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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We have $700 in our emergency fund (had to pull from it for an emergency mattress purchase) and we have about $450 in cash for groceries, etc. while I'm not working. I'll earn another $150 extra from cleaning this month, and hopefully $120 next month. I also have about $60 coming from Cashduck for last month and on the 20th of April I should have another $100-150 coming from that. I get a paycheck each Friday for $320 but most of it goes out to cover bills and groceries. DP is supposed to make really good money but generally doesn't get full work weeks so it's very variable and would probably even out to $350 a week. He has one last paycheck from a restaurant job he did for a little while and that should be around $200.

Our monthly bills are as follows:

Rent $750
Power $100?
Cable $100
Verizon $130
Phone $16
Blockbuster Pass $16
Car $150
Insurance $100
Groceries $250
Costco trip $200
Debt $150

I think that should be all of it.

Are we going to make it? Will I be able to not work for at least a few weeks? At one point we had planned to have $1500 for my leave but "life" happened and we only have the $450. I'm thinking I could probably keep doing the cleaning (it's only 2 hours on the weekend) and that pays $30 a week, so I could probably cover our CC payments with that.

Thanks for your help.
 

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cut out cable, verizon, blockbuster. Cut back on convience food items if you are getting any. Buy more frugal but nutrious food like brown rice and beans (hardly any meat, use beans for protein).

Call all the people you owe and ask them to defer payments, they should be able to do it 6 months to a year.

I hope you can make things work out, with some creative budgeting you sholuld be fine.

Congrats on the baby, I hope you have a pleasant birth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Add-on -

The Verizon bill can't really be cut back at all. We have a family plan and have the least number of minutes possible, and we have insurance on both phones which turns out to be kind of a necessity for us, as we had to replace phone I think 5 times between November and February.

The cable could be cut back, but only for about $15 or $20 because they do those package deals. I could maybe look into getting the internet from someone else and maybe it would be cheaper, even without the tv discount.

The blockbuster pass is our entertainment fund for the month, but we could cancel that. But $16 a month? I'm not sure if it would be worth it really.

The costco trip is household stuff, diapers, wipes, and food. We buy bulk chicken and red meat, and split produce with our babysitter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by ~Megan~ View Post
Call all the people you owe and ask them to defer payments, they should be able to do it 6 months to a year.
Won't this just result in the interest accruing and possibly overlimit fees? If we can afford to make the minimum payment, isn't it better to make it?
 

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Honestly, the cable should be the first thing to go-in my opinion. We've never paid for cable-the package deal is just to get you to do all your business with their company. Shop around-we pay $45/month for high-speed internet. (High speed is a must for us with me going to school.) Cable would shoot that bill to $75-100/month. I would cut the cable and keep the Blockbuster.

I know you have insurance with your Verizon, but it still seems really expensive. Can you cut your land line?

I would take a hard look at everything you use-can you make household products, do a pantry challenge, etc.? You'd probably be amazed at how the little things could really add up.
 

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Get some energy saving light bulbs (we got ours for less than $1 a piece), this should cut back on the electricity bill, don't use your dryer, line-dry instead, only do cold laundry washes. All these things will cut back on your electricity usage. Also unplug all electric equipment.

We don't have a TV, so this cuts back on electricity and we do not pay $100 for cable. Also, you can still watch TV, without having cable, you will only get a handfull of channels, but it will cut back on costs. We pay 25 or so for the internet. Think about switching to dsl, it is usually cheaper, or go to a local coffeeshop, the local library to use the internet during your maternity leave.

Cut the Blockbuster pass. Go to your local library and rent videos there, or aks your friends to borrow their movies.

Cut back on convenience foods, try making more from scratch.

Edit: forgot your telephone bill. If you stay home, you don't need a cellphone. Get a prepaid one for emergencies (you can get those for $5 a month). At home switch to Skype or other free VOIP programs. We pay 30$ a year for free calls in the US and another $30 per year for a "real" phonenumber, so people can call us on our computer, it includes a voicemail. It does not work 100%, but it does work 98%, which is fine for me. We just have a cheap headset we use for microphone and speakers.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If we cancel Verizon, we will have an early termination fee of $300 - $175/line. Since we have a family plan, we only have a few options for the package we get, and we have the minimum.

Our cable bill is a combined internet and tv bundle, if we were to cut the tv option completely we would still be spending $45/month for the internet, which I need as I am a student and going to a public place with an 18 mo old and a newborn doesn't feel like a real good option.

I am expecting that when I am home we will spend a little less on groceries since I can do a little more at home, but we already buy very little by way of convenience items.

I'm not so much asking about ways to cut our bills - I know what they are, and I know how much we would save.

I'm more asking if you think that with our current bills and the money we have, how long you think we could go without my paycheck.
 

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It's hard to know, without knowing what your partner will bring to the table consistently. You said you have a combined tv/internet bundle, but those bundles aren't always the best deal. I pay them separately: $16 for basic cable...I pay $17.99 a month for Verizon DSL. As for Blockbuster, does your local library have DVDs? They probably do, and most even have a system where you can request a film and they'll get it from another library if they don't have it. It may just be $16, but that adds up when you're on a tight budget!

You may not have to cancel Verizon...just ask for a different deal. Sometimes you really have to pull teeth with them, asking for the very cheapest option, but it's worth it.
 

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I'd dump the Blockbuster, downgrade the cable (won't be missed, really) and focus on that massive Costco bill. Are you buying prepackaged items and lots of disposable products? Trim off what you don't need. Costco is very "want" oriented. My Costco bill used to be huge. Now I don't buy anything disposable and we barely spend $100 a month for a family of nine.

What are the deductibles on your car insurance? If they are low, you can save money by raising your deductible.

Also, this is temporary for maternity leave, but at one point in your life, you may decide to stay home and make this permanent. That is a difficult transition so if you master this now, you might have that option later on.
 

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First, let me say I totally know where you're coming from. I earn the lion's share of our family's income (5/6ths of it, almost exactly) and we're really sweating my maternity leave as well. I have 10 weeks off, and get 4 weeks of 70% salary from short term disability, and we've got to make sure that plus savings (right now $200, since we drained our emergency fund due to unemployment earlier in the year) will make it through. It's tough. Plus, since I'm not quitting my job, I don't really want to turn off needed or useful services that we can usually afford... the trouble and deposits just aren't worth it for 10 weeks, you know?

Quote:

Originally Posted by rosie_plus_one View Post
I'm not so much asking about ways to cut our bills - I know what they are, and I know how much we would save.

I'm more asking if you think that with our current bills and the money we have, how long you think we could go without my paycheck.
Do you have anything extra left over after you're paid? If not, you need to find an extra $320 per week in your budget to replace your paycheck... either things you've cut, or someone bringing in extra money.

Can your DH talk to his employer about getting more hours? That sounds like an obvious way to build your income. Is a second job, short term while you're pregnant, a possibility for him? If you put all that income into savings, it would really make a dent.

Second, what kind of debt do you have? Is it anything you could ask for a forbearance on (student loans, etc.)? It might be worth it to have them delay payments for however long you think you can stay out of work -- although that isn't an option if you think you want to SAH permanently. I'd also look into requoting your car insurance to see if you can cut that back, and perhaps switching to cloth diapers to cut down expenses there. Could you put your cell phone on "vacation suspend" for a while? You pay a minimal fee every month and it extends your contract for the months you've 'missed' but it might be an option.

I really wouldn't cancel Blockbuster, though. With a brand new baby, watching movies is about the only thing you can do and still nurse all the time. We tried the library thing, but not all libraries have a good (or any) DVD selection... nor are they open until midnight. Plus, it's like $5 to rent even an old release movie, so the pass is a great deal -- especially when you're postpartum and returning movies for new ones three times a day.
 

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Your dp makes roughly 1400 a month. Is your mat leave paid at all? If its just your $150-200 from cleaning and other monies with your current expenses then no, I don't think you can make it for 2-3 months. Combined you make 1600 and your expenses are $2000. Keep in mind you will then have no emergency fund.

That said, I'd look at dp picking up more shifts or cutting your expenses if sah is important to you. What do you spend your costco money on? Can it be cut?
 
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