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ok we are in budget overhaul (advice/experience appreciated)

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
we are screwed beyond screwed in budgeting and we are in need of serious downsizing and management.

DH makes $2000 month grossish but takes home $1400-$1600
i make $1008 gross (unemployment)

we have $4,500 in saving and i will be getting $15000 in Oct from an account set up from when i was a kid. sooooooo the $4,500 was from that as well. i dont WANT to blow this money and it needs to be used wisely i already received $40,000 over a 4 years span that went...well who knows where but i have $4,500 left of it...

we have $6000 on one credit card...12% interest rate
$1500 on another....

car lease is $362 a month with option 2 buy for $15800 after 2 more years

our monthly costs..
800 rent
362 car
90 cable (i want to get rid of this)
10 dog
20 baby
30 household
158 insurance
90 car gas
30 house gas
50 electric
100 phones
300 food
140 cigarettes (DH....)
150 credit cards
40 gym (if we cancel its a $150 charge..)
15 netflix (i vote we keep this and loose cable)

grand total $2422 without any spending money...

HEAT will be the next issue which runs us $300 a month...

also i seem to be a serious compulsive spender in need of help... i just blow like $150 at walmart when i go in to buy 1 thing...

somehow we keep coming up short on bills...even just laying it out right now it doesnt seem so bad which makes me think im forgetting something but then again i havent done the new budget out with the new car so i guess that im surprised it seems so low...we were over what we were making before

we just downsized to one car and traded both of ours to get this one (2010 Rav 4 7 seater so it should last us forever haha) so we are saving $250 total from that...

originally when i get the $15000 i wanted to use it as a down payment on a house but i know realistically we just cant handle that right now...
so now im thinking to downsize housing. we need somewhere close to DHs work which isnt easy b/c it is pricey around here..
we found a 1br apartment really cheap...$775 including heat and HW i feel its livable since DD sleeps with us anyway...DH is thinking its too small...but regardless we are waiting to hear from her b/c shes doing cori checks which will come back fine. she also said no pets though and we have a dog but i did make *in case* arrangements with a family member to take the dog for a couple years if we pay for everything....but i would like to keep my dog...i think she may sway on it if we are lucky
the apartment is not a definite yet...which might turn into $900 with heat and hw if i cant get this one...

sooo how can i improve monthly budget?
what is the WISEST use of that money i am getting? i really dont want to get nothing out of it my mom set i up for me and passed away she wanted me to put it to good use and i already feel i have failed her...


yes we already CD and Bf i dont use paper products except TP and do not want to use family cloth...
post #2 of 46
What is your goal?

I'd vote pay off credit cards and don't use them again. Put the rest in savings. Track your actual spending for two months and come up with a more complete, comprehensive budget. (Look at Dave Ramsey's site for a good budget tool maker) Moving is always expensive and unless you can see yourself living in a one bedroom for a number of years, you'd probably be better off saving the moving expenses. Decide now if you are going to buy the car in 2 years and start saving for it. Put the money somewhere that is difficult to get to so you don't piddle it away (I'm guilty of this too!). Good luck!
post #3 of 46
WOW 40000 you don't know where it went? That is a big flag you do need help investing it. Maybe pay off the 1500 card and pay out the 150 to close the gym membership. Apply what you were paying on the card and the gym to the big card balance. If there is any way for dh to quit smoking that will only help everything. You need to track every single penny spent for the next 30 days before you touch a penny of that money. I would take the 12000 left and bury it in a CD. even if its a 6 month cd. That will give you time to get the feeling of having savings and have it grow.

Every time you think about blowing that money think of your mom and how she would want it spent. If you save it for another 3 to 5 yrs, get your spending under control you could get to the point of buying a house, when you are back to work.
post #4 of 46
well a couple things stick out

1. the lease on the car. i know you cant undo it but what are the mileage limits on it, do you need to budget miles or extra $ for mileage when the lease is up? your total cost on the lease is about 25k (guessing 2 yr lease)

2. what happens when your unemployment payments stop?

3. 140/month for cigs? really??

4. unless you actually use the or only have a few months left cut it and just pay the fee.

5. how did you lose 40k?

6. You really need to find a good financial planner and plan for that money.
post #5 of 46
Do you have ANY way at all to get out of the car lease? Never ever lease another car again... its a huge rip off.



How often do you REALLY go to the gym? Not how many you plan to or want to... but how many times in the last two weeks have you been? Does it come with free childcare?



Your husband spends 10% of his take home on smoking. 2nd hand smoke kills people. He has an addiction that is putting all of your health at risk and your financial stability at risk. You need to get TOUGH on this.



Go back through memory and write down where the missing $35k went to.




Can you start seeing a therapist on your complusive shopping? It can be a sign of many other issues. And it can ruin families.




Many people cut out cable and just use Netflix and free online tv. It works and many people are happy with it!




How old is your child? Some apts have occupancy limit is. If you moved how long do you think you would stay there? A place that included more utilities is always helpfull!




You need to go through bank statements, credit card statements, ATM receipts, and any cash registar receipts you still have and find out where all your "extra" money went to the last few months.




How much longer do you have on UI?




Have either of you considered a different job in a different field or going back to school for something that can make more money?




Have you called around for new price quotes on insurance?




{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} Good luck!!!!!!!

post #6 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post
DH makes $2000 month grossish but takes home $1400-$1600
i make $1008 gross (unemployment)

we have $4,500 in saving and i will be getting $15000 in Oct from an account set up from when i was a kid. sooooooo the $4,500 was from that as well. i dont WANT to blow this money and it needs to be used wisely i already received $40,000 over a 4 years span that went...well who knows where but i have $4,500 left of it...

we have $6000 on one credit card...12% interest rate
$1500 on another....

car lease is $362 a month with option 2 buy for $15800 after 2 more years

our monthly costs..
800 rent
362 car (Not going to tell you to get rid of the car and buy a $2000 beater)
90 cable (i want to get rid of this) Drop Cable.
10 dog Just food or does this include heartworm medicine and such?
20 baby You BF and CD? How are you spending $20 a month? No buying anymore (cloth) diapers! Use what you have. And if it is on clothes, the baby probably has plenty.
30 household What are you using? A good all-purpose cleaner (pine-sol or vinegar), scrubbing powder (comet or baking soda), and window cleaner are satisfactory for 99% of jobs around the house. For dishes, forget the premium dish soap and forget the premium laundry detergent. I spend about $10 a month on household, but I don't put a premium on organic, high-end, all-natural products. If you do, try using vinegar and baking soda for as much as possible.
158 insurance Shop around or increase your deductibles (only to where you are comfortable. Mine are at $500 for both cars because I figure that if we wreck both cars at the same time, I'm okay with the $1000 the deductible would cost.)
90 car gas
30 house gas
50 electric
100 phones Are you under contract or can you drop these for a "cheaper" plan?
300 food Do you qualify for any assistance (foodstamps/SNAP or WIC?)
140 cigarettes (DH....) Quit smoking or cut back to half.
150 credit cards
40 gym (if we cancel its a $150 charge..) Cancel this.
15 netflix (i vote we keep this and loose cable)

grand total $2422 without any spending money...

HEAT will be the next issue which runs us $300 a month...
Right now, cancel the cable and the gym. Apply for any assistance you can: WIC, foodstamps, medical for the kids (and yourself if you are expecting). The worst they can say is no, but then you aren't in any worse position than you are now. Oh, and stay out of stores. If you must go in, only take enough cash to cover what you plan to buy, and a notebook. Write down the items that "catch your eye". If it is really needed, you'll still want/need it next month--and you might be able to find a better price. (for me, it works: I often forget what I'd written down by the end of the day). Shop around on insurance to see if you can get a better rate. For the phones, if you are not under contract, shop around for a better deal. If you are under contract, see if there are not any discounts or better deals you can get. Once you get the $15,000, pay off the small credit card. Take what you are paying on that, plus what you were paying on the cable and gym (and if you get food assistance, what you were paying on food), and pay your larger credit card bill. Give your husband a cigarette allowance--and cut it back by about $10 every few months. He'll have to make it last. When you get your tax return, then apply it toward your larger credit card bill (assuming you get a refund, and don't have to pay).
post #7 of 46
Thread Starter 
ok UI is for another 4 months right now...idk what we will do when its gone...thats a huge reason why we need to downsize...

im 22 and hes 23 i got 10,000 a year since i was 19, but it stopped last year. some went to college and my friend owes me alot....and i blew the rest being stupid and partying ect...

BUT i want to change i have a baby i quit smoking and drinking ect and DH quit drinking but will not quit cigs.

the $140 for cigs IS a cut back...(it was 300 the previous month)

WE DO NOT qualify for any assistance except WIC but DD has intolerances and we can not eat one single thing they provide so they closed out my case...

our "game plan" is to get a cheap roomy 1 br with utilities and "tough it out" for 1.5-2 years....in the mean time DH was going to sign up for a certificate program in utilities(its a college course) (heating, ac, ventiltion) so he has a learned trade and can get a better job.

we can not afford daycare and do not have any family (hardly at all) to help.

so if we can crack down the budget and pay off the credit cards and save save save to add on to the $15,000 and DH graduates school and gets a better job then we could possibly buy a house or move to a better, bigger location.

we WERE paying $658 a month total for our 2 cars plus $300 a month for gas (dh had a 96 jeep..) so we revamped that and got the rav 4...yes its a lease but at the end we can get the car for $15,000 which is CHEAP for a 2 y/o used Rav 4.......and in the meantime we are saving $338 total including gas and insurance.

our car insurance used to be $200 a month for me and $158 a month for DH i have a horrible record so the price we got is a miracle in itself.

the gym does include child care and i was going alot then i saw one of the child care ladies getting rough with a kid (her own) but still it made me feel weird and i havent been back...plus we have one car now and it is a 20 min drive there...but i do hate to pay the fee...
post #8 of 46
Thread Starter 
BTW he does not smoke in the house(or car)!!!!!! i would kill him and never ever do that to my child.
post #9 of 46
You need to move.

Even with the cheaper apartment, you will be $1000 in the hole every month once your UI ends (expenses of about $2400 on income of $1400-1600). The fact that you left that out in your first budget concerns me.

So I would apply some of the $4500 savings towards that move.

Possibly you could tough it out on the let's say 17000 savings ($1000/ mo - no spending - for 17 months). But really I think you need to change your game plan to include bumping up your income. You might want to look for a job that is off-shifts from your husband.

I agree with other advice but I also think if you live in a place you can get rid of the car, you should. You really can't afford it. You also cannot afford to go to Wal-Mart for anything non-essential.
post #10 of 46
One rule of thumb for buying a car is to spend one-fifth of your gross income. One-fifth of the $24k your DH makes is $4800. $15,800 plus all the costs of the lease is way, way, WAY beyond your means right now.
post #11 of 46
I agree that the car is not a good deal. You aren't saving $368 from what you spent before. You are spending over $300 a month that you really cannot afford to spend. I think you should consider purchasing an older, reliable car for mabye $5000 and making that work for a while.
post #12 of 46
Here is what I would do:

get rid of the cable
trim your phone plans down to the bare minimum
look for a cheaper rental that includes some utilities
pay off the credit card debt and put the amount you were paying into a savings account
your car insurance rate sounds great for having a new car and being a relatively young driver

I'd also purge your apartment of anything you don't need or use anymore. That way, if you move into a smaller place you aren't moving stuff you don't need and you are making a little money by selling on craigslist or having a yard sale.

I think you should get yourself into better financial shape first before leaping into being a homeowner. Is your goal to be a SAHM or do you want a career? I'm not in the sell your car camp because having a reliable car is very important when it is your only vehicle, and buying a "beater" as people recommend isn't practical in your situation. We bought a supposedly reliable older car that blew a head gasket about three months after we bought it.

ETA: I'd ask DH to stop smoking too. He is basically burning money.
post #13 of 46
Quick question, and don't think me rude, but have you gone over the numbers with your husband and gotten his input? He may have some ideas.

(And about the food assistance--sorry. I was thinking about when your UI runs out you may qualify, but not if you have all that money in savings--if you are honest about it).

What is your employability status? I know you only have one car and your husband takes it to work. Could you possibly find a job that would allow you to take your child--or that will subsidize day care (check into state-subsidized day care programs. I make over $4000 a month and would qualify--but you both need to be working or in school.) - and where you would not need the car? Speaking of school, assuming you haven't graduated, go back and do your studies online or something (for no day care expense) and get whatever financial aid you can. If you have your BS/A, look into getting a Masters.

(I'm sorry, but it seems to me that in your current financial state, being a SAHM should be the bottom of your priorities.)
post #14 of 46
Thread Starter 
i have asked him a million times to quit smoking he keeps telling me he is working on it...

my DREAM is to be a SAHM i have been looking for a job off shift from DH but he works weird hours...i was a CNA before i got laid off but they are making $9 an hour now and the shifts stink for our family...
i have been applying everywhere that could possibly work (not that i could expect to even make $1000 a month though...) and have tried daycares ect for work...no luck so far.
DH was talking about getting a second job but idk if he will actually do it and i feel its more important to go to school so we can at least be ahead next year...he should get about $20/hr when he graduates maybe a little less.

i was thinking about getting a bartending license which cost $300...the class is only a few weeks but awkward hours since the baby nurses hardcore still...

TY for you're advice everyone!!! i need it!

BTW we had a beater and were dumping money into left and right and had a car loan of $300 a month that i got the car for $22,000 owed $10500 and it was only WORTH $8,000 and it was not a family car...i am happy with the car we have now and we will be buying it at the end so i think it was wiser than being screwed with the other 2 cars and paying a lot more a month. there was no way for me to get out of the other car i tried for a year to sell it and it depreciated another $1000...
post #15 of 46
Holy cow. Nearly half your grocery budget for your entire family is going to cigarettes. That's HUGE. I can't believe he spent the equivalent of your entire family's grocery budget on cigarettes the month before. He needs to really think about that one.

I would also be inclined to pay the cancellation fee for the gym and cut that monthly expense unless your family is really using that membership for all its worth. If you go several times a week, then maybe I'd ride it out until the membership expires.

Definitely ditch the cable for Netflix. No commercials! No kids begging for things they saw on TV. No losing 10-15 minutes of every show to advertising, broken up into constant interruptions. It's cheaper and you get to pick exactly what you want to watch.
post #16 of 46
If you want to be serious here is what should happen

No more cigs - sorry but thats gotta happen
No more gym - pay the fee and be done with it
Cancel cable and netflix, use the library its FREE
Get cheap cell's - no text, no data,no web, just plain old calling
Food seems really high, I know you said there are allergies and prices tend to vary based on region but check out couponmon and grocery game.

You need a job, if you are not working then you should be in school. But idle time shouldn't be happening.

What I dont see in your budget is something for medical insurance or co-pays. What happens if someone gets sick, how is that paid for? Also do you have renters insurance? Renters insurance should be a minimal cost (under $100 year) but I've never been w/o it and it can help lower your auto bill if you have it at the same place.
post #17 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post
yes its a lease but at the end we can get the car for $15,000 which is CHEAP for a 2 y/o used Rav 4

Except you are NOT paying $15k for it. You are paying $15k + $8688 for 24 monthly payments which = $23,688. Did you also put any money down to add on top of that?

New cars depreciate the second they leave the dealers lot. I know its nice having a shiny new car... but if there is a way to get out of it and buy a better used (maybe a certified preowned one a couple of years old with cash)... it will save you alot of money. Leases make dealers rich... not drivers.



Can you ask or send hubby to a doc for medical help in quitting smoking? They have meds to make it easier.
post #18 of 46
Thread Starter 
yea i know but the model we got was like $25000. there is no way to get out of it.

we have "partial health net" from masshealth and it SUX i cant even see a frikin Dr and i have PPD! im dealing ok but w/e its bull they said i cant see a primary care doc for 6 months!!! and i cand do therapy until i see one...like wtf i had to register there and it took 3 hours of waiting to sign a peice of paper and me and DD were surrounded by addicts and scary people it was horrendous. thats the ONLY plac i can go...its a filthy clinic. the person next to us lliterally had bugs on her hair and neck.

i know the cigs are bull! im pissed but what am I supposed to do about it? i quit when i found out i was pregnant, he said he was going to quit before the baby was born...shes like 1 y/o...

i dont have IDOL time! i have a 1 y/o!! i resent that comment. i am a very hard working SAHM. i have been looking for work anyways even though i dont want to work i want to be with DD shes never been away from me literally more than 2 hours. i dont have ANY help with her at all. his family sux and my mom died and my dad cant be alone with children...court ordered...my sis has mental problems and could not handle a child by herself and my bro doesnt do babies. 0 help since the day she was born. i dont have a choice really! i already explained how i applied to every single place i can and successfully have care for DD.
when my unemployment ends we are screwed. DH said he will get a p/t job on top of his f/t job.
i re-budgeted yesterdy and i gave in and we are now using family cloth...and im makeing my own detergent. I AM TRYING my best to do eerything and anything for my family.
so *if* we get that apartment or one similar that includes at least heat and just foud out DH had been claiming 0 on tax...if we switch DH's taxes from 0 to 2 we should maybe be able to cover everything with just his check and put the UI towards our debt to try and get some paid off before its gone.
our new monthly budget would be $1875.

you think $300 for food is alot?! my sis spends $400 a month and shes single lol i thought we were doing well! the baby has a ton of intolerances right now and food is importnant to me i only buy US organic food (but just natural meat its too expensive organic) i home-make everything. bread, snacks, all of our meals so we save money that way. if i *had* to really cut it back maybe i could be $50...
post #19 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by zebra15 View Post
You need a job, if you are not working then you should be in school. But idle time shouldn't be happening.
I don't think that's fair. School costs $$ and work requires childcare. I don't think most moms of 1yo's have much idle time. But obviously, like op said, she is trying to get a shift opposite her dh.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post
so *if* we get that apartment or one similar that includes at least heat and just foud out DH had been claiming 0 on tax...if we switch DH's taxes from 0 to 2 we should maybe be able to cover everything with just his check and put the UI towards our debt to try and get some paid off before its gone.
You might be able to claim more. There is a worksheet on the back of the w-4 form that can help you find the right number so you aren't giving the govt a free loan.
post #20 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by sosurreal09 View Post
you think $300 for food is alot?! my sis spends $400 a month and shes single lol i thought we were doing well! the baby has a ton of intolerances right now and food is importnant to me i only buy US organic food (but just natural meat its too expensive organic) i home-make everything. bread, snacks, all of our meals so we save money that way. if i *had* to really cut it back maybe i could be $50...
Honestly, you ARE doing really well to have cut back to $300 a month for food, especially if you are still buying organic. My son has food allergies, so I know the pain of paying more for food. We can't buy all that cheap filler food so many people live off of (like dried beans, boxed/canned foods, etc). We've cut back so much on food and have cut out organics, but I still can't stick to our $400 a month food budget. Keep working at it, though, I'm sure you'll find more ways to cut back with more effort.
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