The government’s budget is undergoing many of the same kinds of changes that yours would when you feel you need to rework your personal budget. The federal government is making several large cuts that are going to affect spending in a real way. The following will detail 3 of the cuts and talk about how that can relate to making cuts in your own budget as you need to make them.
Unemployment Benefits are up first. The government estimates that about 3.8 million people estimated to collect unemployment checks between March and September will be receiving 9.4% less than they are used to receiving. The average unemployed worker will be receiving about $50 less during those 7 months. Unemployed Americans will have to cut their own spending down to accommodate that $50 loss, or find an alternate form of income to supplement it.
A similar problem faces seniors approaching retirement. It’s recommended that your retirement plan pay back about 70-80% of your normal salary when you finished working. Retirement experts say that this should help you sustain your current lifestyle. Those about to retire will have to learn to live with 20-30% less than what they’re used to. They learn to survive by cutting down on parts of their budget that don’t require a set amount of money every month—i.e. food, hobbies, extra vehicles, maid services, etc.
Sometimes others are forced to take a lower paying job—usually do to economic conditions. They also learn to live on less by cutting down on those non-set expenditures to make ends meet. They make it happen one way or another though.
National parks are up next. The National Park Service is losing $110 million from its budget in 2013. This will equate to closing some campgrounds, picnic areas, and opening the Grand Canyon late this year. They simply cannot operate and maintain those areas for longer than that with their current budget.
When budget cuts need to be made, you can sometimes work out deals with insurance companies regarding auto and boat insurance. Plan to only insure your vehicles a certain number of days throughout the month. You would have to commit to leaving your car at home those days, but the money you would save from not paying insurance—and not paying the gas you would normally use—can be incredibly beneficial to your budget needs. That way you don’t have to completely give up something as needed as your car and you reduce your expenditures.
Purchasing a prepaid phone can have similar money saving capabilities. National parks have a reduced budget and therefore can’t operate under normal “business hours.” Personal budgets can make similar adjustments by limiting how much they get to use some of the services that they get “unlimited” from companies.
Finally, some 10,000 homes and small businesses damaged by Hurricane Sandy won’t get repaired. About $3 billion for Sandy relief is being cut from the budget. Unexpected cuts mean that they will have to find an alternative way to fixing their buildings. Mankind is known for their creativity.
The Sandy victims will find creative ways to fix immediate problems while they await the revenue, or financial help from outside helpers to get the job done properly. That being said, anyone that can give to their cause would help them reestablish the world as they knew it.
Look anywhere that is impoverished. You will find shabby, holy roofs that often keep out much of the rain pouring down. Clothes hang on lines to dry instead of dryers after being washed. Old and seemingly broken bikes and wheel barrows—that should have been retired decades ago—are not only working, but acting just as they did years ago when they were new. People replaced the small parts, or created new parts in their place. The creative fixes solved the problems they needed to solve until enough money was saved to replace them.
When you come across hard times, what are some of the creative things you can do to fix your possessions? Do some of them even need to be fixed? A cracked windshield of a car doesn’t need to be replaced right away if it’s within the safe zone. A piece of clothing can be worn out and yet still usable. Not everything needs to look new or fresh, just as long as it fulfills its purpose. Think about how much you need that fixed, and then find cheap temporary fixes until you can afford a real replacement or fix.
The public can learn from the budget cuts the nation is making right now. They can learn to cut their “non-set” expenditures, how to reduce the unlimited services of life, and creatively fix things using the resources at their disposal. If you find yourself in hard times, try employing some of these techniques to bring you peace and immediate changes.