You know what I’m talking about. Everyone goes through tough times when money is extra tight, like when income goes down for a while, you have an unexpected $1200 in car repairs, the washing machine breaks down and needs a $500 replacement, or you need to buy an $800 plane ticket to visit an ill family member or friend (or maybe all of the above happen at once!). Even if you have a good cushion of savings, it can drain you and throw your positive money focus for a loop.
Here are ten things I do when we experience these tough times, like last year when we had an unexpected $1800 in car repairs and $800 in pet emergency veterinary bills. Things worked out in the end, and we recovered, but it helps to have a go-to plan to help get through it!
1. Immediately put a temporary spending freeze on our household. This is probably a no-brainer, but my husband and I will only spend money on fixed expenses as well as basics like gas and food until we “recover.” Any plans for eating out or doing anything “extra” will be cancelled or postponed. Then we’ll make a plan to get through our situation and eventually replace savings, if needed.
2. Clean my house, especially the kitchen. I clean the fridge and go through all the food we have, determining how we can stretch what we have for a while to minimize grocery spending. I assess our stockpile (which we try to always have on hand), and start planning meals around those food items. [Read more…]