My husband (Mr.M) supposed to cook a dinner last night and of course he passed out on a couch. He promised me a B-day meal so I chose a steak cause he can prepare it so well you dream about it for another week. But his golf game made him super tired as usual so while I was putting our baby to sleep he fell asleep as well. So I ate leftover pizza and for some stupid reason opened my calendar to see what bills are due and when.
We moved here 3 months ago from one of the most expensive state in US so paying bills was always a challenge, especially after our daughter was born and my income dropped. Now I am stay at home mom but after I almost had an heart-attack last night looking at our bills I won’t have this amazing opportunity anymore. Somehow all our big bills fell around the same date so even when we have $700 on the account right now with my husband’s pay check coming next week we are going to end up $400 short and that’s only for bills, no food or supplies included. This have never happened before and because I am in charge of finances (I don’t know how Mr.M lived without me) of course I feel partially responsible even tho my husband went nuts on buying stuff during the move and we both maxed out our credit cards. I didn’t control him that much because he always gave me a hard time when I did and had many arguments about him spending so much money. This move supposed to be our new beginning so I said to myself not to bring any reasons to fight again. And there we are! Broke as F**K! It’s true I really enjoyed to live as a normal human being deserves to live what means to go out occasionally and have a meal, get a coffee or ice cream, buy groceries what are not only on sale and stuff like this. I was never able to do this in Hawaii and living pay check to pay check even changed my whole personality. That was one of the biggest reasons we decided to move to mainland so we can have more affordable life. Ha ha, as ironic it sounds we have always paid our bills in Hawaii no matter how broke and expensive it’s there and here after the 3rd month we can’t. So the whole day I was thinking how to come up with money and quickly or at least save them until he will get paid again. I also searched the internet and most of the ideas are useless, no offense but making a yard sale when we moved here across the ocean with 3 suitcases and set of golf clubs is out of topic or walking somebody’s dog when I am stoked I can walk my own dog with 10 month old baby without strangling her under the stroller’s wheels. I meant the doggy… or cut on coffee and eating outside, well da! Of course I am not going to do that but that’s not going to make me $400 in 2 weeks. So there are my steps and hope they will help you too.
- I prioritized the bills and found out not every company charges a late fee so not paying your bill on time might cost you nothing. Of course it depends on a company and definitely make sure before you skip the payment. Our car payment is $400 a month what is the second biggest bill after the rent but most of a time you can’t miss that one without huge consequences such as loosing your car even after 1 missed payment. So I don’t recommend that. But I called our car insurance (Geico) and they don’t have a late fee they just send you a notification letter after 2 weeks of missing payment. And our bill is due in 2 days for $350 so I already know I am not going to pay that one. End if the worst comes to worst I will just cancel the whole insurance. I realize it’s not the smartest idea if we keep using the car because with our luck will get pulled over next day or even worse will get in to an accident. But if you don’t need to drive a car you can ask for Storage insurance. Our annual auto insurance is $1400 but with storage insurance it would be only $100 every 6 months. So voila! I am sure it won’t be easy but if u can get to work without it you can save some money. And it will make you to think twice what you buy at the store cause you won’t have the whole trunk to help you carry everything. Don’t feel bad if your babies stroller will look like a Christmas tree. You are a super mama and without a car the stroller is your only vehicle.
- If you have a student loan they can allow you to miss the payment. The did it for my husband in the past so tomorrow he is going to make a phone call!
- Phone bill. To me the biggest scam of all! I hate paying so much for it but because we didn’t have an internet in our new apartment we switched to unlimited data and it almost doubled! It depends on your carrier but I already know I am not going to pay that one and will pay the late fee what in my case (Verizon) is only $5.
- Electricity bill. My company doesn’t charge a late fee until the next meeter reading what is 2 weeks after the due date so you can save some time here as well.
I wouldn’t recommend to mess with your rent, health insurance or credit card payments unless it’s absolutely necessary what might be your case but hope it’s not.
- The food!!!! For our family the biggest expense of all! We have never bought fancy stuff we literally ate all our money. Except my maternity clothes (4 shirts, 2 shorts and 3 bras) I have never bought clothes for myself. I am lucky enough to have a mom who sends me a package every 3-4 months and she always adds some clothes in to it. Living in Hawaii had million cons but one of the biggest pros was the weather and you really don’t need much clothes there. This is going to change soon but for the last 7 years I was able so save a lot of money this way. What I can’t say about the food. We spent thousands and thousands of $$$ and that was on really small budget too but if the cheapest bread cost $5 you have no choice. So I am going back to my college times and will eat tons of pasta and rice. Don’t be scared, you can do it. As long as u don’t have a spoiled tongue as my husband. His chef’s taste butts would slap me if I would feed him my “crappy” food but he is gone for the whole day so I can eat whatever and I don’t mind eating pasta or rice. With little bit of creativity u can have tasty different meal every day and save literally hundreds $$$ a month.
- Changing brands. The last place I am going to save it’s my baby. I will still buy her fresh fruit and vegetables and everything she needs. But I will recommend to change the brands if you can. Luckily Leila doesn’t have allergies to diapers I just choose those what fits the best what of course are the most expensive ones (Pampers) but I also like Loves which are way cheaper. Or I use shampoo and lotion from Honest Company but she also tolerates cheaper Aveeno. Definitely don’t start a new brand on a low budget cause you never know how your baby will react and you might end up paying for your original brand and in bad scenarios also for a medicine. So only do those switches you know you can do.
- Wic. If you have one already, great! I am saving about $400 a month because Leila is on Similac Alimentum due to her protein allergy and one can is $26. In Hawaii it was $33! Plus all the baby food what I use only on the road, cereal what is her dinner and coupons for fresh fruit or veggies. If u don’t use Wic you should find out if your baby qualifies. You would be surprise but to enroll your baby is very easy and unless you are crazy rich you will get it. Considering you are reading this you are a regular person like me, let’s not call us poor even if it feels like it, so you should get it.
I hope these 7 steps will help you and I wish you lot of luck to make it happen this month! Don’t forget we are super mamas for everything we do so if we can lift the car to save our child we can pay our bills!