Home

Where are we going wrong??
Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum -> Household Management -> Finances

Report offensive ad

View latest: 24h 48h 72h


willow









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 10:12 am       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
I just read through the other comments and want to add they are great. I understand ceo and I liked her post. It is personal it can work for some and I already got more motivation from reading it.
Back to top

amother









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 10:29 am       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
I don't think the OP wanted a SECOND car, but rather a minivan... she might get rid of the original car and only keep a van. Leasing a used van might make the monthly payment more affordable than purchasing a new or used van. But that opens up the whole leasing/buying debate.

If the OP works full time, child care is probably running her a nice sum each month. The exact amount isn't mentioned. I know ppl who have stopped working simply because after taxes, an occasional lunch because they didn't have time to make themselves lunch before leaving to work, childcare, cost of commuting, cost of some take out meals for a particularly stressed day/erev Shabbos... these women realized that they could stay at home and cut out the babysitter and take out and still live in a similar lifestyle. Working full time has high costs... figure out what they are for you.

I don't think $250 a week on food and cleaning supplies and toiletries(especially if you have a baby in diapers) for a family of five is crazy. Things quickly add up and food is expensive. Shabbos alone can run a family this size $60 - $80. (challah, grapejuice, chicken, meat for cholent, kugels, salads, fish, soup, cake and cheap nosh). A chicken and rice dinner with a salad for a family of five can easily cost $25-$30 - and we eat dinner every night. Yes, she can make noodles each night... but if she puts cheese on her two boxes of noodles the bill will still be $10 and if she adds sauce $13. This is just dinner... what about breakfast? snacks?? lunch?? fruits?? diapers??

I do agree that you should write down every expense to see where your money is going and from there you will know where you can cut back. From day one of our marriage, (if not before) dh had automatic withdrawals made from our checking account for savings (mutual funds etc). This way after a while we did have a nest egg put away... not huge, but something and it slowly adds up. DH always told me that if you save what is left after your expenses you will have nothing unless you are super wealthy. If you immediately take money off for savings, you will learn to live on what is left. He is right.
Back to top

amother









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 10:36 am       Post subject: Re: re: Where are we going wrong??
amother wrote:
I don't think $250 a week on food and cleaning supplies and toiletries(especially if you have a baby in diapers) for a family of five is crazy. Things quickly add up and food is expensive. Shabbos alone can run a family this size $60 - $80. (challah, grapejuice, chicken, meat for cholent, kugels, salads, fish, soup, cake and cheap nosh). A chicken and rice dinner with a salad for a family of five can easily cost $25-$30 - and we eat dinner every night. Yes, she can make noodles each night... but if she puts cheese on her two boxes of noodles the bill will still be $10 and if she adds sauce $13. This is just dinner... what about breakfast? snacks?? lunch?? fruits?? diapers??


sorry but these estimates are high? do you shop sales or just pay regular price for everything? $3 for a jar of sauce? $10 for noodles and cheese?
Back to top

amother









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 10:49 am       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
1000 doesn't sound like so much for food expenses for a month. Unless you're eating mac and cheese very often, it's going to be at least that much. If you want to eat healthy with lots of veggies and fruits, it's going to be expensive. We spend at least 250-300 a month just on veggies and fruits for 5.
Back to top

amother









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 11:35 am       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
OP here:

Thanks for your posts, I didn't mean to start a grocery bill debate, lol. A few things to clarify:

I misquoted the amount of taxes withheld from DH's salary, it's double what I wrote, more like $15,600. I was looking at his bi-weekly pay stub and multiplied that by 12 instead of by 26. At the end of the month, we are left with $6400 net.

As per the grocery bill, I understand it's on the higher end, however I'm not willing to let go of the convenience things I buy. The grocery bill includes a monthly trip to Costco that runs me about $250 worth of toiletries, tissues, wipes, diapers, soap and such things. We eat super healthy, salad every day, good quality veggies, chicken 2x week, meat 1x week and dairy and fish. I work very heard to maintain my weight as I was overweight once upon a time, so I don't feel like cutting down on these things if they help me stay healthy and feel good about myself. My kids are picky eaters and are always foraging in the nosh basket. I don't want to cut down on the yogurt, cheese and other kiddie healthy stuff that they eat such as waffles, if those are the things they eat instead of junk. I don't buy takeout regularly, more like once a week on several items for shabbos (coleslaw, a dessert and challah). However, on average once a week I don't have time to make supper so kids will have pizza bagels and DH will buy a $10 chicken sandwich. He is a picky eater and doesn't go for peanut butter sandwiches, like I will.

As far as the poster who said that a 2nd car is a luxury, if given no other choice, I would sell my old car and get a mini-van - I just really need something bigger than a 5 seater at this point. We have 3 carseats in the back and it takes me ages to get the kids in and out of the car as I have to seat each one and buckle them in cuz they can't reach the seatbelts, it's too squashed. My reservation about selling the 5 seater is that it's really old and we will definitely get less than $5K for it. DH's job involves a lot of traveling around the city and he must have a car all day. I can't drive him to work and then use the car and pick him up at the end of the day. It gets really hard as I need to get one of my kids to therapy appts and I run myself ragged doing it. I need to plan my shopping trips around my work and DH's work schedule so it gets crazy. Sometimes it feels as though in my situation a 2nd car would not be a luxury. And since our old car is serving us well, it would be a pity to trade it in for a mini-van and then down the line have to buy a new 5 seater anyway.

Ceo, your post was superb. I will look up both mint.com and mesilah to see if we can get the help. I am most appreciative.

Also, I haven't accounted for the insurance we pay, which is about $150 monthly, and $50 monthly in school loans. Childcare runs me about $640.

It just makes me sad that no matter how hard we work (and we're both educated people in decent jobs), we will just never make it to buying a house and such. It's crazy that we earn a decent income by American standards yet it doesn't feel that way.
Back to top

connie









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 11:40 am       Post subject: Re: re: Where are we going wrong??
amother wrote:
connie wrote:
I remember reading a few years ago an article quoting a school menahel. he said that unless a family of three is making between 110 and 140k they are either in debt or are getting other assistance.

so it makes sense what your saying. its really expensive.....


Is this only for NY area? Absolutely not true across the board. Our family is bigger (or do you mean 3 kids in the family?) our income is lower, and we are not in debt or getting other assistance.

yes I meant three kids in the ny area
Back to top

eschaya









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 11:45 am       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
OP - just commenting on your last post...
I'm with you. To live a frum lifestyle, we can work and work and do everything in our ability to bring ourselves to "middle class" income on paper but practically we are still struggling. It's very disheartening. I feel the same way, all the time. The costs of living in a frum area, buying kosher food, and most especially private school tuition just create a situation where you are struggling if you make what should be a middle-class income and you are barely able to live a middle class lifestyle if you are lucky enough to be bringing in an upper-class income. It's so frustrating.
Back to top

amother









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 11:46 am       Post subject: Re: re: Where are we going wrong??
amother wrote:
OP here:

It just makes me sad that no matter how hard we work (and we're both educated people in decent jobs), we will just never make it to buying a house and such. It's crazy that we earn a decent income by American standards yet it doesn't feel that way.


well "American standards" don't include private school tuition and NY real estate prices.

are you or your husband up for promotions? could you take on more hours or switch firms to get higher salaries?
Back to top

zaq









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 11:53 am       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
If you want to buy something you can't afford at present, you must either find a way to bring in more money, or cut back somewhere. Basic law of physics and finance, you can't buy more stuff and stay debt-free if your current income just covers your current expenses.

Before you go off buying a second car--do you really need it. Yeah, I know you want it. We all want a lot of things. NYC is one of the most expensive places in the country to own a car. have you considered the cost of not only the minivan you crave, but insurance, parking, maintenace? You SURE you want to take that on in your present financial state?

Either way, you need to get a handle on your finances. You do that , as others have said, by recording EVERY.SINGLE.PENNY you spend for several months. A year would be better still, to account for seasonal fluctuations, but 3-4 months minimum. No cheating! That 79 cent snack for dc, your dh$3.50 a day Starbucks habit, the $5 for a bottle of nail polish and the 99 cents for a pack of gum or $1.50 for the paper as well as the $25 a year magazine subscription, the occasional parking tickets, and so on. Countless little leaks can sink a financial ship as surely as a great big Titanic iceberg.

Speaking of countless leaks, if you live in a house, your local utility may offer free home energy audits that will ID where you're wasting energy and thus money. You may save money in the long run by buying newer energy-efficient appliances; you can certainly save money by changing your energy-use habits. Yes, the boring, old-fashioned expedients of turning off lights and appliances when you leave a room, taking shorter, lukewarm showers instead of long, hot ones, hanging laundry up to air-dry instead of using the dryer, replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent, yadda yadda ,all add up. Grim? If you say so--but you want that minivan or don't you?

Once you see exactly where the money goes, decide where you can and are willing to cut back. There are countless books in print chock-full of ideas for saving money. Take the first step in saving and borrow them from the library or from a friend rather than buying your own, and then adopt as many of these ideas as you can.

You may be able to increase your take-home by contributing to a tax-exempt or tax-deferred account for retirement or for your children's education. Money you put into a 529 account aka a college savings account is exempt from state income tax, and money put into a traditional IRA is exempt from Federal income tax till you withdraw it at retirement. You may kick yourself down to a lower tax bracket by contributing to these kinds of accounts.

If you have no savings, you should be building up a nest egg before you even dream about a new car. Experts say you should always have a liquid emergency fund of at least three months' expenses. If you don't have this, don't even dream about a new pair of shoes, let alone a car, until you establish this emergency cushion.

Once you have that cushion, you can start a separate minivan savings fund. Sock away some preset sum out of every paycheck till you have enough to open a fee-free interest-bearing savings account. Then continue socking away that weekly or biweekly sum until you reach your goal.
Back to top

Raisin









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 12:46 pm       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
OP, I don't know how old your kids are, but don't forget that as they get older they will graduate to booster seats which are much easier to handle.

Of course, if you have another kid a minivan will be essential if you want to fit the whole family in the car.
Back to top

amother









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 2:28 pm       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
in regards to clothing how often do you get new things for yourself? Are they on sale? young kids need new clothes each season but you can save a TON of $ by using hand me downs or getting stuff from a gemach. would you be willing to do that? I have gotten beautiful, even new sometimes, things at gemachim. If not I will not spend more than a few $ per itm I buy (maybe spring for a $10 dress for dd for Y"T), I shop at the end of a season for the next year or only look at the clearence rack. They always look nice, maybe not the fanciest, & prettiest & all matching, but I want my dh to stay in kollel.
Back to top

saw50st8









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 2:40 pm       Post subject: Re: re: Where are we going wrong??
eschaya wrote:
OP - just commenting on your last post...
I'm with you. To live a frum lifestyle, we can work and work and do everything in our ability to bring ourselves to "middle class" income on paper but practically we are still struggling. It's very disheartening. I feel the same way, all the time. The costs of living in a frum area, buying kosher food, and most especially private school tuition just create a situation where you are struggling if you make what should be a middle-class income and you are barely able to live a middle class lifestyle if you are lucky enough to be bringing in an upper-class income. It's so frustrating.


I agree with this. DH and I both earn a nice living, and once you factor in our expenses (mortgage, food, childcare, insurance etc), there is little left.

I've found the best way to cut back is to find something that will give you immediate satisfaction and a real gain. We used to have a lawn service for mowing and trimming. The bill was just getting to be too hefty, so we bought a lawn mower and hedge trimmer. We figured out that if we did it for 3 months, we came out ahead.

The postive gain right away was worth it. I realize this example isn't applicable to you (we don't have cleaning help, we chose lawn care instead), but perhaps you can do one thing. Like start baking challahs. It doesn't take that long, but will save you $10/week or so. That's $500/year.

Once that savings becomes habit, its a bit easier to move onto the next thing.
_________________
Never mistake activity for achievement.
Back to top

ceo









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 2:57 pm       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
Thank you all for the compliments. Very Happy

I just want to explain: been there, done that.

Every month, I pay my mortgage roughly 3x: my actual mortgage, my kids tuition, and student loan payments (6 years left on the 10 year plan). So you can imagine.....although, BH, we make good salaries, a lot of it goes to "non-negotiables." Even though I work full time in a management level position at a major corporation that's traded on the NYSE..... our family still have 2 old american cars and my "eating out' budget is fairly small. (not comparing to s/one else, who might have no money for "eating out", but I think you get the idea.....) Even with decent salaries, we still need to be pretty careful.

Regarding mint.com: it's a pain and very time consuming to set up with all your accounts, credit cards, etc.... . But once you get going with it, it's much easier, and it's INCREDIBLY helpful.

Like just now, I checked and saw that I only have $125 left on the grocery budget this month. We still have 1 full week and 2 more shabboses, so I know that I need to be careful. What will happen if I go over? Nothing major......I BH can afford to go over by $75 or whatever.....but it's very satisfying to see the rewards of your self-discipline. (I assume most people get this feeling). But that $75 or whatever will come out of from somewhere else....no big deal, we BH have it. but I think you get the idea.
Back to top

amother









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 2:57 pm       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
New to the forum, and not sure how to clip and post previous posts...
referring to mac and cheese costing $10 well yeah... if you need two boxes for a family this size and two bags of cholov yisroel cheese that is $10. And, if you need two jars of marinara sauce that is also $3.
Has nothing to do with buying on sale or not... it is reality that you need two boxes of noodles and cheese for a family this size. One just won't be enough dinner for all.

Also, those of us who work full time don't always have the extra 45 minutes to run to the sale store or to bake challah. We walk in the door with our kids or after our kids. They need our time and attention and help with homework. We need to unwind a bit as well. I am zonked at the end of the day. Telling me to pick up a few more hours... how??? I am working full time. I am a mother of young kids also. And how much more will I bring home from my meager salary after I pay the taxes and the sitter??? What about the mental health therapist I might need from working more than full time???

What else can I say except maybe had my dh been sent on a lucrative career path instead of being told not to worry about parnassah until he had a few years of learning under his belt, and that 'we'd figure it out... everyone else does' ... maybe had we both been told the truth about how expensive a frum family is and been encouraged to get proper education and training I wouldn't be working full time and I wouldn't be living so hand to mouth. Yes, I am angry at the system. It brainwashed us as little kids to accept for a reality a life based on idealism. I don't see a way out -- in fact it is only going to get harder as the kids needs get bigger and more expensive. Oh that's right.. I was also taught to have many kids and a large family. I wish I was so blessed with many healthy kids.... but why didn't anyone make sure dh and I would have the means to support this family in a frum lifestyle. Why are we all so stressed out by money?????
Back to top

Liba









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 3:02 pm       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
Smile Mac and cheese can be made with cheese and not from a box. Even using American cheese for a large family, a whole 3lb tab stack is $20, do people really use half of one of those huge packages for one supper?

Spaghetti isn't that much harder to make with tomato sauce or tomato paste and spices than with store bought sauce. Store bought sauce is a luxury that only saves less than a minute of cooking time. There are whole counties full of people (working people even!) who don't sure store bought sauce. It saves a huge amount of money to cook from scratch.

There are ways of cutting back the food bill without making people nutty. Smile
_________________
Liba
Back to top

ceo









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 3:18 pm       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
I have comments about the above posters (new amother and Liba)

1) it's unfortunate that people were given bad eitzah, or no eitzah at all. I mean, how many unemployed law school grads out there have a lot of debt and are working at starbucks? it's unfortunate, (we've been there!!!). However, it is up to each individual to make (sometimes difficult) descions-- actual physical changes or emotional changes (acceptance of a difficult situation). Sure, maybe Rabbi X or Seminary Teacher Y gave bad career advice. You cannot change the past, but you can move forward and resolve to make the best with the tools you are given. And yes, I HAVE BEEN THERE!!-- I'm not going into details on a public forum, but if you Pm me, I can share with you.


2) Each person needs to make their own difficult descions. I can't tell someone to give up noodles and cheese for lentils and rice...they need to come to that themselves: whether its' giving up certain groceries, cleaning lady, sheitel wash and set.....it has to come from you, that you personally realize that this is a good descion.

I will share this story with you: This summer, I really, really wanted to take a water exercise class. Like really badly. I had a host of good reasons for doing it. It was expensive....I think it would have come out to over $200 for the months of july and august-- 2-3 times per week. So I spoke it over with my husband--as you can imagine, we don't have a place in our budget for "water aerobics." He tried to get me to do something else-- swimming in the pool (doesn't work for my schedule), etc.... So finally, he relented.

But then I thought about it, and decided, "no, I would rather have the $250 for something else. I need new clothes, I am saving for a new sheitel, new dishwasher." I CAN"T HAVE EVERYTHING. But I had to come to that decision myself. If my husband said, "No, sorry. too much money"-- I would have been really mad. But since I came to it ON MY OWN, it was a lot easier to deal with.

.
Back to top

Raisin









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 3:21 pm       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
I get you about the shopping around taking time. What about looking into buying stufff online - I believe you can even buy cheap groceries and stuff on amazon. that could potentially save you time and money. If you have a smartphone you can order while commuting.

I never use store bought sauce. I don't know what goes in there (sugar, other rubbish) and its expensive. We use tomato puree to flavour pasta and cheese or I make sauce from scratch with lots of fresh veggies. I don't even like the taste of ready made sauce.
Back to top

Hashem_Yaazor









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 3:29 pm       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
One way to stretch your meals if you would like to cut back on the groceries (as others mentioned, it has to be your choice) is to add soup into the menu. It's filling, cheap, and nutritious. You can get away with less of a main if you serve soup first.
Tips like that make cutting back easier...you don't feel the pinch, even if you're saving.
_________________
http://a-natural-birth.com
Let me know privately what you would like to see on this; I'm still working on it Smile

Complimentary ad for being a mod
Back to top

saw50st8









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 3:32 pm       Post subject: Re: re: Where are we going wrong??
Liba wrote:
Smile Mac and cheese can be made with cheese and not from a box. Even using American cheese for a large family, a whole 3lb tab stack is $20, do people really use half of one of those huge packages for one supper?

Spaghetti isn't that much harder to make with tomato sauce or tomato paste and spices than with store bought sauce. Store bought sauce is a luxury that only saves less than a minute of cooking time. There are whole counties full of people (working people even!) who don't sure store bought sauce. It saves a huge amount of money to cook from scratch.

There are ways of cutting back the food bill without making people nutty. Smile


Store bought tomato sauce in the US is pretty cheap. Tomatoes are roughly 99 cents a lb here - I can get a large can of tomato sauce for that and the tomato sauce goes further.
Back to top

ElTam









  
Post Posted: Wed, Jun 20 2012, 3:59 pm       Post subject: re: Where are we going wrong??
You have choices. You can

1. Cut your expenses in the way that seems right to you. That could be moving, doing without certain things you buy or pay for now, etc. Whatever works for your family.
2. You can find a way for you or your DH to make more money.
3. You can complain, make no changes, and end up with the same result.

Financial freedom and security--which includes having financial options to make choices--involves either making sacrifices or winning the lottery.
_________________
mommy to 2 girls, 1 boy

"I would rather have my people laugh at my economies than weep for my extravagance."
--King Oscar of Sweden

"Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"
--Wash
Back to top


Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum -> Household Management -> Finances
Page 2 of 4 Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next

Similar Topics Replies Last Post
No new posts Was I wrong?
by yo'ma
9 Tue, Jun 03 2014, 11:09 am View latest post
No new posts wrong number
by yo'ma
1 Mon, Aug 30 2010, 10:34 am View latest post
No new posts Am I wrong? 6 Tue, Mar 11 2008, 9:20 am View latest post
No new posts Am I wrong?
by amother
8 Wed, Oct 17 2007, 10:53 am View latest post
No new posts Sorry, wrong number!!!! 17 Wed, Feb 25 2009, 8:59 am View latest post


Jump to:  







Report offensive ad