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Those of you who live on a (tight) budget..

(157 Posts)
JustifedAndAncient Mon 19-Jun-06 11:53:47

I KNOW there are some on here.. not just me

So what do you do when you literally have days and days to go before you have any money again.. there is hardly any food in and you have just filled the car with petrol (necessity) knowing that doing so is going to incur lots of horrid bank charges..

There is literally no money with which to 'rob Peter to pay Paul' this week.. sent DS to school with a really crap packed lunch this morning.. hope nobody looks at it too closely, there were not many food groups represented and the lentil weavers on here would have had a field day with it!! Usually I can juggle things when we have weeks like this.. I also get a buzz out of being a tight wad when I have to and seeing how many days I can go without spending anything. But I'm going to need bread and milk and stuff.. and there are no yogurts and things like that for the kids.. I can usually juggle the money on weeks like this but this weekt there is nothing to juggle..! (Have 'online banked' DD's money from her account to mine already.. to try to keep us under overdraft limit.. and that was before I bought petrol. Will pay her straight back again when I get paid of course.. but that's how the vicious circle works, it's like having a much bigger and unaffordable over draft..)

So who else has weeks like this and how to do you manage them?

LucyJones Mon 19-Jun-06 11:58:15

we use a credit card... we can't actualy get by month to month without having to use one. My sister is shocked by this but I don't understand how she can suddenly come up with money if her car breaks down etc etc. I guess she has savings...

ssd Mon 19-Jun-06 11:59:03

TBH, I feel like I've lived like this for ages. We live on £14k a year and it's very tight. It does depend what extra work I can get eg. babysitting etc. but when times are really tight like you I just have to grin and bear it. I know lots of people seem to have it easier financially and TBH I would too if I worked and put the ds's into childcare but I just don't want to. Also I'm lucky in that my dh is great, he's a great dad and really does loads around the house too. We just pull together.

Sorry I haven't any real advice, some days we sit here and wonder how we've managed so far, you seem to get by somehow!

charliecat Mon 19-Jun-06 12:00:16

Well I avoid bank charges like the plague and dont have an overdraft so that when theres no money in the bank, theres no money in the bank. So theres always about £40 sitting there, that either stays there to pay for a direct debit that comes out at the start of the month or is borrowed to buy the esentials.
Your 20-30 quids worth of petrol may have ended up costing 60-70?
Dont do it, try and make sure you have a little bit of money floating about to keep you in the black.

FloatingOnTheMed Mon 19-Jun-06 12:04:04

depends what is in your cupboards food wise? I get v creative with whatever food is in. I have a bread machine which i hardly bother using but as long as you have flour in it is cheaper when you need to. Flour goes off fairly quickly though so makes more sense to use the bread machine more than i do rather than keep flour in the cupboard only for these occasions! Milk is the toughy. if you have anyone coming over asking them a favour & to buy some milk for you !! done that myself

I don't go out at all (I'm a SAHM, dd only 2.10)! too tempting to spend.

Keep filling a piggy bank with coppers/tens/twenties/even 50p coins when you can. That way in emergency time there should be enough to buy the absolute essentials. i also use this money to pay for playgroup when i'm hard up.

sleepycat Mon 19-Jun-06 12:11:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FloatingOnTheMed Mon 19-Jun-06 12:12:31

oh yes - my parents live a bus ride away so staying with them a day or two helps too!

JustifedAndAncient Mon 19-Jun-06 12:12:37

It was £49 worth of petrol actually. I get thro a tank in four days with the school runs. I knew I needed it.. kids have to go to school so I had to get the petrol. (We will hopefully soon live in same town as the school so no longer have to drive (or at least far).. but we have a very good reason for not doing so at the moment.)

Yes I keep thinking 'Oh God I need a credit card just to pop out and buy a few essentials' but I have never allowed myself to go down that route. If I can't afford my monthly outgoings now then I certainly can't afford a monthly credit card bill..!

I keep thinking I need to sell something and quick.. but failing my body (that is a joke! .. and nobody would want it!) I really don't have a clue! This has happened because I have been paying for a short cheap few days away by the sea in the summer which I know we can't afford but sometimes you HAVE to have a little holiday to look forward to!!.... and it was DS's birthday at the weekend (although he got hardly anything from us! ).

I hate money. I am not hung up on it and don't hanker after material wealth.. I don't even mind being broke.. but crikey.. I hate not being able to juggle money for a few essentials...!!!!

tracyk Mon 19-Jun-06 12:15:08

Is there anything you could offer to 'do' for someone in return for milk/money eg babysitting?cleaning etc? or could you ask for an advance of wages?

FloatingOnTheMed Mon 19-Jun-06 12:15:48

J&A it is horrible, so depressing.
I created an Excel spreadsheet and put every penny spent & coming in on it into categories. the master sheet has a list of all regular outgoings so they automatically go onto the weekly sheets. I even have a sheet which works out the averages for me in each category and i can create pie charts etc. i was amazed at how much i was spending and also learnt v quickly the value of even £1. It is easier to see where i need to/can cut back.

charliecat Mon 19-Jun-06 12:16:56

Wow , your car drinks fuel, we stick £20 quid in and it does the job.
Do tryyyy and keep away from the bank charges though as that money, 30 quid or whatever you are paying tha bank each month could be the money that go an buy the milk bread and bits with.

tracyk Mon 19-Jun-06 12:19:54

Also - make sure your car is fuel efficient. Don't use air con, drive at 56 miles, unload any extra weight in the boot inside. don't over accelerate or brake too quickly. Your petrol will go further.

tracyk Mon 19-Jun-06 12:21:01

have a look at your banking - we each have a bank account that gives us a fee/interest free £100 buffer. So times 2 its £200.

spacedonkey Mon 19-Jun-06 12:21:18

My snack at nursery was sugar sandwiches

spacedonkey Mon 19-Jun-06 12:21:41

LOL I posted on the wrong thread! oops

spacedonkey Mon 19-Jun-06 12:23:07

Sorry about that.

I've been in this position so many times, it's just not funny is it

Is there any way you can do without a car?

sleepycat Mon 19-Jun-06 12:23:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

spacedonkey Mon 19-Jun-06 12:24:16

Agree about not getting a credit card too, they lead to all sorts of trouble as I have found out to my cost (now going bankrupt)

JustifedAndAncient Mon 19-Jun-06 12:25:18

I know CC, bank charges are the spawn of the devil!! And I do avoid them mostly, thanks to DD's account.. (But I always,, ALWAYS pay it back within days or a couple of weeks at the most.. altho I must be affecting her interest rate. She is 7 so she neither knows nor cares which makes me feel a little better.)

Barclays (who we bank with) charge £25 per day for the three days (max) that you are in the red. I have no idea if this is bad compared to other banks but I think it sucks!!

The car is a Zafira.. not that bad on fuel really it's just that school is ten miles aways so I have to do that round trip at least twice a day and sometimes 4 (!) because I have to take care of my disabled dad who lives in same town. As I said, we need to live there too.. but that can't happen at the moment.. we have to wait to be re-housed.. quite another story and I am under a pseudonym as I always am when I am chatting about my crap finances lest anyone offer me handouts, lol.. which I really DON'T want. It just helps to know other people are in the same postion sometimes that's all; and sometimes they can think of ideas I can't. Yes Floating OnMed it IS depressing.. but I usually succeed in not stressing too much over money... there are too many others stresses...

TracyK, you mean like blowjobs?

sleepycat Mon 19-Jun-06 12:26:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Munz Mon 19-Jun-06 12:26:28

we have weeks like that - only thing I can suggest, get everything at the start of the month bulk food etc, then waht I do is take out £60 now from the bank once the bills have gone out and use it thru out the month (I have several hiding places) to get bread/milk etc. when I was working I would put £100 in tehre as i'd need to fill up the tank part way thru a month.

biggest thing is bank charges, for us we've reaslised it's not worth paying them and I now refuse to as we like having a take away with the money we would have paid in charges, no much but makes it worth it for us.

(also we have a bread maker, and there's always hte stuff in the cupboard for bread, might be an idea??)

JustifedAndAncient Mon 19-Jun-06 12:26:44

Actually Spacedonkey, the sugar sandwiches were VERY relevant!! I have sugar!! That's DS's sandwiches for tomorrow sorted... ...

charliecat Mon 19-Jun-06 12:27:42

An allowed overdraft would be cheaper.

JustifedAndAncient Mon 19-Jun-06 12:30:50

We do have an authorised overdraft, it is £350 which is just about manageable on our income. But I put petrol in so will be at least £399 under by tomorrow...

tracyk Mon 19-Jun-06 12:31:39

I couldn't possibly suggest blowjobs....... but my bf used to charge her boyfriend - now dh a tenner for one!

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