Are we spending way too much?

tnegun

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Messages
261
Single income PAYE household, trying to get a handle on finances as we'd love to move in the next 5 years as our current home is just too small. I don't know how realistic that is as we'd need to borrow another 100-150k to afford anything bigger and make the move worthwhile close to where we live. We've been a single income family since 2008 and lived on 40-50k gross a year until quite recently so have lived frugally with no eating out/nights out, no holidays, one car, PAYG mobile, no tv subs etc. and don't want to go back to that but am wondering if we've over done the bounce back.

Age: 39
Spouse’s/Partner's age: 37

Annual gross income from employment or profession: 116k from P60 Employer pays family health and makes a pension contribution.
Annual gross income of spouse: N/a

Monthly take-home pay 5600 I get a performance bonus quarterly approx. €1000-1400

Type of employment: e.g. Civil Servant, self-employed - PAYE Worker

In general are you:
Breaking even some months money is saved for near term expenses e.g. summer holidays/Christmas/Birthdays/Communions etc.

Rough estimate of value of home 315k
Amount outstanding on your mortgage: 270k
What interest rate are you paying? 3%

Other borrowings – car loans/personal loans etc
9k Car loan 4.5 years left 300pm
6k family loan no current repayment probably due in 12-18 months

Do you pay off your full credit card balance each month? Yes
Savings and investments: Approx 20k in an old pension

Do you have a pension scheme? Yes
I pay 400 pm and employer matches it

Do you own any investment or other property?
No

Ages of children:
11,9,7,5

Life insurance:
Mortgage Cover only.

Monthly Outgoings
Mortgage €1260
Electric €120
Gas €60
Broadband/TV €120
Canada Life €35
CC €2500 Typically made up of
Groceries €1200,​
Eating Out - €220,​
Household(Bins, Insurance, Maintenance, furnishings) - €320,​
Extra Curricular €320,​
Birthdays/Family €170,​
Clothes €150​
Cash up to €500 typically whatever is left after the other expenses - Typically covers day to day expenses, school trips, charity sponsorships, babysitter/nights out 2/3 a month
Mobiles €70
Car Loan €310
Car AA/Fuel/Tax/Ins €450

Annual holidays/travel 5-7k

edit:
I briefly saw @lepers post but welcome any input no matter how critical we both need a bit of a wake up as I said we lived hand to mouth for a long time but that has be significantly reversed over the last 18-24 months.

Currently the child allowance €560 is diverted into building an emergency fund only the last 4 months so far was hoping to get this to 4k and just leave it in the Credit Union prior to that I paid down the family loan from 15k to the current 6k over about 18 months.

Sometimes there is money over and sometimes short this year had a few big expenses too, my OH got her engagement and wedding ring 10 years late, along with a few long over due home improvements to make things comfortable. But yes on the cusp of spending everything that's earned and that has me worried.

Re income protection with work I have protection that if I die or unable to work they'll pay a certain % (I think its 50%+) until retirement age but I must get the details on that again. What should I have in place?

The OH should be able to return to work in the next 5 years (The health issues have improved significantly in the last 2 years plus an upcoming surgery likely this year and we'll know for certain) just need to weigh up the costs of childcare and the logistics of getting 4 kids out to school, and the extra circular stuff.

Pension fund is 20k locked in with a previous employer and about 10k built up with this employment I'm contributing 5% and my employer is matching but need to confirm it.

The bigger elephant in the room is the OHs residual debt from a buy to let gone bad we can get no info from the fund that bought the debt other than to keep submitting financials along with a proposal and they will get back to us, so far every proposal has been rejected. I think this has the biggest chance of preventing any move but we've been in limbo on it for years now with no movement so need to start planning for the future.
 
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Boyd

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,589
It all looks fairly tight to me. Do you have money left at the end of the month? Do you have an emergency fund at all for unexpected things like car service/shower breakdown?

Rough calculations are that your listed monthly outgoings add up to around E5500, with E5600 take home pay. You must have very little surplus cash per month at the rate. Your bonus of 5k per year must go on 5-7k holiday - so you must be right on the cusp of spending every penny you earn?

Don't you also get an extra E560 per month in child benefit (almost E7k annually). Where is that going?

With 116k single salary and 4 dependants I think you should have some sort of income protection in place. Also, your pension contributions look really low for your age and salary, i assume it's the minimum. What is in your fund at the moment or is the E20k it in its entirety?
 
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RedOnion

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Messages
4,436
ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM:- Try and convince your spouse to go working and you (yes you) give more of a hand around the house.
The OP has addressed this in previous posts, so I don't think spouse going back to work is an option.

But I like the frankness of your post.

@tnegun
If you want to trade up, you need to start planning now. You'll need a 20% deposit. That means saving up 45k, along with the equity you have, and getting rid of the car loan.
If you're serious about it, you can do it, but you need to rein in the spending.
 

Boyd

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,589
Saving the E560 into separate account is great. Keep doing that. That gives you options.

Your company would have death in service for sure, usually they pay 4 times (or similar) your salary. Income protection payment 50 percent all the way up to retirement seems very generous if you don't pay any premium, I think you need to find the details of that. However think if you could survive on that with your current expenses....

So you have another mortgage debt hanging over your heads but don't know how much it is (as you say you can't get info)? I'm surprised you left that out originally. So do you pay nothing on that month on month? I don't follow what's happening there.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
40,583
Rough estimate of value of home 315k
Amount outstanding on your mortgage: 270k
the OHs residual debt from a buy to let gone bad
So, you do need to deal with this as it will be hanging over you for a long time to come. The lender does not really need to do much about it. They can just let it sit there.

Your wife should consult a PIP.

At the moment she is insolvent + she has €22k equity in her home - on the assumption that you own it jointly.

A Personal Insolvency Arrangement could sort this out or bankruptcy.

But get advice on this.

Who is the lender and what is the residual debt?

Brendan
 

tnegun

Frequent Poster
Messages
261
Your company would have death in service for sure, usually they pay 4 times (or similar) your salary. Income protection payment 50 percent all the way up to retirement seems very generous if you don't pay any premium, I think you need to find the details of that. However think if you could survive on that with your current expenses....
So you have another mortgage debt hanging over your heads but don't know how much it is (as you say you can't get info)? I'm surprised you left that out originally. So do you pay nothing on that month on month? I don't follow what's happening there.
I dug out an old email from HR this morning and it looks like 2/3 Salary after 6 months up to retirement age with annual increments of 3% less socal welfare, apologies I had the residual in the original post but it got lost somewhere while I was figuring out a monthly breakdown of the CC spend. I closed the browser accidentially at one point. Residual is €150k and so far all proposals have been ignored not rejected just responded to with requests to improve on them the last contact was in September when we threatened bankruptcy.
 
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tnegun

Frequent Poster
Messages
261
So, you do need to deal with this as it will be hanging over you for a long time to come. The lender does not really need to do much about it. They can just let it sit there.

Your wife should consult a PIP.

At the moment she is insolvent + she has €22k equity in her home - on the assumption that you own it jointly.

A Personal Insolvency Arrangement could sort this out or bankruptcy.

But get advice on this.

Who is the lender and what is the residual debt?

Brendan
Thanks Brendan. The fund who bought the debt from EBS are Beltany, we have a PIP just haven't spoken to him since September when we submitted our last proposal to Pepper/Beltany. I was holding off/hoping for some movement on the AIB prevailing rate issue too, along with the fact this mortgage the residual is from was an EBS VBR so was hoping for some movement/news there too.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
40,583
How much is the residual?

Is there any progress on the EBS Variable Base Rate? For example, have you or has someone else complained to the Ombudsman or gone to court?

Brendan
 

Leper

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,169
edit:
"I briefly saw @lepers post but welcome any input no matter how critical we both need a bit of a wake up as I said we lived hand to mouth for a long time but that has be significantly reversed over the last 18-24 months."

Thanks for that. After I posted last night, I decided to pull my criticism as I am no expert in things financial. My fear is that I could cause offence to Tnegun or anybody else lurking outside. And none of us is perfect.
 

michaelm

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,758
If you want to cut back spending you could reduce your groceries spend . . I have two more children than you but spend €160 less on groceries each month. Also your broadband/TV looks big to me; I currently pay €28/month for broadband and get free TV via FTA satellite and Saorview. I have a more granular list of items that come up during the year than you seem to have. I estimate and total these for the year ahead and allocate 1/12th of the total from my monthly income to same.

Also, maybe you don't actually need to move. An attic conversion might save hassle and money.

Whatever about anything else I would suggest that you tweak your spending such that you free up €500/month that you can put into a deposit notice account so you will that the €6k to repay the family loan by the end of 2020.
 
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Leper

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,169
Monthly Bills​
Current​
Predicted​
Savings​
Comments​
1Mortgage
€1260.00​
€1260.00​
€0.00​
None
2Electricity
€120.00​
€120.00​
€0.00​
Improvement Possible with effort
3Gas
€60.00​
€60.00​
€0.00​
I presume this is for heating only
4Broadband/TV
€120.00​
€45.00​
€75.00​
Lunacy. You don’t need Netflix, Sky
5Groceries
€1200.00​
€550.00​
€650.00​
With effort you can save more
6Eating Out
€220.00​
€0.00​
€220.00​
Don’t moan, take it on the chin
7Bins Insurance, Maintenance, Furniture
€320.00​
€150.00​
€170.00​
How much furniture do you need?
8Ex. Curricular
€320.00​
€150.00​
€170.00​
I don’t know summary. I’m guessing
9Sundries/Charity
€500.00​
€75.00​
€425.00​
Babysitter won’t be happy
10Mobile Phones
€70.00​
€70.00​
€0.00​
No problem here
11Car Loan
€320.00​
€0.00​
€320.00​
On your income a Car Loan=Madness
12Car, Fuel, AA,etc
€450.00​
€400.00​
€50.00​
Lose the Automobile Association
13Annual Holidays
€420.00​
€240.00​
€40.00​
You can still go to Spain
14Family Loan
Get it off your back, and fast
15Income Prot.
Forget it!
16Birthdays
€170.00​
€70.00​
€100.00You can do better
17Clothes
€150.00​
€100.00​
€50.00I’m being generous


Positives:-

  • Spouse to return to paid employment.
  • Buy to Let Investment no longer applies.
  • Recognition of situation + You sought advice here rather than paying for it.
  • Childrens’ Allowance Benefit is favourably ringfenced.
  • Income appears to be getting better progressively
  • New Monthly Savings Above (Minimum) €2370.00
  • No drinking/gambling problems
Threats:-

  • You must move house or expand
  • You’re accustomed to spending
  • You’ve a good sense of humour
In my days as an unpaid trades union representative I used to get quite a few enquiries from colleagues regarding profit/losses etc. My tact was to write down everything and then go about minimising outgoings. I hope I'm pointing Tnegun in the right direction.
 
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Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
40,583
Leper

That is excellent.

The only thing I would disagree with is getting rid of the family loan. I presume it's interest free.

Families are often very happy to help and there should be no reluctance to accept help during a very expensive time in one's life.

In 30 years, some of the gnun's kids will be going through expensive periods in their life, and the gnun is going to help them out.

Brendan
 

Leper

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,169
Family Interest Free Loans:-
1. I never had one although I have always recognised the efforts of my parents and parents-in-law in their help looking after some of the financial needs of our children.
2. My opinion that family loans are often begrudged and later causing more difficulties than they solved. I would add that our offspring want family grants rather than family loans.

I should have added that another threat is Health. We can't predict what state our health will be next week, never mind years ahead.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
40,583
My opinion that family loans are often begrudged and later causing more difficulties than they solved.
I know of plenty of cases where people borrowed money when they really needed it and in later years, lent money when they had it.

And I know a few cases where there was some resentment and dispute afterwards.

If the parents can gift money instead that is better.


Brendan
 

RichInSpirit

Frequent Poster
Messages
872
Monthly Bills​
Current​
Predicted​
Savings​
Comments​
1Mortgage
€1260.00​
€1260.00​
€0.00​
None
2Electricity
€120.00​
€120.00​
€0.00​
Improvement Possible with effort
3Gas
€60.00​
€60.00​
€0.00​
I presume this is for heating only
4Broadband/TV
€120.00​
€45.00​
€75.00​
Lunacy. You don’t need Netflix, Sky
5Groceries
€1200.00​
€550.00​
€650.00​
With effort you can save more
6Eating Out
€220.00​
€0.00​
€220.00​
Don’t moan, take it on the chin
7Bins Insurance, Maintenance, Furniture
€320.00​
€150.00​
€170.00​
How much furniture do you need?
8Ex. Curricular
€320.00​
€150.00​
€170.00​
I don’t know summary. I’m guessing
9Sundries/Charity
€500.00​
€75.00​
€425.00​
Babysitter won’t be happy
10Mobile Phones
€70.00​
€70.00​
€0.00​
No problem here
11Car Loan
€320.00​
€0.00​
€320.00​
On your income a Car Loan=Madness
12Car, Fuel, AA,etc
€450.00​
€400.00​
€50.00​
Lose the Automobile Association
13Annual Holidays
€420.00​
€240.00​
€40.00​
You can still go to Spain
14Family Loan
Get it off your back, and fast
15Income Prot.
Forget it!
16Birthdays
€170.00​
€70.00​
€100.00You can do better
17Clothes
€150.00​
€100.00​
€50.00I’m being generous


Positives:-

  • Spouse to return to paid employment.
  • Buy to Let Investment no longer applies.
  • Recognition of situation + You sought advice here rather than paying for it.
  • Childrens’ Allowance Benefit is favourably ringfenced.
  • Income appears to be getting better progressively
  • New Monthly Savings Above (Minimum) €2370.00
  • No drinking/gambling problems
Threats:-

  • You must move house or expand
  • You’re accustomed to spending
  • You’ve a good sense of humour
In my days as an unpaid trades union representative I used to get quite a few enquiries from colleagues regarding profit/losses etc. My tact was to write down everything and then go about minimising outgoings. I hope I'm pointing Tnegun in the right direction.
Love this breakdown of income and expenditure. Might borrow some advice from you for my own use Leper.
 

Leper

Frequent Poster
Messages
1,169
One of the things which really annoys me is seeing a young couple with kids struggling with a mortgage at 4.5% while their parents have money on deposit in the same bank earning 0.1%.

In my view, cut out the bank's margin where possible.

Brendan
Guess what we felt like when an AIB Home Loan was at 19.75%?

I have kept the old AIB summary sheets and look at the occasionally. They keep me well grounded.
 
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