If your spouse has recently lost their job and you are stressed about your family's finances, then there are many things you should do to save money during this financially challenging time. Since your household income is greatly reduced, your main goal until your spouse finds a new job should be to spend the least amount of money each month as possible.
To save the maximum amount of money in the months ahead while your spouse is job hunting, follow these time-tested tips:
Tip: Save on Grocery and Household Supply Costs by Using Coupons and Shopping Sales
Your family needs to eat and have household supplies during your spouse's job loss, but that does not mean that you need to keep buying things the same way you always have. For example, even though you prefer grocery shopping at your local market, during this time you need to switch to the least expensive grocery store in your area. Also, instead of buying household cleaners and personal hygiene products at the grocery store where they are more expensive, you need to switch and purchase those at your local big box store. To save the maximum amount of money each month, write a list of items you need to purchase and buy them only when they are on sale and use coupons if they are available.
Tip: Rank All of Your Fixed Expenses and Reduce Any Possible Monthly Payments
While switching grocery stores, using coupons, and shopping sales will reduce your monthly food budget, in times of a job loss, you need to find ways to save even bigger chunks of cash each month. The best way to do this is to list all of your monthly expenses. Make sure you include your mortgage, car payments, insurance payments, phone bills, etc...
Once you have completed your list, then re-order the items so that your expenses are listed from the highest monthly cost to the lowest. Start at the top of the list and work your way down trying to find ways to save money. For example, perhaps you can refinance your mortgage for a lower monthly payment, reduce your insurance coverages, or eliminate phones that aren't necessary.
Finally, if your children are enrolled in expensive lessons or have hobbies that are a drain on your family's finances, then you need to sit them down and have an age-appropriate conversation about your need to save money and lower their participation rate in these optional activities.