Need Help! Mentor? To help me get started! Please!
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  1. #1
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    Default Need Help! Mentor? To help me get started! Please!

    Hello! My family recently took a massive income cut. We are behind on utility bills, we have a small stable income but also a small-med unstable income which also affects our gas budget if dh gets called in to work, so I am not sure how to budget for gas. We get paid small amounts multiple tines a month and I am not sure how to prioritize what to put in what envelope when. If someone can PM and help me get this started, I will share financial info, I am pretty desperate and just not sure how to get started or if it is even possible in our situation. Also, DH is NOT frugal, he can spend hundreds a month a dollar at a time thinking its no big deal. So we desperately need a firm budget! We are in desperate need of groceries but I am afraid to shop because of not having enough for bills and afraid to pay bills for fear of having no $ for gas and food! Please Help!

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    Registered User Ayanka's Avatar
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    First of all a very big hug, it sounds like you could use some support indeed. The idea of priority is first Food, then shelter (rent/mortgage), then utilities, then insurance then gas (to get to work). I would also like to refer you to the following thread, it is not an easy one, but its one I have saved because it is that informational. https://www.frugalvillage.com/forums/...beginners.html

    I would try to make a budget, not in the least for showing your husband that he will have to watch purchases a little more. Am I right thinking that your gas will go up if your husband has to work, so you will have more money?

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    Registered User larabelle's Avatar
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    First BIG hug!!! You can do this!!!

    There are lots of people here on the forum who are knowledgeable and willing to share their knowledge.

    I agree with Ayanka. Make a budget!! Write down EVERY expense and show your husband what you need to spend each penny on. It is important to try to get him on board ESPECIALLY if he can easily spend 100's of dollars which can sabotage your budget.

    Keep posting and we can give you specific ideas on different areas of your budget to save money on.
    Blessed and Highly Favored!!!!
    From $78K in debt to debt free and purchased a house and used car with 100% cash...God is sooo Good!!!

    Goals:
    New to me vehicle

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    Registered User Nadders11's Avatar
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    If you need food. Go buy food now. Stick to a certain amount. Use cash. Meal plan and try to get as much food you can for 100 (or whatever you decide to spend). Food done. Cash.

    Rent or mortgage? When is that due? Put that as next priority. If you have the money now or if its coming done the line with pay, deduct it from your money.

    Next utilities. What's over due? When? Can you get caught up this month? Getting up to date takes priority over any debt repayment right now.

    Gas- try a little extra here. Keep it separate. Cash. And if you don't need the extra this month keep it for next month, or use it for debt repayment.

    Start small. Try putting just something in the envelopes and go from there. Too little for food? Next month add some more. Or try new meal planning to cut costs.

    I like budgeting stuff. Pm me anytime and I'll try to help. But also post here, more input can really help and speed up the process.

    It's all trial and error and each month it will be different. 1.5 yrs of intentional budgeting later and I'm still trying to figure it out. But you have to keep trying or it will get away from you.

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    Thank you all so much! Thank you for putting up with my late night, can't sleep because of money worries, post of desperation! I have listed all our bills and monthly amounts, budgeted for animal food, gas, etc. We have $75 left over a week for groceries and that includes every cent. This budget does not include the past due amounts on bills just the usual current amount. I am not sure where else to cut expenses to get those paid, we already don't have house phone/tv/satellite/internet. We have cell phones but its pretty basic. $75 a week for food/house/body products is already a huge leap for us and I am not even sure how I am going to make that work... I know people do it, and I want to be able to do it, its just not what we are used to.

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    Registered User Ayanka's Avatar
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    Kate, do you have a lot of people that you need to feed with that 75? I would go for homemade stuff, like macaroni and cheese (with perhaps some leftover veggies), homemade pizza (nice to work up leftovers, both meat and veggies)...

    We had someone who faced a similar challenge lately, which turned out for the better, so Im gonna give you another link: https://www.frugalvillage.com/forums/...mes-begin.html

    There is a lot of info on the village, but it can be quite hard to find it in the beginning. Good luck with the rest of your challenge and please keep us updated on how you are doing.

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    Doing great with the food budget! My parents started a new diet so they cleaned out their pantry and passed lots of goodies on to us. Mayo, canned soup, oil, tomato sauce etc. Score! I cleaned out and reorganized my entire kitchen to see exactly what we have going on. Had more than I though. I found an awesome sale on pork loin for 1.69 a pound and sirloin beef roast for 2.60 a pound VERY cheap for these parts. Made pork pot roast tonight, had everything else in the fridge so only thing I spent out of pocket was about 2.50 for the pork and it made more than enough for everyone. A friend who grows tomatoes gave me about 20 lbs. of tomatoes and said I can have more if I want so I may be making and canning mass amounts of spaghetti sauce later this week. Going out of town on Tuesday so will do some grocery shopping then, I am trying to meal plan, I am just find it very overwhelming. But I know I have to do it if I am ever going to stick to this budget. Especially since the closest decent priced market is 40 minutes away...

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    Registered User Nadders11's Avatar
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    Meal planning gets easier. You're doing a great job.

    Once a month cooking (OAMC) could be something you like. I like to cook a large batch of meals every month (sometimes I skip a month). I make 6-8 meals at a time and freeze them. I do this if I feel I'll be particularly lazy or uncreative. So nice to have supper done. Also if you happen to score a great deal on large amounts of meat etc...make a huge batch of a meal and freeze.

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    OAMC!!!?! Seriously! What an awesome idea! Less kitchen cleanup throughout the month, dinner planned and done! Wow! I am going to check that out for sure!

    Sooo... things were starting to get a bit back on track financially and last night in the middle of the night we had a water pipe burst. Fortunately we caught it right before the basement flooded, some water got in but only enough to dampen a section of the floor, not flooded and no standing water. Thank goodness! No idea what the fix is going to entail or cost. Main water is shut off now and letting the lake in the back yard dry up enough so we can see exactly where the problem area is. Fun stuff! A neighbor came pounding on the door at 5:30 am to tell me I left a hose on in the back yard and water had traveled 2 blocks down! So glad he woke me!

    I am trying to think of things to sell. No emergency fund, no savings account. The bit of a savings we had I used up when I was caring for my grandma. We seriously have no money for the fix and no way to get it that I can see. I need to get my creative thinking cap on, trying not stress though... Things have a way of working out.

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    It sounds like you have a good attitude Kate.

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    Registered User Ayanka's Avatar
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    First of all I like your motivation .

    Secondly, is it the actual pipe that burst or is it the O-rings (rubber rings) inbetween? If it are the O-rings you could try to replace them yourselves if you have a handy man yourself, but open the water very slowly afterworths and keep an eye on it to see if it keeps leaking. Another option (but I wouldn't do that unless there is no other choice) is to patch the leak with clay. The oldfashioned gray childrens play kinda clay, not the coloured stuff. My granddad did that (no idea when but more than 25 years ago, might be up to 40) and it is still holding up so far.

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    Its the actual pipe that burst. It took us a while to figure out where the problem was but we found it and its the main line that comes into the property. The pipes are so old and rotten we cave to put a whole new main pipe. The good news is doing it this way we don't haove to rip up any floors and just have to dig a whole mess of trenches. FUN stuff! I am going to be without water for a few days so I had to give away the tomatoes and peaches I was going to can because we had more than we could eat before going bad.

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    Registered User reader99's Avatar
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    Most utility companies have something in place to help households that can't pay the bill. Call or visit the water company and tell them about the burst pipe coming on top of an already difficult situation. They may be able to reduce your rate, waive part of the bill, or help with the pipe replacement. The same with electric. My electric co will reduce rates and waive fees for low income households. see also LIHEAP - try a google search to see if it applies in your area.

    My grocery bill went down 30% when I began using eggs and cheese (and some chicken) instead of buying meat all the time. A serving of two eggs costs just 33 cents at the prices where I am. A 1/4 lb serving of meat that costs $3.50 a pound would cost me 87 cents, more than twice as much.

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