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How do you manage on one income

Printed From: OHbaby!
Category: Support
Forum Name: Budgeting
Forum Description: Want to save before baby arrives? Struggling on one income? Found some great ways to make your dollar go further? Share your thoughts & tips here.
Printed Date: 06 April 2020 at 4:57am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 11.10 -

Topic: How do you manage on one income
Posted By: nicandtyler
Subject: How do you manage on one income
Date Posted: 22 October 2010 at 5:12pm
OK so ird being difficult as they are have just cut my WFF tax credit as they say DP earns to much - which is strange because his income hasn't changed, so I will be getting onto that, but in the meantime, for those of you who are on just one income, how do you manage? DP pays all our rent, bills, grocery shopping, his petrol etc (which will now be mine too ) and even before they cut my tax credit we didnt exactly have money to throw around. I'm studying part time too and don't really have time for a job with my uni workload and T, what are some good tips for managing on the one income, we already have a grocery budget of 120 per week which we stick to, am hoping to transition T over to full time cloth nappies (we only have 5 at the mo) we need internet as I do alot of uni stuff online, but what are the best tips to cut down weekly costs?


April '11

Posted By: SMoody
Date Posted: 22 October 2010 at 5:38pm
For us is is all paperbased. Sit down and put your figures in a spreadsheet. All income that is due that is fixed (we dont put any variable ones in example bonuses or tax refunds etc).

Then write down all your outgoings. Literally everything you can think of. If you need help let me know and I can show you what we have. From clothes for kids to you to your partner, from wofs to everything.

Then start budgeting. Put in all the proposed figures and start with the fixed ones that you cant change. For instance rent or mortgage and rates and taxes.

Cellphone: hubby is free but I only pay $6 for the best mate plan. So nothing else there.

If your figures is more than your incomings then start cutting where you can.

Then after that follow it strictly. If need be draw the cash and put in different envelopes and use it for the different things. Put money for the irregular things in a total different account if need be or even with a different bank.

And then put figures in the spreadsheet as you go and transfer or spent money.

The best for our family is that we do this together. For us it doesnt really work if just one pays and the other one doesnt know what is going on. Both of us have access to the spreadsheet and update etc and we can see what we have left or if we overspent to spend less in a different area. (and savings is our first actual expense and we pay that every month first)


Posted By: jazzy
Date Posted: 22 October 2010 at 5:44pm
That's funny they cut ours also & said DH earned 20K more than he is. They had his income at 5K more before this new one.

A friend had the same thing happen to her & no way is her DH earning what they say, she is struggling with the amount lost.

Posted By: Bizzy
Date Posted: 22 October 2010 at 7:05pm
we are on one income and have been since 2004. all our bills are paid automatically as soon as hubbys wages come in, which for us is monthly.. i shop and put gas in the car and then we live on whats left! sometimes not very successfully! we only have one car and my husband catches the train to work and back. we dont do hp's and try and get our bread and milk as cheap as possible - but without searching the countryside for it lol! i have internet banking so i can always keep an eye on the money and pay bills. i am currently thinking of getting rid of the land line as we hardly use that. Oh and we shop for gifts all year round, so if i see a bargain and have the money we get it so we always have a stash of presents.

there are quite a few good threads on here about making your own household cleaners and budgeting and cutting back so have a look and a browse there too.


Posted By: Bizzy
Date Posted: 22 October 2010 at 7:06pm
oh and what type of cloth nappy do you use? i may have some here for you...


Posted By: nicandtyler
Date Posted: 23 October 2010 at 8:04am
Wow SMoody thanks so much for all that info! I didnt even think of the stuff like WOF's (what else is there? we have the usual things such as bills, petrol, grocery budget etc) DP sat down last night and got to work on a spreadsheet with all out outgoings etc (not pretty ) and we started writing a list of things we can do to cut costs, DP lives about a 45-55 min drive from work, so we are probably gonna move a bit closer to keep the petrol costs down, I'll let you know how we get on and see if we're on the right track
Hmm jazzy that's weird they cut yours too? DP went on excel last night and put in all his wages from the last financial year and it was no way what they said? Going to have to call them back and see what's going on!
Yea Bizzy we are thinking of getting rid of our land line too, we hardly ever use it, but I think we have a contract, literally about 2 weeks after we set it up vodafone came out with that naked broadband
And thanks i'll look into the homemade cleaners, I was actually thinking about that yesterday so that would be good. oooh for cloth nappies i've only ever tried itti bittis but have been looking at pockets and on trademe (but scared to buy them incase they're not that good), what ones do you have?


April '11

Posted By: SMoody
Date Posted: 23 October 2010 at 7:35pm
NicandTyler I have find it doesnt help to say we will cut here and there unless it is in your face on paper and you see what is coming in and going out.

But you have to update with the actual figures. So we have a whole year budget that gets changed as stuff change. Like the fixed expenses goes up etc. You quickly will see where you spent too much. Like for instance our insurance is lapsing just now and we looked around for new ones. Saved just on $70 a month right there.

So start looking at your fixed expenses and see where you can get it lower.

I save throughout the year for the kids parties. Get presents throughout the year and have a budget for each kid. and the cool thing is at the end of the year you see exactly where the money went and where you should work harder or find better ways to manage it


Posted By: MrsMojo
Date Posted: 23 October 2010 at 7:52pm

There are some good tools on this site: -

I would start with the budget worksheet.


Posted By: whitewave
Date Posted: 23 October 2010 at 11:41pm
We had issues with IRD cutting our WFF payments last year too.
Have you tried asking WINZ for extra help? Do you get an accommodation supplement or any other benefits? We managed to get an emergency one-off benefit of about $150, I think, that we used for groceries when we had the sudden drop in WFF payments - you might be eligible for this?

Posted By: Bizzy
Date Posted: 24 October 2010 at 8:16am
nicandtyler i mainly have pockets, got a happy heiny you can have - how big is your boy? i have some fitted ones too i think but may be too small.


Posted By: nicandtyler
Date Posted: 24 October 2010 at 8:31am
thanks everyone for the advice, man it's stressful! Especially knowing people that are on the 'unemployment ' benefit getting hundreds of dollars a week to do nothing   will have a look on that website,and SMoody we that's heaps of help thanks, we're in the process of a spreadsheet with everything on it now so will have a look through it once we've got everything on it.
whitewave no I haven't called WINZ yet - I get an accommodation supplement of $7 a week so not a lot of help from them, but I'll look into the emergency benefit, that would help heaps at the moment.
Thanks Bizzy that would be awesome how much would you like for it? I don't know exactly T's weight as I havent had him weighed since his 9 month check where he was just under 9kg, he's not a huge boy, quite lean, but is in itti bitti large naps on the smaller setting which is a really good fit.


April '11

Posted By: jazzy
Date Posted: 24 October 2010 at 12:28pm
We have been on 1 income for 2 yrs now. Prior to that I had dropped down to PT work after DS1 was born.

We have no CC, loans or HP's they have all been paid off.

I budget $1200 a fortnight for bills. $400 for food which has been well over most times. I could save heaps if we tightened our budget.

We could save more if we cut down or out sky. Our BB is high user so we could downgrade that but I could not give up the phone & we wouldn't save much anyway.

I do the budget & pay everything. We do talk about what we want etc but at the end of the day I run it

Posted By: jazzy
Date Posted: 24 October 2010 at 12:37pm
Originally posted by nicandtyler nicandtyler wrote:

Hmm jazzy that's weird they cut yours too? DP went on excel last night and put in all his wages from the last financial year and it was no way what they said? Going to have to call them back and see what's going on!

We got a letter saying he earned 15k more then he does so I rang them & this cow told me on no we have done a mistake & he earns 20+k more so we agreed to say 15k she was a total bitch & told me that we weren't losing any only now getting what we are entitled to get...but a loss is a loss. So will be interesting to see how much he does earn & if they will owe us like last yr....

One good thing is I have just worked out the child support we pay only has till the end of the yr & then we will have more money even tho will will lose most of WFF we will be much better off

Posted By: kebakat
Date Posted: 24 October 2010 at 1:16pm
I find it really weird that you guys have to fight about income. Every time I've adjusted DH's income they have just accepted whatever figure I give them without any issue what so ever

Posted By: E&L+1
Date Posted: 24 October 2010 at 2:52pm
We got a letter from them saying our income was DOUBLE!!! what it actually is. It looked like they had taken what our combined income was a year ago rather than our current one and then added some more on top.

We rang them and they said they had a glitch in their calculations and were quite happy to change the amount to our estimate.


Posted By: nicandtyler
Date Posted: 24 October 2010 at 3:35pm
seems like a few of us have had problems with them? they must be calculating it wrong, they are saying he's earning 10-15k over what he actually is grrr so frustrating, its not like I was getting a lot from them anyway, Esmesmum thats so bad they calculated yours at double what it actually is! im gonna have to call them and have a go - been very stressed out ocer this stupid government


April '11

Posted By: jazzy
Date Posted: 24 October 2010 at 4:15pm
Originally posted by kebakat kebakat wrote:

I find it really weird that you guys have to fight about income. Every time I've adjusted DH's income they have just accepted whatever figure I give them without any issue what so ever

what I find weird is that they have access to see the amount he earns & yet they over estimated by 20k. I am not too bothered at the moment as he is meant to be getting a pay rise....long process been several it could take him up to where they think he is.

Every yr we have had a return from them, so rather that than owing.

Posted By: Emmecat
Date Posted: 08 November 2010 at 7:43am

I've had massive problems approx every 6 weeks with IRD saying DF earned $245,000 per year so my WFF would be cut completely...   

I would just ring them and say um I WISH and give them another serve and it would be adjusted...but man it is stressful as anything. I requested they keep a record of every time I rang and I did this as well-incl who I spoke to etc- and it was eventually sorted out in the new financial year. It was actually the fault of his ex employer who was a dodgy bugger and is being investigated (slowly) for tax evasion....but in the meantime his dodginess affected our income badly

But as how to survive on one income...well I would def class us as a low one income family and it doens't seem too much of a bother. We haev very tight weeks but I try to put away what I can when I can to use as a buffer for those weeks. We use TM alot for buying and selling. We don't eat meat. We gorw our own veges- or a lot of them. We almost never go out. Ever. We use cloth nappies exclusively (except very recently we use one eco sposie at night while Clodagh's rash is clearing up). Um... I walk alot or used to when I was less pg lol. Make most of our dinners from scratch. Make alot of our home cleaners. etc etc.

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Posted By: _SMS_
Date Posted: 09 November 2010 at 9:45pm
I also have alot of problems with IRD. When we first went down to one wage i would get letters every month saying WFF was going to stop, so id ring and say no dont stop. This still goes on now & we have 70% less income than we did 8months ago because DP changed jobs

I bank with BNZ so we have 10 accts for $10. I have the main acct, then bills, car expenses, savings, acct for dd. We transfer money into these each week.

the power bill, phone bill, insurances, rates come out of the bills account. We also have DD for power of $40 a week it goes into credit over summer which helps for the winter months. Although we are always in credit.

The main thing for us was cutting down the food bill, using only cloth nappies & wipes. I buy meat in bulk when on special and divide it up. Some some weeks it will be mince, others chicken but we always have a mixture available


Posted By: myfullhouse
Date Posted: 11 November 2010 at 10:11pm
I think that about this time of year they look at your WFF and estimate how much you will earn in the next few months until the end of the financial year. They base it on the last 3mths or something like that. So if your DH worked a little bit more over the last few months or whatever they will assume that he will continue to earn that amount for the rest of the year. Thats what they told me last year when I rang about how much we had earnt so far. Could be the reason for the miscalculations


Posted By: jazzy
Date Posted: 14 November 2010 at 6:31pm
DH just got a pay rise & we got a letter saying our WFF will reassess (2 weeks later) least this time they are only saying he earns $7k more than he does hopefully we will get a nice amount back next yr, but we should not owe.

I am counting down to Jan as we stop paying child support then so we will have more $$ & WFF will go down again so these couple of drops this yr is getting me ready for it.....

In one hand & out the other....

Posted By: nicandtyler
Date Posted: 29 November 2010 at 1:35pm
Sorry I abandoned my post! UGGHHH I HATE ird with a passion - I just got a letter yesterday saying that I was to pay $613.15 by Feb 2011?!! I havent heard ANYTHING of this before now so I called them today and apparently they had worked out DP income wrong from when T was born (Nov 09) till end of tax year in march, and they had overpaid me, so they messed up and now they're trying to make me pay it back? With interest!! I had a go at them this morning, and the lady says "well, you have till Feb 2011"....... and could I afford to pay $10 a week - um no I cant I cant even afford to top up my phone! grrr seriously why do they think I came to them for help in the first place? If I had that kind of money sitting around I wouldnt be asking for financial help! Sorry for the long rambling angry post, it annoys me soooo much that there are people out their getting hundreds of dollars a week to sit at home and spend the governments money on drinking and smoking, but a mother trying to go to uni gets nothing, oh no wait, they give me $13 a week


April '11

Posted By: xLUCKYx
Date Posted: 29 November 2010 at 1:42pm
It sucks aye!! I have a large amount to pay back to IRD by Feb 2011 as well. We very genuinely needed all of the extra help we could get at the beginning of the 2009 financial year and we received $63 which went down to $41 a week from IRD before I went back to work and then stopped payments. DF got a massive promotion during the year which saw us go over the annual threshhold and our estimation of his earnings for that year - hence we have to pay everything back now.... It would be much better of they could change the structure of WFF in some way so that you can get the help when you need it and not get stung for it later.

Posted By: jazzy
Date Posted: 29 November 2010 at 2:15pm
grrrr I am jumping on the band wagon here F'n WFF.... Just got a letter to say DH earns 15k have worked it out & yes his pay has gone up, to what they have it at before this letter but he will earn $6k more than his salary....but not as much as they now say. They said to ring them back with the figures & take it from there after I lost it on the ph at them grrrr

They told me they worked it out on what he earned in October which is just great as he got his back pay & got a about 2k more.

I am going to try & get them to do it as what he will earn & reassessed in January as we should have our child support payments stopped then so WFF will drop again.

When I checked on there website it shows a loss of about 1/5th but they are telling me we will lose 4/5th so we would be worse of with his pay increase...what's the point & it WFF what we are entitled...they set the criteria not me grrrrr

Posted By: Nothing
Date Posted: 29 November 2010 at 3:32pm
Oooooo I had this too- BUT we managed to get off it!!!

DF got a tax bill of over a grand for last year. I rung up and said we needed financial assiatance and they put me through to someone- they asked me about everything we spent money on- but I didnt have the right figures so they said we had 'excess money' and had to pay it back.

So I wrote down what things they wanted amounts for, did a real calculation, based on potentially what we could realistically spend in a year and rung them back- turns out we didnt have 'excess money' and it got written off.

The list I had is- you can add more as is relivant to you

Rent, Phone, Power, Internet, HP's, Insurances, Car rego, warrants and servicing, clothes for you, partner and kids, food, medical expenses, sky tv, dentist. Thats all I can think of, but anything that you regularly pay- ooo rates and water- factor it all in.

Basically work out what you would spend in a year- eg I put $500 of clothing each for DF, DD and me (considering DF works in the bush, and DD has just been born) that is a really realistic number. Then divide it all by 52 (weeks in a year), and see if you are spending over your income.

Then ring them back and say "well here is our numbers........ they dont stack up...... so you aint getting any money. Lol Oh we wernt getting WFF at that stage, but I dont think it would affect it. We are getting ours at the end of the year as a lump sum. GOOD LUCK


Posted By: nicandtyler
Date Posted: 03 December 2010 at 8:46am
hmm seems like a few of us have had problems with them I called them and said I couldnt afford it, so she said she will talk to the people in charge of writing the amount off and they will call me back - this was on monday and i still havent heard back! Soo frustrating! Aethalia ill write a list like you've done and fingers crossed they'll let me off, there's no way I can afford $600!!!


April '11

Posted By: Bee2010
Date Posted: 09 December 2010 at 6:03pm
The system is pretty in New Zealand u get nearly nothing if ur working and earning too much to get something.
In Germany u get Child Support from the Goverment til ur child is 18 years old and its the same amount every month for everyone and doesnt matter how much u earn. But thats a different story.

We had the letter too which told us our estimated income for 2011 will be higher then last year, yeah right. I called them and said we never gonna earn more then last year and he stopped it just said if something changes to give them a ring.
They calculated on the first 6 month which is Kiwifruit Season and yes he earns more but til March next year his income sux and they wanted to cut our WFF even more.

If u feel what they say is not right give them a ring.


Angel Babe in our - 07/08

Posted By: nicandtyler
Date Posted: 10 December 2010 at 8:42am
Yep it definately seems like NZ is not that great with supporting families I called them and said there was no way I could afford it and I just got a letter the other day saying that they were gonna wipe the amount I owed and would take no further action to collect it from me, phew! Was definitely worried there for a bit!


April '11

Posted By: Nothing
Date Posted: 10 December 2010 at 11:04am
Yay well done :) Make sure you keep the letter! lol. All my family was super surprised when we got out of our bill, they wanted to know what we did, but it only works if you really have no money! lol.


Posted By: jazzy
Date Posted: 12 December 2010 at 7:34am
Well WFF has gone up & down again so now we hardly get anything & am worse off with DH's pay rise than before grrr.

There is no point for me getting a job till DS3 is at school next yr.

When we stop paying for CS we will probably lose WFF but then at least we won't have to worry about them cutting it all the time...but I have been told the age is 19 & he is going to be 18 in 3 weeks so if he does not go on the UB then we keep paying grrr

Posted By: Bizzy
Date Posted: 12 December 2010 at 9:01am
aethalia i find it wierd they would wipe a tax bill when they give you a years notice and the bills you have listed include luxury items. i hope you got it in writing.

i over estimate my husbands income after we got stung one year with a big bill for WFF over payment. I think that WFF though is the only thing that takes into consideration any child support you pay, thankfully!

Posted By: jazzy
Date Posted: 12 December 2010 at 9:41am
Originally posted by Bizzy Bizzy wrote:

aethalia i find it wierd they would wipe a tax bill when they give you a years notice and the bills you have listed include luxury items. i hope you got it in writing.

i over estimate my husbands income after we got stung one year with a big bill for WFF over payment. I think that WFF though is the only thing that takes into consideration any child support you pay, thankfully!

You won't need a letter saying it is wiped just get a login so you can check on line, best service ever.

Same thing happened to a friend they owed $1200 & rang to try & work out a payment plan so they sent them a form where they had to write down all they paid & then they had the amount it is easy to do & maybe that is why they keep adjusting it monthly. Someone else I know owes $5k & have had there amount dropped & have to pay it back.

At the start WFF was nearly as much as the CS we paid but now it is about a quarter & if he does not go an a benefit or get a job we will be really struggling for the next yr as WFF will either stop or nowhere near help out.

Posted By: Nothing
Date Posted: 12 December 2010 at 3:35pm
The bill was for the 2008 year, I had no idea about it until I got authority over my partners account and they said he had this tax bill from his company. They sent me a letter to say that they are wiping it, its somewhere amongst all our packing. They were the ones that asked me for those things, so I just thought up everything that we actually use like food, clothing and cars.


Posted By: jazzy
Date Posted: 29 January 2011 at 3:43pm
I have just changed power companies, not going to save much but they have fly buys & 12% discount if bill is paid on time via internet banking. Also have locked into a price plan for just over a yr so will not get any price hikes on power rates.

We have just been advise that we no longer have to pay child support so will get a few hundred $ extra a fortnight. So now they are going to refund us the over paid amonuts.
Our WFF goes down more & we are still entitled to it so we will be better off & after struggling for a few yrs we finally will be able to do the things we want. I want to put the kids into more activities, & have money for emergences.

I am going to change the auto payments to monthly instead of fortnightly so they are paid well in advance, & want to over pay a bit.

We are also going to look at where we can cut costs.
I have been cooking/baking heaps from scratch.

We are going to down size a car & DH is getting a scooter for work. I am going to walk to school/kindy, it will be a lot of walking but it is free exercise & will cut the cost of running the car down. The main reason for this is so we can update the car at end of yr or next yr paying cash & it will cut out parking costs for DH.

We want to increase the savings & have a separate account to dip into for those extras that come in. So now we don't have to think about getting a Credit Card which we were in case of emergences, last thing I want is one of those at it took yrs to clear debt & don't want to go back to there again.

So now that we will have more $ this yr we are going to tighten our belts more, so often in the past when extra $ came in more went out on bills or WFF cuts or increased CS payments...

I hate stressing about money & bills...makes me sick, so hope my plan pans out

Posted By: Luckac231894
Date Posted: 26 June 2018 at 5:50pm
Re-opening this topic.
Living in Auckland on one income with a baby on the way... how do you survive these days?
I have just finished studies, my partner got a job in Auckland and we moved in here... I have been jobhunting for 6 months now with no success, while also pregnant, and my partner's job is not the best paying one. He's been looking for a better one, but also without success. Up to now we have been flatting to save up money, but as the due date gets closer, we are looking for a place just for ourselves - but finding a decent one for under $500 is almost impossible!
Since I have not been working for at least 6 months, I won't be eligible for PPL. So all we are left with is the Accommodation Supplement and when the baby is born, Working for Families... Will it be enough?

Posted By: lenabr199848
Date Posted: 24 August 2018 at 3:35am
Have you searched online jobs - proofreading, teaching, copywriting, VA?

Me 38, DH 42
#1IVF - BNF, no implantation
#2IVF - BNF, mc
changed clinics, 1st appointment Gdansk - June 2018
#3IVF - Gdansk Poland, Dec 2018

Posted By: LylaGreen237547
Date Posted: 06 July 2019 at 11:29am
I used to have a hard time distributing money and I almost did not have enough for life, but now I started betting on sports and it helped me to have an additional income. I advise everyone to read the forecasts of the matches" rel="nofollow - แบดมินตันสด and make a small bet. It can change your life for the better.

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