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Need Some Budgeting Help (Page 1)

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I hate talking about our money issues with anyone but I trust you guys & feel like you girls could probably help out on this one. Since Christmas is over & done with & all, I'm sitting here with all the bills layed out in front of me & I'm ready to cry. We have 3 bills all due this week, one is already 2 weeks late. Now on top of those bills we have to get another load of firewood, things for the house (Diapers, Toilet paper, Cleaning stuff, etc), pay for our car getting towed then pay for the car getting fixed once they figure out what went wrong. I'm overwhelmed with all of this. We need to start budgeting soon or else we're not going to have a single thing to our names. I know there was another post made on here a few weeks back about budgeting so I thought maybe I could get some help too. I control all our money for bills, gas, food, etc.. Shane pretty much hands his whole check over to me because if he didn't nothing; would get paid but I feel like I could be doing a better job also. If anyone could help me here that'd be great : Here's what we're working with ..

Shane gets paid about $950 every 2 weeks.

We pay Tony $250 out of every paycheck, $500/month
-- Rent is only $375 but we owe him some money so we pay $500 to help get caught up

Electric bill is insanely high which is another thing I could use some tips on
-- That runs about $250/month

Phone bill is behind because the company lost our info & haven't sent us a bill since we got the phone turned on months ago so we owe them $230, due December 30th. Normally it'd run about $80/month though.

Gas for the car we save out $120 each paycheck to get through the 2 weeks until the next paycheck

$90/month goes for wood for the woodstove

We spend $40 a month on diapers & probably another $50 or so on things we need for the house.

Food we spend probably $200-250/month on.

We've been eating out a lot which I know needs to change & we've pretty much gone broke over Christmas getting gifts for everyone. I've tried finding some things online but figured if I posted here I'd at least be getting advice & tips from people I actually know.

What are some things you guys do to save money? Any advice on how we could go about budgeting all our bills & everything else?

Hellllllllp scared
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replied December 26th, 2007
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well it looks like you have roughly $1270 a month in bills.. (thats not counting what you back owe the phone company.)

You could always do what we do.. take your monthly bill total, and divide it by 4 (amount of weeks) and times it by two (since he gets paid every two weeks) and thats how much you HAVE to set aside out of each paycheck to pay the bills.

so..

that equates to roughly $635 out of each paycheck.

leaving you.. $215 to save.

We put aside an extra $50-75 a week in case a bill is higher than we expected.

So if he gets paid say, the 1st and 15th of each month.. when the 31st rolls around, you'll have $770 left in ur bill fund to pay bills (thats minus the $500 for Tony since you pay him every 2 weeks..)

with the extra money out of each paycheck, put it into a savings account that you don't have ready access to.. one that you cant just swipe a card, you actually have to make the effort to go to the bank and such.. it makes you less likely to spend it.

and limit yourself to personal spending.. lunch at work, dinner out.. leave it to essentials.

make sense?? lol
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replied December 26th, 2007
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Yeah that all makes perfect sense! This is what I need is someone from the outside telling me how they'd do it because I'm sitting here looking all these bills & all the numbers I have jotted down & I'm going crosseyed. Thanks Sandy!

Any other tips or tricks anyone?
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replied December 26th, 2007
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sorry, no help here. we're in such a bad spot that we're borrowing against nick's 401k to get back on top.

i'm good at grocery shopping though! check out the weekly circular and stock up on good sales when you see them. buy chicken in bulk when it's on sale and portion it out and freeze it. stop going out to eat!
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replied December 26th, 2007
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Is there anyone he can carpool with at work? That is an easy way to cut the gas bill in half.
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replied December 26th, 2007
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We do pretty good with grocery shopping. Or should I say I do good with it, Shane is horrible. I get a lot of generic brands but there's just some things we have to have name brand, like our speghetti noodles & elbow macaroni. If only milk had a generic brand! Milk is expensive. That's a good idea to buy chicken in bulk & portion it out. That'd save us a ton of money because all we've been buying is a bunch of the 1lb packages. Same with hamburger & pork chops.

Carpooling, I'm not sure about. That's something for him to look into though, won't hurt to give it a shot!

I think I'm getting this under control. After this weeks check I think it'll be a lot easier because we just have so much due this week. It's hard getting paid every 2 weeks. I have it all written out & tacked the the wall here by the computer how we're going to do this every month from now on. Thanks a lot girls.
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replied December 26th, 2007
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i feeel the same way with bills. i feel like we have so many but none of them are overdue but we have a13,500 truck loan, 7,700 personal loan, 5,000 on a credit card and 750 on a credit card. so that is alot not counting all the neccesities he just wants them paid of but we are gonna sell our car he wants to try and get 9,000 but willing to go 8,200 the blue book value is 8,900 and using what we get on that to pay the personal loan off so its an extra $280 a month, then our taxes we are paying the 5,000. I find it easier to kep anote bok and write down what bils u pay with what paycheck, i try and do the generica brand but we only have so many options here and the xhcnage rate is crazy. i think like not driving unless u have to is good to save on gas, do u qualify for wic? we are on wic and get 6 liters of milk well about 12-15 liters a month wich is like um i duno, but its more then enough cuz i dont drink it.
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replied December 26th, 2007
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well i can help with major advice on the electricity bill!

ok at home depot even a store you can buy these lightbulbs. they are a wierd shape. they are called CFL lightbulbs (compact flourecents)
they coast a little more than regualr bulbs. but since we have switeched to those bulbs in our house our bill has gone wayyy down. also they last like 2 years. so you dont have to keep buying and changing lightbulbs Smile

our bill used to be outrageous too. but now its cut back alot! you know what else michelle? have you ever thought about finding a job you can work from home? even just part time? sometimes companies need telecommunicators and stuff. it doesnt pay alot but its extra money to help. plus you could do it at home and be home with kaylee Very Happy
maybe youd like to evne look into mary kay or avon?
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replied December 26th, 2007
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Dude I just made up a monthly budget.. With
Tony $500
Electric $250
Phone $80
Wood $90
Diapers $40
Housewares $50
Gas $250

It all comes to $1260

Paycheck #1 of the month since we only get 2
Pay
Tony $250
Electric $ 250
Diapers $20
House $25
Gas $125
& it comes to 670
Put $75-100 in savings & we'd still be left with $180-$205 Shocked

Paycheck #2
Tony $250
Phone $80
Diapers $20
Housewares $25
Gas $125
& it comes to $500
Put $75-100 in savings & we'd be left with $400-425 Shocked Shocked

Holy Crap!
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replied December 26th, 2007
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biggg difference :/
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replied December 26th, 2007
Active User, very eHealthy
Your electricity bill seems awfully high for a home heated with wood. Obviously electricity doesnt leak, but maybe something in your house isnt working right like a water heater or the fridge? That happend at my moms house last year.
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replied December 26th, 2007
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Diane we don't qualify for wic, we make just over the amount they consider too much.

Suzy I look at those lightbulbs everytime we go shopping, I'm going to get some the next time we're out & have the money for it, which should be the next paycheck after this weeks.

I've kinda looked into working from home but haven't really gone too deep into looking, I'm not sure what is available around here to do that. I wouldn't even know where to start with Mary Kay or Avon!
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replied December 26th, 2007
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you may try looking in the paper or even online on craigslist they have joblistings!

oh you know what else?!!! do you have any daycare centers near by? that would be a good job! you could even bring kaylee to work with you!!!!!
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replied December 26th, 2007
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thats not bad, another idea is to instead of using ur debit card kep the bil money in your bank account but take out the cash that u can spend on whatever. then when you break bills put the cange and even the $1 bils in a jar. I find it easier then just swiping acard to keep track of the money you are spending, your less apt to hand over your cash then to swipe a card when your athe store and double think everything u buy if you realy need it, as you walk through the store think about it chances are youl end up putting stuff back you never really need, generics are good like shampoo , hair spray toilet paper. we have between $500-$70o left after bills but thats not counting groceries. wich with 2 in diapers its like $30 on diapers each paycheck alone. we havent saved a dime and it sucks. Im in charge of paying our bils but he wants most of the stuff paid off before we leave her because we dont get COLA pay in the states. ALso durin the day u dont need lights, just open all your blinds or curtains, if your not watching the tv turn it off.i bring the kids in the shower with me 20 min and we are all done rather then filling the tub etc, joseph is big enough to stand in there with me, i usally hold jordynne and wash her. Bills suck, man if i wrote out al my bils yall would think i am crazy haha
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replied December 26th, 2007
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O0o0h_baby wrote:
Your electricity bill seems awfully high for a home heated with wood. Obviously electricity doesnt leak, but maybe something in your house isnt working right like a water heater or the fridge? That happend at my moms house last year.


It is high, the hot water heater isn't in good shape at all, that's a huge part of it & we think a lot of it is old wiring. We probably won't get to the re-wiring of this place until Summer 2009 though. Summer 2008 is pretty much full because we're going to start remodeling by leveling the house up (The kitchen floor sinks in a little) & by getting new doors & windows.. Wowie & has anyone priced doors & windows lately Shocked Shocked
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replied December 26th, 2007
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O0o0h_baby wrote:
Your electricity bill seems awfully high for a home heated with wood. Obviously electricity doesnt leak, but maybe something in your house isnt working right like a water heater or the fridge? That happend at my moms house last year.

my parents electricity bil used to be near $300 when my brother lived at the house, then when he left it was almost under $100! He is weird he sleeps with his tv and light on and when hes home alone he turnes every single light on but also he woul stay up all night so the electricity was going like 24/7.
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replied December 26th, 2007
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New doors and windows are VERY exspensive. My grandmas house has just been built after the fire, so i've seen all that stuff recently. It can cost $1,200 for a new front door >.>. You could try weatherizing (sp) I know that there is plastic stuff that goes over the windows, and you can use sealant around doors.
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replied December 26th, 2007
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tinkinpink84 wrote:
thats not bad, another idea is to instead of using ur debit card kep the bil money in your bank account but take out the cash that u can spend on whatever. then when you break bills put the cange and even the $1 bils in a jar. I find it easier then just swiping acard to keep track of the money you are spending, your less apt to hand over your cash then to swipe a card when your athe store and double think everything u buy if you realy need it, as you walk through the store think about it chances are youl end up putting stuff back you never really need, generics are good like shampoo , hair spray toilet paper. we have between $500-$70o left after bills but thats not counting groceries. wich with 2 in diapers its like $30 on diapers each paycheck alone. we havent saved a dime and it sucks. Im in charge of paying our bils but he wants most of the stuff paid off before we leave her because we dont get COLA pay in the states. ALso durin the day u dont need lights, just open all your blinds or curtains, if your not watching the tv turn it off.i bring the kids in the shower with me 20 min and we are all done rather then filling the tub etc, joseph is big enough to stand in there with me, i usally hold jordynne and wash her. Bills suck, man if i wrote out al my bils yall would think i am crazy haha


That's a good idea too, just to leave the bill money right in the account until it's needed. We've been saving change but always end up needing it toward the end of the 2 weeks right before Shane gets paid again. If we stick with this budget though we should be able to leave the change jar alone, I'd like to start putting all extra change into Kaylee's piggy bank & start an account for her with it all. We've been doing real good with keep lights off during the day, it's been so dark & gloomy out lately we've kinda needed to have lights on though. Otherwise Kaylee would be busting her head open lol.
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replied December 26th, 2007
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jason gets paid right now near 3,000 a month but it wil go down to 2,200 when he comes home Sad but technicaly we are ok, but we cant have al the bils we have when we leave here because he will be getting less money ..
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replied December 26th, 2007
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It's crazy the price of doors & windows! They're a must have though, I think the doors & windows in this cabin have been here for 300 years Laughing

We just got done putting plastic on the windows, I even put a huge piece of plastic over the back door because the air comes through that something fierce. We don't use the backdoor much anyway except in the summer.
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