How much do you have left over when the bills are paid? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 04-30-2008, 03:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi there!

I am a new mama, happily transitioning to staying at home with our son. We've been accustomed to a two-income household, so adjusting to one is going to be very challenging, but I feel confident that with some sacrifice and creativity, it can be done.

After all our bills are paid--rent, utilities, student loans, etc.--we have about $750 left over each month for food, gas, savings, and miscellaneous expenses. I'm currently planning on divvying it up in the following way, but I'm not sure how realistic the food budget is (I'm sure larger families do with much less), and I'm struggling with the fact that there is really no money for savings.

$400 Groceries (incl. household items like toilet paper, pet food, etc.)
$150 Formula (baby is almost 100% supplemented because of medical condition that I have)
$55 Prescription medications for me
$120 Gas (for one car)
$25 left over for savings? miscellaneous expenses?

I'm sure I can reduce these amounts. We can do even better with coupons, use generic formula, and DH is planning to ride his bike to work whenever possible. But it would be good to hear it can be done.

How do you allocate the money remaining after your bills are paid?

K(h)aren. Writing/editing mama to my quixotic Sam (12.07) and my intrepid William (01.11).

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#2 of 32 Old 04-30-2008, 03:59 PM
 
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we have about $550 left over. for three people we have a budget of $250 for food a month and $200 for gas and the rest goes into savings. my hubby works overtime alot so we take the extra and put it into savings and paying more towards our student loan principle. i am very much a tightwad with our grocery bill and how much gas we use. i over budget on gas and food though just in case.
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#3 of 32 Old 04-30-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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Lets see
Net income roughly $2000 (I make $8.75 an hour but I work overtime and donate plasma)


water, sewer, trash $40
electric (average) $100
car insurance $25
cell phone $80
cable, internet $65
storage $25
karate $80
online gaming $15

Total is $430 in bills. So about $1570 left over for all other living expenses. I'm going back to school in the fall so I will have to pay for tuition and books for whatever th Pell grant doesn't cover.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

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#4 of 32 Old 04-30-2008, 04:02 PM
 
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Back in January, we figured out where all our money went...but since then, my husband had a raise and we got rid of our cell phone plans.

I'd say that, most likely, we have about $600 left over a month? Of course, it fluctuates-- especially if we have a couple shopping trips where I buy in bulk to help keep our saved goods up.

We do not have credit cards, the cars are paid off. All extra just sits in the checking account, looking happy. Eventually, we'll probably put some of the extra into our savings-- though I've just been putting extra $ that I make there.

It is totally doable to live on one income-- sometimes it takes a bit of sacrifice and getting used to a new normal.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#5 of 32 Old 04-30-2008, 04:49 PM
 
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According to our budget we should have approximately $600-$800 left after paying the bills each month but we are blowing it by spoiling our children and making home improvements, so we are joining the no-spending challenge and the Dave Ramsey plan for May to start killing our car loans instead.

I count every necessary monthly expense as a "bill" (groceries, gas, etc) instead of just divvying up what is left after we pay the mortgage and utilities.

mommy to ds 11/05, dd1 01/08, and dd2 01/10!
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#6 of 32 Old 04-30-2008, 05:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kharen View Post
$150 Formula (baby is almost 100% supplemented because of medical condition that I have)
$55 Prescription medications for me
Check with Wic and Medicaid. Since you will all be living on one income, it's possible that you will at least qualify for WIC so you can get formula for your baby. It wouldn't hurt to ask. Also, Walmart, Kmart and I believe some other pharmacies have $4 prescriptions, see if that would help lower your medication expenses, as well as seeing if Medicaid can help.

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#7 of 32 Old 04-30-2008, 11:38 PM
 
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we are broke at the end of the month, and we live by a budget. rising gas prices have killed us.

Kristin- Wife to J, Mommy to B (11), M-S (8), and little J (4) and J&J (7 months)
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#8 of 32 Old 04-30-2008, 11:47 PM
 
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We have at least $1000 leftover. DH gets paid commission on top of his salary. So that part changes monthly. The entire commission check goes towards debt repayment.

Out of that pay $400 groceries, $200 children's activities, and the rest goes to debt repayment.

SAHM to the munchkins (14.5, 11.5, 9.5, 3, and almost 2)
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#9 of 32 Old 04-30-2008, 11:50 PM
 
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you mean theres supposed to be money left?
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#10 of 32 Old 04-30-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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I count all necessary expenses as bills, including groceries and gas.

We just hope that there's something left at the end of the month. When there is, it's spent on those months that we don't make ends meet. Like a previous poster said, all these rising prices of everything are absolutely killing us. Dh recently got a raise, but it doesn't even feel like it since all our expense went up.
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#11 of 32 Old 05-01-2008, 12:02 AM
 
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you mean theres supposed to be money left?
no kidding! what is this "left over" of which you all speak???

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#12 of 32 Old 05-01-2008, 12:05 AM
 
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I won't give a specific number, but we put about 20-25% into a savings account before we even see the rest. And dh contributes about 5-6% to 401K. So, that's what we have left over. The rest is spent on rent, groceries, gas, utilities, credit card bills (we charge everything), insurance, one car payment, one student loan. We pay our credit card bills in full every month.
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#13 of 32 Old 05-01-2008, 12:29 AM
 
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We are able to put $25-$40 a month in savings on a good month. We also have no debt but the house.
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#14 of 32 Old 05-01-2008, 12:40 AM
 
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Nothing left here either

Sarah knit.gif married to Micah, mama to dd1 (9), dd2 (7) and ds (2). We love to homeschool.gif h20homebirth.gif goorganic.jpgchicken3.gif
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#15 of 32 Old 05-01-2008, 12:46 AM
 
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technically after EVERYTHING is paid for (including groceries and gas and bills etc) we should have about 300 leftover each month

but we never do *sigh*

it seems like something always comes up...or something needs to be fixed etc.
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#16 of 32 Old 05-01-2008, 05:48 AM
 
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Going by our new budget, we have about $700 a month leftover (not including groceries, as I count that as a bill/expense too), but this will be the first month for that as we just paid off our car and credit card. We WERE living with just $250 a month leftover.

Definately check into WIC at the very least for formula.
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#17 of 32 Old 05-01-2008, 07:19 AM
 
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Mortgage, phone, utilities, insurance, and dd's school tuition are actually only about 1/3 of our net income.

So moneies after our bills are allocated for various things such as groceries, eating out, retirement savings, car fund savings (we anticipate buying an new car in about 3 years), regular savings, vacation savings, etc so that each dollar is going toward something. Our food bill is by far the single most expensive category in our budget.

I'm a big believer (and have saying this for years here) that you should never have a "miscellaneous" category in your budget. If you are going to use it for coffee with the girls, label it such. That miscellaneous category can bring you down financially. Good luck!
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#18 of 32 Old 05-01-2008, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies! You've given me a lot to think about. I appreciate it!

K(h)aren. Writing/editing mama to my quixotic Sam (12.07) and my intrepid William (01.11).

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#19 of 32 Old 05-01-2008, 11:30 AM
 
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I agree...make sure you check out WIC! It's really a great tool...besides formula, your baby can get cereal, and you can get products too...as long as you are nursing even once a day...that could help with your groceries.

As far as savings, this is how I look at it...savings is a bill in our budget. And I adjust around other things so that the savings doesn't suffer. Think of it like your rent...unchangable.

If you take everything that you spend money on in a month...everything...and make it a category in your budget, it is really helpful...and then if there is a month say you don't have medical bills, you have some extra savings.
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#20 of 32 Old 05-01-2008, 12:04 PM
 
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Right now, after all neccessary expenses, we have approx $70 left.

Which is a big improvement, because in Buffalo (just moved to FL), we had -$800.
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#21 of 32 Old 05-01-2008, 03:16 PM
 
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I agree...make sure you check out WIC! It's really a great tool...besides formula, your baby can get cereal, and you can get products too...as long as you are nursing even once a day...that could help with your groceries.
be careful doing that though. If you get breastfeeding food from wic, it lowers the amount of formula you are entiteled to.
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#22 of 32 Old 05-01-2008, 04:54 PM
 
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we have about 350$ left over after paying bills/gas/food.

We send that $$ over to a high yield checking account & it sits.

Married Mom to K(8), K(7) & C born March 23rd.
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#23 of 32 Old 05-03-2008, 07:16 AM
 
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be careful doing that though. If you get breastfeeding food from wic, it lowers the amount of formula you are entiteled to.
yup, I wouldn't mention bfing if what you really need is formula. Formula is a lot more expensive that a can of tuna and a pound of carrots.

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#24 of 32 Old 05-03-2008, 11:42 AM
 
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After bills we have $400 to pay for groceries, gas, and other household items. Not much. After groceries and gas...about $100. We make it though.
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#25 of 32 Old 05-05-2008, 03:05 PM
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We have NOTHING left over at the end of each pay period, aside from our e-fund and the $100/pay check we are putting aside to buy a beater truck for hubby. We are up to our eyeballs in debt still, and every last penny we make goes to some bill or another.
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#26 of 32 Old 05-05-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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Boy has this thread helped me. We are about to make a giant lifestyle change and we will have about $1000 a month for groceries, gas, farmwork, fun, birthdays, etc. I was feeling really like it might be impossible. I guess not. I have A LOT to learn from you ladies.
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#27 of 32 Old 05-05-2008, 04:32 PM
 
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We have a thousand or so left after all bills (gas and food included). It always gets spent, though. We have a kid in college across the country, and we have a MIL and 3 kids at home.... My dh has the best boss in the world because we were spending almost $500/month in gas for him to get to work (hour commute each way), and he was given an extra $400/month because of the gas prices.

Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids :  dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)

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#28 of 32 Old 05-05-2008, 10:50 PM
 
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We have $330 for food, gas and anything else that's not a "bill." Dh donates plasma twice a week, and that gives us an extra $65 a week.

Mama to two lovely boys and a new baby due mid-May 2011
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#29 of 32 Old 05-05-2008, 10:53 PM
 
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About 30% of our income is left over. Since getting pg, I've always managed to spend about 1/2 of it.
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#30 of 32 Old 05-06-2008, 03:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Equuskia View Post
yup, I wouldn't mention bfing if what you really need is formula. Formula is a lot more expensive that a can of tuna and a pound of carrots.
I always wonder if the breastfeeding rates would skyrocket if WIC offered food for moms that totaled the same amount as the formula they offer. I think it's great that they support both - don't get me wrong - but I think you get about $150 worth of formula each month. If a breastfeeding mom received $150 worth of meat, veggies, starches, etc... I would think it would encourage more women to try it.
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