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Personal Finances / Credit Cards and Consumer Debt


Subject:  Re: Budget Help Date:  3/28/2014  8:19 PM
Author:  2gifts Number:  308053 of 312794

I find your grocery budget to be really high. I'm feeding a family of 3 adults now for less than half of what you are spending, and we eat really well. Do you cook from scratch, or buy a lot of prepared foods? That would make a difference. What about where you are shopping? Are you shopping at the least expensive grocery store in your area? I can make about a 30% decrease in my grocery budget by shopping at the least expensive grocery store in my area vs. one of the chains, so that alone could give you some significant savings. I cannot imagine spending that much money on a family of 5, particularly where you have 3 small children.

As far as the rest of your budget, why do you have a category for shopping? Shopping is not a category. The things you are buying belong in categories such as household, groceries, auto maintenance if you're buying things like oil and filters, etc., but shopping by itself is not a category. Perhaps if you stop thinking of it as its own activity and focus on what you are buying and if you need those things, that will help.

What could your kids possibly be doing for activities that cost $80 per month? You have one still in diapers, so it must be the other 2, so is there a way you can find a less expensive alternate to those activities?

Are these all your expenses? If not, you might try tracking everything in writing for a month to see if you have any leaks. That could help you understand if there are other places you might be able to cut.

I don't see how all your daycare costs can go away in a year or so if you still have one in diapers. Won't that child need daycare? I would also suggest that you take the diaper and daycare money when those expenses stop and put them towards college savings.

I don't see any savings categories. Do you have an efund? Are you contributing to a 401k? And when you buy that car for cash, I would suggest keeping that car payment and putting it into savings for the next vehicle.
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