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A sound family budget?

  1. #25
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Portia this is one area we just can't make any headway on! We are a family of 4 and our helper eats whatever we eat. We shop at Wellcome and Taste and are spending between 10 and 12 k a month on food. I think this is obscene as we are not even drinkers only buying a few bottles of wine and beer a month.

    It's something we just live with however. I'm not prepared to buy meat from wet markets and really only buy Aussie imported meat. (can't stand US chicken for example).

    My two kids are young, (under 3) and eat proper meals at lunch and dinner. They're just not into sandwiches unless for a snack. I don't mind, the meals are healthier but it obviously costs more and is more time consuming.

    My husband has to have meat or fish at every meal. Doesn't need massive steaks or anything but he is very unhappy if we ever do a noodle stir fry with no meat and hates cheaper meals like shepard's pie because they remind him of his mother's cooking! As meat is pretty expensive there's not a lot of room for us to move on the money we are spending.

    We also go through a ton of milk and i can't believe the milk prices here. We just get milk from kowloon dairy which we all like the taste of.

    Included in the total are all our shampoo/toiletries/nappy needs. Just one child in nappies now thank god but another on the way so it will all start again...

    My husband has just started brown bagging it so we figure we are saving a ton of money on him no longer buying lunches. I feel bad for him as we really don't need to be that extreme but in his heart he is a closet saver so actually loves adding up how much he has saved and talking about where to go on holiday

    He won't give up his taxi ride home every night (100 each time) and i don't want him too. We live just past Stanley and he'd get home too late to see the kids if he caught the bus.

    To get ahead i don't think you have to give up everything, it would just drive you nuts, but it helps to work out what you are willing to budge on.

  2. #26
    HK2008 is offline Registered User
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    Hi ladies, I just came back from my daily shopping trip. This thread is getting more and more exciting to me as I can see big $$$ to be left 'intact' in our bank account, thanks to all these wonderful ways of saving. For the first time today I didn't get into any of the clothes stores. My heart was pounding heavily and I had to gasp for more air as I was literally feeling breathless and dizzy. Believe me I'm not exaggerating here at all. I fought very hard not to get in and won the battle in the end. I quickly bought just enough food for dinner and some fruits costing only $135. It was also hard to put back the Korean strawberries at the shop(me and my DD's favorite fruits after moving here)...So it's not a bad start, hey? I know the priority No.1 now is how to keep it up and not fall back into the same old bad habit again. I used the same method that you ladies suggested: do I need it? Do I have to have it? The answer really is very easy to come up-NO! I think I'll change some items from the category of 'daily necessities' to 'treats'. Maybe I can get more satisfaction with the increased rarity of resouces??? Anyway, by the end of the trip I was gonna reward myself with a cup of coffee at Pacific Place. Then I thought: $31? I can just go back and make one myself...

    Carang, your friend's example will be my ultimate goal, seriously. But MLBW, are you sure you're not missing at least one '0' at the prices for baby clothes? I don't really know a $10 a piece clothes exists in HK. Last time I bought some underwear for my DD at SOGO, they were $69 each!(but it was probably the cheapest thing there). Stanley? Some locals told me it's a tourist spot and people get ripped off there. That's why I had never set foot there. I will definitely try Fa Yuen Gai if I need to(I honestly think we can survive the whole year without the need for new purchases).

    Regarding hubby's lunch(average $70 a day)...Mmm, I have to get the cookbook first and cook dinner then have enough interesting leftovers for him to take to work. Maybe he needs a bit of convincing...

    Aussiegal, congratulations on the new bub on the way! Any other ladies thinking of number 3?

    Hat off to sensible spending and greatest saving % of income...:yeah2

  3. #27
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    i would NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER buy clothes for my kids in sogo! yikes! VERY expensive!

    STANLEY!!! all the way! but you still can bargain...if they don't go down in price, then walk away.

    ps> would KILL to have #3... cannot talk hubby into it!

  4. #28
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by carang View Post
    ps> would KILL to have #3... cannot talk hubby into it!
    Ha, I'm actually a little scared. My eldest is only 3 so I have good reason to be!

  5. #29
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    oh! wow! ummmm....VERY brave of you!

    my problem is not having the child... it's the pregnancy! as most of you know, pregnancy and I do NOT get along. i just can't afford to spend as much time in the hospital as i did last time round. i also can't afford to end up in a wheelchair again, especially now with my thriving playgroup. i would be happy to adopt, but hubby is concerned that our adopted child would not be as readily accepted by his family as a natural child.

  6. #30
    Oryx is offline Registered User
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    Thanks to you all - I have just been in HK 2 weeks and I am trying to but a rough budget together.
    This has been really helpful.

  7. #31
    aussiegal is offline Registered User
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    Carang, i understand. I have pretty bad pregnancies too though haven't ended up in hospital thankfully. Pregnancy is the hard part in my opinion!

    We're having a third boy. Have told my husband that if he wants a girl we'll have to adopt because i won't make it through another pregnancy

    But anyway, don't want to hijack the topic. It's a good one.

  8. #32
    HK2008 is offline Registered User
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    Dear all, it's me back again. When I first came to HK and long before we made the actual move, I'd been a big fan of this forum and the other one geoexpat. However back then I was merely admiring from a distance, eg. Carang's careful approach to spending and planning. I'd be saying 'good for you, Carang!', then completely forgot about it when I got here and was quickly drawn deep to the centre of the greedy need. Plus it's so convenient to shop and with millions of varieties available. Now I realise that there are always better things out there. I cannot take them all home with me. And I don't have to worry about 'what I'm missing out on'(used to do this a lot that's why I almost visited the stores every day to check things out). It's time to say 'I've got enough'.

    And oryx, it's good for you to be wanting to do the right thing from the start. As I said before, one can easily get lost here(I personally feel this city is full of temptations). When working on the budget, I think I'd take MilkMonster's advice-make it more realistic and achievable. Otherwise if it's too hard to stick to, it can be easily ignored(at least in my case).

    I owe you all ladies a drink(of coffee). Hopefully we can meet up sometime after my helper comes. Then I can update you on how much money you've helped me saved...

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