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Could YOU do it??

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Hopes View Drop Down
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    Posted: 17 February 2011 at 7:01am
I was reading a news article about John Key saying that people who had to resort to food parcels had made bad decisions to need to do so. I was curious, so I took the figures the article gave about the dole ($194pw) and accomodation supplement (I assumed max, $225pw), and calculated what someone in our situation (one baby) would get from WFF($88pw).

I doubt we'd get that much accomodation supplement (specially since we live in Hamilton, they'd surely give us less than someone in Auckland) - but I've assumed for the calculation that we could rent a house on whatever we got. Which leaves us $282 a week to live on.

I've come to the conclusion that we could do it, but it would be a real stretch.
$70 - food / gorcery stuff
$20 - petrol
$32 - car upkeep (this is our actual figure per week, allowing for tires, warrents, rego etc. Doesn't include third party)
$25 - phone/internet (you could trim this, I guess I don't NEED the internet)
$40 - power
$15 - clothing
$25 - baby (nappies etc)
That leaves $55 a week for Drs visits, dentist, extra baby stuff, any insurance you want, and the odd choccie bar. It would be a stretch!! I honestly don't think I blame anyone living on this much to have some weeks where they've already used the grocery money before the week starts, and need a hand.

Eta that it also makes some assumptions that aren't likely for someone in this situation. $25 a week is our actual 'baby' allocation in our budget - but I don't know if I could do that if I didn't use cloth nappies, and if you're on the dole you might well not have the $$ to outlay for them.

Edited by Hopes

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T_Rex View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote T_Rex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 7:25am
It would be a stretch, but I know what I used to live off when I was a student (much less than that!), so I'm sure I could do it. Not to mention I grew up in a pretty poor household where the living was pretty basic, but in the end it doesn't matter. At least I know it isn't going to impact badly on my kids not having the latest toys or clothes etc growing up. They'll at least learn to appreciate what they do have.

I'm curious what do you buy for the baby that costs $25/week?

If I wanted to save money on nappies, I'd use cloth nappies off trademe - you can get really good deals if you look for long enough, and 9 months is plenty long enough

Breastfeeding is pretty much free, and baby-led weaning costs next to nothing either. I buy a 6-pack of yoghurt for DD that lasts 2 weeks, and thats about the only extra that I wouldn't have bought if it wasn't for her.

That said, although I could do it, I'm glad I don't have to anymore and feel for people who have to do it for years.
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james View Drop Down
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only just
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Hopes View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hopes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 7:46am
The baby budget doesn't usually get used weekly apart from for the odd packet of disposable nappies (we use them at nights), but I put that aside for when we need something bigger. For example, his carseat, and stuff like that. I just took that bit straight from our budget, you could probably trim it down a bit.

Actually, a lot of that is our budget - I just took out things that weren't essential, like insurance, what I save for presents, what it costs to feed/de-flea the cat etc.

If you could do without a car, you'd save a lot!

Edited by Hopes

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Plushie View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Plushie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 9:02am
I like to think that i could, i lived on the $150 student allowence for three years out of which i payed $90 rent and $30 power/phone per week AND lived so far from uni i drove...left me $10 a week roughly for food and luxurys. Sucks when you need tampons/shampoo etc thats for sure!

My first step would be to lose the car as well, or run it as little as possible.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 9:29am
are you doing it as a single person with a baby on DPB or a couple on the UB, I am not sure of figures what a couple would get.

How do you get WFF if you are not working & getting a benefit? You have to work at least 30hrs a week to get it so I was told.

A friend of mine was on the DPB with 1 child & she got about $550 a week with rent $360 a week in AK, so that left her with about $190 for food, water, power, phone, car, school, insurance & clothing. She got behind with bills all the time but if she gave up smoking she would of had more $. She is still on it but living at home now & gets about $300 a week, I think she should get off it & get a job as her child is 12 now & she was on it before he was born.
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jazzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 9:31am
Originally posted by bowie bowie wrote:

I like to think that i could, i lived on the $150 student allowence for three years out of which i payed $90 rent and $30 power/phone per week AND lived so far from uni i drove...left me $10 a week roughly for food and luxurys. Sucks when you need tampons/shampoo etc thats for sure!

My first step would be to lose the car as well, or run it as little as possible.


I don't think John Key factors in tampons pity.
I don't know how anyone can live of $10 a week
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Bizzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bizzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 9:37am
i dont have a budget written out but i am sure if i had to i could live like that. my husband would probably hurt the most as he likes treats in the cupboard. where we live is close to most stuff we need so i could probably do without the car and that would cut out the petrol and car costs. my husband takes the train to work though so we would have to factor that in. at present it costs (i think) $170 a month. we dont have baby costs and i would probably get rid of the landline before i got rid of the internet!

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Bizzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bizzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 9:42am
ok so i split our bills into weekly and without food it came to $176 - that wasnt running the car though and it included insurance, but that would be less without the car. that would leave me $106 a week for groceries and incidentals including clothes and school stuff - they seem to want money for sausage sizzles and stuff all the time.

luckily for me i wouldnt have to factor in tampons! reusable products for me here - and we dont do shampoo - except my husband. in fact i think the husband and the cats would be the biggest cost to me so i would probably have to leave my husband and get the DPB!

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jazzy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 9:47am
lol about DH Bizzy My DH is bad for wanting, getting stuff without a thought to how much it cost...he even had he cheek to say to me, do I need help with the budget so I told him there is no problem with the budget just his spending...so he has pulled his head in & wants to save as much as poss now...men
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MamaT View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MamaT Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 2:10pm
I think it could be done, obviously people do do it, but yes, it would mean being super careful.

I think $40 a week for power is pretty extravagant. We pay about $70 a month in summer and $120 a month in winter. And yeah, I would get rid of the landline, only use the car when essential etc.


Unfortunately it would be harder and harder the older the children get, with things like clothing, uniforms, school trips, stationary etc etc.


I take my hat off to those who do live on the DPB, it certainly can't be easy.
 
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HoneybunsMa View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HoneybunsMa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 2:44pm
Probably, we lived on Just DP's wage for about 5mths of my pregnancy because I was made redundant which sucked. So we were living on what was meant to be $650pw but he always had a bar tab because he never cooked lunch and took it to work so he ate at work and that was expensive, at the time we didn't pay for parking because he was friends with viaduct security and we paid our $250 on rent so no accommodation supplement because I worked occasionaly on a casual contract which was STUPID

so ours was roughly

rent $250
gas $80 between the two cars
food $100
Phone and internet $22.5
Power $40
Paying off debt $70
his phone $20
my phone and insurance about $15

We are looking at moving out so I am going to have to spend more time doing our budget, he gets paid better now so need to crack into his account to see how much on average it is and trim the fat where needed. I was a much better shopper when we weren't living at my parents as I went to the butcher and bought what was on special and had all the food in the freezer. We also ate alot of fresh fruit


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ElfsMum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 4:56pm
40 a power is excessive? wow ..our power bill is about 120 summer and 300 in winter:( and that is normal round here.. :( it's awful and ridiculous.. wow I couldn't live off that amount.. but then we definitely could budget better... mind you we get no accomodation supplement either but WFf for two kids..
Mum to two amazing boys!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HoneybunsMa Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 7:33pm
Oh I think the max that WINZ pays for the accommodation supplement may be about $300 but I could be wrong, its different if your income is through winz only. Such as if your only on the DPB or UB because they pay your whole rent to a point unlike if you are working and getting the accommodation supplement they pay a fraction depending on your earnings.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shadowfeet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 7:44pm

If you have a welcome home loan are you even eligible for the accommodation supplement, seeing as you're paying a mortgage to a housing new zealand coorporation? So it would be pretty impossible in that case


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote peanut butter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 7:50pm
$40 a week for power is amazing!!! here its about$140 per month in summer and up to $400 in winter...and thats without heating or water (gas).

I put aside $895!!! a fortnight for our bills....excluding food and mortgage. What am I spending that you guys arent? This is ours per fortnight. Ok we could do without sky..but the rest is pretty realistic I would have thought.

Telecom      $55.00
Insurance $60.00
Life Ins $46.00
Health Ins $76.00
Rates      $65.00
Sky      $35.00
AA      $5.00
Car (WOF, rego, service) $50.00
Childcare $130.00
Power      $100.00
Gas      $135.00
Fuel      $50.00
Misc      $85.00


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mumoftwins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 February 2011 at 7:53pm
While I don't agree with John Key most of the time....this time I do to an extent.
My DH lost his job 2 wks before our 4th baby arrived (last official day of work was the day she was born!) and we had to go on the dole. It was 16 weeks before he was employed again ( and we had to move cities to get a job). We survived, paid off our car, covered all our bills every month and ate well (budget, but well).
What many people don't realise is the basic dole amount is not all you get! If you have car payments and HP's they can be covered by the temporary additional support payment. You get WFF's and accommodation supplement. I was stunned (and relieved!!) to learn just how much we were going to receive each week. I can see how some choose to make the dole a life style but can't understand why you would want too......you are not rolling in cash, we had very little left over after all the necessary stuff was paid for.
Some, not all of the people using the food banks are there because of bad decisions yes......and some will be there because of an unexpected bill.....but you also get 500 dollars in food grants (we think it is every 6 months....can't remember) for just such a situation!
People need to learn real budgeting skills, good shopping skills and how to NOT waste money.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote T_Rex Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2011 at 8:19am
Our power bill is usually about the same as MamaT's, but last winter we all had swine flu and DD especially bad, so we had the heaters going pretty much constantly (especially once we ran out of firewood cos we'd had the fire going way more than we'd planned) and we racked up a couple of $500/month bills. We were pretty but also so glad that me working means our budget can cope with that if it has to (we cut other things out, but at least there were things that could be cut). I can't imagine how hard it would be having a sick baby and having to worry about how much it was costing you to keep them warm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2011 at 8:43am
I have just changed power companies so am waiting for the first bill. Usually about $150-180 in summer & around $300+ in winter but we use heaters.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jazzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 February 2011 at 8:55am
mumoftwins I agree with what you said about budgeting skills.
Glad your DH got a job again.
My DH job was disestablished as a direct hit from the government on his sector & with the chance of redundancy I rang WINZ to see what would happen to us as I am not working. They had just brought in a benefit with extra help for those that lost their jobs due to the recession. I was going to get part time work while he was looking for work & they advised me not to do it as we would not get as much . So with redundancy, kids & what they would of paid for several months & the extra help they can offer we would of been quite alright...in the end he stayed where he was & moved to a different team with a pay rise so all worked out fine for us...but it goes to show you what is available out there.

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