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amother






Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 11:40 am
BH DH and I both have well paying jobs, but our expenses are so high!! We are almost making 100K combined, but barely covering our bills.
We don't go out to eat or buy new clothes, we don't go on vacations or by frivolities. Where am I going wrong?
$1,500- We are paying almost $400/week for our babysitter (this is with sharing between two families)
$1600- mortgage
$450- Utilities- We have an old house so our electric/gas bills are high because nothing is energy efficient.
$1,200/mth for insurance (we don't qualify for government aid)
$150 Drs and RX's (We have high co-pays and DH has a medical condition which requires frequent Dr visits and medications)
$350- Car payments+insurance

What are we doing wrong? I can't even buy a new pair of shoes if I need. I get hand-me-downs for DD and I need a new stroller for her which we can't afford.

Our HVAC just broke and we spent $6,000 to replace it- we borrowed money from our parents.

At the end of the money we are barely making it. We go to our parents for shabbos as much as possible to minimize the grocery bills.

I feel suffocated by our high expenses and the money we owe to our parents.

Does anyone have any advice?
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amother






Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 12:46 pm
I added up all your numbers and multiplied that by 12 and then subtracted that from 100,000 and still have 37,000. Now I know you did not include food in your breakdown but even if you were spending 2,000 a month in food you would still have leftover. Do you have tuition to pay or just the babysitting? what about student loans you are paying back? Go through your credit card bills and see what the money is being spent on. Can you do your health insurance pre taxed to save you some money? Meet with a financial planner. Also it may be worth it to upgrade some of your appliances to more energy efficient ones.
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amother






Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 12:55 pm
OP here- 100K is before taxes. About 30% goes to taxes and 10% to maaser.
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sv9506









  


Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 12:55 pm
To the poster right above me - some of that money is going to taxes. The OP stated that they are making almost $100K combined not that they net $100K.

To the OP - you are really paying a lot for your babysitter if you are sharing. I do not know where you live but most people by me are paying a little more than that to have their own babysitter and much less to share.
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amother






Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 1:00 pm
sv9506 wrote:
To the poster right above me - some of that money is going to taxes. The OP stated that they are making almost $100K combined not that they net $100K.

To the OP - you are really paying a lot for your babysitter if you are sharing. I do not know where you live but most people by me are paying a little more than that to have their own babysitter and much less to share.


During the summer I am paying more for my babysitter because I am taking more hours than my neighbor, during the year I only pay 2 hours per day alone. So in the summer its $400 and during the year about $300-$350.
I tried dropping my baby off at a lady who watches a few kids but she did not have all the hours I needed. I need my babysitter from 7:45-4:30.
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amother






Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 1:14 pm
To the op- I feel your pain.

When DH's income reached the 3 digit mark it wasn't much of a celebration. We have similar expenses. My tuition is less that your childcare, and I am a SAHM so no babysitting/playgroup. 2 kids need braces and I may have to go to work just to pay for it Sad .

We do splurge and go out to eat pizza/ice cream occasionally. BBQ in the park is a great family outing that we do weekly.

My kids wear clothing from target and childrens place. My DD is using a semi-broken stroller that's almost 9 years old.

I have no family to go to for Shabbos or yom tov. My parents live an expensive plane ride away and my inlaws aren't an option. Our hardest time of the year is back to school/yom tov and pesach. I don't ever have cleaning help.

My DH doesn't like when we have company for shabbos since our food bill is high enough. We never eat steak for dinner.
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redt85









  


Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 1:36 pm
Please stop giving maaser if you feel like you cannot afford food and shoes for yourself. Masser is a MINHAG. Please consult a rav you trust about your issues. You come first. Your kids come first before you have obligation to do chesed for you and your family first.
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Peanut2









  


Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 1:59 pm
You are both working and neither of you has insurance through your employer?

I don't know anyone on gov't aid, but everyone I know has insurance through work. What fields are you in? It may be very worthwhile to look for different employment with good benefits. We had great health insurance for $250 a month for a family. That would save you guys $1000 a month or so. Obviously finding a new job isn't so easy, but I'd try to figure something out with health insurance. That is a ton of money! (Speak to an accountant and make sure to deduct every single health expense as well!)
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elisheva25









  


Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 2:35 pm
I really have no great advice to offer...but in some places...life is very expensive.In some places 100k before taxes isn't enough...I don't think you are doing anything wrong...many people struggle the same way.
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Fox









  


Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 2:45 pm
Peanut2 wrote:
You are both working and neither of you has insurance through your employer?

I don't know anyone on gov't aid, but everyone I know has insurance through work. What fields are you in? It may be very worthwhile to look for different employment with good benefits. We had great health insurance for $250 a month for a family. That would save you guys $1000 a month or so. Obviously finding a new job isn't so easy, but I'd try to figure something out with health insurance. That is a ton of money! (Speak to an accountant and make sure to deduct every single health expense as well!)


Sadly, there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Finding a job with free or lower-cost insurance is quite likely to simply mean a smaller paycheck.

Based on my observations, $1200 per month for insurance for a family is not out of line. Someone, somewhere, is going to have to pay. And if it's your employer, your gross salary is likely to be reduced by approximately that amount. That's why it often appears that freelancers and contract employees are paid more than regular employees with "company-sponsored" benefits.

I do agree that it makes sense to see if certain costs such as insurance can be paid by an employer in pre-tax dollars, but even that is unlikely to make a huge difference.

OP, I feel for you, and I think many of us are in the same boat. It's incredibly frustrating to have a family income near the top percentile and yet have no money. Sadly, the Jewish community as a whole hasn't been willing to come to grips with this problem and prevent the Torah-observant world from turning into the exclusive domain of the well-heeled.
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morah









  


Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 3:08 pm
Peanut2 wrote:
You are both working and neither of you has insurance through your employer?

I don't know anyone on gov't aid, but everyone I know has insurance through work. What fields are you in? It may be very worthwhile to look for different employment with good benefits. We had great health insurance for $250 a month for a family. That would save you guys $1000 a month or so. Obviously finding a new job isn't so easy, but I'd try to figure something out with health insurance. That is a ton of money! (Speak to an accountant and make sure to deduct every single health expense as well!)
She didn't say she doesn't get it through her employer, just that it's $1,200/month. That could be coming our of someone's paycheck. I get through my employer and it's about $900 taken out of my pay. My husband's employer offers a plan, and it deducts even more than that out of salary, which is why we went with mine. So I could totally see those kinds of numbers happening even if the plan is through work. As for OP, I have nothing to say other than I'm sorry you're suffering the middle class squeeze. So many of us do. It sucks Sad
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amother






Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 3:47 pm
OP Here- Thanks for all the sympathy.

Our insurance is from my husbands employer. The reason we are paying so much is because of my husbands medical condition. We can easily find another insurance company that will be much cheaper, but they will not cover my husband. Even if they do cover him they may not cover his doctors, medications, etc etc.
Cutting back on the insurance is not an option for us.
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Mirabelle









  


Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 4:10 pm
Hi there OP,
Something that we did for Health insurance...in our family, I'm the one with the health issues, so I'm the only one gets the health plan from my employer and since I'm the employee, its 30 dollars a pay period, or something like that, so 60 per month.


The rest of my family, husband and kids are on a private plan and because they are B"H pretty healthy, its only 400 per month. If I did a family plan through my job it would easily be what you are paying.

I do hear you though, we are in a similar boat and I don't understand how if we are making the kind of money we are are how we don't have enough at the end of the month. And it sounds like you aren't paying yeshiva tuition. For us that adds significantly to our monthly expenses...
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Queen6









  


Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 4:34 pm
Unfortunately in today's day 100k isn't enough. Expenses have risen and the cost of living is insane. The more insane part is that you look around and everyone else seems to be swiping away and non stop spending. Keep in mind many of them have debt Sad and they're spending $ they don't have.
Keep doing what you're doing and try to at least stay out of the red. Be grateful that you both have jobs and pay your bills - many people can't.
But yes this is completely normal - you aren't doing anything wrong.
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amother






Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 5:06 pm
I'm not sure what area you live in but I saw this ad perhaps it would be of help:

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I hear you and I agree with the other responses that said you are not doing anything wrong. I wonder if you could find a good, trustworthy (better yet frum) financial advisor that can help you think of creative solutions. I've heard of cases where it's helped or opened up new ways to look at expenses or the overall situation.

We asked a Rav re: maaser and he explained that if a person is not able to cover their expenses it is appropriate to take from maaser. Every Rav paskens differently so of-course it's important for everyone to speak to a proper orthodox Rav but it's important to check that out. Halacha does provide for these situations and if you reduce your maaser as a result of his psak you are still following the desire of the Aibishter.

Another route we tried that didn't work for us but may work for you, from the advice of an accountant, is to ask your employers to make you a type of employee that is essentially self employed (I forget the name) it can be applied to certain professions like someone who sells life insurance. That allows for greater tax write offs. Or perhaps registering a company that operates out of your home, even if it makes the minimum allotted amount would give you other kind of tax write offs on your home expenses. Perhaps worth it to speak to an accountant.

My main advice is to work on the practical end but also on the ruchniusdik side as a 50/50 solution. I was taught that cultivating Bitachon widens the channels for parnassah, and although it's counterintuitive also increasing in tzedakah...I.e. as a display of trust but also Hashem sees that you have a greater expense so He gives more. Also that increasing efforts in proper hair covering and of-course shalom bayis also widen the channels for parnassah and of-course to daven for it after candle lighting. It is helpful before candle lighting to give tzedakah (it can be pennies) to a pushkah that collects in the merit of R. Meir Baal HaNes.
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amother






Post  Mon, Aug 05 2013, 5:08 pm
Would you consider switching to solar energy? There seem to be companies who do this and claim that they can switch you with no new expenses.
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JollyMommy









  


Post  Mon, Aug 12 2013, 11:57 am
Did you look into opening an HSA account for health insurance?
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