how do I come up with a efficent budget for the time being?

I have three children, 2 teenagers, and a 6 year old, a mother, and a wife living in my household and it’s been great so far, but now things are really hard. My wife got into a car accident so she is unemployed for awhile and I don’t know if she will recieve disability checks. My $42,000 per year salary had a major cut to about $37,000 per year because they supposedly, wanted to save money for the government or community, so I’ve heard, when my wife was working we was making it, but now it’s hard. My mom is in the in-law apt so I have to take care of her, buy her food,even her medicene because she has type 2 diabetes.My father retired in Florida and constantly askes me to send him money, including some of my family members, I don’t want to turn him down, cause he did a lot for me money wise. I have to buy groceries and I have to buy food for my children who can EAT ! and especially the teenagers, they even bring friends over to eat, I want a normal life so they have cellphone, and computers, and cable for alll of our entertainment, and no one understands, my dream was to live in the country, but I can’t I have to stay and provide for my family, but sometimes I just want to run out the door..Is there any resonable budget for my salary and my situation..please break it down if you will because I am so stressed from this, I am just one person for crying out loud,I just need a better solution or plan and hopefully I can take these ideas and start from scrap..thanks

Answer #1

First, you need to tell your teenager sons that you can’t afford the cell phones when you are in financial difficulty .Also, talk to them about the familty situation. Second, tell them to find part time jobs if they are 16 years old to help you pay bills; they can get cell phone when they have jobs.

I think teenagers can find part time jobs very easy. Cut down expenses is very important…Remember if you can’t make enough for a living don’t ever expect to have everything like cell phone, computer, cable…My famly income is 40K for 3 people. I have to pay all the bills : home, light, phone, cell phones, food, insurance, gas…I have to cut down a lot of expenses such as eating out (just once in a while); shopping, turning off lights when nobody is in a certain room. We never thought of having cable, just local TV; that’s enough. Hope this help you.

Answer #2

First off, even if your wife has no disability insurance, she can still file for unemployment if shes’ unemployed (assuming you live in teh US).

For most people, budgeting is a fruitless exercise, because the big expenses such as housing and transportation almost always have prior commitments.

If I were in your situation, I would do the following:

  • Make sure you’re taking advantage of all government programs designed to help people in your situation. Is your mom too young for social security yet too old to work? I don’t understand why she has no income.

  • It may be necessary to move into cheaper and smaller housing. This will cut both your rent/mortgage, and also your utilities

  • If you have both wired phone service and cell phone, get rid of one. If you keep the cell phone but get rid of the wired phone service, maybe that satisfies your needs?

  • Look for a better paying job

  • Make the teenagers get jobs to pay for their own cell phones, clothing etc.

  • Eat less expensive meals. In many cultures, people basically live on rice and beans. Those are amazingly inexpensive.

  • Don’t buy new cloths. That’s another big expense for a lot of people. Just stay away from malls altogether. If you look for it, you can find brand name clothing that looks like it’s never been worn before for pennies on the dollar at thrift stores and garage sales.

  • Do you have multiple cars? Get rid of all but a reliable cheap, efficicnt one.

  • Tell your dad you’re struggling just to eat right now

  • Get rid of frills like cable TV, internet service, etc. These often add up to thousands a year.

  • Pay your credit cards off on time every month. Don’t carry a balance - it’ll eat you alive.

Answer #3

Yea, you’re teenagers getting jobs will take a huge amount of pressure off, I didn’t realize how much money I was taking off my parents until I got a job and started paying for everything myself.

Answer #4

I don’t usually give links to people as a response, but when I was having financial trouble, I found this webpage and by following the system they’ve set in place, I managed to get all my finances in order. Maybe it can do the same for you. You have to be willing to stick to the budget, though - that’s the only rule. If you can do that, you can get your finances back on track.

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