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Crap with money - anyone else?(30 Posts)
I need to know it's not just me and dp who live like this, I really hope it isn't as it's getting me down so much every measure I try to get on top of our finances just doesn't work, I feel utterly beat.
He works full time, not a high earner, I've went back to work part time, also not a high earner. We get tax credits and a small bit of maintenance for my eldest ds from previous marriage. We have another 2 of our own.
Outgoings are pretty high, rent and normal bills then we have car and bike finance on top of that plus I pay my mum £200 per month for money that she gave us a loan of a while back.
We try to shop cheaply but realistically, mostly Aldi but we have a dairy intolerant toddler and two in nappies so these are quite high expenses.
We have ZERO savings, not a penny! I've done budgets loads of times, tried having standing orders into savings account - too easily accessible; money hidden in a tin, separate stashes in envelopes for different things; prepaid visa for pocket money so we don't dip into saved money etc but nothing works!!!
It's like, at the back of my mind I know it's there so we over spend so we can use the saved money. Then I feel like shit, having no safety net for anything!
It's as if money haunts me in a way, I feel I need to spend on something to get it away and off my mind, that sounds so fucked up!
I want us to do normal things like save for a deposit to buy a house eventually or go on holiday and we've been engaged for years because we can't even save a pound or two to get married ffs!!!!!!!
I don't know what do
No one can sort this except you, and the only way is to stop the excessive spending.
One job loss and you are screwed, brutally - so take action.
Write down all the spends, every last bill, then all the other stuff. The normal wasters are adult clothes ( you have plenty), takeaways, coffees, magazines, eating and drinking out. Where is the money going?
How old are the two DC in nappies?
Could they wear a cloth nappy indoors only & save disposables for trips out?
I used to let DD go without one when it was warm enough if we were staying in, with a potty nearby.
I always got our nappies from Lidl.
All of those things 😒 I must admit I very rarely buy myself clothes and if I do it's out the charity shop. Dp smokes, gets cans of juice and takeaway food at work every day along with coffees etc. We get a shopping normally on a Wednesday and it all gets eaten by the weekend so we have to get another one. I can't think of anything else but everything just seems to get frittered away very quickly!
20% head knowledge, 80% behaviour. YOU (everyone in your household) need to change your behaviour.
1. Do a monthly budget. It may take many months to get this right but you need to tell your money what to do, not let it flow though your fingers.
2. Saving is a part of your budget. You need to have a fund for a rainy day. One thing you can be sure of is that there will be a rainy day.
3. Pay off debts. A lot of money tends to go towards paying for things that you brought when you didn't have any money. You need to convince yourself that you are winning in your debt repayment... do this making sure you pay the minimum amounts required and pay off the smallest debt first. So list the debts out in order of size. If any debt is to HMRC, Council Tax, DWP - then that debt is priority.
4. Sell things to pay off debt. Get more income to pay off the debt.
Become motivated in getting to grips with your money. It is 80% behaviour, so teach your brain that you don't need debt in your life.
Best Debt-Free Screams - they did it, so can you!
You and DP need to be on the same page... at the moment it sounds as though you are not.
Does he listen to podcasts? Perhaps get him to try this one: Dave Ramsey Show
Yes it's American but it's good for motivation.
If he spends £10 a day, theres a £2500 holiday gone in a year.
Budget form (pdf)
Start telling the money where to go, not let it fritter away.
Use cash - if DP needs to buy lunch at work (rather than make at home and take with him) then give that a budget. Put that weeks budget in an envelope in cash and that is what he spends, one it is gone, he goes hungry!
smoking is the obvious one - isn't vaping cheaper if he can't give up?
he is pissing money away with the other stuff too. If you are doing the same, then you can save LOADS with no reduction in quality of life. Orange juice from the supermarket tastes the same as the stuff bought from vending machines, possibly better.
also - have you shopped around for insurances, utilities and so on?
Is DH the biker? If so, this video may help to convince him that it is time to change money habits.
I have very similar problems to you. Anything we manage to put aside for savings we use to tide us over when we've spent too much so we have no emergency money at all.
We finally sat down together and looked at our finances and we've started using an app called Goodbudget. It sorts your money into different envelopes (food, travel, entertainment etc.) and you set an amount for each envelope. Then you record all purchases and you can see how much you've spent and where.
We've also given ourselves £100 to spend on anything we want each month(no kids yet) and this could be for your dh's food at work/ciggys etc or things for you, as it's sorted all the 'you spend more than me' discussions we used to have.
I think the best and first thing you can do is to sit down and come up with a plan together. Good luck!
Start by you both logging every penny you spend all week. Then using that information to work out how much you spend in a year. So x amount anually on coffee/takeaways/juice/smoking
It's incredibly unhealthy to be buying takeaways, smoking and juice every day. Also why isn't he taking a nice flask of coffee instead of buying something. He is frittering away cash that he could be saving.
Also nappies. Often cheap own shop brand at 1.50 are just as good as the expensive varieties
Downloand a free desktop PC software called VT cashbook. You can choose a "household" set of account/codes. Then you log every pound you spend against the different headings, such as groceries, clothes, etc. and can add your own personal headings such as lunches, coffees, cigarettes, etc. Keep it going for a few months and then print out the results of where the money is going.
Actually seeing the amount of money spent in each area is often the catalyst for changing habits.
Spending a tenner a day on cigarettes or lunches etc doesn't sound that bad, but spending a few thousand per year on cigarettes and lunches can prove it's the problem and once you've seen that you can afford, say a holiday, by cutting spending on non-essentials you have an incentive to actually do it.
Thank you all for taking the time to give me advice, that's quite a few good links for me to look at too.
I think the whole recording everything we spend will be an eye opener and yes to the arguments about who spends the most, I honestly think this is the biggest thing we argue about, it's ruling my life at the minute!
I tried a proper budget last month which included personal pocket money and some small savings but it all went tits up because I needed 2 new tyres, ds has two camping trips and needed gear so the savings got used and I just lost all motivation after that.
I need to learn to stick at it and not fall at the first hurdle - this actually needs implicated in all areas of my life though but that's another thread lol!
Sometimes it's actually cheaper to only buy what you need for 2 days - if that would stop your DP buying cans, coffees etc because he goes to work with a packed lunch then it will work out cheaper. Plus 2 days food lasts 2 days rather than 7 days food only lasting 4 days IYSWIM?
If he's smoking and buying takeaways most days that will add up to loads and he needs to cut back.
An allowance for things like tyres needs to be included in the budget and is more important than takeaways and smokes.
Ok there will always be those big expenses. Birthdays, tyres, MOTs, new carpet and so on. It's life!
You need a budget that icludes x amount for the car, x amount for groceries, x amount for social, x amount for kids trips, x amount for holidays and so on.
I know that tyres might seem an unexpected last minute expense but they aren't. You could easily have predicted that your car will need x amount spent on it yearly.
This was me last year and I have savings now I am so much happier.
Keep a list on excel or handwritten or absolutely everything you spend for one month. You'll probably be mortified.
Whenever you buy anything ask yourself do I really need this? Can I think about it and come back if I'm unsure?
Look on Martin Lewis's website for saving tips it is amazing.
Are your bills the lowest the could be can you do a comparison site check?
Do you have Luxuries you can stop for a while to save? Gym memberships, expensive tv packages, beauty and magazine subscriptions those types of things.
Change your social habits. Instead of meeting a friend for lunch ask to meet at 3ish eat before and have just a coffee.
Some apps I have got high street vouchers or money in my PayPal account for answering marketing questions/ surveys.... qmee, voxpopme, valued opinions, ipoll. Not guna make you rich but add up. Valued opinions in 6 months has earned me £50 at M&s (you choose from a range of shops) voxpopme I've made £60 in 9 months or so in money to my PayPal. Etc
Good luck x
Small changes matter. Like jenni said. So a cup of tea out instead of a meal. A takeaway on Fridays instead of every day.
Money-saving expert.com is amazing. Do everything it says.
I notice you say car finance. Please say you shopped around for a loan. If you used dealer finance that's a massive waste of money right there - the interest rate will be terrible.
Keep up with the budget and writing it all down, even if you are overspending it will help you budget for the future.
I thought I had covered everything, but hadn't accounted for dental/medical stuff. It's not a lot, but when you're on a tight budget it can make the difference to going into your overdraft.
I've only started putting EVERYTHING we spend into a spreadsheet and I'm slightly obsessed with it. But it's easy to see where the money is going.
We've just got a joint account for the first time. We put salaries into the joint and then draw out £300 each (do what works for your family budget) to spend on personal stuff like meals with friends/presents/hair/clothes/mobile phones/lunches at work). In my personal budget I put down £20 for work lunches as I occasionally have to do team lunch stuff but mostly take leftovers in. My husband budgets for £100 because he's lazy! All other food comes from joint as it's part of our overall 'groceries' spend. Probably sounds convoluted but you can find what works for you.
Your budget needs to include everything - not just your 'usual' living costs. So over time you are putting money aside for all these things. E.g. I get my haircut every 2months, £25 each time. So from each monthly salary I need to set £12.50 aside for haircuts. E.g. DSS does karate, which is paid annually in advance, £240 a year. So starting a year in advance I need to set aside £20 each month for that, so that by the time I stump up for the karate fees the money is sitting there. Ditto everything you might spend money on in a year - buying clothes, camping gear, holidays, car / bike repairs, everything that's not a 'normal spend'. Going back through old receipts / calendars can help you get a proper list of all the things that pop up over the year. Some you'll have to guess at - things break, children grow, etc. But you can make a guess-timate and start setting something aside so that you aren't caught out.
And I suspect that once you properly build these into your monthly budget, your DH will have to look seriously at his wasteful spending habits. And he may have to say 'sorry, I can't afford to do that this year - maybe next year' when it comes to spontaneous camping trips.
Shamelessly place marking to come back and look at the links.
For what it's worth you're not alone OP. If we earn £1million a year we'd spend £1.1mil
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