In a bad economy, finding a stable job is just as important as saving and being frugal while you job search. Money is spread thin and you should be able to make every dollar last. Frugal living works if you put the hard work into it. I don’t suggest getting out of the rat race, buying land and growing your own food, but you can try these ideas.
Cook your own food, and make your lunch the day before. Using McDonald’s numbers, a meal cost at least $6. You can make a big bowl of pasta and save some for lunch. That’s two or three meals for the price of one.
Stop going out to dinner and/or ordering takeout.
Take mass transportation if it is available. This one requires a lot more planning and organizing. You would have to figure out routes and time schedules but you eliminate car insurance, car payments and car maintenance. For the times when you require a car, rent.
Cut your telephone lines and get a single number. If you use less than 60 minutes total on phone calls, get a prepaid phone contract.
Some people might feel they should be rewarded after being so frugal. Don’t let yourself get caught in that trap. You should be rewarded but that reward should be something abstract like the feeling of stability. If you really want something physical, how about rewarding yourself with a walk in the park with some ice cream. 🙂 (Grab a spoon and buy a pint of ice cream from the supermarket. Much cheaper than an ice cream parlor.)
It will be tough for everyone but remember that we are all in this together.