Jump to content

How to get ahead when living week to week?


  • Please log in to reply
15 replies to this topic

#1 Green Gummy Bear

Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:40 PM

Right now I'm living week to week financially.  I want to be able to save, but there just isn't the surplus of funds to save.  I don't have the capacity to generate any more income at the moment and the expenses I have are all contacts and can't be altered (car loan, phone, power, etc..).  

For those of you that have been in this situation before, how did you manage to get out of it and get ahead?

#2 PatG

Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:45 PM

Not all of your expenses are contracts - I assume you buy food?  Also you can attempt to lower your utility bills (use less power).  

In order to start saving in your position you need to start small.  Really investigate exactly where you money goes and pick one place to save $5 this week.  If you have credit card debt then you possibly don't want to be saving money - you want to be paying off the debt and saving yourself the extra interest charges.

#3 roses99

Posted 03 February 2013 - 03:57 PM

Cut down the grocery bill by buying meat etc in bulk and cooking in bulk. I use a slow cooker (but you can easily do casseroles etc in the oven) andante a lot of meals in advance. Also lasagne etc. Cooking like that saves money and you avoid buying processed food and take away.

Also when do you get out of your phone contract? I'm amazed at what some people spend in phone contracts. That could well be an opportunity to save in the future.

Finally, an idea to save power. A friend who also lives week to week (single mum, ex refuses to pay maintenance) swears by those little portable gas burners with the gas canisters. The burner will only set you back $20 and you can sit it on your bench top. My friend says she has really lowered her power bill by using that to boil water, cook etc rather than using her electric kettle and electric stove.

#4 Caitlin Happymeal

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:00 PM

Well, I'm Doing this
http://www.allthingsmw.com/52-week-money-challenge/
It seems achieveable - initially its only a tiny amount a week. Its so simple - I aim to have this chunk of money left over for Christmas.

Having said that, we have spent the last 11 years living from pay to pay, and yeah, it sucks. And finding where you can cut back can be hard too. I shop at Aldi for many things, I bulk buy my meats and freeze them, I do as much bulk stuff as I can. But that's all fairly obvious stuff.

Thank goodness our last payment on our crippling personal loan is this month - its been like paying a mortgage but having nothing to show for it!

I think you just have to keep chopping away and keep finding ways of shopping "smarter".



#5 PatG

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:12 PM

QUOTE (roses99 @ 03/02/2013, 03:57 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Finally, an idea to save power. A friend who also lives week to week (single mum, ex refuses to pay maintenance) swears by those little portable gas burners with the gas canisters. The burner will only set you back $20 and you can sit it on your bench top. My friend says she has really lowered her power bill by using that to boil water, cook etc rather than using her electric kettle and electric stove.


If you are at all considering this please please make sure you don't do it in an unventilated area.  Incomplete combustion can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning.  And don't forget you still have to pay for the energy - the cost of the replaceable canisters as well as the initial outlay.

#6 SW-

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:21 PM

I find it hard to believe about the portable gas burners.  I personally find them quite expensive when we go camping.  We seem to go threw a canister a day.  Maybe I cook to much.

We now use a small gas bottle and a ring on top for cooking and that lasts ages.  Not sure about using it in side all the time.

Edited by silverwattle, 03 February 2013 - 04:22 PM.


#7 Green Gummy Bear

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

I already have a gas stovetop, hot water and heating.  My last power bill was $180 for the quarter, and $50 for gas which comes every two months.  After reading some other threads on here, I don't think these amounts are crazy high?

At present my food bill is around the $150-200 a week mark, for me and 3 DD's (two of which are in nappies).  That is inclusive of everything, which I don't think is that high?  I probably could cut it slightly though.

My home phone, internet and mobile are all on contracts until June 2014.

#8 Flaxen

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

The only area i can save money is the food bill, everything else is not negotiable or already reduced.
I do buy in bulk and cook batches, but mainly in winter as summer is more salady  wink.gif
But portion controlling is the key for me during tough weeks (OH is a contractor- sometimes we go weeks/months without pay)
If im not bulk cooking, a pack of meat (beef chicken pork mince) gets portioned into serving sizes (and i do "diet" size portions, lucky for me i have weight to lose   unsure.gif  )
I choose meats on special and based meals around that.
Fruit and veg in season are cheaper than meats, eat vegetarian two nights a week. (DH is not happy about that one  rolleyes.gif )
Make sure you use everything before it goes off, eg yogurt, milk bread.

#9 Rubyduck

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:34 PM

You can easily cut most bills shop around for groceries, meal plan and only shop once a week don't pop in every other day just to "grab something" cut your water bill by shortening showers and only running a full washing machine if your really keen you can put a bucket in the shower and use it for watering plants. For electricity turn off unused items at the power point I think I heard unplugging them all together is even better, so you can unplug or switch off your kettle, microwave, toaster etc even your tv and computer over night so their not left on standby run your washing machine during off peak times and use your heating and cooling as little as possible.
I use quicken home accounting software to track my spending and since I've started that I've opened a netsaver account linked to my everyday account and managed to save a fair bit. You get to see exactly where your money goes and where you can cut back, it's a bit of work starting it up especially if your not used to computers but well worth it. In the first 6 weeks I noticed I spent more on cigarettes than I did on groceries! Needless to say I cut back dramatically original.gif I also noticed I was handing over a lot more to the kids than I thought all those "Mum I just need $5" or "Can I have a ice cream" moments really add up! Quicken is not free you have to purchase it but there may be free accounting software available if you look online but the main thing is to be consistent and honest with it if you spend $1 on a pk of gum the you have to log it into your software and very quickly you will see areas you can improve on, the other thing I do is automatically put $50 a week into my netsaver account and I just had to learn to live without it if it was not there in my everyday account also the day before payday I put whatever's left in my everyday account into the savings that amount varies depending on bills etc but you don't have to start with a large amount just put $10 away a week and go from there increasing it slowly.

Edited by Rubyduck, 03 February 2013 - 04:50 PM.


#10 FeralLIfeHacker

Posted 03 February 2013 - 04:42 PM

This year I am just taking some money BEFORE I pay the bills, buy the food, nappies, etc, etc and then it's already put away, I opened a high interest acct where I can't make any withdrawals through the month or I don't get the high interest.  Just sort of acting like I never really got the money in the first place.

Mistake I've been making for many years is trying to have 'some left' after paying everything else, it never happens.

Once it's in the account and saved then it's just not there to pay bills or anything else, yet they still get paid.
Pay yourself first type of thing.

#11 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:01 PM

I keep a really strict budget, and if we cut back in other areas, then it goes towards 'wants'
our phones are prepaid $15 a month, and weve never gone over on usage.
I use high interest accounts and put all the bills money over there, so we earn another few hundred a year in interest (which I use for xmas/newyears food)
I also treat savings as a bill, and will either eat toast a few times a week, or not drive anywhere to save that money

#12 mumandboys

Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:24 PM

I pay myself first.

I only save a small amount per month ($200 for me and $25 x 4 for the kids), but I always take it, and then I make the rest work around that.

At $25 per month I've now got over $8k in the kids bank accounts, so it definitely adds up.

#13 kez71

Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:29 PM

id be calling the companies i have contracts with and seeing if they can change them to lower ones. some companies are happy to help if youre in financial difficulty. Have an idea of what you'd like them to change before you call. Even $5 less than what youre paying now can be saved. if you get a few companies to put you on a lower contract you could save a bunch. No harm in trying!

#14 jessie123

Posted 03 February 2013 - 06:59 PM

Shop around for your utilities.

Your grocery bill sounds really high if you are genuinely living week to week.

#15 Caitlin Happymeal

Posted 04 February 2013 - 07:34 AM

Yeah, I agree with Jessie123  - that seems like a fair bit for a week. I know nappies cost loads - maybe look at getting some old school cloth ones? We had modern cloth and it saved us heaps over the last 3 years. I also have 2 in nappies (almost out of them though) and the cost of disposable nappies is astronomical.
Your weekly budget is my fortnightly budget. I do a big cookup on Sundays so I have everything organised for the week ahead. Much of my menu is made from scratch, so lots of spices and herbs and tinned tomatoes, and stuff like that sitting in my pantry so that I don't buy packet items as they cost a fair bit and have a fair amount of sodium and additives in them.
I get meat from the butcher, and portion it - at our butcher, it works out cheaper than woollies, Coles, or Aldi even. Our fruit is delivered by a man who goes to the markets and selects fresh fruit and veg every week, and it is great because you look at what you have and you make meals to incorporate the veggies you have been delivered. And it's also such nice fresh stuff, that it keeps really well.
Maybe you alreadydo these things, I don't know, but there is a couple of ideas that maybe might help you.

#16 MrsLexiK

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:40 AM

QUOTE (Rubyduck @ 03/02/2013, 05:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You can easily cut most bills shop around for groceries, meal plan and only shop once a week don't pop in every other day just to "grab something"


I don't always actually agree with this, both our IGA and the fruit and veg shop have a 99cent table.  It does save me more if I go to the 99cent table and pick my veggies every second day then if I go and do a weekly shop of fruit and veg and only get to utilise the 99cent table once.

OP I don't really think that $150 a week is too much, we do between $50 - $120 a week (usually if it is $120 one week it is only about $50 the next, or sometimes $75 for two weeks etc), I am planning when the baby gets here that it will be $300 a fortnight. I'm expecting it will be closer to $150 each week now as opposed to being able to get away with $30 a week every now again.  With about $50-60 spent at the butcher once a fortnight (which I am lucky is wholesale), and another $50-$60 on fruit and veg (I tried the delievery but I love certain veg and don't like others and was finding my meals were getting a bit bornign), then the rest on cleaning products (which I don't buy that much), bread, milk, flour, eggs, juice, nappies, perhaps formula, diced toms (I like to cook as much from scratch or homemade as possible so we go through a ton of diced toms) etc.  We don't tend to eat much pasta or potatoes here though the carbs that we choose to eat are more expensive (ie not 59 cents a packet) and it usually means that we use a lot of veggies to bulk it out (again adding $$,). I am expecting that where I spend a bit more money at the moment (fruit and veg) I will be able to save a bit by being able to buy the clearance items whereas working the hours that I do I am unable to do that now.

Back on topice though, just start by direct debiting into another account $10 on the day your pay goes in, then when you are doing that ok, up it to $20 a week, and so on.  You may find that you cut back on somethings, (ie rather then fill up your tank you will walk to the shops or to the friends house etc) Even if all you can manage is $10 that will be close to $520 at the end of the year.  Also if you get a tax return make sure you put that into the same account and don't touch it.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Funny Father's Day cards

A little fun never goes astray when celebrating special occasions and Father's Day is no different. We've rounded up some funny Father's day cards for your husbands, fathers and other important men in your lives.

Electronic tags may keep newborns safe

The possibility of using electronic bracelets for mothers and their newborn babies is being investigated by Adelaide's Women's and Children's Hospital. 

Baby steps: when your little one starts walking

As a parent there are so many milestones to look forward to. That first smile, first word - and, of course, that first step.

Julia Watson's new book 'Breakfast, School Run, Chemo'

Tomorrow my friend Julia launches her first book. And while we're all overjoyed, the success is tinged with sadness. You see, Julia has stage 4 bowel cancer.

How not to name twins

Call me boring, but I don't think that when it comes to choosing my twins' names is the right time to use a good pun.

Fun Sunny Life pool inflatables just for babies

The babies of 2015 will thus be thrilled to paddle their happy baby legs in these brand new flamingo and swan baby inflatables.

Baby and bulldog born on the same day are best friends

When Chicago mum Ivette Ivens saw a French bulldog puppy who had the same birthdate as her son Dilan, she "just knew it?s meant to be" and took him home. Five months later, puppy Farley and Dilan are the best of friends - as Ivens says, "I?m pretty sure Dilan thinks they?re both the same species, as they walk at the same level and are both going through the stage of chewing on everything.?

Breastfeeding basics for beginners

Here are 10 tips to help make breastfeeding successful and stress free for both you and your baby as quickly as possible.

Girl smothers baby brother with peanut butter

This mum had a big clean up job on her hands.

How to hide those under eye shadows

Pandas are the only ones who benefit from under-eye shadows. If you're not fluffy and cute, you'll just look tired.

Young mum dies after being denied pap smear

A mother has died after she was denied a pap smear because she was deemed "too young" to need it.

Birthday cakes banned at childcare centre

A childcare centre in Sydney has banned birthday cakes after parent complaints about excessive sugar and children with allergies being left out.

Triplet surprise for newlyweds

As the radiographer moved the wand over her abdomen, Shelley King got the surprise of her life.

3 yummy Thermomix baby and toddler recipes

Louise Fulton Keats shares her recipes for babies and toddlers, including corn and sweet pikelets, pumpkin and pea risotto, and cheesy bunny biscuits.

Man arrested over toddler Nikki's death

A 31-year-old man has been arrested over the death of two-year-old Nikki Francis-Coslovich in Mildura.

Adoption ban on pregnant women to be lifted

Pregnant women will no longer be barred from adoption waiting lists in NSW, after the Baird Government decided the practice was discriminatory.

Are you getting enough magnesium?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, but we don't talk enough about it and the vital role it plays in great health and energy, as well as disease prevention.

5 workplace lessons for new parents

Take heart in these principles that will transfer seamlessly from the workplace into your new life as a parent.

Mums to follow on Instagram

A creative outlet for many, there are some savvy women complementing their blogs and businesses with riveting Instagrams feeds. We've chosen a few which have bucketloads of appeal; there are some big time players and some smaller local ones, and they each bring their special brand of magic to the Instagram experience.

Review: The Volvo 2015 XC90 SUV has all the safety features your family needs

The new Volvo XC90 SUV's focus on keeping you safe does not come at the expense of comfort in the XC90.

Kim Kardashian reveals she may have hysterectomy

Kim Kardashian has revealed complications during pregnancy means she might have to have a hysterectomy after the birth of her second child.

Why late night snacks wreak havoc on weight loss

 Loath as you may be to admit it, chances are that at some point you have found yourself in the kitchen late at night, devouring food.

Toddler twins pretend to be asleep to fool mum

They say twins have a unique connection. If this cute clip is anything to go by, these toddler sisters like to use their special bond to try to fool their mother.

Dad bags: 10 picks for out and about

Getting out of the house is a big priority in the early years of parenthood and you need to take a well-stocked kit with you. We've chosen 10 of the best nappy bags sure to appeal to dads in style and function.

Win a Mountain Buggy Swift

To celebrate Essential Baby reaching half a million Facebook fans, we have a Mountain Buggy Swift to giveaway to a lucky fan.

Get your FREE Baby & Toddler Show ticket!

Get your free ticket to the Sydney Essential Baby & Toddler Show for September 25-27 - register online now.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

Dads who do their share have more sex: study

For women trying to encourage their partners to take more interest in fatherhood, it could be the ultimate incentive.

Think you might have IBS, coeliac disease or Crohn's?

Conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract are common in modern humans, and many are on the rise - including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and coeliac disease.

Couple poses for newborn shoot with adorable puppy

Tired of being asked about their baby-making plans, Australian couple Matt and Abby decided to give a creative answer.

The exercises you know you should be doing (but probably aren't)

I bet your to-do list today is long. But somewhere on that massive list, are you making time for your pelvic floor?

This baby really loves the family cat

Some babies get excited when mum or dad come to get them from their cot after a nap.

Designer kids clothing good enough to eat by Oeuf

Even if you aren't heading to the Northern hemisphere in the next six months, you can't help but love the amazing food-themed knits for babies and kids by cult kids brand Oeuf.

Early exposure to peanuts recommended for allergy prevention

A paediatricians' group is recommending that infants at high risk of peanut allergies be given foods containing peanuts before they turn one.

Home brand foods contain less salt than pricier rivals

Supermarket home brand foods, long derided as cheap and inferior, contain far lower levels of salt than pricier, branded rivals, new research shows.

Nannies for hire, wherever you're flying

Ever dreaded the prospect of a long flight, dreaming about how wonderful it would be for a nanny to entertain the kids?

Couple poses for newborn shoot with adorable puppy

Tired of being asked about their baby-making plans, Australian couple Matt and Abby decided to give a creative answer: with an unusual photo shoot with their 'baby', a groodle (poodle/golden retriever cross) named Humphrey. The talented Elisha from Elisha Minnette Photography caught all the precious shots.

Is it okay to name your baby with a sense of humour?

My husband was sure that Danger was a good option for a boy. And as the pregnancy progressed, it actually started to sound really good.

Woman gives birth after having her own mother's uterus transplanted

In a world first, a healthy baby has been born from the same womb that nurtured his own mother.

So hot right now: double-barrelled baby names on the rise

It's one way to make your baby stand out from the pack – giving them not one, but two first names.

Second time around: is it really better the devil you know?

When I fell pregnant with my second child I was, naturally, very excited. Then it all started to come back to me - and I freaked.

Shopping with kids: breaking the pester-power cycle

You're out shopping with your little one and they're incessantly whining that they want a treat. It's easy to say no ... the first time, at least.

How did we have babies before apps came along?

Three months ago, my wife, Chrysta, and I were driving along Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles when she let out a harrowing cry.

When your toddler disagrees

There comes a time when your child starts having different views to you. I didn't realise that time would come so soon.

Win a Pacapod this Father's Day

To celebrate dads and families, we are giving away a Picos Pack from Pacapod Australia filled with a few extra goodies ENTER NOW

 

FREE TICKET

Discover the magic of the LEGOŽ DUPLOŽ Play Area in Sydney

Get your free ticket to The Essential Baby & Toddler Show and save $20 - register online now!

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.