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Old 10-16-2012, 08:10 PM   #1
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What can I cut from my budget?

DH has been on sabatical for 6 months and has just found out he's returning to work in December. Problem is that one of the church's outreach programs has ended and therefore he'll only be working 30 hours a week and his pay is being cut by about $3 an hour. I've been looking for work, even something part time, to bring in something extra but the job market in my area is abysmal. I'm wondering if you ladies can take a look at our current budget, which will probably stay roughly the same once he returns to work as right now he's on employment insurance at 50% of his income from before the sabatical.

Employment insurance: 1604.00
Canada Child Tax Benefits: 679.93
Rental income: 490.00

Total income: 2773.93

Mortgage: 907.32
House insurance: 43.30
Electricity: 186.00
Water/Sewer: 40.00
Internet/Home phone: 115.00
Childcare: 100.00
Gas: 160.00
Car repairs/maintenance: 100.00
Bank fees: 14.95
Charity/Tithe: 60.00
Debt: 200.00
Groceries: 600.00
Personal care: 120.00
Allowances: 50.00
Clothing/Gifts: 50.00

= 2746.57

We're not over budget, but our debt is about $2000, our car is a 2001 and always has something wrong with it. Electricity is on a budget plan so it stays stable every month. We just canceled cable, so now only have internet and home phone [we tried magicjack for home phone but the quality wasn't great and we didn't like getting people to dial an area code first]. We don't have cell phones. We have opened a new no-fee checking account but have yet to make the full switch. Personal care is for diapers, wipes, pull-ups, feminine hygiene as well as household cleaning supplies etc. [I use mama cloth sometimes, use family cloth sometimes, use unpaper towels and make most of my own cleaners]. My boys are growing so rapidly and we buy all of their clothes used, and I have a family member with a birthday every single month of the year except March and April, so that's why the clothing/gifts is rather high. Allowance is for DH to get two 6 packs of beer a month [there's 25 right there], as well as for coffee beans and a few other extras.

Groceries is obviously the highest and most easy category to cut down in, but I already feel I do that. Food here is expensive. I meal plan, based on weekly sales. I shop weekly but we do pick up 1-2 items a week as we need [milk etc.] I make a lot of my own items from scratch [bread, marinara, cookies etc.] but my kids are super duper picky and sometimes that means making a meal and then having to scrounge up something else for them to eat.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated as we need to keep cutting down to pay off debt and build up our savings.

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Old 10-16-2012, 08:14 PM   #2
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Re: What can I cut from my budget?

Whats the childcare for? From your siggy i gathered you are SAHM, but i completely could be wrong
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Old 10-16-2012, 09:29 PM   #3
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Re: What can I cut from my budget?

Do you have anything in your car repairs/maintenance fund already? Depending on how much you have in this fund maybe you could cut it down for a few months or cut it out completely? Then only worry about building back up when you have a need for the car. What are the bank fees for? Monthly fees? I don't do fees Is there a bank that doesn't charge you fees? If so switch banks. Allowences, are these to you and your hubby? Right now my husband and I do not have allowences. Budget is really tight right now is no extras for us. Although this is a totally personal decision because you also don't want to crimp down so tight hubby will start to resent having no mula. Clothing/gifts, this is also what you feel you can get by with. We don't have extra for clothing/gifts. It all comes out of our Household fund right now. If I have extra in the Household fund for the month then great, I will use it for an upcoming gift or only necessary clothing.
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Old 10-17-2012, 04:03 AM   #4
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Re: What can I cut from my budget?

Childcare is for DS1's preschool, which he really has to go to as it's really important for him to have social interaction. He has no cousins, no kids in our neighborhood and he didn't like the playgroup we were going to.

We are in the process of switching banks, just haven't switched over the mortgage etc. yet.

We don't have anything built up in the ca maintenance/repairs fund, so we really need to build up a little bit there.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:49 AM   #5
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Re: What can I cut from my budget?

I think your budget is already pretty tight, not sure where you could cut. I think you need to focus on bringing in a little more income. Could you watch a child in your home? Can you find someone who would let you clean their house? Does DH have any marketable skills? With a tough job market, you may need to get a little more creative.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:19 AM   #6
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Re: What can I cut from my budget?

I think your budget is really tight.

I think you are going to have to look at ways to cut down the childcare/preschool costs, maybe find one less expensive, fewer days, something. And the internet/home phone costs seem high. I think you need to find a way to decrease that some.

But, mostly, I think you need to see about getting more income in. If he's only going to be working 30 hours, he probably needs to be looking for a part time job too.
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Old 10-20-2012, 07:09 PM   #7
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Re: What can I cut from my budget?

You mentioned switching banks. Can you refinance for a lower payment? That's the only thing I can think of.
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