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## Review of Budget and Financial Situation

After a thorough review of the budget, it has become evident that our expenses are escalating beyond control. The total expenses amount to 91k, which only covers the necessities and does not account for any discretionary spending on hobbies, interests, alcohol, or other luxuries. This is a cause for concern as it signifies an unsustainable financial situation that needs immediate attention.

## Family Dynamics and Financial Responsibilities

Our family comprises two adults, a 1-year-old, a 3-year-old, and two children aged 7 and 9 who stay with us for 125 nights a year. We have two vehicles that are fully owned, with no outstanding loans except for the mortgage on our house. Despite not having any credit card payments, the burden of a 320k mortgage, amounting to $2050 per month, weighs heavily on our financial health.

## Detailed Breakdown of Expenses and Potential Cost-Cutting Measures

Our grocery bills alone amount to $450 a week, a figure that seems justifiable considering the size of our family. However, we acknowledge the need to explore cost-cutting measures, such as opting for cheaper alternatives like consuming value pizzas from Domino’s at $18 for lunch and dinner daily. This drastic measure could potentially save us $100 a week, but at the expense of compromising our health due to the absence of fresh fruits and vegetables.

## Financial Constraints and Limited Options

Exploring further avenues for reducing expenses, such as downsizing to one car, is impractical given our family size and work commitments. Moving in with relatives, like my partner’s mother, is also not a viable solution. It is apparent that we are facing financial constraints with limited options for substantial cost-saving measures.

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View Reference


  • timjpry

    I think to really see the expenses i’d for starters pick one timeframe to measure, so all expenses in week not some week and some month so for example $2050 per month for mortgage becomes $473 a week (2050 x 12 / 52)


    473 – mortgage

    450 – groceries

    242 – child support

    = $60,580 – where’s the other $30k?

    and what is your total household income including any FTB A/B?

  • Flangella-Fairyfloss

    That is fairly normal, without going into all our expenses, our mortgage alone costs us $52,000 a year. As a family of five we spend at least the same amount on living expense and bills. There is plenty of fat we could trim if we had to, but we don’t.

  • Kazerati

    It’s possible you could lower the grocery bill (we spend $280/wk for 2 adults, 7yo & 5yo) – however sometimes the answer isn’t to cut costs, but to increase income. & sometimes increasing income means reducing FTB & CCS benefits, but you gotta push through. Find more clients, make more sales, put your prices up, add extra income streams. You’re not being insensible with your money, that’s ~~hustle~~ *just how much it costs you to live. So increase the top line.

  • gordito_gr

    For a family of 4/6 with 2 cars, that amount seems ok??

  • Wooden-Trouble1724

    Eating Domino’s pizza lol what are you even saying come on

  • KoalaBear86

    Interest rates did make us stop and think on how we are spending with a high mortgage relative to our income.

    Net about $190k on 1.5fte
    $72k on mortgage
    ~$70k on everything (previously would have been about $82-90k)
    ~$50k into the offset or ETFs
    ~$7k into salary sac for super

    Cut down on coffees outside, eating out less, meal planning and grocery shopping with lists, checking insurance providers, checking utility providers value for money etc.

    Seeing the amount of interest we are paying reduce ever since we’ve focused on the mortgage keeps us motivated. Offsetting more than an iPhone 15 pro a month now.

  • Any_Manufacturer382

    Please try eating real food for lunch and dinner for your health and your family’s health.
    Health is wealth.

  • Ellen-Plans

    Are you currently able to cover everything or are you going backwards?

    If you are able to cover everything then I would suggest being a bit kinder to yourself and just seeing this as a season in which saving/investing isn’t the priority and that’s ok.

    The child raising years are expensive and I think so many people have got in this mindset that if you aren’t saving/investing/aggressively paying down debt all the time you are living life wrong.

    I feel like telling you to cut Spotify or Netflix is reasonable if you are unable to pay bills but otherwise they are a small luxury in life that I’m sure bring you all pleasure and wouldn’t move the needle much if you cut them. Netflix is much cheaper than taking 2/4 kids to the movies!

    I do feel like your grocery spend is on the high side so you could try cutting it by even $25 or $50 a week if you wanted too – just to give you a little savings buffer for any surprise costs.

    I think you are doing a good job!

  • Admiral-Barbarossa

    Sounds about right with loan repayment and insurance.

  • santaslayer0932

    I do like OP’s outline of expenditure. It feels very realistic and at least they are giving this an honest, long hard look at.

    I apologise in advance as I haven’t read everyone’s responses but the easiest ones to reconsider are:

    – YT Premium and Spotify – choose one and not both.
    – I am on a $25 phone plan with Woolworths, it also gives you a 10% discount shop/month. The rest of the data use, try and chuck it on wifi.
    – hobbies and fun – reconsider what you can do for fun which is free. Sorry might be boring for some, but picnics, parks, museums, library are all free.
    – is the business something that requires you both present? If not, consider having one of you getting a side gig.

  • Additional-Scene-630

    You could definately save a significant amount, probably $10k a year on groceries.

  • angrathias

    Seems ok, our annual spend is 120k (before discretionary spending) and we’re a family of 4, which 2 kids under 10.

    As long as your HHI > 250k I wouldn’t sweat it

  • dhehwa

    Need combined income for context.
    Would find you probably alright.

  • shavedratscrotum

    Damn, was looking for something egregious but yeah belong mobile for phone plans and boot spotify, but that’s not saving much

  • antigravity83

    We spend around $100k a year.

    2 adults, 3 kids, 2 animals.

    – $500k mortgage @ 6%- 2 cars. One paid off, the other loaned @ 3%

    Don’t live an extravagant lifestyle. No holidays, rarely eat out.

    – Check insurances every year
    – prepaid sims for mobiles
    – no netflix etc
    – No fancy clothes
    – $250 week groceries

  • ribbonsofnight

    I believe anyone spending this much and saying it’s all non-discretionary can’t understand that things they can’t imagine not doing aren’t all non-discretionary.

  • 1MrXtra

    Are you happy? My family of 4 spends $120k per year before the mortgage and I have no idea where the money goes. But we live a good life and are all very happy. Does the $91k make you unhappy? If yes then change. Plenty of people are happy spending less but really it’s up to you and your partner. Also a lot of people on this sub are very cost conscious (not a bad thing) but I’m not and it doesn’t bother me.

  • ammenz

    “Phones x2, youtube premium, netflix and spotify $155 per month”

    Our current phone plans are $32 per month (moose mobile) with 2 android phones owned outright worth around $300 each that would last us 2 to 5 years.

    For Youtube I use ublock origin, sponsorblock and ghostery.

    Instead of netflix I torrent. I’d rather do that than eat dominos all my meals.

    For Spotify you can listen to the ads.


    “Power, gas, water, internet $6336”

    Seems high. Do you use aircon/heating 24/7? Do you hang your clothes outside or use a dryer? Are you getting the most of your tariff by running power-hungry appliances at the right time of the day? Eco program for washing machine and dishwashing? Gas or electric Hot Water System?


    Unfortunately your divorce(s) is(are) affecting your budget in a way that it won’t get better until all your kids are in their late teens and start their first jobs.

  • m0zz1e1

    That’s less than I spend, 1 parent and 2 kids 50% of the time (plus $1k a month in child support). You are doing fine.

  • True_Dragonfruit681

    Cam your mother selling up and move in with you

  • Bentley5555

    You mentioned in another thread that you both own small businesses, with yours achieving significant growth over the past couple of years.

    A look at the budget for some quick wins.

    Then I would be focusing all my energy on how to make more profit in the businesses.

    PAYGs do not get this ability to control and quickly ramp their income like Business Owners. So double down on this opportunity.

  • eyejaydriver

    Oh – and another one, tho not for everyone, is buy second had cloths on eBay – I buy named brands at a fraction of the cost ( say 30 for a short rather that 120)

  • doubledgedsword77

    Family of 4 here. Just my own budget, cause partner and I have separate accounts and we share mortgage equally although the rest of expenses is approx 60/40 % where I spend more. My yearly net income is close to 90k (after tax) and i spend yearly approx 80k. This is only my expenses, and excludes my partner’s. We probably go out for dinner twice a month and never do takeway. We only have 2 subscriptions (Netflix and gamepass) and go for holidays approx 10 days per year (approx. 4-5k). I don’t know exactly how much my partner spends but wouldn’t be surprised if our early combined expenses would be close to 130-140k. Disclaimer: we have 3 mortgages (3 properties, 1 positive cash flow 4k net per year) and 2 cars on lease (2.1k per month combined). With today’s cost of living I bet there are other frugal families that spends even more.
    Mind you we could sell the properties.. but at this stage we can still afford the mortgages. We both lease electric cars so pay no fringe benefit tax so pretty good deal.

  • No-Chance9395

    I don’t know, seems good to me. Our monthly expenses are around 10k on the cc, which doesn’t include mortgage repayments.

  • Nice_Option1598

    That just seems normal to me. We are a family of 4, after housing, essential bills, private health, medical bills, gifts etc we would spend the same. The crazy thing is we do nothing fun ever, we spend no money on movies, holidays, concerts, new clothes/furniture. It’s just essentials or new shoes for kids growing feet, kids specialists or tonsil surgery, dentists, glasses, kids birthday party gifts. It goes so quickly! Even 2 kids lunch order once a week comes to $12 these days. Our diesel costs are high as we live far away from work and I can’t take public transport as I am a teacher who works in a suburban area with no nearby trains or bus etc. We haven’t been on a plane or any type of proper holiday for 7 years nor made a purchase over $300 of anything. Yet we make supposed good money. The worst is winter when we all get sick and need constant expensive doctors visits which add up.

  • Profession_Mobile

    How much are school fees and activities?
    I found shopping at the markets halved my grocery bill and shopping at a fruit market, independent butcher and sup supermarket for minor things cut it by around 30%. Also to add, if you’re in Sydney and you have 4 kids, 2 cars and a mortgage it’s pretty standard..

  • glyptometa

    Great work summarising, and if it’s affordable and what you want, no issue at all.

    If you want to cut back, be brutally honest about ‘wants’ vs. ‘needs’. Put them in two columns. Then decide what works for you.

    Some things will have numbers in both columns.

    Petrol: meeting cars technical need (say ULP91) and combining more trips or only using for commuting: $4000; filling up with 95; driving kids to school; extra trips $1000

    Phone: meet smartphone need $720; new phone every year, subscriptions, norton protector, whatever $400

    And so on.

    Then choose ‘wants’ as you see fit.

  • cricketmad14

    Eating 3 large pizzas long term will cost you your health and cost you more. Very stupid decision.

    Seeing a specialist will cost you a lot more than a grocery bill.

  • jbravo_au

    That’s standard for a family in Australia; most families I know with <$150k gross HHI are pay-check to pay-check, saving nothing of significance.

    I have a one year old and spend $150k per annum in outgoings with no mortgage nor car loan.

  • Material-Pop-4522

    What the hell you buying at grocery shop? $100 a week is good for us 2 adult no kids. Can’t imagine any more than $250 a week for your family??

  • Arpharp8976Fir3

    Agreed it’s out of hand that’s like a millionaire’s spend

  • abittenapple

    You spending way more need to consider deprecation 

  • Unhappy_Record_3277

    91k is 4 Jobseeker Annual incomes plus some change.

    That’s insane spending.