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To ask how much spare money you have a week and what do you spend it on?

(55 Posts)
Gymsoundslikewine Sun 12-Nov-17 16:00:07

My finances need a makeover. Spending too much on crap and not saving enough.

I spend about £40-50 a week on unnecessary items, coffees, magazines, new clothes, make up etc.

So what's your spare money budget and what do you buy?

lumpybumpylooloo Sun 12-Nov-17 16:10:11

Not totally answering your question but I used to be exactly the same as you, just frittering money away with nothing much to show for it.
I did 2 things to break the habit:
Firstly, I set a weekly budget which is lifted in cash every Friday and needs to last until the following Friday. I found that actually handing cash over and seeing my pile of notes diminish made me really question my purchases.
At the very beginning I also wrote down every purchase I made so that I could see where my money was going. Don’t do this anymore as I’m out of the habit of spending on rubbish but really helped break the habit.

TheQueenOfWands Sun 12-Nov-17 16:11:12


If anything there's a deficit...

I'm the poorest person I know.

Gymsoundslikewine Sun 12-Nov-17 16:14:33

I was really good over the summer and saved quite a lot of money but things have slipped due to one reason and another, need to get back in that place

Arrowfanatic Sun 12-Nov-17 16:16:29

Very little tbh. After I've paid all the bills, the food shopping and for all the club's and things I'm usually pretty close to broke. In a month I may have £50 "spare" although that'll go to any birthdays etc eye or extra club/school costs

Crunchymum Sun 12-Nov-17 16:17:10

Nothing spare here either.

PNGirl Sun 12-Nov-17 16:19:05

I don't really think in weeks. About a third of my pay is bills then another maybe 200 on petrol and food. I will spend barely anything for 2 weeks and then I might spend 50 quid on a meal out and 100 quid on a day out shopping.

You don't need new makeup or clothes every week. I strongly advise unsubscribing from marketing emails if you haven't already!

londonrach Sun 12-Nov-17 16:19:32

People have money left over? No sorry op i dont have a penny left over but i did buy something for myself about three months ago. In a charity shop there was a stunning carved box with animals on (different animals on the sides) which i felt guilty buying for £2 but i love it and its just big enough to put wipes in. When dd is bigger and im workimg again i plan to buy some clothes that are new.

mustbemad17 Sun 12-Nov-17 16:19:59

I'm not working atm (getting tax credit rollover for four weeks) so when my tax credits come in I pay the weekly rent & top the gas/leccy up. The rest is mine, works out about £60 for the week. I pay my LG's activities/snack out of that, keep the weekly essentials topped up & usually go for a coffee with a friend once a week. I'm very conscious of how i spend it because i'm still trying to get used to the fact i'm not earning anymore; my OH is wonderful & keeps my car fuelled up & asks me weekly if i need cash. I used to be crap - spent money willy nilly. It is far too easy to do if you just use your card. Now I have cash weekly, & it definitely makes a difference because you watch it disappear

Want2bSupermum Sun 12-Nov-17 16:24:24

It sounds like you are not planning these purchases. I know my make up costs about $150 a year. It's 4x neutrogena mineral powders, 4x mascara, one lipstick, one primer, one eyeshadow palate and one brush. So I know I need to put aside about $15 a month to make sure I have enough.

I use the jar method for budgeting. I have a couple of jars split into different categories: food, alcohol, childcare and children's activities (including birthday presents), transport and misc (copays for the doctor, dog food, vet etc). Each week I fill up the jars and that is our spending money. The trick is to get to the end of the week before you get to the end of your jar. You can move money between the jars but you can't move money from a future week into the current week. You can move money from a prior week into a future week.

jaseyraex Sun 12-Nov-17 16:31:58

I tend to add up what the outgoings are at the end of the month when DH gets paid and subtract it from his wage. I meal plan for the month too so I know how much I'm spending on food each week. All the money for bills, shopping, etc gets left in the bank. We withdraw £200 in cash that does us the month (playgroups, topping up on milk and things, bus fares as we don't drive etc), and whatevers left goes straight in to savings. Anything left from our £200 at the end of the month goes in to savings too or a little treat.

RedSkyAtNight Sun 12-Nov-17 16:33:33

Set up a savings account (if you don't already have one). Set up a direct debit to transfer whatever is a sensible amount into your savings account, the day that you get paid. That way the money is not in your account to spend.

I'm a saver, I begrudge spending anything, so I can go for weeks without spending money on anything other than the weekly shop. That does mean when I do spend money I potentially spend more, as I like to get value for money and be sure it's something I really want/need.

My other tip is simply not to take money/cards out with you unless you are going out to buy a planned item. Again, if you don't have it, you can't spend it.

Katedotness1963 Sun 12-Nov-17 16:45:59

Spare money? Do you mean the loose change we throw in a jar that then gets used for bread and milk till payday?

GnomeDePlume Sun 12-Nov-17 16:50:43

Get a little notebook and write down everything you spend for a couple of weeks. Just a quick note.

Do this and stick to it and I can guarantee that you will spend less. It will also give you a very quick insight into where you are frittering and where you are planning your spending.

maddiemookins16mum Sun 12-Nov-17 16:51:39

I have £35 in my purse and about £450 in my everyday bank account which is all mine until I get paid again on the 25th. All our bills are done for the month but I need to get all our food out of this money. Plus I need my hair cut, some new jeans and to buy some more Christmas presents.

Mamabear4180 Sun 12-Nov-17 16:57:42

about £50 which I spend on trains and toddler groups mostly

Littlepond Sun 12-Nov-17 17:02:44

I have £25 a week to spend on me. I feel very fortunate to be able to do this. It goes on clothes, nights out, coffee before work, kebab on a Friday, miscellaneous expenses (last weeks money went on paying in advance for work xmas night out).

Parker231 Sun 12-Nov-17 18:26:03

Coffees, magazines, clothes and make up are not unnecessary items if you want/need them and can afford them. If they give you pleasure and you enjoy them, they are definitely worth buying.

Gymsoundslikewine Sun 12-Nov-17 19:46:20

Thanks for the advice everyone. I do have 2 savings acc. One with 4 figures in and one with a 5 figure amount in so I'm aware I'm far from hard up in the scheme of things, the aim is to become a homeowner so I just feel my extra expenditure is unnecessary and not helping the bigger picture. I am going to write down everything I spend. I already know coming up this week I have a haircut, but not much else. I've already put £50 in to DC1 book bag for various sponsor money, school photos, Xmas cards all due tomorrow and this comes out of the spare money pot. So you could say that's my allowance up before it's even turned Monday

Want2bSupermum Sun 12-Nov-17 20:22:51

If you want magazines then buy them via subscription as the price is up to 75% off this way. I am lucky that my library has the magazines I like to read so I go there 2-3 times a month to read them.

It's a very rare event for me to buy coffee out. I have a coffee cup that I take out with me. I prefer to have mint tea because it tastes great hot or cold. My coffee cup was a Christmas present a few years ago and wasn't expensive, it's by contigo and cost about £10.

For clothes I am aware of what I have and what I need. I buy a lot from the same stores. As an example my work clothes come from coast and the outlet close to me calls my father when they have things they think I would like. My dad goes to look them over and calls my via skype. I then buy over the phone on credit card and pick them up when I'm next visiting. For a work dress I pay on average £40 a dress. I know I need 10 outfits a year, 5 for each summer and winter. For non work clothes I buy mainly from Sainsbury's and I budget on 5 outfits for each season (summer and winter) and £20 per outfit because I only need to buy pieces to add to what I already have. Shoes I always struggle with and I wear shoes that I really shouldn't because I'm too cheap and lazy to keep buying pairs until I find a pair that fit me.

BitchQueen90 Sun 12-Nov-17 20:29:44

About £160 a week. £100 straight into a savings account. The £60 is used on things like clothes/days out/treats for DS and the odd beauty treatment/book/ new item of clothing for me. I have one takeaway coffee every Friday as a treat and we eat out once a month.

Gillian1980 Sun 12-Nov-17 20:30:42

Everything is budgeted down to the last £1 as we earn just enough to cover everything. We do allocate £10 each p/w for ourselves.... I usually spend mine on meeting a friend for coffee and cake smile

Want2bSupermum Sun 12-Nov-17 20:36:21

gym It's really hard to save for a deposit when you have Dc. I did it before DC by working 3 jobs (2 FT and 1PT) plus I cut back on expenses right to the bone.

In the short term are you able to babysit at night when your OH is home? Can your OH take on extra work to earn more? Also why is your DD sending sponsor money in. Stop sponsoring stuff at school. It's guilt money. You look after your family and then others. We also do the basic package of school pictures and print our own. Xmas cards are a postcard made by the kids that we copy. Postcards are super cheap to mail compared to cards.

The problem with saving like this is that kids can feel very unsettled by the change in spending habits. We are raised to feel shame when we say 'we can't afford' when in actual fact it's empowering to not spend more than what you make. It's been challenging for us as a family to continue saving without it being damaging to the DC. DH has said to DD numerous times that we don't have the money for something. She worries that we don't have enough money. I tell her, if we buy that we won't have enough for x and which does she need more. It's a useful lesson to teach your DC but it's hard to get the balance right.

teaandcakeat8 Sun 12-Nov-17 20:39:07

Have £1200 per month spare, from which £400 into savings, £200 into mortgage and £600 to spend. From that I buy travel (approx £40 per month), clothes, haircuts, toiletries and socialising.

Gymsoundslikewine Sun 12-Nov-17 20:46:27


It was an nspcc thing, I'm owed £15 of it back from family when I eventually get it. And it's just crap luck it's fallen on the same week as the school photos which I have bought basic £15 package and the Xmas card.

I so wish I'd bought a home before having 3DC but hindsight is a wonderful thing. And obviously love and cherish my children dearly

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