Page 6

o

n January 4, 2013, when my twin boys were just 2 months old, my husband called me in the middle of the day to tell me he was on his way home. He was suddenly and unexpectedly laid off from his 16-year career at his company. My mind went into a tailspin and I could feel the walls caving in on me. How could this happen? How could they do this to him? He just got an iPad from them for Christmas! One of my worst nightmares was coming true and I felt totally helpless. The good news was that my maternity leave was ending in one week and I would be going back to my full-time job. This meant we would have my salary, severance pay and unemployment insurance to get us through, plus a hefty income tax refund (thank you, twin dependents!) and other cash I had saved up prior to my maternity leave.

cutting the budget

affording multiples in a financial crisis by julie burt nichols

After crunching the numbers, I realized that we would still be short and our savings would quickly disappear if I didn’t make some major cuts. Thus began my quest to cut every unnecessary expense we could spare. Everyday minor purchases were cut unless they were absolutely necessary. That includes dry cleaning, books, DVDs, music, magazines, and even small things like a latte from Starbucks. I reassessed all of our monthly bills and made major changes to retain as much cash as possible, even if it meant having to pay more interest in the future. Here are the major, immediate actions I took to keep us afloat: • I deferred my student loans. This was very easy to do for my federal loans. I called my loan company and they immediately put the deferment through. I was surprised at how easy it was! I will have to pay the interest that accrues, but overall, I’m saving $290 each month by deferring. • I stopped 401(k) contributions. I was contributing 6% of my income in order to get the full company match. Stopping this contribution put at least $100 back into my monthly cash flow. • I reviewed our income tax exemptions. When is the last time you looked at this? Maybe you are still claiming a “1” with a family of four when you could be claiming

6

multiplicity

the must-have magazine for all moms of multiples

Profile for Multiplicity Magazine

Multiplicity Winter 2014  

Multiplicity's Winter issue complete with features including seasonal affective disorder, parenting resolutions, cutting the budget, getting...

Multiplicity Winter 2014  

Multiplicity's Winter issue complete with features including seasonal affective disorder, parenting resolutions, cutting the budget, getting...

Advertisement