Discussion Forums - Money Saving Tips Money Saving Tips

Topic: do you think i can live on this budget.

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
Page:   Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: do you think i can live on this budget.
Date Posted: 5/31/2009 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
Back To Top

okay like everyone i told i owe irs ... plain and simple .my dad gave me first two payment thank god for that.

rent 493.00

cable 125 include internet , phone and tv......

irs 294

credit card 75.00 will pay more after 8 month

food 200

extra 54

if i wont to do other activities i have to take it from food money ....

i have bus pass take out check

i also have flexible spending take out paycheck so i use that for medical

i also have some on pbs  account so i will send wishbook out only .

this is going to be real hard but i want to pay off  8 month and then work out credit card.i already made lunch for tommorow for work and had cheap weekend .... went to paretn and went out with cousin and then today went to best friend daughter game and i did get coffee.

carol

any suggestion would be helpful i also go to disability food bank and get vegetable so i made salad and all and stock kitchen and going to use stuff out of cabinet.

 



Last Edited on: 6/26/09 9:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/31/2009 11:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
Back To Top

ooh I love budgets (so long as they're someone else's!)

It seems a bit tight to me in the food/extra areas but since you have access to food bank with veggies and have some stuff already in the freezer and pantry you'll probably be ok. It sounds like you're really wanting to pay that IRS thing down pretty fast so that will help with the not feeling deprived in not spending on a bunch of extras..just tell yourself you're not denying yourself this this or that but rather are choosing to cut back on this this and that in order to pay off something that bothers you. That attitude has helped me..and no I've been bad about sticking to an actual budget but I"ve been using up a lot of stuff from the freezer and pantry and trying not to waste food. But it's easier to not spend in areas by focusing on where I've chosen to put the money

I think you said a while back that your rent includes your electricity? Limiting the meat or spreading it out by making soups or cutting chicken up into salads, etc will make that big part of the food budget last..I think  you said before you're doing stir fries? At least I think it was you 'cause I got a stir fry pan to try the same!

I guess just try this one and let us know how it works for you! Any money left over  you could stick in a savings account or if you're on a cash system like some have mentioned doing(the envelopes) put it in a piggy bank and let it sit there for emergencies or an occasional splurge. I think the main thing is ot not do like I've done and get disappointed if you find you need an extra $20 or so one month and dump the whole budget! Just do the best you can with it and tweak it if necessary.

Date Posted: 6/1/2009 5:51 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 706
Back To Top

It looks good Carol.   Do y ou take out the food and "extra" in cash -- or do you use a debit card?   It depends on what works best for you - some people do better with cash and some with the debit card.    I spend a lot less when I have to hand over the green stuff.   I do really well when I spend time on a detailed list before grocery shopping.  I estimate the cost of each item and trim my list before I hit the store.   Today I had $150 to spend and I spent $148.56.   WHEW.   But I got everything on the list except for the Father's Day Card which I can make or get at the dollar store tomorrow.  

Is the $75 an agreed upon amount with the credit card company - or the minimum payment?   I am dealing with some credit card accounts right now (first time ever in my life) which I can not send the minimum pament so I am writing letters and working out temporary arrangements.  I hope to be back to full employment soon.  I work just one day this week (Friday).    But I can't complain because we have all the essentials and I am learning to live without credit cards.    The thing is I feel better than ever because I am facing my spending problems and honestly dealing with them the best I can.   

Date Posted: 6/1/2009 6:33 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
Back To Top

I really need to fiddle with a budget again..I keep thinking $200 isn't enough for groceries but I live alone like Carol and I was figuring just  now (yes I actually kept her budget in my head off and on when I've been awake LOL!) and figured if I'm supposed to have 9 oz of 'meat' (meat or high protein yogurt for meat exchanges) then that's 170 oz per month and that's a little over 10 lbs and even at $4/lb for meat(I usually pay a lot less) that's still just $40-$50 for meat. I buy a yogurt that's normally 2/$1 and counts as 1 1/2 'meats'..so I'm definiitely blowing money somewhere! and it's hard to find because I'm also eating out of the  pantry and freezer (though the meat is pretty much bought now since I've used up the 'stash') but my figuring and what's actually  happening aren't jiving..according to 'theory' I should be eating on $100, esp less than $200. I'm assuming the meat is the most expensive part of the grocery s hopping..fruit adds up too but I try to stick with apples or what's on sale...I know the premade stuff is higher and processed stuff. I dunno..last month is hard to tell with anything because I had a 'take care of susanna' month with jewelry/clothes..things I've neglected for YEARS so I really don't feel guilty about it though I do wish I'd cut back with the jewelry - got a bit carried away there but at least it's silver and I got it cheap!

Date Posted: 6/1/2009 9:17 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,357
Back To Top

Beans are a very cheap way to get protein.  They can be quite yummy also.  Meat is not as required as certain lobbiests would like you to think.  I'm not saying cut out all meat, but there are cheaper ways to get much of your protein.

Date Posted: 6/1/2009 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
Back To Top

kayaote i like bean .

Date Posted: 6/1/2009 10:32 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
Back To Top

Kayote, I do eat beans but this dietician told me they were starches and to count them more as starches than just protein. I asked her about it and she said any starch is making my blood sugar go whacky(of course the snickers bar didn't do much stabilizing..sigh...) I can use a high protein yogurt(8 gr or more per serving) and cheese and I've been doing that a lot.

niffir - ,
Date Posted: 6/2/2009 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2008
Posts: 495
Back To Top

$200 should be plenty for a single person's food budget, I would think.  My budget for food/cleaning supplies/toiletries/etc for my household of 2 adults, 3 indoor cats, and 1 chinchilla is $50 a week.  Shopping sales and using good coupons lets me stay under that most of the time and build up a stockpile of food.

 

Good luck with your budgeting!  I need to go over our expenses and income again and do some tightening of the belt.  I'd like to make a big dent in our debts.

Date Posted: 6/2/2009 12:33 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 706
Back To Top

We've been spending $300 to $350 a month for 2 adults and 3 cats.   That includes everything - cat food, people food, laundry detergent, soap, etc.   I would like to get it lower yet I know we'll have to give up something in order to do that.    We eat all meals at home with very rare exceptions.

I go shopping basically twice a month.   Sometimes I have to run after bread or more salad things for DHs salads.    But normally, I just shop twice a month.  Yesterday I kept it to $148.56 but I had to buy a virgin mobil card for $20 and an A/C filter.    The rest was normal food and very few supplies this time - just one bottle of laundry detergent and one item from the health aisle non-food.  

We got spoiled while I was working because it meant a paycheck every week from one source or another.    Now it's a shock.   I hope to be back to work soon.  We've got a lot of debt that is weighing us down each month.

Date Posted: 6/2/2009 5:25 PM ET
Member Since: 3/12/2009
Posts: 868
Back To Top
i budget for $200 a month ... $50 for food each week. Sometimes I spend a little more, sometimes a little less depending on what I want to make and what I already have the in the freezer. Then again, I grab frozen chicken from my folks who go to costco when I'm home visiting them. Regarding veggies, hit up a local farmer's market or produce store. They tend to be cheaper than grocery store prices. Freezing veggies is good along with fruit. I had bananas that I forgot to eat and decided to freeze them for smoothies and made banana bread this week. does the "extra" count stuff like toiletries, like soap and other stuff?
Date Posted: 6/3/2009 1:28 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2008
Posts: 19
Back To Top

Homemade laundry detergent has helped my tight budget the most. Check this site for recipes. I use number 8 since it calls for baking soda instead of washing soda (I can't find washing soda in my rural area). I added 5 drops of tea tree oil for it's antifungal and antibacterial properties.

Under the tips section it suggests adding 1 cup vinegar to the final rinse; I highly recommend that step; it softens and boosts the cleaning.

You might like my homemade gatorade and homemade deoderant on my blog.

Date Posted: 6/4/2009 10:12 PM ET
Member Since: 6/2/2009
Posts: 18
Back To Top

I feel like I need to tighten my budget now! For 5 of us (2 adults, 2 children and 1 infant) I spend about 500.00 a month in groceries. I am a stay at home mom so I cook all meals at home. But after seeing some people's budget at 200 a month, I am thinking that my budget is too high?

Date Posted: 6/18/2009 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
Back To Top

i dont think your is so high especially for nutrition.

Date Posted: 6/19/2009 5:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/29/2006
Posts: 706
Back To Top

When we had 4 adults and one teenager, we spent $600 a month.   Granted that still included the cat food, and all supplies.  And we used to buy bottled water and stuff.   Now with just 2 adults it's so much less.   We keep things much simpler these days.   I think with a family of five including an infant $500 a month is pretty reasonable!!!  Plus, it makes a big difference where you are what kind of prices you can get in the grocery store.   Here in South Texas we get awesome prices.   In Vermont where my family is they pay a lot more.

Date Posted: 6/22/2009 8:29 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
Back To Top

i cut down still got way to go.

Date Posted: 6/22/2009 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
Back To Top

i go twice  month to market .

Date Posted: 6/22/2009 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2009
Posts: 13
Back To Top

My wife and I have $50 every two weeks for food, pet supplies, toiletries, cleaning supplies, activities, etc. And my wife is vegan!

First of all, don't buy meals and snacks. Anything you can buy you can make cheaper yourself-- and it will be infinitely healthier. It will take more time, so do it before bed, and make larger quantities for the week.

Secondly, you can go with a lot less meat than the food pyramid dictates. The two main advantages of eating meat is protein and iron. The average american gets too much protein, which can lead to heart disease. Try substituting eggs, beans or other protein rich foods that are cheaper. For iron, veggies like broccoli, green beans, leafy plants or potatoes are rich in iron. Which isn't to say you can't eat meat, but make it more of a treat than a rule.

We just get the staples, and then whatever is on sale if we have the cash. We try to have on hand rice, noodles, pasta sauce, canned tomatoes, corn, peas, potatoes, mushrooms and different kinds of beans. We only add on if we have certain meals in mind (ex: we got tortillas at some point for an enchilada casserole.)

Hope that helps!

Date Posted: 6/23/2009 1:50 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2006
Posts: 2,239
Back To Top

Well a budget in my life is difficult. I'm still struggling to get one.

But this is what my bills are.

Rent 161

Cell Phone $55.00 (my Grandparents pay the other half. I have to have the cell phone due to my job)

Hospital bill $40.00

Doctor bill $10.00

Chest xray $10.00

Blockbuster 15.99 (we wont have this long as mom isn't feeling good and we haven't been going much lately)

car insurance $49.04

gas $30 - 40

Food $100 - 200

Pet Items $ 50.00

Household Items - $70.00 most the time

College $ 39.99

Internet $ 39.99 (High speed which is for my Schooling)

My uncle Howards store $ 10.00

 

ETA I forgot to put my Uncle's store on there, he's moved and sold the store and my brain keeps forgetting that.



Last Edited on: 6/23/09 1:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 6/23/2009 1:53 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2006
Posts: 2,239
Back To Top

Come August, we'll probably be paying a crap load on rent. Right now it's 422, and me and mom split it, but my Grandparents only have me pay 161, and the other 39.00 goes to my college fund.

Date Posted: 6/23/2009 8:55 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
Back To Top

Carol, I've been wondering how it's going for you and if the budge was working! I really need to modify mine and get back with it.

Abigail, sounds like ya'll have your system down! I guess eating vegan helps with the cost of meat LOL! a dietician told me I need to eat meat for protein but I try to sub beans and cheese and egg whites for some of the protein. I do well for a while then slip up with the eating out..usually because I fail to think ahead and stock stuff and then run out and take the easy way out. :-(

Cheri, I read somewhere that if the budget doesn't work then check the figures and try again. I have to keep telling myself they're not restrictive but rather just a way to organize where I spend my money each month. sometimes I"m successful and other times I feel like I'm on a diet! :-(  you cell phone seems awfully expensive - mine was unlimited (but no text) and was $50 and since I hardly used it I went with tracfone..I'm assuming you have to have text and all that for your job? my friend works for a homecare provider and is required to have hers with her almost all the time. Are you moving in August? is that why your rent is going up? looks like you're off to a good start. I also have pet expenses but my dogs are my girls and 'need' their chewies! and food and vet stuff of course!

Date Posted: 6/24/2009 11:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2006
Posts: 2,239
Back To Top

With the cell phone we have 3 on one plan, and split it 2 ways. It is high I will say that, I don't text and that part of the phone is actually locked as well as easyedge so that way games and ring tones can't be purchased. It's a must that I have a phone, esp since we don't have a home phone. I have to be able to call 911 if Mom needs it (God forbid)

I've lived with Mom my whole life, and that's actually who I take care of. Since my income is so high, and Moms on HUD they are basically punishing me to live here, I'm paid for 24 hour care but yet they want me to move out, which I can't do. So Hud jumped her rent up for $114.00 a month to $422.00 a month. Since I have gotten a pretty good raise in the last 6 months. I know that she's gonna be knocked off HUD completely which will make us pay $550 a month split in half. Which will be $275 a peice plus my College fund.

 

Date Posted: 6/26/2009 9:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
Back To Top

cheri that is so wrong.

Date Posted: 6/26/2009 9:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
Back To Top

the budget thing has been so out of whack with life. diet has too . i been doing take out past week and eat cafetria so bad. but i need to get on swing of thing . i finally hear irs which was stress me out and made plan with them to pay 200 month and state 94 .... i am going to pay them what dad game me what i have left and going to talk to irs because they took 1100 and put it toward next year . i dont think it fair. i am going to food bank this week tommorow and im so happy with book im reading elm creek and bought some on ebay which i shouldnt have i bought lot of them . i need to rewind and get back on track . also had to buy vacuum cleaner because mine broke err . it work so good . i just feel so disorganize lately . i work all week and been at apartment during week . sometime im so tired and crash when i come home and on weeekend my dad get upset if i dont come over all weekend which i love doing so i been spend alot of time there . so it been hard not feeling disorganize . but i know im take one day at time and love time with dad. so back on track for july . cant look back look ahead . hugs.

Date Posted: 6/27/2009 12:31 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
Back To Top

I've really slipped up too Carol - money and food and housekeeping too..all down the toilet. well not entirely but still..I was doing so well for a few months then I've slipped. dunno why either. I buy stuff tofeel good sometimes and I consider books essential though I'm surrounded with enough 'essentials' right now to get me through retirement I think!

but I'll get back on track..

Date Posted: 6/27/2009 12:53 AM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
Back To Top

me too susanna i feel like we are so alike.

Page: