If you have a huge debt hanging over your head, then you have to get beyond saving pennies on household items. Especially, with the current financial crisis sweeping through the country we need to think big!
Can you downsize your home? Your cars? Sell your vacation cottage or recreational boat or vehicle?
I met a homeschooler some years ago who lived in my sister's neighborhood. A neighborhood where the houses start at $400,000. Her husband just lost his job and they were in bad shape financially. They lived in a beautiful home and drove brand-new SUV's . . . and lived from month to month. They were drowning in consumer debt. Just one month without an income put them into dire straits. The mom was putting the kids in public school and getting a job herself. It broke my heart.
You need to ask where you would be tomorrow if your main wage-earner lost his or her job. Do you have savings set aside? I recommend at least 3 to 6 months of living expenses in liquid savings. This saved us years ago when my husband decided to quit his job and start his own business.
To accomplish this, you may have to downsize your home or your car. Can you live in a smaller house? In a lesser neighborhood? (No need to concern yourself with school districts - we're homeschoolers.)
Can you downsize your car, or get rid of the second car altogether? I know several homeschooling families who work around one family car.
What are some other big items that you should be avoiding?