I had a huge response to my post Money Crisis: Where Do We Start When We Are Already Overwhelmed. Many of you shared the post with friends and family who are having financial problems, and I have received many emails and comments from hurting people.
Reader Sheena had a few additional tips to add for those who are struggling financially.
Check with Utility Companies
Sometimes utility companies have special programs and/or rates for those with low incomes. Check the company website, or call for information. Local churches or non-profit organizations may have temporary assistance for those in crisis as well.
Keep Track of Your Driving
Log every time you get in the car — where you go and what you do. You may be surprised at how often you run to the store for something you forgot or get in the car to run errands at different time that could have been completed at the same time and within the same distance.
Use your driving records to assess how you can combine errands and limit driving in the future.
Check with Your Landlord
If you are renting, call your landlord to see if they have any opportunities for reducing your payments. Many of them would rather help you temporarily than lose a good tenant.
Mortgage companies may also have hardship programs than can defer your house payment for a month or two and add the payment to the end of the loan. You will pay extra interest, but if you have no way to make the payment, this may be an option.
Do you have other suggestions for families in financial crisis? Leave a comment.
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We were actually in a pinch this past week! We had gotten behind on our mortgage, and after paying it, we had $180 to our name, an electric bill of $155 (I don’t know HOW it got that high) a water bill of $80, no groceries in the house, and no gas in either car. Not to mention, we were out of baby wipes! We got an extension on our electric bill until this next paycheck (whoo! Thank The Lord) I had babysat, so I brought in a little bit for groceries, in which I spent $57. We’ve eaten very cheap this week! 😛 and I was able to make my own wipes with a great recipe I found online, using things I had at home. It’s even healthier for my baby’s skin. Desperate times call for desperate measures, but I’m so thankful I had babysitting money, because it literally SAVED us this week! It bought our groceries and gas. God is faithful.
Wow Cournie! I cannot tell you how many times we have seen God provide like that. I am so glad that it worked out. 🙂
clean out your fridge, freezer and cupboards to avoid having to grocery shop. There are so many resources on-line that have recipes from ingredients (allrecipes.com) that you maybe able to make meals for a month or more with very minimal shopping. You may find a new family favorite! (think pretzels as a coating on chicken)
Ditch your cell phone plan. I understand the need for a phone, but a trac phone with a small amount of minutes on it works in an emergency and that is really all you need now that most communication can be done by fb, blogs and email. Make future appointments when you are at the current one. Tell your friends and family to contact you via the internet and you can save a lot of money. I know there are programs where you can chat with people face to face as well.
and remember, it is temporary. Things will improve!!!!!!!!
Really great ideas to eat the food you already have and to reconsider your cell phone Em. Most people think a smart phone is a necessity, but it really isn’t for the majority of people.
I’m really glad about my work phone (even though I sometimes hate it 😉
It’s a fancy smart phone and I have unlimited texts, minutes and data.
Thanks to this fact I’ve brought my own phone bill down from 35 (about half a year ago) to 5€ per month.
Also I’m saving on my dog. I used to spend SO much money on him, trying to make up for the limited time I have. Then I started to get off at a different train station and walk home with him. That’s an hour a day for both of us, it doesn’t cost a thing since I have the train ticket anyway and it’s just amazing 🙂
Great idea to get off at a different station Andrea. I like that you thought of a creative and frugal solution that improved your life. 🙂
I have been in this position…that is when i came across your blog. I have to say that I had to learn to trust in the Lord and his promises. Then I had to put some of my pride aside and ask for help ie…loans from family and friends. Lastly, I went for about a year without buying anything that was not a necessity. We were able to pay all our loans and now I treat myself to an occasional professional hair cut. Thx all for sharing because I needed inspiration at times. It’s been a struggle, but I’ve learned so much about struggles, what’s important etc..
Hi Elizabeth! Good for you for doing what you had to do to get out of debt. I am so happy for you! I am glad that you stuck around The Peaceful Mom as well. Blessings to you! 🙂
Katy @ Purposely Frugal says
I like your tip to keep track of your driving. While I do combine errands, I’m sure I could combine more if I had to.
when we were strapped to the end and did not want to give up our rental we talked with our landlady. We agreed on a price she would pay us to paint the house inside. It hadn’t been done in over 5 yrs and I was able to do 8-12 hours of painting a month until we had the whole place spiffied up. She paid for the paint and I recorded the time I put into the project. She deducted it from our rent each month. And when we did put in our notice it was in great shape for the next tenant. Always talk first… we were able to save a bit by paying cash too in another instance.
That is a really great idea Heather! Thanks for sharing it with us. 🙂
I know this may sound negative but it is not meant to be. But I find that my mental viewpoint on something has ALOT of bearing on how I cope with it. So although I find prayer IMMENSELY helpful I also find that researching how others have coped with the same problems also helpful. Do you know of any older person who you can talk with …everyone goes thru times of feast and famine…listen to their stories of how they coped. It is so easy to feel like you are the ONLY one who has gone thru things and get depressed. But when you talk to others you feel and see that they have also gone thru the same or similar and most importantly that they have come out better on the other side.
It is so true that our viewpoint affects how we deal with things. Great idea to seek out others who have had similar difficulties and overcome them. Thanks Larabelle!