Moms View Message Board: General Discussion: Archive October 2006:
I am so tired of never having money. We have bills coming out the butt but never enough to pay them. I have bills, bills, bills. We both work and what we bring home with what should go out monthly we should still have $700-$800 a month left over. but we don't and I am lost as to what to do. DH doesn't help with bills no financial stuff at all. I don't really want him to other than to stress with me. Bill collectors call. And I beg them to work with me. I pay minimum on everything. My cable, phone, heat-electric are all a month or more behind. I just realized my water is 3 months behind. I have 2 mortgages and a car payment. Plus only no-fault insurnace on my vehicle (when it should be full coverage). I know there is nothing really you ladies can do for me I guess I just need to vent.
Does anyone work on a very strict budget that could give me some tips?
"what we bring home with what should go out monthly we should still have $700-$800 a month left over."
You need to find out where that $700-$800 is going. This means keeping a log of every dime you spend. If you buy a coffee write it down. This will be a real eye opener to where you are spending your money. Once you put it all on paper you will see exactly where you can fix your budget.
Several years ago we had to budget everything.
I kept a very strict budget. I had a spreadsheet made with each weekly expense. I gave myself a certain amount for groceries/gas/etc. I did not allow for any variance (meaning if I had $75.00 for groceries I did not spend $78). Hubby was given a set amount of $ for the week (and still is). By taking control of our finances, we were able to get ahead and live very comfortably.
Also, by keeping a spreadsheet you cannot forget to pay anything. Here your cable to cut off after 45 days, water is too. My friend was late on her power bill and had to pay a deposit plus the money she owed. By getting behind you get stuck with fees you do not need.
Ditto Yvonne. It's a great idea to log everything spent to see exactly where all the money is going. DH and I did this as newlyweds and it was a real eye opener! We realized small things ADD UP. Since you're having such a hard time financially, I would also suggest doing without nonessentials until you're able to recover and build up some financial padding. Cable and Internet are examples. Nice to have but only if they are easily affordable after the essentials (rent/mortgage, insurance, heat, food, etc.). I would include your DH in on taking care of finances. At least show him the bills and discuss the big picture so he's aware and will hopefully be more conscious when it comes to making decisions regarding money. Team work!
We do not pay for internet we have a year free AOL and cable is basic with phone. A package deal. To just go with the phone service is only saving us $10.
I just talked with my vehicle people and got a 2 month extension on my payments so for the next 2 months I will have payments due. So this weekend I will be sitting down on the computer making a budget spreadsheet. I will put it all in front of me to figure out. Then I will sit down with DH to show him and make him get involved. He will have a monthly cigarette allowance and maybe $20 more. He needs no more money than that. I am going to cut out my spending also until after the New Year to get us on track. I need to start bringing my lunch to work instead of eating out and stop drinking so much pop. Tea, water and lemonade.
Keep the ideas coming ladies. I have to make this work. I have to be back where I was 5 yrs ago.
No advice, just hope things get better for you. The idea of writing everything down is good, you will be surprised at how all the little things add up.
We have been reading Dave Ramsey's book Total Money Makeover. My DH read it & loved it. He's so excited. I'm reading it now & am encouraged. Life happens and we have medical bills out the wazoo and other expenses. So, we are encouraged about debt relief and payoff. I hope you find the answers and where it's going.
(I went anon due to the financial end of this being very private to my family)
My DH doesn't help with the finances either. It's quite frustrating. He has no clue where the money goes to.
Definitely try writing down all of your spending. Even the $2.00 for a milkshake at the drive-thru. It adds up so fast. It's always the little expenses that make people go broke!
Ditto the Dave Ramsey advice. My other advice would be to sell the home that you are not living in.
Ditto Yvonne. It may seem petty, but keeping all of your receipts, etc. from expenses will help you to see what you spend that is for "extras" and for actual "needs". It's always amazing to me how all the seemingly "little" things really add up at the end of the month, and if you haven't accounted for them you feel it.
Is the second mortgage a home equity or another home? Are you driving expensive cars? If so, sell/trade and get something more in your budget. An 'expensive' car is relative to your budget, so look at it that way.
Writing down every little thing, even if it's only a pack of gum, is a very good place to start. Back when dh and I were newly married we took a budgeting class through our church and writing it all down was the first step. You'd be surprised how you can just nickel and dime hundreds of dollars away.
You can go to Oprah.com and print all of a program called the debt diet. I just helped my employee fill it out last week, she's sort of in the same situation, It looked like a very comprehensive plan and a good way to see your financials, plus it was free I can check with her on how it's going, but it's only been a week, my not have much porgress
Dh and I went on a stict budget several years ago when we got engaged. We wanted to be debt free before we got married. We sat down and wrote everything down, and then made a budget. We wrote down everything we spent our money on, and I mean everything. Dh also traded in his truck, for a less expensive one, so he wouldn't have a car payment. We didn't eat out, go out, etc. We didn't spend money unless we absolutely had to. In 1 year, we were debt free. It was definitley hard, we gave up cable, internet, dh gave up his newer truck. But, it was well worth it in the end.
I watched Oprah's debt diet, and it was very good. So, I would think that printing the program would be a good start. I definitely think it is important to get rid off all unwanted expenses, even if you don't want to.