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How much do you live off?

(23 Posts)
AlmondFrangipani Tue 09-Oct-12 10:56:34


My DH and I have just had an offer accepted in our dream house. We're trying for a family and just had a reality check on how much we can afford. I wondered how much you lived off after all the household bills/car/ childcare etc were taken into account? Our calcs have come out with a balance of £300 if we have 2 kids....

RedHelenB Tue 09-Oct-12 12:07:03

so for food, going out, birthday presents, etc? Does it include clothes & petrol? Doesn't sound a lot to me.

Toughasoldboots Tue 09-Oct-12 12:10:16

That's not very much for my family. It depends what sort of extras you will have or Childcare etc.
My dcs are a lot older but we spend £480 PCM just on extra activities like golf and tennis lessons.

They are not necessary, I am not saying that, but if you do want things like that, it adds up.

Orangesarenottheonlyfruit Tue 09-Oct-12 12:11:06

About 500 quid and that feels tight to be honest. I shop in Asda, bulk buy presents, make all food from scratch, don't holiday except camping, buy clothes v cheaply etc. We really struggle when it comes to things like filling up the car (best part of a hundred quid a time), and special things like bonfire night tickets or birthday parties (this month's expenditures). Is tight but will be better when I go back to work next year.

We have a 2 kids aged 4 and 2.

Sossiges Tue 09-Oct-12 12:17:01

About £400 just on groceries, £300 would be pushing it. We have one child atm.

Rockchick1984 Tue 09-Oct-12 12:32:03

After all bills etc, we have around £350 per month for groceries, travel expenses, DH's lunches for work etc. There's me, DH and 18 month old DS living on this. It is manageable, and we still have the occasional treat eg meal out, but this is usually only once or twice a month. It does mean being incredibly organised with shopping, eg meal planning, not being tempted at the supermarket to buy things we don't really need etc.

As I'm a SAHM I shop around rather than just going to the supermarket and I've really noticed a difference, we now get all meat from the butchers as its cheaper and nicer, I try to go to Farmfoods for bread and milk rather than the Spar even though it's closer, as 4 pints of milk is 85p at Farmfoods, £1.25 at the Spar. We get through one of them every day or 2, so it really does add up over the month.

Oh, and out of the £350 a month, we put £75 into savings each month. This pays for things like Christmas, birthdays, and unexpected expenses eg new tyres for the car when needed. Christmas and birthdays usually have a budget of around £50 each for me and DH, £40 for our parents, DS it depends on what we want to get for him but he gets one main gift, and a few extras. Not piles of things but he's spoilt by his grandparents anyway, and is too young yet really to care.

It can be annoying at times to not have much spare cash, have to plan ahead if we want to do something special as have to try and save the money from somewhere else to pay for it. For us it's worth it though, me and DH both feel strongly that me staying at home is the right thing for our family. So long as you and DH are BOTH happy then it's manageable, if the house is worth sacrificing other things for then absolutely go for it! smile

Rockchick1984 Tue 09-Oct-12 12:32:51

Oh, and we never spend more than £50 on a week's groceries, including top ups during the week smile

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 09-Oct-12 12:34:18

Is that including food, car expenses, presents, Christmas, holidays, replacing broken household items, boiler blowing up fund?

Unless you can see that your income will rise by a fair bit very soon, then I wouldn't do it. No good if you only live in your dream home for a year before you are swallowed by debt and have to hand it back to the bank.

Mum2Fergus Tue 09-Oct-12 18:13:18

I budget £430 pm (£100pw) for food, days out, presents, anything over and above household/car bills...petrol is budgeted for separately too.

AlmondFrangipani Wed 10-Oct-12 07:10:24

Thanks for your replies! My calcs include all car costs including petrol but not for new tyres if you see what I mean and food. I also didn't take into account child are vouchers so its probably a bit more than £300.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 10-Oct-12 07:20:01

Have you allowed anything for car repairs? If not have you got savings to fall back on?

Could you delay ttc for 6 months and overpay your mortgage while you have no childcare costs to bring it down a bit?

I have to say that there is no way I would try and live on a shoestring like that if I had a choice not to. Babies cost next to nothing until they are about 2, but then the costs do rise.

If interest rates had risen by 4% in 3 years time and your income was static, would you still be able to pay your mortgage?

gastonthebabyshusher Wed 10-Oct-12 21:22:50

We're in the same boat Almond, we already have 1DD and that will probably be it because we just can't afford anymore.
We also have just had an offer accepted which will see us struggle for a few years, we will have approx £400 after all bills and food, but in 2 years time when DD goes to school and we no longer have to shell out over £1000 in childcare things should become a little easier.

greeneyed Tue 30-Oct-12 14:33:01

Rockchick - how the hell do you do that - can only imagine you spend all your time looking for bargains - hats off to you!!

Rockchick1984 Tue 30-Oct-12 22:24:07

Not all my time greeneyed but probably spend half a day each week to get the groceries in rather than a quick hour round the supermarket like I used to when working smile

CogitoEerilySpooky Wed 31-Oct-12 09:08:06

I save between 10 - 20% of my income and have another 20% left after bills and other regular outgoings. Wouldn't be happy if I didn't have some bunce in the calculations. There are always unexpected costs to do with home ownership, children,

NewFerry Wed 31-Oct-12 09:29:14

I think your budget sounds incredibly tight. As another poster pointed out, what will happen when mortgage rates go up?

We have had our mortgage for the full 25 years and in that time, rates have varied from the current low, right up to 14%. I'm not suggesting they will go that high again, but I think you need to look at whether you could afford for rates to go up (say) 3-4%.

TheDeathAndGories Wed 31-Oct-12 09:30:29

We have to spend £400 a month on fuel just for dh to get to work and back

LadyKooKoo Wed 31-Oct-12 12:51:47

Thought I would list everything that DH and I pay so that you can compare it against your list and then tell you what is left; Mortgage, Home Insurance, Car Insurance, Life Insurance, Council Tax, Gas & Electric, Water, TV Licence, 2 mobile phones, Sky (TV, Phone & BBand) nursery for DD (we also both get the maximum amount of vouchers). We also both have gym membership and cinema membership and DH's wage covers all of that with some left over. My wage covers all shopping and fuel and I save for us and for DD every month and still have anything between £300 & £800 left each month. Whatever is left at the end of each month I add to the savings account because the interest is better. I personally would not move somewhere unless I knew that one wage could cover all of the bills I have listed above. DH and I are on a similar wage so if one of us was out of work we could still cover all the bills and if/when we have another baby and I am on SMP then we will still have another money coming in, we just won't be saving as much.

BirdyBedtime Wed 31-Oct-12 12:55:53

I have to say that sounds very tight. My monthly budget for 4 of us is around £600 for food, travel, clothes etc but that doesn't count savings or emergencies. £300 is possibly do-able but you do need to think about quality of life. DH and I consciously limited the amount we would mortgage even though we could have got a lot more, as we didn't want to be living month to month and unable to cope with big emergency expenditures etc. Also, children come with more costs than just food and childcare - clothes, activities, toys, shoes etc. This can all add up.

throckenholt Wed 31-Oct-12 13:10:05

Do the calculations again - but without your income. That will tell you if it is feasible for you to stay at home if you want or need to.
IME kids get more expensive as they get older (need ferrying around, join clubs etc) - babies are (can be if you don't go silly buying stuff) relatively cheap.

You don't say what time period your £300 relates to - is it per month ? Does that cover food, clothes, entertainment etc ?

LadyKooKoo Wed 31-Oct-12 13:30:00

I would suggest that you look at the most costly options involved with having a baby ie breastfeeding is free but what if you are not able to do it, reuseable nappies and wipes are cheaper but are you organised enough? Also, what would happen if you or your DH had to leave work permanently? Does the other bring in enough to cover everything?

bubbles1231 Wed 31-Oct-12 13:35:57

"My wage covers all shopping and fuel and I save for us and for DD every month and still have anything between £300 & £800 left each month"
Am I right in thinking you have 300-800 left after all your bills including food are paid for? Blimey it sounds like a fortune to me!

LadyKooKoo Wed 31-Oct-12 14:17:19

Yes, that is what I mean. We are lucky but my main point is that if one of us lost our job then the important bills would be covered by the other one. I could cancel sky, gym etc, and not save and we would still have enough to get by. If the OP could not pay the mortgage and household bills on one wage then this new house could be too much of a stretch for them.

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