The country is facing economic issues, and you may feel the pain as the cost of food, gas, housing, and everything else increases in price. While your income has stayed the same and your needs have increased, you may feel financially pinched.
So, what can you do?
Review Your Current Budget And Set A New One
Start by creating or reviewing your current budget to discover what areas to supplement or cut. Then explore your state’s local resources to see what you may qualify to receive. Next, consider supplementing your income with an extra part-time job or a career change. If you have children, look for opportunities that allow you to work from home to ease the burden of daycare, but if none of these fit your circumstances, you will need to cut everyday living expenses.
You can save money on gas by making every trip count. That can be done by planning and thinking about where you will need to be for the week. If you need groceries, and have errands to run, make sure you coordinate your trip carefully and never turn down an opportunity to carpool
Use What You Have To Cut Down On Costs
Another way to cut costs is to use the items you already have in your pantry and refrigerator. Take inventory of what you have and write down possible meals using them. Look up substitutions for ingredients you do not have, and remember, apps like Pinterest and Yummly are great resources.
Try to be flexible in your shopping: pay attention to the shopper ads, wait for items to go on sale, purchase store brands and join free loyalty programs. Don’t tie yourself to a store just because you like how it looks. If there is a grocery store closer to you, try it. If you still need help, feel free to use local food pantries.
An excellent way to find out what is available in your zip code is by calling the Hunger Hotline: 314-726-5355, extension 1. WIC is a local resource in the St. Charles area providing supplemental foods to assist women and children. To see if you qualify and find out more, go to WIC: St. Charles County or call 6363-949-7402.
Cut Your Utility Bills By Conserving Energy
You can do this by utilizing weatherization tips:
- Turn off lights and unplug appliances you are not using.
- Close curtains or blinds during the day.
- Wash laundry using cold water whenever you can.
- Shut and secure windows. Caulk cracks around windows.
- Turn the thermostat down at night or when gone.
- Clean or replace air filters in furnaces and A/C monthly.
You can also NECAC, if you live in St. Charles County, to see if you qualify for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
Take advantage of community services like Birthright St. Charles
Raising a child can be expensive. There are added costs to provide for the daily, ongoing needs to care for a child properly. Look for community resources and churches to help ease the burden with coats, shoes, and school supplies.
Pregnancy resource centers like Birthright St. Charles are available to help with diapers, baby care packages, clothing, connections to resources for baby equipment, and counseling to help navigate these challenges.