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Budget HELP!

Forum: Financial Planning and Budgeting


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October 1st, 2010, 07:30 AM
Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ghent, WV
Posts: 661
Ok, so DH and I are expecting our first child in January 2011. We were married in 2008 so I guess you would still consider us "newlyweds". We had some insurance money that we used to do some work on our home (it needed it, trust me) but if course we ended up spending some of our savings to get it all done before winter/baby. There's still a lot of work we want/need to do on the inside, like replacing carpeting with laminate flooring, painting, etc. We actually need (want really) to finish furnishing our house as we have a lot of empty space still. Ugh, so we have all that going on and in a few short months (I know it will fly by) we'll have a child. Now, trust me....I know babies are expensive and our budget is tight now without a child....but I didn't want to be one of those people who "wait" until they can afford it financially and never have one. DH is 30 and I'm 26 so I think we're both at good ages to start a family.

Breastfeeding is not an option with my work schedule, I've already considered that. Cloth diapering seems like so much work. Would you really save that much by cding? Also, we'll be paying more for our health insurance to add baby and of course will probably have a hospital bill from having baby and copayments for doctor visits, etc. Daycare in our area is approximately 500 and again this is my first so I'm not sure what I'll spend on diapers/formula/other needs.

So, that's my intro....and now on to my budget....any help/advice/support will be GREATLY appreciated!

Your income: 2000 monthly
Dh/SO's income: 1600-1800 monthly
Other income: 58 (Aunt's part of cell phone bill)

Living expenses
~Rent/Mort pymt: 625
~Electric: 135
~Home gas: N/A
~Water: 40
~Cable: 120
~Gardener: N/A
~Internet: (Included in cable, it's phone, cable and internet)
~Home phone: See above
~Cell phone: 150 (my aunt pays 58 for her part)
~Groceries: 300?
~Other household items: 75
~Medical expenses (co-pays, prescriptions): 40
~Car gas/transportation expense: 300
~Car maintenanceNot so much a monthly expense, just oil changes as needed)
~Car insurance: 256 (insurance is high in WV and this is for 3 vehicles and a motorcycle)
~Other insurance: 22 life insurance for DH
~Child care: N/A
~Diapers: N/A
~Other baby expense ___________: N/A
~Preschool/schooling: N/A
~Pets: N/A
~Eating out: (Will obviously be cut out once baby gets here)
~Entertainment: (Same)
~Spending/pocket money:
~Misc spending:
~Other ____________: (Trash) 20
~Other ____________:

Debts-Please list minimum payment, amt you usually pay, balance, interest rate. If you are past due or have special financing (0% interest), please indicate that as well.
~Car payment #1: 520
~Car payment #2:
~Student loan:
~Credit card #1: 300 (we pay more than minimum while it's interest free right now)
~Credit card #2: 130 (this is where we had furniture financed)
~Credit card #3:
~Credit card #4:
~Credit card #5:
~Credit card #6:
~Other debt #1 ____________:
~Other debt #2 ____________:
~Other debt #3 ____________:

Goals: (examples: new car, baby, to be a SAHM, vacation, retirement, etc)
I want to save for:
1. Obviously, to be able to provide my family with food, clothing, shelter.
2. To prepare for extra costs of when baby comes.
3. To be able to squeeze in some extra money for family outings.
4. For me/DH not to have to take on second jobs!

special thanks to BAM for the awesome siggy!
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October 1st, 2010, 08:48 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 7,429
Well first I'd say make a budget in Excel or some other type of spreadsheet program. Put in what you make (total) and then put in your expenses so it will calculate it for you. If you end up in the red then you need to cut back because you're spending too much, if you end up in the green that's good and what you want because you have money left over.

I guess I'm not really sure what you're asking really, could you clarify?
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October 1st, 2010, 08:56 AM
Super Mommy
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Ghent, WV
Posts: 661
well if you actually look at my budget, it's pretty tight. basically i'd like for others to take a look and see how they would work it out....me looking at it over and over doesn't really help me any. trying to figure out how to add baby expenses in there and still survive!

special thanks to BAM for the awesome siggy!
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October 1st, 2010, 09:14 AM
mommy2Breana+Brandon's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 39,401
Can you cut on the cable bill??

Do you use coupons when you grocery shop?

buy generic items

do you have a discounted grocery store where you are?

Why is your car payment so high? can you refinance?

Do you love food, entertaining, cooking?!?! Then you will LOVE Tastefully Simple. www.tastefullysimple.com/web/cpisch

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October 1st, 2010, 09:52 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 7,429
Well what do you get when you put it into a spreadsheet? Are you in the negative or positive?

Also why do you have 3 vehicles and a motorcycle (I'm assuming there's only 2 of you)? I'd also recommend getting rid of whatever car is costing you $520 a month that's a HUGE bill. Get rid of it and downgrade to something more affordable (preferably cash).

Honestly, I'd probably recommend one or both of you take on a second job (even if it's just delivering pizzas on the weekend) in order to pay off your credit cards, that in itself would give you an extra $430 a month. I'd also recommend you start clipping coupons, price matching, and ad shopping for groceries to try and reduce that monthly amount if you can. You also may want to shop around on car insurance and see if you can get a better rate.

And with what you have written here even without cutting anything you should still end up with 760 a month ahead which should be more than enough to add in a baby.

I would say I'd encourage you to breastfeed if possible. You can get a pump and pump so that baby will have access to food while you're at work. When my son was on formula it ran us around $280 a month that was formula all by itself because he needed special formula (which nobody could have foresaw until it happened). Shop frugally for things like diapers, start joining coupon lists for Pampers, Luvs, Huggies, etc and if you're truly going ot formula feed start joining those lists too. My son is going to be 9 and I STILL get Similac coupons for $5 off and i usually get $15-$20 worth of them in the mail at a time so definitely sign up. Also if you have a Sam's Club or Costco in your area it'd probably be worth joining to save the money on diapers and formula both. You'll definitely recoup your $50 membership fee in formula and diaper and wipes savings.

I would also suggest you guys pay off your credit cards before baby gets here as well as build up a $2,000 emergency fund (cash in a savings account for emergencies only). I'd also suggest getting rid of the $500+ car payment (way too high) and possibly one vehicle and maybe the motorcycle (not necessarily permanently but at least for awhile to save on insurance, registration, etc).

and like I said, put it into an excell spreadsheet so you know exactly how much you have at the end of the month. That way you can go in and add things like diapers, wipes, extra insurance, formula, etc to be able to figure out how much you can afford. Putting it on paper isn't nearly as helpful as plugging it into a spreadsheet that will calculate it for you. If you need a copy of one PM me your e-mail address and I'll send you mine. Then you will just plug in your own numbers and it'll figure out for you what your monthly end is.

If you have any other specific questions feel free to ask.

Last edited by SpazTaz; October 1st, 2010 at 09:55 AM.
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October 14th, 2010, 12:21 AM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gulf Coast
Posts: 11,402
I don't CD, but I'm surrounded by people who do so I am pretty familiar with it. If you CD from birth, it will definitely save you a ton of money over time. Check out the CD forum here to get more info. I'd recommend the BumGenius All-in-One diapers that grow with your child over time. If you have a washing machine, you can easily CD. It's not that much more laundry, it takes just a couple of second to start the washing machine up and you don't even need to fold them if you really want to be lazy, just put them in a clean laundry hamper near wherever you would typically change their diapers.

As far as your budget, can you refinance the car payment to bring that payment down? Auto loan rates are really competitive right now if you have good credit and it's a great time to do it.

Will your baby be going to a day care that you pay for as opposed to a family member watching him? If so, I can really see how that would cramp your budget.

Good luck! You've been given some great advice from the previous posters.
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