help me budget my monthly finances, anyone? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 11-12-2009, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
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I am new to the frugality forum but it might be overdue!

I was wondering if I could post our monthly income and bills and see if anyone would like to tell me how much I can spend on groceries and how t budget this small amount that we have coming in?!

Her goes:
We make about 1800-1900 dollars a month for a family of three.
OUR Mortgage is $600/month
OUR energy/gas/water bill is about 175-180 a month
OUR gas for the car is about $100/mos
OUR phone/internet is about $60/mos

My husband gets paid bi-weekly and we have a hard time making the money last for two weeks, we definately live pay check to pay check.

My daughters birthday is coming up at the end of the month and she will be two and we don't know what we can afford on presents. I am going to make cookies for her and I already have all of the stuff for that.

We do not qualify for assistance.

Thanks SO much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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#2 of 8 Old 11-13-2009, 12:18 AM
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What about money for car insurance, life insurance, gifts, groceries, car payments, any debt payments, medical bills, cell phones, pet food, Christmas, clothing, any subscriptions, ect.? Once you get all the misc. in you can see where it all is going and what you can do about it.

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#3 of 8 Old 11-13-2009, 12:36 AM
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One easy way is to save all your receipts, because you are already spending money, and then look at how your receipts break down. See how much you spend on everything, then break that up in to categories like food, utilities, housing, transportation, junque, etc. That doesn't help you now, but might in the future. The next step is to survive instead of spend. But your numbers already indicate a surplus.
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#4 of 8 Old 11-13-2009, 12:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I think I spend too much on groceries, that is part of my problem that I was hoping someone could help me with. I don't know how much I should budget in for groceries. We don't have car insurance because we don't drive, we don't have any insurance because we can't afford it!
I really need to know how to figure out much to budget for savings, food and spending money through the week.
I like to be able to take my dd to do activities throughout the week but I don't know how much to budget in for something like that?!

Thanks for the comments, but I was more looking for information about how to decide how much to budget in for each area?

Thanks again
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#5 of 8 Old 11-13-2009, 12:50 AM
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This site gave me a super basic idea of what good general guidelines are for certain categories - you can put in any amount you want for any category ultimately, but it's interesting to see what someone else recommends.

Chessa , mama to Silas T (6/06) , wife to Chad . Welcome August Emerson! 2/8/10
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#6 of 8 Old 11-13-2009, 01:21 AM
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Always budget with your lowest expected income and your highest expected expenses. Always better to be surprised by having something left at the end of the month than scrambling around trying to pull money out of thin air.

Income: 1800

Mortgage payment: 600
Utilities: 180
Gas: 100
Phone/Internet: 60

I assume you have no debt or loan payments? (Awesome!!) Are these ALL your monthly bills?

If so, your fixed outgo is $940, leaving you with roughly $860. If you budget $400 for groceries and household items (which is somewhat generous for a family of two adults + one toddler, though depending on your eating preferences or dietary restrictions it may or may not work for you), that leaves $460. You might budget $40/mo. for weekday entertainment for you and your DD (and devote some real time to looking into free things to do in your area - libraries, parks, mall playgrounds, whatever), and $40 for family entertainment.

That leaves you with $380 for savings, or for any budget categories missed here.

Obviously, this is just a general idea to help you get started. Budgeting is SO subjective, but I totally get what you mean about needing a sort of jumping off point for budget amounts.
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#7 of 8 Old 11-13-2009, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Oh, hugs and kisses to you both, I really needed that jumping off point to get started and this will be it!

DH gets paid today and I think I will treat this check like it is actually closer to his average check(he has lots of overtime this pp) so that I am saving my biggest amount, but I will be using your suggestions this pp to see how that works!

Thanks again!
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#8 of 8 Old 11-13-2009, 08:17 PM
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Is that income your take home or gross before taxes?

You should definately qualify for WIC, LEAP and Medicaid/CHP+ for child.

CO WIC cut off for 3 is $2823 gross income

CO LEAP cut off is $2823 gross.

CO Medicaid for child, if you are over the income then you can apply for CHP+ which has a much higher income level limit, and tiny co-pays.

You may even qualify for a teeny tiny amount of food stamps if that income is gross. Cut off is $19--.00 something GROSS a month for a family of 3. Granted you may only get like $20 a month.

You and hubby can apply for Colorado Indigent Care Program (CICP) to be able to get very cheap healthcare for yourselves.

Your dd is too young to know what day it is let alone if she got gifts. I know it sucks but all the hoopla os for the adults. She wont have a clue. Find a tiny toy... maybe some pretend kitchen stuff and wrap with lots of ribbon. She is only turning two and will not judge you.

Why do you have $100 listed for gas for car if you don't drive?

It appears you really need to go over where the other half of your money is going. Get your bank statement and/or store reccipts and see what you are really paying for food and everything else.


Resistance is futile Matey
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