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).
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
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.
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.
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.
Out of that pay $400 groceries, $200 children's activities, and the rest goes to debt repayment.
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.
but we never do *sigh*
it seems like something always comes up...or something needs to be fixed etc.
Definately check into WIC at the very least for formula.
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!
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.
Happy Homesteading Homeschooling Homebirthing Beekeeping Dready (& a bit redneck even) Mama to 4 fab kids : dd (23), dd (13), ds (11), dd (5)