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Could use some help


Forum: Financial Planning and Budgeting

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  #1  
September 10th, 2010, 10:08 AM
Mom2DyJessAva's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: chicopee ma
Posts: 15,513
My mind is really all over the place...Me and my two children are currently living with my grandparents (our landlord decided to sell his house)..I really want to go to school and I really want to get money to move out...Im currently not working but we get survivors benefits and im hoping to find a job soon

income-1758

car insurance-$200 (its the lowest i could find im 22 and just got my license)
Food-$100
Milk-$100 (it varys month to month)
dance-$55
phone-$80
gym-$20 (have a 2 year agreement and i dont even go)
cat- roughly 15 a month
Gas-100


I borrowed money from my grandma for my car -$1000...I paid her back $400 so far and will be paying her 300 more next week..

I really dont know where my money goes to..I usually end up broke before the month is over...to go to CNA class i need $850..Getting a job would be great...to top it off fall is coming and now i need to get clothes..im debating whether to go to second hand shopping? instead of spending 10-15 dollars one a pair of jeans they grow so fast out of

oh i should add..I also try and buy something for my new place..when i get one...as alot of stuff got damaged when moving from my last place..should i hold off on buying anything for my new place untill i actually get one?
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  #2  
September 10th, 2010, 12:25 PM
JessP's Avatar Lovin life and family
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Location: Washington
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So based on your income and your given out put you spend roughly $1,088 a month on living expenses. Leaving you with 670 a month for other expenses. My guess would be you are just spending a little here, a little there.
I have always liked the cash system as a way to track my money better. I put X amount into an envelope. I have an envelope for gas, groceries, and extras. You should always budget for extras. I would hold off on stuff for your new house until you have moving date. There is nothing wrong with second hand stores or clearance racks. Coupons are another great way to save money on groceries and milk. I wish I had more advice. Hopefully some others will come along with other suggestions.
Also once I fill my envelopes I move the rest into savings or pay down a bill depending on what I am working towards at that time.
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  #3  
September 10th, 2010, 11:17 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 7,429
You ABSOLUTELY need to sit down and do a written budget every month. That way you see exactly where you are spending your extra money. And $100 on milk? I go through 2 gallons a week with a kid that drinks milk a lot I spend no more than $2 a gallon so how in the world are you spending $100 a month on MILK??? Even if you're spending $3 a gallon that means you're going through 8 1/2 gallons of milk per week which really is overkill so I think you could cut DRASTICALLY in that department....more like $40 a month MAX MAX MAX.

Do you have a Super Wal-Mart? If so they price match. So get ads for the stores in your area and start price matching to save some money. Make sure you are shopping at the cheapest store (if you have a Wal-Mart that's usually it), and make sure you are budgeting and then keeping track of your expenses so you can make sure you're sticking to your budget.

Cash as the above poster said is also a good thing. Cash hurts more than swiping a card (which it's credit or debit) because you physically see it going away.

I see no problems with second hand stores, also watch for sales. I bought my son's pants last year brand new at Old Navy during a sale for $7 each. Also check out Craig's List, or if you go to church ask them as well, even jeans with holes you can put patches over, no harm in any of that.

Skip getting anything for a new place. You really don't need much to be able to live. Heck when we got our first place we had the foldable camping chairs that were $5 at Wal-Mart, the TV was on the floor and we bought one plate for each of us at Wal-Mart just until we could build things up a bit. Wait not only until you actually HAVE a place but to where you are financially able to meet all of your monthly needs and then have money left over that you can put towards that.

Good luck.
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  #4  
September 17th, 2010, 06:41 AM
mommy2Breana+Brandon's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 39,401
I agree with what has already been said. I agree $100 on milk seems high.

I wouldn't buy anything for the new place until you have it
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  #5  
September 21st, 2010, 10:36 PM
ashleighgurl's Avatar Loving Wife and Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Arizona - formally, Michigan
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I have some advice for saving on groceries that has worked for me.

I really watch the sales. I get a paper every week, and you can get more coupons online. You can print them, or you can "order" them from sites. You will get the best deals when you combine coupons with sales. Some stores will double coupons, and some stores do price match. I plan my meals weekly. I get the ads on Monday for grocery stores around us, and I will sit down and plan my meals out based on what I already have, what is on sale, and what I have coupons for. Many stores will let you combine a manufacturer's coupon with a store coupon. Some stores will even accept competitor's coupons. Write to different companys that you like and ask if you can receive coupons. Usually, they will send you some. Or, if you are unhappy with an item, you can write/email/call the company, and they often will send you coupons or replace what you spent.

Do you have a CVS or Walgreens around you? Rite Aid? These stores are great for getting things such as health and beauty items for very cheap, if not free.

When I couldn't figure out exactly where my money was going, I started writing down everything that I spent. Even the $1.xx for a pop at the gas station. It really opened my eyes to where my money was going. We are moving into our new place on Friday, and the only things that we picked up long before were things that we got at a ridiculously good price. Otherwise, we budgeted our money to allow for some "extra" money around this time to buy what we need.

I hope these things have helped!
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  #6  
September 22nd, 2010, 03:18 PM
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Do you qualify for WIC? Also, if you live in or near an affluent area, try searching the free section on craigslist or find out if there is a free cycle in your area.
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  #7  
October 13th, 2010, 11:35 PM
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Location: Gulf Coast
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Milk is $5.09/gallon for whole milk where I live so it definitely will depend on the cost of living for your area, but even at that price 4-5 gallons a week still seems like a lot. Toddlers should be getting around 20oz of milk per day on top of whatever you're drinking per day.

I definitely think sitting down and tracking your spending is a great idea. I use a checking account software program that allows me to run a report on any part of my budget that I want, based on how I categorize my spending. For example, my DH and I were starting to go broke really fast by the end of the month, so I ran a report of a pie chart to see what areas we were spending a lot of money in and to my absolute shock, we were spending about $300/month on dining out - yes, you read that right. We just moved to a new area a few months ago and we got a little carried away trying all of the delicious restaurants around here that we never had back in Illinois. Anyway, we cut that dining budget down to $100/month and using a cash only system, so that we know our limits and not to exceed them.

So for the next month, challenge yourself to track every single bit of spending. If you spend a dime on something, write it down and categorize it. At the end of the month, take a look at everything and see what you can eliminate in order to save money. Good luck!
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  #8  
October 26th, 2010, 01:00 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Texas
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Great ideas from everyone! One other I might suggest is to start a savings or "emergency" fund. When you have a little extra and are thinking about buying something for your house - Don't! ...Put it into savings. Because an emergency WILL happen and then you will have something set aside so you don't have to panic when it does. (even if that emergency is 5 years away, it WILL come to you... a good emergency goal is about $1,000) Don't spend it on anything else!
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