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Loosing £1000 a month

(28 Posts)
carries Thu 04-Feb-16 08:10:30

Our present income is £3800 which I know is very healthy. But my husband's business (he's also a secondary teacher) in iPad consultancy is drying up so we are (as off March) loosing £1000 off our income. I'm a saver so have web savers for Christmas, car repairs, holidays, house stuff etc. This will all have to stop. Our DD and SO are £1900. I spend £100 on food a week (3dd plus me and dh), £30 a week on diesel. One of the cars is electric so costs nothing to run except the lease payments. So £2800-£2420 leaves us £380 for extras like days out, clothes, uniform, holidays, birthdays etc... I know folks survive on less. Can you help me?

ssd Thu 04-Feb-16 08:18:39

I'm sure you will get some really good help here. I'm just thinking, can you look at your DD's and see if you can get them down, contact the gas and elec suppliers, contact your tv and broadband provider, have a look and cut out insurances that aren't necessary, apply for PIP if that's still on the go., shop for bargains, aldi etc.

am sure others will be around to add to my ideas.

oh another one, contact your mortgage provider and see if you are on the best deal....also mobile providers.

also get rid of a car and make do with the one.

days out...tesco clubcard points for hteme park entries, check if you have any and check if you have old points unused yet...ditto for meals out.....sign up to groupon and 5pm.co.uk for deals for eating out, for when you do, uniforms asda are great, holidays caravans or camping.

it can be done, it';; take a big change on your and your dh's part, what ages are your kids.

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Thu 04-Feb-16 08:32:53

What can you cut down on a month from your direct debits because £1900 sounds a lot. Ours are £800 inc the mortgage. Can you cancel gym membership, cut back on sky tv package, etc.

I budget weekly now to try and stop myself spending my wages at the start of the month. It's working. So I set myself £200 a week max to spend inc food.

carries Thu 04-Feb-16 08:48:02

Thanks for replies. I'm a budgeter so keep a type track of money each month. And work by cash for car fuel, days out, food top up shops (milk, bread etc), coffees etc. Our mortgage is a good deal as we review every 2 years (£500). The cars are the biggy!! Tied into a lease for another 2 years with electric car but S-max payments are finished July which will save us £340 a month!!! Our kids are at at a small independent school but we get a huge discount as DH teaches there (£450 a month all in). I've got a expensive mobile contract (iPhone 6) and can change in Sept. Gas and electric are going to be reviewed (£150 a month) but house, life and car insurances are as low as we can go. Don't have sky just broadband no land line either.

I shop at lidl and go to Tesco for the odd thing I can't get at Lidl. use club card vouchers for meals out.

Kids are 11, 9 and 3. The older 2 get music tutor ion but grandma says she'll pay for that. They also do gymnastics and netball which again GM will pay for.

In some ways I'm baffled as I think I budget carefully and even £2800 is a lot each month! But 3 kids seems to cost a lot! Not s massive house either. Ex-council with an extension which gives us 4 bedrooms and 2 reception rooms.
Oh and no gym membership - that got cancelled 2 years ago!! Hence flabby tummy 😀😀

Muskateersmummy Thu 04-Feb-16 08:54:44

Come July things will be much easier for you as the S Max is taking a hefty share. You will basically double your disposable when that happens. Reign in the days out etc until then. Plenty of free things you can do with the small folks. Sounds like you are being pretty money savvy already smile

carries Thu 04-Feb-16 09:00:24

Muskateers - the days out are the thing - we do divide and conquer a bit cos the 11 and 9 year old like climbing walls but no interest in soft play. They all like parks but this winter that's not happened!! But that's another topic 😊😊

Muskateersmummy Thu 04-Feb-16 09:02:59

Groupon and hot deals are good for getting you cheap days out. Xx

Borninthe60s Thu 04-Feb-16 09:05:50

Not much advice but I used to add lentils or porridge to mince based meals to spread it further. Own brand stuff where possible and butcher meat, it costs a bit more but is nicer and cheap if you buy in bulk and freeze meals.

Laquila Thu 04-Feb-16 09:08:11

To be honest you sound like you have it all covered!! I think the main thing when trying to budget/reduce costs is knowing where your money's going.

Have you tried USwitch for utilities? Also is it worth asking whether you could take a mortgage break for a couple of months, to take you closer to July?

Now is the time to look for v cheap/free trial memberships for things like the NT, English Heritage etc. Maybe free local gym day passes for the girls to go swimming?

Also, I'm aure you've thought of this but have you cancelled things like Netflix, Kindle Unlimited, Spotify etc? It all adds up!

PosieReturningParker Thu 04-Feb-16 09:17:10

You could always talk to school and ask about a further reduction?

AdoraBell Thu 04-Feb-16 09:31:21

Do you meal plan? And you say you save for Christmas, do know how much you spend on Christmas and could it be cut down?

It is very easy to spend more than you need to, or even realise, when you feel comfortable financially. You may well find utilities much cheaper than your current agreements.

Holidays, as suggested, can be done cheaply, or even a staycation with days out and activities planned depending on age of DCs.

Tigerblue Thu 04-Feb-16 09:59:42

As said look at all your dd's and check if they can be reduced. Also, phone insurance companies and check what you're insured for, thinking whether you really need every element. Ask if they can offer a discount for a long standing customer.

Get into the habit of walking (rather than using the car) if you're dropping something off locally or just need a few things from the local shop.

If you go out, take drinks and snacks or a picnic, that way you won't need to buy expensive food. We enjoy days out, but as a family often go on a walk or bike ride or play a game, all of which are free.

If you're buying presents, cut back a little - it all adds up.

Only buy clothes if you really need them, not just because you fancy treating yourself.

Look for cheaper food ideas, ie if you fancy fish have tuna in a pasta dish instead. Buy cheaper meats. Double check that you can't get things you're buying in Lidl cheaper in Tescos, ie Tescos own toilet rolls may be cheaper than what you can buy in Lidl. Maybe set yourself a food budget of £90 and roughly add up what you've got in your trolley. If it's likely to go over have a quick review on how to make it cheaper, ie swap one vegetable for a cheaper one, swap cake for a cheap packet of biscuits. Pasta and rice are great for adding cheap meats, fish, cheese to along with whatever veggies you have. I buy cans of tomatoes from Lidl and they're great for making a tomato sauce, just adding onion, garlic, peppers or whatever you have. Small savings all add up.

I'm sure you'll be okay, you're obviously very aware of what's coming in and going out - that's a great start.

Babelange Thu 04-Feb-16 13:40:11

I don't think you are going to achieve what you are looking for looking at your reduced income vs your commitments (although do see what you can save as outlined above).

Is £2800 the joint income for both of you working full-time? It looks like one of you is part-time or possibly both not at fte (to accommodate your DH's business).

There are only 3 ways to have more money: earn more, don't spend as much or realise an asset.

Did you consider state education for the 11 year old going into secondary? If not, then you could apply late for Sept 2016.

You need to speak to your DH about the bigger picture!

PenelopePitstops Thu 04-Feb-16 13:46:00

Your utilities sound huge. My bill is £40 per month for 2 so yours should be max £120. Turn off lights, wear clothes a couple of times before washing, wash bedding less frequently.

£100 on food sounds OK, although you probably could cut it down with more veg and less meat.

Tigerblue Thu 04-Feb-16 14:23:10

Just looking at thread again and as Penelope points out, your fuel bills are massive. Do look at reducing the cost by switching and review whether you really need heating/lighting etc on so much. To give you an idea our gas and electric with EDF are £47 pm for 3, size wise we're in a converted bungalow with two beds and bathroom upstairs.

xwingfighter Thu 04-Feb-16 21:36:24

If you have a 4 bed you could make the dds share and take in a lodger. The tax threshold will be £7.5k from April.

carries Thu 04-Feb-16 22:34:11

Babelange my husband works full time, but I'm on a return to work as a physio - but only work one day a week (3 year old doesn't start nursery for another month). And the income includes child benefit. And DH is well aware of the bigger picture 😊 State education we would consider if I don't get my registration back and therefore can't work.
Penelope - I think I need to check out my fuel options. We do the normal common sense stuff to keep costs down.

Thanks for tips. I do menu plan and do a 6 weekly butcher shop which I think I can stretch to 7-8 weeks. Birthdays are a biggy - will need to start bargain hunting.
Hopefully when Dd3 goes to school in 18 months and I can work more it will get easier again! Will just need to watch the pennies and not just the pounds till then.

Thanks again 😀😀

AdoraBell Fri 05-Feb-16 09:56:32

My late mother used to say if you look after the pennies the pounds will look after themselves.

Good luck with your work situation as well as getting costs down.

carries Fri 05-Feb-16 12:41:39

Thanks adorabell

carries Fri 05-Feb-16 13:23:57

Well! Those of you who adviced a change of energy suppliers - very very wise. Went online to my Scottish power electricity account - we are £1560 in CREDIT!!!!! Am going to switch just to get our money back!!!!

OurBlanche Fri 05-Feb-16 13:30:37

Don't think that switching will automatically get you your refund, I found this quite a shock when we moved!

www.moneysavingexpert.com/utilities/reclaim-energy-bill-refunds

Freshprincess Fri 05-Feb-16 13:32:29

You don't have to switch to get your money back. Just phone them up and tell them you want it back.

serin Mon 08-Feb-16 21:33:29

Hi Carries, be careful switching if they owe you money, we really had to fight British Gas to get the £900 they owed us back after we switched.

If you lost your registration as a result of a career break it's usually simple enough to get back, and even if you don't re register, physio assistants can earn quite a bit (lots of band 4's in reablement where I work).

The obvious thing would be to change the girls to the state sector? I don't say that glibly as it is something we thought long and hard about (DH is a teacher in a private school and gets half price fee's). We decided that the local school would suit them brilliantly and so far it has, although I concede that very much depends on what the local schools are like in your area.

For days out we always had National Trust membership, it now works out at £8 a month, and we camped.....a lot!

Atthebottomofthegarden Tue 09-Feb-16 19:03:25

I wouldn't contemplate changing the girls' school unless you / they are unhappy there, for a relatively short term cash flow crisis. Your utility company has now kindly funded your summer holiday so you will just have to be a bit more careful with the other things for the next 6 months. Presumably your utility DD now comes down each month too, so you should have £100 or so per week. Should be do-able as long you keep an eye on it.

Easy to overspend on birthday presents and parties though, watch that one!

Gingernut81 Tue 09-Feb-16 20:10:52

DH & I have recently gone veggie Mon - Thurs, more to try & be a bit healthier than anything but our food bills are a lot cheaper for it!

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