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Does anyone get by on about £2k/month net spending?

(66 Posts)
lljkk Sat 06-Jul-13 21:00:40

Basically, we are spending too much, am wondering what our spending might look like if we reduced it to something rather more sensible!! Anyone willing to share what their avg. monthly spends look like, how much spent in different categories, I mean, especially if it's around the £2k mark?

Thx in Advance.

Featherbag Sat 06-Jul-13 21:09:51

Rent - £575
Gas/Electric - £140
Council Tax - £110
Water - £45
TV Licence - £10 (ish, actually pay quarterly)
Diesel - £300 (car itself and insurance are already deducted from wage via salary sacrifice)
Food - £300
Other travel - £60
Phones - £70
TV/Internet - £45
Entertainment (1 or 2 nights out including babysitter) - £120
Clothes - £40 (average, don't buy every month)
Random sundries (coffees, the odd takeaway, lunch out) - £150

joanofarchitrave Sat 06-Jul-13 21:14:24

Have just spent ages trying to namechange - oh well. Not quite sure what you mean by net spending, so apols if this isn't relevant. Our total net income from all sources is currently about 1800 a month, and the reason we do very well is that our housing costs are low - that's it really and we are bloody lucky.

We spend a total of £400 a month on food and dh and I have £100 each as personal spending. We both do budget quite hard, e.g.monthly meetings with a spreadsheet, and I check my accounts daily against a note of expected spending on my phone (I used to find it easy to assume that cheques had gone through when they hadn't). I also budget for presents and a monthly amount put aside for Christmas, which used to be things that were somehow outside normal spending, as if I really thought the present fairy would pay for them... We also include budgeting for fuel for trips to see family in the holiday budget, in fact at the moment that basically is our holiday budget.

chickensaladagain Sat 06-Jul-13 21:15:41


I wish

steppemum Sat 06-Jul-13 21:16:41

we have no mortgage/rent, and our monthly income is less than half that.

lljkk Sat 06-Jul-13 21:18:24

Thanks, that's helpful, keep 'em coming. I need to figure out realistically what we should be doing.

oneofthosedays Sat 06-Jul-13 22:17:53

We get just over 2k a month, this is our budget;
Food 350
Spends incl petrol, bday pressies, school trips, kids activities etc 350
Cable/tv/internet incl tv licence 70
Savings for kids 30 x 2
Savings for holiday/car ins/rd tax/vet bills etc 200
Savings for house repairs etc 100
Xmas savings 100
General savings 200
Mortgage 200
Rent 130
Gym/kids swimming lessons etc 45
Gas/elec 80
Life assurance 15
Mobiles 45
Council tax 110
Water 35

I think that's roughly it - we are very lucky to have low mortgage/rent so that we can plug more into the savings.

Bluecarrot Sun 07-Jul-13 10:30:31

What about just looking to reduce spending in all areas ( except mortgage and council taxes etc!)

Use moneysavingexpert and topcashback to get good deals.

DP, DD and I currently live on £325-350 pm excl rent. We could do it for less if we wanted.

It will def drop in sept as gas supplier won't reassess gas dd until a full year is up and we are approx 9 months in credit ( so paying double what we need to ATM) as they initially assess by size of the house rather than by rooms we actually use. Usage will go up from jan though as we have a baby on the way.

LIZS Sun 07-Jul-13 10:38:24

Doesn't it depend what your 2k is net of ie. take home pay and if that is before/after regular bills, rent/mortgage etc ?

ihearsounds Sun 07-Jul-13 11:16:47

Realistically you write everything down. Every bottle of water. Every bar of chocolate.Every single penny spent. Then you see exactly where things are going. Once you have done this, you look more in depth at utilities and if you are over paying and if there are better deals. You look at how much you are paying for insurance and shop around. You look at how much you are spending on credit cards and store cards, and if it would be better to transfer to no interest cards, with the aim of ridding the plastic. You look at other areas of credit and if there are ways of reducing these and getting rid.

You look at the shopping you are buying and how much is being wasted. If wasted then why did you buy it? Next time, regardless of protests, you don't buy it. Meal planning helps a lot to reduce wastage.

How much are you spending on entertainment. Could cutbacks be made there.

Are you a household that likes to keep up with the 'Jones'? If so, stop.

It doesn't matter how much others are spending. Their needs are different - different mortgage/rent payments, property bands for council tax, utilities different because of area, size of property, number of people etc. Food will be different because different requirements. Insurance, differs again location, car, smoking, no claims etc. Yes my outgoings usually exceed 2k a month, but my biggest spend is rent and ct which eats nearly half that.

ChunkyPickle Sun 07-Jul-13 11:31:50

We have to live close to London (because that's where DPs job is) so just our basic, keep a (small) roof over our head (rent, council tax, gas/electricity) outgoings are just about 1700. Food, phones, train ticket, car insurance, petrol etc. which are hard to reduce significantly add on another 400 - and then there's saving for car servicing, dentist etc. so we live on a little more than 2k a month when you add it up.

Rent and council tax are the killers for us, but in order to reduce that we'd have to live further out (we already got a good deal on the rent), and when I did the sums the increase in train ticket swallowed any savings right back up.

WhatWouldBeyonceDo Sun 07-Jul-13 11:42:47

I get just under 2k. But it's only me and DS in the house.

Rent £570
Council tax £104
Gas/elec £60
Water £25
School dinners £40
Food £250
Petrol £80
Car insurance £51
Virgin media £37
Mobile phone £40
Paying off over draft £100
Saving for DS £40
Life insurance £10

That comes to roughly £1400.
What's left gets spent on days outs/birthdays/Xmas/clothes/things for house/ holidays

My travel to work/cash plan/pension is all taken out of my salary

I do need to start saving though

lljkk Sun 07-Jul-13 18:36:30

LIZS: What I mean is how people spend £2k or less if that is indeed about what they spend, even if they have £20k coming in, some might only be living on a budget of £2k (or conversely, spending £2k when they have £1k coming in... which is rather more like us).

We lived on such a tight budget for a while that we wrote everything down, but I can't make myself go back to that, not yet, anyway.

I will post my own numbers later.

CheeseFondueRocks Sun 07-Jul-13 18:47:05

We have about 2k net a month but only need £1300 or thereabouts. DH, me, toddler DD and cat.

louhan Sun 07-Jul-13 18:53:24


we have just over 2k coming in and we dont have a hard budget as DH
notes that i may spend more on shopping one week and less another and i do stock up on offers which in the long run saves money thats my big tip although at the minute i do have 6 gallons of washing liquid as it was on offer number 7 this week if its still on offer! we dont spend much on ourselfs clothes only when needed but we do manage to have days out and off to florida and a new car by the end of the year
i think our bills are kept low because we have a new build house saves us a packet compared with our friends.

lljkk Sun 07-Jul-13 20:46:44

We are family of 6, 4 DC age 5-13. Per month, after mortgage we spend (roughly)

£681 unspecified (not knowing is real problem no?)
£405 Groceries
£367 Leisure, Holidays, Outings, adults' hobbies (2nd biggest problem)
£255 Cars (ouch)
£185 house improvement
£129 Council Tax
£105 Family birthdays/Xmas
£98 Trainfares (commuting)
£91 DH private pension
£70 Swim lessons
£75 Other Kid clubs
£68 Cats
£41 Landline+Broadband
£52 School clothes (bad year, 2 gone up to secondary)
£36 Kid pocket money
£36 Mobiles
£40 Other Kid clothes, including shoes (must reduce this!?)
£30 Charity giving
£21 Water
£10 Meals out (this excludes loads & loads of cafes & take-aways, though)
£15 DH life & accident insurance
£5 Electricity (solar panels, yeah!, not bought oil this year yet, boo...)

Nuts, I'm going to have to write everything down, aren't I? Leaving out the £681 & leisure spend of £367, nearly all our numbers are similar to most replies or seem reasonable allowing for 4 DC and 3 cats.

Bluecarrot Mon 08-Jul-13 10:14:17

Yup, def need to work out where that £681 goes to! That's a lot of money. Save every receipt and keep a small notebook or make simple note on your phone. Every day, fill it into a spreadsheet or notebook along with dh spending.

Even doing thus will make you cut back as you get so aware of waste!

joanofarchitrave Mon 08-Jul-13 21:54:07

681 is quite a precise amount not to know it just the gap between what you spend and what's coming in?

Sorry to blaspheme, but God almighty, do your cats live on caviar,or do you have 4 of them?? Our dog costs us £38 a month and I thought that was bad enough!

I think if you did without takeaways for a month and bought a thermos flask and a picnic blanket so that you don't pay for cafes, you might find that the £681 is remarkably reduced?

DontWorryBaby Tue 09-Jul-13 12:38:33

I've found the only way to manage our budget is to take the cash out each week which will cover petrol, food shopping, spending money etc. This is the only area really where we can cut back so we come up with a meal plan before making up the weekly shopping list and also try to shop in Aldi/Lidl as they are much cheaper than the bigger supermarkets and I find the food just as good, in fact for fresh food they're much better. This would help you identify where the £681 goes. Good luck!

pamish Tue 09-Jul-13 14:09:53

sorry but have to use the cliche - first world problems.

pamish Tue 09-Jul-13 14:16:50

OneLittleToddleTerror Tue 09-Jul-13 15:53:42

Is that list for a month? It adds up to £2815! And without mortgage and rent. If you take away the train fare and car (which are essential), it's still £2462 a month. I think definitely write/track every spending.

darlene34 Tue 09-Jul-13 18:55:31

Wish I had 2k a month

lljkk Tue 09-Jul-13 19:51:53

I confess to being a bit pathethic. It was okay when we had that much coming in. I honestly think most of the unexplained cash is just more of the same, spent another £30 last night on school uniform (sigh).

3 cats, all rescues, big expense after food is flea meds, I can't live with cats without the flea control. Then there's jabs, worm control, litter.

LIZS Tue 09-Jul-13 20:12:26

Why are you spending so much a month on new clothes and uniform ! We kitted dd out for much less than that from nothing .

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