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Old 11-26-06, 12:13 PM
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Do you normally spend each month in gas and food? I think we spend about $50 a week in gas, and about a $100 in food. We should be getting enough money in January to pay off all of DH's credit cards...FINALLY! And after that happens, DH's paychecks should cover all the actual bills, leaving my paychecks to pay for living expenses and everything extra, including paying off more debt, like my car. But we also plan on getting DH a new car before summertime. the car he has now was given to us and has a lot of problems, not the least of which is the fact that the air conditioner leaks freeon and has to be recharged almost weekly.
 
So I am trying to get an idea of how much we should living on, so I can divide the rest of my income between paying off my car so we won't have 2 payments, and setting aside money for a down payment.
How much do you guys think is a good amount for a down payment?
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Old 11-26-06, 01:02 PM
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I budget $200 a month for gas, sometimes we don't use it all, and $425 a month for groceries, we almost always use that all.
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Old 11-26-06, 07:46 PM
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we spend about $500 a month in gas and i have cut my food bills down to about $550 a month
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Old 11-26-06, 07:57 PM
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We budget $65/week (260/month) for groceries and our gas spending fluctuates depending on our travel needs, but usually about $30/week ($120/month).

About the down payment--are you asking about a car down payment? If you will have all of your bills paid off in January, you should be able to save cash for a car in the summer and pay for a car outright. Or you could try to make a trade, like we did. We paid $0 for our van because we just traded our car with the owner of the van. But if we had had to purchase a van, we were planning to save $400/month for about 10 months and use the value of our car, combined with the $4000 saved to purchase a decent used van.

Buying cars new is undoubtedly the biggest waste of money. That car depreciates 30% in value practically the instant you drive it off of the lot. You can save up to $10,000 by buying a 1 or 2 year old car used and usually still get the full warranty. Consider it.
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Old 11-26-06, 08:05 PM
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I only need to fill my van's gas tank twice a month and DH is about the same. So gas is about $160 for us -- A gallon in NY is $2.45 (ugh!)
We are trying so hard for groceries, but it is a battle to stay low. If I only buy the bare necessities, I can stay under $125, but most weeks we are closer to $175. It is painful.
I agree with Deanna -- save as much as you can and buy a certified used car!!! Don't pay to put in some saleman's new pool!!! A lease turn in vehicle will save you thousands!!
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