What do you do when....
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  1. #1
    Registered User acox68's Avatar
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    Default What do you do when....

    ...there's not enough money for the budget?

    No matter HOW I slice and dice the budget, I am still $262 in the hole each month! Since I am the only income right now, it makes me wonder where in the world I am going to find the extra $. Not only do I work full time, but I go to Baker College Online in the evenings. I have a tutoring job that pays $20 per hour, one hour per week, but that's not enough to bring it down tremendously. This month I will only be working 1 Saturday.

    I haven't even budgeted things like clothing, birthdays, weddings, etc. or Christmas. We have 3 weddings to go to this year and this kind of expense is really starting to worry me. I think I'm going to end up telling my family that we just can't afford to exchange gifts this year for the holidays.

    There IS one area where I could save some $ and that is for groceries. We currently have $400 budgeted for just the two of us, but that was only because before this we were eating a lot of convenience foods. Now we can make our own convenience foods and save a heck of a lot of $. I have also been looking in the recipes section for some frugal recipes.

    Well, thank you for listening....I don't know what kind of answers I am expecting here, but I need a sounding board because DH would completely freak out if he knew how desperate things looked. He has been looking for a job after a lay off in 2004, so I know he feels badly about the situation. He knows things are "tight" but not "dire" as of yet......

    I think I'll work on this some more....there HAS to be something I haven't looked at!!!

  2. #2
    Registered User acox68's Avatar
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    OK, I have made some adjustments to the budget so it will balance out...it will mean making the following adjustments:

    1. I will only be able to spend $25 per month on my hair....I will use coloring
    from the store and go to BoRics to get it cut. Actually, I should have
    some left over each month.
    2. The grocery budget will go from $400 to $150 per month. If I stick to low
    cost meals and fruits/veggies in season, we should be fine.
    3. For my prescriptoins, I will use Medco where you can get 3 months'
    prescriptions at 2 months' cost. That will reduce my prescription budget
    from $70 to $47 per month.
    4. I cut the car fuel budget down from $250 per month to $200 per month.

    I hope this is something we can live on....DH works odd jobs here and there doing computer work, so hopefully this will help us out. It's just that we can't "count" on it, so I need a back up plan.....

    Andrea

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    Registered User Droppedonmyhead's Avatar
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    Looks like your food budget alone pretty much makes up the difference you needed. The other items are gravy for your budget. You did a great job finding the extra money you need.

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  5. #4

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    you could really drop your grocery costs in half. since there are only 2 of you. i only spend about $300.00 a month for groceries for 6 people (sometimes more depending on how many foster children i have)!!! start clipping coupons, they will save you alot of money!!

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    Registered User acox68's Avatar
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    Thanks, everyone! I just got back from Meijer and realized that this is going to be a little more dificult than I originally thought. I spent $85 for $106 worth of groceries with coupons and in-store savings. That's over half of our month's new grocery budget!!! I'm sure the more I look up frugal recipes, the better it will be, but sheesh! I HAVE to get better at all of this!!! Of course, I have to keep in mind that part of what was spent was on hair coloring (from the beauty budget), and the other part was spent on dog food (from the pet food category), So, subtract $25 from that and that is what I spent. I was so depressed when I left the store, that I thought of swinging by Tim Horton's for a donut. But, I realized that the donut is not going to solve the problem of no money, and it will only go to my hips! Since I have a sweet tooth tonight, I may make something with what I already have on hand. Gosh, this "living like no one else" stuff can be really HARD! But, it will be SOOOOOO worth it!!!

    Andrea

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    Shop at Aldi's for your major supplies and use Meijer for things that they have on sale that might actually be a better deal than Aldi's - this will help you out even more.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rachelj View Post
    Shop at Aldi's for your major supplies and use Meijer for things that they have on sale that might actually be a better deal than Aldi's - this will help you out even more.

    I agree with Rachel.

    IMHO Meijers is not the best deal in town. I don't go there anymore because they started charging more for stuff and I can't afford them. I shop at Aldi a lot. The food isn't bad, or generic. They have their own name brand and most things are good. I can get $100 worth of groceries there for about $50. Kep trying, you can do this.

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    Realizing and facing the problem is the first and BIGGEST step, you've already done that AND started working on the solution, good for you! I also agree if there is an Aldis nearby shop there, and look for a bread thrift store also.

    Babysteps is also one of the biggest things, you can't do it overnight and if you try you'll end up even more frustrated.

    And good for you for NOT stopping for that doughnut! See, you have the POWER over the impulses, you're doing great!

    BTW, my ONE real splurge is the frozen mini creme puffs and mini eclairs from Aldis, you get a tub of 50 of them for what a few doughnuts would cost! When I REALLY need a pick me up I grab a few of them and a cup of coffee and shut out the world for a few minutes, lol.

    kj

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    Registered User PrairieRose's Avatar
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    I agree with the advice you've already been given here and also remember to journal all your spending. It's amazing how much we spend, in teeny, tiny bits. They really do add up and make a huge difference in the overall picture.

  11. #10
    Registered User acox68's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the tips everyone! Yes, we do have an Aldi near us, but for some reason DH has always been against shopping there (pre-misconceptions I think). Maybe I can sneak over there the next time he isn't looking...haha.

    I am coloring my hair right now and feeling great! I can't wait to see how it turns out. Afterwards, I am headed over to Bo-rics for a cut. DH won't be happy about this, but I will have to remind him about "living like no one else". This spending on brand name stuff and living above our means is what has gotten us in this pickle of a mess to begin with!!!

    Andrea

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    You know my best friend had the same problem with her hubby, everything had to be name brand and they REALLY couldn't afford it! What we finally did was have them over for a BBQ and EVERYTHING I used was from Aldis, put the chips and party mix etc in bowls so he wouldn't know. Then AFTER dinner she told him and now she shops at Aldis too.

    It's funny but in our marriage we each have specific areas we're in charge of, the house, yard, garden, horse barn and bills are my responsibility and I make all choices regarding them. Hubby is in charge of the equiptment, cattle barn, shop and crops. We don't question each other and if we really want something done a different way we think long and hard on it, and lol we sometimes have to decide if that's a hill really worth dying on. I do the grocery shopping and he eats what I put in front of him I do make sure to make meals he enjoys but I chose where the ingredients come from.

    kj

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    Andrea,

    Not my business I know but I have a question??? Can't hubby get a full time job, even if it is something that isn't his cup of tea??? Maybe you should let him know how things are looking so that it would give him more incentive to find something......you can't expect yourself to take care of everything alone.

    JMHO,
    leezza

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    I, too, am concerned that your DH doesn't know the reality of your financial situation. If he knew, he might make different choices that would help you both through the tight spot you're in.

    It's unfair for you to shoulder the whole burden...and it's unfair to keep the truth from him. See how you could both end up feeling frustrated or misled?

    Please think about sharing the whole truth with him...and let us know how it went!

  15. #14
    Registered User acox68's Avatar
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    Well, you are right up to a point in that he sometimes lets me shoulder the burden......he is more of a free spirit and I am the "geek". Having said that, he has been on several interviews in his field with no success and has been so depressed about not bringing in the $ that I guess it keeps him from bringing in the $ at times. He is going to work part time once school starts, but right now his focus is on getting back into school and working toward a degree in Physical Therapy. He does do computer jobs on the side which can bring in anywhedre form $500-$1000 a pop. He also works aroud the house making meals and fixing things, cleaning, mowing the lawn, etc. So, I know what you are saying, but he is not a total deadbeat! LOL

    Andrea

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    Of course he's not! You just don't want to be in a position where a stressful situation takes a turn for the worse when he learns how bad the finances are.

    I work in technology as well, and I was downsized back in '98--what a terrible experience. Like your DH I went a whole year with nothing but side jobs. It wears at your soul, and I completely understand your wanting to protect him from further hurt. Depression is a very real side effect of unemployment.

    I eventually had to move 1000 miles away to get another job in my field and at my salary level. I didn't want to go, but I did, and it turned out to be an excellent decision. I only made the decision to move when all other options failed (I was single at the time, so no second income as a cushion). Sometimes we have to walk all the way through the dark to see the light again.

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