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Old Dec 12th, 2012, 13:00 PM   1
Snow Owl
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Making little last


Well we've realised after all our direct debits we have about 300 a month to live off. That's groceries, petrol, clothes etc! Basically anything that isn't a standard household bill.

Must admit I'm worried. ill have time to do a lot of scratch cooking which can save cash but its still tight!

Does anyone manage this? It would be nice to be able to save a bit as well for things like yearly expenses (tv lisence, as breakdown cover) and also for things like Christmas and birthdays.

Help



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Old Dec 13th, 2012, 18:16 PM   2
maisie78
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We're in a very similar situation at the moment with me on maternity. We can cover the bills but that's it, everything else is on the credit card I'm a bit rubbish at budgeting (pretty unhelpful given our current situation) but just wanted to say with regards the tv licence I pay monthly dd, it's about 12, and for breakdown cover I use my tesco clubcard vouchers to pay for that each year as the vouchers are worth 3 times their value when used for rac cover. Make sure you sign up for cashback sites too and get as much as you can online. I do this and usually get a couple of 70-100 payments a year. It all helps



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Old Dec 14th, 2012, 09:50 AM   3
meliartdesign
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Hiya, I am considering leaving my full time job to be able to stay at home with my kids and possibly open my own business (painting children's murals, canvases etc) which I have sort of been doing as a hobby so far... I realised last night that we would also have 300 left after all bills are paid if I quit and frankly I am horrified! Trying to figure out ways to either make it last or get some income in while at home but so far I am stuck.
Was wondering how can you get cashback from shopping? sorry I dont have any ideas but I am in the same situation..



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Old Dec 14th, 2012, 10:36 AM   4
CanadianLady
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In regards to shopping one of the things that I do is try to find out when the shops in your area put out the reduced products. In my area its usually twice a week so I try to go to the shops then and get meat and produce. Other than that I search online and look for multibuy offers and stock up (especially on canned/boxed stuff I like to keep in the cupboard).



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Old Dec 17th, 2012, 05:29 AM   5
mammy2oaklen
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We have 400 left after all bills as I'm a sahm and we manage I shop around for bargains and cook a lot from scratch. Try not to use car unless necessary and do lots of free activities like park, feeding ducks. U will cope u just adjust and definitely budget and stick to it. We don't have any leftto save but are luck enough to rely on dh bonus to pay for tax mot xmas and bdays. We can't afford holidays but do go on days out just do it cheap online vouchers and take picnics



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Old Dec 17th, 2012, 11:05 AM   6
Dinah93
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If you do any shopping online use quidco for cashback, and there are often grocery codes for tesco groceries online. We couldn't live off 300 a month long term, car insurance is about 50 a month on my husband's 12 year old little runabout car, and 30 on my 4 year old huge one, setting aside money for MOT, servicing, repairs, the 70 a week it costs him in commuting, minimum 200 a month for groceries (includes nappies and toiletries, but not fomula), 100 or so a month for my commute when I'm back at work, presents, days out, clothes etc, we figure we need close to 800 a month after the direct debits to have a life where we're not worrying about money (which from experience is detrimental to my mental health and the happiness of us as a family). We've managed while on maternity leave, although now I have no pay at all some has crept onto the credit card, but we've decided I will return to work half time where the plan was to be a SAHM, as we think we'll have a better quality of life rather than being constantly worried or counting what's in the penny jar. I'll be honest and say I think 300 a month is really really tight if you're running a car, you'll find a way to manage (we actually stopped cooking so much from scratch as individual ingredients work out a lot more than pre-packed rubbish so it's a ham or banana sandwich for lunch, cereal or toast for breakfast and then often as not we're skipping dinner but when we do have it it's vegetable curry, supermarket pizza, tomato pasta (nothing enjoyable really!) - our little girl eats very well though!) but if you're planning for maternity leave I would recommend trying to get some savings behind you to live off during your year off.



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Old Dec 19th, 2012, 08:32 AM   7
Snow Owl
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Unfortunately it's too late for us to save as I finish work in a few days.

We've been living off my wage most of this year due to OH changing jobs and so money has been extremely tight. OH has just got his job / wage sorted but it does mean we only have 1 month of 2 wages before my SMP starts. Annoyingly most of that wage has gone on christmas

We are lucky in that due to OH's company car setup we only have to pay petrol on my car. No insurance / mot / repairs etc.

The things we need to pay for are:

Groceries
Toiletries (including nappies, wipes etc. Hoping to BF so no formula costs)
Petrol for my car (again hoping with me being home this might get cut down as won't be driving around as much)
TV lisence (don't need to worry till March as paid up front last year)
AA membership (luckily don't need to worry till August as again paid upfront last year. Know we could use clubcard vouchers for RAC but had problems with the RAC so won't go to them now, lol)
Clothes for LO (Me and OH will just have to go without)
Savings for Christmas / Birthdays

This is what the 300 will go on.

OH is currently paying off a loan so this should go up to 400 a month at the end of next year (think it's a year left on it) and hopefully his CSA will drop from the current 440 a month he pays when we are re-assesed in the new year. (yes that figure is right, don't ask!).

It's going to be tight, but hopefully with me home I'll have more time to work out things like making cheaper meals etc!



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Old Dec 19th, 2012, 11:05 AM   8
aimee-lou
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Is there just the 3 of you? 75 a week is the budget we lived on for nearly 18 months from July 2010-Dec 2011. It's very doable with 3 of you. Pay the bills up front if you can i.e. pre-empt the DD's so you know they're paid. I tend to pay most of mine by SO or instant payment and I have a list on the wall of what needs paying when and I tick it off. If you get paid same day every month then you shouldn't need to do this but because most benefits, MA, credits etc are paid 4-weekly it's a nightmare at the moment (I'm currently on leave having just received my last payment of MA. Looking for work now ).

Shop around, meal plan, shop to a list and NEVER let yourself run down to the last of anything. Always have a stock of things that are necessities (loo roll, baby milk, nappies, etc etc) so that you know you'll be ok should you run short one week.



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Old Dec 19th, 2012, 14:27 PM   9
Snow Owl
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2 at the mo but will be 3 in a weeks time
Our food bill is currently about 120-150 a month but hopefully this won't go up hugely once LO joins us

We currently have rent, council tax, water, electric, Internet and mobile on direct debit so we know when it's coming out every month

Does anyone know if we can claim any benefit (other than CB) when on maternity leave?



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Old Dec 19th, 2012, 14:51 PM   10
aimee-lou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow Owl View Post
2 at the mo but will be 3 in a weeks time
Our food bill is currently about 120-150 a month but hopefully this won't go up hugely once LO joins us

We currently have rent, council tax, water, electric, Internet and mobile on direct debit so we know when it's coming out every month

Does anyone know if we can claim any benefit (other than CB) when on maternity leave?
Tax credits - as soon as LO arrives get onto them. You may be in luck but it depends how much you earn.

My hubby and I went onto PAYG for our phones and now spend 15 a month between us instead of 50

I would also say that you can earn a few pennies here and there by having a clear out, ebay, car boots etc. We have a few a year where we just post a few things on that we no longer need/use and it brings in a few pennies at times when it's useful.

Good luck, but try not to stress. Oh another tip - have plenty of easy meals in for the first few days/weeks. Tins of soup, frozen meals, pizzas, snacks like cereal bars that you can grab. Otherwise you'll end up getting takeaways or shopping on the hop which is expensive.

And enjoy your baby - you'll be surprised how generous people can be, so enjoy your time, take the help and make sure you have plenty of snuggles



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