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Can you see where we can reduce our outgoings?

(72 Posts)
RedSquash Thu 05-Jun-14 21:00:08

Our outgoings are £1480pm incl bills, shopping, fuel etc. Our income is £1676pm which doesn't give us much wriggle room. I'll breakdown our outgoings below.

If anyone can see where we can shave costs or remove them completely please say and offer help. We're finding it really hard to live.

Car expenses (tax, ins): 80
Tv/broadband/phone: 45
TV licence: 13
Gas/elec: 100
Council tax: 111
Mortgage: 437 (soon to be 480)
Water (metered): 70
CSA (variable): 171
Breakdown: 8Mobile: 22
House insurance: 18
Shopping (incl topups): 300
Petrol: 75
DH work subs: 30

I think that should add up, I do try to be as frugal as possible but it doesn't seem to come down any.

Any advice will be really welcomed

Waggamamma Thu 05-Jun-14 21:54:01

Have you tried a market or wholesaler for your fruit and veg? My friend does this and her veg is soo cheap compared to tesco prices. We also have a local greengrocer/deli who deliver a massive fruit and veg box for £10. I always thought that would be more expensive that way but it works out really good value.

Waggamamma Thu 05-Jun-14 22:03:57

I see you have a seperate budget might help if you budgetted everything together then people can maybe see other places savings could be made.

Are you both working or just one of you? What age are your dc?

joanofarchitrave Thu 05-Jun-14 22:11:33

water -
Shower every three days/other day with a strip wash in between.
Get in the habit of changing out of 'good' clothes (school, work etc) or wearing aprons etc to reduce your laundry.

fruit and veg -
what can you grow? some stuff is really easy allegedly - I find potatoes, raspberries, rhubarb, gooseberries, blackcurrants and even strawberries are genuinely easy, broad beans not bad, runner beans harder work but produce massive amounts, could you get plants/bushes given to you as presents? Also get onto the blackberries on August 1st and store as much as you can. Try and stay seasonal or stick to tinned/frozen if you can't bear it any more.

Artandco Thu 05-Jun-14 22:14:20

No you don't need a TV license for I player unless you are watching something live as it airs.

I would also include all benefits in total income. It's much higher than you show if you include that

hallamoo Thu 05-Jun-14 22:17:43

'Shower every three days with a strip wash inbetween' - ugh, can't think of anything worse, would rather cut costs elsewhere.

Although as I said up thread, your water bill does seem high, we pay less than that for 6 of us.

RedSquash Thu 05-Jun-14 22:32:34

Our mortgage is low and for that I am very thankful, we were given an inheritance which paid off a chunk, we couldn't have afforded this otherwise.

Our house ins is both buildings and contents, but we'd really not lose it where possible. My childhood home flooded and of we didn't have B&C we'd have been scuppered.

We don't have a market locally- it's such a shame. There's a great greengrocer in town that's cheap and lots are locally sourced

I'm a SAHM but looking to restart my degree soon. My DC are 7 and 2 and we all change into house clothes when we get in. DS2 is still in the grubby toddler stage unfortunately and I cloth nappy and that bumps up water usage.
South West water prices are extortionate: unmetered rates are shock

We grow lots in our borders- potatoes, peas, onions, spinach, carrots, runner beans, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, blackcurrant, rhubarb. Love seasonal produce we only have narrow borders but we've packed a lot in. Our front border is laid out to herbs.

fairyfuckwings Thu 05-Jun-14 22:36:54

I know this isn't what you asked - but is there any way you could increase your income? The MSE forum is very good on tips for this.

If I were you I'd do a "two pronged" approach. Do as you. are in trying to reduce expexpenditure whilst also trying to bring on more income.

fairyfuckwings Thu 05-Jun-14 22:38:44

Sorry about typos - fat fingers on phone!

MummyKnight Thu 05-Jun-14 22:49:27

See if you can switch energy providers, we pay £76/month for gas & electric for three of us in a 2 bed house. You could also try swapping down one brand in the supermarket eg if you buy own brand try value version instead. Also check to see if you are missing out on any benefits you are entitled to, you never know you could be missing out extra income.
Good luck, I hope you can make some savings.

RedSquash Thu 05-Jun-14 23:00:47

I am trying to find work that I can do around DHs shifts so that I can cut costs as childcare would outstrip wages. I am trying to sell everything I can too. Will have a look at MSE and see what's there. Thanks!

My 'personal' finances per month are:
CTC: £40


Swimming lessons: £50ish
Mobile: £19
DC climbing: £40
Monthly toddler classes: £6
School lunch: £10
Travel: £20

DS1 has Cricket club but thankfully it's a one off payment and he doesn't need kit yet!

I've not added any clothing/school subs expenses as they vary so widely each month.

I will cut my phone back once I'm out of contract, the phones are our only Internet access at the moment as our laptops have both died and can't afford to replace yet. smile

Thanks for everyone's help and advice thanks

Quangle Thu 05-Jun-14 23:28:47

Agree that water is v high. I pay about 300 pa on a meter. Three of us - dishwasher and washing machine every day almost and a shower every day for me and the DCs share a bath when I can be bothered.

Is it leaking somewhere invisible ? Are you watering the garden? Inefficient washing machine?

RedSquash Thu 05-Jun-14 23:36:05

All White goods are under 3y/o as they all died within a few months of each other. We have a new boiler too to reduce water usage. Our house is over 3 floors and we have 11 radiators so that's contributing to the cost.

There's no leak between the meter and house that we can see. Our old house was half the size and we paid £50pm. SWW is really expensive- we pay for the coastline. We also have water butts where possible and toilets use the minimum water we can get away with. I even use the water left in drinks bottles to water the houseplants.

We paid half the water rates in the SE and that wasn't metered!

Quangle Thu 05-Jun-14 23:37:48

Can't see if you are on a water meter or not but it's usually cheaper to be and if you can't be for some reason they have to put you on an payment schedule that is usually cheaper than the ratable value version of your water bill.

I have a flat that I rent out (2bed ) and Thames water were charging more for the water bill there with one person resident than for my metered three bed house with 3 of us and with washing machine and dishwasher going every day and garden to water. It's because the flat isn't meterable so they basically just send you a massive bill until you request to go on this special tariff based on average use for equivalent households.

Quangle Thu 05-Jun-14 23:38:54

Sorry x post. Horrified by SW water!

Lioninthesun Thu 05-Jun-14 23:40:05

Are the DC old enough to do a paper round or wash cars at weekends? I know it sounds like it won't help much, but if they could get enough to cover some fruit and veg and their 'treats' from the shopping it could help?

fairyfuckwings Fri 06-Jun-14 01:40:12

Do definitely go on mse. They have a board (I think) juston how to increase your income. I've not been on it for a while myself but some of the tips I remember are:
Quidco, ebay, clicks, surveys etc.

There will be loads more. It's things you can do outside the obvious paid work. And some of it (such as quidco) is basically money for nothing. So it all helps!

Monty27 Fri 06-Jun-14 01:53:17

TV a nd mobile too expensive, try and change that. See if you can change or even upgrade your bank account to get free things like insurance on breakdown or anything.

Packed lunches and free leisure pursuits are what I see from your last post.

I and many above feel your pain.

smellyfishead Fri 06-Jun-14 02:50:26

Nothing to add other than be careful of breakdown cover that's attached to mobile contract or banking, most of them have very tight clauses- eg a five mile tow rule, so they tow you to the nearest garage but their obligation ends there.

Always read the smallprint and t&cs

RedSquash Fri 06-Jun-14 09:22:54


DC are only 2 and 7 so not quite at the earning potential age just yet. Will be getting DS1 to help with the older neighbours but it's not a paid thing.

There's not much in the way of free leisure activities here apart from the beach- which we make good use of when it's dry.
The local youth centre has been closed down so the main cheap leisure activities have been lost. It's so frustrating.

Our bank gives ys free travel insurance but we've never used it and it's not worth the paper it's written on. It expires for good in September now but we're needing to change banks with mortgage lenders.

Ds1 only has one school lunch a week, on days when he has swimming lessons to save on me cooking when we get home.

I was just looking at a new mobile contract- they're so expensive if you need a new handset. It's a lot more than I'm paying now like for like. It's shocked me!

House insurance is due up next month so am going to try and cut that down if I can.

I appreciate all the advice here. Lots of food fpr thought!

Waggamamma Fri 06-Jun-14 11:23:23

Your Swimming lessons seem expensive, ours are £35 for ten weeks, perhaps you can cheaper ones if you try council pools?

Also £40pm on climbing seems extravagant when you're struggling.

Littlepinkpear Fri 06-Jun-14 11:34:13

Have you had a mortgage review with a no fee broker? It might not mean your costs go up - they have deals the banks don't and will be able to get you very cheap life insurance.

Also, have you used the tesco delivery options that give you x off a shop etc?

Would you be cheaper send DC1 to cubs or scouts than climbing?

PomeralLights Fri 06-Jun-14 11:45:27

It won't warn you loads but have you considered switching to a Santander 123 account as your bill-paying account? The monthly fee is £2 but we earn more than that in cash back and with water and gas/elec fees as high as yours I imagine you'd do well out of it?
Also we have the 123 credit card which we use only for groceries and petrol, again you get cash back, and you can link it to your 123 current account so it's unto sticky paid off in full every month. Makes checking bank balance etc bit more difficult as you have to mentally keep a tally of your spending.
Between the current account and credit card we get about £20 a month cash back net of fees - not loads, but it's money for nothing!

PomeralLights Fri 06-Jun-14 11:47:36

warn = earn
unto sticky = automatically

Stupid autocorrect

beccajoh Fri 06-Jun-14 11:59:13

Do you need an all singing all dancing mobile? Really think about it - if you do absolutely need mobile internet when out and about then fair enough. If you don't then get a cheap handset (I've got Nokia 105, £20, no internet) and use PAYG. I use giffgaff.

BerylStreep Fri 06-Jun-14 12:16:27

I would review the need to spend £90 a month on swimming and climbing for your eldest.

I spend £40 / month on activities for both my children together, and I'm not trying to economise.

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