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Please check my budget (£2,823pm) or share yours so I can get some ideas where I'm going wrong.

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Please check my budget (£2,823pm) or share yours so I can get some ideas where I'm going wrong.

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I've noticed a few posts on MSE where people spend £600 to £800 per month in outgoings.
I'm amazed by this. I do a budget and keep track of it but I can't see how people can live so cheaply. I'm in a household with 4 adults and my current budget is as follows. I get my pay in allocate it as follows. I have two accounts. Regular monthly regular spend and irregular  expenditure. I move the proportional amount of irregular expenditure to a separate account monthly to help budget. I've rounded all figures up to the nearest pound. 
Regular Monthly Spend;
  1. Mortgage - £800
  2. Energy - £150
  3. TV License - £14
  4. Water - £46
  5. Life Insurance 1 £68
  6. Life Insurance 2 £12
  7. Car finance £59
  8. Council Tax £230
  9. Share dealing platform fees £20 
  10. Broadband £9
  11. Britbox £6
  12. Lottery £23
  13. Netflix £9
  14. Stadia £9
  15. Books £25
  16. Misc £75
  17. Groceries - £800
Irregular Spend (proportional amount moved to separate account monthly):
  1. Annual subs - £31
  2. Birthday presents - £35
  3. Christmas presents - £34
  4. Home and garden - £80 
  5. Home insurance £30
  6. Holiday fund - £100
  7. Car Insurance - £25
  8. Car maintenance £30
  9. New Car deposit saving - £28 
  10. Window cleaner - £12
  11. Clothes - £50
  12. Medical, dental, optical - £15
This gives a total monthly spend of £2,823

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Replies

  • ischris85ischris85 Forumite
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    Is it possible for you to bring down your monthly food costs? Plus how many times have you won on the lottery? Maybe time to give it up :)
  • JGB1955JGB1955 Forumite
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    I would be hard pushed to spend £400 per month on groceries for 4 people, let alone £800.  Your energy costs are high too - we have a 4 bed detached house and pay £64 per month for gas and electricity.  House and contents insurance comes to £13.  Denplan is one of our biggest bills at £59.  I guess a lot of these differences are down to where you live and your lifestyle.  Personally I wouldn't spend any money on Britbox, Netflix, Lottery, Stadia etc etc.  We also have no life insurance (or mortgage). Our total budget for all the items we consider 'needs' rather than 'wants' is £1000.
    #36 Saving for Christmas 2020 - £1 a day challenge.... £379/366
  • Robin9Robin9 Forumite
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    What do you spend on going out to the pub (now you can), cinema
    Never pay on an estimated bill
  • Retired_MinkyRetired_Minky Forumite
    133 posts
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    ischris85 said:
    Is it possible for you to bring down your monthly food costs? Plus how many times have you won on the lottery? Maybe time to give it up :)
    Thanks. will look at the grocery budget. What's a sensible amount. My SO plays the lottery. I've tried a few times to get them to cancel but no joy.JGB1955 said:
    I would be hard pushed to spend £400 per month on groceries for 4 people, let alone £800.  Your energy costs are high too - we have a 4 bed detached house and pay £64 per month for gas and electricity.  House and contents insurance comes to £13.  Denplan is one of our biggest bills at £59.  I guess a lot of these differences are down to where you live and your lifestyle.  Personally I wouldn't spend any money on Britbox, Netflix, Lottery, Stadia etc etc.  We also have no life insurance (or mortgage). Our total budget for all the items we consider 'needs' rather than 'wants' is £1000.
    Thanks. I'll look at £400 for monthly groceries. Also energy is on a standard payment per month recommended by the energy company. I can contact them to reduce but I presume it builds in excess payment to cover the winter months when gas usage is high. I'll look to see what excess funds have built up.
    Robin9 said:
    What do you spend on going out to the pub (now you can), cinema
    Me and my partner don't drink alcohol anymore so there is a saving there. 
    Also we don't go to the cinema as we have Netflix, Britbox. Also in my annual subs I get Amazon Prime, Disney Plus and a few other services so I'm not short of things to watch. I used to pay over £100 a month for Sky but the subscription services add up to a lot less.
    We don't really eat out either and prefer to cook fresh (or make in batches and re-heat). On the odd occasion where we go out we'll take the money out of one of the other pots e.g. misc.
    Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'll definitely look at the £400 suggestion for the grocery budget. 
     
  • Grumpy_chapGrumpy_chap Forumite
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    Look at your energy costs - you should be able to get that to below £100.
    Grocery at £800 seems extraordinarily high - there are alternative food stores other than Harrods Food Hall :)
    Does the 'investment' in the lottery yield a decent return?
    Misc £75 is your 5th largest spend, but what is it?  Is that social activities?
    Are you saying home insurance is £30 per month?  I just got my renewal at under £100 for the year.

    Also, you worked out your spend is £3k per month.  If that is less than income, it is no problem.
  • Sea_ShellSea_Shell Forumite
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    eskbanker said:
    Perhaps it's not very MSE to say it, but who's to say that spending £2,823 per month is 'going wrong'?  If your monthly income is less than this then clearly that's not sustainable, but if your income is higher then there may not be a problem as such, unless the surplus is too small to prevent you from achieving other financial objectives, whatever they may be.  In other words, look at your finances in the round....
    If your income is say £5k per month, and you're able to also save some, there's no problem, if you are happy.

    If your income is a bit tight, then yes, it might be worth looking at making savings.

    What income, savings, pensions etc do you have?
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow ":beer: JOB DONE!!
    This should now read "It's time to start digging up those Squirrelled Nuts"!!! :j:j:j
  • LittleVoiceLittleVoice Forumite
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    . . .
    I'm in a household with 4 adults and my current budget is as follows. I get my pay . . .
    in allocate it as follows. I have two accounts. Regular monthly regular spend and irregular  expenditure. I move the proportional amount of irregular expenditure to a separate account monthly to help budget. I've rounded all figures up to the nearest pound. 
    Regular Monthly Spend;
          Groceries - £800
    Irregular Spend (proportional amount moved to separate account monthly):
           Birthday presents - £35
           Christmas presents - £34
           Holiday fund - £100
           Clothes - £50
           Medical, dental, optical - £15
    You will see I've cut a number of items from your list as there is no point in commenting on them.
    But if there are 4 adults and one is your partner, are the other two necessarily dependent on you fully or in part?  For example, in full-time education and/or with a disability or pensionless older people?  Or is the income you are working with partly contributions from the other three?
    Spending £800 on groceries whilst not drinking alcohol is almost £7/day each for home cooked meals (and presumably things like laundry products). Any way it looks like that is for the entire household.
    On the other hand the "irregular" items I have left listed look like they could be the amount just for yourself.  If it is the household spend, then certainly an annual figure of £1,200 for holidays for 4 adults is low (in my eyes).

  • edited 5 July at 2:53PM
    burner03burner03 Forumite
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    edited 5 July at 2:53PM
    Wow, think we’ve that sole Stadia subscriber  :D

    Your bills do seem to be twice what our family of 4 spend each month and you seem to subscribe to a lot of entertainment services (other than the stadia one  :p )

    also personal preference I see little value in life assurance products as I’m blessed with godly vitality.
  • Retired_MinkyRetired_Minky Forumite
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    Look at your energy costs - you should be able to get that to below £100.
    Grocery at £800 seems extraordinarily high - there are alternative food stores other than Harrods Food Hall :)
    Does the 'investment' in the lottery yield a decent return?
    Misc £75 is your 5th largest spend, but what is it?  Is that social activities?
    Are you saying home insurance is £30 per month?  I just got my renewal at under £100 for the year.

    Also, you worked out your spend is £3k per month.  If that is less than income, it is no problem.
    The energy costs are high as we have an electric car. I used to do over 100 miles per day on this but not so much now so I should be able to reduce it.
    Good point about the groceries. I think £400 is more sensible and I'll adjust the budget. We should be able to cover it with that. Will cancel my trips to Harrods Food Hall :). The £75 covers cash from cashpoint, days out, etc. 
    £3k is less than my income but due to Covid my income might be reduced significantly. I want to adjust know and try to get used to it before I'm forced to.
    eskbanker said:
    Perhaps it's not very MSE to say it, but who's to say that spending £2,823 per month is 'going wrong'?  If your monthly income is less than this then clearly that's not sustainable, but if your income is higher then there may not be a problem as such, unless the surplus is too small to prevent you from achieving other financial objectives, whatever they may be.  In other words, look at your finances in the round....
    My current monthly income is more than my current expenditure but I'm trying to reduce it in advance of potential reduction in income.
    Sea_Shell said:
    eskbanker said:
    Perhaps it's not very MSE to say it, but who's to say that spending £2,823 per month is 'going wrong'?  If your monthly income is less than this then clearly that's not sustainable, but if your income is higher then there may not be a problem as such, unless the surplus is too small to prevent you from achieving other financial objectives, whatever they may be.  In other words, look at your finances in the round....
    If your income is say £5k per month, and you're able to also save some, there's no problem, if you are happy.

    If your income is a bit tight, then yes, it might be worth looking at making savings.

    What income, savings, pensions etc do you have?
    As above. Income is more than the current spend but would like to reduce it due to a potential drop in income 
    burner03 said:
    Wow, think we’ve that sole Stadia subscriber  :D

    Your bills do seem to be twice what our family of 4 spend each month and you seem to subscribe to a lot of entertainment services (other than the stadia one  :p )

    also personal preference I see little value in life assurance products as I’m blessed with godly vitality.

    I'll reduce the grocery budget to £400 and see if I can make this work. I love Stadia. Worth every penny. I've played over 100 hours on it and can't see me ever buying a console ever again.
    I need the life insurance as my child doesn't have enough income to get a mortgage to cover the house if we die. He'd be forced to sell. With this I can pass it on to him and he won't have to sell.
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