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What would be a large monthly expense for you?

 
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In your budget, what would be a large monthly expense?
<$10  
 0%  [ 0 ]
$11-25  
 0%  [ 1 ]
$25-50  
 2%  [ 3 ]
$51-100  
 9%  [ 13 ]
$101-250  
 16%  [ 23 ]
$251-500  
 28%  [ 40 ]
$501-1000  
 18%  [ 26 ]
$1,001-2,500  
 15%  [ 21 ]
$2,501-5,000  
 5%  [ 7 ]
>$5,000  
 2%  [ 4 ]
Total Votes : 138


amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 11:05 am
A few months ago, someone posted about wanting cleaning help that her husband said they couldn't afford. One response (there were many similar, but this one included numbers) suggested going through the budget with her dh and trying to find somewhere to cut down on $50 per week to spend on cleaning instead. I remember being surprised that it was assumed that $200+ per month would be an expense that could be somehow fit in. For me, $20 per month is something I could probably fit in my regular budget by eating more macaroni with ketchup and no cheese. But $50 per week is about what I spend on food, which I don't really want to cut out completely, if you know what I mean! (I know my kids are little and that simple groceries make up much more of a large family's budget. BH we can afford what we need to be happy and healthy. I wanted to draw a bit of attention to this, though, because for those imas who aren't heavily involved in their family's budget, thinking that $50 a week is less than significant could cause resentment/misunderstanding in cases where it is quite significant.) I did hope that the Ima who needed cleaning help would be able to get it, or if not then she would be able to decide that herself by looking at the budget and understanding it.
Anyway, it got me thinking. Most people can probably fit an extra $5 into their monthly budget. (whether or not you actually track all your expenses) But clearly their is a large variation in what people consider a significant expense that they'd have trouble fitting in their monthly budget. I'm not sure exactly how to define the border - it would be where you may have to cut down on something in your budget or be more careful, but not excessively. You would almost definitely need to look at your usual spending, if you don't always, in order to make sure you have enough. You wouldn't need to take a new job from 12-5am, but you might decide to accept another couple of hours of annoying freelance work.
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amother




Lilac
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 11:39 am
If your kids are still young, you are possibly earlier on in your marriage/life.

As you move on and kids get older and more expenses, very often the whole budget changes, there is more coming in and more going out and the numbers become a lot more fluid.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 11:45 am
amother [ Lilac ] wrote:
If your kids are still young, you are possibly earlier on in your marriage/life.

As you move on and kids get older and more expenses, very often the whole budget changes, there is more coming in and more going out and the numbers become a lot more fluid.


Definitely! I just thought that for people whose budget is similar to mine but who don't know what it looks like, it would help to know that there are other people in all these situations. It's important to know whether you can spend an extra $5, $50, or $500 without concern... And if you can't, it doesn't mean you must overspending somewhere else. (but you could look into it)
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Zehava




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 11:59 am
50$ a week on food? That seems woefully little even for one person, but with kids? What do you guys eat? Do you qualify for food stamps?
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amother




Amber
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 12:15 pm
$50 a week for cleaning help also sounds very low. The rate where I live is about $15/hr and it is hard to get someone to come for only 3 hrs a week. I currently don't have cleaning help because I just can't justify spending so much money on a weekly basis. Everyone pitches in and we keep the house clean together for free bh.
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 1:51 pm
Zehava wrote:
50$ a week on food? That seems woefully little even for one person, but with kids? What do you guys eat? Do you qualify for food stamps?

I know it's low, that's why I specified that we have what we need to be healthy and happy. I don't want anyone worried that we don't have food Chas veshalom!
We don't qualify for food stamps or anything like that. But, I'm very careful, I have the freezer/pantry space to stock up when there's a sale, my kids are young. Also, my kids get three free lunches per week (since covid) and bH I have some family nearby that buys food in bulk and is happy for us to take the portion they can't finish (a few pieces of cheese, bread, or even chicken, from a large package).
Eta answer to what we eat: we eat normal food! Nothing fancy. Breakfast is generally cereal and milk. With a fruit for kids. We have snacks like fruit, carrots, crackers - but the specific type depends on what's on sale. Lunch is sandwiches (pb, cheese, chummus) or macaroni. Supper is lentil stew, chicken and potatoes, omelet sandwiches, hot dogs, chicken cutlets. On a normal occasion, I aim for supper to cost $5-10 (for four eaters). Sometimes for a special occasion I spend more ($20) and buy small steaks or sliced pastrami and baguettes. Shabbos food is usually made up of foods I buy in bulk that last a few weeks. (beans, Barley, meat that I cut into smaller pieces, chicken soup I make every few weeks, etc) As I mentioned we have family nearby, so we aren't home every Shabbos for every meal. I'm sure I'd be spending more on Shabbos food over the month if not for that, but not much more. (otoh, we have guests sometimes, but not much)
We pretty much don't buy anything that is expensive at that time, except milk for the kids. If eggs are expensive, we don't have. Same for bread, cheese, chicken, and anything else. We just eat something else from that food group.
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SuperWify




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 1:58 pm
Wow! $50 a week on food! Do you only eat pasta? Do you buy meat or chicken ever? Do you make shabbos?
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amother




OP
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 2:17 pm
SuperWify wrote:
Wow! $50 a week on food! Do you only eat pasta? Do you buy meat or chicken ever? Do you make shabbos?

Well, I said that I could make space in my budget by eating only pasta, so I must be serving other things currently! Smile
You can see my "eta" in my last post for more details, but yes, we do have chicken and meat. Meat would be ground meat and a smallish piece of cholent meat for the cholent. (with a few exceptions) I do buy chicken, including chicken bottoms, drumsticks, and white cutlets. Chicken would be considered a normal supper for a regular day. I buy these items only (with rare exceptions) when they are on sale, divide into smaller packages, and freeze for when I need them.
I don't make every Shabbos or Yom tov meal, but I do make more than half of them. And have guests occasionally.
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srbmom




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 2:30 pm
I think this is a really hard question to answer because money itself is valued differently in different circumstances and for different people.

I currently have cleaning help for 2 hours a week and pay $25, so $100 a month. But I'd say I don't have room in my budget to double that. Sounds crazy - its just $100! But the value I'd get out of that $100 doesn't make sense for me.

On the other hand, we pay $1000 a month on health insurance. There were plans for $900, but I didn't even question spending the extra $100 a month for the superior coverage.
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SuperWify




 
 
 
 

Post Fri, Jun 04 2021, 4:05 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Well, I said that I could make space in my budget by eating only pasta, so I must be serving other things currently! Smile
You can see my "eta" in my last post for more details, but yes, we do have chicken and meat. Meat would be ground meat and a smallish piece of cholent meat for the cholent. (with a few exceptions) I do buy chicken, including chicken bottoms, drumsticks, and white cutlets. Chicken would be considered a normal supper for a regular day. I buy these items only (with rare exceptions) when they are on sale, divide into smaller packages, and freeze for when I need them.
I don't make every Shabbos or Yom tov meal, but I do make more than half of them. And have guests occasionally.


I read your post up thread. You have pretty impressive stretching skills. Reminds me of depression era and WWll wives on the home front.

To answer your question a $250 extra expense a month would be difficult.
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