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Budgeting - scared, ever so slightly in denial (long - sorry)(15 Posts)
Hi, I don't know what I'm looking for really... ideally some hand-holding, but I appreciate I may be more likely to get biscuits!
DH and I are in the extremely fortunate position not to have really been too worried about money until recently. I am currently on mat leave, due back at work next month, currently on stat mat pay.
DH is in a well paid job. As I usually work part-time, he always used to ask me to do the budgeting. He works in finance so I have always said it would make me more comfortable if he were to do this as I don't really know what I'm doing.
He set up some programmes on the computer to show me what to do, but I never really managed ok with them, mainly because he would not/could not/ whatever enter any details from his own bank account - just what went on with the joint bank account (we each have our own current accounts as well).
I know how much he gets paid, etc, and I see all his payslips so he isn't hiding extra children or anything from me! I think he was just brought up to be private about such things, or perhaps just never got round to it as it was low on his list of priorities.
We're now at a stage where our outgoings appear to be as much as, if not more than our incomings and I feel sick that I have let this happen.
He has now finally agreed to deal with the budget and we are on major savings this month. DH has set out £200 each for us to spend on ourselves/birthday presents for people/all the little sundries etc. My mobile bill at absolute best is £40 and I pay over £160 per month on credit card minimum payments. And the biggest chunk of that is about to come off 0%. I have absolutely no money to myself and this isn't going to improve anytime soon.
All the credit card debt is in my name. And for the most part is my debt as well, although when there are joint debts, they go on my card. That's usually agreed that DH will provide the money, but this often doesn't happen. Ie. last Christmas he had a lot of expenses to be claimed from work. These were meant to pay for our presents/Christmas dinner/tree etc. All of which I bought on my credit card. He never claimed the expenses back.
At the moment, he is paying car insurance on a car he sold a month ago, for broadband and Sky that we had at the house we moved from well over a year ago. I only know this after I checked his bank statements. I have been reminding him for months. I've sent him the phone numbers and account details to call. He is always too busy. I can't cancel them because they aren't in my name otherwise I would have done the second I found out.
Our washing machine has broken last weekend, the car is due in for an MOT and service this week. I'm having to face up to the likelihood that Christmas this year is likely to be a very quiet and low-cost affair with most likely no presents between DH and I. I can deal with that, but I'm just sad about it as we ought to be well-off.
I think I just need a slap and a "pull-yourself-together, many people are much worse off than you".
Write one column with all your incomings, then divide into weekly and monthly and annual then do the same for outgoings.
Have all your bank statements and ccard statements over the last year out and work out what on average you spend on food, petrol, clothes, gifts.
You should see where you can save very quickly.
Right, first of all you need to make him cancel those old direct debits. I don't believe that in a full 7 day week (as most call centres are open until at least 8pm weekdays, then weekends as well) he doesn't have time to make the phone calls. If you need to, then YOU dial the number with paperwork to hand, then pass him the phone.
He sounds incredibly irresponsible with money. He needs to know that you are going to struggle with Christmas, and he needs to know why. Sit him down and have a proper discussion about it, let him see where the problems are.
Do a proper budget, in a format that works for you. I've never got on with doing them on computer, so personally I would:
Income: DH salary + trazzle mat pay
Bills: list all dd's you are currently paying, even the old ones that need cancelling. Include credit card payments, nursery fees if applicable, lunch money, travel expenses, food shopping etc. if its paid each month, it goes here.
Whatever is left after taking the bills money off is what you have to cover sundries eg treats, birthday presents. If you have a minus figure, you need to cut back to clear that deficit. If you have a positive figure, you obviously have the money to cover everything, you are just losing track somewhere.
Me and DH have one joint bills account, all direct debits etc come out of here, both of our mobile bills, credit card payment etc. we then split the remaining sundries amount between our sole accounts
so I can buy shoes guilt-free so we don't have to justify what we spend our money on. It works well for us, as neither ends up worse off.
I know it's absolutely ridiculous that he hasn't done it. A fortnight ago I brought him the phone and insurance papers and he shouted at me to leave him alone because he was tired I've just spoken to him this lunchtime and he has agreed to phone at least one when he gets home tonight. Hopefully with one down I can convince him to do the rest straight off.
We also had some long-term storage costing £150+ per month that I emptied last week and cancelled so pleased with that too.
I think our big area of expenditure is food. I'm making our bread now and we're taking in lunches and planning meals so hope to save that way too.
Am going to email the family over the next few days and explain we can't be extravagant on presents this year. It's up to them how much they spend but at least then they won't expect too much from us. They already know about the car and washing machine etc so I doubt it will be a huge surprise.
I'm feeling a bit more positive now. I just can't believe we've let it get like this!
Cold suppers till he sorts out the bank statement.
And with online banking you can cancel them automatically
Change your credit card repayments to a standing order not a direct debit.
If you pay the minimum each month it will take you 18 years 6 months to repay the loan.
If you fix the amount you pay at this month's minimum it drops to under 4 years.
Plug your credit card bill figures into this spreadsheet I wrote
and see what effect you can have on your bills ....
I am reading that a bit like and agree that I dont know how you have let it get so bad because essentially you sound like you are wasting money all over the place.
But, if I was in a position of being relatively ok for money I would probably get a bit like this too.
Important thing is to sort it now and stop worrying about how you got here. Take the really good advice which has been given.
FWIW, I do my budgets on a refill pad spreadsheets would terrify me. Find what works for you and keep on top of it.
You do need to get DH on board though. Maybe if you add up all the money he is wasting on those DDs and tell him "that could buy you x,y,z" he might listen more?
"I have absolutely no money to myself and this isn't going to improve anytime soon." - you do. You have £200 for sundries each.
Look at your mobile contract - can you change it? Mine is £12 a month, 500 minutes, 5000 texts, 500gb with tesco. If you need more than that, then you need to look seriously at how you use your phone, do you really need more than that - are their conversations you could text and texts you could email?
Start looking at clearing down your debt. Can you sell some stuff? Also if you are in debt then its not just down to you to clear it - it is your combined debt now. You both need to take responsibility for getting rid of it.
Look at clearing it and maybe take out the extra on your mortgage while interest rates are so low. Pay that £160 a month into the mortgage and your debt will clear a lot quicker as you wont be hit by 20% interest rates.
You may find that Sky will refund you. They were taking double from our account for a while, and repaid in full very promptly.
It is sadly a fact of life that many plumbers have leaky taps, electricians have bare wires and financial folk are crap at budgeting. So you need to become financially literate and start running the show.
The spreadsheet I wrote is just about credit cards - you put in what you owe, what interest rate you are paying (will be on your statement)
and it then works out lots of options to help you clear the debt without giving excess profit to the bank.
I wrote it to explain to a friend who was planning to buy a Bugaboo on credit that she'd still be paying for it when her baby started Uni !
And as hatti rightly says, getting round to it is the hardest part!
The other option to cancel all the things in his name is to write letters in his name with all the details and then just ask him to sign before you send. Less stress for him as you have already dug out the details and you should get it dealt with.
Can't you just press cancel on your bank ac for now? They will write to you to ask why you cancelled then can sort it out properly.
I can see why he wouldnt want to do it actually, I'm a podiatrist and the last thing I want to do when I get home is families feet.
Join Quidco and Topcashback for internet shopping/insurance products etc so you get cashback, I've just got my car insurance renewed for £157 as I went through aviva and got £80 cashback from quidco. My current insurer wanted £420.
Food and fuel prices are set to rise so see if you can get your electric and gas bill down, again you can go through a cashback site to do this, I couldnt find one for EDF when I changed so I went through a search site on Quidco that was offering £35 for a search that lead to a successful application.
Try shopping at Aldi, but dont tell your DH as they get funny about things like this. Just do it and he wont notice. Hide the packets.
There are lots of threads on the credit crunch section. Lots of us have cut back.
Thanks all for your helpful suggestions. Been in hospital overnight with an extremely poorly DS but when we're back on track hoping to sort this out.
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