How Family Members Can Contribute to Finances

By Leanne Manning
UNL Extension Educator

During times of drought, family income may be at an all-time low, but family expenses still need to be paid.  Discuss, as a family, how family members can pitch in to help cut living expenses or contribute to family income.

Income-Producing Ideas

  • Babysit for others.
  • Mow lawns.
  • Remove snow.
  • Tutor.
  • Translate.
  • Sell items no longer needed.
  • Ask for a raise at work.
  • Seek a second job.
  • Work part-time.

Cost-Saving Ideas

  • Turn off lights, televisions, and other electronics when not in use.
  • Take shorter showers to cut down on water and electric bills.
  • Turn the thermostat down at night in winter and up during summer.
  • Wear your clothes more than once before laundering.
  • Buy clothes on sale.
  • Clip coupons and watch for rebates on personal care products.
  • Carpool or walk whenever you can.
  • Inflate vehicle tires properly.
  • Use bartering or work exchange to get the things/services you need.
  • Make toys instead of buying expensive new ones.
  • Cook more meals at home.
  • Discover inexpensive entertainment options.
  • Rent out part of your house if you have extra space.
  • Line-dry clothes rather than using a dryer.
  • Wash clothes and use the dishwasher only when you have full loads.
  • Use the microwave or electric frying pan or slow cooker rather than the stovetop.  Stovetop burners use 3½ times more energy than an electric frying pan.
  • Shut off the water while washing dishes or brushing teeth.


Cutting Family Expenses (G1932-G1937), a series of University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension NebGuides offers a variety of ways for families to reduce costs. See these and related Extension resources at UNL Extension Publications under Financial Management.