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Can you look at this budget please? - Page 2

post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apples12 View Post



Why exactly does your husband feel the need to put money in your children's bank accounts even though you can't really afford it right now? The children are still being taken care of without them having their own bank accounts.

I agree. You need to show your husband yalls budget, its not really feasible. His kids are taken care of but they need to see yall make correct choices about money so that they will when they are adults.
Also, you mentioned typing on your phone, so you have smartphones..that opens up a few options. You could use your phone as a hotspot. $20 a month and cancel cable/house internet. Or you could get rid of your phone, just get a pay as you go one. For years we didn't have cells at all, then for a few years we only had one.
post #22 of 30

If you haven't already, you may want to go over the budget WITH your husband.  If he sees that putting $40 per month into your children's accounts causes you to go into debt further, he may change his mind. 

post #23 of 30

double post

 

post #24 of 30

One tiny tip............you can save up to 5% of your electric by making sure that you don't have any "ghost loads," i.e. things that are still drawing power when plugged in, even if they are not being used.  Things that have lights on them when plugged in are especially heavy on ghost load use (toaster, dvd player, coffee maker, etc.)  You can put these things on a power strip and easily cut the power to these things when not in use. 

post #25 of 30

how long until the car is paid off?  you said almost?  if its not very long you could go $0 on some of the easy stuff (eating out, clothes, maintenancy stuff) for a few months and then you would have that extra $436/mo wiggle room w/o getting rid of anything important to you

post #26 of 30

I would throw everything I have on that car- including the money you are putting away for the kids- then you can put evn more away for them in a few months

post #27 of 30

Do you have anything you can sell?  I cleaned out my garage over the last 6+ months and made several hundred dollars.  I also do a consignment sale to get rid of kid clothes and toys, it is jbfsale.com if you want to see if you have one in your area.  If you can generate a little money in addition to overhauling your budget that will get you further along at paying off your CC debt.

 

I would shop around for a less expensive internet plan and drop cable entirely.  You can stream things from Netflix, and do Hulu Plus for $7.99 for network shows.  We were paying $140+ for internet and TV and I found a plan for $40 for internet through AT&T.  It was $20 for the first six months and is now $40.  I'm going to rate shop again when I have some spare time.

 

I've never really understood the advice to sell a car you are still paying on. Most people are upside down on cars, that's just the nature of new car transactions.  

post #28 of 30

My suggestions are in red.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post

Our total income to work with is $3050/month.

 

Expenses....

$770 house (this also includes home owners insurance)

$436 car

$175 electric Switch to energy-saving light bulbs

$148 cell phones (this is non-negotiable- we don't have house phones and dh uses his cell phone for work so we can't reduce the minutes or anything, otherwise we end up paying more for going over in minutes) This is about what ours are too... :(

$73 cable Cut it... You won't miss it after a week or two.

$60 water

$40 to the kids savings accounts ($20 in each kids account each month) Cut in half

$27 gym membership (this is for dh, me and dh's dad) Take up walking around the neighborhood or a park and drop this.

$15 on dh's WoW game I have a rule that ANY entertainment that costs HAS to be for EVERYONE. NO ONE gets special perks in my house. It just isn't cost effective.

 

There is also $325/year on DH's life insurance, $300/year for my life insurance and $250/year on car registration (though that will hopefully go down because dh plans on selling his "play" car). Ok, you have a "play" car... *boggles* I have never had a vehicle in my LIFE that wasn't absolutely necessary to the continuation of my INCOME. That insurance sounds really high... how much is it for? Do you REALLY need that much?

 

So the monthly expenses that are automatically taken out of dh's bank account (all those listed above), plus the yearly expenses I listed above (divided by 12 months) is $1817/month.

 

Here's what I budgeted....

 

food/grocery- $400 (we had been spending around $600/month on grocery) This looks good. Adopt a meat-free meal once or twice a week, and you'll save even more!

gas (both our cars)- $300 (and this will really be pushing the limit, not sure we can do this) OMG! Where do you go?!? DH and I get away with less than $100/mo and DH travels to the next TOWN for class 3x/wk.

eating out- $70 (this is really going to be hard for us- we had been spending around $300/month on eating out!) How many meals out is this? Why do you need to eat out at all?

household (TP, soap, etc)- $30 If you have a washer/dryer, consider switching to family cloth. We make cloths out of old sweats, pjs, cloth diapers (pre-folds), and towels that are trashed. We also switched to castile soap, which seems a little expensive at first, but you use it for so many things, and you use so much less, it does save you.

medical- $20

clothing (mostly for the kids)- $20 A monthly clothing budget? Why monthly?

entertainment- $20 (of which $8 is on netflix) You PLAN on spending more money than Netflix? On what? DS & DD will watch Netflix shows for DAYS if I let them, but we got the Roku for streaming. That plus a swing set and a nearby playground and they will be entertained for WEEKS without even counting on their toys.

car/house maintenance- $40 I guess I don't really understand what this is for. We have air filters to change every six months, and oil changes every six months, but $40/mo?

travel- $100 (this will be really hard to stay in this limit because I have to travel back to Michigan every other month for ds's visitation, it's not an option. It costs around $100 in gas each time. If we have to get a hotel then that's around $50/night. Plus food on the way there and back) Do you have friends/family that you can crash with for an overnight stay? Or switch off drivers (if you travel w/ DH) so you don't have to stop at all? Does the father travel equal amounts? Should/can he? Pack food. A little cooler for meats, cheeses, and fingerfoods. You can get healthier options of food your kids WANT, rather than grabbing whatever junk the convenience and fast food places have. We did this starting a year ago and couldn't believe we resisted for so long. We also packed frozen chicken and a crockpot and cooked in our hotel room. Better food at a lower cost.

legal fees- $75 (I currently owe around $600 to my lawyer, and it will continue building because she's still working on some stuff for me, but she'll let me pay it off little by little thankfully)

pool membership- $400/year, $34/month (I want to let this go for the year, dh refuses because he already made a verbal commitment to do it and he wants to honor it- it's in his parents neighborhood and they might help pay for it but we need to plan for them not to help just in case). A verbal commitment is just a promise, and nobody counts on a promise. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it. If somebody says something to you about it, just say that a medical emergency came up and cut into your budget - 100% true and no one will fault you for that.

 

Total monthly budgeted money is $1109.

 

$1109 (budgeted money) plus $1817 (other monthly expenses) is $2926 total expenses. That leaves $126 wiggle room IF we can stick to our budget. And our budget doesn't include things like gifts (b-day/christmas), ds's field trips, etc.

 

Is it possible? It is, but you will need to cut more. It's amazing how many presents and field trips can be paid for when you save a mere $20/week ($80/mo).


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by StephandOwen View Post

I've thought about the cable, but the internet is included in that and we HAVE to have the internet (for dh's work, otherwise he would have to go in to work on the other side of town 2-3 nights a week for his work calls with other countries). The gas alone for traveling all the way to the other side of town for work 2-3 nights a week would probably about equal the internet money (not to mention that would mean he would almost never be home and would miss out on seeing the kids most of the week). I think the actual cable (tv) is only an additional $15ish per month on top of the internet (but I'm not positive on that). So the internet and the cell phones are something we have to have for dh's work (I think they do reimburse dh some for the cell phones, but I don't know how that works).


I called my cable company (we bundled cable and internet). I told them that we needed to cut the cable out. She lowered the internet price to get us to stay, but I still needed to cut the cable out. We actually ended up paying LESS for the internet without the bundling, because she was trying to cut us a deal and I asked that she leave the internet at the lower price. That stuff really works!

 

Try WAHM.com for ideas for working at home. They have listings, support and contacts.

 

 

post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3xMama View Post

 

Personally, I'd cut out cable for an undetermined amount of time. I'd not put money into the kids accounts for six months and re-evaluate at that time. You can drop your electric bill down by doing things like hang drying clothes (although that's not necessarily an option this time of year! I can usually get it in from April to October-ish depending on weather.), lowering/raising the temp of your house, unplugging unused electronics, etc. Making your own household cleaners will save you a ton of money. All you need is borax, washing soda, fels naptha, white vinegar, baking soda. All cost less than $4 for the big box and last several months. 

 

Do your kids need new clothes monthly? I'd personally cut that out of the budget and put the odd pair of jeans or jammies in with the pop up amount. Only buy something if your kiddo actually *needs* it. 

Totally agreeing on this... I've never spent more than pennies a year on the kids' clothes simply because my mother loves to shop the thrift stores. Kids go through clothes so fast, they are usually in really good condition. If you get clothes 6-9 months ahead of time, you can get discounts of 75% in stores like JCPenny's and kid's clothing stores. Buy $50 worth every three months and you'll have more clothes than you could ever need with less money than you budgeted above. BTW, one of my coworkers has a daughter about two years older than DD. She had a garage sale and I stopped by. I ended up with THREE huge bins of clothes for $20. I didn't even have to THINK about clothes for the first two years of DD's life. We also got a box of outgrown shoes from another coworker with a boy older than DS. The shoes were in pretty good shape, and DS didn't care that they'd been worn before.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3xMama View Post

 

Your car maintenence amount seems very low. How often do you need an oil change in each car? Those are fifty bucks a pop, unless you do them yourself. 

$50 bucks?!? We get ours done at Walmart ($20-25) or wait for the specials ($19 if you get in at a certain time, or are a mother/woman, or something else-I've seen a lot of different ones). We also follow the updated "rules" which say that you should only need an oil change every 6 months (about half the time, even if you go by mileage). You can google recommendations for oil changes for your car's make/model and find out more specifically.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3xMama View Post

Use your tax return (if possible) to pay off the lawyer fee, pool membership or even an insurance policy for as long as possible so its not a monthly thing.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mom31 View Post

I would throw everything I have on that car- including the money you are putting away for the kids- then you can put evn more away for them in a few months


I can't agree with this enough. I put $4k in tax return money towards paying off my car in 2008. I'd been paying on it ($300/mo for a $2900 car) for two years ($7200) and I had three more to go ($10,800). Instead, I payed 13 months worth all at once and got rid of the bill. WOOT!

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by A&A View Post

One tiny tip............you can save up to 5% of your electric by making sure that you don't have any "ghost loads," i.e. things that are still drawing power when plugged in, even if they are not being used.  Things that have lights on them when plugged in are especially heavy on ghost load use (toaster, dvd player, coffee maker, etc.)  You can put these things on a power strip and easily cut the power to these things when not in use. 


I just got a surge protector/plug strip that is made for a computer set up. You plug in the computer (even a laptop) in the plug marked computer. It detects when your computer is off, and shuts down all the other plugs, which you can use for peripherals. There is also a plug for "always on", so you can use stuff like that. Since I'm always on the computer when I'm in the office, I plugged my shredder and space heater in there. When I shut off my computer, those two can't be turned on, so I don't have to worry about DD getting into the office and playing with the shredder, or accidentally leaving the space heater on. I use the always on plug for the battery charger.

 

post #30 of 30

Is your heat electric? Perhaps that makes your bill high?

I would definitely cut out the cable, the gym, the extra car, and maybe even the eating out.

 

 

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