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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.

emma16 Mon 19-Aug-13 18:01:13

Hi Zigster, I know, my family winced when i told them how much we pay but we do need two cars & after years of having second hand one's etc constantly breaking down etc we'd had enough.
Luckily we are fortunate to be able to afford them but when i was hesitant in signing up for mine, my hubby said fine we won't do this & instead we'll take a loan out for £4k & have to repay that at however much each month for how many years, along with paying breakdown each month, car tax, m.o.t's whilst grimacing hoping it scrapes through, all the parts that are bought when stuff breaks all the time, the day's off wasted fixing the car or paying a garage to do it, less fuel efficient car blah blah, and be left with a car worth nothing & start the whole process all over again...or you can sign up for a new car & have one payment & hassle free motoring. I wrote down the car sum wrong, his is £399 a month & mine is a happy £150 a month which we did get on a cracking offer. We would have been paying more in a loan for mine & have a second hand car!

Zigster Mon 19-Aug-13 13:57:05


I suspect most people are actually pretty naive about how much cars really cost to run. Depreciation, lost interest on the savings used to buy/interest on a loan, insurance, VED, servicing, tyres, washing, ... petrol.

An earlier post said £200 pm towards car savings (presumably that meant for a new car in the future). That's £12k over 5 years which isn't a lot, particularly if you need more than one car.

emma16 Sun 18-Aug-13 20:32:51

Income; £3639
Mortgage: £495
Council Tax: £109
Gas & Electric: £94
Food: £300
Tv Licence: £12
Water: £58
Mobiles: £32
2 x Car Insurance: £67
Mortgage Insurance: £11 (hubby gets full pay for 6months if on the sick but this insurance kicks in on the 7th month to cover our mortgage)
Life & Critical Illness Cover: £23
Sky: £90 (urgh)
Christmas Savings: £80
2 x Car's on Finance: £500
Savings: £400

Total £2271
Left over £1368

I'm fully aware from reading previous posts that some people will be totally shocked at how much we spend on cars & the nasty sky bill but that's down to my hubby. His thoughts are that he works damn hard & long hours for his money so if he wants a new car at £400 a month to get him to & from work that he loves, and doesn't have to spend his days off fixing old second hand cars that constantly need work doing on them, then so be it!!
We are very careful with our money otherwise, we hardly ever go out for meals as we genuinely enjoy being at home, we take the kids out for walks/adventures at weekends for free, neither of us smoke, i dont drink & he goes out to the pub probably twice a month. Me & my friends meet up at each others houses & take it in turns to cook a meal etc.
Even though i've wrote our details it never fails to amaze me how quick some others are to jump on other peoples finances. Everyone's different, just because one person likes to write absolutely everything down doesnt mean everyone has to be like that. I used to be obsessed with being tight, then early this year my mother in law at 59 was perfectly fit & happy found out she had lung & bone cancer. 13 weeks & 6 days after diagnosis, she took her last breath. It was a huge huge wake up call to us, after going through that time nursing her & what happened made us realise you do have to live for today. Yes you've got to be sensible with money & dont get yourself into debt, but apart from not having a silly mortgage, a good pension put away, no debt, putting into savings, bloody well enjoy your hard earnt whilst your here!!! There's no point being the richest man in the graveyard & you certainly can't take it with you!

equinox Sun 18-Aug-13 17:02:57

Is anybody putting haircut expenses down or are we all hippies lol.

equinox Sun 18-Aug-13 17:00:43

I find that if you spend using cash only and don't use debit cards then that way you see how quickly it all goes and on top of that keep all online shopping to a minimum (gets very tempting)!

BMW6 Fri 16-Aug-13 10:37:24

I keep a monthly spreadsheet of income & expenditure - here's Aprils

Income 2058.85

Mortgage 599.72
B & C Insurance (15th)14.25
2 x Life Insurance 52.78
Food 335.14
Water Rates 18.80
Gas 94.97
Electric 30.51
Council Tax 112.55
Sky 48.33
TV Licence 14.55
Credit Card 95.57
Petrol 20.01

Total 1491.11

Tasmania Tue 13-Aug-13 16:49:53

I've been thinking about this a lot as ours is getting out of hand (we are spending more than 2k!!!). Currently, we have this for *monthly outgoings*:

Rent: £825
Bills: (utlities/phone/internet/tv/mobile) & Council tax: £410
Insurance (cars/life/income/pet/house): £165
Loans (to be over and done with next year!): £240
Credit cards (overpayment to pay it off): £230
Transport: £350
Groceries: £450
Food at work, etc.: £200
Going out (meals): £100
Takeaways / Pizza: £80
Horse on livery: £200
Gym: £32
Holiday fund (to make sure we can go - will likely spend more): £190
Miscellaneous: £200

Stock & Shares ISA: £225

Whatever is left over stays in the current account or gets moved to a regular ISA.

wobblywindows Tue 13-Aug-13 15:28:05

£108 Mortgage
£57 Council tax
£13 House & contents insurance
£90 Electric
£44 Water
£19 Landline phone
£13 Internet
£20 Mobile phone
£65 Groceries
£15 loan repayments
£15 bank fee, includes phone insurance
£14 bus
£5 Meals out

Mortgage & Coucil tax is paid by my DD living with me, making my expenditure ~£310 monthly.

'meals out' = an ice cream in McDonald's with my grandson.
Now u see why I send handmade cards sad

AntoinetteCosway Mon 22-Jul-13 18:21:25

Also, when I wrote 'bidet' in an earlier post, I meant 'budget'!

AntoinetteCosway Mon 22-Jul-13 18:20:57

Well we do give to charity but don't have school age children so yes, no clubs.

Lulabellarama Mon 22-Jul-13 17:23:42

Gawd, this thread is just making me realise why we're so poor. Our mortgage is a lot more than most. I guess that's what comes from buying in the current climate. sad

lljkk Mon 22-Jul-13 17:23:21

*sorry clubs for school age kids, I meant, not exactly school clubs.

lljkk Mon 22-Jul-13 17:17:04

thx for all replies, including Applepie's numbers.
I averaged all the numbers other people gave (excluding Jess, think she's out of my target budget, smile ), and my numbers are about the same & lower for most categories. I didn't expect that. I had to guess how many people you guys were feeding, though, to make that comparison sensible (I assumed 4 if not stated).

The biggest difference I can find so far is in school clubs, apparently almost no one else gives to charity, has kids who did any activities (or who get pocket money). Also commuting (for teens to school). Running 2 cars also hits us hard (but one car is nearly worthless, so...)

Babies are cheap but big kids & teenagers drain you dry. At least driving lessons are nowhere near the horizon.

AntoinetteCosway Mon 22-Jul-13 14:46:38

Oh and yes, take out fun money and grocery money in cash at the start of the month, seperate the grocery money into weeks and take only that cash with you to the supermarket.

AntoinetteCosway Mon 22-Jul-13 14:45:44

Key is def to write EVERYTHING down. I use the Pocketmoney app on my phone which is brilliant. I can tell you out exact figures because I keep a spreadsheet blush This is me, DH and DD.

Income-(DH) £1777.11
Child benefit £81.20

Mortgage £738.79 (this includes a £123.12 overpayment which is the max we're allowe to do at the mo)
Mobile bills £70 (these will go down once our contracts are up as we're switching to GiffGaff)
Life Insurance £56.75 (two policies plus mortgage ins)
Dentist £6.99
BT £20
Action Aid £15
Groceries £180 (yes, I shop at Aldi)
Council Tax £94
Cleaner £60 (am aware this could be seen as grossly wasteful given our limited income but it saves my sanity and is therefore worth it!)
Fun £210
Yearly Outgoings £406.78

Yearly Outgoings goes into a separate account from which we pay the things that come up throughout the year but aren't regular. Budgeted like so:

Petrol £650
MOT and service £600
Car Tax £135
Breakdown cover £95 (though am switching to Green flag this year)
Car Ins £270
Home Ins £160
Public Liability Ins £60 (do occasional tutoring work and like to have it as tutees come to my house)
Elec £600 (we pay exact bills quarterly, not a DD-same for gas)
Gas £600
Water £260
BT Line Rental £129
Skype £47 (so we can call family in US and not have to pay BT for it)
Union membership £32 (I'm ordinarily a teacher and am keeping this going)
Presents £300
Clothes £300
DD's clothes and shoes £300
Holiday £300 (not abroad obviously!)

Some of these figures are subject to change and we look at the bidet regularly to make sure we're sticking to it. Everything in the yearly outgoings list gets a list of its own so we know how much of the allocated budget we've used/got left. I grossly underestimated our petrol expense at the start of the year so that had to go up and other things got shifted around.

piratecat Sun 21-Jul-13 11:22:27

the only thing that has worked dot me is to add up all the direct debits. i live on much less income than you but i have now begun taking out the cash i can afford every Monday and try to stick to it.
whatever your budget using your card here and there makes for a huge amount that you don't keep an eye on.

its simple to put an amount in a tin each week and does help overall.

MortifiedAdams Sun 21-Jul-13 11:12:50

Sorry, 2.3k income

MortifiedAdams Sun 21-Jul-13 11:11:44

2k income

450 mortgage
100 media - internet, tv, two.mobiles
200 car repayments
300 food
100 gas and electric
30 uni loan
200 childcare
100 water, council tax and tv license
60 petrol
60 rail pass
20 car tax and rac

We then each take 50 on a friday for spends.
Anything left rolls over to next month.

HerBigChance Sun 21-Jul-13 11:05:25

Envelope budgeting software is very good for keeping an eye in what is spent in different categories. It's the electronic equivalent of keeping your money in different envelopes for different things:

applepieinthesky Sun 21-Jul-13 10:59:32

Groceries figure is per week sorry. So 280 every 4 weeks

applepieinthesky Sun 21-Jul-13 10:57:04

Rent 550
Council tax 120
Contents insurance 10
Utilities 150
Home phone 14
Internet 10.50
Tv licence 18
Gardener 21 (2 weekly)
Phone card to call family abroad 5 (2 weekly)
Contract phone 18
Groceries 70
Lunch at work 10
Children's clothes 30
Adults clothes 40
Hairdressers 50 (quarterly)
Loan repayment 20
Credit card 30
Savings for DS 20
Nappies 20
Pet food, insurance 18
Petrol 120
Car insurance 33
Car expenses 30
Days out 40
Birthdays 20
Toiletries 10

This leaves around £300 from total income of just over £2100.

lljkk Fri 19-Jul-13 13:21:35

I should so like to see Apples & Wobbly put down their own numbers.

I do love your numbers, JessMcL. smile

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 19-Jul-13 12:20:25

It's a good start having a list of where your money goes. I'd suggest that your top priority is working out that unassigned amount... that's going to be where you stand to gain the most.

Second step, go through all Direct Debits coming out of any of your accounts and work out are they essential or non-essential. If non-essential, cancel whatever it is they're paying for. If essential then spend an afternoon on comparison sites seeing if you can get the same goods or services cheaper.

Third step is to tackle the irregular outgoings, the cash withdrawals, the groceries, the petrol consumption, clothes purchases. Because they're ad hoc these can quickly spiral if you don't set yourself a limit.

My income's higher but roughly speaking
£1000 - mortgage
£500 - fixed outgoings such as utilities, insurance, council tax, etc
£300 - supermarket
£150 - cash withdrawals
£400+ - incidentals (days out, clothes purchases, gifts, house repairs, hobbies etc)
The rest goes into various savings for big ticket items like holidays, replacement appliances, Christmas presents

lljkk Wed 17-Jul-13 20:36:31

Neah, I honestly don't think I've a spending problem except that we got in the habit of saying yes to most things without thinking. I am naturally anorexic with money, took me a long time to learn to spend it.

There is some double counting in my figures, like some of the leisure category is actually commuting to work I just don't know how much.

I think I went overboard letting DD actually have new items for uniform this year, although (on the other thread) my spend is actually pretty typical, not outlandish. ( Two blazers? Are you mad? ) Think you lot will be shocked when I get around to reporting next update on the cash figures. I'm not cutting some things like swimming. I will dig into savings if I have to, for that. Swim lessons are only £1 more than me taking them, by the way!!

House Improvement: DH knocked thru a room this year hmm. Lintel & workman & electrician (DH did own plastering & joinery though). The carpets are knackered but I have shelved plans to do anything about them until we're rich again. wink

Thanks for numbers, it is helping me figure a lot out.

wobblywindows Wed 17-Jul-13 08:50:56

£36 pocket money for 4 DC a month?
That's £9 each, barely £2 a week.
You're buying a lot for them - hobbies, clubs etc - but that's not teaching the older one's to manage their money. You're giving them a luxurious lifestyle without them having to think about budgeting. Ring any bells?

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