Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Can't dig out of hole, what do we do?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Can't dig out of hole, what do we do?

    Hi,

    I'm 34, married for five years with two children. My wife is a stay at home mom and homeschools the children. Also her retired father lives with us. We currently rent a three bedroom townhome in Southern California.

    We have two vehicles, one is paid off, the other was recent purchase due to the repair costs outweighing the affordability of our previous vehicle. Neither of us has any savings or retirement anymore.

    Our financial situation has gotten worse and worse over the years as the cost of living has gone up and I have not received raises. I occasionally will get bonuses and overtime but those are band-aids to our problems. Also I used to have savings socked away in retirement but we also had to clear that out to pay off debts and try to get us back on track. My wife has laid out our expenses and where we stand on a month to month basis and we are currently in the red and not really sure what we can do to get out of it. Here is how it stands out now and afterwards are her thoughts on several things:

    Budget -

    Rent: $2556

    Electricity: $250

    Gas: $60

    Water: $55

    Time Warner: $249

    Netflix: $18

    Maid Brigaide: $142

    Sprint: $444.11

    Car Insurance: $308.56

    Car payment: $295.86

    My Health Insurance: $385.00

    Wife/Children Health Insurance: $887.00



    Wife Student Loan Sallie Mae: $467.00

    My Gas: $350

    My Visa Payment: $25
    Remaining Balance: $950.34

    Sleep Number: $20

    Wife Discover Payment: $200

    Wife Capital One Payment: $100

    Wife gas: ………..

    Wife medicine: $200

    Kid 1 medicine: $75

    Kid 2 medicine: $50

    Misc medicine (sick, copay, etc): $50

    Dog expenses (food, medicine, etc.):$50


    Homeschooling: $150

    Girls clothing: $100

    Toiletries (Whole Family): $250

    Groceries: $4000

    __________________________________________________


    Total going out: $11,737.53



    Income:

    Me ($4600.00)

    Father In-Law ($4104.00)

    Budget In the red: $3033.53/month

    My Credit Card Balances:

    Credit Card 1 : $12,723

    Credit Card 2 : $4,556.12

    Credit Card 3 : $113.64

    Wife's Comments:

    "That leaves no money for spending, no allowances for months when particular bills are higher than as planned, or more medicine is needed; it also leaves no money for extra curricular activities for the girls

    The groceries come out to $8 per person per meal. The lowest I have ever been able to get the groceries down to is $6 per person per meal, and that is eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese twice a week for dinner, plus several times per week of eating lunch WITH me skipping lunch twice a week. That isn’t even an option now that I have to eat gluten free, as Annie’s is three times as expensive as the Kraft, which brings the cost back up to $8 per person per meal.

    Other areas I have tried to cut:

    Time Warner: we are currently at the cheapest rate we can possibly be at. If we take anything else off our deal will be broken and our rate will go up to $320 just for basic cable, Internet and phone. We don’t qualify for new customer discounts.

    We could get rid of Netflix, but then a large part of homeschooling learning is then eliminated, which will need to be supplemented elsewhere.

    The Sprint bill was increased as of the first of the year, and because all of our contracts had expired they were able to raise the rates. I have tried to eliminate as many services as possible to no avail.

    The cost of food has gone up in southern California 13% since the month of October, which explains why food is becoming more difficult to manage. I clip coupons, buy everything on sale, and so on to try and keep costs down. That is a large part of getting delivery now, I only do it for the free times but also ensures I get good produce from Vons instead of more expensive places. CSA is saving us roughly $50 per week on fruits and vegetables, costing us $23 per week.

    If I do go to work, we would have to keep the $150 a month for homeschooling as school expenses; and we would also have to add $800 per month for both of the girls to go into an after school childcare program. So right now that would actually hurt us more than help, as it would change the figures to add $800 to our overall outgoing, with the amount we are beyond what we have coming in going all the way up to $3833.53.

    Lastly there are ....... next to my Visa because that it my Amazon Rewards Visa and I use it for gas when I have spending money available to pay it back, otherwise I don't get gas in my car."




    I've suggested multiple times that I would try to manage a second job but not sure how that would work with my current job or the fact of not being home at all. I have invested a little of my retirement to try to start my own little business project, but the field I work in can be hit or miss on paying gigs.

    I've also thought about asking for a raise but the company I have worked for is small and not on good financial ground and I am their only employee left.

    We've both run out of ideas to increase the income in the short and long term to put us on better ground. I welcome any advice or ideas as well as any questions to help put this situation in better perspective.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by twelvemonkey; 01-16-2015, 04:00 PM.

    #2
    Drop the cell phones and maids, then eat less expensively. Oatmeal for breakfast costs much less than $8 per serving. That should net you $1000 to $2000 savings per month.

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by twelvemonkey View Post
      Hi,

      I'm 34, married for five years with two children. My wife is a stay at home mom and homeschools the children. Also her retired father lives with us. We currently rent a three bedroom townhome in Southern California.

      We have two vehicles, one is paid off, the other was recent purchase due to the repair costs outweighing the affordability of our previous vehicle. Neither of us has any savings or retirement anymore.

      Our financial situation has gotten worse and worse over the years as the cost of living has gone up and I have not received raises. I occasionally will get bonuses and overtime but those are band-aids to our problems. Also I used to have savings socked away in retirement but we also had to clear that out to pay off debts and try to get us back on track. My wife has laid out our expenses and where we stand on a month to month basis and we are currently in the red and not really sure what we can do to get out of it. Here is how it stands out now and afterwards are her thoughts on several things:

      Budget -

      Rent: $2556

      Electricity: $250

      Gas: $60

      Water: $55

      Time Warner: $249

      Netflix: $18

      Maid Brigaide: $142

      Sprint: $444.11

      Car Insurance: $308.56

      Car payment: $295.86

      My Health Insurance: $385.00

      Wife/Children Health Insurance: $887.00



      Wife Student Loan Sallie Mae: $467.00

      My Gas: $350

      My Visa Payment: $25
      Remaining Balance: $950.34

      Sleep Number: $20

      Wife Discover Payment: $200

      Wife Capital One Payment: $100

      Wife gas: ………..

      Wife medicine: $200

      Kid 1 medicine: $75

      Kid 2 medicine: $50

      Misc medicine (sick, copay, etc): $50

      Dog expenses (food, medicine, etc.):$50


      Homeschooling: $150

      Girls clothing: $100

      Toiletries (Whole Family): $250

      Groceries: $4000

      __________________________________________________


      Total going out: $11,737.53



      Income:

      Me ($4600.00)

      Father In-Law ($4104.00)

      Budget In the red: $3033.53/month

      My Credit Card Balances:

      Credit Card 1 : $12,723

      Credit Card 2 : $4,556.12

      Credit Card 3 : $113.64

      Wife's Comments:

      That leaves no money for spending, no allowances for months when particular bills are higher than as planned, or more medicine is needed; it also leaves no money for extra curricular activities for the girls

      The groceries come out to $8 per person per meal. The lowest I have ever been able to get the groceries down to is $6 per person per meal, and that is eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese twice a week for dinner, plus several times per week of eating lunch WITH me skipping lunch twice a week. That isn’t even an option now that I have to eat gluten free, as Annie’s is three times as expensive as the Kraft, which brings the cost back up to $8 per person per meal.

      Other areas I have tried to cut:

      Time Warner: we are currently at the cheapest rate we can possibly be at. If we take anything else off our deal will be broken and our rate will go up to $320 just for basic cable, Internet and phone. We don’t qualify for new customer discounts.

      We could get rid of Netflix, but then a large part of homeschooling learning is then eliminated, which will need to be supplemented elsewhere.

      The Sprint bill was increased as of the first of the year, and because all of our contracts had expired they were able to raise the rates. I have tried to eliminate as many services as possible to no avail.

      The cost of food has gone up in southern California 13% since the month of October, which explains why food is becoming more difficult to manage. I clip coupons, buy everything on sale, and so on to try and keep costs down. That is a large part of getting delivery now, I only do it for the free times but also ensures I get good produce from Vons instead of more expensive places. CSA is saving us roughly $50 per week on fruits and vegetables, costing us $23 per week.

      If I do go to work, we would have to keep the $150 a month for homeschooling as school expenses; and we would also have to add $800 per month for both of the girls to go into an after school childcare program. So right now that would actually hurt us more than help, as it would change the figures to add $800 to our overall outgoing, with the amount we are beyond what we have coming in going all the way up to $3833.53.


      Lastly there are ....... next to my Visa because that it my Amazon Rewards Visa and I use it for gas when I have spending money available to pay it back, otherwise I don't get gas in my car.

      I've suggested multiple times that I would try to manage a second job but not sure how that would work with my current job or the fact of not being home at all. I have invested a little of my retirement to try to start my own little business project, but the field I work in can be hit or miss on paying gigs.

      I've also thought about asking for a raise but the company I have worked for is small and not on good financial ground and I am their only employee left.

      We've both run out of ideas to increase the income in the short and long term to put us on better ground. I welcome any advice or ideas as well as any questions to help put this situation in better perspective.

      Thank you.
      $4000/month for groceries, please itemize the receipt to the last 4 grocery store visits
      You pay for a maid but wife stays at home? Please explain.

      The cable bill is too high, I pay 1/3 of that and I have direct TV. How many TVs, how many channels, etc?

      In general you will save the most focusing on the highest expenses
      Rent, groceries, car for example

      Comment


        #4
        -In regards to cell, that is lowest plans we can find for our family and the pack is what my wife has looked into. I honestly don't know how I can explain to her to up and get rid of cells. How can I convince her of that?

        -Her father is paying as an extra on top of the amount that he already pays for expenses for the cleaning service

        -For food, we don't ever go out, we always eat in. I will have get receipts for the next purchases, my wife usually doesn't keep those but she would never alter the budget for food because she is saying that is necessity for the size of the family we are.

        -The cable includes phone and internet which is packaged under the plan. It is the cheapest plan we can get for a bundle which covers four televisions in the household.
        Last edited by twelvemonkey; 01-16-2015, 02:32 PM.

        Comment


          #5
          Rent is not easily changeable at this point. We are under lease until May and my wife has insisted that she doesn't want to move anymore. This is our fifth place we've lived in since we married.

          Comment


            #6
            Hi. I've been a "lurker" for years and you made me feel like I have to make my first response. Here are my thoughts:

            *Cut the cable and home phone and only get internet. I imagine there should be quite a few options for internet in CA.

            *You can use cell phones to do the calling, but you need to look into Ting or Republic wireless. They have very reasonable monthly plans.

            *I'm a teacher, and I'm not sure how much netflix would qualify for a homeschooling expense. There don't seem to be very many legitimate teaching videos that would make it worth that kind of expense. There are a wealth of good educational and FREE videos on youtube that are wonderful. You can pretty much search with anything you are looking to teach and find some resources.

            *Cut the maid service, kids can help with many of the little chores (take garbage out, pick up messes, clearing dinner table, etc) so you have a bit more time for the things they cannot do.

            *If husband is spending $350 a month on gas, you should probably look into finding a place closer to his work. (And a cheaper one.)

            *The girls should not need $100 worth of clothes each month. Perhaps a few pieces per season, and check out thrift stores. They have some REALLY good second hand clothing stores, particularly for children.

            *Groceries should never, ever cost the entire salary of one person. I'm not exactly sure what you are buying, but even as a last resort, check out Amazon. They have some decent prices and will send them directly to your house. There are some really good meal planning ideas on pinterest. You can look into using a crockpot for dinners a few times a week. Homemade soups are wonderfully inexpensive.

            Please keep us updated!

            Comment


              #7
              Follow up to the cleaning service, everyone there at home has severe allergies. My wife says the maids are necessary to eliminate as much allergens as possible on top of what my wife has to do through the month.

              That also goes with all medicine expenses, as my wife and one of the children have to get allergy shots on top of all the medications that are being expensed.
              Last edited by twelvemonkey; 01-16-2015, 02:48 PM.

              Comment


                #8
                Hi TwelveMonkey.

                This is the problem. I just don't even know what to say about a $4000 a month grocery bill for 5 people - even taking into consideration wanting to eat gluten free and the cost of living in your area. It's hard to just not shriek WHATTTTTTT???!!!!!! in a really rude manner. And I really don't want to be rude because you came here for help, not just people telling you how wrong that all looks.

                But for what it is worth, In comparison, my December grocery bill was around $2200 for 3 adults and one child and that included a Christmas Open house party with neighbors and friends running in and out and a birthday dinner with family ….. with all the accompanying booze and appetizer type food added into our regular shopping bills. And we ate really, really well in December. Too well actually, I still have a bunch of leftovers from our Christmas dinner in the freezer.

                $4000 is not a choosing between Kraft Mac and Cheese and splurging a bit for Annie's type of eating. It just isn't. I don't know where you guys are shopping or what you are buying, but you need to look at those receipts. Soon. Because right now, Dude --- your family is nearly spending the entire average yearly income of a typical American family … just at the grocery store.

                If you get good reception on your cell phone Sprint plan, there are several excellent PrePaid providers which use the Sprint network such as Republic Wireless. Many others too. We use Republic Wireless and my bill for 4 phones is right under $90 a month. There are a bunch of pre-paid plans that use the Sprint Towers. Look around and you can probably even find one that will let you use your existing phones.

                Are you guys using any financial type software such as YNAB? I think it would be really beneficial for you and your wife both. At the very least I think it is time for her to stop telling you where the money is going and for you to have the ability to see it for yourself.

                best of luck.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Twelve monkey, the biggest problem is you have an excuse for everything. You need to start making changes and stop making excuses.

                  Same for your wife.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    All I can say is that my jaw dropped when I saw your grocery, cable, maid and cell phone bill. You need to take charge and get your entire family on board and stopped wasting your and your FIL's hard earned money. You gotta fixed this!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I think you need to have a much firmer talk with your wife about where things really stand. Your wife either doesn't know how to buy groceries or is lying to you. Something doesn't add up! Find out what it is.
                      My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Get ready for alimony!

                        Twelvemonkey had better watch what he posts on the Internet...the path to financial independence and freedom is not paying out the ass in alimony and child support!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Wow. Sorry to say that you will never get out of this hole unless you can convince the wife to get onboard. This is the height of frivolous spending.

                          $4K for groceries is beyond ridiculous. You can get this down to $500, for 5 people.

                          No need to spend $250 for TV. Get Netflix or hulu or both.

                          Why is your car insurance so ridiculous?

                          Maid? Seriously?

                          I have to think this is someone messing with us. Nowhere in America do groceries cost so much.

                          If you can't convince the wife to economize, you're better off getting a divorce and moving on. You should be able to pay for everything with Father in Law's income alone.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by jIM_Ohio View Post
                            Twelve monkey, the biggest problem is you have an excuse for everything. You need to start making changes and stop making excuses.

                            Same for your wife.
                            You nailed it.

                            twelvemonkey,

                            Change your cellphone plan. You can get a family plan with 2-4 lines for $100-$200.

                            Drop the cable. At least for now until you can put you and your family in a good position financially.

                            Drop the maid. You, your wife, your father-in-law, and your kids can clean a three bedroom town home.

                            Drop the girls clothing for now.

                            $4000 groceries? how and why? You should analyze it and check your receipts. Whenever you and your family goes to the groceries, set a budget. Bring a calculator in the grocery store and follow your budget.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by twelvemonkey View Post
                              Hi,

                              I'm 34, married for five years with two children. My wife is a stay at home mom and homeschools the children. Also her retired father lives with us. We currently rent a three bedroom townhome in Southern California.

                              We have two vehicles, one is paid off, the other was recent purchase due to the repair costs outweighing the affordability of our previous vehicle. Neither of us has any savings or retirement anymore.

                              Our financial situation has gotten worse and worse over the years as the cost of living has gone up and I have not received raises. I occasionally will get bonuses and overtime but those are band-aids to our problems. Also I used to have savings socked away in retirement but we also had to clear that out to pay off debts and try to get us back on track. My wife has laid out our expenses and where we stand on a month to month basis and we are currently in the red and not really sure what we can do to get out of it. Here is how it stands out now and afterwards are her thoughts on several things:

                              Budget -

                              Rent: $2556

                              Electricity: $250

                              Gas: $60

                              Water: $55

                              Time Warner: $249

                              Netflix: $18

                              Maid Brigaide: $142

                              Sprint: $444.11

                              Car Insurance: $308.56

                              Car payment: $295.86

                              My Health Insurance: $385.00

                              Wife/Children Health Insurance: $887.00



                              Wife Student Loan Sallie Mae: $467.00

                              My Gas: $350

                              My Visa Payment: $25
                              Remaining Balance: $950.34

                              Sleep Number: $20

                              Wife Discover Payment: $200

                              Wife Capital One Payment: $100

                              Wife gas: ………..

                              Wife medicine: $200

                              Kid 1 medicine: $75

                              Kid 2 medicine: $50

                              Misc medicine (sick, copay, etc): $50

                              Dog expenses (food, medicine, etc.):$50


                              Homeschooling: $150

                              Girls clothing: $100

                              Toiletries (Whole Family): $250

                              Groceries: $4000

                              __________________________________________________


                              Total going out: $11,737.53



                              Income:

                              Me ($4600.00)

                              Father In-Law ($4104.00)

                              Budget In the red: $3033.53/month

                              My Credit Card Balances:

                              Credit Card 1 : $12,723

                              Credit Card 2 : $4,556.12

                              Credit Card 3 : $113.64

                              Wife's Comments:

                              "That leaves no money for spending, no allowances for months when particular bills are higher than as planned, or more medicine is needed; it also leaves no money for extra curricular activities for the girls

                              The groceries come out to $8 per person per meal. The lowest I have ever been able to get the groceries down to is $6 per person per meal, and that is eating Kraft Macaroni and Cheese twice a week for dinner, plus several times per week of eating lunch WITH me skipping lunch twice a week. That isn’t even an option now that I have to eat gluten free, as Annie’s is three times as expensive as the Kraft, which brings the cost back up to $8 per person per meal.

                              Other areas I have tried to cut:

                              Time Warner: we are currently at the cheapest rate we can possibly be at. If we take anything else off our deal will be broken and our rate will go up to $320 just for basic cable, Internet and phone. We don’t qualify for new customer discounts.

                              We could get rid of Netflix, but then a large part of homeschooling learning is then eliminated, which will need to be supplemented elsewhere.

                              The Sprint bill was increased as of the first of the year, and because all of our contracts had expired they were able to raise the rates. I have tried to eliminate as many services as possible to no avail.

                              The cost of food has gone up in southern California 13% since the month of October, which explains why food is becoming more difficult to manage. I clip coupons, buy everything on sale, and so on to try and keep costs down. That is a large part of getting delivery now, I only do it for the free times but also ensures I get good produce from Vons instead of more expensive places. CSA is saving us roughly $50 per week on fruits and vegetables, costing us $23 per week.

                              If I do go to work, we would have to keep the $150 a month for homeschooling as school expenses; and we would also have to add $800 per month for both of the girls to go into an after school childcare program. So right now that would actually hurt us more than help, as it would change the figures to add $800 to our overall outgoing, with the amount we are beyond what we have coming in going all the way up to $3833.53.

                              Lastly there are ....... next to my Visa because that it my Amazon Rewards Visa and I use it for gas when I have spending money available to pay it back, otherwise I don't get gas in my car."




                              I've suggested multiple times that I would try to manage a second job but not sure how that would work with my current job or the fact of not being home at all. I have invested a little of my retirement to try to start my own little business project, but the field I work in can be hit or miss on paying gigs.

                              I've also thought about asking for a raise but the company I have worked for is small and not on good financial ground and I am their only employee left.

                              We've both run out of ideas to increase the income in the short and long term to put us on better ground. I welcome any advice or ideas as well as any questions to help put this situation in better perspective.

                              Thank you.


                              There is NO reason you guys should be paying for maid service when your wife is a stay at home mom. DH and I both work, and I work TWO jobs, and we clean our house ourselves. And if her dad is retired, how much is he contributing to housework?

                              What is that cost for Sprint? That seems like a ridiculous amount - is that for cell phones? Your car insurance is also very high, I know you're in a high cost of living area, but that still seems too high. You need to cancel cable, and that's that. You just can't afford it. And there is nothing you need Netflix for that can't be substituted. I have plenty of friends who home school and none of them "require" Netflix.

                              Your health insurance is also extremely high. Are your wife and kids not covered under your employer? I pay about %350 a month for me, my husband, and 2 kids. Honestly, it might be worth looking for a new job where your family would be covered. That is a HUGE amount of money.

                              I totally respect your decision to homeschool your kids, but IF you did decide to put them in public school, could your wife find a part time job where she worked like 9-3, or something where wouldn't have to pay for before or after school care? I can certainly relate to the daycare issue, my son's before and afte care would cost $515 a month, but I have a super awesome daycare director who cut my rate down to $335 a month because I usually pick him up 20 minutes after the bus gets there.

                              You have to make some serious decisions about what you can afford. You can definitely cut that grocery bill. I spend about $400 a month here is Virginia for my family of 4. $8 per meal, per person is nuts. A box of mac and cheese costs under $1 if you buy store brand. You need to be cooking pancakes, muffins, etc., from scratch and freezing, having more pasta dishes for dinner... I know you said you were gluten free, buy whole chickens and frozen veggies and you are way under $8 per person per meal.

                              Good luck, please take the suggestions of everyone here, they know what they're talking about!

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X