Please help me live on $2000 a month
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  1. #1
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    Default Please help me live on $2000 a month

    Hi all,

    Ok, trying to really get control of our finances and I was wondering if you all can help me reign in my budget. I dont even know if its possible but I really need to live on $2K a month so that I can put the rest to paying off bills we are behind on.

    So here are my stats
    Family:2 adults, 3 kids, 2 in diapers (they need to be potty trained)
    Rent $850
    health insurance:$400 (whole family covered)
    irs payment: $350
    car ins:$119
    groceries: $400/mon

    ok, this is most of my fixed expenses, not including debt repayment. I already see a few places that I can reduce my expenses. I think I might just change our health insurance just to cover the kids, and I can reduce the car ins to liability only.

    So do you think I can do it, live on $2k a month with those expenses?

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    Registered User FrugalMomof3's Avatar
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    The first thing I would try to cut down on the the groceries, then do the car insurance and the health insurance, have you tried getting health insurance through the state?

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    Registered User tigo's Avatar
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    I live on $1800 a month as a single parent. My expenses are different than yours, but I wonder if the rent (biggest difference) is because of location.

    $645 - Rent
    $235 - Health insurance (I went through the insurance company that holds my car/renters insurance- $200 cheaper than work and it is PPO not HMO)
    $90 - Car, renters and life insurance
    $125 - Electric
    $100 - Gasoline
    $250 - Credit Cards
    $350 - Groceries

    This leaves me $5 left over for wiggle room, but in general we try to conserve on the utilities, gasoline and groceries. This lets me add to my EF and pay on debt. If by some miracle a child support check hits the mail box, then I will take the kids to buy clothes they need to replace worn out ones and the remainder gets applied to debt and EF. We quit eating out months ago and I cook almost everything from scratch. All our spare change goes into a jar to keep from any penny falling through the cracks so to speak - lol.

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    Rent:right now we are renting a house and $850 seemed pretty good. Anyone else in Houston, I dont think you can find a house for less than $850 in a safe neighborhood, and this neighborhood isnt great.

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    Registered User justpeachy92's Avatar
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    Are utilities included in your rent, you don't have them listed in the budget. From what you have listed I would say work on lowering the groceries, get the kids potty trained, see if you can get a better rate on the health and car insurance. Is your rent average for where you live, is finding something cheaper to rent an option?

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    Registered User justpeachy92's Avatar
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    Does Texas have a program through the state to get cheaper insurance for the kids. A few years ago we got insurance in Florida for the kids (don't remember name of program), it was for people that incomes were to high for medicaid but couldn't afford health insurance. We were able to get that and insurance for the kids was $24 a month, my dhs employeer paid his insurance and it cost us $100 a month to have me on dhs work insurance, we could have put the kids on the work insurance but would have made the monthly payment more then we could afford.

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    Registered User Dancing Lotus's Avatar
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    I am a family of four and we live off of 2,200. a month. My morgage mayment it 1,400. that leaves me with 800. for everything else. IS it easy no, do we soemtimes have late bills yes, but it can be done. The first thing to do is to work on getting that grocery budget in half. Shop around of the health insurance, you can most liely get the kids on a state plan and maybe consider major medicial only for you.

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    Registered User annymoll's Avatar
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    I would look for cheaper rates on the insurance, but no way would I cancel it on myself or DH. If you have a medical emergency, it could financially ruin you.I would try to cut the cost of groceries, potty train the kids, look for ways to supplement my income. I would await the day when the IRS was paid, that will open 350.00.Cook from scratch, avoid eating out. If you smoke or drink-quit.Barter with friends and family for things you need.

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    pip
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    Is there an Aldis store close by? I can really save a lot of money by buying my groceries there. What kind of meals do you usually prepare? I find that the grocery budget is the one thing I can change/save the most on.

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    Registered User justpeachy92's Avatar
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    From my own personal experience the IRS are the best debt collectors to deal with. If you call and explain that $250 a month is putting to much financial hard ship on your family they will agree to a lower monthly payment. Get a lower payment with them, then on months when you have extra money you can make a higher payment.

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    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    The only things I can see, if you can't find cheaper insurance, cut back groceries. Get those monkeys potty trained(ok, easier said than done, I have one of those too.).

    How much are you really bringing in? You may need to cut back the snowball a bit.

    You don't have gasoline in there either.

    Sorry, I'm not a big help here..lol. If you want to increase the size of the snowball, perhaps look into a pt job or take in a child for childcare. That is what I do, I earn $1800/mo which is essentially our snowball.

    My fixed bills are:
    mortgage: 1200
    Insurance: 200
    Utilities: 400
    Groceries: 400
    Bus passes: $90
    Gasoline:200

    We are a family of 6. 3 require buspasses monthly to/from school. If I were driving, it would be $90/wk.

    One in diapers(stubborn kid. Mom needs to be more focussed and spend a week being tough with her).

    Insurance is for life insurance and 2 vehicles. Yes 2. Dh works quite a ways from home, and no buses at 5 am. We have a fuel efficient vehicle we use for that, and most errands as well. But for family outtings, we require a van due to family size. and with a dayhome, we require transport should I need to pick up sick kids.

    Utilities are high, but almost 1/2 of what other families here pay. We locked in for gas and power, our rate is nearly 50% less plus we use less than the average family of 3.4 people for ours of 6 plus 3. But it includes internet and basic satelite as well. If we were really tight, we'd save $70 right there, but we aren't that desparate yet..lol.

    Groceries, i can make on $300, but find I can't buy bulk sticking to that budget, so I prefer my $400 then there's always something in the house. This month I did a $300 challenge, have made it so far, but we used up a bunch of my pantry which means next month I need to restock way too many items. It's BARE!
    Mom to 4 wonderful kiddos. Homeschooling mom
    • FFEF 2/6months
    • Retirement savings to start
    • Mortgage


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    Registered User bevjean's Avatar
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    TX has medicaid and CHIPS programs for kids insurance. It is only a few bucks every 6 months (I pay $20) and then reasonable co-pays with each visit. I personally don't think that getting rid of the ins for you and your hubby is a great idea. I have a family of 5, hubby makes around $40,000 and we were eligible for chips for the two oldest and medicaid for my youngest.

    I live in Pasadena, it's a bit stinkier than Houston but also think it's a bit cheaper to live here (plus I just hate cities, and here I don't feel as crowded). I rent a 3 bedroom townhome (older, nothing fancy, but overall decent) for $760 plus utilities.

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    No, I didnt include utilities. I just moved here so I don't know what the average amounts will be but we will pay electric, gas, and water. At my old apartment my electric was 200-275 and water was 20. I am hoping the electric wont be that high because this house is newer so hopefully better insulated.


    About state insurance, I hope this doesn't offend anyone but I feel weird using state aid when we are in this financial situation by being irresponsible in our youth. So I think I will shop around to find lower insurance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pip View Post
    Is there an Aldis store close by? I can really save a lot of money by buying my groceries there. What kind of meals do you usually prepare? I find that the grocery budget is the one thing I can change/save the most on.
    Nope no Aldis here, I always here about it, I wish it was here.

    I cook really simple stuff, tex mex, meat loaf, curries. I think our bills are higher because I don't shop smart and my husband likes junk food so we get a lot of chips and cookies. We used to eat out a lot but since we are down to one car, I havent been going out to eat as much.

    I do think groceries is where I can save probably $150 to 200 a month. Especially once I get the kids potty trained.

    You guys are giving me some good ideas and its encouraging to see that there are others living on a similar amount. We do make more than that but we got behind on a lot of bills and I am trying to live on the bare minimum so that I can put everything else toward bills.

    Thanks again for all the advice. Hey, any particular threads on here that can help me with lowering my grocery bill.

  15. #15
    Master Dollar Stretcher aka DixieBob Dixie's Avatar
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    phoenixmama, no offense at all. I totally respect and admire your attitude! I don't have advice, but wanted to offer you my best wishes.

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