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clothlover8 10-03-2012 06:49 AM

Can I get some ideas of what to trim please?

currently struggling to pay our bills, things are getting behind, nothing left for anything. I am trying to shave some things from our budget to make it a bit easier but not sure what, would love some advice.

Our income is variable - dh is self employed but has a contract so 700 - 1000 a month is usually guaranteed, then usually about $200 a week extra so somewhere between 1500 - 1800 a month. I get 2000 a month so combined approx 3,500 - 3,800. per month

Usual expenses are

mortgage - 1300 per month
car ins - 75 per month
house ins - 65 per month
mobiles - 90 per month (dh and I)
landline - 38 per month approx (have to have for business calls)
repayments to mechanic - 100 per month (2,500 left to pay)
car rego's - 2 x cars - 133 per month
council rates - 250 per month
cable - 75 per month
water - 100 per month
Electricity - 400 per month
kindy and school fees - 68 per month

this includes no food, no petrol, no clothes, uniforms, gifts, etc etc and comes to around 2,700 - so that leaves $500 - $700 a month for all of that - we are a family of 10.

We were earning more but dh lost one contract.

We have no savings, no emergency fund (we did but we recently had to buy a new car), no choice it was no longer safe or repairable. Our superannuation has less than $3000 in it and we are in our 40's.

Good news - we have no credit card debt, no loans, no car loans, our only big debt is the house and it's worth more than what we owe.

What am I going to do:cry: Dh says he'll get another job but he may not and I dont want to wait til things are bad. What can I cut. We really need 2 cars as one is a 7 seater and even that doesn't hold our whole family, the other dh uses to get to and from his work.
Dh uses his mobile for work, mine I could cut easily but it's only a month into a new 2 yr plan:banghead:

I would cut cable yesterday but dh wont hear of it, he doesn't have the money to go out so this is his only entertainment ( sport).

I'm using cloth, making things from scratch, making homemade cleaners etc but it's just not enough.

Add to this next month eldest dd is getting married and we have a heap of wedding expenses, outfits etc.

I just want to run away.

briggsy13 10-03-2012 06:58 AM

Re: Can I get some ideas of what to trim please?
Well the only thing that is standing out to me is the $400 electric bill. That seems really high. There are a few things I don't understand what they are, a car rego? and council rates? Can you explain those?

briggsy13 10-03-2012 06:59 AM

Re: Can I get some ideas of what to trim please?
Also I'd check into refinancing the house. There are really low rates these days and you could save a couple hundred dollars a month there.

clothlover8 10-03-2012 07:35 AM

Re: Can I get some ideas of what to trim please?
We are in Australia - car registration has to be paid to cover ins, road fees etc.
Council rates get paid by homeowners to the council area to pay for parks, libraries etc.
Not sure what you call them in the US?

The electricty is high, we have some of the highest power charges in the country. It stinks.

Our rates in Australia atm are around 6 - 7% we are on a pretty good rate.

briggsy13 10-03-2012 07:39 AM

Re: Can I get some ideas of what to trim please?
Ok all those make sense, I should have looked to see where you are from.

abunchoflemons 10-03-2012 08:13 AM

Re: Can I get some ideas of what to trim please?
Can u combine cell, cable & landline phone and save that way? Do you try to keep electricity off when not in room & the like to lower that bill? Can u pay car insurance every 6 month not monthly? can you refinance car for lower monthly payments? What's mortgage rate? I had 1100 bill to now 910.can u switch from cable to like netflix type of online/hulu?

Melinda29 10-03-2012 08:20 AM

Re: Can I get some ideas of what to trim please?
I would definitely ditch at least one phone, if not two--it looks like you have three phones total for two adults? Is that right?

Also, call around for better insurance rates. Ours are half that with more coverage, but I live in the US, so I am sure it is different.

Making homemade cleaners and using cloth are great, but really a drop in the bucket compared to big ticket expenses like multiple phones and high insurance premiums. I recently added up what it would cost me to use disposable diapers and wipes for two years--$770. What it costs me to wash my CD twice a week at home for two years--$400. Looks like a decent savings until you add in the cost of the CD themselves--$700 for 4 kids (including wipes, wetbags, covers had to be replaced over time, etc). I still CD for environmnetal and health reasons, but the savings in pretty minimal.

happysmileylady 10-03-2012 08:48 AM

Re: Can I get some ideas of what to trim please?
I know your DH won't hear of it...but you have to cut the cable. Something like netflix or hulu or something else to subsitute, but your budget doesn't work. Not when those numbers don't include any gas for the cars or groceries for 10. Either the cable will have to go or someone will need a second job just to pay for that.

I think your mobile phones are a bit high too, but given where you are I don't have any advice for cutting that, I don't know what your options are down there.

On a separate note, I am just shocked that you pay $133 a MONTH for plates on your cars, that is what we pay in a year! And $250 in council fees to cover things like parks, libraries the US we would call that property taxes and they are paid yearly usually. Yours are double what ours are on a yearly basis. It just boggles my mind. I know there's nothing you can do about those, they just amaze me is all.

peaches330 10-03-2012 10:27 AM

Re: Can I get some ideas of what to trim please?
Is there a particular reason you can't use your cell for the business calls? The only things I can really see that need to be cut are cable and land line. It doesn't look like anything else is even able to be cut. If you worked really hard at it you could probably cut your power bill down, but if your rates are really high then I doubt you'll be able to shave off much.

Computermama 10-03-2012 10:43 AM

Re: Can I get some ideas of what to trim please?
We have car registration, but it's 75 for the entire year, not a monthly cost. That's kinda nuts. The council thing sounds like property taxes.

I'd get on that electric, start unplugging things and trying to limit usage, you're electric bill is almost double what mine is, and mine includes water and sewage. Are you on smart meters? Is there less expensive times of the day you can use appliances? I know here if I let the laundry and dishwasher run overnight it's half the price of them running during the day.

Basically you don't have a budget problem, you have an income problem. You can cut little bits out, maybe drop your cell, but what little you can squeeze out is not going to help a whole lot. You need to figure out what you can do to bring in more money. Can you babysit, dog walk, take a second job? Can your husband?

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