Was here many, many years ago...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Was here many, many years ago...
4
Wed, 04-10-2013 - 6:41pm

...and needed to come back. Finances have always been trouble for me. I know it is lack of planning. I have been very frustrated lately and remembered how much I enjoyed this board many (7) years ago. I have a hard time sticking to my spending plan. It is difficult for me to say NO to my family. *sigh* I came to this board for support and ideas on spending less.

~M

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Thu, 04-11-2013 - 11:22am

This is a great place for support. Welcome back.

It is difficult to pay down debt when there is no support from family. The value of saying no is so very important. How about a family meeting with clear goals and objectives.

Often people save money by watching their grocery bill closer. But I don't know what you big expenses are or if you are living beyond your means or not so gather everything together and have another look. Where does it all go?  Have you tried tracking your expenditures?

Come back and see if you can pick up any tid bits that will help.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-10-2003
Thu, 04-11-2013 - 3:45pm
Welcome back! I have been on this board for close to 5 years now I think? Oh my goodness how time flies. I have come along way but I really feel this is the year I will make progress :) How old are your children? I don't have any so I can't relate to the "saying no" part. My problem is my own self indulgences. I am trying to not eat out for the month of April (aside from work related meals) and I cannot believe how much extra cash I have. Its actually embarassing. Of course this is only working because I did a huge batch cook a week and a half ago so I have frozen meals for when I am too tired to cook. Could something like this work for you?

Bex -

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 04-12-2013 - 1:21pm

Welcome back!  I look forward to your posts.

Serenity CL Making a Second Marriage Work

Serenity
Community Leader
Registered: 01-03-2004
Sun, 04-14-2013 - 8:05pm

Hi,

First you need to know exactly where your money is going. Start by collecting all your bills and the receipts for everything you spend: rent/mortgage, heat, lights, water, trash, car note, gas, insurance, etc. Then collect all the receipts for things you buy out of pocket: lunch out, candy/coffee/snacks (including vending machine purchases.) Also, keep your grocery receipts, too.

Yes, this is hard because you have to actually look at where your money is going, but it's very important to gain control of spending. ;-)

Run two tallies: living expenses, and out-of-pocket.

What this will show you is 1)how much you are spending and 2)where.

Prioritize. 1- Pay yourself first (yes, start saving every paycheck). 2-Groceries, housing costs, heat/lights/water/trash, and transporation. THEN allocate for other things like money for kids.

Scrutinize your grocery receipts. What are you really buying with your grocery dollars? Cereal, milk, eggs, juice, etc? What else? Seasonal items like Christmas decorations, Easter candy, housewares, etc.? Nearly 50% of your grocery bill goes for something other than food. See what you're habitually putting in your cart that you actually eat. 

Scrutinize your out-of-pocket receipts. What do you see? That daily trip for lunch even at $5 a day adds up to $25 a work week or $100 per month = $1,200 a year. If that's eating away at your bill money start brown bagging it or limit yourself to once a week out for lunch. Put what you save in a savings account for emergencies.

Sort out what you give your children and/or spouse in cash. You decide how much you can afford and then give them a lesson in self-control: give them an envelope with what you can reasonably give them for spending money with the following message: "Spend wisely. When it's gone, it's gone, and I won't be "funding" that envelope again until next month." Sooner or later you have to recognize you're not an ATM and so do they.

For more great ideas and good, sound common sense go to www.daveramsey.com. I teach his program full-time to low income people. I've succeeded in helping single mothers with low paying jobs save $1,000. You can too.