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View Full Version : Tips for Living on a VERY tight budget???



Miss_N
29-11-2009, 18:40
Hey Lovelies! :)

In 2 weeks my income will drop by a HUGE amount! :(

I am starting to worry about how I will afford rent, car repayments, groceries and living etc!

My parents will help me if need be! They won't let me go under but I don't want to rely on them! They have done SOOOOOOOOOO much for me already!

SO...

I'm after tips/ideas/advice on how to live on a VERY tight budget! :D

Anything from recipes to general ways to save a few bucks here and there! :yes:

TIA!

BigRedV
29-11-2009, 18:44
Everytime you spend money, write it down, you will see what stupid and useless things you waste money on. It will also make you thin about exactly what you are spending.

Theophania
29-11-2009, 18:46
Well my mum had to bring me and my two sisters up on a SPP, so we were on a very tight budget....

I would suggest if possible buying fruit and vegetables at your local markets - we cut our spending in half every week by doing this

Buying meat in bulk if possible? Often butchers will have speacials on 2kg bulk meat buye, meat packs etc

Buying clothes/toys etc on ebay or at op shops

Ummmm... finding inexpensive activities on the weekend. There is a website that I use here in Brisbane where I can look up free events around my community etc. Can't remember the name of it at the moment but I am sure you can google it :)

If you have a lot of loans etc then I would consolidate now before your income decreases, it makes re-payments sooo much easier.

Um that is all I can think of at the moment, hope I have given you some fresh ideas :)

delirium
29-11-2009, 18:53
I agree with Lozaaa. You need to write down everything you spend money on and cut out all the non essential stuff. Look at reducing your internet plan, shop at fruit and vege markets, keep your phone calls to a minimum, don't buy take away.

MummaBear03
29-11-2009, 19:00
What kind of budget are we talking about? I'm really good at this, but it helps to know amounts and if it's just you or you and DP. If you'd rather not put it on the public forum you can PM, but living off under $400/week I have to really budget ATM to cover the cost of the house, car, school fees, bills, food, fuel, dog expenses :rolleyes: lol, medical needs (excluding her specialist appointments, I get $105/fn in Carer's Allowance and her specialist appointments are every 6 weeks at a cost of $350 out of pocket so the carer's almost covers that cost), clothing, general school expenses, and whatever other costs come up :D

Miss_N
29-11-2009, 19:11
Loz and Delirium - Thanks! I will remember that! I think writing down ALL expenses will help! :yes:

Tif - Thanks! How would I find where my local fruit & veg markets are? Just google? I know a GREAT discount butcher in the city I'm moving to and know where to get cheap pantry items too!

MB - Worst case scenario I will be living off about $400 a week. I am hoping to get casual work on top of this but need a blue card (I let mine expire :doh: so not sure how long that will take to come). I will have a car repayment of $350 a f/t, $170 rent a f/t, can get rid of my net or downsize it, can downsize my phone plan. Don't have any other debt or credit card so I think I can do it! Will just have to be VERY careful! :yes:

V8
29-11-2009, 19:27
Your car payment is $350 a fortnight and you'll be on $800 a fortnight approx, i'd think you may need to get a cheaper car :( How will you pay insurance, running costs, petrol, servicing etc...

WorkingClassMum
29-11-2009, 19:27
start NOW, not in two weeks

Work out all bill, loan and rent payments into weekly amounts and start that now.

Write a menu right down to a couple of biscuits only per day, and only buy what you need for meals.

Cook meals that have minimal left overs, or left overs that double up for lunch

Switch to no-name brands for things at least like milk

Have two meals pw that are not meat

Have two meals pw that require minimal or no cooking

Buy bread from the bakery and freeze it, also day old bread for $1 makes great toast and bread crumbs

Look for a wholesale butcher where you can buy meat

Turn off all lights that you don't immediately need

Turn off at the switch any elect. appliances not currently being used.

Always go to the toilet at the shopping centre

Instead of borrowing money off Mum n Dad, eat there once pw

Ask for vouchers for Christmas

Read a book one night pw instead of watching TV

Collect the shower water while waiting for it to run hot, and use it to soak clothes or to fill the washing machine

Never buy coffee when out, take one with you.

Walk to the local shops rather than drive, or try public transport

Put on a jumper afore turning on the heater

MummaBear03
29-11-2009, 19:41
Loz and Delirium - Thanks! I will remember that! I think writing down ALL expenses will help! :yes:

Tif - Thanks! How would I find where my local fruit & veg markets are? Just google? I know a GREAT discount butcher in the city I'm moving to and know where to get cheap pantry items too!

MB - Worst case scenario I will be living off about $400 a week. I am hoping to get casual work on top of this but need a blue card (I let mine expire :doh: so not sure how long that will take to come). I will have a car repayment of $350 a f/t, $170 rent a f/t, can get rid of my net or downsize it, can downsize my phone plan. Don't have any other debt or credit card so I think I can do it! Will just have to be VERY careful! :yes:

First of all, ge onto the car finance place. I did and for about 3 months they could drop repayments to $63/week but I was ahead and assured them that I would be able to pay $100/week when I could get it back up and now it's dropped again to $81.60/week. They can drop it if you show that you will be facing hardship.

I live off less than $400/week with a child, a house, a car, school fees and all other living expenses and even though the house is more than you pay in rent, the car is far, far less. In fact, my house is probably less than your car!!! :D

no matter what you do, if you can't get the cost of the car down you won't be able to do it. Also, you can work without the blue card so long as the application has been put in. It took 5 months for mine to process :rolleyes: but I still worked in that 5 months because it was being processed.

Our groceries for 2 of us come to $60/week but I buy from the markets, roadside stalls and fruit and veg shops that can do it cheaper, and go to the supermarket for generic brand things like flour and sugar and so on. 89c for 1kg of flour and you can do a whole lot with it too.

I would also suggest making cheap meals in bulk and freezing them and we went through a phase of living off those packs of noodles that are rolled up into balls (don't know what they're called, they're from the Asian shop lol) and cooking them in vegetable stock. And people wonder why I went back to work when DD was a toddler :laughing: but seriously, it's amazing what you do when you have to just survive, even if it's only for the short-term because I imagine this will only be over the school holidays right?

Miss_N
29-11-2009, 20:07
Your car payment is $350 a fortnight and you'll be on $800 a fortnight approx, i'd think you may need to get a cheaper car. How will you pay insurance, running costs, petrol, servicing etc...

My income will only be this low for the next 6 weeks until school goes back. Then is will go up again and :fingerscrossed: I will be able to afford the car!

In saying that I am looking into other arrangements just in case! :yes:


First of all, ge onto the car finance place. I did and for about 3 months they could drop repayments to $63/week but I was ahead and assured them that I would be able to pay $100/week when I could get it back up and now it's dropped again to $81.60/week. They can drop it if you show that you will be facing hardship.

I live off less than $400/week with a child, a house, a car, school fees and all other living expenses and even though the house is more than you pay in rent, the car is far, far less. In fact, my house is probably less than your car!!! :D

no matter what you do, if you can't get the cost of the car down you won't be able to do it. Also, you can work without the blue card so long as the application has been put in. It took 5 months for mine to process :rolleyes: but I still worked in that 5 months because it was being processed.

Our groceries for 2 of us come to $60/week but I buy from the markets, roadside stalls and fruit and veg shops that can do it cheaper, and go to the supermarket for generic brand things like flour and sugar and so on. 89c for 1kg of flour and you can do a whole lot with it too.

I would also suggest making cheap meals in bulk and freezing them and we went through a phase of living off those packs of noodles that are rolled up into balls (don't know what they're called, they're from the Asian shop lol) and cooking them in vegetable stock. And people wonder why I went back to work when DD was a toddler :laughing: but seriously, it's amazing what you do when you have to just survive, even if it's only for the short-term because I imagine this will only be over the school holidays right?

Not sure I will be able to get the car repayments lowered...I was behind a full f/n payment because the bank stopped our loan when we wrote off the car and then re-started it a f/n later when we got another brand new one from our insurance company. They didn't tell us it would mean being behind in payments so I have been slowly catching up all year. Think I am about $30 behind now if that. :rolleyes:

Thanks for all the tips and advice! I didn't realise I could work as long as the bluecard form was in! Thats great! I dare say my income will be higher then! Just not regular as it will be casual!

Theophania
29-11-2009, 20:18
Hi There,

there are some great tips.

I just started my own veggie patch using recycles materials, and in a few months, hopefully have some veggies of my own. I bough the seeds at the reject shop. Everything else I found around the house :)

shop at Aldi. I'm a student, and have no income coming in, and we live off hubby's wage. I get my meat and veg at aldi, and find it's very cost effective. I tried the home brand, but really hated it. I buy the aldi's weatbix for $2.50 and it's $5.00 at safeway if that gives you an idea.

I just got rid of my drier, and we're drying all our clothes on the line or inside. Hard, but saves $$$

The free activity idea is a good one! I look in the newspaper or on the council website, you score a free BBQ at least once a month, getting a free meal, or we BBQ in the park :)

I get my bread from Aldi too, it's $1.79.

Hope some the ideas help, G/L!.

Oh Yeah Aldi ROCKS :thumbsup:

bumMum
30-11-2009, 00:49
my suggestions on what works are:
don't buy take away EVER it is the biggest money sucker ever
grow your own vegetables
save your waste water from your showers etc and use it for the garden
buy black and gold or homebrand for things that don't matter so much l
SHOPPING LISTS ARE A MUST, plan meal times
contact all finance ppl etc and try to come to an arrangement if u r falling behind
cut back on driving
turn all powerpoints off and lights etc to save on electricity

tight budgets take a lot of planning but it's do able
good luck :)

EmPowering
30-11-2009, 07:24
amy i would watch out with the blue card thing cause i was waiting for my new bluecard to come and my uni and child care centre wouldnt let me start till i had the actual blue card so might be differant in differant places but i would just check:yes::yes:

MummaBear03
30-11-2009, 07:28
amy i would watch out with the blue card thing cause i was waiting for my new bluecard to come and my uni and child care centre wouldnt let me start till i had the actual blue card so might be differant in differant places but i would just check:yes::yes:

Was that your first application? With a renewal you can work as long as the paperwork is in, that's their policy and if they say you can't, you can challenge it :)

EmPowering
30-11-2009, 08:02
Was that your first application? With a renewal you can work as long as the paperwork is in, that's their policy and if they say you can't, you can challenge it :)
:no::no: nope it was my renewal:yes::yes:! my uni coordinator said i couldnt start my uni prac without a current blue card!

MummaBear03
30-11-2009, 08:06
:no::no: nope it was my renewal:yes::yes:! my uni coordinator said i couldnt start my uni prac without a current blue card!

Oh, sorry, my mistake. It's different with Prac, you can work but not do prac so yep that's right. The OP can work while it's being processed, but not do unpaid work or prac for uni or tafe.