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Old 06-21-2017, 05:21 PM   #1
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Cutting back

I could use some advice please! We've been struggling on and off all year with finances because my husband is at a commission based job and hasn't been making as much this year. We did fine last year but this year we're definitely living above our means. There are definitely areas we can cut back in our budget but my husband flat out refuses to do it and thinks that he'll just miraculously make more money. It's been about every other month that we've been in the negative (26 insufficient funds feed this year &#128553 and he seems to not have a problem with that. I'm at the end of my rope with it. There have been way too many times that we've had to scrape together money just to get bread and milk. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 06-21-2017, 07:02 PM   #2
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Re: Cutting back

1'st off I am sorry this sounds so frustrating.

Have you already looked at your electric like if your air conditioning is set to 70 set it to 75. Line dry clothes as much as possible. Also some area's charge more money for electric in peak hrs. So only try to run the dryer outside of those hrs. Along with the dish washer.
I know cell phones offer internet with their packages so you could get a jet pack & drop home internet & just hook the jet pack up for in home internet. I can't think of anything else at the moment hopefully some other mama's will chime in. Good luck!
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Old 06-21-2017, 08:15 PM   #3
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Re: Cutting back

Such a hard position to be in! Commission work can be great financially and it can be really hard. A friend told me (when my husband was starting his own business) that when you are living on commissions it is best to have a priority list--pay this bill first, then this other one, etc.--so you can know where to put your money when it does come in. That was helpful. When my husband was self-employed, we had lots of months where we supplemented with a credit card, we just couldn't earn enough to live on, especially at first. Ultimately we ended up selling our home so we wouldn't lose it, and paid off our debt then (and cut up our credit card!). There were lots of blessings along the way but it was really hard too. Something I had to learn to do was leave it up to my husband to figure out how to bring the money in (which was really hard when there wasn't any coming in!). I did what I could to be thrifty but I knew he wouldn't have the incentive to get out of his comfort zone and do what needed to be done unless I trusted him and went ahead and got what we needed. Sometimes people just have to learn the hard way...and maybe what your husband needs to learn is how to let go of those unnecessary things that are taking you out of your means. I don't know if that makes sense...we were self-employed for 2.5 years and it was SO HARD but I feel like my husband learned and grew so much through the process of self-employment that it was worth it. Working commissions is a little different, but if your husband is in denial that changes need to be made, it may just take leaving it up to him (and letting him know you trust him to provide for your family) and maybe even failing a little before he realizes things need to change. It's going to be hard for you to make those changes unless he's on board.
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Old 06-21-2017, 09:14 PM   #4
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That sounds tough. My husband is not in the same position, but in order for us to make ends meet every month, he has to work a certain number of overtime hours so it's solely on him to pick those days/hours and get it done. I calculated our bare bones budget for one month, divided by 4 and told DH that was what he needed to bring home every week for us to live. On 5-paycheck months, we put that extra check into savings or something we've been putting off doing/buying.

When people are struggling financially or need to make changes, I always suggest the budget software You Need a Budget (YNAB). It's especially helpful for people with variable incomes. The main premises are that you only live on the money you made last month, and you give every dollar a job. Similar to what a Pp said about paying certain bills first, then others, etc--So if you only made $2000 last month, you can only budget $2000 for this month's spending. It really makes you prioritize what you spend your money on. I've been using it for several years now and it's amazing.

Are there areas you can change without your husband caring? Call the cable, phone, Etc companies and negotiate a better rate. Trim your grocery budget to essentials and plain meals only. Sell excess clothes from your children or things you have of your own. Rent movies from the library instead of going to a weekly movie, etc.

What types of things will he not change? Is there a way around it or to make smaller changes he'd be okay with? Maybe once he sees how well you're doing trimming the budget he will agree to make further changes. It shouldn't be up to you alone to "find" money every month, but sometimes people need to see someone else succeeding first to be motivated.
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Old 06-22-2017, 04:03 AM   #5
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Re: Cutting back

I'm sorry that your are going through this. It sounds very stressful.

I would write down all my expenditures and then go through the entire list and see if there is any way to cut down in every area.

Sell of items in the home. You'd be surprised what people buy.

Stop eating out completely if you haven't already.

Buy day old bread and freeze it. Then just toast as needed.

Would your dh consider getting a second job?
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Old 06-22-2017, 12:38 PM   #6
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Re: Cutting back

Many websites will give you ways of saving on the things that you can control. Here, there is the thrifty forum, the $5.00 meal ideas forum, the Kitchen forum, and the diaper exchange forum to help with these. Beyond this, there are other websites you can search for under "thrift", "shoestring budget", "frugal, frugality", "dollar stretching", "diy", "smart money", "basic home economics", "free, low cost," etc. I have found some UTube channels also to be helpful with these ideas. You may get to use one or some ideas now, or next month, but they are always great tips to have for whenever you need to do things better to save money.

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Old 06-24-2017, 07:11 AM   #7
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Re: Cutting back

Thanks ladies! I'll work on these things. My husband is in the financial business, so he's always golfing or entertaining and it's getting to be a big expense when he's not bringing in enough.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:57 AM   #8
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Re: Cutting back

Find a store that sells pantry goods from bulk containers. You know, like tea and rice and flour and spices and such. When you aren't paying for a brand name or a container, you end up paying alot less. It also cuts back on waste.

Also try and locate a farmers market. Buying local can be alot cheaper. Just make sure you have a good understanding of what each item is worth, and what season it is. Food is cheapest in the middle to end of it's season. Buy a good amount and preserve what you can.
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