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anyone else ready to GET OUT OF DEBT? - Page 5

post #81 of 127
selling a car -- depending on where you live --
1. put a sign in it (heck that's basically free)
2. put an ad in the local classifieds. go to this site to look up the blue book value there's the trade in value and the amount you can realistically expect to get for the car. IMO it has always been a little high --i.e. I think they overestimate by 500 bucks or so. But then again maybe I've always been taken.
3. there's usually a classified ads magazine called something like Auto Trader (look or ask at a gas station). You buy it for a buck or two and there are tons of ads in it. To run the ads it cost like 30 bucks. This has been a good source of used car ads for us (to buy that is).

that's where I'd start.

on the mustang -- hmm. if it has a backseat, honestly I'd keep it till after the kiddo is born. That would give you a little time to save up some $$, and to really assess what you want. I bought a honda accord when pregnant. Turns out the car itself is big enough, and the trunk is big enough. But I jog frquelty and the jog stroller doesn't fit in the trunk without a little jiggling around. So...I'd now prefer a stationwagon or, gasp, minivan.

we just yesterday discovered that the public library has a lending library of toys! You can check one out for four weeks. Fun!

and to hold myself accountable -- we thought we were going to buy a sandbox yesterday. I was round and round about whther to buy or build or what. So I decided buy a turtle box. Then we opted instead to wait till it was less stormy (something about tying the sandbox to the roof of the car in the high winds we are having....). So we decided to go to the other library in town. It was a great thing. They have a great kids selection and more importantly -- a great section for kids to play! kitchen, slides, telephone booth, puzzles. It rocks. It is free, of course, and dh and I could take turns selecting our stuff. very fun and, did i mention free?
post #82 of 127
Originally Posted by kerc

on the mustang -- hmm. if it has a backseat, honestly I'd keep it till after the kiddo is born. That would give you a little time to save up some $$, and to really assess what you want. I bought a honda accord when pregnant. Turns out the car itself is big enough, and the trunk is big enough. But I jog frquelty and the jog stroller doesn't fit in the trunk without a little jiggling around. So...I'd now prefer a stationwagon or, gasp, minivan.

Well, the little one is due at the end of next month. We've gotten friend's infant seats in the back, so it's possible, but it just doesn't feel safe to me (convertible) and I know we'll never get a stroller into the trunk. We're looking at a Taurus or an Escort, since I have a bit of experience doing basic maintanance on Fords (changing the oil, headlights, belts and filters and things of that nature). DF wants to keep the 'stang and get a second car, which is ok I guess, except I work from home so I don't need a car while he's gone (we live two small blocks from the hospital so that isn't a concern) and using the mustang as a trade would at least reduce the payments each month. The mustang is in his parent's name and they just finished paying it of, insurance is in their name too... So I'm going to try to get DF to trade the mustang in, instead of adding a second car.

I've gotten a lot of great tips and ideas from this thread! Thank you everyone for sharing your wisdom! Tonight is meal planning night, and maybe grocery shopping. I get WIC so milk and eggs are free (getting sick of juice though lol- makes my heartburn worse) which has really helped. I've found that planning meals, even if it's just dinner, a week ahead of time is a real help. It's easier to make your grocery list and harder to justify unneeded items going into the shopping cart!

I'll also be writing the checks to pay bills tonight. I find that since the majority of our income comes at the beginning of the month, if I write the checks out ahead of time I actually get them sent out on time, avoiding late fees! Yay! I still need to call a few credit card companies and takl to them about cutting down on the interest and having a set amount to pay monthly. We're no longer using the cards, but they're all maxed out (Granny used them to move, and maxed out her brand new platinum card- lovely) so right now we're fighting to keep the fees paid so they don't go over and add MORE fees... What a viscious cycle.

I'm going to sit down and figure out where all of our debt is, and keep it somewhere we'll see it everyday, that should help DF curb his spending a bit. I hope. For now I'm off to pick him up from work and see if Target has king-sized sheets on clearance (wishful thinking) since we're getting the new bed for when the baby comes.
post #83 of 127
Ok, here's my check-in and update.

I am delving into the YMOYL book. The more i read ,the more it makes sense. yes, the trading life energy for work is a tough concept at first, but I feel like it makes sense in comparison- for example, once you convert the hours and see that say, groceries are the same life energy as the clothes shopping, or gym membership or whatever, its another way to assess values. does that make sense? we'll see once we actally get all that worked out.

But, here's what I've done:
1. started a tabulation of all money out
2. started a tabulation of things I wanted to buy, but didn't and how much they cost. I got this idea because I want to see how much all those "little" things add up to- a cup of coffee here, a small toy for dd there, etc... yesterday I went to TJ Maxx to get 2 things: a silverware container thing (we just moved so don't have a bunch of that stuff) and a wastebasket for the bathroom. I found the wastebasket and a Williams Sonoma Muffins cookbook for $10. Now, I love muffins. They are my favorite thing to bake. and I love their cookbooks. and it was only $10! So I put it in my cart. Before i went to checkout, I put it back. went home, added the $10 to my tabulation. I felt *so great* that I didn't buy it. I have tons of cookbooks, plus the internet. So, victory for me there.
3. decided to cancel our YMCA membership, as its summer (just about) now and I pretty much just do classes anyway, which is above and beyond membership. That will save $55.00 a month!

So, small steps, but feels like progress. Dh and I are going to have our first weekly meeting this week to evaluate and set a plan together.

anyone else, victories? decisions?
post #84 of 127
No victories here . . . How about a major defeat?

We are overdrawn this month! This has not happened in YEARS and we are both feeling overwhelmed. There's still a week to go in this month PLUS we are hosting out-of-town guests next weekend and I will have to feed them for 3 days (they feed us when we go to their house, so no, asking them to chip in is not an option.) I just feel out of control.

It's funny, cause I haven't been participating much in this thread because quite honestly, I have not felt a strong need to get out of debt. Our debt seems small compared to many, and since our CC is 0% interest, we just haven't had the wake-up call that many of you refer to. This may be it. Can't tell yet. It might just be a wake-up call to spend more within our means, but either way, it seems fitting that I've been reading this thread all along.

So at some point dh and I desperately need some time to sit down and come up with a plan -- like, going to an all-cash system, with the cash divided up into weekly allotments, so once it's gone, it's gone -- but even finding time for that conversation is tough. I will try to track down YMOYL, but I must say that I don't have a lot of interest in reading that in my limited free time.

It's like, spiritually, I'm just not there yet. KWIM?
post #85 of 127
Thread Starter 

I am sorry hon....

I know what you are talking about with not really being "there" yet. That's where I was for the past few years, I wanted to get out of debt, but it wasn't quite what it is now- hard to explain. I also had "not as much debt" a couple of years ago- but boy did it grow fast- try to get your wake up call now!

I need to pay bills tonight- then I'll check back in to see if I have any progress to report......
post #86 of 127
So how many people feel the YMOYL book is worth the read? And are they generally available at the library? Don't want to spend the money!!! LOL
post #87 of 127
Originally Posted by embens
So how many people feel the YMOYL book is worth the read? And are they generally available at the library? Don't want to spend the money!!! LOL
Embens, I broke down and just bought it- which is totally a perfect example of my weakness- when I think i need to do something, i just go out and do it. can't wait. this spills into finances and is part of our trouble. But anyway...
As I started reading it, I felt like I was reading some of the same old stuff I've seen in other 'money management' programs, especially about examining your history and culture about money, the ideals you grew up with etc... and started to feel duped, that it wasn't as unique as I'd been led to believe. But now that i am further into the book, i'm really starting to 'get it.' it seems much more a *life* management book via money, because money tends to be what manages us, if we let it. I can feel the principles beginning to hit me on a deeper level- beyond just my desire to get out of debt. Because really, if I dont go deeper, than getting out of debt for me is about being able to spend money without feeling guilty because I already owe so much. it had nothing to do with actually wanting to change my spending habits and our lifestyle and relationship with money. but now as I delve into this, I am begining to really want to do things differently, from the roots, not just on the surface. And, when I do think about where my money habits and attitudes come from, I recognize that they are rooted in growing up with a single mom who robbed Peter to pay Paul, never quite making ends meet. BUT we always got what we needed- not fancy vacations or cars or anything, but clothes and gifts. I have adopted that attitude, that well, I need it, so I'll get it and the money will come from somewhere. I wish I could say my mom has gotten out of that pattern, but she hasn't- so I am determined to!

So, Breathe, I totally get what you mean about not being there yet. I've been "there" only in lipservice only for so long. Saying I wanted to pay it off, making some progress when we could but not truly committing. Here is a quote by Goethe I will share. My spiritual mentor is constantly using it when teaching. I think its pretty powerful:

"the moment one commits oneself, Providence also moves,
All sorts of things occur to help which could not otherwise have happened,
A whole stream of events flow from the decision bringing all sorts of unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material help which no one could have foreseen,
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it now, boldness has power, magic, and genius in it." Goethe

of course is applies to anything in life, but it sure would be cool to get all that "unforeseen" extra help to pay off my debt!
post #88 of 127
Yes that is NOT fair.
My dh and I had the same experience several years ago.
The issue of bankruptcy really ticks me off!
My thinking always was...nobody got me in that situation (although we came by that debt honest...my dh started a business) and I wasn't about to let someone else pay!

post #89 of 127
How can we make our money grow? For those who invest.... What do you invest in? I am personally looking into real estate.

DH is the sole money maker and we are expecting a new baby in mid-august. We have about $2000 in cc debt and a mortgage. We bought a fixer-upper so we pulled out extra money out of the mortgage to fund some renovations. In the summer I am able to have a garden (if it stops raining so I can seed it!). We live in a rural area and there is little to do for entertainment so we don't really do anything. Just mainly work on the house, cook and clean. It does not seem that we have a lot of debt but we live paycheck to paycheck. And most months we are overdrafted on our accounts. We have no furniture. The computer is on the floor and we sleep on a mattress on the floor. We don't have a couch, chairs, or anything like that. I know that this is only temporary but being pregnant and sitting and typing on the floor is painful. I am just sick of it.

How much money do I need in order to invest? What do I invest in? The reason that I am interested in Real Estate is bc we purchased our home in a run down condition but in a real good location. If we fix it up and sell it we can make about $40,000. The problem is with me letting my DH do the work. It seems that he works so many hours and when he is home I would rather spend time with him rather than have him under the sink fixing plumbing.

I am all for cutting corners and saving but I just want to know how to make money. Passive money through investments so I can stay home with my dc's.
Has anybody done this? Or is this wishful thinking?
post #90 of 127
breathe, don't feel bad. we were way overdrawn last month, as i said.

i also had a downer moment today. my mum's been in town for 2 weeks, just left today. she was soooo generous. she wouldn't let us pay for anything. so we have ended up in the black this month. dh was so happy. then i realized that i hadn't paid two of our bills (student loan and car loan to mum) so if I had paid them we would still be in the red even with all the money we saved with her here. it's depressing as all hell. i know this will end in a few months, but i feel that it's only going to get worse before it gets better.

i'm being proactive by calling some debtors tomorrow (if i don't chicken out, i always find this embarrassing for some, probably psychotic, reason) and discuss some payment options. we simply cannot make ends meet right now. also need to know if my overdraft account application was approved. if so, we may be leanign on that for a while.

question: has anybody checked their credit rating lately? anybody know how/where you can get a free copy of your credit report (it truly irks me to have to pay for my own information!!)?
post #91 of 127
I would recommend Robert Kiyosaki's books as a starting point...his website is also great. www.richdad.com.
The forums are a great place to learn. I'm a regular over there.
post #92 of 127
piglet68, you might check out this site...clark's a local consumer advocate, the three main credit bureaus are listed on this page (closer to the bottom):

post #93 of 127
Carrielee: I've heard a lot of bad things from the folks on the Simple Living forums about the Rich Dad, Poor Dad - mainly that the information is anecdotal and there isn't a plan to enact. Haven't read it myself... I'll check out the forums. Thanks for the link!

Vegmom: Sounds like you want fast money! If only that were possible without a lot of risk. Sigh. I'd be writing and making art full-time! The real estate idea has always been a good one for dh and I. Not sure what your local market is like, but with interest rates rising right now, prices will start to fall and you might want to wait to get a better price. Our first house had a guest house that we rented, and I really hated being a landlady with our tenants right next door. Hated it! Think hard if you want to be a landlady.

For the moment, you might work on eliminating your cc debt first, build up an emergency cushion (3-6 months worth of expenses) in a short-term CD, and throw some money at your mortgage (a form of savings) while you think about what real estate investments you'd like to make. The trouble with real estate being one's main investment is that it's not liquid if you need $$$$, unless you can rent something out and charge more in rent than your mortgage, taxes, and repairs cost. You also have a major chunk o' change tied up in something that can fluccuate a lot in the short term. Have you opened Roth IRAs for you and your DH? With investing, slow and steady wins the race. A constant savings no matter how small will compound fast if you stick with it. The whole idea behind YMOYL is to reduce spending, sock away bucks in low risk investments, and be able to choose one's life work without needing a salary.

As far as furniture goes, all ours came from dead relatives, parents' downsizing, the roadside, the dump, yard sales, Dh had made us a few pieces.
Sometimes financial constraints can make you come up with ideas for beautiful things... The image of you sitting on the floor typing...ack! A couple of end pieces (file cabinets, cut logs, cement blocks) with a board across is an excellent table.

Hey Piglet: Do you track your spending? When I started do this, I realized I didn't need a copy of the Weekly World News every time I went grocery shopping. "I was Bigfoot's loveslave..." could easily be left at the checkout after I giggled over it. I cut out a few magazine subscriptions when I saw the total I spent. I was able to reduce food spending when I saw how I was slurping up fancy Italian deli stuff. To see the harsh totals was eye-opening.

New Mainer: Breaking down an buying YMOYL is not the worst thing on earth! Certainly it's less bad than my breakfast trip to McDeath's this morning because I got out of the house late... Spending money for knowledge is never a bad thing. The problem is that fancy clothes, junk food and new cars are NOT knowledge. I think maybe buying ourselves time is a form of knowledge, and that's what we all want to do by getting ourselves out of debt. Excuse the digression...

On the Simple Living forums, someone came up with the "Find 100 bucks" challenge every month. The idea is to eliminate some expenses, find that stray 5 bucks in a coat pocket, sell a few books or CDs on amazon.com, go without something, in order to find a 100 bucks each month. When you turn it into a game, it's more fun and doesn't seem like deprivation.
Note: I started getting rid of books and CDs I didn't need any more, trolling library book sales and the Salvation Army for books. Since February, I made about $800. I throw it at the mortgage.
post #94 of 127
Re Rich Dad...
you're kidding!
I love Robert and Kim's books...there are more than a dozen in the series.
Perhaps the forum posters at Simple Living just read Rich Dad, Poor Dad...
there are many others.
I love the entrepreneurial philosophy.

post #95 of 127
Okay, I just looked closer at the Rich Dad, Poor Dad website, and I've got problems with it for a bunch of reasons that have to do with my increasing commitment to simple living and debt reduction. I'm sure there's some good points to RDPD, but it doesn't really work for my needs.

Owning and renting industrial property, owning franchises, etc. are a lot of work! It's not exactly that you can purchase an office building and let it pay for itself. The office building will have structural problems that need to be fixed, vacant units that needed to be rented, maintanence... This stuff is pretty risky. If this sounds like a fun thing to do, by all means go for it, but I didn't like landlording. We have an opportunity to buy dh's auto shop (he rents) which takes in $1,100 in rent/month for $350,000. That's math that makes absolutely no sense to me. I sooo agree that it would be great to have a business which required little maintenance, I'm just not sure what that would be.

When I looked at the forums, there seemed to be lots of predatory people asking for money for "the business deal of the century." YMOYL has a not-for-profit foundation component of their philosophy. RDPD is all profit driven.

Real estate has been good to us so far. We made a major chunk o' change on our first house, bought another that tripled in value over the last three years. RDPD says that owning your own home is not a good investment, and I beg to differ. From RDPD's prespective, one should buy stock on the margin with home equity, and to me, that's waaaaaay too risky. Owning one's home is like having a giant savings account to cash in when you sell. That's freedom!

I was also alarmed by the rhetoric of people wanting "more than enough" in their lives, planning for their three BMW households. Yuck!

I want less stuff, not more. I want to tread lightly on the earth. I want to simply my life and get DH to simplify his so his life calms down. I want to pay off my debt so I can have more choices about what to do with my time. I want to really enjoy life's pleasures, and not have to sit at my HSSJ (horrible, soul, sucking job) all day.

Note: Apologies for the rambling...Can you tell my HSSJ is making me surly today?
post #96 of 127
I agree that many of the people on the forums are more materialistic than I will ever ever be...

<<I want less stuff, not more. I want to tread lightly on the earth. I want to simply my life and get DH to simplify his so his life calms down. I want to pay off my debt so I can have more choices about what to do with my time. I want to really enjoy life's pleasures>>

I agree wholeheartedly.
The thing is, sometimes things have to get more complicated before they can be simple...kwim?
Like making a price book for your groceries, up front work for tons of savings later on.
Or decluttering...work and time spent at first for the ease later.
What I have gotten from Kiyosaki's books are the principles of
learning how to build a business that doesn't need you to operate it day to day. And that of taking control, not letting the disempowering money attitudes that 97% of people embody suck you in.
I love the One Minute Millionaire by Robert Allen and Mark Victor Hansen for that reason too.
Ranting understood!

post #97 of 127

speaking of debt reduction

The www.richkid.com site has games for your kids to play to teach them the dangers of debt. My 6 year old enjoys them and is excited about making a profit at an ice cream stand.

post #98 of 127
Carrielee: Your points are well taken! It IS important to get out of our limiting mindsets about money. I have a tennis friend from India who owns a gaggle of gas stations and has plenty of time to hit the courts. His wife is a SAHM, and he supports his parents and in-laws. Immigrants look at the opportunities here and go for it. Does it coincide with living simply? That's another question...

Ice cream is nature's perfect food - good luck to your 6 year old on his financial endeavors! Maybe I should set up a roadside ice-cream stand...
post #99 of 127
Well, a positive report today.

I've contacted one debtor and made arrangements to pay it off in the next two months. It's a small debt, but it's one to scratch off the list. It feels good.

We are now working on some others, and some plans. I'm feeling somewhat positive, though still a bit overwhelmed by how fast this stuff can sneak up on you.
post #100 of 127
Piglet: Go grrrl, you rawk! When you pay that one off, you can take that amount and add it to your next loan.
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