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I want to start doing the envelope system so I can keep my head above water, I'm tired of living paycheck to paycheck and sometimes not making ends meet.

I wrote a list of what I owe and I'm currently getting 1860 a month after taxes.

Daycare-240 month

Gas(vehicle)-100 month

Electricity-80 month

Mortgage-480 month

Cable and internet -115 month

Date night-60

Fun money -80

Groceries -150 month
 

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Gas $100? You must be putting less than 5000 miles per year on it?

How much is the truck payment?

Is the $1860 your spouse's income? About $14/hour.
How much do you normally earn when you get your new job?

As for the envelope system, I don't know, we've never tried it, we just make a list like the one you made above - and follow it. IMO, the "follow it" is way more important than what system you use.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The 100$ a month for gas is because we use my Tahoe in town and for out of town trips we use her Mazda cx5 (4 cylinder).

My truck payment is 506 a month.

The 1860 is my income right now due to being laid off.
 

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If you want us to help with a list, it might be handy if it is complete. As you have a mortgage, is it possible you are lacking water, sewer and garbage? Possibly taxes and insurance, if they are not included in the mortgage? Is the 1860 your income, paying for both you and your spouse' expenses or?

First thing I would do is go through every bit of paperwork of bills for at least the last 3 months and make a detailed budget. Know what you pay and to where, because till you do that, you ll never get ahead.
 

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The truck payment has to be included in that. Is her vehicle paid off then? Healthcare? Is that $1860 after healthcare/insurance? Any regular prescriptions? $150 for groceries for a month... even by my shopping and I'm low for 3 people.
Any eating out?
I don't see a phone bill or cell phone bill anywhere? You don't have a phone?
 

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A few other considerations- car ins? Clothing budget (as a Mom, I know those little ones outgrow things in the blink of an eye!). I agree with some others that groceries seem REALLY low for a family...is that a number you're hoping to hit or anywhere near what you're spending now? I also don't see any savings allotted for, yet the expenses you put forth leave an unaccounted for $500+ each month.

If you're truly finding that money is tight, the 'date night' and 'fun money' portions seem excessive to me. I agree they're important things to acknowledge for sanity's sake, but could date night be $20 for a pizza and a movie rental once the kids are in bed?

It feels like there's a lot of info missing to make a solid plan. But once you truly have all of your categories together, you can sit down with a calculator, pen and paper. Weekly expenses come out of your paycheck and into your envelope each week (assuming weekly pay), once-a-month expenses or 'sometime' expenses are factored in either in chunks as you have money not allotted somewhere else each week, or again, divided into each week.

Budgeting is really tough when you begin, but I promise, it gets easier and eventually becomes second-nature. If you haven't read it yet, you might want to pick up 'The Total Money Makeover' by Dave Ramsey. The book is life-changing for many (myself included), and while a lot of it is truly common financial sense, seeing it all laid out in an easy-to-follow plan is less scary for many of us.

Lastly, you (and your spouse) NEED life insurance with those little ones at home. It won't cost as much as you might fear and is important enough to work into that budget.
 

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I want to start doing the envelope system so I can keep my head above water, I'm tired of living paycheck to paycheck and sometimes not making ends meet.

I wrote a list of what I owe and I'm currently getting 1860 a month after taxes.

Daycare-240 month

Gas(vehicle)-100 month

Electricity-80 month

Mortgage-480 month

Cable and internet -115 month

Date night-60

Fun money -80

Groceries -150 month
Hi Xrb_25. :) I agree with what the others have said, and also wanted to chime in to let you know there are a lot of ideas online and on this forum for free or next to free date nights and fun times, with or without kids. :) Just google date night and you'll find a raft of ideas. Another idea I use is the idea of Artist's dates. Primarily aimed at artists, BUT can be had by anyone. It's a question of doing something you enjoy just for yourself once a week. I think any parent of young ones could use this. They, too, do not have to cost any money.

I hope you are taking time to track expenses more carefully right now. That is so important to setting up a realistic budget. Doesn't matter how bad the situation appears to you. It's better to know the truth and then you have a realistic starting point.

Best of luck!
 

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I agree with a detailed income / expense list. Does your spouse work? If not, daycare is excessive. DO NOT assume your tax situation is fixed. Since your income has suddenly dropped, your taxes have changed dramatically, too.

A sudden job loss is not a reason to file bankruptcy (a topic your brought up from another thread) or allow a vehicle to be repossessed. Bankruptcy laws have changed dramatically in recent years and you might not even qualify to file.

I also noted you own three vehicles (Tahoe, Mazda and a pick-up). To save money you may consider getting rid of one of those.

There are all sorts of tricks and tips to keep your head above water and live a comfortable life. We can help you see your way to that goal but you have to get a handle on your current situation. If you don't know where you are, you'll have a harder time getting to where you want to go.

Be sure to include your spouse on this conversation. You're not alone in this.
 

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Instead of using actual envelopes keep your money in the bank. Use a ledger sheet with headings for each expense item. When you are paid enter the amount allotted to each expense on the ledger sheet and then when paid substract the amount paid. If you overspend in one category, you will need to repay that amount from another category. For instance, you over spend on car expenses, then you have to take the money from date night or fun money or somewhere to cover the overage. As far as quarterly, semi annual or annual expenses go, you should be accumulating those funds under that category each month. As an example, you pay car insurance twice a year so each month you should be leaving 1/12 of that payment to accumulate until the bill comes due. No panic when the bill arrives because you've budgeted for it and its right there waiting. If the amount is automatically paid from your bank account, be sure to deduct it from your ledger. When you plan to grocery shop, you check the ledger to see how much you have available for groceries and make sure you spend less using your debit card. A sticky note on the debt card will remind you of your budgeted amount available.
Plan date nights at home and forget fun money until you get spending under control. Its really no "fun" to spend what you don't have and then have to deal with the shortage. Your ledger substitutes for envelopes. Envelopes are a problem when so many bills are automatically withdrawn from the bank account.
 
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