About 50,000 federal employees in Hampton Roads face the prospect of furloughs, according to the Hampton Roads Planning District Commission. During the furlough, which could last through September, employees could see a 20 percent drop in pay.
For someone making $75,000 a year, the furlough represents a household budget cut of about $1,000 a month, after taxes.
When facing such a personal finance crisis, cutting expenses is necessary. But there is no pause to Mother's Day, birthdays, anniversaries and graduations.
In the wake of the 2008 recession, thousands of frugal bloggers took to the Internet to share their money-saving tips. Touting budgetary expertise is a full-blown industry, and there is more help than ever for finding a deal.
For those just entering the world of online deal-hunting, the website moneysavingmom.com is a good start.
Though primarily focused on homemaking and family-oriented savings, blogger Crystal Paine offers an easy-to-find introductory series on a variety of topics, including couponing, meal planning and tackling debt. There are daily hints for finding valuable coupons, free offers and bargain-basement discounts.
On a day last week, for example, moneysavingmom.com alerted readers to a coupon code for $5 off a purchase from the daily deal website LivingSocial.com.
Save, get money
For more product-specific advice, turn to websites like dealnews.com, fatwallet.com or the locally run crazytowndeals.com. All three sites tackle nearly every product category from electronics to clothing to online florists.
And, when you shop online, don't forget to use the portal ebates.com, where shoppers can receive up to 20 percent back in rebates. A typical rebate generally ranges from 6 percent to 10 percent. Checks are sent to registered users four times a year.
Coupons and more
Local bloggers at afrugalchick.com, thecouponchallenge.com and momondealz.com keep up with weekly grocery store deals in the area, helping shoppers pair locally available coupons with store sales. The bloggers also alert readers to online coupons that can be printed out.
For those heavily interested in couponing, thekrazycouponlady.com is considered one of the best sources for daily coupon updates.
And, of course, the Daily Press' Savvy Shopper maintains a daily blog at dailypress.com/shopping, where locals can find ways to save on everything they need to live well in Hampton Roads, from grocery shopping to local attractions to specific products.
About the series
During the upcoming weeks, we will give you a series of articles and tips, relevant for anyone facing a household budget crisis, to help manage the loss of income.
This fifth story in the series tackles saving money by using online resources. You can find the entire Furlough Finances series at dailypress.com/shopping.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun