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If you didn't have mortgage payments or school fees, how much would/could your household live on?

(58 Posts)
InnerBlonde Fri 09-Jan-09 12:26:27

Am doing some sums for us, and wondering how much bills, food, insurances, (one) car's running costs, basic clothes, odd day out, etc, amount to for other families; what the cost of a fairly modest existence is, with mortgage and any school fees taken out of the equation.

If you roughly know this figure, please say how many adults and children are in your household too.

Many thanks.

tearinghairout Fri 09-Jan-09 12:28:24

What about holidays? An essential in my book!

Without hols, I would say around £1700 nett per month for 2 ads & 2ch.

Lauriefairycake Fri 09-Jan-09 12:37:38

modest - 1200 ish in the south-east

2 adults 1 ch.

There would be very little room for something going wrong though.

InnerBlonde Fri 09-Jan-09 12:54:31

Thanks, tearing and Laurie.

It's only me and DS in our household. My finances are going to change a lot later in the year. I am trying to work out how little we can live on while retaining a few fun bits. I've got figures down to about £1,450, which includes a week's holiday in the UK. I keep going through the list and thinking that there's not a lot there that can be cut out (other than the holiday). How could you manage £1,200 in the south-east for a family of four, Laurie?! I think I'm being fairly frugal ... (I'm in the same area, BTW.)


Lauriefairycake Fri 09-Jan-09 13:00:30

only one child. And I was definitely not counting holidays or stuff going wrong. Only as a temporary measure - not sure it's sustainable for years. It would be quite wearing to do it for a long time.

FAQtothefuture Fri 09-Jan-09 13:02:25

no mortage to consider?

ermm probably about £1000 a month - that's for 1 adult, 3 DC and would include holidays smile

oh actually just seen you have a car - have no idea of running costs of those so perhaps £1200???

InnerBlonde Fri 09-Jan-09 13:34:30

Really, FAQ?! Ooh, tell me how. Obviously it'd involve getting rid of the car (tricky, as in a village). I take it your budget means mostly second-hand clothes, minimal outings, budget grocery shopping, etc? Hmm. Interesting.

Laurie, you're right that it probably isn't sustainable. It doesn't allow for freakishly expensive services to the car, a new washing machine, unexpected dental treatment, a leaky roof and the like. FAQ, how would/do you pay for these things?

Appreciate your input on this.

FAQtothefuture Fri 09-Jan-09 13:47:25

ahhh you see I'm a cheap skate, being on benefits for a while (plus exH's and my financial shithole 3yrs ago) taught me well.

Well all of my bills (utilities, TV licence, Credit Cards, council - which addmiitedly I get benefit for atm) etc etc, work out at around £500-550 a month). I spend around £200 on food/nappies/cleaning stuff ( etc.

Which leaves a couple of hundred to "play" with.

I've worked it out as though that's what I was actually getting and have to pay for council tax and other such things which I currently get help with.

I do "budget" grocery shopping, but we eat well, (well I think we do grin). I rarely shop online for my groceries, instead preferring to go into the supermarket and look at all the selected 2nds (which 99% of the time is absolutely fine!), reduced to clear etc etc. I bulk cook and freeze - so "ready meals" are proper meals that just need defrosting and heating up.

tbh I often look at my income and wonder how I do it. We don't go out often, but that's because there's nothing to do, but once I've moved I'm hoping to get out and about a bit more with them.

Planning a week (or maybe 2 if I can get an old friend to put us up grin) in Edinburgh in August.

ThingOne Fri 09-Jan-09 18:57:32

My utilities, tv licence and council tax come to about £450 a month. I reckon running a car from saving for next, repairing current, taxing, insuring and petrol costs £250 a month. House and content insurance is something else I'd consider essential. Food, say £300 for four without scrimping. Could easily be less and has been.

That's £900. On top of that I budget for cash, gifts, holidays, house repairs, and household items. However tight you are some things will always need replacing. You can spend as much or as little as you want on these things but it's best to plan for them rather than be surprised.

I am always staggered by how much we spend.

BoffinMum Fri 09-Jan-09 19:06:52

I reckon £2000 pcm, but we are quite a big family and DS1 and DS2 have some special needs.

FAQtothefuture Fri 09-Jan-09 19:09:12

£300 a month for food for 4!

omg, even when there were 5 of us, 2 adults, 2 children, 1 baby and didn't buy any value stuff (as it "wasn't good enough" hmm) I was only spending a maximum of £250 a month for all my shopping, and exH insisted on a whole load of expensive crap that only he ate.

PavlovtheCat Fri 09-Jan-09 19:11:21

1k? If we had to, and not including holidays, probably £800 for 2 adults and 1 child.

Ideally, £1500.

ChasingSquirrels Fri 09-Jan-09 19:19:35

1 adult, 2 children (6 & 3), I haven't worked it out but I think we spend between £800-£1.5k per month. lower end would be with no extra's.

ThingOne Fri 09-Jan-09 19:22:38

No need for such shock, FAQ, I was trying to give a helpful answer. By food I do mean "shopping". Food prices have gone up a lot in the past 18 months and I did say "without scrimping", and "could easily be less and has been".

In my case I'm long term ill so not often to cook properly as often as I'd like, thus relying on more convenience foods. I didn't feel this was pertinent to the question.

It's very difficult on this website to ever say anything about money, even when trying to help someone else.

It may be more than you spend but I know well from reading this site and others that it is not an exorbitant spend.

FAQtothefuture Fri 09-Jan-09 19:29:22

sorry didn't mean it to come out like that. It's just I'm always suprised by how much some people spend on their shopping each month - even when money was comfortablefor exH and me I used to be genuinely shocked when RL friends told me how much they'd spent blush.

When things we ok (in fact rather good) for us used to try and work out how to bump up my shopping bill to make it sound as impressive as theirs and I could never manage it LOL.

I wasn't allowed to "scrimp" (caused too many bloody arguments). And it was less than 18 months ago that I was still shopping for 5.

I really wasn't meaning to start an argument - sorry

eekareindeer Fri 09-Jan-09 19:38:26

We are very careful with money but we do have one holiday a year (last year to France on the Ferry and a rented cottage then rented caravan for two weeks) and the children go to 4 paid-for activities per week between them. I shop at Lidl/Asda for basics and Waitrose M&S for the fresh stuff. My DH and I drink about 5 bottles of wine per week between us. We go for meals out perhaps 10 - 12 times per year. We don't smoke. We have one car. We spend very little money on clothes. We don't pay school fees.

After mortgage is paid, we spend about £3,200 per month.

eekareindeer Fri 09-Jan-09 19:39:16

Forgot to say 2 adults 2 children.

ThingOne Fri 09-Jan-09 19:48:00

MInd you FAQ, I wonder how much of my spend is G&B's? I seem to be unable to resist the lure of even a ten pence discount.

FAQtothefuture Fri 09-Jan-09 20:02:49


sarah293 Fri 09-Jan-09 20:06:59

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muggglewump Fri 09-Jan-09 20:15:51

Around £170 a week (rent is not included in that) for me and DD, age 7
I lived on £100 when I was on benefits and struggled badly.
Now I find I have enough for a day out, or some new(cheap) clothes, or to take DD out for lunch or whatever. I can also pay my bills and not have to freeze as I can top up my meters.

magicfarawaytree Fri 09-Jan-09 20:32:35

we have no mortgage. but would need 1500 per month to get by - food, clothing etc amortised out out the year.

InnerBlonde Fri 09-Jan-09 21:43:04

Thanks for posts. Interesting to see how much/little others believe it would cost them to live a decent, basic life.

As for the £300/month food debate, I seem to spend close to that for just me and DS. blush I try to buy ethically, environmentally friendly and organic, and do shop with Waitrose because of their relative eco credentials, and because we can get some things we regularly eat in there and not anywhere else. But all this obviously costs! shock Looks like we could make considerable cutbacks on grocery/household shopping. Do you frugal shoppers plan a week's meals and buy only for those meals?

I'm in awe, Riven, at you funding a household of six on £1,500/month, including your mortgage. Grateful for any pearls of wisdom as to how you do this.

I'm going to go tweak our spreadsheet some more and see how low we can go. Thanks again for tips.

sarah293 Sat 10-Jan-09 08:53:45

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sarah293 Sat 10-Jan-09 08:55:16

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