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  • FIRST POST
    • walletmoths
    • By walletmoths 27th Jul 17, 8:38 PM
    • 29Posts
    • 40Thanks
    walletmoths
    Where am I going wrong?
    • #1
    • 27th Jul 17, 8:38 PM
    Where am I going wrong? 27th Jul 17 at 8:38 PM
    Hi everyone,

    My family and I live on a tight budget, so we can live to our means, and generally this works out OK - but just recently, after moving to a smaller and cheaper house, it's all getting out of control, and last week we'd just got 3.50 left in the whole world! So, where am I going wrong? I wanted to post my budget on here to see if you can spot something that's not right.

    Any advice, much appreciated - thanks, but please, no judgment. I'm doing my best here, you know...

    My budget is worked out with the help of CAPmoney's website. It helps you split the costs into monthly amounts. I'd definitley recommend it and their free course is a real eye opener if you're in debt.

    Here goes:

    Benefits: child benefit for 2 children
    We're not entitled to anything else. Believe me, I've tried

    Mortgage: 586.17

    I know we're getting a bit ripped off with this, but you wouldn't believe what I had to go through to get my bank to allow us to move cheaper, as we have bad debts and were locked into a house that cost too much, that we'd never be able to fully pay for, and no mortgage lender would touch us!

    Council tax: 116 (band B) - I've double checked the banding.
    Unmetered water: 27.64 - which is actually cheaper than metered (in this new area we've moved to)
    Gas & electric: 88
    TV licence: 12
    Landline & broadband: 45 (only BT would accept us without a credit check)
    PAYG mobile credits: 20 (haven't found a place that'll let us have anything else - yet. It's the debts. They follow you around like a bad smell...)
    House insurance: 37.99
    Food (for 4): 90pw
    Clothes and shoes (for all): 60
    Boiler service savings: 10
    School shoes: 175pa
    Home maintenance savings: 30
    Simply Health policy: 18.60 (really handy for glasses and dentist)
    Hair cuts (all): 35.80 per month
    Petrol: 56pw (covers work commuting and one extra journey)
    Car servicing, maintenance, MOT, tyres etc: 33.33pm (my car is OLD, and it actually cost more than this to keep on the road last year)
    Car insurance: 33.83
    Road tax: 305pa (mega high! The price I seem to have to pay for having an old car)
    2 days of school dinners for each child: 8pw
    School uniforms for 2: 150pa
    School trips: 40pa
    School clubs: 4pw
    Kids swimming lessons: 70pm
    Kids birthdays (covers both): 150pa
    School summer holiday childcare savings: 7.50pm
    Entertainment: 75pm
    1-night holiday for all per year: 175pa (we've never achieved this yet, unfortunatley. Just can't seem to keep a hold of these savings)
    Christmas (inc. presents, the run-up, food, everything...): 300pa
    Redundancy and sickness cover: 28
    Glasses and dentist top-up savings: 200pa (and we really do need it)
    School holidays extra food savings: 5pm
    Life assurance: 70
    Debt (and soon-to-be IVA) payments: 60pm

    Now I know that kids swimming lessons are expensive, but I'm trying my hardest to hang on to them as I see them as so important, but anything you can spot that I'm doing wrong would be super helpful.

    Thanks in advance for your advice
Page 1
    • bexster1975
    • By bexster1975 27th Jul 17, 9:40 PM
    • 1,178 Posts
    • 5,609 Thanks
    bexster1975
    • #2
    • 27th Jul 17, 9:40 PM
    • #2
    • 27th Jul 17, 9:40 PM
    Hi

    Home and life insurance, if they are monthly are too high.

    Unless I've missed it, you don't say how much is coming into the household per month. Lots of the others look reasonable to me.

    Bexster
    • Lucylocks
    • By Lucylocks 27th Jul 17, 9:43 PM
    • 87 Posts
    • 221 Thanks
    Lucylocks
    • #3
    • 27th Jul 17, 9:43 PM
    • #3
    • 27th Jul 17, 9:43 PM
    Home insurance and food strike me as high. I've just changed from mortgage lender building and contents policy at 40pm to under 15pm for building and contents. Worth looking at.

    Groceries for family of 4 come in under 70pw for us at Aldi. This includes packed lunches for all. This could potentially save you a bit.

    Have you looked at surveys for top up income or Amazon credit towards Christmas? If you look at boost your income forum there are recommendations
    LBM 28/3/17 24,971 28/6/17 14,376 42% paid
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 27th Jul 17, 10:39 PM
    • 5,154 Posts
    • 6,402 Thanks
    theoretica
    • #4
    • 27th Jul 17, 10:39 PM
    • #4
    • 27th Jul 17, 10:39 PM
    Which of these have gone up or down since you moved? Have you relaxed anything because you are now living somewhere 'cheaper'.

    I would also look at clothing and shoes to trim - most people have more changes than they really need. The kids presumably spend a lot of time in school uniform, so can do with few changes for other stuff.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 27th Jul 17, 11:17 PM
    • 6,385 Posts
    • 13,113 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    • #5
    • 27th Jul 17, 11:17 PM
    • #5
    • 27th Jul 17, 11:17 PM
    Food looks high as does school shoes and clothes. Insurances also look high. Maybe just have the oldest do swimming lessons until they can swim to acceptable level then the younger one. Important yes but it is all a question of priorities so you have to decide which is most important if you can't afford all. You have not put your income so not sure how far out your budget is.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • walletmoths
    • By walletmoths 28th Jul 17, 7:55 AM
    • 29 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    walletmoths
    • #6
    • 28th Jul 17, 7:55 AM
    • #6
    • 28th Jul 17, 7:55 AM
    Thanks so much everyone

    I'll look into everything.

    If you tot-up these bills, that's pretty-much my income. After them, I have 8.05 left per month. So, things are tight.

    Maybe we have relaxed a bit since moving. This is my call to tighten things up now...

    I have to say that after being stuck in a house for 5yrs too long because no lender would touch us, I was really looking forward to bills being cheaper in a smaller house in a cheaper area. I'm really disappointed that they're not. Petrol is actually more expensive around here, insurances are the same, council tax band B is the same as the band C we were paying elseware, and gas and electric are more expensive.

    There is the bonus that this house will actually become paid for before I retire however.
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 28th Jul 17, 8:09 AM
    • 12,242 Posts
    • 9,277 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #7
    • 28th Jul 17, 8:09 AM
    • #7
    • 28th Jul 17, 8:09 AM
    If you wanted to put those figures into a standard form, that would be helpful

    http://www.stoozing.com/calculator/soa.php

    You can format for mse.

    An IVA for 60 per month worries me a bit. If we have full info, we can comment better.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 28th Jul 17, 8:12 AM
    • 6,385 Posts
    • 13,113 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    • #8
    • 28th Jul 17, 8:12 AM
    • #8
    • 28th Jul 17, 8:12 AM
    Does your partner work? If not, why not as extra income is the best way of sorting out debt? your children are school age so presumably no expensive childcare costs.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • chelseablue
    • By chelseablue 28th Jul 17, 8:52 AM
    • 2,413 Posts
    • 2,889 Thanks
    chelseablue
    • #9
    • 28th Jul 17, 8:52 AM
    • #9
    • 28th Jul 17, 8:52 AM
    What about your partners earnings?
    Mortgage starting balance 231,000
    Mortgage after Year 1 225,000
    Mortgage after Year 2 218,000
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 28th Jul 17, 10:02 AM
    • 2,660 Posts
    • 3,800 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    If you can't decrease what goes out, you need to increase what comes in: a 2nd job, a better paying 1st job. Do your figures include your partner's income, and is there anything else they can do?

    You also seem to have lots of insurance and assurance type policies: life sickness, redundancy, dentist, glasses etc. If things are that tight, you're not getting anything back from them, and you don't think there's a realistic chance of any of the events actually happening, perhaps you might want to drop them until you're on a more even keel.
    • zippygeorgeandben
    • By zippygeorgeandben 28th Jul 17, 11:16 AM
    • 815 Posts
    • 1,048 Thanks
    zippygeorgeandben
    Are haircuts needed every month? As an adult I go every 6 weeks. Well actually a friend comes to me which is cheaper and no transport costs. Can they be cut shorter? Once a month to me seems excessive but I don't have children so this might be a non-negotiable.
    Also, working in a school, there is so much left over uniform throughout the year. Our PTA actually have a sale each year. I'm not talking tatty jumpers, trousers, skirts I'm on about good quality uniform which has been worn once and then lost. Contact your school and see.
    End Sep 2016 End Apr 2018
    8236.57 0
    (Tesco 4.8%) 0pcm
    6185.75 0(Zopa 4.0%) 0pcm

    5344.50
    1630.04 (Sainsburys 0% until 06/19) 140pcm
    2000.00 [B]266.71/B] (Sister 0%) 133.33pcm

    Total debt
    19.766.82 1896.75 Original DFD May 2019.
    • LMG1305
    • By LMG1305 28th Jul 17, 11:43 AM
    • 150 Posts
    • 1,026 Thanks
    LMG1305
    Thanks so much everyone

    I'll look into everything.

    If you tot-up these bills, that's pretty-much my income. After them, I have 8.05 left per month. So, things are tight.

    Maybe we have relaxed a bit since moving. This is my call to tighten things up now...

    I have to say that after being stuck in a house for 5yrs too long because no lender would touch us, I was really looking forward to bills being cheaper in a smaller house in a cheaper area. I'm really disappointed that they're not. Petrol is actually more expensive around here, insurances are the same, council tax band B is the same as the band C we were paying elseware, and gas and electric are more expensive.

    There is the bonus that this house will actually become paid for before I retire however.
    Originally posted by walletmoths
    Just been reading everyone's posts & lots of suggestions already. One thing I would say, because you mentioned about petrol being more expensive. I find that around where I live fuel is more expensive, but near to where I work is a supermarket which is pay at pump only & the fuel is loads cheaper. So I always plan round getting my fuel there rather than closer to home. I always make sure I fill up at the cheaper one when I get to around 1/8th of the tank. If I leave it any lower than that I end up only having enough to get home & then panic on my next commute, so I don't like to leave it get any lower than that now just in case. I'm spending much less on fuel now that I'm being more organised about it. After doing this for around 6 months now, I know that a full fuel tank lasts me around 2 weeks so I even know what day I will need to fill up so make sure I've got my card on me ready.

    So long story short (sorry for the rambling), check out fuel prices in a few places close to home & where you work to find the cheapest place and plan around this.
    • LoulaBelle
    • By LoulaBelle 6th Feb 18, 10:54 AM
    • 86 Posts
    • 106 Thanks
    LoulaBelle
    hi there - was just reading your other post from today or yesterday so thought I'd pop over here for a look .............. one thing - why do you not get child benefit? you can get that regardless of what you are earning - I have 2 children and get 34.40 a week from the government (its usually paid every 4 weeks but I wrote to them saying I needed it weekly)
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 6th Feb 18, 11:34 AM
    • 8,680 Posts
    • 45,738 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    I'll comment in red as usual - although Fatbelly is correct you may find using the standard SOA form helpful for you to keep track.

    Hi everyone,

    My family and I live on a tight budget, so we can live to our means, and generally this works out OK - but just recently, after moving to a smaller and cheaper house, it's all getting out of control, and last week we'd just got 3.50 left in the whole world! So, where am I going wrong? I wanted to post my budget on here to see if you can spot something that's not right.

    Any advice, much appreciated - thanks, but please, no judgment. I'm doing my best here, you know...

    My budget is worked out with the help of CAPmoney's website. It helps you split the costs into monthly amounts. I'd definitley recommend it and their free course is a real eye opener if you're in debt.

    Here goes:

    Benefits: child benefit for 2 children
    We're not entitled to anything else. Believe me, I've tried

    Mortgage: 586.17

    I know we're getting a bit ripped off with this, but you wouldn't believe what I had to go through to get my bank to allow us to move cheaper, as we have bad debts and were locked into a house that cost too much, that we'd never be able to fully pay for, and no mortgage lender would touch us!

    Council tax: 116 (band B) - I've double checked the banding. Do you spread this across 12 months rather than paying over the standard 10?
    Unmetered water: 27.64 - which is actually cheaper than metered (in this new area we've moved to)
    Gas & electric: 88 Usual - turn the thermostat down a notch and make sure that you're turning everything that's not in use right that minute off!
    TV licence: 12 I think you'll fiond there's some pennies here being missed as it's not a straight 12 monthly. If you're losing pennies on all your budget items then that won't be helping with a very tight budget
    Landline & broadband: 45 (only BT would accept us without a credit check) Diarise for one month prior to contract end to change on this as you can definitely get cheaper.
    PAYG mobile credits: 20 (haven't found a place that'll let us have anything else - yet. It's the debts. They follow you around like a bad smell...) Howe many phones?
    Just check you're not going over your allowances within the package you're paying for too

    House insurance: 37.99 You can drive this down - comparison sites are the way forwards.
    Food (for 4): 90pw This is higher than it needs to be - definitely think about your shopping habits.
    Clothes and shoes (for all): 60 Every month? You can get that down easily enough - essentials only for a few months, longer for the adults perhaps
    Boiler service savings: 10
    School shoes: 175pa
    Home maintenance savings: 30 Do you really save this into an emergency fund? If not then things needing paid out can skew your budget over a year.
    Simply Health policy: 18.60 (really handy for glasses and dentist) Do you definitely extract 223 of value from this over a year?
    Hair cuts (all): 35.80 per month Can this be got down at all? Extra week between cuts all round?
    Petrol: 56pw (covers work commuting and one extra journey) Read Martin's driving economically guide and check PetrolPrices.com before filling up.
    Car servicing, maintenance, MOT, tyres etc: 33.33pm (my car is OLD, and it actually cost more than this to keep on the road last year) In which case you need to budget an increased figure - no sense in saving a sum that you know isn;t going to cover as again that will skew your budget.
    Car insurance: 33.83 usual - check the comparisons sites to be sure this is the best value you can get.
    Road tax: 305pa (mega high! The price I seem to have to pay for having an old car) I assume you pay this annually? If so are you saving monthly towards it?
    2 days of school dinners for each child: 8pw Packed lunches would be cheaper than this.
    School uniforms for 2: 150pa
    School trips: 40pa
    School clubs: 4pw
    Kids swimming lessons: 70pm
    Kids birthdays (covers both): 150pa
    School summer holiday childcare savings: 7.50pm
    Entertainment: 75pm
    1-night holiday for all per year: 175pa (we've never achieved this yet, unfortunatley. Just can't seem to keep a hold of these savings)
    Christmas (inc. presents, the run-up, food, everything...): 300pa
    Redundancy and sickness cover: 28 Check that this will pay out in any sort of reasonable timescale should it be needed - it's amazing how many are fairly useless when the small sprint is scrutinised
    Glasses and dentist top-up savings: 200pa (and we really do need it) But you're already paying out over 200 per year for a policy that you say is meant to cover this stuff? Is it cheap[er to upgrade a level on that cover than have to put aside this extra?
    School holidays extra food savings: 5pm
    Life assurance: 70 Is this the best value you can get for the cover you need?
    Can you get a policy that's combined with the redundance/illness cover?

    Debt (and soon-to-be IVA) payments: 60pm

    Now I know that kids swimming lessons are expensive, but I'm trying my hardest to hang on to them as I see them as so important, but anything you can spot that I'm doing wrong would be super helpful.

    Thanks in advance for your advice
    Originally posted by walletmoths
    Not sure of the ages of the kids but can the swimming lessons be brought down by them going less often or indeed dropping the lessons in favour of a weekly swim with you or your partner once they've actually learned to swim?

    There's niggly little savings you can definitely make there but overall I suspect it would be much more comfortable for either you or OH to increase your earnings in some way - might that be workable?
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 1229.00/944.19 (15/05/18)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 6th Feb 18, 11:41 AM
    • 9,653 Posts
    • 121,957 Thanks
    kazwookie
    Simply Health policy: 18.60 (really handy for glasses and dentist)
    Glasses and dentist top-up savings: 200pa (and we really do need it)

    Why do you need both?? I thought kids got glasses and dentists free of charge.

    Hair cuts far too high, go longer between cuts.

    Sun, Sea
    Slinky start date 29.01.18 28 to go / -10 so far and counting!!
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