Liz, proud Bay Area Native.
Putting her first since 2013.

MONEY TROUBLE

10 things to cut when facing financial hardship

Have you ever unexpectedly found out you’re going to have less income? It’s enough to throw you into a panic!  The best way to get through hard times is to take a few deep breaths and put a plan together.

Money Trouble? Cut Out These Expenses

 

Have you ever unexpectedly found out you’re going to have less income? It’s enough to throw you into a panic!  The best way to get through hard times is to take a few deep breaths and put a plan together.

Check out these common targets for quick and effective expense cuts.

 


 

1. Food


You might find it obvious that dining out at fancy restaurants probably isn't the best idea when experiencing a budget crunch.

But think about your groceries too. Consider avoiding the higher-priced stores and stocking up on the basics at the more reasonably priced spots.

You might find that cooking at home and taking your lunch to work saves you lots of money and ends up being healthier too.

 


 

2. Cable/Movies/Rentals


If you’re like most people, your visual entertainment comes from multiple sources. You may watch movies on cable, in the theater, or via a streaming service.

In crisis situations, it’s best to focus on watching movies at home and using one particular way to do it. In other words, if you have both Netflix and premium movie channels, it’s probably time to go with one or the other.

 


 

3. Phone plans


It’s nice to use a smart phone to be able to look up information on the go, but you could probably make do without the data plan if you had to.

Did you know that you could also be on a prepaid smart phone plan? Call your service provider to ask them to perform an analysis on which plan is best for you.

You might be paying for more than you actually need. Also consider eliminating your house phone if you still have one.

 


 

4. Gym


It’s important to get some stress-relieving exercise during this trying time, but there’s no reason why you should have to spend money to do it.

Brainstorm ways to be active without having to fork over a big chunk of your paycheck. The main thing is to just get moving!

 


 

5. Shopping as entertainment


One activity that could put you in the trouble zone is shopping for fun or to ease tension. “I won’t buy anything, I’ll just browse” too often can lead you down the path of unnecessary spending.

Eliminate leisure shopping or other activities that put you in temptation.

 


6. Gas


Is it an option to work from home more? Can you carpool or combine your errands into fewer trips? If your family has multiple vehicles, can you sell one and share the remaining?

 


 

7. Insurance


With the ease of using the Internet to compare rates, the insurance business is much more competitive than it used to be. Shop around for the best deals on any type of insurance you have.

Check into bundling these with one company to save even more. How is your credit score? This might affect the cost of certain insurances. 

Also be sure to ask about discounts you might apply for, and the option of raising your deductible in exchange for a lower monthly payment.

 


 

8. Utilities


Think of ways to stay warm or cool more efficiently. Put on more layers in the colder months and spend more time outside during the warmer times.

Be conscious of turning everything off and even unplugging electrical items when you leave a room.

 


 

9. Habitual items


When you have a comfortable financial situation, it’s easy to buy coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, and convenience store snacks without thinking too much about it.

But in these tighter times, think about what you are really getting out of these purchases and if there are expenses that are more important.

 


 

10. Taxes


If you have more money taken out of each of your paychecks than is necessary in order to get a large income tax refund check in the spring, you are over-paying the government each month.

Cut this expense by using the IRS withholding calculator to determine the appropriate amount to have withheld from each paycheck.

 


 

None of these cost-cutting measures alone is guaranteed to immediately solve all cash flow issues, but together they can potentially save you hundreds of dollars per month.

Discover More

Nehemiah, international photographer.
Putting him first since 2012.
FREE CHECKING

Checking you can count on

We offer the Bay Area’s best checking account. No minimum balance, no monthly fee, and up to 12 ATM surcharge rebates per month.

Learn More
Nehemiah, international photographer.
Putting him first since 2012.
Kundan, Bay Area artist.
Putting her first since 2016.
CREDIT CARDS

Get the card that works for you

Our fee-friendly Platinum Visa Credit Card comes with rewards, travel benefits, and a low APR.

Learn More
Kundan, Bay Area artist.
Putting her first since 2016.

Let's Talk

As a local credit union, we want to get to know you and help you achieve your goals. Come into a branch or call us today. Our people are happy to serve you.

Call or Chat

(415) 674-4800
(888) 499-FIRE (3473)
Mon – Sat 7:00 AM – 8:00 PM*

*Please note that 'After Hours Phone Support' is available outside of regular Contact Center Hours.

Chat Now

Stop by a branch

Branch hours
Mon – Fri 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday 8:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Find a Branch or ATM