Why on earth is a budget a bad thing?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I decided since I dont want to work on me, I would attempt to work on our finances. Seemed like a good place to start. I have decided that I think Billy is getting over on us big time so I pulled up a simple little budgeting tool to make sure I was being reasonable considering his income and expenses and I believe I am.

    For the last 5 and a half years that he has been working for Radio Shack we have only charged him 150 a month to live here. In the beginning that was pretty reasonable because he was only working part time and was getting minimum wage. He has always gotten commission but they only get that on cell phones and cell phone accessories. So in the beginning he really didnt make that much and he didnt have a car and he paid my gas to take him to work and back.

    Well for the last 3 years he has been full time and the last two he has been assistant manager. He now makes a whopping 8.75 plus commissions. Not that he makes a whole lot of money but just on the almost 9 bucks an hour he can afford to pay me 115 every other week when he gets paid. That is less than his car payment. He has 3 credit cards which he is ever so proud to tell me about. Not my problem. He can consolidate and get rid of one if it is too much to pay on all three.

    My cable and internet is so high because he wanted the higher package with his own dvr receiver. If he only had a simple cable running into his room like I have going into the room Cory is in right now and Tony sleeps in or which is the guest room when no one is in there, it would be much cheaper. Heck at this point I just got something in the mail saying I could switch to ATT and get dsl and DISH for about half the price of what I am paying but he doesnt want dsl because he says it is too slow to play his games. I dont play games. I doubt I would notice the difference.

    If he cant up his rent from 150 to 230, well, he is going to have to move down to his girlfriends. He left tonight to spend three days with her. He can obviously afford to do that.

    Its also an issue of he doesnt do a thing to help around here. I left one day to go to the doctor at 11 am and specifically told him I was not going to be back until close to 6 pm. I needed him to clean the kitchen completely. By now he knows what I mean. I have gone over this with him time and again, even spelling it out and getting mad at him. I know he is being passive aggressive about it. I came home and the only thing he had done was put a trash bag in the trash can and thrown away about 4 items. Cory was here...this was before he moved home...when I left and I called him on the phone that night and I asked him how long Billy stayed in the living room after I left. He told me long enough to set up the Playstation 3 for him and then he went to his room. I imagine Billy didnt come back out until about 5 and did the little bit he did. No dishes, nothing taken out for supper...nothing. All the things I had asked him to do werent done. He called me about dinner and said he couldnt figure out what to make. Since I wasnt home, I had no idea. I picked up pizza.

    Now tonight I couldnt sleep because Im not feeling well so I decided to do a budget for Tony and I and he gets a bee in his bonnet. He doesnt want to give me his check stubs each week so I can do an accurate budget. Sigh. I said okay, then just tell me the amounts and I will set up an envelope system and give you the money in the envelopes to put up. Im not asking him to trust me with saving the money because that really isnt such a good idea. Im not known for being good with money in my hand. I am bipolar and me and money just dont go together well. I tend to see things I want and I spend the money. I know this about me so I am more than willing to let him take care of the money. He can save it well. I do well with things on paper though. I want to start putting little bits each week into envelopes so that when we do have emergencies come up, we are prepared. He thinks I am trying to control him. Argh. I cant do it just with my money because that is stupid. Its useless.

    I just need to show him better on paper. I guess maybe waking him up at quarter to 4 wasnt such a good time to talk about things.
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I think that is definitely your FIRST problem... timing is everything, they say!
    But to the question on the title of the thread?
    If things are really bad and there is no way out of a bad situation, all a budget does is highlight the hopelessness.
    Not doing it doesn't solve anything either, but Tony would probably rather NOT know how bad it really is.
  3. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    As far as Billy goes... there's no way I'll be paying for upgraded internet just so my kids can do what they want... I need basic. If you "need" more than that, they YOU pay the diff. For an absolute minimum.
  4. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Janet...I am going to tell you what people told me about Mr. 35-But-Still-A-Baby.

    My 35 year old has some serious mental disorders, but he is capable of working and, like Jamie, Mr. 35 likes to live above his means so he is always playing catchup. He doesn't live with his parents, but that in a way only makes it worse because he has higher bills for the house he can't afford.

    Like I was told, you do NOT owe Jamie a darn thing anymore. You are his mother, not his mommy (thank you to whomever thought that one up. I love it!). If he wants all these perks, he should move out to somewhere cheap and affordable and see if HE can pay for these perks. $230 a month is in my opinion way too cheap unless he helps fix t hings, mows the lawn, contributes to your utilities and food bills and pitches in his money voluntarily when things are tight. Sorry, but I'm in the mood where I'm not too happy with grown kids who act like toddlers. I want, I want, I want. Well, Janet, you and I want a million dollars...lol...we aren't going to get it. Our grown kids who never grew up need to learn they can't have everything just because "I want." I sent my son a letter. Time to send one to Jamie, even if he lives with you? I think sometimes letters are easier because nobody gets tongue-tired or angry and you get to put it all down :)

    As for budgeting, Tom does budget, but he never makes any allowances for unexpected expenses so almost every pay period is a clever trick to pay all our bills plus buy food :/ MEN!!!!!!! Yikes!

    Let's see how we both survive this :)
  5. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I think it is possible this had something to do with it :rofl:

    Do the math, put it on the paper, pick up the important points you want to discuss with him, come up with possibilities and solutions for him to think and have a new try some other time. Preferably not 4 a. m., when he is not too tired, when he is not hungry and when he is not watching sports or in the hurry to get somewhere. And give him a copy of those papers so he can look them in his own time, if he is not ready to think about it at the time you present it.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Ah.....Billy and Tony are two different issues altogether. You and Tony can decide that Billy needs to contribute more to the household and go for it. Tony?? Why would you expect Tony to change after thirty years? I may be wrong, Janet, but it sure has sounded like you do your thing and Tony does his thing with the $$'s. Unless the two of you have a common goal or concern that is not being addressed...I think you need to write a novel in the wee hours. :consoling: DDD
  7. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    in my opinion waking my husband up to talk about anything at 3:45am is NOT going to result in anything good. While I am often awake at that hour, wth a mnd that is at least semi functional, my husband so totally is NOT. Given that my husband doesn't go and do hard physical labor every day, the way Tony does, but he does go to work every day whether it is to teach, work an event on campus, or to prepare for class and help students, I try to be respectful about his need for sleep.

    As for Billy, you are not doing him any favors allowing him to live the lifestyle of a person who has a much higher income. He is currently earning $18,000 plus commission but he is spending only $1800 on rent and bills for his room and board. Most financial guides advise keeping mortgage/rent to no more than 25% of income, and for most people it can be very hard to keep under that amount, esp as I was told that includes utilities. Billy's rent and share of the bills, NOT including food, should be more in the line of $450 per month, or $225 per pay period. He should be paying food ON TOP of that amount. You say his food expenses cost you more than $150 per month. You are perfectly within your rights to start charging him for what his food actually costs.

    He is going to be very angry and rather confused when you change the rules. You can tell him you have had to redo the budget for the new year because you need to get a handle on spending due to the increased medical costs (or whatever, just DO NOT say it is because cory is moving home, esp as we KNOW it isn't that!) and this is a more equitable arrangement for all the adults. Do not discuss Cory's income and what he is paying you. That is NOT somethng that Billy needs to know, it is between you, Tony and Cory. Billy also doesn't have an infant who needs so much and has spent years supporting himself AND Mandy AND over a year supporting McKenzie. Billy can afford to pay more because he simply has no real expenses that are not luxuries beyond his car and gas to go to work.

    Call the internet provider and see how much it would cost you to get a package that suits YOUR needs and Tony's needs and any basic needs you feel you WISH to provide for others who are in your home. Do NOT include the super fast whatever stuff that is for gamers. You don't need it and you won't really miss it, esp as Billy likely uses enough bandwidth or whatever that it slows down whatever you are doing online, at least when he is home. Inform Billy in a totally matter of fact way that the internet/tv/whatever service is changing to this via that company and if Billy wants more that is his choice and he is free to pay you up front for six months of the fees for whatever the upgraded service costs. This includes him paying for the equipment if you can send the equipment back and get cheaper stuff that will do what you want.

    Billy is living the lifestyle of someone who is earned well more than double his base salary and he isn't working at all for that increased lifestyle. I am horrified at how little he does for you and how he is babied and how Tony seems to see nothing wrong but if Cory was in Billy's situation then it would be WW3 at your house between them. Billy has challenges, but so does everyone. You went out and held a job and lived wthin your means as much as humanly possible. in my opinion Billy isn't even TRYING to live within his means or to be ndependent. I don't know how a girlfriend would even begin to cope wtih that, I honestly don't. I am glad he has one, and I hope she is loving and caring and TOUGH on him, esp about all the gaming and not dong anything to help his disabled mother with the house or the bills.

    I am esp horrified because in many threads about Billy it seems like he keeps trying to rub your nose in the fact that you are 'poor' and he has such a nice car and clothes and stuff. But if you didn't have to pay almost all of his living expenses, you COULD get someone to come in a couple times a month to help clean, and you could have nicer things. I don't think he even has a clue how expensive his lifestyle is, and he needs to learn that asap. in my opinion he also needs to have his internet cut off until he gets with the program as far as chores and cleaning and being a good roommate. But that is me, and I will not be the one there as he rages when he cannot get his fix, so I understand that it may not be the right choice for you in your situation. I respect that you can evaluate that and make the choice that is best and safest for YOU.

    I think the budget is a great idea, and not just for you. I find that we fight less and generally feel more secure if we know what the bills are, when they are paid and that they were actually paid. it is a very good thing, at least for my marriage, for each of us to know the state of our finances. Write out a budget based on the info you do have. Wait a few days or until you have a quiet time that you can talk to Tony about this, and make sure that he isn't blindsided by the topic or timing.

    Regardless of what budget you and Tony have, it is unfair to Billy to let him slide by with the pitiful amount he is currently paying you. Esp given that until recently he would eat a 2 lb block of cheese in a day or two (you said this on another post). Eating on that scale would put us out of house and home! If Billy wants to eat that way then he NEEDS to know all the costs of that choice.

    (((((hugs))))) and lots of support as you go through and implement these changes. As you do, remember that you don't like change any more than anyone else does, esp when it isn't your idea. Don't give up, expect opposition and attitude, and insist on respect and 'my house, my rules' as well as 'do to get'.
  8. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    On the challenges with Billy... I had lots of friends that had to pay "going rates" for room and board. (I paid in sweat labour.) The ones that had average-to-poor parents, the parents needed the money. The ones who were better off, did it because the kids needed to learn... and they saved up the actual rent money and presented it as part of their wedding gift (much to the surprise of the couple!) - the theory being that they would have just spent it anyway.

    Every able-bodied adult living at home, in my opinion, has to contribute significantly to the running of the household. You work or you pay... and the owner of the house has the final word. (work as in... scrubbing floors, cleaning washrooms, mowing grass, snow-clearing, hauling trash... WORK... not "dusting your room")
  9. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    Honestly I'm amazed you don't make him buy his own groceries and keep them separate from yours. Ditto any internet and cable above and beyond what you and Tony need/want and make Billy pay the difference in the bill on top of rent for room and charging him to clean up after him (since he doesn't clean up after himself).
  10. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Tony must be an OK guy because if I woke my H up at 4:00 am to discuss anything - I'd better be at death's door! And if not - I might get to that door pretty quick...(LOL)

    I think your feelings are very justified with Jamie. And I understand your frustration with Tony. I would be careful not to lump them in the same category - and I know you are not - but you don't want TONY to take it that way. If I were in your shoes, I would work out the budget and then sit down and discuss it with Tony and both of you get on the same page as far as Jamie goes. Then the TWO of you present it to Jamie. Honestly, I realize you & T keep your money separate and that it's worked for you forever - and maybe it just needs to be tweaked a bit. in my opinion, as far as Jamie is concerned - 3 adults living in the same house, sharing the same benefits (laundry on premises, electricity, cable, internet etc) should be dividing things up pretty equally. So if you are spending $600 a month on food - that's $200 from each of you. Same with the other household bills. AND THE CHORES. And if no one wants to do the chores - then you hire someone, $90 a months? That's $30 apiece...may make Jamie wise up and start pitching in. And if he wants super duper internet - he pays the upcharge! And don't forget to gently remind him of the wear and tear on your washing machine, furniture, house, carpet - and that he contributes to that wear and tear but has not paid into it!

    Don't even let Cory's name be brought up. He is staying in the guest room? He is a guest for now and if he becomes a permanent resident, you will discuss his contributions at at a later date.

    Mint.com is a free budget maker- maybe you want to try starting there?

    I saw this post it note on Pinterest and thought of putting it on my own refrigerator - my boys are making me nuts with the constant Ipad, Xbox, Streaming Videos over Christmas break. H and I keep getting dumped off the internet while we work because they are hogging the bandwith ... maybe you can put it on your fridge too? Change the WIFI password daily? LOL

  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    A budget is a good thing, if everyone involved is committed and can stick to it. Otherwise it can cause MUCH more trouble than it's worth.

    I used to be an anal retentive budget person. We never had much money and I needed to know where it went and why so that I knew if I could budget out this or that for clothing or whatever. Fred couldn't follow a budget if his life depended on it. It's like it compelled him to spend more, not less. Not only that but I learned in like 20 mins with him NEVER to let him make up the budget. His round about way of reasoning which actually made no sense would have us spending twice as much per month and yet not be able to pay all the bills. I never did figure out if that was deliberate or just some glitch in his brain. lol

    We used to have war because he could not/would not stick to the budget. Ever. Even when he wanted to for some particular reason. (like he got a reward with some of the saved money at the end of a certain period)

    After a few years of nearly going insane with the effort? I said forget it. We had one rule. All bills and food were paid first.........before ANYTHING else came out of a check, gas, cigs, whatever. That worked better and we usually had quite a bit of money left over. But on payday bills were always paid immediately. Otherwise the money would vanish mysteriously somehow. (and no it wasn't me doing it either)

    Billy should be paying more rent. He should also be paying for any "extras" he's adding to your bills like the cable/ internet bill.

    Travis is actually paying the bills at the moment. But before my nest egg vanished he was paying half the monthly bills (not the house payment though) and then took on the satellite bill because I wanted to cancel it completely and he wanted to keep it.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

  13. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Billy ....not Jamie...!!!! Jamie lives 5 hours away. Heaven help me if I had to take him in too...lol. Cory has moved back home...sigh. I figured it wouldnt last long. First break ups dont seem to take.

    And yes, the issues between Billy and Tony are two separate issues. Totally. My brain just runs together at that time in the morning. It wasnt so odd though to talk to Tony that early because he does get up at 4 to go to work. He had started to move around getting restless and I could tell he was about to wake up before his alarm went off. He normally does anyway. It wasnt like I was waking him up in the middle of the night...lol.

    He doesnt think though about saving monthly for things like yearly taxes or putting 50 a month aside to save in case we have car problems. Those are the types of things I am talking about budgeting for. No we arent having major issues with paying for monthly bills. Im talking about writing words on envelopes like Car repairs, Car Registration, Vet Bills, clothing, entertainment, Xmas, Savings, etc and then putting so much each week into the envelope and he can put it up in case we need it. We can pay little bits at a time on property taxes online. That way we are always okay. He is more the type to just lump cash into one sum. I think it would be better to put it into envelopes. Last time he just had lump sums he lent it out and Buck still owes us a bunch. I will be madder than a wet hen if he loans out money out of envelopes. It will be easier to say, well, we dont have any spare cash if the money is tucked away in the envelopes and you dont actually see it laying there.

    As far as Billy, I didnt realize he made that much. He told me he only made like 14K, maybe 15. He could be lying to me though. Or maybe that is after taxes. All I know is he has to contribute more. I wish he would move out and I plan on insisting he do that when he ever finishes with this car accident case. Personally at this point I think he is milking it. He goes to the chiro at least 3 times a week. He claims his arm still hurts so badly he can hardly bring groceries in from the car. He never puts them away when we can get him to bring the light things in. He wont bring in more than one 2 liter drink at a time. I dont know, he may still be hurt for months. I would think if he was that hurt he would need to see more than a chiro though.
  14. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janet, I do agree that Billy, and now Cory, as adults still living at home, have an obligation to you and Tony to pay their share. They should contribute their share of all household utilities, as well as the total for any extra upgrades they want. They should also be contributing to your grocery bill or buying their own. Billy will be lost if he ever moves out on his own - he will be clueless as to what it takes to run independently.

    I mean, my difficult child wanted to upgrade to an iPhone last year (from just a standard phone without data). I told him I would pay the one dollar for the iPhone 4 but he would have to pick up the data charges since all I was paying for was the cell phone on my plan. He pays me $30 from his allowance or his tips from working down at the Hipp.

    Do you and Tony deposit his check in the bank? I actually use a online bank for savings and direct deposit my paycheck into my local bank checking account. I have my online savings bank auto deduct every single week the same amount to put into an account. If I don't touch it, it's easy to do!! If I have a little extra one week, I'll deposit more myself, but every week there is a minimum put into savings. Might want to think about that rather than envelopes for cash which can be used easier or lost...

  15. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not

    JMHO - if a budget is being viewed as a "bad thing"....then your housemates are having some serious financial denial issues - and they'd prefer NOT to face the reality.

    Sounds like that's the issue you need to address first - fantasy vs reality. Why are we buying things we really cannot afford - and not planning for necessities that eventually WILL crop up?

    Good luck!
  16. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Janet, I did my own savings thing........usually without Fred knowing. (if he knew he'd snitch from it every time he thought he needed money) I had my stashes for xmas and my stashes for emergencies and my plain ol' I didn't spend it so there it goes into the stash.....stash. He did contribute because I'd up the food budget to cover what I wanted put into certain stashes, then I'd shop sales ect and put what extra he gave me in with what I didn't spend on food that paycheck.

    After several times of being faced with an unexpected emergency and me popping up with money that should not have been there to cover said emergency, well, he knew I had my stashes. He didn't know where they were of course but often he'd help me add to them too.

    Until he figured out I was stashing away cash he just thought I was a genius at stretching a dollar, which I am in many respects, but even I can't pull money out of thin air. LOL

    Fred was the type of guy that action spoke louder to him than words. If he could see the process work he did better than me just trying to explain it to him. Know what I mean??
  17. Signorina

    Signorina Guest

    Lisa - my grandmother was a HUGE stasher. Of course, she would be have just turned 99 last week (she died in 1993) and she lived through the Depression and in a time when women frequently didn't have their own money. Her mother taught her to stash and she learned the lesson well. It was her "just in case" money - especially if she ever wanted to leave my grandpa (they were happily married until the day she died) She always told my mom & my uncle - in the event of her death - to make sure they checked every drawer, pocket, purse, nook and cranny before they threw anything away. When she was alive, one would frequently open an unused sugar bowl, or tucked away gift box and find a wad of bills - new or old.

    She died in 1993, and my grandpa died in 2007. 4 years ago, I received their old chest - a piece my grandpa had used after he sold their house & moved to an apartment before he died. It had been sitting in my Uncle's garage since '07. It was dirty and dusty and I removed the drawer to clean it. Under the felt drawer lining, I found $242 in $20 & $10 bills from the 1970s.(and a sheet of 6 cent stamps from 1968-71?)

    A few months later, H and I took my mom out to a swanky restaurant for her birthday (right after my dad died) and paid for the dinner with grandma's money as a surprise and told her it was a gift from her mom. The bill coincidentally was almost the exact same amount as the money we found. Kismet.

    Thanks for evoking that wonderful memory of my grandma. I wish I inherited the "stash gene". I try to use cash, but when I don't spend "this week's$20 allotment", I just forgo taking out next weeks...I should really start stashing it instead!
  18. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Janet, I came up with that figure based on him working 40 hrs per week at the salary you said. I don't know if he is milkng it from the accident or not, but I do think you can insist he make more trips with lighter bags. Regardless of his accident, he NEEDS to contribute because that is what adults do. Period. By not making him contribute you are keeping his development retarded to the level of a young teen. His brain is fully formed and grown. Yes, he can make it work more efficiently, but it has done all the growing and he is a 'grown up' person now.

    It is time he act like a grown up, in my opinion, and pay his way. I hope you can stand strong on that because it truly is what is best for him even if he doesn't like it.
  19. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I am the one who would be most likely to sneak into stashed money which is why only my check goes into the bank. Tony's name isnt on my account either. Remember here we are not married. Just feels like it...lol. Tony learned early on that he couldnt turn control over the finances to me. I am horrible with making sure we have all the bills paid. Not the act of paying them but making sure that when he gives me the money that I dont go blow it. It was especially bad long ago before I was medicated. I still have to fight the battle though. I do like seeing things on paper though and what is possible and what isnt. What we can possibly do and what we cant. Where we should be putting money and where we shouldnt.