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Where to start?(21 Posts)
So I find myself every month to have no money after the first week of getting paid, how I manage to get through I sometimes have no idea.
There are times when I ask to borrow money from my parents, which I feel awful about, because my lack of money is just due to my poor budgeting.
I have worked out that after all of my (and family's) necessities (except food and clothes) are taken for the month I have about £350.
How can I make sure it lasts the month?
Sick of worrying about what I'm going to do for the next 3 weeks!
So the £350 is to include all food, clothes and fun money? That is pretty tight- how many people is it supposed to cover? And does it include unexpected things like repairs? You are not terrible at budgeting, you are working with a tricky budget!
Me and DD (6) and DS (14). DH buys his own clothes and repairs are generally sorted between us as they come up. Often completely skinting us for the month.
I food shop for all of us.
Just feel I should be better at this
Are you repaying debt or is it frittering? It’s obviously going somewhere.
Have you done a spending diary?.
It’s fixable, I was bloody awful years ago.
I have some beautifully calculated and written out budgets but I’m crap at following them 😳 So I’ve hidden my credit cards and deleted them from amazon etc so I can’t buy easily. Tomorrow I’m going out to withdraw my money for the week and then putting debit card away too. I’ve heard it’s extremely effective which makes sense as you physically cannot spend more than you’ve withdrawn.
divide the amount by 4.
how much can you feasibly use for petrol for example?
Make a meal plan?
reduce your food shop spending
Keep a written record
or get a weekly paid job or extra job which I found to be a life safer
Dont go into a shop.
Eat only what you have at home.
When you say “DH buys his own clothes” does he have access to extra money that you do not?
How do you split your finances?
Perhaps it’s not reasonable for you to buy groceries for everyone if you don’t earn enough?
DH buys his own clothes
So does he have separate money, or is the 350 for everything for everyone?
We pool our money in our joint account. I have a spreadsheet that shows what we need for bills and so anything more than that gets transfered to a separate account (apart from a set amount for food which goes into a third account). This is known as variables. There is a section on the spreadsheet for it and I itemise all of the different things I save for, eg clothes, hair, xmas, birthdays, repairs, school uniform, school events, holidays etc. I work out the yearly cost and the according proportion that I need to save in "variables" each month. It's saved in the account and tracked on the spreadsheet. It means that we always have a pot of money and also if say I need £40 for a child's coat and I have only saved £20, then I can still take the money from the pot because I mark the pot as -£20. Then technically the money is coming from another pot within "variables" but that's ok because I won't ever need all the money all at once and over the next couple of months I'll replace the missing £20. Happy to send my spreadsheet if you think it might help.
We have never joined our accounts as We thought it would bring down my credit rating. DH pays the rent as well as utilities. If I need extra money it's him I go to first. We're open and honest with the money we don't/do have.
If you could send me your spread sheet that would be brilliant. I think hiding my debit card would be a good thing to do. I'm a sucker for an impulse buy.
You don’t need to have a joint account to budget jointly. I would recommend that you create a budget between you both.
I think you will find you need to:
a) meal plan carefully
b) make sure you have switched all available utilities etc to the cheapest
c) make sure you aren’t overpaying for e.g mobile phones
d) start a repairs/emergency fund so you aren’t paying for unexpected costs out of your month to month spending - instead you’re stepping back and expecting them.
I’m a big fan of second hand clothes - I can get joules and fat face stuff that lasts and last for £4-£8 an item where I am . But I’ve had to really search out the best charity shops!
Do you have a joint mortgage? If yes then you are already financially associated.
One of my old bosses had that arrangement, she was paying out more on food than he was on their mortgage.
Impulse buying is frittering and it’s very easy to get into the habit of buying a little thing everyday.
If you have enough food and petrol in the car you don’t need to spend everyday. Leaving your purse at home is an excellent idea.
Op, you are two adults with joint financial obligations. Budgeting has to be joint! £350 is not much for food clothes etc for you three/four. You and DH need to sit down and figure this out. I'd also recommend YNAB, although there is a subscription. If you google you can get a 3 month free trial which is probably enough to get you going. But it's a joint task- one half of a couple can't budget alone, it just doesn't work.
The DC are out this afternoon. I'll sit down with DH and see if we can sort this out.
Thank you everyone
YNAB is brilliant. Using YNAB is what finally taught me how to manage my money.
Don’t forget it’s a marathon not a sprint.
I'm another fan of YNAB. I've been using it for three months now, mainly on my phone and it's freed me of an awful lot of anxiety. It takes a bit of getting used to the logic of it, but once you get it, it's super easy to use. I wouldn't be without it now.
We have a joint account that we both pay half into each which covers food all bills carvtax insurance etc and holiday payments.
We then have a joint savings account that we both pay into each month.
We have our own current accounts that our wages go into and what's left after we pay our half of bills is our own.
When the kids need anything we go halves like shoes trips uniforms etc and the kids save their pocket money and birthday money to use on holidays and to buy themselves things they want.
The downside is between the rent council tax electric car tax petrol dog insurance and food shopping going up we are both finding we have less personal each month and it's getting harder to get what's left between us to last
Just in case you do decide to use ynab here's my referral link
Sit down and sift through all of your statements, both of yours and see where the money is going. Do you go to the shop for milk/bread and come back after spending a mindless amount on sweet FA? What helped me there was freezing bread and milk so that we never run out. If we don't get something in weekly delivery it generally has to wait until the following week.