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To be permanently skint, despite being on a good salary?

(914 Posts)
cherriesandapplesandberries Sun 12-Jan-20 08:14:55

On paper, we have a good combined income of around £85,000, although it varies slightly and can even go up to around 90 on a good year.

But we seem to be permanently skint, and I don’t mean not much money, I mean absolutely nothing in the bank accounts, scrabbling round for loose change, stressing about how we will get to work, skint. This isn’t a begging thread by the way, I know sometimes people post on MN wanting others to offer them money and I don’t, I’m just trying to explain how it is.

We do have debts, loans and credit cards plus obviously the mortgage, childcare fees, cars which cost then obviously the needs of a growing family.

I know back when I was a young ‘un I’d have fallen about laughing at the idea my current salary isn’t enough to live on, but I just seem to be struggling all of the time!

StealthPolarBear Sun 12-Jan-20 08:16:27

Have you budgeted? Do you know where it goes?

BuffaloCauliflower Sun 12-Jan-20 08:17:49

Where’s the money actually going? It must be a lot of debt if you’re in this much trouble. Make a spreadsheet with all your incoming and outgoing, track how much you’re actually spending on things like food, and figure out where you are. Even with the costs you mention and if you live in an expensive area (I do) you shouldn’t be struggling this much on that wage

PuttingouttheFirewithGasoline Sun 12-Jan-20 08:18:06

1st add up essential outgoings.

2nd divide up what's left to spend on various things.

That should also incentivise you to get bills as low as possible.

hammeringinmyhead Sun 12-Jan-20 08:19:10

Debts, loans AND credit cards will take up a decent chunk of most budgets. Can you concentrate on the highest interest ones first and transfer the credit card debt to a lower rate card?

Ginfordinner Sun 12-Jan-20 08:19:53

List all your outgoings on a spreadsheet. Unless you live in London I'm struggling to understand why you are skint with such a high income.

cherriesandapplesandberries Sun 12-Jan-20 08:21:17

Not really hammering, credit has gone to shit in recent years!

Where’s the money actually going?

I did say exactly where it went in my OP. It goes on childcare fees, the mortgage, council tax, electricity, phone / internet, cars, petrol, shoes, food, the hundred and one other needs of a family and debt!

hammeringinmyhead Sun 12-Jan-20 08:21:22

Agreed - if you're paying off an 800k mortgage at £1800 a month or something then that is the issue!

lovelyupnorth Sun 12-Jan-20 08:22:45

You need to look at your spending properly.

Suggest you go on the Martin Lewis debt free wannabe board.

Years ago when we where going down to one salary we properly reviewed all our spending and found so much waste that didn’t really impact on our life when we cut it out. Liking going from spending loads on lunches - in the end our total food spend was less than we spent on lunches.

On £85k you should be comfortable well off even but spending creep is amazing.

Seriously even if your not in debt go on the Martin Lewis site and post your SOA - but be prepared for them to be brutal. Worth it though.

Ffsnosexallowed Sun 12-Jan-20 08:23:20

OP - but how much is going on those things??? You'll not get much advice here unless you're more specific.

OnlyFoolsnMothers Sun 12-Jan-20 08:23:23

Something is seriously wrong with your outgoings to be skint- and I am well aware of the cost of childcare. How much debt are you in/ how large is your mortgage

SleepDeprivedElf Sun 12-Jan-20 08:23:33

Get Monzo or another of the new mobile phone based current accounts. This will tag your purchases into categories and give you a good sense of where your money goes. It's also a lot easier to stick to a budget when you can see the results of all those coffees etc immediately.

Sunshinelollipops1 Sun 12-Jan-20 08:23:55

Check out Dave Ramsey. We follow his plan after being in this situation. It works.

cherriesandapplesandberries Sun 12-Jan-20 08:24:28

The mortgage is quite big, though not London. Childcare is a temporary problem but it still takes up one salary in its entirety.

isitsnowingyet Sun 12-Jan-20 08:28:21

Why are you asking here?

I don't think you will get much sympathy or advice with so little information in your OP.

The Martin Lewis MSE is the site for you. If you have a combined income of £80,000 plus and you can't make ends meet - you have a serious problem.

hammeringinmyhead Sun 12-Jan-20 08:28:48

You'll not get much advice here unless you're more specific.

"Quite big" isn't much help if you want advice. Suggest you try MSE as other posters have said.

KidCaneGoat Sun 12-Jan-20 08:29:20

That is so much money. Something isn’t working if you’re skint on that amount of money. Where do you do food shopping? That makes a big difference.

Soontobe60 Sun 12-Jan-20 08:29:22

You've over stretched yourselves. I'd hazard a guess that you have:
The latest mobile phones
Newish cars
Sky or Virgin plus Netflix/amazon tv
Regular take aways
Designer clothes

When people earn what they perceive to be a decent amount of money, there is a tendency to over commit, because psychologically you believe you can afford it. So they upgrade phones as soon as possible, buy or lease more expensive cars, buy more expensive clothes and make up etc etc

What you need to do is list all your income and outgoings using something like Fuget app. Then you can see exactly where your money is going, as well as where you can make savings. As others have said, you need to pay off the highest interest debts asap, don't be tempted to take out more debt or use credit cards for every day living.

isitsnowingyet Sun 12-Jan-20 08:30:22

I did say exactly where it went in my OP. It goes on childcare fees, the mortgage, council tax, electricity, phone / internet, cars, petrol, shoes, food, the hundred and one other needs of a family and debt!

Umm - yeah but you didn't put amounts in - which is sort of the whole point

TriangleBingoBongo Sun 12-Jan-20 08:31:27

What exactly do you want people to say?

I’d guess you’re leading an extravagant lifestyle and you already know that but you’re not ready to change.

PotteringAlong Sun 12-Jan-20 08:31:34

Change bills / suppliers
Get rid of sky if you have it
Look at your shopping bill - meal plan and online shop only for what you need
Consolidate credit card debt onto interest free card
Stop buying coffee / lunch out
Second hand bundles for children’s clothes.

daisypond Sun 12-Jan-20 08:32:28

That is a very good income. Childcare costs can be difficult but will reduce in time. Do you need two cars?

Lockshunkugel Sun 12-Jan-20 08:33:30

How much debt are you in?

This might not be a popular view, but is it worth you both working full time if childcare costs uses up a whole salary?

Could you manage with one car?

Are you on the cheapest mortgage deal and 0% interest credit cards?

It doesn’t seem right that you are struggling on such a high income.

Lockheart Sun 12-Jan-20 08:33:53

If childcare is swallowing one salary in its entirety, then it might make sense for one of you to stop working for now.

You would save your childcare costs, half your travel costs, and would also be able to save on things like food as whoever is at home can be strict with the budget, meal plan and batch cook (much more difficult to do when you're all working full time).

If the financial situation is that dire it might be worth considering.

KatherineJaneway Sun 12-Jan-20 08:36:10

You need to write down every penny you spend then review after a week. That will show a) where your money is going and b) where you can cut back.

I know people who moan about having no money but they spend a good £50 a week at Pret for breakfasts and lunches.

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