Kind of a spin off from my other thread - it seems there are a few of us who are earning ok money but still struggling with our bills. We grateful for all we have, but it can be demoralising when the bills just don't stop and we can't get ahead with any savings.
So this is a thread for all of us. It's not to make anyone else feel worse, I think most of agree we don't have it as tough as some others; but we still need some support from time to time and somewhere to vent.
I for one am pretty bad with my budgetting, but am getting better. So I am going to use this thread to put in my bills and make sure I pay them rather then buying takeaway or going to the movies! And also to vent when I go to the mail box and have $1000 worth of bills arrive in one day!!!
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13-01-2012 10:29 #1
Finance/budget support/vent thread - to help us all get our bills under control!!
13-01-2012 10:47 #2
I'll take any suggestions... I want to get this credit paid off and all our taxes up to date... its such a burdon!
13-01-2012 10:48 #3
Great idea, Buttoneska! I for one, really could need some advice and inspiration! It would be great to exchange budgeting tips, great webpages with, etc.
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13-01-2012 10:57 #4
Subscribing! Even though I'm back at work now and earning money again we are still spending more than we earn. I used to be soooo good at budgeting but now we just waste money. We have soooo many bills to pay
13-01-2012 11:20 #5
we have only just started paying a little each week toward all the quarterly bills so that when they come in we only have a small portion to pay or ideally they are already paid and we are in credit...
but other than at my budeting is up the creek
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13-01-2012 11:20 #6
The one tip I've got is to make sure your insurance (car, PHI, contents/home) is the cheapest at renewal time. We saved a lot by shopping around.
Also the switch wise website can help you compare electricity providers
Also, I've made a list of every single bill we have and I worked out how much I would need to pay each week (including putting aside money for rego and car servicing). This goes into a separate account for bills and all my bills get direct debited from there or paid from that account. This account has none of those pesky account keeping fees.
For me having separate bank accounts for separate purposes have been great.
13-01-2012 20:33 #7
Subscribing too. I am so bad with money, we are at a standstill but if we don't save something i will never get my new kitchen - and I *hate* my old one
I tried doing a monthly spreadsheet, tracking the ins and outs and trying to see where the money was going but i kept falling behind. Maybe i should start it up again...
14-01-2012 18:05 #8
Three years ago now we came extremely close to bankruptcy. In fact, a finance councellor we went and saw suggested it!! Luckily I have an extremely supportive family and my parents stepped in. They got a loan on the proviso it was all paid off in a year and they actually came in with me to bank branches while they paid out my credit cards and closed the accounts. A year later we were $20,000 of debt lighter and back on track.. kind of.
We are both on okay wages, have a mortgage and every bill that comes with them and having kids (ie. child care etc).
Neither of us are savers, we both live in the moment and will impulse buy on a whim. However having completely screwed up our credit ratings, we cannot get any loans or credit cards unless we want to pay through the absolute teeth on interest and fees.
So... the current solution we are finding that works for us??
I have worked out an ongoing budget of what needs paying where. Bills that can be Bpayed weekly I have auto Bpay set up (thus no dishonnour fees if it doesnt go through). Bills that are fortnightly coincide with my pay to remind me to pay them, and I have reminder alarms on my phone that pop up a week before my monthly bills are due.
Every week I do a quick spending budget and include EVERYTHING
- Weekly bills
- PAYG Power
- Childcare/ school fees
- Fuel and car expenses (if you wash your car once a week at a car wash include this)
- Smokes for my partner
- Food (we normally spend around $150 a week, but I always budget for $200 incase)
- any hobbies etc (my partner plays golf, I like to have a bottle of wine with friends on Saturday nights)
Once all of the above have been sorted, I pay the bills and then only leave enough money to cover direct debits/Bpays that are due to come out. I then keep the grocery money, give my partner money to cover his smokes for a week, and any other cash bills or payments we swap the money accordingly. Then anything left is divided in two between the two of us which is then our spending for the week. We decided on this because we have a joint account in which our wages go into. My partner gets lazy and never checks how much is in there, just assumes there is some limitless money pit on the bank card, so we would often get to Sunday nights and he would get upset that there is no money left to do us till Thursday.
Its a bit of work, but I make sure i set a time aside each week to get it done.
- Make a bet between the two of you of how much you have left over at the end of the week. Bet anything you wish.. you will be surprised how much you both count EVERY penny!!
- make up two money boxes for the kids. One for silver coins and one for gold. empty all your coinage into them every couple of days. The kids love watching the money accumulate and you will be surprised how quickly they fill up!!
- Save all your $5 notes. You will find yourself getting pretty creative at checkouts to ensure they give you a $5 note!!
- If you have a homeloan, check if the bank offers zero fees for your other accounts. We had accounts all over the place until i found out the bank i have my homeloan through offers zero account fees if you have any investment over $50,000 with them. It has saved us literally hundreds just in the 6 months since we changed.
- if you or your partner has an expensive habbit like smoking or drinking, make a point of counting out the money needed for this expense every week. When people see that a pack of smokes each day is actually costing close to $100 a week that could be better spent on a nice dinner out, or put towards the new TV everyone wants habbits do begin to reduce in cost
We arent perfect, we still have glitches in our system, and we have only been doing this since the first week of December. But for the first time it actually feels like we aren't fighting bills to survive, and I dont have sleepless nights thinking "damn! that bill is due tomorrow!!" or "oh god.. did we really spend THAT much?! I hope there is still money left in that account!!" Plus.. when we are invited out for drinks or dinner we actually have the money to go!! no more fighting over who's fault it is that we cant go
Hope this helps
14-01-2012 18:19 #9
I found that having money transfer from one account to another before I have a chance to touch it helps.
14-01-2012 18:33 #10
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