When I left my office job, I was making a decent salary. The bills were paid on time, I didn’t worry about a grocery budget, and there was even money left over to do a little shopping. All that changed the day I decided to work-from-home.
Then the hubs was injured at work the following year. He started receiving workman’s comp but it barely covered our expenses so we had to dip into our savings.
By the time 2010 came around, we were down to almost nothing in our savings. We were literally living on a prayer. If something major happened like a busted pipe, we would have been in serious trouble.
So when Transcom (formally Cloud 10) hired me in October 2010, the job offer couldn’t have come at a better time. And I had no shame in doing the happy dance when I saw the welcome email in my inbox!
The bad news about it was the job paid $10 an hour. Oh, I wasn’t knocking it. Shewt, I was thankful I had a job. But that meant I would have to make our money stretch. And let me tell ya, stretching a $10.00 an hour paycheck to support the needs of a family of six was a challenge.
Now don’t go thinking I’ve gone and reinvented the wheel and did something so spectacular that I lived comfortably on $10 an hour. To that I say no way, Jose!
I just had to get creative with the way I spent money.
How To Stretch Your Work-from-Home Income
My check was dedicated to groceries, the utility bills and everyday expenses like fuel. So the first thing I had to do was change the way I shopped and manage my expenses better. I learned how to stretch my dollar to keep more money in my purse.
It was just making minor adjustments like the ones I’m about to share with you here that helped us stay afloat while we were in the struggle.
Saving Money On Monthly Bills
Go over your monthly bills and see where you can cut back.
For example, if you have to have cable, remove any premium channels and stay with the basics. You can purchase something like the Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote | Streaming Media Player to watch movies and still save money.
Check if your electricity provider has any promos you can sign up for. And if they offer monitoring features, sign up for them. My provider sends me an email once a week with my usage information. I admit I ignored these at first but then I realized it could help me make quick adjustments to lower my usage the following week and hope I end up with an affordable.
Keep track of your monthly expenses. For example, mine is on an excel sheet. I have a list of all our creditors, when the bill is due, and how much it is. What I like about this is I can see whether I’m saving money from the previous month.
Food Expenses – Groceries and Take-Out
Feeding a family of six especially when it includes a 6’4” 21-year-old and weighs about 300 pounds who has a hearty football player’s appetite well, the grocery bill tends to add up.
The first change I made was making a grocery list and sticking to it. I started printing coupons and I shopped at stores that have programs I could use.
My favorite is Kroger’s fuel program. All I have to do is make my purchaes and I rack up points. Those points can be redeemed for .10 cents off the cost per gallon of fuel. And I get coupons in the mail tailored to my shopping habits!
The days of bringing home burgers and tacos more than once a week was put on hold indefinitely. But I still managed to get some take-out every now and then, thanks to the great deals a lot of restaurants offer now.
Here are some deals I took advantage of:
- If you’re going for take-out, don’t miss out on “kids eat free” nights.
- Take advantage of coupons and deals like two-for meals.
When we went from buying whatever we wanted to buying what we needed. And let me tell ya, that was quite a rude awakening. I had to learn how to be a savvy shopper.
I used sites like Ebates and BeFrugal that offer cash back rebates when we shop our favorite stores on their site. Not only was I able to save money but I made a little extra money on the side too. Winning!
A Couple More Reminders
Here are a couple more reminders when shopping or traveling with the fam:
- Don’t fall for those deals “you just can’t pass up.” If you don’t need it, don’t buy it.
- If you travel and stay at hotels, look for promotions like a free night’s stay or kids eat free.
Over To You
If you’re living on a work-from-home income I hope I gave you some ideas to help you stretch your dollar. Let’s help each other out. If you have any money-saving suggestions please share them in the comments section below.
I would really appreciate it if you shared this post in your social media networks. We can always use tips to save money, right?
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