- Get rid of your smartphone, buy a pre-paid plan or go back to *gasp* a landline.
- Get the cheapest version of your Internet connection.
- Drop cable, you can watch almost everything on Hulu now anyway, plus there are Amazon
Prime, Netflix, Crackle, Vudu, all kinds of places to watch TV and movies for free or way cheaper than cable.
- Stop eating at McDonald's. Mac and cheese and ramen noodles go a long way.
- Mow lawns in the summer and shovel snow in the winter. You don't have to make it a business, but you can easily make a couple hundred $ over a weekend.
- Sell your blood plasma. ~$250 a month.
- Use what you learned in your previous classes and be a tutor. $10 or so an hour adds up fast.
- If you can, get a CNA license and work per diem or be a patient sitter.
- Sell all your junk on Craigslist and/or eBay. I cleaned out my house of everything little thing I thought was worthless and made over $5k. Seriously. People buy the dumbest things.
- If your situation warrants it, get food stamps and medical assistance. Yes there is a stigma around it, but do what you gotta do...that's why it's there and nobody said you had to use it forever. I myself once used it for 3 months when I had to regroup and get my house back in order. No shame here it helped me out a ton.
- Put in a service ad at your newspaper and Craigslist and offer whatever skills you have. I fix computers for $20 a pop. I can build a simple website and charge $50. You don't have to get rich from it, just offer something simple that is not time consuming and make it cheap.
- You could do people's grocery shopping, walk dogs, heck even cleaning up dog doo from people's lawns will make you a lot believe it or not. Clean houses, clean offices and wash windows, the list just goes on and on. It doesn't have to be hard or time-consuming. You just have to be willing to get out there and make it happen.
I got my budget down to $1200 a month, and using simple ideas like the ones above I can comfortably take care of me and my kids indefinitely without having a "job", and have more than enough time to study.