What is your budget for food/household supplies/clothing/gifts? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 01-26-2013, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi!

 

I'm working on a fairly strict budget with the goal of saving enough for a down payment on a house in the next three years.  I live in a moderately-high cost of living area.

 

I'm having a hard time determining what a reasonable amount is for household expenses.

 

After you take out savings, insurance, rent/mortgage, utilities, etc.--how much do you spend on your routine everyday kind of expenses?

 

The things I'm looking at are...

 

Groceries

Eating Out

Gifts

Household Supplies (toilet paper, dish soap, etc.)

Personal Supplies (shampoo, feminine hygiene, makeup, etc.)

Pet Supplies (food, toys, etc.)

Gas/Car Maintenance

Crafts/Hobby

 

Any advice?

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#2 of 12 Old 01-26-2013, 11:35 AM
 
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I would love to hear more about this too.  We are in a very high cost of living area and none of the statistics out there on the internet come close to the cost of basics for our family of 4 (me eating more because I'm growing baby #3).

 

I don't break down a difference between Groceries, Household supplies and Personal Supplies.  All these things come from the grocery store, so I lump them all together.  Here is what we spend, on average, and as my husband will tell you, I hold the purse strings pretty tightly.  : )

 

* Groceries (anything from the grocery store)  $200 - $300 per week, averaging $1000 - $1200 per month.  I cook mostly from scratch, including bread, not much packaged stuff. 

* CSA box from local farm - $80 - $100 per month  

* Eating Out - We used to spend around $150 per month, but have had to cut way back on eating out.  (Avg meal out is $25-$30 at a taqueria or $50-$70 at a nicer restaurant)

* Gifts - actual expenditure changes throughout the year, but we would be setting aside $150 per month in an idea world so x-mss doesn't hit us so hard.

* Pet needs - $200 - $250 per month - we have goats, sheep and cats.  More is spent in summer because the pasture is dry by then, much less spent in winter.

* Car Gas - $120 per month (one car, used for DH commute, the kids and I are on bike Mon-Fri . . . but we'll need another vehicle for about a year when newest babe is here)

* Car maintenance - $35 three times a year for oil changes, new car means monthly payment but no other maint. needs until 90,000 miles.

* Crafts/Hobby - $20 per month (luckily we have an awesome craft thrift store nearby)

 

Then we have lessons for the kiddos and a monthly pledge for their school, since public schools in CA barely have enough funding to keep the lights on these days.

 

I often wish my family and community could travel with me to a less expensive place to live!  

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#3 of 12 Old 01-26-2013, 11:37 AM
 
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It really is different for everyone....Depends on how large your family is, where you live..ect. My adice is just to track your spending for a month to see what you spend.

 

 

Groceries/Household Supplies $800 This would also include  Personal Supplies (shampoo, feminine hygiene, makeup, etc.)

Eating Out: We really don't eat out much because were we live...so I would say less then $50..more like $20

Gifts: I'm always on the look out for gifts for year round...depends on the month and what I can find. There might be a month that I spend $100 and then don't spend anything for 5 months.

Pet Supplies (food, toys, etc.) We don't have any pets

Gas/Car Maintenance:  less then $100 a month on gas, we have money set a side in our EF for everything else.

Crafts/Hobby: We really don't have any....we have dish...so $50

Clothes:about $50-$100 depends on anyones needs...more like $50

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#4 of 12 Old 01-26-2013, 12:59 PM
 
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For per person measurements I'll make my toddlers count as 1/2 person..

 

Groceries/Eating Out/Household Supplies/Personal Supplies: $140/person total

 

Pet Supplies (food, toys, etc.): $25-50/year..we have a small mini poodle and he doesn't eat much. We buy the biggest bag of food available.

 

Gas/Car Maintenance: $600/mo excluding the actual payment. We are moving much closer to the area of town that we do the most so hope to take $200 at least off. We have a sinking fund for oil changes, registration, etc.

 

Crafts/Hobby: We don't have anything in this category...


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#5 of 12 Old 01-26-2013, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for the replies!  They have been very helpful!

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#6 of 12 Old 01-26-2013, 11:17 PM
 
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Hi, we are also trying to save to buy a house in the next 3-5 years. We live in a high cost of living area with 3 kids (7,4, and 7mo), this is my current budget-

 

 

Groceries- We spend about $1000 a month. This includes everything you buy at a grocery store (vitamins, some personal supplies, etc) I cook a lot & my husband brings a lunch to work every day. We eat mainly organic vegetarian & gluten free. This also includes eating out, which we don't really do, but might go to a coffee shop 2-3x a month. I can't seam to get it lower then this. This month we 'only' spent $850 on food but we are out of almost everything & will probably spend extra next month to restock:(

 

 

I lump gifts, other household supplies (like from Target), craft/hobby, co-pays, clothing, and seasonal things into 'misc spending', we aim for $350/m (we often go over this, something I'm working on)

 

Pet Supplies (food, toys, etc.) about $60/m for 7 chickens and 1 cat

 

Gas- $220/m

 

Car Maintenance- I use to put $220 aside for repairs, but now I just put everything I can into savings and only take out for large repairs my budget can't include. This is probably not the best way to do it but it is so irregular, some years we spend a ton & some very little.

 

It obviously varies a lot! Track your spending for a month or two, write a basic budget & take your planned saving money out first! Good luck:)


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#7 of 12 Old 01-27-2013, 08:29 AM
 
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I guess my numbers may be a bit different than everyone's, we live in a fairly high COL area too, but make a lot of sacrifices in the areas that we can, because our mortgage and medical costs alone eat up 99% of our income!

Groceries: $450 (max, for 3 of us -- often we're able to get by on less if I plan well, mostly by shopping every 2 weeks instead of weekly)

Eating Out: $0 (unless we have a gift card or something)

Gifts: $5-10 (I mostly look for new-in-box things at the thrift store, but sometimes have to pitch in on group gifts)

Household Supplies (toilet paper, dish soap, etc.): $3 (we mostly use family cloth, cloth napkins, diluted soap, etc.)

Personal Supplies (shampoo, feminine hygiene, makeup, etc.): $0.50 (ACV, cloth pads, no makeup)

Pet Supplies (food, toys, etc.): $5 (we just have one small cat)

Gas/Car Maintenance: $250 (doesn't include insurance, that's mostly gas for work commute and appointments, UGH!)

Crafts/Hobby: $0 (wish I could spend in this category but there's no room in the budget)

Clothing: $0 (we all wear hand-me-downs... mostly with holes and stains lol...)

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#8 of 12 Old 01-27-2013, 02:52 PM
 
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I combine groceries, household and pets into one category.  I budget $600/month, but it's usually comes under that.

 

Eating out: $0.  If we eat out, it comes out of our grocery amount.

 

Clothing: $1000/year

 

Gasoline: $225

 

Gifts: $50 (usually don't spend that much though).

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#9 of 12 Old 01-28-2013, 04:11 AM
 
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Groceries, Household Supplies (toilet paper, dish soap, etc.) - 500 / mth

Eating Out - 200 / mth (a guess; twice a week)

 

Personal Supplies (shampoo, feminine hygiene, makeup, etc.) -

100 / year - that's a guess, its part of the grocery budget I guess  (My shampoo lasts half a year, I wash my hair twice a week or less. I do buy expensive shampoo, but I just dont use much, Wash once, rinse.; & I purchase OB tampons. No make up but I do buy nice face cream, which also seems to not run out.

 

Pet Supplies (food, toys, etc.) - approx 40 / mth which covers annual vet checkup (budgeted 300/yr for three animals) and food - bulk size bags of food for 20 or less (one for cats, one for dog).

 

Gas/Car Maintenance -

70 / mth for gas (two fill ups / month - I walk to work);

25 / mth for maintenance (oil changes, inspection) repair costs come from other savings.

 

 

Gifts - this would fluctuate, If I was on a tight budget, I would get creative here.

Crafts/Hobby -


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#10 of 12 Old 01-28-2013, 05:15 AM
 
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Groceries: $80-100/wk - includes everything household, and if we eat out, which is rare. I cook from scratch most of the time.

Eating Out: $0 (unless we have a gift card or something)

Gifts: $5-10/wk. I buy if I see something on sale and I save the rest for birthdays and holidays

Household Supplies: included in groceries

Personal: included in groceries (cloth pads, no makeup)

Pet Supplies (food, toys, etc.): $20/wk We just adopted a black Lab so food is about $10/wk then the rest goes to savings for heart worm, flea and tick prevention, and annual vaccines

Gas/Car Maintenance: $240/wk ($200 for gas. $40 to savings for oil changes and misc issues)

Crafts/Hobby: $0 (I take it from groceries if we need something. We scrapbook and knit)

Clothing: $5/wk (mostly clearance, yardsales, and thrift)
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#11 of 12 Old 01-28-2013, 05:34 AM
 
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There is a great computer program called: YNAB (you need a budget). It's like the old envelope system. There are webinars that a free to help you learn to manage your money.
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#12 of 12 Old 01-28-2013, 05:56 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemylab View Post

There is a great computer program called: YNAB (you need a budget). It's like the old envelope system. There are webinars that a free to help you learn to manage your money.

 

I used the free version of YNAB for a month and learned a ton!  In the end, I was not willing to pay for it, cancelled my subscription, but used a lot of the YNAB ideas and built my own budget using Excel.  But it is a good program.  

 

I use my excel files and Mint to track our money.  I love Mint since it gives me a snap shot of our entire financial life -- 401K, house, credit cards, savings, checking, student loan, etc.  You can also set categories to track daily expenses.  Works very well.  And it is free!


Frugal, food growing mama to my four loves

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