Weekly budgets

Is anyone here willing to post their weekly family budget to give me an idea of how incomes are divided up into rent/mortgage, groceries, petrol, etc.

I'm on an income of $65k + and the wife $15k (part time). Problem is, we think we are over spending in some areas as we have nothing left over each week :confused:
 
Do you have a budget Fuzz? Depending on your mortgage and family situation, I'd expect on that sort of income you'd be able to be saving something. I couldn't survive without a budget (mine is monthly as that is my pay cycle).

Just set yourself up a spreadsheet with your income and expenses. You can fiddle with the expenses to see what your net cashflow is and see if you can adjust some of that spending so you end up with a postive cashflow that you can save. Then once you get an idea as to what you can realically save each week/month (after paying for necessities), put that into your budget as an expense line and the old saying "pay yourself first". This is what I do, then when an irregular bill comes in such as car insurance or registration etc. I work out which period I can afford to pay it (obviously before the due date, I plan ahead and know when those big items are coming up). Occassionally there are times when I can't "pay myself first", but I just shift some of those savings from that period into a future period and make sure I make it up.

This gives me a regular savings amount, and I work my life around it. If I can't afford some wants in that period then tough for me, I work around it and fit it into another period.

I think it's extremely important to have a budget and stick to it. My father earns a fair bit more than me, and has no mortgage and yet I manage to save more than him! He doesn't budget, just pays things when they come in and spends willy nilly.
 
I do have a budget that doesn't work. The embarrasing part of the budget is that we only run one car, nil mortgage but pay rent of only $100 week. Obviously, spending willy nilly is what is happening.
 
That sounds very disciplined Biggles, I like it.

What I was doing at one stage was having a certain amount on an automatic transfer to a managed fund. After a while I started not missing it from my pay and this helped get the rest of the living expenses in order.
 
Hard to compare one household to anotehr Fuzz. Kids make a big diff as does work commute. I note you are in regional SA. Maybe you pay more for groceries.

Some guidelines:

- cars are a killer. try to do with one. none is even better (even as an experiment for a year) but probably impossible where you live.
- prioritize living closer to work or getting use of company car. short commutes save a bundle.
- hot water systems and fridges are your biggest power consumers. check that you are using off peak tariffs and keep your showers short.
- the more meals/snacks you prepare at home, the better nutrition and value for money you get.

- the less processed food you buy, the better value nutrition you get. The highest possible nutrition can be had for less than $80/week (based on a lightly active adult energy expenditure of 2000Cals/day)

- drink more water or cordial, in place of soft and sports drinks.
- for a frugal, alcohol should for special occasions.
- do more entertainment and recreation you don't pay for
- mobile phones didn't exist pre 1980. we managed very well.

- become a local library lover.
- get a hobby that makes money, not costs. (vege garden)
- kids. get their attention more on productivity not entertainment.
 
We are doing everything you suggested - we never go out, hardly eat takeaway, don't eat many processed foods, run only one car, commute is less than 5 mins, no childcare expenses etc..

We think we may be spending too much on groceries - nearly $700 per fortnight for two adults and a four year old.

And I was also wondering how you actually stick to the budget when you have drawn one up? How does it physically happen? I know it sounds silly, but last year we tried it and ended up putting money in a number of canisters - i.e one for groceries, one for petrol etc... but it was hard to keep all the different lots of money seperated, not to mention carrying around all the canisters when we go out!!!

We are pretty good at drawing up the budget, but actually sticking to it day to day is another matter.

We need to get this right before we buy a house or I think we could get ourselves into a lot of trouble.
 
the only way to get on top of it is to track EVERY cent you spend for the next couple of weeks. If you give 5cents for a street busker it gets written down. I think you would be surprise at the amount of money that gets spent of crapola.

After you see where you are spending your money, you need to do up a list of everything you Need to spend money on:

rent/ mortgage
rates
bills
car loan
petrol
mobile phones
foxtel
internet
groceries
etc etc

then you need to put down what you actually spend on these items (may be different from what you should spend).

then come up with a list of all the non essentials yo spend money on and do the samee thing.
ie,
eating out
books
coffee with friends / collegues
lunch
odds and ends when you pay for petrol
etc

when you do all this you have a point to star cutting back and prioritising you spending and restricting it to essentials (with the odd treat) and savings.
 
Thanks for that suggestion... we will start today and write down everything for a fortnight. We are forever looking at our bank account and saying where did all the money go? At least this will tell us where in black and white
 
I do have a budget that doesn't work. The embarrasing part of the budget is that we only run one car, nil mortgage but pay rent of only $100 week. Obviously, spending willy nilly is what is happening.
Write down everything ( and I mean everything) you ( & wife) are spending. Everything from newspapers, coffees, mars bars etc to the bigger spends like weekly groceries, petrol, bills etc.

Do this for at least 4-6 weeks. This will/should give you an idea of where all cash is going.

Then you can work out what unnecessary spending can be eliminated.

For this to work, every little spend has to be accounted for, so it's best you (& wife) carry around a pen and notepad to record it all on.

Sounds very childish but it definately works on showing up where unaccounted funds are disappearing.

Regards
Marty
 
Agree $700 per f/n seems way excessive on groceries. I'd be trying to get that down to $400 (or so) per f/n.

Regards
Marty
 
we live in regional sa - do you think the cost of groceries would be that much more expensive? My wife is always saying we are getting ripped off, especially with fruit and veg.

We noticed when we were in sydney last month, the fruit and veg was heaps cheaper.

So you think $400 per fortnight should be what we are aiming for? What sort of meals are you eating on that money? We have things like spag bol, apricot chicken, bbq steak and veg, chicken pie, lentil soup, rissoles and veg etc. We ueually have cold meat snadwiched for lunch and toast or cereal for breakfast. We dont spend on soft drinks or alcohol.
 
we live in regional sa - do you think the cost of groceries would be that much more expensive? My wife is always saying we are getting ripped off, especially with fruit and veg.

We noticed when we were in sydney last month, the fruit and veg was heaps cheaper.

So you think $400 per fortnight should be what we are aiming for? What sort of meals are you eating on that money? We have things like spag bol, apricot chicken, bbq steak and veg, chicken pie, lentil soup, rissoles and veg etc. We ueually have cold meat snadwiched for lunch and toast or cereal for breakfast. We dont spend on soft drinks or alcohol.

It is possible you are paying more for vege. Go to Coles Online and browse the prices for Adelaide metro area.

Get a vege patch going after asking your PM. But keep in mind it has to be big and tended properly. This is how I was brought up. If you plan to grow excess, you could sell it to a local f&v shop, or at markets, or door knock neighbours. Don't underrate this. If you find vege expensive (and poor quality), others will too.

Any animal produce is more costly form of nutrition (dairy, flesh, eggs)
Adults do not need more than 300 grams of meat a week.
Buy dried legumes, not canned, and eat more vegetarian meals.

Make a weekly meal plan, and buy the ingredients for it....and nothing else.

Get daily exercise if you are sedentary at work. This will stop sugar pangs and appetite for too much animal fat and protein.

If you are saving nothing on $100 a week rent, with 80k coming into the house, there's a serious bookkeeping disconnect going on.
 
Canberra food isn't cheap either - our grocery bill doubled when we moved here. BUT there are some things you can do to keep it down, and only buy exactly what you need and actually consume so there is no wastage is a big start for alot of people. Also everything doesn't need to be brand names. If you buy mostly unprocessed unpackaged foods it is going to be cheaper - If you can buy from a fruit and vege shop and a butchers it will be cheaper then buying at some place like woolies.

We spend between $300-400 f/n on groceries (or less), we are a family of five. The only thing excluded from this is nappies and wipes which we buy seperately when they are on sale and stock up.
 
We're regional SA too and our grocery bill is $100-120pw for two adults two children. We get a LOT of stuff on special though, since we are trying to conserve money for huge bills.

Our budget has been very screwy this year. We've paid for several thousand of fees for finalising our subdivision, a couple thousand to the builder as a downpayment, and had a massive 6 month electricity bill (which included last winter) as well as an outstanding bill for some renovations, plus setting up for a new baby and getting new season clothes for Child Elder and my maternity wardrobe, the car needed 4 new tyres and ALL of these expenses fell in March so we pushed every bill that could possibly be delayed forward into April or even May if we could. We've only just got them all completely paid off and under control (even after accidentally smashing our bathroom sink, which required an emergency $500 reno) and its halfway through June!

I have a feeling my bank balance come July is going to positively skyrocket without us doing anything, we're so used to saving up big slabs of cash and handing them over to people it'll be weird actually hanging onto them. And then forking over a huge slab to the bank as a downpayment for the new house ... we need 40% deposit and we only have 33% right now ...
 
Hi The Fuzz.

Wouldn't have a clue re comparison of regional vs city for prices, but $350 p/w just sounds excessive for 2 adults and 1 child. My $200 p/w may be a tight squeeze, but even if you tried to cut down from $350 to $300 and then try to cut down again at a later date.

I understand that groceries have gone up, just think your grocery bill sounds high (repeating myself here eh). In saying that, the things you listed look quite average to me. Perhaps try switching brands. Winston Wolfe has given some great ideas on food budgeting.

Do you smoke?

Regards
Marty
 
$300-400 for a family of five per fortnight is incredible. I really cant see how we could get our bill that low. If you dont mind, could you tell me what you would normally eat? I dont think we eat anything too fancy and there is not a lot of waistage. Bu tmy wife does insist on the best quality meat etc so we buy heart smart mince and free range chicken/egg. Still, that cant be the only reason our grocery bills are so huge.
 
We eat well. Stir fry's, spag bol, meat and vege, pasta and chicken. We only buy the good meat - heartsmart mince, lean meat, chicken breast. Howevever we only cook a serve of meat each for hubby and myself (1 serve = 100g of red meat, 140g chicken breast) and 2 serves for the kids to share. Everything gets served with loads of vegies.

Frozen vegies as just as good as fresh, and tin fruit is just as good too.

I know from experience as a weight watchers leader, that most people think a serve of meat is closer to 400g - it isn't. And if you are eating that much it would be 4x as expensive.

We also eat alot of fruit and yogurt and milk and bread in this house. These would be our biggest expenses.

We make our own pasta sauces, and don't buy extras like biscuts and muselibars - they have no nutritional value and are expensive on the wasteline as well as the hip pocket.

If you do up a shopping list you are likely to spend less, and if you plan your meals for the fortnight you will spend even less.
Also if you only do the groceries on a fortnightly basis, rather then weekly you will spend less again.
 
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