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DINKYS to SKINTYS

(10 Posts)
Lamin Thu 04-Dec-03 13:14:22

My DH and I are both absolutely hopeless at economising (in fact, some would say we were spendthrifts!) and the money I had set aside for my maternity leave has dwindled to nothing. I am going back to work part time after Christmas so that plus nanny costs is going to put a serious dent in our income.

I am sure lots of you mumsnetters have been through this - how did you tackle it and what did you economise on?

CountessDracula Thu 04-Dec-03 13:22:47

Nothing we just spend too much now. Were going to economise on expensive holidays but it has become apparant that those are even more necessary post kids so that went out the window.

The main thing that has stopped is saving money! We no longer put away loads each month (other than our pensions) due to an additional £1500 per month for a nanny and £800 extra mortgage as we had to move house to accommodate baby + me working from home and needing an office.

If anything having a child has made us spend more as we now feel we are entitled to treats as we don't get as much time on our own. I suppose we don't go out as much as we did but when we do we make it count and go for a really nice meal and/or to the theatre or opera or football, plus cab home and babysitter usually adds up to a small fortune.

I would be grateful for advice on this too.

Lamin Thu 04-Dec-03 13:29:58

CD - you sound just like us! We have definitely got worse because "we deserve a treat". My shoe habit has come to a grinding halt and, as you say we don't go out as much but other than that its business as usual, plus the Ocado bill has trebled.

CountessDracula Thu 04-Dec-03 13:33:48

Yes, I probably single handledly pay for at least 10 Ocado employees!!!

I don't buy many clothes, shoes, bags etc but then I never did.

I am just very poor at waiting for things and if I want something I buy it there and then.

Issymum Thu 04-Dec-03 13:43:06

Easy CD, I'll send round DH.

This summer we moved to a horribly expensive house and completed an international adoption (fees, flights, accommodation) within the space of a few months. It wasn't planned, it just worked out that way.

We have gone from spending without a care to stringent financial measures. Gordon Brown in his old prudent days is a pale imitation of DH. A couple of months ago we set a budget for absolutely all essential items - nanny, mortgage, car, utilities, food, commuting costs, insuarance, pensions, occupational share schemes etc. From that we worked out a weekly limit for "discretionary items". A discretionary item is anything you don't have to buy right now and includes meals out, clothes, kids' shoes, presents etc.. We write down everything we spend over a fiver and when we hit the discretionary limit for that week, we stop.

I've never budgeted before, not even as a student, and it's taken a bit of getting used to. But it's working and it has eased the anxiety as we now feel that we are in control of our finances again. Last month was the first month since we've moved that we saved a reasonable amount.

Yippee! DH says we only have to keep this up for another ten years

CountessDracula Thu 04-Dec-03 13:48:07

Sounds sensible Issymum. We don't overspend as in we are not going into debt, but it would be nice to save more, we used to save loads pre dd! Will have a think about that. I have got a spreadsheet with all our main spending on it (ie bills, mortgage, nanny, cleaner etc) so I know what we have coming in and going out.

How do you stop blowing loads of cash on nights out etc though. You must allow yourselves some treats? Maybe you could send your dh round....

Issymum Thu 04-Dec-03 14:06:10

DD2 has only been home for a couple of months and we're just having our first nights of unbroken sleep, so the desire to go out beyond a quick drink is very low. We can always spend happy evenings going through the spreadsheets together

The 'spending week' runs Sunday to Sunday, so I guess when we are ready to go out again, we'll just work it out so that we blow whatever's left of our discretionary fund!

Where we are going to get unstuck is holidays. Perhaps we need to amortise the costs of two holidays across the year, add it into the budgeted expenditure and consequently reduce the weekly discretionary expenditure targets. Issymum disappears in a vapour of spreadsheets and has an orgasm thinking about Gordon Brown.....

kayleigh Thu 04-Dec-03 14:30:01

I weep when i think about what we used to spend. Cars, holidays, meals out, clothes etc. If we wanted it we bought it. If 4 new CD's came out in a week and I wanted them I bought them.

Now CD's are for bithdays or Xmas. We only run one car, have seriously cut back on holidays and no longer save.

There are still ways we could cut back more if we had to - we probably go out once a month together and I got out with girlfriends a couple of times a month too. I also have a manicure every other week - it's an indulgence but we would probably have to be out on the streets before I gave it up

CountessDracula Thu 04-Dec-03 14:31:20

Kayleigh a CD is for life, not just for birthday or xmas

kayleigh Thu 04-Dec-03 14:35:51

LOL CD

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