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Disposable income

(12 Posts)
ILoveGregoryHouse Sat 27-Apr-13 19:10:56

I've decided to give up work at least for a while. Mainly due to me hating current job and finding it harder than ever to deal with that stress and four kids. I'm worried about budgeting. I've got everything down on paper and know how much will be left after mortgage, bills, car, travel costs. Can I ask if you think £150 a week is plenty for a food budget for family of 6 and how much would you set aside for clothes, books, entertainment every month?

Rockchick1984 Sat 27-Apr-13 19:23:28

It depends entirely on your own family! How much do you spend on a weekly shop now? Make sure to include cleaning products, occasional purchases etc.

Regarding other expenses, how much do you need for regular expenses like clubs the children attend? Do you have any hobbies which you need to buy materials or equipment for? Once you have calculated for all of the expenditure you can't avoid (or don't want to stop paying for) you can work out how much is left for clothing etc.

sleepyhead Sat 27-Apr-13 19:31:42

We're a family of 4 (but one is a bf baby so just nappies etc as expenditure atm) and can get by on around £80-£100 per week for all groceries/cleaning products etc.

On especially tight weeks that can go down to £50 with strict meal planning etc.

We don't budget as such for clothes or entertainment as this generally comes from surplus cash - if there's no surplus then we can't have it.

When dh lost his job and things got hard I found it really helpful to set up a spreadsheet to account for everything going in and out - literally down to the last penny and planning ahead for all predictable outgoings (direct debits, other regular expenditure). I updated the spreadsheet every couple of days by reconciling with the online banking statements and soon spotted where we were wasting money.

Things are no longer quite so tight, but with me now on mat leave it's left better financial habits and I'll be reintroducing the system to make sure we don't get caught out.

Might be worth doing this for a few months if you can so that you can see where you stand at present.

ILoveGregoryHouse Sat 27-Apr-13 19:32:32

Thanks. Spend 200 plus on groceries at the mo. but I don't menu plan or cook from scratch the way I used to when I had more time. Sports clubs already budgeted. I think I can do 150 but am worried about being unrealistic. I don't have hobbies, no time! I'll be spending a lot of time redecorating the house myself. And tidying up after 4 kids ha ha.

Moomoomie Sat 27-Apr-13 19:44:47

If you spend 200 at the moment, I reckon you can easily get it down to 150 with meal planning etc.
I stopped WOH 5 years ago and was concerned re finances, it has not been too bad. I do have to think first before I buy something rather than just going ahead, but for us as a family it was the best thing we did.
Remember though, decorating a house can cost a fair amount of money!

tribpot Sat 27-Apr-13 20:03:54

Don't forget to plan for irregular expenses, e.g. car stuff that comes out once a year or when the car is serviced.

Have a good look at mobile and cable bills to see if there's anything you can trim off to free up a bit extra. Ultimately what you have for books and ents depends on what's left after food and bills!

Can you do any work in the evenings or weekends that would help to supplement the income even a little?

Oodsigma Sat 27-Apr-13 20:06:10

We do £70 for food but its v tight & DS is only tiny.
Clothes and entertainment is pretty much what you can afford.

How are you doing by the way ? ( was on Oct 10 thread with you!)

ILoveGregoryHouse Sat 27-Apr-13 21:22:17

Ood, did you change names? Am fine mostly and kids great. Over the move back to UK but hating working where i am. Tripod asked if there's any way I could earn even a bit part time and I'm hoping I will be able to help my friend develop her new business so we'll see where that goes. Stress Management. Maybe I'll ask other mners if they need help with that!

ILoveGregoryHouse Sat 27-Apr-13 21:22:51

Tribpot, not tripod. Sodding autocorrect!

Alibabaandthe40nappies Sat 27-Apr-13 22:28:02

Have you budgeted a figure for car costs (tax, tyres, service and MOT, repairs)?

I would think £100-150 per month minimum to clothe and entertain 6 of you. We spend more than that, but if needs must.

Have you set aside a separate figure to cover Christmas and birthdays?

I'm sure that £150 a week is doable for food, but cutting back by a quarter is a big ask.

specialsubject Sun 28-Apr-13 14:22:49

the kids need clothes as they outgrow things. Adults only need clothes when things are worn out. Most adults have 75% more clothes than they need.

if money is tight, time for a family agreement on Christmas and birthdays as to a maximum cost. And no presents for adults.

books come from charity shops or the library.

chickydoo Sun 28-Apr-13 17:10:03

There are 6 of us. ( With 3 hungry teens I spend around £150 a week in the supermarket, that includes food for 4 cats, all cleaning & laundry stuff & most toiletries. We manage to have plenty in the cupboards at all times.
I budget with certain things. For example a pack of 12 value crisps from Tesco is 68p ( bargain) 12 pack of walkers is about £3.00. The teenagers don't care, they eat them just as quickly.
I make double quantities of spag Bol etc, and freeze half, to save time & money.
When the floor cleaner is half empty I top up with water, seems to work just as well. I always shop on line, then if my basket is more than £150 I can take something out.
Around once or twice a month, if we have some spare cash I might pop to waitrose or go to the farmers market & pick up a few treats.
I don't budget for clothes as such. The younger boys 8 & 14 have hand me downs from the 16 yr old.
My DD 18, buys some of her own stuff or raids my wardrobe.
I usually buy one nice thing a month for me, rather than lots of cheap bits.
A budget is doable, just need to sit down & work out the details

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