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#1 of 12 Old 11-10-2010, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi, first of all, i need to say thank you to all of you, you have no idea how much you helped me over the last couple of months... I never posted before , but right now i need help cause i cant understand what I'm doing so wrong to be in this position over and over again..

OK, so my husband's income right now is $591 a week after taxes... I'm a stay at home mom of 2 boys, 3 1/2 and 1 year old.

this are our expenses...

Rent:$755 (cutting down to 700 next month due to signing a new lease)

power:$ 60 (i have a 80 balance from a payment arrangement that ends on the 27Th)

netflix: $9

Internet:46.99 ( can't change until march) due on the 4Th each month

DH cell:$40 due 13Th each month

My cell:$48 due 23rd each Month

Car payment: $244 .( we only have about 1500 left on that and we're done) due 20Th each month

car insurance : $80 due 20Th each month

health insurance:$ 50 every three months

gas:$100

groceries$:600

 

As you can see we should be OK, but we're not... I'm $60 over drafted plus the $34 fee this week.

I just dont know when to pay the bills , sometimes i think I'll have enough money and time to pay for it with the next paycheck and end up like this...

All the bills are up to date but I'm terrified cause we don't have any savings, or emergency fund...

I'm feeling like a failure cause I'm the one who handles the money and its not working.... My husband doesn't even  want to get involved and it bothers me to go somewhere and be the one saying that we cant buy this or that when he should know how much money we have.

I just started watching a little girl so that should add up . But I'm not sure how much I'm going to be making yet.. still trying to figure out the days she'll be here...

I appreciate any advice you can give me.. i just don't know what I'm doing so wrong . I never worried about money growing up, never wondered how my mom did to pay the bills and i regret so much not being aware of all that...

TIA!!!


Mary- super proud nommy of Zyon(6-07) AND Ian (10-09)
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#2 of 12 Old 11-10-2010, 11:27 AM
 
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I make a budget for each paycheck in excel.  Each payday has a date, bills, and income.  Then fit each bill into the correct date that it needs to be paid.  For example, the paycheck that the car payment is due, then you would have less grocery money.  For rent, save some money from the week before to make sure you can make it on time.


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#3 of 12 Old 11-10-2010, 11:41 AM
 
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I can see that you're technically in the black, but you're cutting it close with the expenses you've listed here.  And, there's a lot I would think that you do have to spend on that you're not listing:

 

Clothes and shoes

Car maintenance

Gifts

Toys / activities for kids

Household items

 

etc. etc.  Plus all of the "little" expenses that add up - a coffee and snack for the kids, parking fees, copays for prescriptions (and dr's appointments?), the odd dinner out ...

 

For paying bills, I find it useful to do it online.  I can see that there are sufficient funds in the bank for what I am paying.  In your situation, I would split up the bills according to which paycheque they are to come out of.  Then, once the paycheque is deposited, I would immediately pay all of the bills that are slotted to come out of that paycheque, even if that means paying them "early".  

 

It looks like things are going to get a little easier for you soon, with the car payment gone and a reduction in rent.  For the next little while I would try tracking where all of your money is actually being spent.  Then, I would try making a realistic budget that includes items like clothing and car maintenance, and - hopefully - a little aside each month into an emergency fund.  

 

I hope that things get better for you soon smile.gif


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#4 of 12 Old 11-10-2010, 02:02 PM
 
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I only question why you don't have a family plan for the phones. Is it cheaper the way you have it now? I only ask because I find it easier to manage my bills the less I have.

 

You're fixed expenses are 1245 a month. That means $311 of every paycheck should be going to bills. Whether it's set aside for them or paying them.

 

I know that to pay all my bills I have to set aside $800 from each paycheck. Anything over $800 can go into savings or left out for an expense that I don't budget for. I have, have, HAVE to take my grocery/gas/extra money in cash. Then I know the rest is spoken for. I also have car insurance that is paid every 45 days, plus water/sewer and garbage bills that are paid every 3 months. I have to set $150 a month aside for these expenses too. That way when they all pop up around the same time, I have it there to pay them and there is no such thing as a tight month.

 

I bet you can't wait for that car payment to go away, it'll be so much easier!

 

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#5 of 12 Old 11-10-2010, 02:09 PM
 
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I was overdrafting a few months ago and went to my bank and asked for help.  I sat down with a lady there who looked through all of my automatic bill pays, plus when I made deposits, plus when and how much I was overdrafting.  It helped TREMENDOUSLY.  That might help you, too?

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#6 of 12 Old 11-10-2010, 02:16 PM
 
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I think you're missing some expenses from your list too, like bank fees which can push you into overdraft. My guess is simple overspending, but I agree that you need a spreadsheet for each week's bills.

 

On a practical level what I would suggest is that both you and your DH write down every. single. penny. you spend for at least a month and preferably three, and every dollar that comes in. (In my non-accounting-background family we call this an in/out ledger.)  It will give you a decent picture of where money is going, as opposed to a budget which tells you where your money OUGHT to be going.

 

The other plus of this is that your DH does need to have some involvement, IMO - it's fine if you're the bookkeeper but it's not fair if you're struggling to figure it out and he's not sharing any of the emotional & practical side of things.


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#7 of 12 Old 11-11-2010, 01:10 AM
 
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Your budget is missing some important categories, like entertainment or personal allowance.  If you have the wiggle room it's very helpful to have those categories set aside.  It helps with the feeling of being planned and in control (and not feeling deprived).  Like you want something and have the personal allowance for it, then it feels OK to buy yourself a little treat, instead of feeling guilty or worry about bills.  Hopefully with your increase income you'll be able to save a cushion, then you won't need to worry about bills too much.  We try to always keep $1000 in our bill payment account and never touch it to prevent overdraft.

 

Will you be able to borrow some books or take a class on personal finance?  Like any other life skills, it always helps to learn things properly.  I took two personal finance courses before and consider them some of the most valuable classes.  My mom doesn't handle money too well at all, but I don't have to be like her.


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#8 of 12 Old 11-11-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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is $150 per week for groceries realistic?  do you also go out to eat?  order in?  does dh buy himself lunch every day?

is $25 per week realistic for gas?  that's not even one tank of gas.

 

find out what you're actually spending.  i think it would be great to sit down with someone from the bank as suggested, but if you don't want to or don't have time to do that, you could request your past 90 days of activity, and comb through it yourself. 

 

aside from the categories people already mentioned, i'm wondering about medical/prescription copays, renter's insurance, and if there are any other utilities you didn't count here like trash, water, heat . . . i see that you rent, and if utilities are included other than electric and phone, that is awesome!  just thought i'd check.

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#9 of 12 Old 11-11-2010, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you so much!! this helps a lot... you ladies don't have any idea of how much your advice mean to me..

 

I'm sitting down my DH TODAY and will show him this so hopefully he can understand that he NEEDS to be on board..

 

The idea of taking courses is great... thank you!!!

 

We actually try to keep always our food budget in the $150, We eat out maybe once a month , but i try to fit that in there...

And gas, actually i just filled the tank last Sunday and took $47 , which last exactly two weeks...Our rent includes water, sewer and trash . And the renters insurance is $10, but that is included with the car insurance thats about $70..so not a bad deal.. We dont live in a great place but moved here with the idea of saving for a house... i dont see that happening if i cant do things work... We were able to pay all our debt and only have our car payment left but still struggling...

But im pretty sure that im missing something, otherwise the money should be on the bank...

Again, thank you thank you for taking the time to read!!!!


Mary- super proud nommy of Zyon(6-07) AND Ian (10-09)
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#10 of 12 Old 11-11-2010, 06:02 PM
 
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Hope your husband gets in tune with you --speaking from 25 years of experience --IT IS A MUST FOR YOUR SANITY!!

I still am in "charge " of paying all bills -his and mine (he has his own business and checking account)

If he tells me he is bringing home so much and then I say ok that means we need $ amt for next months bills then am off -I HEAR IT!

 

Good advice here ---thank God you do not have credit card bills to pay .


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Momma to 4 Indigo kids ,22,19,11 and 3
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#11 of 12 Old 11-13-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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My husband and I have money coming in at all times of the month.  For example: from my main job I get paid on the first and third thursday of the month.  I have a second job that pays on the 31st.  My husband gets paid on the first and 15th, and we have money that comes in from a rental property on the 1st. 

 

Our bills are due at all different times of the month too: our babysitter weekly, rent and student loans at the beginning of the month, kids music lessons at the beginning of the month, car insurance every 6 weeks and utilties at all different times througout the month. 

 

It makes me CRAZY.  Spreadsheets and budgets never helped.  The only thing that helped was making a special google calendar page for bill payments.  I print out the page for the month and write when money is coming in, then I budget/plan bill payments on that calendar page based on when money is coming in and when bills are due.  I wish so much that we could get all our paychecks on the first of the month, but it's not up to me.

 

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#12 of 12 Old 11-13-2010, 07:13 PM
 
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jgale, have you looked at The Money Book?  I have two part time jobs, plus CS coming in randomly (or not at all).  It advocated the percentage method.  Mostly focuses on freelancers and savings, but it really works with anyone with variable pay checks.

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