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Can anyone help me star to budget really worried.

(24 Posts)
ChristmasCracker Sun 26-Dec-04 20:44:26

Right ok as i said on another thread i am in deep as far as money probs go at the mo.

When we moved here our outgoings went up by 180 quid a month but are incomings reamined the same.
We aren't entitled to coucnil tax or housing benefit either.

At the mo we have over 4 weeks left until dp's ne4xt pay day and the only money we have is my 90 quid a week tax credit, BUT i am very much over my overdraft limit and have lots of dd's that will go out in the next few weeiks and obviously charges for my being over my od limit.

The thing i can't work out is that if you write down all of our outgoings then it does like we shouls be douing ok but we are far from it.

We hardley ever eat out, haven't had a holiday for years and don't but much of anything at all, so how do i change all this.

I have been looking for a job but haven't managed to find anything as yet and obviously this need sorting out regardless of wethr i get one or not.

Does anyone on here stick to a strict budget and how ??

ChristmasCracker Sun 26-Dec-04 20:45:03

Sorry meant to add that we are already a mnth behind with the rent and coucil tax too.

janeyjinglebops Sun 26-Dec-04 20:46:44

Never been in this situation but I have heard citizens advice helps this sort of problem out. Maybe someone else will know more?

Good luck

misdee Sun 26-Dec-04 21:44:17

I do budget, dont have over draft, and every penny is accounted for. but i belive we are in a better finicial situation to you atm (we have around 4-500 a week coming). But a few years ago, i was in the same situation. Wecut back on everything, and phoned companies to reduce payments etc. some have even gone to debt agencies asi wasnt able to reduce the payments (last one finishes in march). Someone told me they have to accept a reasonable offer from you. I bargain with a company for weeks as they were insisting on £100, i offered them 20, they said 90 etc etc. got itn down to 30 a week, then have slowly increased to paying them more as i really want it cleared.

All my bills are now on DD, or card payments. the only one that isnt is my phone bill, and i dread it coming in, as with broadband etc, its usually around £200.

Phone the council, see if you are entitled to any benefit from them, if not, then make a payment plan with them.

twoforone Sun 26-Dec-04 21:45:31

When we first moved in together, we were constantly robbing off peter to pay Paul as the saying goes.

It wasn't that we were over-spending or anything. When i actually wrote down our income and out-goings, after we had payed the bills and food etc, there was very little money left - if anything.

DH got paid Weekly, but most of our bills came out monthly. I devised a plan to help me sort out our money. I got a liitle pot or jar for every bill that we pay. On each pot i stuch a sticker on it saying 'rent,' or C/tax, and so on.

Each Week when DH got paid, he gave me his wages. I worked out how much each bill costs a Week. So say if C/tax was £80 a Month, i took £20 out of his wages that Week, and each Week, until at the end of that Month, i had the £80 there to go and pay it. I did the same with each bill.

Any money left after we had payed all the bills in that way, incuding food and phone etc, was our own. If there was any left, we could buy a bottle of wine and order a take away at the Weekend. If there wasn't, then we did without.

It sounds a bit simple and stupid really, but it really works. The thing about doing it that way is you know how much your bills are each Week, and your bills and the amount you have left at the end of each Week are always the same, so you always know where you are.

We don't struggle thank goodness anywhere near like that anymore, but i still have my little pots!!

it really works for us, why not give it a go?

misdee Sun 26-Dec-04 21:54:37

Any large bills actually come out of one account which i pay into weekly, so similar to the little pots system.

morningmayhem Sun 26-Dec-04 22:03:31

have a look at this budget planner I found this to be one of the best.It really helped me sort things out.

ChristmasCracker Sun 26-Dec-04 22:05:02

Thanks everyone, great advice

I think i will sit down and make a list of incomings and outgoings and then make a list of things that need urgent attention like the rent etc.

Will also look at ways of reducing things like the food bill, etc.

Have just requested application forms for 2 jobs at the local hospital so hopefully something will come of at those and we can get back on our feeet.

Makes me feel so ill having this hanging over my head and nearly spoilt xmas really.
Think i just need to take control and get it sorted asap.

Caligulights Sun 26-Dec-04 22:22:42

CC, Alvin Hall recommends that you sit down every single day for a whole month and make a note of every single penny you spend, on transport, sandwiches for work, newspapers, sweets, food etc. etc. - then you can do a breakdown at the end of the month and find out where your money's really going.

I've always managed to get to about the fifteenth of the month and then fallen off - but if you're more self-disciplined than me, you may be able to do it and it sounds like a jolly good idea (I might try again in January!)

ChristmasCracker Sun 26-Dec-04 22:28:18

That is a god idea Caligulights, i will definatly try that, thanks.

soapboxingday Sun 26-Dec-04 22:32:51

Nutty - thinking about the rent etc, can you raise some money in the short term by selling stuff off at car boots and ebay?

Old toys/childrens clothes and other clutter etc always seems to raise money. Even if its only a few pounds it will make all the difference!

Festivepussy Sun 26-Dec-04 22:56:57

I do the same as twoforone, our other halfs do the same job nutty I read it on another thread!
Everything that needs to go out is put away in a wee folder till its needed. Its put away each week every week right away. Then we see whats left for food/petrol/gas/eleccy and see which one we can squeeze ourselfs a tenner out of for spending
If we cant we dont...but we appreciate the next spare cash we have IYKWIM.
Buy the cheapest loo roll/shampoo/bleach etc till the decent stuffs on BOGOF.
Bulk buy things like crisps when they are on offer...stuff thats gonna get used week in week out.
Once every few weeks only buy the essentials, buttermilk bread fruit. And use all the stuff you keep ignoring in the fridge/freezer.
Go and see if the housing ass/council will spread that months rent/CT over the next 12 months. They would rather it paid slowly than constantly in arrears im sure. Good Luckxxx

Christmassbee Mon 27-Dec-04 05:07:56

Message withdrawn

tatt Mon 27-Dec-04 06:19:22

I've had to write down everything I spend and somehow there is always something you forget (or your partner does) unless you keep a notebook with you all the time. Its very difficult to do but the only way to work out where everything is going.

My friends joke I don't buy anything unless its a special offer - not true but I do try to use them when I can When money is tight I don't buy anything that is not absolutley essential. That means no alcohol, no haircuts, no clothes (charity shops if the children must have something). Very difficult to keep to so you need to allow yourself the odd treat (like net access but Tesco offpeak is good value).

SueW Mon 27-Dec-04 09:36:43

misdee £200 on phone bill? That's huge! Can you cut it down by using 18866 ? It's had quite a bit of positive press on here and a couple of NCT lists I'm on.

jordylass Mon 27-Dec-04 10:24:12

I also use 1866 and also 1899 same company but at the moment they have better deals.

Martins money saving website is brilliant. The link for his budget planner is lower down and it is very good and you can out in your outgoings wether they are weekly, monthly or annually and it works out your monthly spend.

We are in absolute dire straights also, I've used my credit cards extensively and when it came to adding up exactly how much was owed it was a huge shock to me and an even bigger one to my partner, we've enjoyed Christmas but not spent anything like normal on it, and we both know its going to be very difficult for a long time.

I'm just sorting out the letters to send to card companies and not looking forward to their reactions.

I'm sure you'll get sorted there is some great advice on here.

JanH Mon 27-Dec-04 11:03:31

misdee, we have:

aol unlimited broadband at £25 a month

BT also about £25 a month

18866 for landline calls (calls are free all the time but connection is only 1p, so you could make 100 1-hour long calls anywhere in the country and it would only cost you £1 altogether)

1899 for mobile calls (2p a minute at weekends, 10p the rest of the time, but their connection charge is 3p so their free national calls cost 3 times as much as 18866!)

Combined monthly bill for the last 2 is about £20, so that's £70 altogether. We have digital phones with 200-number memory so I have all the dialling codes logged in, when you have to dial them each time it's a nuisance, but so worth it, especially for daytime calls - BT 1 hour £1.80, 18866 1 hour 1p!)

Watch those 0845/0870 calls though, they are 4p/8p a min with BT or 3p/7p with 1899 and they really mount up.

HTH! (You too, nutty).

whitepixmas Mon 27-Dec-04 19:11:22

I also try to allocate money to various places on payday so that the money is there for bills. And I've got a money box that I put all my 50p and 20p pieces in. I never miss them but it's really surprising how they add up. I used to have to raid the box quite a lot to pay bills but now we've got straight I can leave it longer. This year I had enough money in there to pay for all the christmas presents!

ChristmasCracker Mon 27-Dec-04 19:24:01

Thanks everyone loads of great ideas on here.

I am going to ring about my rent tommorow and see if i can pay an extra 100 for the next 3mths to clear it. Haven't really got another 100 but it is important to me that it is sorted.

I haven't enough in the bank for the council tax dd to go out now either so am gonna cancel it and pay it a week late, will set it up again once we are sorted, will also set up a dd for the rent too.

I think i will set up a seperate account for bills too, think it would help us alot to know exactly what we have and haven't got instead of me standing in the middle of the highstreet trying to work it out in my head.

I already changed my phone calls to go through homecall and am thinking of having my internet with them too as they are cheaper.

Will perhaps try the money jar but not sure i trust myself to leave it alone for long enough. At the mo we save the 1's and 2's usually until there is about a tenner.

Thanks again, am feeling a bit more positive now, i know it can be sorted if i get my head out of the sand.

misdee Mon 27-Dec-04 19:52:51

the phone bill comes in quarterly. which is why it seems huge, and that includes broadband as well.

bt do a pay and go system as well, but cant use it if you have broadband with them.

tatt Wed 29-Dec-04 06:24:23

If you don't make many calls to landlines/ abroad BT's all inclusive offer might be cheaper at £25.50 a month. Do you have to have broadband?

Amanda3266 Wed 29-Dec-04 09:24:55

Hi CC,

Just dropping in my bit here. Can absolutely relate to the money difficulties as we went through it two years ago when my hubby was made redundant and was then unemployed for a year. The madness of it was that my salary (15 hours a week as a health visitor) was deemed enough to stop us being entitled to virtually anything,

Firstly, are any of your outgoings unsecured debt (credit cards, loans etc) if they are then my first action would be to reduce all payments to them and negotiate to continues these reduced payments until such time as things improve - they won't like it but tough - you have to eat and keep a roof over your heads. Check out www.debthelpuk,co,uk for more info if you have these debts,

All your essential payments come first (rent, council tax , food, electricity/gas etc) and if that means that credit card people etc get less while you clear any backlog then so be it. We had to do all this as we had a loan and a credit card - we now have a crap credit rating but c'est la vie - we have a roof over our heads and everything gets paid in order of importance. We are now in a much better position and all our payments to the loan and credit card people have gone back to normal - they will soon be paid off. On the whole, after the initial "snotty letters" and default notices they were helpful as they could be in the circumstances.

Also try speaking to CAB

HTH a bit - got to go as hubby doing housework and getting stressed


Amanda3266 Wed 29-Dec-04 09:26:59

Sorry, meant to quote

tribpot Wed 29-Dec-04 09:45:53

Plenty of good advice in this thread! is an excellent site, I'd also recommend The Motley Fool's Dealing with Debt board . As well as doing a money diary for a month, I think you'd benefit from doing a Statement of Affairs showing all your incomings and outgoings, listing all your debts including their APRs and minimum repayments, there's a lot you can do in terms of getting your debts under control by blasting away at the highest APRs first.

I tend to notice in people's Statement of Affairs that they are spending (relatively) LOADS on phone bills, both landline and mobile. And on groceries by not planning meals in advance (which I am very guilty of myself). One guy who has got out of debt there just recently advocated the 'plastic bag' method, where you get all your disposable cash for the month and allocate it to plastic bank bags, i.e. this much for groceries, this much for travel, etc. Then you can see that once it's gone it's gone.

The other point to note is that it'll be extremely hard work to do if your dp doesn't get on board with it as well. Make sure you get him to agree to the budget you draw up!

Do take a look at the Fool if you think it can help you, the people on the Dealing With Debt board are very kind and will be able to make some useful suggestions.

Hope this helps - best of luck.

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