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I'm useless with money.

(212 Posts)
OnlyGodKnowsWhy Tue 19-Sep-17 23:12:11

As the title states. Since last Christmas I've basically lived pay check to pay check, with a monthly payday loan of £200 that I pay £240 to clear then reborrow each month. Christmas this year is terrifying me.

Long story short, I have four children aged between 7 and 12. I've been a lone parent for 7 years though I have reconciled with DH (not kids dad) 2 months ago. He is currently job hunting.

I work as a manager of a shop, 4 week days, one day and weekends off. Monthly wage is roughly a grand. However we receive £300 of our wage half way through the month, the rest is given on pay day so £700.

Universal credit varies as my hours can vary slightly depending on holiday cover, staff sick etc, so I'd average it out at £900 monthly.

I also receive 61.00 child benefit weekly and £81 child maintenance weekly.

Summary monthly income:

Wage: 1000
UC: 900
CB: 244
CM: 324
Payday loan: 200
Total: 2668


Rent: 360
Council tax: 75
Payday loan: 240
Mobile (three contracts) 66
Internet: 40
Debt: 50
School dinners: 160
Electric: 120
Gas: 20 a month (will increase to same as electric in winter due to gas heating, single glazing and highlands of Scotland!)
TV licence: 24
Spotify family: 14.99
Netflix: 7.99
Pet insurance: 25
Pocket money: 80
Ejuice/coils: 50
Xbox live: 5.99
Gardener: 40 (big gardens)
Window cleaner: 8.00
Food: I don't know. I'd say 450 a month?
Argos card: 100-150

Total: 1980.

I know this doesn't take into account haircuts, clothes, childcare when needed. Basically I don't really know my income and outgoings because it varies each month.

I need a budgeting for dummies guide, how to work out what's being spent where each month and any other advice. Please!

highinthesky Tue 19-Sep-17 23:20:47

Wrong forum. You'd be better of on MSE:

Longdistance Tue 19-Sep-17 23:26:39

Get rid of Spotify ad you already have Netflix.

Get rid of gardener.

Get rid of window cleaner.

What's an ejuice/coils?

Switch school dinners for packed lunch?

munchkinmaster Tue 19-Sep-17 23:28:49

What's an Argos card?

Why is your tv licence £24? Surely more like £12.

No contents insurance etc?

Longdistance Tue 19-Sep-17 23:29:46

I assumed the Argos card was a store card?

munchkinmaster Tue 19-Sep-17 23:29:58

If kids are big enough for phone contracts and £80 pocket money they are big enough to garden?

Longdistance Tue 19-Sep-17 23:31:42

Actually, you've still got £700 outstanding. What do you spend that on?

PuffinNose Tue 19-Sep-17 23:32:00

There is a lot there you can drop/reduce eg spotify/netflix/gardener... cancel those now and put the money straight into a seperate account which you don't know the pin for. You already don't have the money so you won't miss it being saved.

You absoluteky have to stop with the payday loans. What do you use them for?

Write down every single penny you spend for two weeks. Every penny. I was genuingely surprised when I did this.

Longdistance Tue 19-Sep-17 23:32:06

And wash windows...

wobblywonderwoman Tue 19-Sep-17 23:33:36

You have to cut all that out. Netflix. Spotify gardener.
110 on food per week. Clean the windows yourself. Packed lunches.
It is obvious !!!

MyDcAreMarvel Tue 19-Sep-17 23:37:00

Cut Spotify
And juice/coils
Pocket money can be halved
Get rid of gardener and window cleaner
Make pack lunches
Swap to giffgaff

Mulch Tue 19-Sep-17 23:37:19

Not a popular suggestion but Christmas does not have to mean expense. Struggled financially one year so Christmas consisted of secret santa at 20 budget per gift. Food bought and stored throughout Dec. Didn't add to debts and set a good example about cutting back when needed.

Out2pasture Tue 19-Sep-17 23:38:09

so much of your outgoings are totally non essential for "living" since your overspending you need to cut back and prepare for winter forget about Christmas for now focus on what is necessary.
I easily added up 400gbp worth of extra's.
once your out of debt and not paying payday loans or the other 50 debt you will be able to reintroduce SOME treats.

OnlyGodKnowsWhy Tue 19-Sep-17 23:38:32

Okay so the TV license is £24 for six months and then 12.00 after, its new as last year I didn't have one as only watched bbc iplayer and you didn't need one for that then.

The kids each get £5 a week pocket money, they do plenty of chores for this or they don't get it.

The argos card i don't always use it, it is a store card however I've gradually begun replacing old furniture that I've had for years due to it being worn out. A set of bunk beds each, a chest of drawers and a shoe cabinet in the hallway.

Spotify family, all the kids, myself and DH use it for music. We don't buy cds etc or use any other music platform.

I use an ecig, my job is managing an ecig shop. I used to smoke 40 a day which would now cost £140 a week or £480 a month, £50 on ejuice and a coil for my ecig is not much in comparison.

MyDcAreMarvel Tue 19-Sep-17 23:42:30

Swap netflix Spotify and the Argos card for Amazon prime. You will still have movies tv and music. Amazon is also more choice than Argos plus Argos quality isn't great.
Or shop in Ikea.

SerfTerf Tue 19-Sep-17 23:46:14

The loan isn't income. Take that out.

SerfTerf Tue 19-Sep-17 23:50:18

Petrol? Car costs? Bus or train fares?

Pinning down what you spend on food will be important.

Out2pasture Tue 19-Sep-17 23:56:19

no no no excuses. winter is coming and you need to heat the house. sadly you are spending more than you earn and if you want to make things right NO manner of excuse will justify living beyond your means.
it is harsh and it is sadly easy math...more out than in so you choose what 300 worth of "stuff" you want to give up. lots of choices including the ecig.
and yes you will have to explain this to the children but it's not a bad life lesson to teach them.

MiniMum97 Tue 19-Sep-17 23:57:20

Why is your electric so high? That's a massive bill! My gas and electric is £100 a month all in for the whole year. And we have a massive drafty house. Have you looked at cheaper deals?

SciFiFan2015 Wed 20-Sep-17 00:02:54

Cancel the Spotify! Listen to free radio and borrow CDs from the library.
Get movies from the library so cancel Netflix too. There's loads of box sets on all four.
There's loads you could save in your budget honestly.
Join a credit union.
Get rid of the gardener - won't be needed much over winter anyway.

graceyg Wed 20-Sep-17 00:09:12

Nobody listens to CDs anymore SciFi lol

Quit e-cigging, switch your shop to the cheapest local supermarket ( aldi and lidl are great! , go on mse and see if you can get a payment for switching bank accounts - usually £200, do price comparisons on your bills!

LegoCaltrops Wed 20-Sep-17 00:17:07

Start gradually cutting down your ecig usage.
You need to reduce your food bill if you're spending £450 ish per month. Look on
Also Facebook have a number of groups.
If you have a slow cooker you can buy cheap meat (the stuff with bone & gristle, not the pretty stuff), dump it in the cooker with some veg, dried beans, potatoes etc, & come home to stew. Ugly meat makes beautiful stock...There are Facebook groups that can help you, & you can quite often pick up a slow cooker for free or very cheaply.

The kids need to be earning their pocket money. You pay them very well considering you're skint...

Mobile phone - 3 contracts. Why? If the third is for one of the kids, I'd switch to PAYG when the contract expires. If necessary give them a specified topup each month. When it's gone, tough.

Check you're on the best deal for everything. Utilities, phone, any pay TV. Do you need pay TV, or could you get freeview or something else with no subscription?

No car costs, do you not have one? Do you use the bus or train much? Taxis? How much are you spending on this & Have you checked if you could get a family travelcard. We don't have a car, we get a family railcard which costs £30 per year but it saves us more than that. Child fares can sometimes be just £1.

Apologies if any X posts.

OnlyGodKnowsWhy Wed 20-Sep-17 00:18:42

Sorry I'm on my phone so I can't see previous posts.

I'm in the process of decorating my house so money is spent each pay day on that.

I am actually not sure where the money goes. That's how bad I am with it and I admit that. I don't order takeaways, I shop at primark and charity shops, we maybe have a family outing once a month which can be around the 60-80 mark. Toiletries, pet food, school uniforms, shoes for kids. School trips too.

Wastage wise I know I'm bad for buying coffees from the shop next door to my work and buying lunch at the coop instead of making it.

SerfTerf Wed 20-Sep-17 00:23:36

Start a spending diary.

You can't sort anything out until you know where it's going.

MyDcAreMarvel Wed 20-Sep-17 00:23:49

But you can't afford to decorate your house atm or £60-£80 days out.

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