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What are 'essential living expenses'?

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What are 'essential living expenses'?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
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FrankieMFrankieM Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
My DH would like to become a teacher. It would mean a large drop in income and that in itself puts him off cause he doesn't think we can afford it.

I've decided that if we lived off what we would get if he was a teacher, we would be able to see how well we'd manage.
So I've gone to entitled to and added what his salary would be to what we would get benefits wise and come up with a total...

It comes to about £1800 a month for 2 adults and 4 children so I'm trying to work out a budget for that.
The thing is there are some things that we spend money on now that we wouldn't nessecarily buy on a smaller income and there are some things that I cover using expenses that my DH gets with his current job...

I'm not sure how much sense I'm making...but I guess I'm trying to work out what are essential living expenses for the 6 of us and what are extras that I would try to cover with cashback/ matched betting etc..

I hope someone understands what I'm trying to say...??

( I thought I'd put it here cause its not debt related, I thought 'oldstyle living' related!)
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  • DianaMattosDianaMattos Forumite
    131 posts
    Hi Frankie,

    I would say that absolute essential living expenses are as follows:

    Rent/mortgage
    Gas/elec/water (though you can be frugal in your use of these)
    Council Tax
    Phone line (questionable?!)
    Food
    Clothing as needed

    Not so absolute essentials (in my opnion)
    Car (MOT, Tax, Petrol)
    Internet
    Mobile phone
    TV Licence
    Money aside for presents/giving
    Fun money

    There are many many ways to cut back on living expenses - I grew up living on very little, then my university days were funded by me and thus the way of living has carried on for me!

    If you want to cut right back, think 'does this keep me alive', if it does, it's an essential!

    Hope this helps to start you off!

    Love Di x
  • hilstep2000hilstep2000 Forumite
    3.1K posts
    Hi Frankie,
    I have £1500 a month coming in, and luckily don't have a mortgage.
    However, I do have a personal loan, so you have to factor that in. Don't forget any credit card debt either.
    Otherwise, I agree with Diana. You don't need Sky, or internet access (use the library for free), you don't need new clothes, (Unless they're really worn out, and there's always ebay or charity shoops for those):o
    Meals from scratch are cheaper than ready meals. Don't have takeaways or eat in restaurants unless it's an occasion.
    A mobile can sometimes be cheaper than a landline, depending on your deal and how much you use it.
    I Believe in saving money!!!:T
    A Bargain is only a bargain if you need it!




  • pigpenpigpen Forumite
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    Priorities in here are

    mortgage
    council tax
    loan
    utilities
    food (yes a measly 5th on my list)
    credit card

    After that is

    water/phone (not every month expenses so easy to budget for every 3-6 months)
    mobiles (we have 3)

    catalogues/storecard.. I usually pay these with the credit card them pay the credit card off at the end of the month.. this way I collect points AND pay my catalogues

    There are 10 of us and we get £1700 a month plus the tax credits and child benefit and DLA+ carers allowance for one of the children.

    My hubby left work and went to uni when we had 4 children.. it was a struggle.. BUT we moved to rented housing so that was paid all but £1.20 a week, the council tax was paid all but a little bit. We still had to pay school dinners though and trnsport to and from uni/school.. we resorted to bikes for everyone!

    If I had known how hard it would have been for us I wouldn't have let him do it.
    LB moment 10/06 Debt Free date 6/6/14
    Hope to be debt free until the day I die
    Mortgage-free Wannabee (05/08/30)
    6/6/14 £72,454.65 (5.65% int.)
    06/04/2021 £44534.88 (2.41% int.)
  • pavlovs_dogpavlovs_dog Forumite
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    hey frankie - do you mean a drop in money whilst he is training, or will teaching wages (around £22k for a newly qualified teacher before deductions, outside of london) be significantly less than you are used to?

    essential costs? if you head up to the debt free wannabe board there is a great sticky about how to make an SOA (statement of affairs). it is basically a kind of budget that gets you to look at all the things you might possibly have to pay out for, and how much 'life' costs you. filling one in makes it easier to see where you are overspending, easy places to cut back.

    a drop in money can be hard to get used to, whether it means lifestyle changes or scraping pennies to survive each month. but with the right attitude, and the advice from this fab site, it CAN be done, so chin up!
    know thyself
    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
  • FrankieMFrankieM Forumite
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    Hi,
    Thats quite helpful so far!!

    We just have the mortgage, nothing else and we would think about selling and renting if that worked out better for us...

    I would try to stick to a third of our income on rent/ mortgage, so that would bring me down to £1200 per month for everything else...( gulp!)

    At the moment the things I try to cover with DH's expenses are:
    broadband
    landline telephone
    DH's mobile phone
    all of DH's car costs...MOT/tax/insurance/petrol/repairs
    DH's £10 weekly pocket money

    So that leaves:
    mortgage
    mortgage repayment insurance
    council tax
    water
    gas
    electric
    my car costs
    my mobile phone
    food
    mine and children's pocket money
    my petrol
    holidays
    clothes
    birthdays/ christmas/ other celebrations.
  • CaterinaCaterina Forumite
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    HI Frankie

    Can I add something: unless you are on real dire straits, please do not cut off ALL fun money! It is possible to have a lot of fun for free of course and this forum is fab for this sort of things, but even being skint you NEED an occasional treat. Just work a bit harder to find the free treats, I suppose, and have the odd bottle of wine/indian takeaway/pot of face cream or whatever tickles your and your family's fancy!

    Good luck with the downshifting, it can be done painlessly if you plan it well, and make it FUN too!

    Caterina
    Finally I'm an OAP and can travel free (in London at least!).
  • FrankieMFrankieM Forumite
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    pavlov...

    He is untrained and it seems the best way to do it is to go in as an unqualified teacher and train at the same time, that way we get some money. £14571 then tax credits are added to that which makes it more doable...I think, anyway.
    It is still a significant drop, though I don't spend up to our income at the moment...
  • ubamotherubamother Forumite
    1.2K posts
    just a few thoughts - presumably at least some of DH's expenses were initially a cost for him - ie. business miles/phones etc. so those bills might go down a bit?
    Also, do you have a moveable mortgage to save money, or does your mortgage allow for a payment break, or could you negotiate lower payments?
    Depending on what sort of teaching he wants to do is there any grants/golden hellos available?
    Is it actually better income-wise for him to go in as unqualified and train? Are there grants/student loans/golden hellos available if he wanted to go to uni and do it?

  • FrankieMFrankieM Forumite
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    I'm not sure about grants etc...it just seemed to be better for us with regards to tax credits if he was 'working'...

    We have a oneaccount at the moment, which is fab for us now, but wouldn't be if/ when our income drops....we would either change our mortgage provider or sell and then rent..

    At the moment pretty much all of his expenses...car/petrol/mobile/broadband etc are covered by the expenses he receives from work.
    I'm hoping that most of those would no longer exsist or at least to a much lesser extent!!

    Does anyone else pay for different parts of the budget with different money...say clicks, ebay etc cover non essential items??
  • jackk_2jackk_2 Forumite
    288 posts
    pigpen wrote: »
    Priorities in here are

    mortgage
    council tax
    loan
    utilities
    food (yes a measly 5th on my list)
    credit card

    After that is

    water/phone (not every month expenses so easy to budget for every 3-6 months)
    mobiles (we have 3)

    catalogues/storecard.. I usually pay these with the credit card them pay the credit card off at the end of the month.. this way I collect points AND pay my catalogues

    There are 10 of us and we get £1700 a month plus the tax credits and child benefit and DLA+ carers allowance for one of the children.

    My hubby left work and went to uni when we had 4 children.. it was a struggle.. BUT we moved to rented housing so that was paid all but £1.20 a week, the council tax was paid all but a little bit. We still had to pay school dinners though and trnsport to and from uni/school.. we resorted to bikes for everyone!

    If I had known how hard it would have been for us I wouldn't have let him do it.


    I'm starting Uni in Sept :eek: , oooh eck :rotfl: :rotfl: .

    Jackie x
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