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Aibu to not know how to set a budget

(21 Posts)
Carrie37 Wed 26-Dec-12 17:23:41

In the new year I need to save some money. At the minute I really just buy stuff and hope for the best at end of month but I know i waste loads eg food thrown out before its eaten, kids clothes outgrown before they are worn etc.

So how do you do it? What percentage of income goes on food, clothes etc

BoffinMum Wed 26-Dec-12 17:25:29

There's software called You Need A Budget that you might find useful. It has free tutorials and is very easy to use. There's a free trial as well. I'd give that a go.

Theicingontop Wed 26-Dec-12 17:28:32

Meal plan! Writing a meal plan each week has saved me hundreds. I stick to it most of the time and it's also helped me to lose weight. Honestly, it's a godsend. Also, save extra money by (if possible) making more than usual and having leftovers for lunch the next day, it's often cheaper to make more of one meal than it is to make a whole new meal. Here's a link to the template I use, if it helps:

noisytoys Wed 26-Dec-12 17:33:51

Have a separate account for bills, pay with cash, put some money aside

Allergictoironing Wed 26-Dec-12 17:36:12

I think it's more a case of having a bit of self control and planning. There are no hard & fast rules on what percentage of income goes on what, it depends very much on each family, their income & their needs.

From your OP, it seems like you're buying clothes for the children when they don't actually need them. So for a couple of months only buy things they do need then & there. Full stop. Doesn't matter if they are "sooo cute, DS/DD will look nice in that" or if they are cheap. Step away from the clothes rails and do not buy!

Learn to always check the eat by date on foods & don't get a week's worth that all runs out in 2 days. As Theicingontop says, plan your meals for the next few days or even the week before you go shopping.

Over the next 2-3 months write down what you spend on everything - mortgage/rent, gas, electric, water, telephone, internet, mobile etc as well as food & household. These are your necessities, then things like clothes that HAVE to be replaced, THEN anything else. I'd also tot up the value of anything you end up throwing away - you'll soon realise just how much you are wasting that way!

Purple2012 Wed 26-Dec-12 17:46:30

I agree with writing everything down. The magazine you don't need, the chocolate bar when you're not hungry. Then after a month add it all up and you will be shocked at what you spend.

I put savings into 2 accounts when we get paid, we do it by standing order. I then do a big shop using the credit card then pay it off. Then I see what's left. I take a few hundred quid out the bank and put it in a tin, we use that for fresh food that we need over the month. I try to not use the credit card apart from petrol and always make sure there's enough in the bank to pay it off.

Every few months I buy a load of fish meat and veg and make meals for the freezer. That saves loads.

It's possible to save a huge amount but you need to put the time in.

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 26-Dec-12 17:56:17

yes i think YABU to not know how to budget. it is a very simple principle. but really i think you do know how to budget, what you are having trouble with is your spending habits. (buying without knowing if you can afford it)

budgetting is simple.

you have £A income

fixed bills cost £B

food costs £C

travel costs £D

clothing costs £E

etc etc.

you just need to work out what essential things cost you each month and dont spend more than that. if you haven't enough income, either get more, spend less or both. it really isn't difficult to budget.

yellowsheep Wed 26-Dec-12 18:12:58

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MsVestibule Wed 26-Dec-12 18:16:33

Asking what % people pay on food and clothes is irrelevant. If our income went up by 100%, it wouldn't mean our spending on those items would.

I agree with the poster ^ who said it's your spending habits that are your problem. Meal planning is essential, so you won't buy more than you need. The online budget calculators are really helpful. You input your income and expenditure and it automatically calculates what's left. Out of that, factor in Christmas and birthday spending and any other big non-monthly spends and see how much you have left for clothes, takeaways and days out not much for us.

WandaDoff Wed 26-Dec-12 18:17:33


MsVestibule Wed 26-Dec-12 18:18:26

A very insightful post, yellowsheep.

financialwizard Wed 26-Dec-12 18:24:06

MSE has a really good statement of affairs budget thingy. Try there.

MaltesersR4LifenotJust4Xmas Wed 26-Dec-12 18:26:26

I agree with yellow ship smile

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 26-Dec-12 18:28:33

grin @ yellowship

i'm guessing someone has an 8 year old!

SantaIAmSoFuckingRock Wed 26-Dec-12 18:29:21

or yellowsheep rather!

redexpat Wed 26-Dec-12 20:30:46

Try the love food hate waste website for a 2 week meal plan with shopping list.

Lifeskills Thu 27-Dec-12 17:50:20

You might get more response if you posted this in credit crunch or money matters

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Thu 27-Dec-12 17:53:12

Look for ways to increase your income. Budgeting is all very well but the cost of essentials is steadily increasing and wages are being held down.
Do you have things you could Ebay or sell at Cash Converters or similar? Could you manage something like an Avon or Bettaware round?

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Thu 27-Dec-12 18:08:32

As others have said you need to know what you are spending the money on before you can budget effectively.

Also do a stocktake of what you already have. Check your kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what food you have. Sort your children's clothes and ebay anthing that doesn't fit and is in good condition. Make a note of any next size up clothes they have so you are not tempted to buy more.

My savings go out at the start of the month not the end so I don't get tempted to spend them. Make sure you save for upcoming one off expenses like car/house insurance /car tax over several months so you don't have to worry when the bill does arrive.

WildWorld2004 Thu 27-Dec-12 18:31:25

Budgeting is easy. Its Writing a list of your income and expenses.

Whats harder is stopping the spending on the little things that you dont need. Like the magazine, the bar of chocolate, the clothes that you like but dont need, paying money for the bus, taxi or using the car when you could walk.

EllenParsons Thu 27-Dec-12 18:36:52

Try the budget planner on money saving expert. It is easy to use and quite good. Saying that, once I put in all my details I haven't actually really been using it, but it does help you get a good overview of your finances.

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