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Need help(budgeting)

(28 Posts)
OreosAreTasty Tue 26-Apr-16 20:11:04

Newbie to this board. Circumstances mean dp and I will be 1000pcm worse off, with around 200 left after bills, this will go on for at least 5 months until we're back to normal income
When I say 200 per month left after bills, I mean 200 for
Food for us both
30pm travel costs (altogether,leaving 170)
Gas and electric (20-25 per week altogether)
That leaves 70 pounds to feed us and for any emergencies etc.
Thank you for any advice in advance x

Cantstopeatingchocolate Tue 26-Apr-16 22:36:19

Check out websites like feed a family of 4 for £20. Lots of good advise. Shop at Aldi or Lidl, plan meals and ONLY buy what you need.
See if parents will feed you once per week too.
Tough but only for 5 months, start a countdown, it'll be over soon. X

OreosAreTasty Wed 27-Apr-16 00:34:39

Thank you, I don't shop at aldi much but there's one nearby and it's very cheap so will definitely go there. Shit at meal planning though :c x

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 27-Apr-16 15:18:03

Well you'll be an expert at it after this.

Why are your energy costs so high this time of year?.

coffeeisnectar Wed 27-Apr-16 15:20:48

Any kids or pets? £70 for two people for food is easily achieved. I spend that for four of us and three cats.

Don't buy anything you don't need.
Don't buy anything you can buy cheaper elsewhere.
Cook from scratch.
If you need help with recipes then ask.
Make a shopping list and stick to it.

coffeeisnectar Wed 27-Apr-16 15:24:04

ok just read the op again. £70 a month or a fortnight?. Sorry.

In that case you definitely need to meal plan and source some really cheap home made meals.

Veggie meals are cheaper than meat.
Batch cook if you are doing meat dishes (buying larger packs of meat works out cheaper and cuts energy bills if only reheating the next day)
Don't buy any cleaning products until you have more money. Water down what you have already and use it sparingly. Elbow grease is free!
Rice and pasta are cheap and filling. Baked potatoes ditto.

annielostit Wed 27-Apr-16 18:33:28

This is going to be tight as you alreu know.
Extra jumper & no heating on to save on gas/electric.
Dry clothes on an airer not a tumble dryer.
No cleaning stuff unless you run out. Home bargins do a washing liquid for 3.99 for 100 washer when you need some.
20p pasta from lidl & aldi is OK as is the rice.
Bolognaise base will stretch, aldi products
500g pork £1.79
2 x tins tomatoes 70p
Puree 10p (1/4 tube)
Onion 10p
1 carrot 10p
Herbs & garlic. £2.79 total this will do approx 8 portions.
Use it for chilli add beans & spice.
Or curry spices add some frozen peas for a keema type curry.

A pack of sausage 95p x12 pack, will make sausage casserole with mashed Swede & potatoes plus put in basic tomato sauce in a pasta bake.
I've included the link so you can browse.

MiniMum97 Wed 27-Apr-16 19:01:18

Not sure of your exact circumstances as you've not included the details but do you rent or have a mortgage? Also not sure if the reason for your sudden income drop but are you able to claim any benefits to support you? If one if you has lost your job you may be able to claim contribution-based benefits which are not means-tested. If you have a low enough income you may be able to claim other benefits such as housing benefit if you are renting.
If you have a mortgage, have you considered asking for a payment holiday?
£200 a month for two people is very little money so there may be help available.
You could call or pop in to your local Citizens Advice and ask for a benefits check appt.
Hope that helps.

OreosAreTasty Wed 27-Apr-16 21:51:40

No kids, no pets (well I've got a goldfish but very little in the way of expenses as I'm sure you can guess). I've no idea why my gas and electric is so high(I didn't think it was that bad??), rarely have the heating on and but use electronics (ie TV, play station) a fair bit, also have a gas cooker, in case I was unclear both electric and gas costs us around 20-25pw with electric being around 15 gas around 5-10 which I thought was the higher end of average! Both still have our jobs I don't want to be too identifying but us being worse off isn't debt related or unemployment related, but it will be this way for 5 months maximum, hopefully shorter but definitely no more than that, no way of getting around it either but will be worth it! X

OreosAreTasty Wed 27-Apr-16 21:57:14

By the way we rent at the moment,
All bills have been factored in we'll be on about 1200pcm (as opposed to the usual 2300) with credit agreements, phones, rent, CT, Water, car bills coming to just short of 1000 (literally like 995) thAt's where the 200 comes in we're not on just 200 between us. 200 is what we will have to last us the month, taking out cash bills (gas electric and travel) leaves us with about 70ish for food, for the entire month. X

Fluffycloudland77 Wed 27-Apr-16 22:05:54

Gas cookers are very cheap to run. I wonder if you leave the water heating on for more than half an hour or heat the house while your out.

I mean if you cook on gas & are out 8+ hours a day then costs should be minimal.

OreosAreTasty Wed 27-Apr-16 23:01:09

Sometimes the water heating is left on a lot blush

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 28-Apr-16 06:45:31

Set a timer on your phone for half an hour & lower the thermostat on the tank to 60c.

Lots are factory set to 70c.

The stat is a little round black cylinder with a screw in to fix the cover in place, switch off the electric to it & adjust it.

specialsubject Thu 28-Apr-16 12:00:59

to avoid wasting hot water if you have a tank, don't do little bits of washing up. Run the water heating before the peak demand for baths/showers, morning or evening depending on what you do.

do washing up in one go, as every time you run hot water, the tank gets topped up with cold. Our water heating is on for an hour each day, gives two showers or one shower/one bath and hot water for washing up that evening. If we've had showers there's still hot water left the next morning.

I'm on an oil boiler so can't compare your gas costs, but this method really does save hot water. During the day everything else goes in the dishwasher, which runs every other day. Just two of us though.

more importantly I think you've got loans. Any chance of freezing/reducing the payments?

and for the future, look at building up a savings cushion for the next time.

Ratbagcatbag Thu 28-Apr-16 12:07:54

Can you change any tariffs on your mobile phones? Double check gas and electricity tariffs see if you can switch.
Any landlines, Internet, Sky TV package. Ring and leave or threaten. Even £10 saved there will help.
If your money hasn't dropped just yet can you save some from this month? Fill up the freezer with foods etc?
Shop around for car insurance? Sell stuff on Facebook/gumtree.

OreosAreTasty Thu 28-Apr-16 12:52:04

We're looking at moving to a fixed tarrif( for gas and electric) soon as we've been quoted as low as £80 for the month for gas and electric which means a saving of almost £25 compared to our key meter, still shopping around though as to where I can get cash back, vouchers or just the lowest deal. we've filled up on food as best we can but the money drop was quite unexpected and was brought about 2wks after the last payday of the month, so we didn't really have the chance to prepare as well as we should have but I did do my best (put £100 on each meter and did a sizeable shop)
DH has got some DJ equipment (speakers microphone that sort of stuff lol. No idea on specifics) up for sale at the moment which should fetch over £150 easily, I was also looking at selling my old clothes as a joblot.
My phone contract is minimal and just about covers what I need and is £23pcm, DH's is around £57 but that's because he likes having unlimited 3G or whatever it is to play his games. Not a necessity but I can't see him cutting it anytime soon... Car insurance has just been renewed we both got our cover as cheap as possible using go compare and other comparison sites, will look at the virgin package currently paying £56, don't even use the Virgin TV box or phone just the internet but DH (he set the account up when single years ago so under data protection etc I don't know if they'd let me enquire even though I'm his wife) refuses to call to cut the rest as "we wouldn't save much anyway so may as well just keep everything"...

Want2bSupermum Thu 28-Apr-16 13:04:23

Why does your DH need an unlimited data package if you have Internet at home? It would make much more sense to get a cheaper package and play games at home or places with wifi. That would give you an extra £30 a month.

For food I would start looking now for marked down food sold at the end of the day. You can freeze it. Your utility bills is what is killing you. Take a look at MSE to get the best rates and tips for how to reduce your bill.

Want2bSupermum Thu 28-Apr-16 13:07:40

I have a DH who is similiar about the 'oh but it's not like we would save much'. I bundled everything together and showed DH how cutting back here and there saved us lots over the year. In fact, enough savings to pay for a family holiday. Saving £100 a month is £1200 a year.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 28-Apr-16 13:13:11

Virgin probably won't talk to you, you can find a freephone number on a site called "saynoto0870", then hand him the phone.

If you cancel your phone penalty free you can get cheap SIM cards off iD mobile, it's run by carphone warehouse & has excellent 4G coverage. We both pay £5 a month each.

I switch my data off and it automatically hooks up to shops with wifi once I've logged in on a previous visit.

OreosAreTasty Thu 28-Apr-16 13:38:26

Due to our location internet is quite slow (we've chopped and changed with many suppliers, it's not just Virgin. It Was explained as being something to do with the line) we've got wifi extenders but they don't seem to make too much difference, it's ok for mumsnet/fb etc but too slow for games/streaming unless you sit on top of the wifi box 😂 Even then it's a pain (I've tried setting a chair up less than a ft from wifi, still quite slow but a lot better than it was). He doesn't need games but I can't see him cutting them out any time soon (trust me I've tried many a time to get him to cut the Internet. For 2 reasons. 1. Cost. 2. I'd like my husband back at night time 😂)
DH has a year left on his mobile contract, I've got 8 months left on mine so can't cancel them but can cut the extras (ie extra Internet/mins etc) I get unlimited texts, 500mins and 1GB of data. I need that for work, plus obviously the cost of my phone. DH has 2000mins (NEVER phones anyone. He probably burns through about 20mins a month) refuses to cut his minutes. Unlimited data, unlimited texts (only ever texts me really and that's 2-3 times a day maximum) he sends maybe 10 texts a month maximum to other people (normally work related).
He's the worst for prioritising the wrong things but if it's "his" he won't listen, if he does there's an undertone of me being the nagging wife if you know what I mean?
He'll go "fine, have your way I'll get rid of MY X y and z even though I don't want to" which makes me feel awful, sometimes to the point where I'll say, fine bloody keep it.
Makes me angry he's like it with everything.
When we had to cut back for a bit last year (work cut my hours from my usual 40hrs to my contracted 16) I outlined what we would have to do. He spent a grand total of £280 on 6 takeaways at work and some brand new ps4 games (without my knowledge). Then wondered why we couldn't pay our council tax and were living on pasta.
He's a lot better now but still a pain. We (well, his debts but you know what I mean) do have debts but can't freeze interest/lower repayments (I've tried with every lender at least once) as on paper we can afford the payments (as I said this belt tightening isn't debt/unemployment related). Good idea in theory though.
Keep em coming (god I love you guys)

specialsubject Thu 28-Apr-16 13:49:48

unlimited broadband and anytime landline calls can be had for £25 or less including line rental. So that halves your landline/bb bill straight off.

be wary of quoted savings on electricity/gas; knock up a quick spreadsheet and put in your usage, actual unit costs and actual standing charges.

but it is becoming clear what your main problem is...what a twerp. Any chance of him growing up? He will drag you down with him.

OreosAreTasty Thu 28-Apr-16 14:03:44

SS, this is going to sound a bit.. Anti snooty? 😂but it's not meant... His parents were fairly rich (not wiping Arse in £20 notes rich, but 3 holidays a year 2 cars per adult and 2 owned houses kind of rich), but on top of that did not teach him the true value of money as such, so to him it was that well, food is in the fridge, if I want something, I get it. Meh, everyone can afford a nice phone, takeaways, etc etc. He moved out at 18 (now almost 27) and had a stupid year, turned around and had nearly 19k in debts... Which I've got us almost out of (£2000 to go but payment plans are underway)
He doesn't really look at the numbers, then wonders why a week after payday he has £200 left (he's on £1100 a month, I'm marginally higher on £1200 a month) and nothing has been paid out of the money he has other than maybe 1-2 bills.
He's got us in debt to CT when the money was coming out of his acc, because he didn't pay for nearly 5 months until I got a letter from CT (I only open what has my name on, this was the first letter to be address to me) detailing we were £700 in the hole. Thankfully I got us out of that and normally do. It's got to the point now(well until this month) where I get him to transfer £750 into the joint account, I transfer £750 in, whatever's left after bills is split and given back/put into savings. He seems to be ok with this and this means there's no more surprise debts cropping up and he admits he's a fool with money. However getting him to cut his existing "stuff" is almost impossible. Blood out of a stone would be easier I tell you.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 28-Apr-16 14:04:03

"which makes me feel awful"

You'll get over that I think, I know I did. What's he going to do? Divorce you? Don't think so.

The men are quite often resistant to change on this board. But they get there & it's quite a life skill to be in charge while making them think they are.

If the broadband is out of contract you could change to a different supplier penalty free. Mil is now paying £17 a month for unlimited sky broadband but after the £100 M&S voucher and £70 cashback it's £4 a month.

IrenetheQuaint Thu 28-Apr-16 14:13:38

I pay £35 a month for gas and electricity combined (do have gas combi boiler though). I'm sure you can make savings here given that you don't have kids.

OreosAreTasty Thu 28-Apr-16 14:21:22

Fluffy he's resistant to changing suppliers again as the Internet is the best it's ever been (better than when we had sky) although it's still crap
Fuck knows why he bothers having it if he refuses to use it. We're paying more than other suppliers would charge because virgin is better for Internet. We're also paying extra for his unlimited internet. Whyyyyyyyyyy can't he just have one? (bangs head on wall) id be quite happy with just my data if I could upgrade my internet a bit (ie to 2g) which would cost substantially less than £50 odd a month, or with my usual data and a very basic Internet.
It's the little things that add up. He pays £10 a month for deezer (music app) rather than just using YouTube/Spotify/downloading the music direct to his phone with a MP3 converter etc (the 3 above are ALL free to do/use).
Gah. * cries into a glass of wine *

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