Curious about non-fixed expenses... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 06-03-2014, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Curious about non-fixed expenses...

Hi ladies! I am transitioning from working full time mom to stay at home mom and I'm trying to figure out what living on one income is going to look like for my family. After bills/rent/fixed expenses, we will have about $1000/month left for groceries and other non-fixed expenses. For some reason I can't wrap my head around that number... is that enough, not enough? I don't know.

I am curious as to what other families have left over after fixed expenses and whether it is enough?

Thank you for reading and sharing.
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#2 of 7 Old 06-03-2014, 10:20 PM
 
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It really varies...

I think it depends on a lot of factors. Do you know how much you spend on food? And by non-fixed expenses do you mean clothing, car repair, hair cut, birthdays, etc? We live in a HCL area and that would NOT be enough, but we also spend lot on food!

I don't think it would be impossible but would be stressful, curious to see what others think.

How many kids do you have?
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#3 of 7 Old 06-03-2014, 10:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have a 4 y/o and 8 month old. I'm not sure if I live in a HCL location- where can I find that info? I typically spend $125/week on groceries. We don't do haircuts... It's almost like I need a list of all the "little" things to take into consideration...
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#4 of 7 Old 06-04-2014, 11:13 AM
 
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You can go back through receipts to see where you are spending. We track expenses to the $1. I found that a person can save a lot in a few categories:

entertainment & electronics (ditch phones, dining out, media subscriptions, etc.)

cosmetics & hygiene (a bar of good soap works for every body, makeup & lotions are largely unneccesary, baking soda & a drop of EO instead of toothpaste, etc.)

gasoline (stay home, consolidate errands)

groceries (low carb saves us a TON of $, grown own herbs & veggies, avoid paper products & myriad petroleum cleaners)

What we've learned is that you have to prioritize "not spending" as opposed to "saving." It becomes a lifestyle. The beauty of the lifestyle is that it's healthier and easy to take with you anywhere in the world.
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#5 of 7 Old 06-04-2014, 06:37 PM
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Yeah, it really depends on what you mean by "non-fixed" expenses. Do you already have categories for doctor bills and car repairs, for example? Just this month, I spent $200 on doctor bills for my son's broken wrist (after the insurance paid their part), and $200 to get my car windshield replaced because it had a bad crack in it.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#6 of 7 Old 06-07-2014, 12:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you gals. I use essential oils to diy most household stuff, toiletries etc. and we are grain-free.

I am definitely going to go back through receipts.

I don't really have doctor bills... I suppose that would come out of our Emergency Fund if that happened?
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#7 of 7 Old 06-08-2014, 08:36 AM
 
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Yes, emergency fund. Annual expenses that are medical we budget separately, such as eyeglasses and prescriptions. Emergency fund for us is stuff like replacing or repairing an appliance and unforeseen medical costs. We don't skimp on insurances, probably are overinsured, but it's been very helpful for fender-benders, lost luggage, dental emergencies, etc. Rather pay a small fixed amount regularly than face a "surprise" expense that would be a hardship to pay.

We are also extremely careful with clothing. We stock up when we find something that works & is a good value. I also buy the best quality we can reasonably afford. We use work clothes and aprons, and with air drying and sparing use of laundry soap we can get 15+ years out of our clothes. My husband still wears several pairs of jeans that I bought for him 20 years ago. I haven't bought any clothing for us (except underwear and socks) in at least 8 years. I'm always amazed & disappointed at the poor quality and poor value of so many clothes in stores these days, even "high end" retailers.

Can you sew? I can do some alterations and mending. I also make our fitted sheets and pillowcases from flat sheets as sometimes flat sheets are a better value than sheet sets.

You will find many little ways to avoid spending. I always consider spending to be a last resort.

Last edited by pumabearclan; 06-09-2014 at 04:50 AM.
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