75%. Which means I have taken a pretty huge cut in pay and will have to do even more to cut expenses. I am still working on getting my debt paid off. I have been able to get two credit cards paid off. I am working on the loan then I will put everything towards the medical bills. With my cut in pay, it is going to be a challenge I am hoping to start getting my numbers back up after school starts. This comes from CNBC
The employment-population ratio — the number of employed people as a percentage of the U.S. adult population — plunged to 52.8% in May, meaning 47.2% of Americans are jobless.
So I don’t know how easy it is going to be to get my numbers back up. Until then though (and even after) I am going to have to really start doing more to cut expenses. I have been doing pretty good but it is time to get extreme again. I am fortunate that I do have food in the pantry and the freezer. Hopefully, the garden will do good so I can add to that. I do have chickens for eggs and we have two pigs we are raising. Here are a few things I am going to start doing to lower expenses even more than I already am.
I will post in the Homesteading Saving Challenge each week what I am doing to cut expenses. Here are a few of the things I am planning on adding to what I am already doing.
#1 First off I will be implementing a lot more of the 201 ways to save money.
# 2. I am going to try and reduce my electric bill.
Right now it averages about 125 a month I would like to get it down to 75 a month. To do this I will stop using the dishwasher again (This will be the hardest of all I do because it seems I always have a ton of dirty dishes). I will start using solar lights in the rooms we don’t use much but need light once in a while in the evening, such as the bathroom and in the kitchen after supper. I will continue to hang clothes on the line even the whites ( I hate hanging socks). The TV isn’t on much but I am going to try and cut it back a bit more. I Will charge my phone in my pickup (I know this isn’t much but every little bit helps). I don’t have carpet anymore but I do have a couple of large rugs so instead of vacuuming them all the time I will use the carpet sweeper on them. My freezers and fridge use a good portion of power I do keep them full so they are not having to constantly cool down. I need to try and can up a lot of what is in there, so will try to get some of that done. I will try to think of more ways but for now, this is what I will be trying to do. I have been leaving the windows open at night then shutting them mid-morning to hold the cool air in so I don’t have to turn on the AC but for only a couple hours in the heat of the day. Trying to do all my baking on one day as to not heat up the house no more the necessary.
# 3 Cut the water bill down It averages about 50 ( more in the summer) I want to get it down to 25 a month.
For the rest of the summer, it may be a little harder since I do still need to water outside. WE are still working on the solar water pump but have a couple of things to tweak on it then when it is going it will cut a lot of outside water use. Not using the dishwasher will help cut down the water usage. I will make more of an effort to reuse gray water and the water from letting water get warm or cool down in the sinks. Shower once a month, kidding haha. Will limit the amount of time in the shower and the amount of water from baths. Will use bath water to flush with. Use canning water to water plants with.
# 4 Fuel in my pickup.
I already am pretty good about this but do still occasionally make extra trips to town. I have to run into town about twice a week to feed Joleen’s dogs when she is working so I will try to do everything I need to do in town during those trips.
# 5 Food.
As I mentioned I do have a pretty full pantry and freezers but I will start being a little more conservative with it to make it stretch. I will still try to buy sales to help stock up but that will be all. This winter I will be growing lettuce, spinach, and sprouts inside.
# 6 Animals.
We do have our own hay so that isn’t as big of an issue, although if we don’t get out of this drought it might be. I am feeding my chickens the hog food that we are giving the pigs, it is pretty close to chicken feed but a whole lot cheaper. This winter I will be doing fodder again for them. Will try to do more homemade food for the dogs and cats.
# 7 Gifts.
Everything will be homemade or bartered for all the birthday gifts and Christmas.
# 8 Extra income.
I signed up to sell Farmasi and Magnolia Chalk. I am going to put more effort into them and into my soaps and crafts, I want to sell. Hopefully, this will help to bring in a little more money.
I already don’t have cable or extra tv except for Netflix, I do use it for the daycare and in the winter we do like to watch a movie once in a while.
We do save our aluminum and tin cans to cash in.
I will continue posting in the Homesteading savings challenge what all I am doing each week to cut expenses and try to get the debt paid off.