Advanced search

To think we can live on £800pcm...

(76 Posts)
LumpyMcBentface Mon 29-Aug-16 11:04:48

For food, petrol and spends?

I really want to get our shit together, pay off our credit cards and save for a holiday. My plan is to transfer a fixed amount for the month into a different amount for spends, and stick to it. That way we can build up a healthy balance in the other account and use it to pay all the credit card debt and a holiday.

Does it sound doable? Family of five plus pets.

Any tips?

Emochild Mon 29-Aug-16 11:09:14

Family of 3 + 3 cats

We live of £750 a month for everything other than mortgage payments

You cut your cloth according to your means

In your situation I would clear credit card debt before I even thought about a holiday though

lovebeingamummy2012 Mon 29-Aug-16 11:09:17

Depends entirely on your lifestyle. How much commuting do you do? In other words, what do you NEED for petrol? What's your current supermarket bill like? What kind of pets? When you say 'spends' what are you including? The whole family would need to be on board but you haven't really given enough information yet

NickyEds Mon 29-Aug-16 11:09:36

How much do you spend on petrol? I think it's doable but a bit of a squeeze. Does that include clothes too?

eightbluebirds Mon 29-Aug-16 11:10:26

Of course it's doable.

OutOfTime Mon 29-Aug-16 11:12:12

This is how we managed to pay fees to buy a house, and actually have some savings! I worked out what was coming in - going out , then set up a dd to a savings account. Leaving us £800 a month to live on, I divided this by 4 ( we then have a frugal few extra days at the end of the month living off what we have in cupboards ) and draw two weeks of cash out at a time. I split this into 2 envelopes and the rule is you can only borrow from the following week for petrol ( to save repeated trips to refuel !)
It's the only way we've been able to save and it really focuses your mind as to how much you have to live on. We are 2 adults and 2 young DC and can manage quite comfortably on £800, having a few days out and take aways . This includes £15 Pw club fees for DC and about £25 petrol .

Hadjab Mon 29-Aug-16 11:12:20

First off, congrats for trying to sort yourself out financially - it'll be tough, but worth it in the end! I think the biggest savings you'll be able to make is with food shopping, especially if you're organised and can plan out weekly menus in advance. Don't be afraid of supermarket own brands, they are usually just as good as the brand names.

hazeimcgee Mon 29-Aug-16 11:12:38

No answer just tips

Write a budget. Write down how much you currently spend on everything and see where you can save. So putting £5 for petrol if the kids school is a 30 min ride away isn't reasonable but knocking £5 off a week abd walking to the local shops is.

Where do you currently do your food shop? Lidl is actually very good and cheaper. Or shoo online so you're less likely to inpulse buy.

Make sure the kids have everything they need for school so you're not 2 weeks in only to relaise someobe is missing shoes, a bag etc.

Make lunches for work, but a portabke cup if you tend to buy coffee out etc.

Shop aroubd the see if you can reduce your utility bills

Good luxk

Nanunanu Mon 29-Aug-16 11:14:15


What do you mean for spends? Have you budgeted for car tax and insurance?

All the various house hold expenses that only come around once a year?

How far do you have to travel by car (work school etc)

LumpyMcBentface Mon 29-Aug-16 11:19:17

Petrol is between £50-£100 a month depending. I don't drive so it's just Dh to and from work which is about twenty minutes away.

We usually spend between £60-£90 a week on food and cleaning stuff, including dog and cat food.

We don't buy many clothes as we are fortunate to have over generous relatives who buy a shit tonne of clothes for birthdays and also hand stuff down. We've already bought uniform and shoes for the school year.

All their extra curricular stuff is already accounted for out of the main budget. Spends will be things like lunch out, occasional takeaways (once a month), bits and bobs like books from Amazon, cheap days out etc. Plus I smoke blush and drink wine but I'm determined to stick to one bottle on a Friday.

We currently spend between £1200-£1500 a month so this will mean cutbacks. It's just frittering though and needs to stop.

limon Mon 29-Aug-16 11:20:13


LumpyMcBentface Mon 29-Aug-16 11:20:53

Car tax and insurance is already accounted for (paid monthly) and we can dip into our balance for things that crop up and for Christmas -instead of whacking it on the credit card like we do now.

LumpyMcBentface Mon 29-Aug-16 11:21:58

We shop online at Ocado, but all own brands and offers.

disneyprincesswannabe Mon 29-Aug-16 11:25:22

We do. 2 adults, 4 full time children, 1 weekend child and a dog.
Food we spend on average £75 a week so £300 a month. Petrol is £80 a month (it's actually a bit more but Dh gets a mileage allowance as he uses the car for work but we allow each one full tank out of the joint account each month). From your budget that would allow £425 a month spare for clothes, gifts, days out etc. Easily doable.

BaronessEllaSaturday Mon 29-Aug-16 11:26:33

Buy a notebook and jot down every single penny you spend. Split the money into different allocations so you have so much for food shopping (inc household cleaners, pet food etc) so much for petrol, so much for fun ie takeaways, days out. You need to reconcile your balance daily and if any discrepancies you need to investigate it straight away to keep on top of it so the spending doesn't spiral out of control at all.

GeorgeTheThird Mon 29-Aug-16 11:28:04

You can save money by getting half your stuff at Ocado and half at Aldi if you have one near.

Misselthwaite Mon 29-Aug-16 11:28:23

I think it would be very tight. Why not take a look at forums like money saving expert where there are challenges to reduce grocery spending etc. Why have you got debt already? That needs looking at too. Going from spending 1500 a month to just 800 is a big jump. You also need a willing partner, no point even trying otherwise.

LumpyMcBentface Mon 29-Aug-16 11:29:05

We don't have aldi or lidl nearby so any savings would be negated by petrol costs.

We spend less in Ocado than we used to in Tesco.

SillySongsWithLarry Mon 29-Aug-16 11:29:45

It sound like plenty but you have to be disciplined. It is easy to get down to your last £20 with a week to go until your next allocated allowance and just transfer a bit out of money allocated to paying off debts. We live with a similar budget and it is plenty.

SanityClause Mon 29-Aug-16 11:29:56

Pay as much off the credit card monthly as you can, rather than building up a balance to pay it off. This will reduce the amount you pay, overall. Cut up the card, if you have difficulty with impulse control.

Have a specific holiday fund in a seperately account to the "rainy day" account. You will see it increasing, and that will be a reward for the cut backs you are making elsewhere. Maybe do a "mood board" for your holiday that you can all add to from time to time, to keep up the excitement a bit. So, if you plan on going to Cornwall, pictures of the Eden project, the beach at st. Ives, the harbour at Mousehole, a Barbara Hepworth sculpture - that kind of thing.

LumpyMcBentface Mon 29-Aug-16 11:31:27

The debt is from hypomanic spending, mainly. I'm on the good drugs now so that should hopefully be the end of that.

I'm a terrible fritterer, bottles of wine, stuff for the kids, magazines, lunch in town. Nothing I can't easily forgo.

BlackeyedSusan Mon 29-Aug-16 11:32:07

you need to do less spends. increase the gap between takeaways, and eating out and day trips. find free stuff to do. cut back on food budget.

your food budget does not seem excessive for 5. we spend on average £45 per week for three, no pets. check that you are not topping up with otherstuff here and there. easy to forget about five pounds here and there.

write down everything you spend. see where you can cut back.

LumpyMcBentface Mon 29-Aug-16 11:32:26

The credit cards are all 0% and the back account is 3% interest so it is better to build up a balance first and then whack it on the cards.

SanityClause Mon 29-Aug-16 11:32:50

Sorry, they are some suggestions. I just read my post and realise it sounds very bossy. blush

LumpyMcBentface Mon 29-Aug-16 11:33:43

I used to pop to the shop for milk and come back with twenty quids worth of stuff. The shop is a drive away so now Dh goes and he's much more disciplined. If he goes for milk, he comes back with milk.

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