How to get ahead financially when you've already cut EVERYTHING?
When you've cut everything there is and still are living paycheck to paycheck, what exactly are you suppose to do to get ahead?
Start looking in to making more or finding a new revenue option. I was in that boat a while back, 12k outgoing and 10k incoming. Some parts of the budget I was able to cut even further, creativity comes in handy here, I made a game of it. But, in the end, I started writing on here more, put up flyers locally for landscaping services and I sell veggies at a local farmers market to make up the difference and put a bit back for a rainy day.
It is hard nowadays but there are other ways like recycling everything that can be recycled, do more overtime at work, cut your own hair, advertise on newsagent shop windows if you are prepared to do cleaning or care work, do some baby sitting, gardening, make cards and sell them on Ebay or Craiglist, dog walking, sell stuff that you don't need like clothes or toys, or create crafts if you are good at knitting, sewing or crocheting. I have been there so I have done some of the above in order to survive. I even shop at the supermarkets on Sundays when there are reduced priced stuff on sale just to reduce my shopping cost. I grow my own vegetables and some fruits and that helps because I can see that all foods we buy are expensive now. It is possible to get ahead. I hope these few suggestion helps.
If you aren't already doing so, buy your kids' and your husband's clothing at thrift stores like Goodwill or the Salvation Army (unless he has to wear suits to work). Look at your menus and cook your own food from scratch and eliminate most meats. A beans and rice combination are a good protein-starch balance, and a little sausage or ham can be added for flavor. Use leftovers wisely. If you can't look at another mashed potato, make potato cakes out of it (they are delicious). If you live in an apartment, container garden some veggies like lettuce and tomatoes.
It is cheaper to pay a subscription fee to something like Netflix or Amazon Prime for entertainment than to go to the movies or have cable TV. Libraries and city parks are great for entertainment, but sometime you just have to have something at home on TV.
One other thing, don't be ashamed to apply for a rent subsidy or other subsidized housing which is based on your income (if you don't already own your own home). This could cut off several hundred a month from your living expenses.
If you are already doing all this, please take heart. Sometimes you just have to wait it out, but relief is usually around the corner. I know you are discouraged and all the Pollyana platitudes in the world aren't going to help. I went through a 5-year drought like this when I was a single parent. Interest rates were around 15% at the time, and rent was going sky high, so I qualified for 8% bond money and bought a house in an unstable neighborhood. Sometimes I worked two jobs just to make ends meet, and once I went six months without a day off. All this was to the detriment of my teenage children who got out of control. I regret doing that. By the time I got back on my feet, the boys were grown and off to school.
We are doing everything you listed (except the housing thing) and I was told about a month and a half ago that I can no longer work until we figure out surgery for my back. Husbands income just isn't enough to get ahead more than paying the basics.
You can write, have you tried working a newspaper or something sitting down? I'm avoiding back surgery as long as I possibly can. I'm still working at my age because I am only comfortable sitting in an office chair. I may as well get paid for that.
I can't sit or stand for any long periods without getting sciatica on both sides. More than an hour, I have to switch what I am doing. There's only so many times you can call out of work because you can't walk before getting fired.
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