Ideas for temporary budget reprieve (US based)

  1. Don’t pay your taxes.
    If you haven’t filed your taxes and you owe money, don’t file. Ask for an extension.
    At the very least, wait until the deadline, whenever that ends up being. Edit to
    add this has been changed to Jul 15th in the US. That’s one mistake I made after I
    returned from NZ, I was trying to tie up all loose ends so I filed my taxes. (edit to
    add: Dammit! Glad I only owed $88. Change your witholding to have less taken out
    of your check or reduce your quarterly payments. You can change it back later.

  2. Contact all creditors about a payment holiday.

  3. Don’t forget to turn off or suspend services you aren’t using for your Airbnb. For
    example, I have Direct TV mostly for my guests and the NFL. I want to suspend
    service as soon as I can get through to them.

  4. Do things yourself to save money. Cancel the twice a week yardman and do it
    yourself. Do you really need a pedicure? You aren’t going to be going anywhere.
    LOL. We all want to support small local business but not everyone can put
    someone else’s budget ahead of their own.

  5. Might be time for a roommate for some home share people.

Who else has an idea?


Oh no you don’t need a pedicure, heading in to a public place like that! Also, most salons have closed here.

Actively looking.

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Roommates will be easy to find, finding one with an income who can work from home not go out bring germs home will likely not be so easy to find.

I just told my every other week housekeeper for home (who does not do my STR) not to come this week but I paid her anyway but who knows next time.

I have $400 worth of rain gutters being installed tomorrow but after that I am putting the brakes on spending.


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I’ve had multiple over the decades but all someone I knew, never a random person. I also know multiple older people, retired teachers who live on their own in everything from a big house to a small apartment. The thing with a roomie like that is that wouldn’t be a temporary solution. But for some people it might be necessary. Roommate or what? Bankruptcy? You still need some money.

As far as I know, if you owe money, you can file for an extension, but you still have to pay your taxes by the tax deadline (April 15). Our accountant does that for us every year. Of course she does our personal and business taxes. But we have to pay what’s owed for all three returns by April 15, even though we have a filing extension until October.

Another idea: While it might be tempting to order food delivered from restaurants, it’s almost alway cheaper to buy groceries (order online for delivery) and make your own meals. To maximize economy and nutrition, eat fresh food first, before you use canned or frozen foods.

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Ok I wasn’t clear on that. But still I would wait until the absolute deadline. I think they are talking about giving everyone more time. And I still think most people could reduce their witholding without worry. People love a big refund but this is no time for that if you are trying to make it month to month.

Something we will change this year:

We normally prepay taxes (accountant-recommended). Because of the loss in our Airbnb income for this year, we won’t do that.

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You still have to file, but can delay paying if you owe for 90 days.

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Add to the list:

  1. Pay all bills online. Saves $ on stamps and check fees.
  2. Ditch the meat! Eat more legumes, fruits and veggies to save on your food budget.
  3. Cancel magazine subscriptions.

This. The coming climate crisis may be slowed by CV19 but it would really help if we would all cut way back on meat.

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Turn of the heating/airconditioning.
Wear an extra shirt or take a blanket.

Take cold showers. (You will saving water too)

Pull the electrical plug on every device that is not needed. I switched off all electricity to my guest rooms.

Go over all your subscriptions and check if your really need them. Do you really need that much data or speed for your internet?

Go to bed early!

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In terms of govt support in the US here is what I’m hearing (but not yet confirmed)

  1. $1,200 for individual tax filers with income below 75k. Scales towards 0 for incomes above 100k

  2. bridge loans, I think they had set aside 300 billion for small business bridge loans to get through this period.

These are two things that would help my business, seeing as how many of my long term tenants make less than 75k per year they should be eligible for checks, and hopefully able to pay a portion of rent.

Additionally bridge loans are looking very attractive to get us through a temporary (1 year?) downturn, but we will see what the requirements and restrictions are.

I’m not sure how much sunshine you get but in much of the US it will soon be warm enough to use solar heat to get warm or hot water. I have a black water garden hose that produces nearly scalding water and I’ve already considered how I could use that supply.

Probably not but here but I can’t get through on the phone to call my service provider and they won’t let me change it downward online.

And don’t forget to use birth control.

Today it is about 20°C and sunny, Sunday we expect to have snow.

I was saving to install solar collectors next year, but that plan will have to move to next year.

No need for birthcontrol, I started a job at a company that produces hygiene materials (detergents, soap and liquids) last year. We run a 24/7 business at the moment. I fall asleep as soon as I see my bed.

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Large scale is expensive but if an individual or family is really trying to cut every corner, what my mom called “spit baths” with a bucket of warm water collected from their outdoor garden hose in the back yard could help stretch a dollar or euro.

This is more conservation than actual money saving, but still worthwhile.

If you have pets or plants to water: Keep a large lightweight bowl or bucket in one half of your kitchen sink (or to one side of a wide kitchen sink). A lot of water you run or pour down your sink can be “recycled” as water for animals or plants.

Water you’ve boiled vegetables in, like broccoli or carrots. Water you boiled or heated for another reason, like tea-making, but didn’t use. Water from a glass you were drinking but decide not to finish. Water you allowed to run, waiting for the right temperature.

You can do the same with your shower and the water the runs as you wait for the right temp.

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If you have a HELOC, home equity line of credit you may consider tapping it before the housing market crashes and the banks suspend them. It happened in 2008… You can always pay it back if things do not crash and burn. Or pull the money and refinance the loan.


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