Author Topic: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save  (Read 6604 times)

aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« on: June 12, 2017, 03:16:02 PM »
Been reading MMM and finally decided to kill my bad spending habits.  I appreciate any and all help and I am sure will get some criticism, don't worry I can handle it.

I am 25, married and have a 2 yr old daughter.  I work and my wife stays at home.

According to mint we spend an average of $3717 a month but spent $7455 in March!! (OMG)
Obviously our budgeting skills are terrible.  Since we have been spending so much I have racked up a bunch of credit card debt.  I am getting a loan to refinance at a better rate for some of it and will work hard to get rid of the rest. 

Income:
$1772 every two weeks, This is after Health and dental insurance, 401K, HSA, and taxes are deducted.  I have $200 each paycheck going into my savings account but always have to use it... 

I have about $7500 in my 401K, I contribute 4% for the match

Monthly Payments
$551 Mortgage (deducted every 2 weeks)
$150 Credit Card for Tires
$110 Cell Phones
$181 Car Insurance (Not sure if I can get lower, had a big speeding ticket in Dec. 2014)
$240 Car Payment, 2010 Rav4
$300-$400 Groceries
$35 HOA
$80 Electric
$30 (90-100 every 3 months) Water
$15 Trash Pickup
$15 Gas Bill
$150 Gas for Cars
$70 Restaurants
$20 Fastfood
$$?? Shopping, really need to cut down on this but we have had to get some stuff for the new house, also my wife likes to shop and I need a good way to reign this in.

Now why can't we save?  Are we just stuck in the consumer mindset?

Thanks,
Andrew

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2621
  • Location: Canada
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2017, 03:25:05 PM »
Nobody can help you with $$?? Shopping - you've got to track it, lay it out, and talk about it.

You need to sit down and discuss. How much left on the car loan? 2010 Rav 4 isn't crazy, but a loan on a 7 year old vehicle might be; something cheaper to run (Corolla, Civic) might also be a good idea.

Presumably things will get better when your wife returns to work. You have to weigh the pros/cons of daycare. Financially, but also being with other little people. IMHO a couple of days of daycare from 1 year old or so is no problem. Full time, perhaps not, but it depends.

If your DW likes to shop... well, you have to work it out. If the money isn't there, you can't/shouldn't spend it.

#1 rule: Pay yourself first (and the 4% match is doing that; but you need to do a lot more if you want to... get ahead).
Tangerine Canada $50 free chequing sign up bonus, use Orange Key: 48322202S1

PayTM on Android/iOS - Pay property tax/bills with credit card for free (for the time being!). $10 signup bonus, use referral: PTM9691063. Alternative to Plastiq, great for reaching minimum spend.

Amex Canada referral - $350+ in sign up bonuses

v8rx7guy

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 707
  • Location: PNW
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2017, 03:30:55 PM »
Been reading MMM and finally decided to kill my bad spending habits.  I appreciate any and all help and I am sure will get some criticism, don't worry I can handle it.

I am 25, married and have a 2 yr old daughter.  I work and my wife stays at home.

According to mint we spend an average of $3717 a month but spent $7455 in March!! (OMG)
Obviously our budgeting skills are terrible.  Since we have been spending so much I have racked up a bunch of credit card debt.  I am getting a loan to refinance at a better rate for some of it and will work hard to get rid of the rest. 

Income:
$1772 every two weeks, This is after Health and dental insurance, 401K, HSA, and taxes are deducted.  I have $200 each paycheck going into my savings account but always have to use it... 

I have about $7500 in my 401K, I contribute 4% for the match

Monthly Payments
$551 Mortgage (deducted every 2 weeks)
$150 Credit Card for Tires
$110 Cell Phones
$181 Car Insurance (Not sure if I can get lower, had a big speeding ticket in Dec. 2014)
$240 Car Payment, 2010 Rav4
$300-$400 Groceries
$35 HOA
$80 Electric
$30 (90-100 every 3 months) Water
$15 Trash Pickup
$15 Gas Bill
$150 Gas for Cars
$70 Restaurants
$20 Fastfood
$$?? Shopping, really need to cut down on this but we have had to get some stuff for the new house, also my wife likes to shop and I need a good way to reign this in.

Now why can't we save?  Are we just stuck in the consumer mindset?

Thanks,
Andrew

Your budget doesn't seem ridiculous... if you are actually sticking to it, which I am suspect you're not?  I recommend tracking exactly what is going into the "$$?? Shopping" category because I'll bet that is out of control to the tune of A$500-$1,000+/mo .  How close are you to paying off the Rav4?  Getting that paid off could help out nicely especially considering the cheaper insurance you could get on it when you are no longer required to have full coverage.

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8515
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2017, 03:47:01 PM »
You need to break out your assets and debts. How much is the house worth, roughly, and what are the mortgage terms like? What about the loan particulars for the car- amount left, rate, how much is the car worth? And credit cards- how much, what rate? What are the terms like on the consolidation?

Your budget looks like it might be aspirational, not reality. Although you said you had Mint. Go through and categorize everything. The first step is accounting for every dollar.

Your numbers *should* work,  but they don't, so clearly there is info missing!

(Good job on that 4% to the 401k though!)
The Roughest Mustachian on the Nicest Block: my journal
Like babies? Have kids? Want to chat about Babies and Pregnancy? Group Journal Here.

aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2017, 05:09:31 PM »
V8RX7Guy:  thanks for the advice and I will be breaking down what we have spent where the past few months.  PS I have an FB with an LT1 in it as well.

Bracken_Joy:  Mortgage is 30 yrs at 2.75% or something, 191k, house is worth 194k right now.
Car has 7.6K left 4.6%
CC is 17-22%, loan is for 9.2k @12.5%  plan to pay off the highest interest rates with it.

I have tried budgets in the past but I hope this forum and new mindset will help me stick with it.

I want to try and do a higher % on my 401k is there a calculator to fimd the ideal %?

kayvent

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 425
  • Location: Canada
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2017, 05:51:45 PM »
I am a 25-year old male, single father of one daughter, and make approximately as much as you do. There are differences, galore, but I'm going to approach this as a peer study since we do have so much in common Andrew.

I have tried budgets in the past but I hope this forum and new mindset will help me stick with it.

I use YNAB but not as budget software. I use it as a "Spending Planning" software. I manually put in all recurring and future transactions and this has provided me some comfort. I'm not surprised by bills, I'm able to easily contemplate whether I can/should purchase something, and so forth.

I find that different people like different software for tracking. I'd suggest to pick one and stick with it for awhile. I'd be more than willing to buy you a one year subscription for YNAB. Just PM me over your e-mail if you are interested.

Income:
$1772 every two weeks, This is after Health and dental insurance, 401K, HSA, and taxes are deducted.  I have $200 each paycheck going into my savings account but always have to use it... 

Make sure you've adjusted your taxes with payroll such that you will not be getting a return when you file your taxes next year. For me, the difference between the default form and my actual deductions affect my tax home pay by ~800$/month. Some people like having a big large return at the end of the year. I prefer not losing 800$/month for 12 months only to get a 10K cheque in April. I'll realistically blow some of it.

1772 sounds about right though so you may have already done this.

Quote
Monthly Payments
$551 Mortgage (deducted every 2 weeks)
$150 Credit Card for Tires
$110 Cell Phones
$181 Car Insurance (Not sure if I can get lower, had a big speeding ticket in Dec. 2014)
$240 Car Payment, 2010 Rav4
$300-$400 Groceries
$35 HOA
$80 Electric
$30 (90-100 every 3 months) Water
$15 Trash Pickup
$15 Gas Bill
$150 Gas for Cars
$70 Restaurants
$20 Fastfood
$$?? Shopping, really need to cut down on this but we have had to get some stuff for the new house, also my wife likes to shop and I need a good way to reign this in.

Most of these things same very fair. Some are even impressively low. The "Credit Card for Tires", car payment, and 110$ for Cell Phones seem high. You're spending 19% of your net pay on transportation; you are spending 721$/month or 24.64$/day (~32$ of each day you work is to pay for transportation). If there is no horizon for these costs, consider cutting here. But that is only a small matter.

I am a bit confused. You net monthly income is roughly 1772*26/12 = 3839.33 but you have listed 2050$ in spending, not including the shopping category. This is a 1800$ discrepancy. So an ENTIRE paycheque is unaccounted for. Each month.

Considering you get paid bi-weekly and one whole paycheque each month is gobbled up into a vague category, I can't give much more of an analysis and advice besides figuring out what you're shopping for.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2017, 06:03:22 PM by kayvent »

ysette9

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1533
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2017, 05:54:58 PM »
As long as you have 12.5% CC debt having over your head just keep your 401k contributions to getting the full employer match. Next you need to get your wife on board. Take a serious look at actual spending and then agree on a budget. If the problem is hers (or yours?) mindless shopping then go on a cash budget for those categories so you have to stop once the money is gone for the month. Cut up or physically freeze the CC while you get used to the new world order. You can't do much of anything though until you first know where the money is going and second get your wife on board.
"It'll be great!"

TaxChick

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Location: Kansas
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2017, 06:02:33 PM »
Is the $551 your total monthly payment or should it be $1,102 (with half taken out every two weeks)? I am having trouble making the math work.

aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2017, 06:23:06 PM »
Is the $551 your total monthly payment or should it be $1,102 (with half taken out every two weeks)? I am having trouble making the math work.

You are correct 551 taken every 2 weeks.

It sounds like I need a beet breakdown of expenses so I will post our spending from the last 2 months tomorrow.  I will check out YNAB as well.  I like excel though so I might try to make a spreadsheet there.

aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2017, 06:57:59 AM »
According to mint, we spend 5K the last two months, which is super wasteful and stupid.  The budget I posted earlier is definitely optimistic, and I am doing a free trial of YNAB to get a more realistic one.  FWIW I like YNAB more than Mint so far.  DW is on board with this, and I think giving each of us a small allowance will help keep our spending in check. 

I just changed our cellphone plan and am gonna be saving $15 a month.  The refi loan came through, and I have paid off the balance that was being charged interest on 2 of the cards. 

This is a summary of my debt:
$9250@12.25% ($210/month)
$3516@0.0% Promotional CC ($60/month min payment)
$437@25.65%($25/month min payment)
$1197@23.65%($35/month min payment)
$2928@0.0% Rooms To Go ($89/month payment)
$1312@0.0% Summit Racing ($66/month min payment)

I still have $794 from the consolidation loan, I am thinking I should apply that to the $437 and then the rest to the $1197 to get a head start on paying that off.

ysette9

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1533
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2017, 08:46:00 AM »
How much do you have to throw at your debt each month? How long does that teaser 0% introductory rate last and what does that rate go up to when it expires?

Frankly, the number of different consumer debts you have and some of those interest rates (20%+!) make me feel like you have a spending problem that you need to wrestle under control. Build some better habits and you will be able to put yourself in a strong position once they are paid off.

If you can actually keep to your aspirational budget you posted initially, that is a total of $2050 of spending each month without "shopping", whatever that is. You bring home $3840 a month so there should be almost $1800 in there that you can 1) use to pay off all that debt and later 2) save/invest. Try really hard to stick to that budget, track your spending carefully, and then come back and reassess.
"It'll be great!"

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8515
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2017, 08:52:26 AM »
Yep, time for this post: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/04/18/news-flash-your-debt-is-an-emergency/

You're taking good steps with the consolidation, but unless you fix the reasons WHY you are getting in debt, nothing will change. Yes, bailing water from your sinking ship is a good idea, but dear god, please plug the holes.

Glad your wife is on board. You guys approaching this as a team, and realizing the scope of the problem together, is vital for your success.
The Roughest Mustachian on the Nicest Block: my journal
Like babies? Have kids? Want to chat about Babies and Pregnancy? Group Journal Here.

aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2017, 08:55:51 AM »
How much do you have to throw at your debt each month? How long does that teaser 0% introductory rate last and what does that rate go up to when it expires?

Frankly, the number of different consumer debts you have and some of those interest rates (20%+!) make me feel like you have a spending problem that you need to wrestle under control. Build some better habits and you will be able to put yourself in a strong position once they are paid off.

If you can actually keep to your aspirational budget you posted initially, that is a total of $2050 of spending each month without "shopping", whatever that is. You bring home $3840 a month so there should be almost $1800 in there that you can 1) use to pay off all that debt and later 2) save/invest. Try really hard to stick to that budget, track your spending carefully, and then come back and reassess.

Thanks for the advice!  We do have a spending issue we are gonna correct, we spent $5000 in both May and April.  What happened with the debt is that around January I had maybe $5000 in debt, but I started throwing too much money at it since I didn't have a good budget and then was using the CC to buy gas, groceries etc...

I am currently building a realistic budget on YNAB and am even considering using a spreadsheet and updating daily so I can see where all my money goes

Lady SA

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 147
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Midwest
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #13 on: June 13, 2017, 09:12:33 AM »
Here's what I do. I have my aspirational budget and plugged that into mint as my actual budget (broken down into sub categories, ie groceries and restaurants). Then over the course of the month I can see where we are tracking towards, if some categories need scaling back, etc. I even have a few budget categories that I have set at $0 -- ie "fees", and then I get a nice, obnoxious warning if I ever spend a single dollar in that category.
I have a "shopping/misc" category too that is broken out into the various things we purchase (electronics, clothing, etc) and I set my aspirational budget in there. I can immediately see when things are getting out of hand. I check mint at least weekly to update any miscategorized expenditures and check where we're at with our spending and monitor our net worth.

This aspirational budget isn't set in stone. Just this year I've tweaked it at least 4 times to be more accurate/better/reflective of changes.
https://www.earnest.com/invite/lillian2 --> Use this referral to refinance your student loans with Earnest and get a $200 bonus!

galliver

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1496
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #14 on: June 13, 2017, 09:19:33 AM »
April and May are just the last 2 months, so I feel like you should remember...what did you buy?? And what was the thought process in doing so?

I do that when I feel like my "shopping" category has gone overboard.

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk


jillinsandiego

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 291
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2017, 09:44:11 AM »
I have been in your position, many years ago, with the mindless shopping/not knowing where the money went. I now keep an Excel spreadsheet to track every penny that comes in or out. I have refined it over the years and now perform a regular analysis to see what else we can cut. I remember seeing that we spent $900 eating out per month, which was shocking to me. We still have a LONG way to go on the food front, but just by being mindful of the spending we cut it dramatically. The same is true for almost every category of our spending. First get used to tracking everything. Also, if there's something you really want to buy that isn't a need, put it on a list and make it stay on the list at least 30 days before buying it. I find a lot of things lose their appeal that way.

2Birds1Stone

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2871
  • Age: 30
  • Location: New York
  • CFO
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2017, 10:07:37 AM »
Hey OP, I didn't read other replies but what about your wife working?

Does she have marketable skills? Can she get a PT job for 16-20 hours/week?

Cut up the CC's and explain to her that both of your hair is on fire......this is not the way to raise a family. Money issues will ultimately dissolve a huge percentage of marriages.
"A small house can hold as much happiness as a big one." - Fortune Cookie

33 Months till FIRE - Stop by, or stay a while.....
https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/fire-by-thirty-five-chronicles-36-months-till-sabbatical!/

ubermom4

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 70
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2017, 10:30:33 AM »
OP -- great job asking for help. Very good advice from other so far.  A couple of suggestions....Firstly, DW has to be  fully onboard with your financial plans/budget. Without this you are in deep trouble. Check out....https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/how-to-convert-your-so-to-mmm-in-50-awesome-steps/    Sorry I didn't do the link correctly. It is absolutely fantastic, phenomenal. Changed my life.
Secondly, budgeting really has different parts -- one part is 'where did my money go?' -- the other part is telling your money where to go at the beginning of each month.  You need to make your money behave -- right now it is just flying out of your life. This mindshift really helped us to start anticipating expenses and planning for them. We had many false starts with budgets (studying where the money went) and now we spend a few minutes at the end of the month planning ahead for our upcoming expenses for the next month.
Finally, we converted to the cash/envelope system. Money should be rational (and it can be) but much of it is emotional. Each budget category has an envelope with the planned cash for the month. When the cash is gone for the month, the spending for that category is over.  This forces you to consult your spouse and/or change your behavior (this is the goal -- the naughty behavior is spending too much). Using cash really forces each person to evaluate every single purchase they make.  You are asking good questions -- hope this helps you.

aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #18 on: June 13, 2017, 10:33:34 AM »
I have been in your position, many years ago, with the mindless shopping/not knowing where the money went. I now keep an Excel spreadsheet to track every penny that comes in or out. I have refined it over the years and now perform a regular analysis to see what else we can cut. I remember seeing that we spent $900 eating out per month, which was shocking to me. We still have a LONG way to go on the food front, but just by being mindful of the spending we cut it dramatically. The same is true for almost every category of our spending. First get used to tracking everything. Also, if there's something you really want to buy that isn't a need, put it on a list and make it stay on the list at least 30 days before buying it. I find a lot of things lose their appeal that way.
I like that idea, I was not too impressed with Mint's lack of reporting abilities

Hey OP, I didn't read other replies but what about your wife working?

Does she have marketable skills? Can she get a PT job for 16-20 hours/week?

Cut up the CC's and explain to her that both of your hair is on fire......this is not the way to raise a family. Money issues will ultimately dissolve a huge percentage of marriages.

She was working $10/hr and minimum wage job before we had our daughter.  We have talked about maybe having her do some babysitting.  She got her CNA and likes to work with special needs individuals, once our daughter is in school she will go back to work.  I need to run the numbers but I don't think having her work part time will offset the cost for childcare.  Unfortunately we do not have family close by for babysitting.  We both know our hair is on fire

Physicsteacher

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 341
  • Age: 31
  • Location: Arkansas
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #19 on: June 13, 2017, 10:58:52 AM »
Congratulations on realizing your problem and taking the first steps to turning things around! Would it be possible for your wife to pick up a couple of evening or weekend shifts while you watch your toddler?

KungfuRabbit

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 207
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #20 on: June 13, 2017, 11:00:39 AM »
Acknowledging your hair is on fire is an important step!  Most people spend their lives not knowing or caring. You'll get it done!!!

You have about $2000 per month so you can knock out both of those 20% ones this month.

From there it would take 5 months to knock out the 12% interest one. The catch to that is when the zero interest promo ends on these other cards, so your next task is to find out when they stop being 0% and what they go up to. With that information we can put together an order to pay stuff off.

honestly if you buckle down and stick to a budget all that credit card debt can be gone in under a year. From there you can build an emergency fund and start building wealth!! 

aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #21 on: June 13, 2017, 11:21:51 AM »
Congratulations on realizing your problem and taking the first steps to turning things around!
Thanks!  Knowing I have problem and forming a game plan to change it is empowering.

Would it be possible for your wife to pick up a couple of evening or weekend shifts while you watch your toddler?
It may be possible, We will talk about it, she has offered in the past to try and get something small.

Acknowledging your hair is on fire is an important step!  Most people spend their lives not knowing or caring. You'll get it done!!!

You have about $2000 per month so you can knock out both of those 20% ones this month.

From there it would take 5 months to knock out the 12% interest one. The catch to that is when the zero interest promo ends on these other cards, so your next task is to find out when they stop being 0% and what they go up to. With that information we can put together an order to pay stuff off.

honestly if you buckle down and stick to a budget all that credit card debt can be gone in under a year. From there you can build an emergency fund and start building wealth!! 

Thanks for the encouragement!  Would it be wise to save any emergency fund right now, or just push everything to the debt?  I know with just buying groceries and gas we can really cut into that debt

aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2017, 11:26:10 AM »
This is face punch worthy:  $529 on eating out last month!!

ysette9

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1533
  • Location: Bay Area, CA
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2017, 11:37:37 AM »
That is a lot eating out. That is more than we spend eating out and we earn almost 6x what you do. I get the temptation since we also have a toddler, but with one parent at home you have more ability to meal plan and cook at home than we do, which can greatly help you curb those urges to eat out.
"It'll be great!"

aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2017, 11:48:57 AM »
That is a lot eating out. That is more than we spend eating out and we earn almost 6x what you do. I get the temptation since we also have a toddler, but with one parent at home you have more ability to meal plan and cook at home than we do, which can greatly help you curb those urges to eat out.

I know, when you don't see how much it is per month its easy to get carried.  It doesn't even feel like we go out much but I think the fast food lunches add up fast.

I am planning on not going out to eat at all for lunch, I used to go maybe once a week.  We don't have a problem cooking and we eat most meals at home

Cwadda

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1648
  • Age: 23
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2017, 11:54:11 AM »
Just get in a rhythm of packing your own lunch. It becomes a habit after about a month.

eddiejoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2017, 12:16:26 PM »

$70 Restaurants
$20 Fastfood



This might be part of the problem. I know that this was your ideal budget, but what you actually spent is 5.87X this number!! The numbers aren't remotely based in reality. Can you even take 3 people out to a Fast Food restaurant for under $20?


aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2017, 12:31:47 PM »

$70 Restaurants
$20 Fastfood



This might be part of the problem. I know that this was your ideal budget, but what you actually spent is 5.87X this number!! The numbers aren't remotely based in reality. Can you even take 3 people out to a Fast Food restaurant for under $20?

Ideally it should be 0, I don't need to go out to eat and with a toddler its hard anyway.  I think we got lazy last month

ixtap

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 164
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2017, 12:36:04 PM »

$70 Restaurants
$20 Fastfood



This might be part of the problem. I know that this was your ideal budget, but what you actually spent is 5.87X this number!! The numbers aren't remotely based in reality. Can you even take 3 people out to a Fast Food restaurant for under $20?

Ideally it should be 0, I don't need to go out to eat and with a toddler its hard anyway.  I think we got lazy last month

Clearly, it is something you do, so maybe $0 isn't the ideal for your family. Your whole problem is the gap between a fictional ideal and your actual spending. Setting a budget means coming up with realistic numbers and, if necessary, trimming from there.

eddiejoe

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 17
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #29 on: June 13, 2017, 12:51:16 PM »
I also want to add kudos to you for being 25 years old making $60k in a state with a pretty low cost of living. I don't see a student loan payment in the breakdown, so clearly you are doing something right.

aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #30 on: June 13, 2017, 02:15:59 PM »
I also want to add kudos to you for being 25 years old making $60k in a state with a pretty low cost of living. I don't see a student loan payment in the breakdown, so clearly you are doing something right.

Thanks, I was fortunate enough to have parents who were able to afford to send me to school.  I want to do the same for my daughter as well.  My first job out of school was crazy hours, expensive health insurance and no 401K.  I should have started saving earlier and maybe I wouldn't have had much debt.

Verdure

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 66
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #31 on: June 13, 2017, 03:37:06 PM »
Quote from: aroberson77 link=topic=74807.msg1587098#msg158709
This is a summary of my debt:
$9250@12.25% ($210/month)
$3516@0.0% Promotional CC ($60/month min payment)
$437@25.65%($25/month min payment)
$1197@23.65%($35/month min payment)
$2928@0.0% Rooms To Go ($89/month payment)
$1312@0.0% Summit Racing ($66/month min payment)

I still have $794 from the consolidation loan, I am thinking I should apply that to the $437 and then the rest to the $1197 to get a head start on paying that off.

I don't understand why you didn't list all of these under monthly payments on your initial post?  And you say you have $794 from a consolidation loan?  Is there a monthly payment on the consolidation loan too?   But absolutely put it toward those two cards.  Then definitely focus on knocking out the $1197.

It sounds like you are trying to get a handle on what you're actually spending, which is exactly what you need to be doing. Figure that out, set yourself up with a reasonable budget, and throw money at your debt until it is gone.   But you can't make a budget unless you list all of your monthly obligations in one place.

Do you have any money in savings?  If so, you might want to forget about the $200 autotransfer into savings right now, and put it as an autopayment on your debt instead.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 08:17:50 AM by Verdure »

TheInsuranceMan

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #32 on: June 13, 2017, 03:47:36 PM »
Just jumping on board to say the wife and I (plus 2 kids) have the same problem.  At 29 and 28 years old, both full time employed with miminal bills and small earnings, we still are always cash poor.  We had the credit card debt and took care of that, but we still have a spending problem.  Luckily, we do have $60k in retirement already, so that's been a big benefit.

We don't really have any high interest debt, a HELOC is the only thing at 5%, the rest is below of that (student loans, mortgage, and a car loan).

We also need to track our spending better, and my wife gets on board, and then goes shopping two or three times in a week for the kids, on stuff they don't need, and we fall back into our regular track.  Or, we spend $500 on groceries in a month (with a quarter of beef and half a hog in the freezer already).  It can get frustrating, so I understand where you're coming from.

More posting to follow than anything else.

kayvent

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 425
  • Location: Canada
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2017, 06:03:52 PM »
We also need to track our spending better, and my wife gets on board, and then goes shopping two or three times in a week for the kids, on stuff they don't need, and we fall back into our regular track.  Or, we spend $500 on groceries in a month (with a quarter of beef and half a hog in the freezer already).  It can get frustrating, so I understand where you're coming from.

American?

daverobev

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2621
  • Location: Canada
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2017, 08:44:09 PM »
Just jumping on board to say the wife and I (plus 2 kids) have the same problem.  At 29 and 28 years old, both full time employed with miminal bills and small earnings, we still are always cash poor.  We had the credit card debt and took care of that, but we still have a spending problem.  Luckily, we do have $60k in retirement already, so that's been a big benefit.

We don't really have any high interest debt, a HELOC is the only thing at 5%, the rest is below of that (student loans, mortgage, and a car loan).

We also need to track our spending better, and my wife gets on board, and then goes shopping two or three times in a week for the kids, on stuff they don't need, and we fall back into our regular track.  Or, we spend $500 on groceries in a month (with a quarter of beef and half a hog in the freezer already).  It can get frustrating, so I understand where you're coming from.

More posting to follow than anything else.

"You need help" - there are strategies until you fall into the habit of not blowing your spare cash.

I'm sure there are others, but the two that came to mind are:

1. Pay yourself first - each payday, move money out into investments, just leaving your budgeted amount

2. Cash/envelope system. Do a budget, then once a week, or fortnight, or whatever, take cash from ATM; put it in envelopes marked with what the money is for. Once the money is gone it is GONE.

It's just habit, routine.
Tangerine Canada $50 free chequing sign up bonus, use Orange Key: 48322202S1

PayTM on Android/iOS - Pay property tax/bills with credit card for free (for the time being!). $10 signup bonus, use referral: PTM9691063. Alternative to Plastiq, great for reaching minimum spend.

Amex Canada referral - $350+ in sign up bonuses

okits

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3760
  • Location: Canada
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #35 on: June 13, 2017, 10:51:48 PM »
How much do you have to throw at your debt each month? How long does that teaser 0% introductory rate last and what does that rate go up to when it expires?

Frankly, the number of different consumer debts you have and some of those interest rates (20%+!) make me feel like you have a spending problem that you need to wrestle under control. Build some better habits and you will be able to put yourself in a strong position once they are paid off.

If you can actually keep to your aspirational budget you posted initially, that is a total of $2050 of spending each month without "shopping", whatever that is. You bring home $3840 a month so there should be almost $1800 in there that you can 1) use to pay off all that debt and later 2) save/invest. Try really hard to stick to that budget, track your spending carefully, and then come back and reassess.

Thanks for the advice!  We do have a spending issue we are gonna correct, we spent $5000 in both May and April.  What happened with the debt is that around January I had maybe $5000 in debt, but I started throwing too much money at it since I didn't have a good budget and then was using the CC to buy gas, groceries etc...

I am currently building a realistic budget on YNAB and am even considering using a spreadsheet and updating daily so I can see where all my money goes

This explanation makes no sense.  In January you had $5k in debt and now you have $18k in debt?   Your problem isn't that you threw too much money at your debt, it's that you spend far more than you earn (and, as of yet, don't know what you're spending it on).  You need to track every single expenditure, no matter how mundane or extraordinary.  It will be eye-opening.

Your wife doesn't need childcare for your DD in order for her to earn money.  She can take in one or two children during the day and care for them at the same time she's caring for your DD. 
Camp Mustache Canada... it's a thing now! Queen MonkeyJenga will be honoured with a meatball party there!

JLee

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3641
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #36 on: June 13, 2017, 10:53:42 PM »
Penfed requires excellent credit, but if you have it -- refinance your car.

https://www.penfed.org/refinance-auto-loan/

They're offering 1.99% on refi's now.

Bee21

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 297
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #37 on: June 14, 2017, 04:02:40 AM »
An aspirational budget is useless if you don't keep track of your spending. It takes a while to get into the habit, but it is worth it in the end. If you can't break the habit of recreational shopping, give yourself an allowance, say 50 each you can spend on whatever, no questions asked, no guilt trips. I write my spending in a little black notebook, once a week I clean out the wallet and add up the sums on the receipts on the train on the way to work. Of course we have a spreadsheet for the big household expenses (my husband is in charge of it), but I do the shopping for food, clothes and presents and I find this old fashioned method useful.

If mindless spending is your and your wife's problem, I suggest the following exercise:
go through your credit card statements and identify what you sent your money on in the past 3 months and how much each item cost. You cant claim you don't  know where the money went, it is easy to figure out. IF you bought it on the cc, add the cost of interest to the cost of the item( say, 100 $  handbag is actually 125 if bought on cc w 25% interest).
Next, calculate your net hourly wage (if you work 8 hrs but have a 2 hour commute, calculate w 10 hours) and calculate how many hours you had to work to get x or Y.
If you are masochistic, you can also check how much you could sell those items for on cl.

If that exersise doesn't cure you, nothing else will 😊

 For eating out, I find that knowing how much it would cost to prepare that item can be a deterrent. My husband started taking his lunches after he realised that i usually spend less than 10 $ on our dinners, with leftovers for lunches, so the 16 $ meal deal for one is not that much of a bargain after all. A week worth of his work lunches would pay for a long weekend  for the 4 of us with steak and wine, so it is a no brainer, really.

You are still young, making decent money, once you figure this out, you will have a great life.

aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #38 on: June 14, 2017, 08:08:44 AM »
Thanks everyone for the advice and reality checks.  I have already made a spreadsheet that has a cell for each day of the month.  I added the planned expenditures that I know are coming out and have a running balance column as well.  This will motivate me to not spend money each day and also if we do need to spend something I will know if we can afford it or not.  I also am going to add all the debt so I can physically see each day that it is going down and be better motivated to pay it all off.  Is there a good way to attach the spreadsheet to the thread?

Laura33

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 807
  • Location: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #39 on: June 14, 2017, 09:27:12 AM »

$70 Restaurants
$20 Fastfood



This might be part of the problem. I know that this was your ideal budget, but what you actually spent is 5.87X this number!! The numbers aren't remotely based in reality. Can you even take 3 people out to a Fast Food restaurant for under $20?

Ideally it should be 0, I don't need to go out to eat and with a toddler its hard anyway.  I think we got lazy last month

Clearly, it is something you do, so maybe $0 isn't the ideal for your family. Your whole problem is the gap between a fictional ideal and your actual spending. Setting a budget means coming up with realistic numbers and, if necessary, trimming from there.

This +1.

Your priorities are not what you say, or what you tell yourself in your head -- they are what you do.  And right now, your priorities include borrowing money at high interest to eat out.  The real question is why?

The first part of the fix is, like everyone else has said, to track your spending so you know exactly what your current priorities are.  And then, as you move forward, watch what you do to figure out what is driving it -- when you guys find yourself at a fast-food restaurant, why is that?  Is it because you didn't have a chance to plan/shop/cook, or because you had a kid thing at 4 or 5 or 6 and had no quick-dinner options around, or because one of you just wanted to get out of the damn house, or because you were craving a Big Mac, or . . . ?  There is no judgment, no right or wrong (I personally have done every one of those more than once, thank you very much).  Same with your wife's shopping -- the point is to figure out what is driving that (somehow, I suspect "get out of the house" more than "the kids need X").

Once you figure out the driver, you can also figure out work-arounds that meet that need more productively.  E.g., we got into a riff of going out for dinner Friday nights.  And it was always miserable -- the kids were exhausted and would whine or act up, and I'd get angry because this was an expensive treat and they should be grateful, and it never ended well.  Once I figured out the driver -- because I just did not want to cook, and DH wanted to get out of the house/eat something different -- we came up with other, cheaper alternatives, from ordering pizza or Chinese, to going to the cheap/casual pub down the road, to eating leftovers and then walking for ice cream, to opening a bottle of wine and eating on the deck, etc.  Sure, I could have set the budget at zero, because none of that was "necessary" -- but then I'd be fighting myself and everyone else every single Friday night.  Better to just plan to be imperfect up front.
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

galliver

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1496
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #40 on: June 14, 2017, 10:36:12 AM »
Thanks everyone for the advice and reality checks.  I have already made a spreadsheet that has a cell for each day of the month.  I added the planned expenditures that I know are coming out and have a running balance column as well.  This will motivate me to not spend money each day and also if we do need to spend something I will know if we can afford it or not.  I also am going to add all the debt so I can physically see each day that it is going down and be better motivated to pay it all off.  Is there a good way to attach the spreadsheet to the thread?
I think many people use Google drive? There might be an option to attach a file, but I think it has to be stored elsewhere. Also, there is understandable reticence to downloading files from internet strangers; Google docs can be viewed in-browser. That's my interpretation, anyway.

Your spreadsheet sounds good for taking the timing of bills, and if it motivates your frugality-great. But I recently viewed one with similar layout provided by a friend, and in their case it seems to go along with a "I have money--I can spend it" mindset, vs a "income-expenditures=debt payoff+savings" mindset. Maybe it's just her, but it seems to me that tracking expenditures in time doesn't lend itself to categorizing them as necessary or frivolous, which is an important distinction when trying to control your spending.

Btw, you mentioned there's been some "getting things for the house". Thrift stores can be a great way to do that without blowing thousands of dollars. Also probably for the kid.

aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #41 on: June 14, 2017, 12:51:02 PM »
Your priorities are not what you say, or what you tell yourself in your head -- they are what you do.  And right now, your priorities include borrowing money at high interest to eat out.  The real question is why?

The first part of the fix is, like everyone else has said, to track your spending so you know exactly what your current priorities are.  And then, as you move forward, watch what you do to figure out what is driving it -- when you guys find yourself at a fast-food restaurant, why is that?  Is it because you didn't have a chance to plan/shop/cook, or because you had a kid thing at 4 or 5 or 6 and had no quick-dinner options around, or because one of you just wanted to get out of the damn house, or because you were craving a Big Mac, or . . . ?  There is no judgment, no right or wrong (I personally have done every one of those more than once, thank you very much).  Same with your wife's shopping -- the point is to figure out what is driving that (somehow, I suspect "get out of the house" more than "the kids need X").

Once you figure out the driver, you can also figure out work-arounds that meet that need more productively.  E.g., we got into a riff of going out for dinner Friday nights.  And it was always miserable -- the kids were exhausted and would whine or act up, and I'd get angry because this was an expensive treat and they should be grateful, and it never ended well.  Once I figured out the driver -- because I just did not want to cook, and DH wanted to get out of the house/eat something different -- we came up with other, cheaper alternatives, from ordering pizza or Chinese, to going to the cheap/casual pub down the road, to eating leftovers and then walking for ice cream, to opening a bottle of wine and eating on the deck, etc.  Sure, I could have set the budget at zero, because none of that was "necessary" -- but then I'd be fighting myself and everyone else every single Friday night.  Better to just plan to be imperfect up front.

Thanks for the advice, I know we have a similar issue, wanting to go out somewhere especially on paydays since we thought we had a lot of money cause we weren't planning ahead with a budget.  I know we are going to change those habits though!  I can't wait to compare our spending the first half of June to the second half of June.

Your spreadsheet sounds good for taking the timing of bills, and if it motivates your frugality-great. But I recently viewed one with similar layout provided by a friend, and in their case it seems to go along with a "I have money--I can spend it" mindset, vs a "income-expenditures=debt payoff+savings" mindset. Maybe it's just her, but it seems to me that tracking expenditures in time doesn't lend itself to categorizing them as necessary or frivolous, which is an important distinction when trying to control your spending.

Btw, you mentioned there's been some "getting things for the house". Thrift stores can be a great way to do that without blowing thousands of dollars. Also probably for the kid.

I am also tracking my debt payoff on it as well, and I am planning on basically dumping anything that is left over the day before I get paid against a credit card so I am not tempted to spend anything.  I am very visual oriented with goals and it will annoy me if our actual balance in our account doesn't match our proposed budget. 

My wife is totally onboard and we are making our menu for the next two weeks tonight and tomorrow so we have a set shopping list.  We used to do this more and are starting to again.  Hitting up Aldi as well for the majority of stuff.

We love shopping at thrift stores/yardsales.  And will continue to do so.

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8515
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #42 on: June 14, 2017, 01:06:35 PM »
Awesome! Sounds like you're locking down and making great headway. I look forward to reports back with progress! Let us know if there are any particular areas you would like help (taxes, cooking, grocery shopping, sourcing furniture, cell phone plans, kids clothes, whatever) and we can find additional resources for you.
The Roughest Mustachian on the Nicest Block: my journal
Like babies? Have kids? Want to chat about Babies and Pregnancy? Group Journal Here.

aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #43 on: June 14, 2017, 01:32:40 PM »
Date            Budget            Merchant           Category   Notes                   Estimated Balance
13-Jun    $(7.45)           Mcdonalds   Fast Food                               $45.00
13-Jun    $-                      Wells Fargo   Savings   XFER to Savings    $45.00
14-Jun    $-                      Wells Fargo   Savings   XFER to Savings    $45.00
14-Jun    $(38.00)           Rivergate HOA   Bills                                       $7.00
15-Jun    $-                                                                                $7.00
16-Jun    $1,572.33    Paycheck           Income                               $1,579.33
16-Jun    $(551.30)   Wells Fargo   Mortgage                               $1,028.03
16-Jun    $(180.00)                      Groceries                               $848.03
17-Jun    $(10.54)           Capital One      CC Payment                       $837.49
18-Jun    $-                                                                                $837.49
19-Jun    $(113.00)   Verizon           Bills                                       $724.49
19-Jun    $(181.14)   Esurance           Bills                                       $543.35
19-Jun    $(239.39)   Lighstream   Bills           Rav4                            $303.96
19-Jun    $-                                                                                $303.96
20-Jun    $-                                                                                $303.96
21-Jun    $-                                                                                $303.96
21-Jun    $(50.00)                              Gas           Avalanche            $253.96
22-Jun    $-                                                                                $253.96
23-Jun    $-                                                                                $253.96
24-Jun    $-                                                                                $253.96
25-Jun    $-                                                                                $253.96
26-Jun    $-                                                                                $253.96
27-Jun    $(79.91)           Duke Energy   Bills                                       $174.05
27-Jun    $(25.00)                              Gas            Rav4                    $149.05
28-Jun    $-                                                                                $149.05
29-Jun    $-                                                                                $149.05
30-Jun    $(109.00)   Sams Club   CC Payment                       $40.05
30-Jun    $(109.00)   Expedia           Travel   Wedding                    $(68.95)
30-Jun    $(50.00)                              Travel   Food for Trip            $(118.95)
30-Jun    $1,572.33    Paycheck           Income                               $1,453.38
30-Jun    $(551.30)   Wells Fargo   Mortgage                               $902.08

I wanted to post this for everyone.  This is the rest of June for us, you can see that I am ending up with $40 extra.  I am not going to spend it on anything but just keep in my bank account, would it be wise to pay $40 to the CC debt after I get paid on the 30th, or put towards my savings?  Right now I am planning on putting $200 each paycheck which is why my income is $1572 every 2 weeks, to my emergency fund because right now it has $100 in it and I don't want something to happen where I need to use a CC.

Obviously I have no reason to be spending money on anything but essentials right now.  Unfortunately we do have a trip to my cousin's wedding, but my parents are helping pay for the travel.  I still put in $109 for a hotel room on the drive back but we may stay somewhere cheaper.  We will be packing snacks and lunches so $50 sounds right for any other food costs.  We are going to resist the urge to eat out while on the trip and do free things like parks and walking around downtown for entertainment.

Awesome! Sounds like you're locking down and making great headway. I look forward to reports back with progress! Let us know if there are any particular areas you would like help (taxes, cooking, grocery shopping, sourcing furniture, cell phone plans, kids clothes, whatever) and we can find additional resources for you.

Thanks, I would love to knock my cell phone plan down, right now we have Verizon and are paying installments for one phone.  I know in a few months we could raise cash to get out of that but I wonder if there would be big cancellation charges.  I have already reduced the data for the next billing cycle so it will be $15 cheaper In July.

I feel like I am paying too much for car insurance, anyone have any tips?  What is a mustachian deductible to carry?

TheInsuranceMan

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #44 on: June 15, 2017, 02:32:53 PM »
We also need to track our spending better, and my wife gets on board, and then goes shopping two or three times in a week for the kids, on stuff they don't need, and we fall back into our regular track.  Or, we spend $500 on groceries in a month (with a quarter of beef and half a hog in the freezer already).  It can get frustrating, so I understand where you're coming from.

American?

yup

TheInsuranceMan

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 370
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #45 on: June 15, 2017, 02:34:23 PM »
Just jumping on board to say the wife and I (plus 2 kids) have the same problem.  At 29 and 28 years old, both full time employed with miminal bills and small earnings, we still are always cash poor.  We had the credit card debt and took care of that, but we still have a spending problem.  Luckily, we do have $60k in retirement already, so that's been a big benefit.

We don't really have any high interest debt, a HELOC is the only thing at 5%, the rest is below of that (student loans, mortgage, and a car loan).

We also need to track our spending better, and my wife gets on board, and then goes shopping two or three times in a week for the kids, on stuff they don't need, and we fall back into our regular track.  Or, we spend $500 on groceries in a month (with a quarter of beef and half a hog in the freezer already).  It can get frustrating, so I understand where you're coming from.

More posting to follow than anything else.

"You need help" - there are strategies until you fall into the habit of not blowing your spare cash.

I'm sure there are others, but the two that came to mind are:

1. Pay yourself first - each payday, move money out into investments, just leaving your budgeted amount

2. Cash/envelope system. Do a budget, then once a week, or fortnight, or whatever, take cash from ATM; put it in envelopes marked with what the money is for. Once the money is gone it is GONE.

It's just habit, routine.

We move money into our savings each month, some ends up being moved back, which makes it relatively pointless.  We do stock a decent amount away in our 401k/IPERS, and we don't run credit card debt.  We just lack the emergency fund, which will end up having us use our credit cards when we can't bankroll a large, unexpected expense.

aroberson77

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 42
  • Age: 26
  • Location: NC
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #46 on: June 15, 2017, 02:38:56 PM »
We move money into our savings each month, some ends up being moved back, which makes it relatively pointless.  We do stock a decent amount away in our 401k/IPERS, and we don't run credit card debt.  We just lack the emergency fund, which will end up having us use our credit cards when we can't bankroll a large, unexpected expense.

PM me if you want me to send you the spreadsheet I am using.  It allows you to see what is being spent each day as you fill it out.  Even with all my debt I am hoping to save $200 from each paycheck into an emergency fund.   

I like seeing my whole month planned out so I can see I can't afford to blow any of my cash. 

ixtap

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 164
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #47 on: June 15, 2017, 03:22:19 PM »
Have you tried a no spend week? I found that two weeks in which we ate what was already in the house, only buying staples and gas helped us gain focus. Of course, the two important follow ups are Did anyone feel deprived or frustrated during the no spend time or did they find that the extra spending was more of a time filler? And don't just go and buy everything you just passed on over the last week!

Bracken_Joy

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8515
  • Age: 28
  • Location: Oregon
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #48 on: June 15, 2017, 03:42:44 PM »
Awesome! Sounds like you're locking down and making great headway. I look forward to reports back with progress! Let us know if there are any particular areas you would like help (taxes, cooking, grocery shopping, sourcing furniture, cell phone plans, kids clothes, whatever) and we can find additional resources for you.

Thanks, I would love to knock my cell phone plan down, right now we have Verizon and are paying installments for one phone.  I know in a few months we could raise cash to get out of that but I wonder if there would be big cancellation charges.  I have already reduced the data for the next billing cycle so it will be $15 cheaper In July.

I feel like I am paying too much for car insurance, anyone have any tips?  What is a mustachian deductible to carry?

Here's a useful link about cell services and such: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/share-your-badassity/communications-tech-son-of-the-superguide!/
The Roughest Mustachian on the Nicest Block: my journal
Like babies? Have kids? Want to chat about Babies and Pregnancy? Group Journal Here.

kayvent

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 425
  • Location: Canada
Re: Case Study: Making 60K but can't save
« Reply #49 on: June 15, 2017, 05:27:54 PM »
We also need to track our spending better, and my wife gets on board, and then goes shopping two or three times in a week for the kids, on stuff they don't need, and we fall back into our regular track.  Or, we spend $500 on groceries in a month (with a quarter of beef and half a hog in the freezer already).  It can get frustrating, so I understand where you're coming from.

American?

yup

Figured us much. Whenever I see such hilariously small amounts of money being spent on food, I have to remind myself that Americans exist. Where I live spending 200$/week for a family of four is a modest budget.

I just laugh whenever I see the prices you Americans pay. Cry a little. But mostly laugh.