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How does everyone else afford this? UPDATED


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#1 cabbage88

Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:28 PM

We have surprise baby number 4 on the way. I'm currently driving a 7 seater car that will require some difficult modifications to fit a 4th car seat in the back for my eldest. Problem is, that car is now on 250 000km, having several troubling and unresolved mechanical issues and I'm really worried it's soon going to become a mechanical write off. We'd be really lucky to get $2-3k for it.
So looking like we need a new car. But, we are currently paying almost 50% income to rent, despite hubby recently acquiring a much better paying job. I'm 20 weeks pregnant and currently looking for more work because between rent and bills alone we have 2 weeks in the month where we can't afford food. Getting a car loan for a new car seems incredibly stupid, will absolutely destroy us beyond our current financial issues.
So... what the hell do people do?? How do people afford cars when they have a surprise number 4? Or are we just more poor than I realised?
As background... hubby earns $4k per month, $2k rent I earn $1200 per month. School fees $5k per year, loan of $150 per month (No interest furniture loan),  phones and internet $150 per month, and bills are horrific last 3 monthly electricity was $800!!! Insurance for cars I think $100 per month.
What are we screwing up and how the hell do we make this work?? Are there any car options that won't totally destroy us with massive loans?

UPDATE
Thanks for all the input everyone. In the end, I decided to change my work. I'm currently working more, and if I do 4 days I match my partners income and if I do 5 I exceed it. It's meant changing to very different roles, but something I never considered before and never realised how much I could make elsewhere. It's given us a lot of breathing room and a chance to save and catch up on bills. For me, my answer was I was expecting a lifestyle that our income simply could never provide.
Also on barefoot investor, which is awesome. So making some really positive changes towards the life we want.

Edited by cabbage88, 24 February 2019 - 01:48 PM.


#2 Cimbom

Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:38 PM

Why do you have to get a new car? Get a used one

#3 Dirty Cat

Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:39 PM

Think you need to do a detailed budget to see where all your money is going

#4 literally nobody

Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:42 PM

how much do u spend on food?, entertainment? takeaway? sport?

#5 Jenflea

Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:46 PM

A financial planner might be a good idea to help get your money in order and to free up some cash for a new(er) car.

#6 Ozquoll

Posted 10 January 2019 - 08:47 PM

We are on quite a similar income (DH the sole income earner) and pay the same rent as you. We only have one child, so probably our food bills are not as high as yours 😉!
Do you get FTB and rent assistance?
The first place I’d look to cut down is utility bills - $800 a quarter is very high for electricity! Ours rarely tops $300. Have you got all the usual suggestions done - compare providers, LED lighting, efficient appliances, turning things off at the switch, air-con only when house exceeds 26 degrees, etc?
For the car insurance - is it comprehensive? If you’re driving an old beater, I’d drop down to third party insurance only.
For phone and internet - what does that $150 cover - two adults with mobile phones and home internet? I suspect you could get a combined deal that runs a bit cheaper than that.
If the school fees are voluntary, don’t pay them until you are in a better financial position. If the kids are at low-fee private schools, you might need to move them to public school.

#7 Wolf87

Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:00 PM

View PostCimbom, on 10 January 2019 - 08:38 PM, said:

Why do you have to get a new car? Get a used one

I think she means a new car as in a replacement for her old one, not a brand new spanker.

#8 cabbage88

Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:19 PM

View PostCimbom, on 10 January 2019 - 08:38 PM, said:

Why do you have to get a new car? Get a used one
Would never buy a new one- but buying one with 4 anchor points I'm looking at Aaron's $20k. Second hand is new to me!

#9 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:20 PM

We used savings for our ‘new car’ when our 4th came along.
But no private school fees or anything like that.

#10 BBC

Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:24 PM

Does the baby bonus still exist?
Perhaps you could get a second hand van with it?
I'm probably hopelessly out of date.

#11 cabbage88

Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:25 PM

View PostOzquoll, on 10 January 2019 - 08:47 PM, said:

We are on quite a similar income (DH the sole income earner) and pay the same rent as you. We only have one child, so probably our food bills are not as high as yours 😉!
Do you get FTB and rent assistance?
The first place I’d look to cut down is utility bills - $800 a quarter is very high for electricity! Ours rarely tops $300. Have you got all the usual suggestions done - compare providers, LED lighting, efficient appliances, turning things off at the switch, air-con only when house exceeds 26 degrees, etc?
For the car insurance - is it comprehensive? If you’re driving an old beater, I’d drop down to third party insurance only.
For phone and internet - what does that $150 cover - two adults with mobile phones and home internet? I suspect you could get a combined deal that runs a bit cheaper than that.
If the school fees are voluntary, don’t pay them until you are in a better financial position. If the kids are at low-fee private schools, you might need to move them to public school.

Thankyou for reply.
We have 3 kids currently, spend about $350 total for groceries, rarely get takeaway. We just moved and our current place should be much more efficient- our last place was horrendous! Hoping it drops.
I think our little one would be totally crushed if we pulled her now- she's about to do FYOS,met friends teachers etc with much trepidation and is quite excited to go to a school where she doesn't feel she has to hide our religious beliefs (we are religious, and she got very distressed at her kinder when she got in trouble for sharing what she believes). Anyway long story, but if we pulled her now I think she would be devastated. It would be my last resort!
ETA- phone and internet for two for 150 but I'm stuck in my expensive contract paying off a handset... my bad :-/

Edited by cabbage88, 10 January 2019 - 09:27 PM.


#12 bakesgirls

Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:26 PM

School fees of 5K/year. Even though it sounds like a low fee private school, you can't afford it if you're struggling to buy food. Is changing schools to a public school an option?

ETA- I just saw your response to the school question. All I can say is your kids will get over it if they have to move. Food and shelter are priorities and you've stated you have 2 weeks a month you can't afford food. Take the emotion out of it and be practical. It's only going to get harder and funds tighter with another child on the way.

OR

Can you approach the school and ask for reduced fees/no fees due to inability to afford it?

If you can't get a fee reduction bringing your fees down to almost zero, then ALL of your kids need to be in a public school. It really is unreasonable to prioritise a private school over feeding your children properly and scrimping to survive but still not having enough.

Edited by bakesgirls, 10 January 2019 - 10:02 PM.


#13 cabbage88

Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:28 PM

View PostBBC, on 10 January 2019 - 09:24 PM, said:

Does the baby bonus still exist?
Perhaps you could get a second hand van with it?
I'm probably hopelessly out of date.
Oh I so so wish!! We bought our current car with it 6 years ago so good. It's about$1k now. Doesn't even cover me for the lost pay between when I have to stop work because I'm too fat to go and when bub is born and mat leave kicks in

#14 blimkybill

Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:36 PM

View Postcabbage88, on 10 January 2019 - 09:25 PM, said:



Thankyou for reply.
We have 3 kids currently, spend about $350 total for groceries, rarely get takeaway. We just moved and our current place should be much more efficient- our last place was horrendous! Hoping it drops.
I think our little one would be totally crushed if we pulled her now- she's about to do FYOS,met friends teachers etc with much trepidation and is quite excited to go to a school where she doesn't feel she has to hide our religious beliefs (we are religious, and she got very distressed at her kinder when she got in trouble for sharing what she believes). Anyway long story, but if we pulled her now I think she would be devastated. It would be my last resort!
ETA- phone and internet for two for 150 but I'm stuck in my expensive contract paying off a handset... my bad :-/
If you are wondering about how people afford 4 kids on a modest income, well they don't use private schools. Sorry to say it but it does not seem affordable for you. What will happen when it's 2 then 3 at school?
Home schooling might be an option for you?
Also each child brings more FTB. Maybe keep the car going for another year or two if you can and save so you don't need to borrow all of the $20k.

#15 Bam1

Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:43 PM

When we had a surprise 5th due to twins - all thoughts of private school went out the window  - we afforded it by going public. Your DD hasnt officially started yet, she will cope with a new school

#16 sahmie

Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:47 PM

If you think it’s going to be hard for your daughter now, think about how that feeling will intensify once shes found friends at her school.  
In addition, if she’s moved to a new school midway through a year, she has twice as much work ahead of her breaking into friendship groups that have already established themselves.
You cannot afford private school if you don’t eat for half the year. Move her now before the term starts.

#17 Mands09

Posted 10 January 2019 - 09:57 PM

I would move your daughter across to the public school to start Kindy there. In fact it’s what I have done with my eldest who is starting FYOS this year. We hd him in a private ELC to the continue on but once no 3 came along there was no way we could afford school fees for 3. 2 was manageable but 3 was no chance.

Also, is your eldest old enough for a booster? I’d buy a booster that doesn’t need to be tethered so that you don’t have to modify your car. Put the money towards saving for a new one.

As for not being able to afford food for 50% of the time, it will only get worse.:( best do up a detailed budget and try and find cost savings across the board.

#18 imme

Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:15 PM

View Postcabbage88, on 10 January 2019 - 09:19 PM, said:

Would never buy a new one- but buying one with 4 anchor points I'm looking at Aaron's $20k. Second hand is new to me!

We bought a Kia Grande Carnival, 8 seater with 5 anchor points second hand for $6,000.  They are around a fair bit so worth a look  :)

#19 fancie shmancie

Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:16 PM

Sorry OP, but you really need to enrol your DD in a public school.  Sending her to the school she is currently enrolled in is untenable.

Children and parents having sufficient, nutritious food is far more important than having your children in a religious school.

You're religious, you can take care of her religious education and spirituality.  It's more important for you all to have full bellies.

#20 FuzzyChocolateToes

Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:17 PM

We had a surprise #4. All the kids go to public schools. Private was not something I even considered with 4 kids.

Can your eldest travel on a non-tethered booster? Could you manage with one car? We have one car,  but we are close to PT.

Why is your electricity bill that high? I've never had a bill that high.

Edited by FuzzyChocolateToes, 10 January 2019 - 10:21 PM.


#21 pinkandgold

Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:34 PM

The $5k a year is only the minimum. There is also the expensive uniform and food for her recess and lunch everyday. How about excursions and extra curriculars?
I think you need to start thinking long term and how decisions you make now will impact you in the future.

I don't have 4 kids but even with just the one (and we are double income) there are challenging time. I just posted about doing a $250 fortnight grocery shop as we  had a big unexpected expense come in which made us revise our food shop.

What will you do if something else brakes down?

I don't know how people do it ... maybe ask family for help, apply for a personal loan, apply for a loan via cash converters, not eat for a week ... just some things that come to mind.

#22 Heather11

Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:46 PM

I think you need to do up a budget and see where your money is going.

You haven't mentioned FTB or rent assistance.  Do you receive both?

#23 cardamom

Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:48 PM

View PostJenflea, on 10 January 2019 - 08:46 PM, said:

A financial planner might be a good idea to help get your money in order and to free up some cash for a new(er) car.

Just on this - please go for a financial counsellor, not a financial planner. Financial planners provide investment advice and assist with wealth/asset management, and charge a fee; financial counsellors work with people experiencing financial difficulty or hardship, and are free. They might be able to connect you with something like a no-interest loan to assist, or other opportunities/hardship considerations that could help.

It's only a small part of the puzzle, but is there a Saver Plus program near you? It's a matched savings and financial education program run by ANZ and the Brotherhood of St Laurence, if eligible you can receive up to $500 to put towards education costs. You also get a series of free financial education workshops which might help with your budget overall.

Good luck.

#24 BECZ

Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:49 PM

I don't know, we just make it work.

I don't work and DF earns over 1k less per month than your DH.  

In all fairness, we planned no.4 so saved for a bigger car.  We put up with our old car as long as possible, to the point that it wasn't worth repairing, so that we could pay cash.  We actually had to shuffle kids for a couple of months as our new car sat on the docks for longer than expected and it then took the dealer over a week to add the agreed extras, but we survived.

DF's income basically pays the mortgage and related insurances plus his income protection/life insurance and that's about it.  The rest is paid for by FTB. ie. food, private health, power (we installed solar, but our bills are still about $500), rates, etc.

We are changing our kid's from a Catholic school to public, but not for financial reasons.  All four of my kid's fees were less than $5k combined.  Closer to $4k.  So maybe you could find a cheaper yet still religious school.

For extras we basically rely on the family tax sups to cover extras that come up throughout the year like car rego and other irregular expenses.  I always over estimate DF's income so get a bigger lump sum with the sups.

We don't live week to week, we actually have about 6 months worth of income in savings.  It just builds up over time.  Sometimes it goes down too.  We are cautious about what we spend, but don't really go without either (we'll in my opinion anyway).  Don't get me wrong, I used to spend around $200 at the hairdresser per month, yet now have longer hair (less haircuts) and do my own colour.  So there are some changes that we have made since having kids, but as I no longer work, I'm not so bothered about my hair etc. We no longer drink very often, but Coke is a weakness for both DF and I.

We still get takeaway, but we shop the specials each week between Coles, Woolies and IGA and stock up on things we like.  This saves us a lot as we like particular brands.
The problem is you need savings to really make this work as some weeks we may spend over $300, yet others we might spend just $50.  Mainly to top up the f/v, bread, milk etc.

We don't have any other debt apart from the mortgage, so that helps too.
I think you maybe need to reassess the necessities and see what you can maybe cut back or out altogether.

#25 Ellie bean

Posted 10 January 2019 - 10:52 PM

Can your church help with food in the short term? I’m not religious but I know my SILs church is great with hampers for congregation members who get stuck.
I’d be thinking, can you afford to send all 4 children to private school? Unfortunately it sounds like it might not be realistic. If not is it better to start your dd in the public system?
Wishing you all the best




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