To think we should be able to afford nice things?

(59 Posts)
Souredstones Mon 23-Sep-13 17:08:37

Not a boast but we are lucky (due to MIL giving us her mortgage free house) to be rent and mortgage free. DH and I both work full time at below national average salary jobs but enough to get by and enough for the government to decide we don't need tax credits.

We worked it that he pays all the bills from his account and I pay childcare and the kids hobbies from mine, we each pay our own mobile bills and all is fair in love and finances

So why the hell do we struggle each month?

I've just bought a cash tin and an accounts book so I can track at least my income and outgoings for 3-6 months and have put my debit card in there with a lump sum of money to pay the weekly outlays of hobbies and dinner moneys and hope to keep track of it all.

But AIBU to think where the hell does the money go each month?!

DH thinks I'm being daft to keep track of it like this because he thinks it's just general bills that eat it up.

Anyone else having this ridiculous struggle? God knows how we'd cope with rent on top!! All this and the house is falling apart and every room needs refurbishing as well as both front and back gardens (which is why MIL gave it to us rent free!!) argh! I feel like screaming at the moment and need money saving tips too!!

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Mon 23-Sep-13 17:11:17

Not daft at all.

What IS daft is not keeping track. Not knowing where your money is going. Now, that is daft! He shouldn't 'think' that it is 'general bills'. He should know £x goes on this, £y goes on that...

Too many people are not on top of their finances and the shit invariably hits the fan.

thebody Mon 23-Sep-13 17:11:17

no advice but I definatly share your pain.

SkinnybitchWannabe Mon 23-Sep-13 17:14:41

Yep same here..except the mortgage free house sad
My oh works 6 days a week plus more overtime and I work pt plus overtime..I felt guilty about buying a £15 New Look top this month because we skint til payday!
Life sucks sometimes

whois Mon 23-Sep-13 17:15:49

Yeah it's stupid to NOT know where it goes! Good idea keeping track. Make sure you remover to write down everything, even the £2 here and there.

Yes it's very important to keep track.

If you don't get tax credits then you've got about 25k coming in - so about 1600 a month? Including child benefit

That is a lot of money to not pay mortgage or rent.

Do you know what your main bills are?

Souredstones Mon 23-Sep-13 17:25:09

Yeah we have the usual gas, electric, water (x2), council tax, kids do 2 hobbies a week (works out at £40 per week between them) we run two cars have after school childcare, both have mobile phones and also have broadband and a landline.

So nothing over the top really. Neither DH or I smoke or have hobbies ourselves.

Definitely keep track. We are skint at the moment and keeping track has really, really helped find extra money.

expatinscotland Mon 23-Sep-13 17:27:42

Times are tough, it's true. There's a big difference, often, between what we think we should be able to afford and what we can.

expatinscotland Mon 23-Sep-13 17:28:23

Why is it always assumed that anyone who is skint is a smoker and drinker?

NotYoMomma Mon 23-Sep-13 17:29:19

its stupid to not keep track

spreadsheets and direct debits are they way forward.

JsOtherHalf Mon 23-Sep-13 17:29:39
Souredstones Mon 23-Sep-13 17:29:45

I don't know but I know if I didn't say that then I would be asked it!

You wouldn't run a businesses without keeping books, it should be the same for your home.

FatPenguin Mon 23-Sep-13 17:36:30

You'll probably find it's lots of little things that add up e.g takeaways. Definitely keep track of every £ spent for a month, you will be surprised.
We both work full time and while I know what all our money is spent on it feels like 'where the hell did that go?' every month. We never go out or have holidays and I'm wondering how we'll manage next year when I'm on mat leave.

ILikeBirds Mon 23-Sep-13 17:40:58

Umm, i would class spending £40 a week on hobbies as affording nice things, unless it was a typo and you meant per month?

neddle Mon 23-Sep-13 17:42:48

I've just started out with YouNeedaBudget

Give it a try, I think it's helping so far.

(not involved with company, just saw someone else on mn recommend it and gave it a try)

GrendelsMum Mon 23-Sep-13 17:43:15

I wonder whether it's a lot of small, necessary things that add up?

Phone contracts x 2, childcare, the £40 / week on hobbies, lunches eaten out of the home, occasional cups of coffee, occasional magazines, petrol costs, utility bills, parking charges, etc etc

If the house really is in bad repair, you may need to start being quite ruthless about what you cut.

Totesamazeballs Mon 23-Sep-13 17:44:08

Yup, constantly wondering where money goes. The reality is it gets eaten up by food bills and Christmas and birthday pressies for large extended family! Such is life!

Tailtwister Mon 23-Sep-13 17:44:42

I would definitely keep a track of your spending for a while, you'll probably be surprised where it goes! Pre-children DH and I calculated we were spending around £800 a month on eating out. Totally crazy, but if you eat out 4/5 times a week it's very easy to do.

I find I can spend quite a lot if I'm entertaining the children. A trip swimming can easily hit £20 if you factor in lunch at the pool. Soft play isn't much cheaper.

LittleRobots Mon 23-Sep-13 17:46:24

I agree with I like birds. Most hobbies aren't that expensive so it sounds like affording nice things surely?

LittleRobots Mon 23-Sep-13 17:49:21

Wow tail - I certainly would be amazed if we managed 800 a month on eating out . . . That's more than our disposable income!

We always plan to take some sandwiches if we go swimming near a meal time, or an apple and crackers otherwise. Never really thought about buying a meal just because I'm out. We eat out but we tend to plan it and enjoy it rather than fast food.

That's not to say if we had hundreds lying around we wouldn't eat out more!

Souredstones Mon 23-Sep-13 17:52:19

Well yes this is it. Every room needs at least one major repair doing (bedrooms need replastering decorating and carpeting) bathroom is as old as the house (30 years) still works but looks its age, same as the kitchen. The gardens would give the amazon a run for its money tbh and to top it off the heating is on the blink

Without all this my car is probably not going to pass its MOT without extensive repairs and, well, that's several thousand blown right there.

Needs saving first though sad

Souredstones Mon 23-Sep-13 17:54:52

The kids do one 'big' hobby that is paid for termly and a musical instrument each. That's average of the costs if you factor in equipment and books etc.

DH and I have no hobbies.

GrendelsMum Mon 23-Sep-13 18:02:16

Well, maybe it's better to live in a scruffy house and to play a musical instrument and enjoy your hobbies than have the rooms replastered and it all to look like a show home.

As for the garden, it sounds like all you need to do is to get out and tidy, which isn't going to be costly.

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