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Survival budget

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    Originally posted by Daylily View Post
    This is NOT true in my house.
    No offense. I didn't mean that as a blanket statement. I know every situation varies. I was just going from personal experience.
    "Those who can't remember the past are condemmed to repeat it".- George Santayana.


      Looks a lot like our budget, if you also throw in astronomical medical costs as a necessity. We have the password to our neighbor's wireless internet (we watch their dog for free and walk him when they need us to and in turn we get free internet... pretty sweet deal) so we don't pay for that, no cable at all and we don't have a land line but have a cell phone instead, but none of the fancy texting plans or anything like that. We got rid of our second vehicle a while back (people acted like we were insane... we don't have kids to shuttle around so that's why I think it wasn't a big deal for us.) and I have to honestly say it's not as bad as I thought only having one vehicle. We keep our heat at 62 (we live in NY) and throw on sweaters and whatever else to keep warm...


        I think there are different levels of budgeting that can be applied for the different levels of urgency. Most people live on a normal budget determined by their income. Some who are trying to improve their finances my adapt a slightly tighter budget. Some who want to agressively change their financial position may have a tight budget. But some may find themselves in a desperate situation that calls for a survival budget.

        Very few people plan for these senarios. Many just keep the same plan until pushed over the edge into BK. Having a plan and adjusting a budget systematically as needed can be helpful in avoiding BK and financial disaster. Not to mention preparation in advance with debt reduction and EF's.


          MEn can be spoiled. I am keeping my hear at 69 and I drink tea and dress in long sleeves. I am thin. MY dh is always complaining "I'm cold" I am like put on a sweater and be quiet, it's at 69 not 60! He is laid off and our emergenycy fund is at least 2 to 3 years before tapping retirement, but he just ordered a $100 net flix box, and had me pick him up a gourmet $17 pizza yesterday. He doesn't buy much else so I didn't say anything, but if we had cc debt none of those things would be bought.


            Originally posted by nomorecredit View Post
            We have the password to our neighbor's wireless internet
            I think a lot of people do this. I wonder if one of these days, the providers will start cracking down since it is illegal and violates the terms of service. They cracked down on illegal music downloading. I figure illegal video downloading and sharing internet access is next.

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.


              This is a good idea, to have a plan in place so if you need it you can switch to bare-bones immediately. That way maybe you'd be more disciplined, not weighing each cut and feeling bad about each one.

              We are far from bare bones.

              Off the top of my head we could cut:
              Restaurant meals (currently 5-6 times per month)
              Pre-fab foods like jarred spaghetti sauce
              Switch to pre-paid cell phone plan and use for emergencies only
              Full-time preschool (would reduce to mornings only)
              Travel (we travel to see family a lot)
              Unnecessary driving (we should walk more)
              Train commuting--bus is cheaper but less convenient
              Charitable donations
              Buying gifts for family and friends


                I know I am spoiled to an extent as most of us are. I went with my mom to pick up rent money yesterday from one of tenants living in one of her rental properties. They had no computer, tiny kitchen, mismatched furniture, and I bought a cell phone in a somewhat shady neighborhood. I bet if thier family from Mexico could visit them, they would look like kings. (just guessing as i know nothing about Mexico)


                  I planned my cuts according to the situation I would be in. If I was a widow before getting social security and being able to fund the IRA's; I would have to have a different budget for one person. Alot would change if I had life insurance on the spouse that would kick in. I have budgets if my husband were to become ill, or if he was to become out of work. Each situation is different and so would your expenses be.


                    BF and I talk about this all the time. I love 'what if' questions - even though this topic isn't as nice as 'what if you won a million dollars...'

                    my bare bones budget would include:
                    loan payment
                    groceries - using cheap alternatives and no expensive treats

                    we dont have cable, aircon, heating etc.


                      We actually did a survival budget over the weekend to figure out if we could make it on just my salary and supplemental jobs. We have a big enough (well, at least I hope so) EF, but if one of us lost our job, we'd cut back to that survival budget, despite the EF. But there'd be lots of grilled cheese sandwiches and major cutbacks.
                      We don't live large now--most of the discretionary budget goes to home improvements and travel, but that would all stop in survival mode.


                        Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                        This may be a cop-out, but I do think it is easier for a single person to go on a bare bones budget than it is for a married person with a family as different people have different needs. For example, I would happily put the thermostat down to 67 or less, put on a sweater and put up with being a little chilly. My wife can't tolerate anything less than 70-71. Even at that temp, she is wearing thermal underwear, sweatpants, fleece top and two pairs of insulated socks and sitting under a blanket, still complaining that she's cold.
                        I feel the same way about cold, I am freezing at 70, I hate summer visiting, people keep their houses as cold as I complain about in winter!

                        But I figured if I am going to be cold I might as well save money and be cold. Turns out 60 some is just the same as 70. No need to pay for the extra degrees if I am still going to be cold.

                        Though I see no reason you need to, you have quite a bit more discretionary money than I, just thought it was funny your wife and I feel the same.

                        to the original topic, I often remind myself of what purchases could go if needed. Helps remind me how well off I am, very good excersize if I ever get a case of the gimmies.


                          Right now, my DH and I are living proof that you can make it with little to no income. For the past (almost) 3 months, we have been living on a survival budget.

                          Our only monthly expenses as of right now are:

                          Rent: $410
                          Electric: $50
                          Phone: $10 (or so, depending on what calls need to be made. We have a prepaid cell)
                          Baby: $20 (diapers, wipes, etc.)

                          Food is taken care of through FS, gas is taken care of through gift cards we received for Christmas, and internet is taken care of through a friend who lets us use his wireless so I can manage my home-based business.

                          Times are tough but after a year and a half of being married and being binge spenders, we have finally learned self-control through force and the fact that we have no other choice.

                          After this, it won't be hard to say no to spending. Believe it or not, I'm glad for hard times. (But I will be glad when they're over! )