Why if we brought in 40k last year can we not afford a holiday ?

(168 Posts)
Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 17:32:31

I can't believe after looking at p60's we brought in 40k where does the money go exactly? We have 3 dc under 8 no child care costs we rent but seriously I can't afford to save ? I must b doing something wrong seriously !?

expatinscotland Wed 12-Jun-13 17:33:47

High rent?

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 17:37:44

£675 pm ? Not too high? What are we doing !?!?

Have you looked at your total expenditures for the year? It's very easy to let little expenses, coffee, taxis etc mount up, £50 plus a month is common even on a below average income.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Wed 12-Jun-13 17:38:47

You don't have to be doing anything wrong. If you live in se and have three dcs 40k would disappear pretty quickly.

helenaconhambarter Wed 12-Jun-13 17:40:14

When you say "brought in" are you referring to net or gross income?

FoundAChopinLizt Wed 12-Jun-13 17:42:04

Monthly supermarket spend? Food plus toiletries, washing powder, etc?

Clothes budget?


You need to break it down, then you'll see where you can save.

How about a cheap holiday? House swap, camping, visit relatives/friends.

NotDead Wed 12-Jun-13 17:44:53

one word. Monsoon

Bluecarrot Wed 12-Jun-13 17:47:04

If you look on money saving expert website they have a budget planner to help you work out where your money goes.

I helped a friend do it and it made her realised she spent £3k a year on hairdressers and salons. She felt sick and worked out how to cut back on it immediately, along with other areas and instead put the amount into a savings account ( the day after payday, by direct debit) and also put an any she had left the day before the next payday, instead of shopping spree. She didn't look for a year and was estatic to find she had £11k. shock with virtually no effort.

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 17:48:14

Lol nope not monsoon ! We don't go out that often , rarely have take ours , shop at asda , but we do live in the SE !

Mintyy Wed 12-Jun-13 17:50:33

We would not be able to afford a holiday either if our joint income was £40,000 - and our mortgage is not much more than your rent. And we only have two children. Things are very expensive, that amount of money just doesn't go very far sad.

Flicktheswitch Wed 12-Jun-13 17:51:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BackforGood Wed 12-Jun-13 17:56:14

depends what you mean by "a holiday" too. People have different expectations.
I'm regularly stunned at what some people spend on things that we just wouldn't have the available cash for though, so I suppose it's about looking where each month's money does go.

GibberTheMonkey Wed 12-Jun-13 17:59:33

Is that gross or net to start?

I do think your income is high enough for some treats and if that means saving £150 a month towards a holiday you could do it. Spreadsheet time methinks smile

Smudging Wed 12-Jun-13 18:01:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

smokinaces Wed 12-Jun-13 18:03:28

What kind of holiday though? Surely you can afford four nights at pontins for £200?!

WarmAndSunny Wed 12-Jun-13 18:05:50

We bring in 40k before tax. 2 kids and not child care. We haven't managed a holiday as such but have done weekends away to cities. Your rent is twice our mortgage though, but we stay in the sticks.

Lavenderandroses Wed 12-Jun-13 18:06:05

I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way, but I your household income is 40k and you have three children, it's not a massive in come.

As others have mentioned, budgeting is the only way forward. Have a direct debit into a savings account for holidays.

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 18:06:36

I'm going on the p60 amounts ? For the year ? I've just bought a bike to save on petrol ? I go over drawn each month sad I was thinking a holiday to Spain all inclusive , am I being stoopid ?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 12-Jun-13 18:09:25

Our mortgage is about the same as your rent, we have two children and we couldn't afford a holiday if our income was £40k either pre or post tax.

MrsDeVere Wed 12-Jun-13 18:09:52

Well its not like you are bringing in a fortune is it?

Its easy to spend it.

Why don't you micro manage your spending for a month and see where it goes?
Write it all down in a book, every little thing. Get a wallet for your receipts and cash point slips.

That way at least you will know where its going and if you can cut back on anything.

We go on cheap caravan holidays. Mind you the last one was a horrible disaster. Mostly they are fun though.

We could never afford to go abroad but we are on quite a lot less than you at them moment.

But our mortgage is lower than your rent.

Wow I am glad I don't live in the SE. DH, DD & I live on my salary which is about half of yours. We don't have (or need) a car though so that's a massive expense we don't have.

Look at a few bank statements. Go through, figure out how much you spend in an average month on groceries, clothes, hair & nails etc, car expenses, utilities, credit or store cards, any other direct debts. List all regular payments. Figure out what you're spending the rest of the money on that's not a regular/essential payment. We did this & I was mortified to realise how much we were wasting, given that I was on maternity leave at the time. We sorted out our spending & our finances have really improved.

Hope you figure something out.

scarlettsmummy2 Wed 12-Jun-13 18:10:54

40k isn't a particularly high salary, so I wouldn't be overly shocked not to afford a holiday. Just try your best to save.

lucidlady Wed 12-Jun-13 18:11:09

The P60 number is your gross income. What you actually bring in is that number less the tax. That will probably be quite a bit less than £40K.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 12-Jun-13 18:11:20

OP you have to think about the costs and where the money is coming from. If you are overdrawn every month then no you can't afford it.

All inclusive in Spain for 5 of you in the summer is going to be, I don't know - £2.5k? You need to save £200 a month to afford that, plus a bit for spending money. Can you start to put that away now so that you are in a position to book something for next summer?

forevergreek Wed 12-Jun-13 18:13:30

We wouldn't either on 40k, but live in London, with a rent ( of one bed) over half that! Plus x2 pre schoolers childcare.

I would look at all expenses though as your rent is very low ( compared to ours), and have no childcare.

40k a year is roughly £3330 a month. So if rent is approx £700 and no childcare what do you spend the other £2600 on? You should be able to afford a holiday IMO,

Rent £700
Bills £300
Food £500
Petrol £200

All at guess but that's £1700 only.

Adding £1000 for extras should still leave £600+

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 18:17:00

My bills alone are £450 , Which includes car finance DP's about £300 , it's scary it really is !

Mintyy Wed 12-Jun-13 18:19:21

Forever Greek - is £40,000 p/a really £3,300 per month? I don't think so.

Casmama Wed 12-Jun-13 18:23:39

If the £40k is after tax then yes it is £3333.33 per month.

isitsnowingyet Wed 12-Jun-13 18:24:43

More like £2700 after tax -

Casmama Wed 12-Jun-13 18:25:10

OP you haven't said whether this is before or after tax and also whether it is being earned by one person or two so it is hrs to tell. Do you know what your joint income after tax and NI is?

PatPig Wed 12-Jun-13 18:27:00

You need to keep better track of your spending.

Get some personal finance software.

Sounds like you are wasting money on debt. What's with the car loan? Pay cash for cars.

Casmama Wed 12-Jun-13 18:28:11

If earned by one person then take home is approx £2500 per month here.

Cavort Wed 12-Jun-13 18:29:03

Following on from what previous poster has said, I highly recommend you do a Budget Brain from the MSE website. It's a brilliant tool and will tell you exactly where your 40k goes. smile

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 18:29:51

It again is what my p60 says

Casmama Wed 12-Jun-13 18:32:03

Your P60 has more than one number on it!
It has total earned total, paid in tax, paid in NI etc.

sparkle12mar08 Wed 12-Jun-13 18:32:06

If you can't get to grips with, or don't even know, whether it's pre or post tax, I'm not surprised you have budgeting issues.

frustratedashell Wed 12-Jun-13 18:34:35

A good thing to do is write down what you spend everyday in a little notebook. Newspapers, coffees, hairdresser, food. Everything. Also keep a note of your direct debits. At the end of the month put the amounts into columns, eg food, treats, hair, petrol, miscellaneous. Then add up each column. It's illuminating! I do this ., it does help

Casmama Wed 12-Jun-13 18:36:43

Sorry comma in wrong place.

chickensaladagain Wed 12-Jun-13 18:38:23

I have a post tax income of £1700 pm

My mortgage is £650pm

I run a car and manage a holiday (1adult 2dcs) in the sun

I have a little note book and I write down to the penny what I spend as I spend it so nothing is missed

It's amazing how things add up -vending machine coffee at work, adds up to £10 a week or £460 a year! On crap coffee!!

Quite easy to cut back on that one

lljkk Wed 12-Jun-13 18:44:43

If you are brave enough to keep track of every penny you spend for a month & post itemised all back here I think folk will help you pick thru where waste maybe happening. Have to be brave, though!

Casmama Wed 12-Jun-13 19:03:58

Regardless of your income £450 seems low for bills if £300 of that is for car finance. That leaves only £150 for gas, electricity, phone, broadband, council tax, mobile phone, sky etc. I know you may not pay all of those but I think you need a better understanding of what goes into the bank and comes out every month before you can think about a holiday.

Soditall Wed 12-Jun-13 19:04:25

We used to have the same problem before I spent one evening working out what we had coming in and what had to go out each month.

It's made a huge difference to how we manage our finances,were never overdrawn now,everything's paid on time and we have money put away for the future.

We live in the SE and there's 7 of us,we have about the same coming in as you do.

Were really lucky we've had a couple of holidays already this year in the UK and we'll be going away a couple more times later in the year to France and Greece.

Have a look at what your paying out and what your spending on bits and pieces.

It was the bits and pieces(all the non important not really needed stuff)that was crucifying us financially.

BackforGood Wed 12-Jun-13 19:11:52

If it helps, I've got my P60 in front of me, and the most prominent number is my gross pay.
So, if the gross pay is £40,000, then the net per month will be about £2400 - £2700 ish, depending on deductions for things like pension or student loan.
LonelyBunny says her rent is £675 and her bills (including dp's car finance?) are £450.
I have to agree that £150 sounds very low for all bills, or are there things that you don't count as 'bills' (calling them soemthing else, but they still need to be paid out!)
That should still leave about £1300 a month for everything you need to spend on. It's not that clear though - is yours the only income ? Does dp not bring in any money? Presumably you can also add Child Benefit to that?

We have 4500 coming in every month - haven't been able to have a foreign holiday for 10 years or a cheap uk holiday for 3.

Huge mortgage, lots of insurance, high travel costs, 2 (unfortunately) necessary cars, live in a (not very nice) but expensive area.

I'm not fussed about holidays now though, I think it's why I got into gardening grin

smokinaces Wed 12-Jun-13 19:57:16

PatPig - cash for cars?! Ha ha ha ha ha at that one. If I did that for instance I would get another old banger for £200 and throw the same amount every month at it to keep it going. Surely much better to budget a set amount every month on a reliable car on finance if a car is a neccesity for work etc? Though £300 a month does seem excessive in current market on car finance.

I think with your outgoings and incomings OP you need to put together a proper spreadsheet and see where your money is going!

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 20:02:16

I pay £450 towards bills DP spends like £300 towards then too so like £750 pm , that's a lot huh ?

smokinaces Wed 12-Jun-13 20:07:44

About average I think.

Council Tax - 3 bed in SE with 2 adults, around £150 a month
Gas - around £80 a month
Electric - around £60 a month
Life/pet insurance - around £40 a month I'm guessing for 2 adults 1 pet
Car Insurance - £50 a month
Sky/TV - £50 a month incl broadband etc
Mobile - 2 so around £40 a month
Car finance - £300 a month you said
Water - 3 bed house with 2 adults and children about £40 a month

Thats it all there I guess

smokinaces Wed 12-Jun-13 20:09:32

But still, where does your money go?! If you get about £2700 a month in your account, you pay the rent at £700 and around £450 of the bills, where is the rest? Shopping at £100 a week? Thats still only £1550 a month. Petrol? But guessing DP pays that? School lunches? Only £2 a day each child. Any clubs or fees?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 12-Jun-13 20:10:31

Lonely if 300 of that is car finance, then no I don't think it is a lot.

It doesn't sound like you know how much income you have, or what your outgoings are so no wonder you are overdrawn and can't afford a holiday.

Is the £40k joint income or just you? And is it before or after tax??

watchingout Wed 12-Jun-13 20:11:00

Depends what you class as "bills". Like lots of people have said, you need to sit down and work it out properly. No point in guessing or asking others "is that a lot?"

People have different priorities, but if you are overdrawn every month, then no, you can't afford all inclusive holidays.

LaVitaBellissima Wed 12-Jun-13 20:11:11

Bills or debts though?

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 20:13:08

No debts no , never had a credit card , yes I need to sit down and properly work this out , cause its a joke really it is !

Mintyy Wed 12-Jun-13 20:13:56

Our monthly standing orders and direct debits amount to more than £2,100 (mortgage £800 ish) with no car loan ... so, no, I don't think you are paying an awful lot in bills.

DorisIsWaiting Wed 12-Jun-13 20:17:00

Have your been on the money saving expert finance calculator? It's really good for working ut where the money's going.

We have far less than you just over 25,000 but a similar amount on the mortagage (we overpay to that level).

We can't afford much of a holiday but we have got cheap uk flights to stay with family (5 of us).

You really need to get a grip if you are getting overdrawn.

KobayashiMaru Wed 12-Jun-13 20:25:06

you;ve been asked ten times, is it 40k before or after tax? If you don't know something this simple, its hardly surprising you haven't a clue where your money goes, since you don't even know how much you have!

We earn less than that, have a higher rent, and still have a holiday.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 12-Jun-13 20:37:14

I think a lot of us have been in this position, I used to earn a lot but had no savings.

What you can do is make that spreadsheet up.

Eg a paper and a coffee every day isn't unusual for lots of people but £4 a day Monday to Friday is over £800 on a 48 week working year.

So, once you know where the frittering is happening, (and lots us have frittered over the years), and stopped it eg packed lunches and a travel cup of filter coffee every morning you can move onto the bills.

Got Sky? Virgin Tv? How much do they want to keep you? Enough to halve the bill? Ring up and tell them you need to cut back. They'll put you though to customer retentions who will offer you a cheaper package. Haggle. They offer you £50 you say £40 would make all the difference, I love my sky tv but its so expensive etc etc. Same with BT, although I had a major fallout with the girl I got through to as I REALLY wanted to cancel.

Basic energy saving such as switching off lights, turning the hot water thermostat down to 60, insulating the loft to 270mm, lagging hot water pipes and draught proofing do help. I have two jackets on the hot water tank because it used to be tropical in the airing cupboard when we first moved in.

If you ring the electric/gas provider are you in credit? You might have some money in there they can pay back to you. Don't fall for the "that's to pay for the expensive quarter", if you've overpaid they can pay it back.

If you have a water meter look on the water boards website for free water saving devices. I got a shower insert, a tap insert and hippo bags for the loo free of charge. Just putting tap inserts in the old house saved £20 and that's with two of us out all day, a family with kids washing their hands numerous times a day would save more. If you have a garden get a water butt in Aldi, there £20 but its free water after that. If you have a child with a medical condition and they require frequent bathing is there a discount for that? It's worth asking the question.

I would also say shop at Aldi, dh doesn't like brands anymore if I buy them, he says well that wasn't as good as the Aldi one. If he ever finds out we have sainsbos smart price tea I am in serious trouble though.

These threads are good.




Register with topcashback, I got cashback on my car ins this year, £150 for fully comp. £60 back for a Sony smartphone that costs £7.50 a month. It all adds up.

smokinaces Wed 12-Jun-13 20:40:43

Do you smoke? Friends of mind couldn't understand why they were broke till they counted up smoking twenty a day at seven quid a go, each! That's £49 a week each!

tungthai Wed 12-Jun-13 20:44:19

£42k in my house is £2500.

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 20:45:28

No we don't smoke . I've said 3 times it's 40,000 on our p60's combined so I'm guessing that's before tax , sorry I don't understand p60 if its before or after tax , I think it's before .

I have a spreadsheet and a "budget" but in reality we spend most of what we earn, bar DC savings, school fund and a little for the ISAs.

I have just this minute added up what I spent on Clothes in the last 5 years, and disgustingly it added up to average 12k/year! We aren't in debt, but we've hardly saved anything in the past 5 years either and I feel like I've wasted what we could have gained. Well I actually have wasted it!

So I feel your pain. And this week the spending stops. It makes me feel sick, and I'm tired of frittering away our hard earned cash.

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 12-Jun-13 20:51:18

Don't worry op, no one is born with an innate understanding of inland revenue forms.

The tax is shown in a seperate column.

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 20:59:23

Right yes then it's £40k before tax well £41 k lol

Is that 41k for both of you? Eg. 20.5k each?

Patpig - cash for cars? Where does this cash come from? I could save but what would I do for a car while I'm saving? I might as well pay that money in to a car loan and get a descent car now.
How would anyone afford all the £20k+ cars I see on the road?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 12-Jun-13 21:37:49

Ok, so you have what - £2800 a month after tax? Do either of you pay into a pension through work?

If you are paying roughly £700 rent and £750 bills, then you should have £1350 left each month. What other regular outgoings do you have? Car costs? Insurance? Kids activities?

fatima we only pay cash for cars. Otherwise if you can't afford the repayments (illness, redundancy or whatever) then the finance company will take the car off you and you are fucked. We buy something which is 12-18 months old and has done minimal miles, it will be 50-60% off list price and essentially a new car, and then you have no finance.

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 21:38:00

Well I'm on about 16,000 to 17,000 k DP 24 k

duchesse Wed 12-Jun-13 21:49:52

If you earn in the low 40,000s you will not be eligible for any tax credits etc or any benefits other than CB. What you earn is what you get. It is actually not quite enough to keep a family of 3 children on. People living on far less income, but with other credits and benefits, might be surprised to find out how little take home money 40,000 is.

DH earns a similar amount and we were seriously waaaay better off when we both earned 16,000/year twenty years ago. In the last 10 years, we've gone from me not needing to work at all + a couple of holidays a year to me needing to work full-time and can no longer afford holidays at all. DH's salary has stayed essentially the same for 10 years (he's a civil servant), not even index-linked, and everything has doubled in price. The only way out I can see is for me to go to work away from home in a very well paid job. DH loves his job and can only do it where he does it at present.

duchesse Wed 12-Jun-13 21:51:55

Oh and all our clothes come from ebay! No gambling habits, no excessive spending. Along with many people living in old houses in rural areas, we were living in fuel poverty until last autumn when we installed a biomass boiler and can now go scrounging wood from ditches.

Sounds sensible ali. We went similar with getting an 8 month old car so saved a huge chunk on list price and it didn't have many miles. We'd have had to save ages to pay cash so we see the finance as sort of paying for use of the car.
Ours is a loan and so although for the car it's not directly linked to it like HP so if we came into financial trouble we could either come to an arrangement with the loan company or sell it.
It will shortly be paid off though, can't wait!

Kiriwawa Wed 12-Jun-13 21:56:02

On your income and with 3 kids, I'd say you can't afford to have a car that costs £300/month.

Can you sell the car and buy something for a grand instead? That'd save you £2.5k/year straight off.

Had you realised that you're spending a tenth of your net income on your car repayments?

forevergreek Wed 12-Jun-13 22:00:14

If you bothe earn then should get more as both getting approx £10k tax free

So £40k from one person= £10k tax free, 30k taxed at 20-40% ( the 40% margin is around £34k ish I think)

But if like you say 40k is over two people ie 20k each. Then you would get £20k tax free and 20k at 20% tax so a lot better off

sparkle12mar08 Wed 12-Jun-13 22:02:39

You need some serious help op. You have to get to grips with your incomings and outgoings, and start prioritising the essentials and stripping out the wasteful luxuries. Because it sounds to me as if you haven't got a clue what budgeting actually means and entails, and it won't be long before you can't just not afford a holiday, but are actually in debt.

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 22:09:55

This is what worries me sad I pay £150 for car loan not £300 I don't know where money is going I really don't , I need help with this sad

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 22:10:33

I don't care about the holiday anymore I more care we can afford to pay everything and not be over drawn sad

Nessalina Wed 12-Jun-13 22:19:38

Hmmm, we're pretty organised since I work in banking, and when we first moved in together we only earned £24k combined because my DH was in training on just £6k! So we combined all our finances to manage it better, and I have to say it works well, so we've kept it like that though we're now on more.
We have a joint bank account that both of our wages go into, and all our direct debits go out from there. They total about £900, and that's:
Mortgage, Council Tax, Water, Gas & Elec, his & hers mobile phone, his & hers car insurance, life insurance, Sky, contact lenses, home insurance, TV license, boiler service, & union membership.
Then we budget £600 per month for household expenses only, i.e. food shopping and petrol (we both commute) which we put on a joint credit card which gets auto-payed by direct debit from the current account, so we don't get behind. I monitor this bill carefully, so if we overspend, I'm on it to find out why!!
We then get £400 each to our own personal bank accounts. This money is our own for nights out, presents, clothes, hair cuts, DVDs, whatever.
So that's £2300 for necessities. The rest is saved! We have a certain amount into 'rainy day savings' for stuff like holidays, home repairs, and then we have longer term savings for special stuff.
Saving is very liberating, as glib as that sounds, because if you need something, you can do it!
Start small, break down your outgoings and economise where you can, then start saving! On the day you or your DH get paid, have a standing order into two accounts, £100 into a holiday account, and £50 into a Christmas account. That way next year you can book a £1200 holiday (a week b&b in Europe? or even a week all inc in Spain if you're out of school hols?) and you'll have £300 in the other account at Xmas to spend on kids/family pressies and avoid the overdraft!
I also agree on the car loan, for £300 a month, that's a £3600 car every year! Go second hand, and save yourself loads :-)

LynetteScavo Wed 12-Jun-13 22:21:42

If you earn in the low 40,000s you will not be eligible for any tax credits etc or any benefits other than CB. What you earn is what you get. It is actually not quite enough to keep a family of 3 children on. People living on far less income, but with other credits and benefits, might be surprised to find out how little take home money 40,000 is.


Mintyy Wed 12-Jun-13 22:24:38

However, you are very lucky to have no childcare costs! Who looks after the children for you?

smokinaces Wed 12-Jun-13 22:32:36

Do you have a joint account? Online banking? Download your last three months of statements and go through them with a fine tooth comb! Stop using debit cards and set a weekly budget in cash - when its gone its gone and you can see what you are physically spending.

smokinaces Wed 12-Jun-13 22:33:54

But with the bills and rent the op has described, they shouldn't be overdrawn every month by any means. Especially with no debt or childcare cost.

Arisbottle Wed 12-Jun-13 22:35:39

If two of you are bringing in 40k between you, that is two below average salaries. Most people would struggle to afford a holiday beyond camping in the UK.

Lonelybunny Wed 12-Jun-13 22:36:35

I work at night so DP has kids .

LittleBearPad Wed 12-Jun-13 22:37:45

You need to get your bank statements for the last three months and work out where the cash is going.

Casmama Wed 12-Jun-13 22:38:32

From the info you have given:
After tax income dp:approx £1594
You: approx £1141

Total income-£2735

Outgoings bills dp £300
Bills you £450
Rent. £675

Total outgoings £1425

Income- outgoings = £1310 which I imagine needs to pay for food, fuel and all extras.

Does that look right?
I agree with others that you need to look carefully at what you are spending and see what you can reduce.

IAgreeCompletely Wed 12-Jun-13 22:54:59

I agree that MoneySavingExpert is the way to go.

You can post a statement of affairs on the forums and lots of helpful posters will suggest ways to cut your spending. They are usually very supportive.

Lonelybunny Thu 13-Jun-13 07:27:15

Yea I will look into it , thank you .

TwasBrillig Thu 13-Jun-13 07:49:28

I'm amazed at everyone saying 40 grand isn't enough to bring a family up on. I feel like I'm from a different planet sometimes (lots of graduate friends, teachers etc earning way less than that)

Op - have you heard of CAP? They run budgeting advice and some of my friends (earning more than 40 k combined as it happens) have used them and found it helpful. Despite the name they aren't freaky religious or only concerned with lack-of-food level poverty but help people with debt, budgeting skills across the board.

ShadeofViolet Thu 13-Jun-13 07:54:46

I am so glad we live in the Midlands, some of these totals are eye watering!

Lonelybunny Thu 13-Jun-13 07:58:29

Thanks I will have a look online. It's not like we are extravagant , only go out for meals on special occasions maybe a take away once every 6 weeks if that , we don't buy many luxuries I don't think , yes we have wifi and sky movies but we can't afford to go to cinema/go out so we need something we can do as a family indoors sad

Lonelybunny Thu 13-Jun-13 07:59:19

And I cycle kids to school to cut feel costs !

Soditall Thu 13-Jun-13 08:20:23

Bunny have you sat down and worked out what you have coming in and what your paying out each month yet?

You might be really surprised at where some of the money is going.I know I was when I worked out what we were wasting money on each month.

Lavenderloves Thu 13-Jun-13 08:29:38

You need to get a handle on your spending to understand where it goes.

A clean sheet of paper and write down all of the outgoings then go through your statement to see what you spend on your card. This gives you a vague idea ( lots of cash spending you won't be able to account for)

After pay day i would suggest you go cash only for a month and jot it all down in a note book. ( then you know exactly)

It's a very simple way to work out what you fritter money on. Sky, phones, coffee, school and activities all add up.

Once you know how much you have to spend and roughly what you spend now, you can budget properly. If you only have £100 a week for food, take that in cash to the supermarket. It will focus your spending. Get to aldi, food is one of the biggest expenses after rent.

Alvin halls book is excellent, see if you can get it in the library.
Working out spending as a % of your earnings is often shocking. £600 a year on sky is a big chunk of your money.

I don't think it's a lot of money for a family with three children in SE.

Lonelybunny Thu 13-Jun-13 08:57:20

I did do that a while a go but I think I've lost it again. No I don't think it's a lot to be honest , the cost of loving is ridiculous , school dinners for 2 kids are £4 per day , they won't eat a packed lunch and after buying packed lunch stuff we prob wouldn't save much any way . I haven't bought the kids clothes in ages , only on eBay for baby and my elder 2 were given 2 black sacks full so haven't needed to buy them any only the odd dress here and there for party/occasions etc . It's depressing it really is sad

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 13-Jun-13 09:38:44

40k really isn't much for a family of three kids in the se. We budget religiously, definitely no frittering money on coffee or newspapers and can't always afford a camping holiday, let alone ai in Spain! And our income is quite a lot more. It's the cost of housing mostly, our very modest 3 bed takes a huge chunk of income. And commuting as well, but that's an unavoidable expense for many.

Op, as others have said, there's a great budget planner on money saving expert. It probably won't enable you to go on holidays every year but at least might keep you out of the overdraft.

And I second suggestions to buy a second hand car. For the amount you spend on car finance in a year you could buy outright a reasonable car. We just got a pretty decent Ford estate for £2500, hopefully it will last us a few years ( although obviously no guarantees of that!)

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 13-Jun-13 09:40:32

Oh, and Netflix is excellent. Loads of really good dramas on at the moment and it's something like £6 a month.

specialsubject Thu 13-Jun-13 10:14:42

I concur that £300 a month on a car (i.e. £3600 a year) is bonkers. Especially in the south-east, you can buy a decent second-hand car for less than that and the fixes will NOT cost £200 a month as someone said.

lose the Sky movies. Go to the library and rent DVDs, or buy them at charity shops. Or get a recorder box and record what is on the free channels. It is summer so you shouldn't be indoors watching TV anyway. Outside is free.

why won't the kids eat a packed lunch? Why is 'won't' an option?

a relative went shopping in Aldi recently and the bill was HALF what it was at Asda.

have you shopped around for insurance? Boring way to spend time but each year I find that I save about £70 on my renewals.

PatPig Thu 13-Jun-13 10:18:38

Car finance is not necessarily that bad, if you are aware of it in your finances, but often the interest rates are very poor, and worse, if you are buying a new car, then the depreciation will hit you again.

We have only ever paid cash for our cars, starting at £1k and going up when we had more savings.

We earn a lot more than you do but we have never had Sky Movies, because it is ridiculously expensive. How much is your total Sky bill? You can easily spend £1k/year.

Also how much are you spending on mobiles?

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 13-Jun-13 10:23:13

I don't think Asda cheap, they just tell you they are and throw you a few crumbs by way of the price check vouchers.

Sainsburys do the same, as do tesco.

This thread was good.

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/credit_crunch/1571738-Aldi-comparison. Very interesting.

PatPig Thu 13-Jun-13 10:24:04

You need far more control over your finances.

Example: cars - how many do you have, how many do you need (not more than one, surely?). How many miles do you do per year? Figure out cost of fuel, car tax (can be very expensive with certain models, which also consume a lot of fuel), insurance for different car options.

Credit/interest - are you paying any? Why? Overdrafts very expensive, you shouldn't need any loans, get your credit cars on direct debit, paid in full each month, car loans are not suitable for you either because you don't have enough awareness of the total cost.

You are leaking money all over the place - you could have the same or better lifestyle but save money/go on holiday.

Yonihadtoask Thu 13-Jun-13 10:32:55

You would think you would be able to OP. A few years back it would have been more than enough.

Unfortunately costs of living have risen crazily recently - everyone is feeling it.

All I can suggest is the same as previous posters. Have a good look at your spending.

Make up a spreadsheet of absolutely every penny that goes out. You may be surprised where you can make savings

Then once you have cut backs you can set aside a savings column - for summer holiday 2014. It is worth sacrificing some luxuries throughout the year if you have an even to look forward to.

Lonelybunny Thu 13-Jun-13 11:08:19

We have 1 car , nearest aldi is 10 miles away .

PatPig Thu 13-Jun-13 11:11:43

Yoni, £40k was not enough a few years back if you had no control over your budget/spending.

Lonelybunny Thu 13-Jun-13 12:07:57

40 k isn't much and I dunno how we gonna get on this year as I've reduced my hours after etrunung end of march from having dc3

peteypiranha Thu 13-Jun-13 12:21:40

40k is more than enough with a medium sized mortgage like yours and no childcare costs. We are on 8k less and have no other benefits as have to chip in a sizeable amount to childcare and we are still having a holiday for two weeks this year.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 13-Jun-13 12:23:12

Lonely - instead of just stressing about it, why don't you get your bank statements together from the last few months and see where the money is going?

Do you have a joint account?

peteypiranha Thu 13-Jun-13 12:31:06

Arisbottle - The average household income is only in the early 30s, and a large amount of those go abroad. You should definitely be able to afford a holiday on that wage if you prioritise it.

Lonelybunny Thu 13-Jun-13 12:51:22

No we don't have a joint account , DP uses mainly cash I use debit card :-/ I am going to sit down this weekend and have a look .

Lonelybunny Thu 13-Jun-13 13:13:18

Our nearest aldi is 10 miles away just checked for sure in their store locator so probs not worth the petrol ? What we save in shopping would add up in extra petrol

forevergreek Thu 13-Jun-13 14:16:36

It probably is worth it if you do a big shop monthly rather than weekly. Then just buy fresh fruit/ veg weekly. ( can freeze meat/ fish/ milk etc)

Timetoask Thu 13-Jun-13 14:38:58

You need a good spreadsheet!

Mine has one sheet per month, every month broken down day by day. Every time we spend anything I update my spreadsheet. I have a running total per month for each type of expenditure (house bill, supermarket, fun, kids activities, petrol, car upkeep, charity and presents, savings, clothes, hair, school stuff, etc, etc), I know exactly how much I am spending every month.

It has really helped to plan ahead and know more or less how much money I could make available for christmas, birthdays and holidays.

PatPig Thu 13-Jun-13 14:41:59

I use MoneyDance. You can download bank statements and categorise them.

It's a good idea IME to pay for everything on cards, and use cash as little as possible, because cash payments are much harder to track.

Lavenderloves Thu 13-Jun-13 14:46:33

It's well worth doing a trip to aldi once a month. Do a massive shop on pay day and just top up milk and veg.

The secret is to keep the top up shops to essentials only. (Again budgeting say £20 for milk bread and fresh veg. ) Aldi do great frozen veg and soft fruits that you can bulk buy. You can freeze meat, cheese, butter etc, even milk if you have room.
We are very financially comfortable and i always shop at aldi. My big monthly aldi shop ( basket overflowing and stuff to carry including wine and beer) is £150. At tesco it would be £250 plus. Well worth a ten mile trip!

As for school dinners, i'd stop that pronto, a home made lunch would be a lot less.
Yougurt 18p
Juice drink 2p
Sandwich cheese and ham 30p
Fruit 15p .........well under a pound.
If you are spending £30 a week on dinners thats going to save you at lease £20a week. £80 a month on three children. I think school lunches are very pricey.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 13-Jun-13 14:47:48

You'd save enough to make a trip to aldi worthwhile, look at that last thread I linked to, we all saved loads compared to Asda.

I go on a Sunday morning, I used to get round in 10 mins before all the newbies cottoned on.

Lavenderloves Thu 13-Jun-13 14:59:27

That's a good thread lonely. It proves the savings, with a spend is £55 in aldi the tesco £85 is shocking. Really that £30 extra a huge chunk of money for not much added value.

Lavenderloves Thu 13-Jun-13 15:00:20

Apologies kids whinging at me :-)

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 13-Jun-13 15:05:42

Isn't it? I did ours because dh (who isn't allowed into supermarkets unless I'm ill due a propensity to buy brand name shite) kept saying "are you sure Aldi's cheaper?".

He was raised in a house where brand names rule so I'm slowly reprogramming him.

PatPig Thu 13-Jun-13 15:09:35

I find Waitrose to be over twice as expensive as Morrisons on numerous items, FWIW.

Morrisons don't appear on price comparison sites either.

I echo the recommendations of Moneysavingexpert - lots of useful stuff there.

You can also get free (and impartial) advice from the Money Advice Service. I suspect their first step would be to get you to write down all your outgoings. As lots of people have said, you need to understand where it's going before you can work out where to make savings.

Good luck.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 13-Jun-13 15:15:35

I think Morrisons will start to be quoted on sites like my supermarket when they start to deliver at home via ocado.

Iceland never get quoted either but they have some brilliant offers on sometimes.

forevergreek Thu 13-Jun-13 15:24:05

Waitrose is always cheaper than tesco on price comparison and they price match if an item is more.

Tesco is the most expensive imo

PatPig Thu 13-Jun-13 15:30:43

Price comparisons can be misleading though.

For example, Waitrose might sell Kelloggs Cornflakes for less than Tesco, but as an example:

http://www.waitrose.com/shop/ProductView-10317-10001-26267-Parma+ham £4.29/100g. Morrisons price £2/100g. Not necessarily the same ham, but the Waitrose ham is not super-premium, and definitely not worth double.

Morrisons sell their cooler drink I think they are 2 for £2, Waitrose don't have an own brand and will sell you This Water at £2 for 1.

So they price match on the branded items, but then you will get stung on other things (some of which are better, but not all), super-pricey ready meals, etc.

I bought lamb chops in Waitrose yesterday £7.29 reduced to 43p though, so that was worth it!

TwasBrillig Thu 13-Jun-13 15:37:10

I was just going to say that! The 'price match promises' are only on equivalent goods-ie branded items. If you look at the compare the supermarket examples posted above at times waitrose is almost double!!

We mainly use Sainsburys, occasionally waitrose and sometimes asda.

I like waitrose, and for some things you can argue its 'cheaper' in that you get better quality. We like the range of goods, but there is no way we'd kid ourselves its cheaper. If I was wealthy I'd probably shop there, I like it etc.

Asda's milk is a lot cheaper than Sainsburys, as are its free range eggs, and some fruit. Our local store doesn't stock all the things we want to buy though.

IWipeArses Thu 13-Jun-13 15:41:15

Plan ahead for the Sun holiday offers next year, that's what I'm planning on doing.

Little things add up, normal things add up. We don't visit the hairdressers, buy magazines etc anymore. We're selling the car again and I'm not buying dilute juice.

Kiriwawa Thu 13-Jun-13 15:41:34

What one of my friends does re school dinners is get them twice a week - Monday and Friday. This means that she doesn't have to think about doing lunchboxes Monday morning.

Or you could cut down to one day a week. Your children don't have to have school dinners - they are pricey and lunchboxes would be cheaper.

Triumphoveradversity Thu 13-Jun-13 17:49:23

Check any direct debits while your there. I queried a once a year 25 quid one, turns out it was my sub to Private Eye. I felt a twit that I was unsure what it was but the bank cashier told me lots of people have had direct debits leaving their acounts for years and forgotten them, such as extra insurance for electrical goods that have been replaced and are now off being recycled or in landfill.

Soditall Thu 13-Jun-13 18:05:48

Bunny do you and your husband buy lunches,coffees when your at work?
Little things like that can cost a small fortune over a year.If you spent £8 a day between the two of you that would be £160 a month(for 20 days)over a year(allowing for 4 weeks off for holidays)is £1,760.
Taking a lunch from home could knock £1,500 of that cost per year.

Look at what your spending on you food shopping,we swapped from getting all our shopping weekly from Asda to shopping monthly and using our local butcher and market and LIdl and knocked £420 a month of our shopping bill.That's saved us £5,040 over one year.

Look online at the comparison sites and check your getting the best deals for your gas,electric,phone,internet,insurances.

Arisbottle Thu 13-Jun-13 18:29:23

40k is a good income due for one person but not for two which is why the OP is struggling to afford a holiday .

Two newly qualified teachers would bring in more than 40k between them.

TwasBrillig Thu 13-Jun-13 18:37:10

If you have young children though its far more usual (around here anyway) for one parent to work part time or to stay at home for a while. Many people earn less than teachers. I guess it depends on where you live. I'm se but 40,000 would be seen as a 'good' income around here in terms of ability to earn. Maybe not so great in terms of how expensive everything is but surely more families are on tax credits than not (limit of 40,000)?

Arisbottle Thu 13-Jun-13 18:39:55

I mentioned teachers because someone below said they know lots of people who earn less than that , including teachers .

I just think the OP is not that unusual in being unable to afford a holiday on that income .

Arisbottle Thu 13-Jun-13 18:42:26

I would have thought to most families a SAHP is a great luxury and that during that time you could accept that holidays - which are a luxury - are out of the question because you have the greater luxury of being a SAHP.

IWipeArses Thu 13-Jun-13 18:58:18

Being a sahp is only a luxury if that parent would earn enough to cover the cost of childcare.

mizu Thu 13-Jun-13 19:53:59

We earn the same as you Lonelybunny , have 2 children and save £500 a month towards a house deposit - that will probably take too many years to save up for, but that is another story - our rent and bills come to about £970 a month but we seem to spend a fair bit on food and petrol.

We never have any money left at the end of the month (except the £500) and the last week of every month is always tight, a lot of jacket potatoes grin

We never go on holiday but I really, reallly want to go somewhere this year, really want to save £500 a month though so it is not really possible.

I think we manage well but live in a very affluent area so tend to feel poorer than we actually are iyswim.

Our DDs have packed lunches every day except Friday and DH and I always take food from home to work.

DH is not great with money either, he will take £20/£30 out of the cash machine and think nothing of spending it on food for him and friends or whatever (he doesn't drink though) whereas I would never do that. Seem to be spending a bit more these days on face cream and stuff though (40+ icon)

TwasBrillig Thu 13-Jun-13 21:18:44

Yup -it was me who mentioned teachers. I can't afford currently to return to work due to childcare and associated costs. I did look at a few part time jobs but they were spread out over the week, so childcare for 2 children would not work out.

Anyway, the point was simply that many families (most?) would earn less, not that it suggests a life of luxury. Certainly with the rise in cost of living and housing money doesn't stretch as far as it did. A lot will depend on when /if you managed to get on the housing ladder too.

We haven't had extravagant holidays but certainly holiday - mainly camping!

Lonelybunny Thu 13-Jun-13 21:27:10

We too love camping smile £20 a night do able if I can save a bit .

Triumphoveradversity Sat 15-Jun-13 09:08:36

Mizu makes a good point about the area you live in affecting how it feels. People with huge variations in income will live in evey town. However mil lives in a really expensive bit of Surrey while we live in an area that has never recovered from the loss of heavy industry oop North.The feel of the place is obviously very different. We have a decent income but where we are it feels like quite a lot in the SE it would be not be much at all.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 15-Jun-13 09:46:05

Are you doing your spreadsheet this weekend op?

williaminajetfighter Sat 15-Jun-13 09:48:15

OP I feel for you. Your joint income isn't a lot in the SE. If you are both paying into pensions at work then your joint take home pay is circa 2500.

£2500 less
£300 bills
£450 bills
£675 mortgage

That leaves just over £1k per month but easily spent on (this is just an estimate but similar to my outgoings)

£350 groceries for 5
£200 petrol & travel
£100 hhld costs
£50 school related costs
£150 entertainment including takeaways and coffee
£100 clothes for all 4
£50 misc

That leaves you £75 to do what you like! That sort of spend isn't excessive the reality is that 40k combined income isn't a lot. If you have 3dc though you should get +£200 pm in baby bonus.

You've got a choice - cut back or look for better paid employment. If you have kids you really must get a better hold if your finances.

IWipeArses Sat 15-Jun-13 10:22:01

Wilhelmina, your entertainment category is also to do with what you like. And £100 a month on clothes? It might not be a huge wage, but there are lots of choices to make there.
The problem is, we don't want to choose between takeaways and savings, or between clothes and holidays.

williaminajetfighter Sat 15-Jun-13 10:27:17


If both the OP and her husband work they need clothes for work and her kids need clothes plus school uniforms. I can't see how 100/5 or 20 pounds per month per person is excessive.

I tend to buy a few new shoes per year, a jacket and a few dresses. Her husband will need to replace work clothes as well. There is no vale in buying work clothes at primark. Kids shoes are expensive.

peteypiranha Sat 15-Jun-13 10:32:48

100 is definitely excessive for clothes. Food for 5 for the month should be less than 350 with meal planning. There are lots of ways to shave money off. If the op goes on money saving expert and copies there statement of affairs format we could help.

IWipeArses Sat 15-Jun-13 10:35:24

My husband hasn't bought a new shirt in about two years, we each get one or two new pairs of shoes a year, when they wear out. I haven't bought any clothes for my two year old daughter yet, people like buying pretty clothes as gifts for girls and there's plenty of hand me downs from her brother. If we've spare cash I might them some extra bits. I spent about £30 on ds uniform last year. £1000 a year on clothes is a choice you make. We could go on holiday 5/6 times for that.

Cat98 Sat 15-Jun-13 11:02:16

We were in a similar position to you a few months ago op. we have a joint income of £36000 so a bit less, but our mortgage is less than your rent (about £400 pm though that could go up if interest rates rise).

We were in debit every month - dh ended most months between £700 and £1000 overdrawn and I was a couple of hundred overdrawn too.

We took stock of finances and spending in January and realised we were spending loads on coffees, meals out etc and also not planning weekly supermarket shops effectively. I was popping to tesco most days!
All we did initially was to meal plan and cut down to eating out once a fortnight but to cheap places using clubcard vouchers. This alone saved us a fortune and we started to claw back the deficit.

Then dh looked at all our bills and found cheaper alternatives for many of them. We have never had sky, just free view.

Now we are both used to the new way of living and I kid you not - in 6 months of budgeting and tracking spends we will now end this month both in credit by a couple if hundred! Not long until we can start saving regularly! I never would have thought this possible before. And we do not feel deprived at all. Still have nice food - I cook something nice at home on our Saturdays in (eating out was our main luxury) and I quite enjoy my weekly shop planning and list making! It might all go to pot soon as I'm facing a large pay cut sad but I am confident we'll still be ok.

My point is, it can be done - just a look at all spending and analyse everything and you'll be surprised. Start small if it seems too daunting - start with looking at one thing, food/meal planning, or clothes, or bills - and see what you can save there, then move on to the next thing.

Good luck!

williaminajetfighter Sat 15-Jun-13 11:04:31

I wipe where are you going on holiday? Primark?

Sorry but men's shirts wear out and get ring around the collar etc and need to be renewed. More than every 2 years.

Honestly kids shoes and jackets are expensive and sorry but I don't think kids second hand shoes don't do the trick

Youre right - it IS about priorities as id rather buy good shoes that don't fall apart and clothes that look professional over a few crap weekends away with the family at Butlins or at a wet campground.

But Iwipe a MN martys medal for you. I know you want one!

MrsDeVere Sat 15-Jun-13 11:07:25

You could go on holiday SIX times for 1k?

Where and how?

We only have cheap holidays in cheap caravans but no way could I get six holidays out of £1000

Arisbottle Sat 15-Jun-13 11:12:03

Someone will post in a moment that they feed a family of six for a week on a small Asda smartprice chicken.

ShadeofViolet Sat 15-Jun-13 11:24:11

I suppose if you camp or you have your own caravan you may be able to do it?

williaminajetfighter Sat 15-Jun-13 11:28:23

Iwipe and all just wanted to say my last post was just a bit of gentle ribbing.

I do get tired of posts on MN where posters start competing and upping each other on their frugalness: ' I haven't bought new clothes in 5 years, eat lentil soup everyday and my children share socks.' It gets dull fast...

MrsDeVere Sat 15-Jun-13 11:30:18

Yes but you would have to lay out the money in the first place wouldn't you?

Buying a tent and all your supplies or a caravan. What about the petrol?

Towing a caravan must take up a fair amount.

And if you own a static you can't have 6 holidays for 1k because that wouldn't cover site fees for the year.

I am genuinely interested btw, always looking for ways to do things cheaply!

IWipeArses Sat 15-Jun-13 11:34:53

Train to my Dad's. grin That is the only place we ever go on holiday though. We'd get a couple of Butlins trips out of that at least.
I don't buy second hand shoes for the children, generally went to the Clarks outlet before, though I'm getting some online that are better for their feet from now on. Not cheap as I have my priorities. Their grandmother generally buys them a coat for birthdays, Christmas, which is lucky I suppose.
I think one of DH shirts is from C&A. He is lucky I suppose, his boss doesn't seem to mind what he wears as he's so damned good at his job.

Lot of snobbery about Butlins, camping etc. someone up thread mentioned city weekend breaks not counting? yeah right.

peteypiranha Sat 15-Jun-13 11:37:27

Op you can definitely afford 2 weeks away just by a little cutting back. You just need to be organised.

IWipeArses Sat 15-Jun-13 11:38:26

I know people do tend to out-reverse-snob each other a lot n MN, but there's a lot of genuine snobbery on here too. Lots of times people don't even realise they have that privileged position about something.
I just like to point out that nobody is forcing you to do x,y,z

ShadeofViolet Sat 15-Jun-13 11:39:07

If staying with your dad is a holiday that means I have 13 holidays a year (main holiday and then 12 'holidays at my Mum's house)


peteypiranha Sat 15-Jun-13 11:39:16

I agree with iwipe most people are on less household income but most people go abroad so of course its doable.

MrsDeVere Sat 15-Jun-13 11:57:03

Iwipe you big cheater! grin

My family live in Devon but visiting them wasn't a holiday. It was a long slog to sit in a bungalow in the middle of nowhere and seeing if any of them would fit us in to their busy schedules (Dsis was always v.good).

And it cost us a bloody fortune.

I love static vans but there is a lot of snobbery about them on here. I am desperate for one that I can de-beige.

But we can't travel easily and I am happy to visit the same place year after year. They don't suit everyone.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 15-Jun-13 12:17:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ProphetOfDoom Sat 15-Jun-13 12:23:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Viviennemary Tue 18-Jun-13 11:50:32

Try and stock up on things like dishwasher tablets and washing powder, shampoo and so on when they are on offer. Coffee and teabags same. And what about reducing your Sky package down and dropping some channels. We did once and haven't bothered to get them back even though we can afford it now. Even a bit saved here and there over the week and month amounts to quite a lot in a year.

Bluecarrot Tue 18-Jun-13 14:18:11

Good point Viv.

When I get a £x off when you spend x voucher, and would not spend that much in a week, I look to see that long shelf life products are on offer and stock up. Eg laundry and dishwashing products, deodorant, hair and body stuff, tinned good like chopped tomatoes and when I had a big freezer, frozen veg and chips!

That in itself won't save you a fortune but lots of little things added up will. Perhaps you could open a new account ( or have a sealed jar in the house) and every time you save money on something, put the saving amount into the pot.

Or challenge yourself to "save" £10 a week. Or £20 or whatever is a bit of a challenge but not too hard!

£20 a week x 50 weeks = £1000
£25 a week x 50 weeks = £1250.

Hmm... Think I've decided to give that challenge a go myself actually!

emma16 Tue 18-Jun-13 22:47:45

Sorry for jumping in here, I always feel slightly overwhelmed when reading posts like these, question whether or finances are right/wrong etc.
But one thing that always make's me feel really sad, is how much people these days have to be so scrupulous with money...life's too short in itself than having to be so worried & consumed by budgets, and I don't mean that in a stuck up way at all! It's a sad state of the country today sad
I do consider us to be fortunate that my husband brings home £3120 a month & I bring around £350 a month home from domestic cleaning. We transfer £1095 into our bills account each month, that's gas & leccy, mortgage, water, council tax, sky, tv licence, 2 x car insurance, life insurance, critical illness & mortgage protection insurance, £80 xmas savings, 2 x mobile phones, I think that's it..my laptop has decided to freeze when trying to look at our spreadsheet!
On top of that we pay around £200 a month on fuel, £300 food/household bits & £500 on 2 cars on finance (ds3 & ds5 sport) eeekk which leaves us with £1375 a month as 'free' money.
We don't have any loans, credit card debt, store cards or overdraft so if I'm being honest I think we're ok money wise??
The sky & car bill is a bit much I know, (!!) but my husbands excuse is he works damn hard for his wage, we have no debt, live well within our means, we hardly ever go out as we are genuinely happy to be at home together on a night whilst our 2 kids are young & at school..neither of us smoke, we share a bottle of wine perhaps once a week & he'll get a few cans now & then.
I do believe that should anyone look at our finances they would struggle to show me where I could improve as I scour the internet when looking for insurances, policy's, already in a discounted sky deal etc...obvs the car's would be a big arrow pointing to them but again like my hubby reminds me, they're only expensive if you can't afford them?! He's good with words in that way ;)
My sister is really scared of numbers for some reason & has no idea about their incomings & outgoings, but there's nothing to be worried about! Unless of course you know you have problems & this is why your putting off sitting down & sorting it out?
I hope you get sorted soon & back on track though smile

IWipeArses Wed 19-Jun-13 08:31:46

Not sure why you've posted all that on this thread Emma, but well done?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 19-Jun-13 09:45:36

IWipe grin

irregularegular Wed 19-Jun-13 09:54:33

Actually - all those people claiming you are better off than most. That really isn't true, once you adjust for the fact that you have three children.

I just used the IFS income distribution calculator. I assumed your income was divided equally between the two of you (and guessed £1,500 for council tax). On that basis 63% of households in the UK have a higher 'adjusted' income than you.

tupuedes Fri 21-Jun-13 07:30:48

£40k is not a high income, you have high rent and several kids. A holiday would be affordable however if you cut back elsewhere, but it sounds like you spend a lot on car finance so that might be your answer. Nobody needs to be spending £300pm on a car, you can get a decent 2nd hand car for much less.

Ilovefluffysheep Fri 21-Jun-13 17:14:11

I guess it's all about your outgoings and what you can change. I bring home £1500 a month salary, but also get around £900 in tax credits, dla (for my son), child benefit and maintenance. The dla needs renewing in November and I don't expect to get it again, in fact was amazed to get it in first place. If this goes I will be around £500 down a month as it impacts on tax credits too. However, still managed perfectly well before this so will do again.

I am an adult and 2 teenage children. We holiday abroad every year, and also camp in this country.

I spend a lot of time on sites like mse, hotukdeals etc. I never pay full price for anything. I use coupons for grocery shopping obsessively - at work I am known as the coupon queen! I get laughed at, but then the same people wonder how I afford these holidays. For us as a family holidays are a priority, so all money saved goes towards them. Other people choose to spend their money on different things, that's up to them.

I probably don't have that many more family holidays left with the kids given their ages, so am making the most of them whilst I can.

Ilovefluffysheep Fri 21-Jun-13 17:38:06

Also meant to add, but finished above post as I got distracted...!

I make full use of Tesco points, use them for days out, and in the past before they put too many restrictions on for holidays (our first trip to Florida was all on tesco points, it was amazing).

I also stalk travel sites like headforpoints.com to see what cards I can take out to get me points that I can use for avios, hotel points etc. Last year we did a cruise from New York then stayed for 3 nights afterwards - hotel was completely free using hotel points.

I got my car in 2007 back when you could use tesco points at motorpoint - paid for half my car with tesco points and half cash. Deliberately picked a car with low emissions so it was in low tax bracket. Have just this minute renewed my road tax, which cost me £30 for the year.

All of the above takes time and effort, but for us as a family, the rewards are well worth it.

confusedofengland Fri 21-Jun-13 18:28:11

fluffysheep thanks for the advice about headforpoints.com - I have just been on & got 50 clubcard points for very little effort! Do you also do Tesco Shopper Thoughts surveys, where you can earn points (and Nectar Canvass ones)?

Ilovefluffysheep Fri 21-Jun-13 20:22:50

No, surveys is one thing I don't do. Oh and comping as well - tried to get into that for a while but didn't win anything and was taking ages, so gave up!

I have found it pays to be obsessed, and not worry about what others think! An example - tesco and waitrose used to take coupons for any product even if you didn't buy it (sadly they stopped this a couple of years ago, and my grocery bill went up from tiny amounts to lots!). I used to go to the Good Food Show twice a year, bought a plastic crate trolley, and spent my day going in and out of the various entrances collecting the booklets they gave out, which were full of coupons. These could have anywhere between £10 and £20 worth, and on an average trip I would come home with about £400 of them.

I then used to do small shops every day to the value of the coupons (you could only use 1 of each if not buying the product), thereby effectively getting free shopping. If I didn't need groceries I would use for other stuff like clothes, cd's, christmas presents etc. You can imagine how much money this saved leaving me free to spend it on other things (I managed to overpay my mortgage by £4000 and go on holiday abroad one year!).

As I say, this came to a stop a few years ago, so I have had to get very savvy at using coupons legitmately and making savings elsewhere to still be able to afford what I would class as a "decent" holiday each year (meaning abroad, I actually really enjoy our camping holidays in this country as well).

apatchylass Fri 21-Jun-13 20:35:07

I've only skim read this whole thread, so may have missed someone else saying this, but no one has mentioned OP getting overdrawn each month and how very expensive it is to do that. I remember being fleeced by my bank with overdraft charges when I got overdrawn. I never do these days, even if it means basics brand everything.

if both you and your DP are getting overdrawn each month, take a look at how much the bank is charging you. purposefully have one really tight month, spending almost nothing - just to make sure you don't get over drawn and then keep it that way.

I recommend you take a look at Park Resorts. One of the best holidays we ever had was at Easter - so in school holidays, at Romney Sands in a clean, spacious 2 bed apartment for only £69 for the whole family for four nights. We swam in the pools, had the beach to ourselves, rode the tiny narrow gauge railway, had ice-creams at the old fashioned ice cream parlour, went to the fun fair, rode donkeys, had fish and chips on the beach and the whole holiday was less than £150 for four of us. I use Park Resorts a lot. They give you a discount for returning, and price freezes. It's usually a caravan not a flat but they are spotlessly clean and spacious, and often in stunningly beautiful places. DC under age 8 would be in 7th heaven there. They do all the lairy discos, talent shows, kidz fun games etc if you like that sort of thing - we don't bother but there's loads on for almost no money. You really can afford £69.

confusedofengland Fri 21-Jun-13 21:49:21

At our Tesco you can still use coupons for other products, at the self-scan tills. You can only use 2 of this sort at a time, though & only up to a value of £2 each time.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now