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G.O.O.D (getting out of debt) Nov-Dec. Thread

post #1 of 90
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone- thought I would combine the two months since we are almost 1/2 way through November anyway.

lets share our Christmas gift ideas! how are we all doing quality, thoughtful, inexpensive gifts?
post #2 of 90
Thanks for the new thread newmainer.

I am making beaded jewelry for all of the women on both sides of the family, and my dh is making a vanity for dd and a firehouse bookshelf for ds.

I am trying to think of nice men's gifts to make, that is always hard for me.
post #3 of 90
I am doing my usual x-mas gifts of cookies, "in a jar" recipes and fiber crafts, which are mostly crocheted scarves this year and the occasional crocheted bag or hat.
post #4 of 90

Good morning ladies...

I'm making my brother tapes of my movies and putting in a box of popcorn and a 2l drink for Christmas. For my mom and mil hand towels this year with my kids hand prints that say I washed ....Honest. LOL My mom say a fairly new sweatshirt I had on the other day and asked if I would give it to her for christmas. I took that bad boy off and put it up! LOL She knows we're broke and I had the shirt for probably 4 years and worn it a handful of times. Peppermint the men are the hardest to give gifts to imo. I always have a hard time with them and in the past we spent the most money on them as well.

We took a bunch of my ds bday presents back to Walmart today. My mil has bought my 2 yo a leap pad, musical reader thingy and then she bought him a story book reader. I took that reader thing back. I can read to my child. Anywho with the money we bought a little ceramic heater for the living room. It has an auto shut off should it fall over. When we bought our house gas prices were so cheap and since we've bought it they've skyrocketed. So this year we are putting plastic on our windows (never done that in the past) and towels at the bottom of the doors. And using this little ceramic heater to help defray gas costs. I figure I'll turn the thermostat down and we'll all just bundle up this winter. My dh has decided he doesnt want to go to school but he wants a new computer and a webdesigner program (dreamweaver) so he can help with maintaining my site. Right now I pay someone often to make changes. So this will help us tons. Except for the fact that we have to spend like 1g to get a new puter and that software. Oh well. He's excited to learn how to do it. I would like for him to go to school but he'd rather learn on his own. He taught himself how to work on cars and has been making aliving at that for 14 years. Guess I'll let him do it his way. LOL

Our heloc closed so I can't wait to pay off some debt. I'm going to cut those stupid cc up. Well I guess I wrote a book. I wish we could do a cash only thing. My dh doesn't make a set amount and it often changes. So we pay what we can when we can. Water is late right now. LOL One day we'll have money left over.

Hugs.
post #5 of 90
I am making Christmas ornaments out of copper wire & glass beads (all on sale 25% off at JoAnn's) for dh's family. I may also get some pics together for them, although that's sort of a cop-out gift as I "owe" them the pics anyway! Maybe I'll buy a frame to put one of the best pics in -- actually, I could probably look through my huge pile of pic. frames & give them one of those! I just picked up 2 strings of those gel shaped (like frogs!) lights for one of my sisters -- $6 at Goodwill! It's the only unnecessary thing I've spent $$ on in 2 weeks, so we're doing pretty well with the cash thing.

We are looking into canceling our pest control & termite control & security system for a while -- that would be $80 more per month, and dh has agreed to us canceling the cable as long as we still have the cable modem -- that would probably be another $40 or $50. I think we're going to see if we can refinance both our vehicles for a smaller payment -- it may add a little in the long run to do this to dh's vehicle, but it will be worth it if we can live within a budget monthly. Mine has a ridiculous interest rate (25%!!!! no bad credit, just too high of a debt to income ratio), so hopefully our bank will be kinder to us -- it helps that we just consolidated a bunch of cards (into a larger home equity line with them) & I'm now going to cancel the cards.

For my ds, we have a set of puppets that we decided he was too little for last year, & a set of wooden musical instruments that we held for the same reason. I just bought him a nice unfinished table with 2 chairs from JoAnn's with my 50% off coupon -- saved $25!! I'll let my sisters paint it a bit if they end up coming down for Christmas.

For soon to be ds2 I will probably just make a blanket and some fabric blocks/rattle... I don't think a baby who is 4 weeks old (at the most!) will need much, lol!
post #6 of 90
I've been lurking for a while, but I thought I would jump in with my great new debt-reduction news: DH and I have no debt other than student loans, but since we're both grad students, we have a LOT of student loan debt! However, I hooked up with the Part-Time Law Students association at my school, and it looks like if I take a full semester this summer, I'll be able to finish my last classes as a part-time student! Not only does this mean more income since I'll be working, but also less debt in the long run because we're not borrowing our living expenses. I was projecting that by graduation I'd have a total of 110K in Student Debt, but between going Part Time and getting a fellowship this year, I'll graduate only owing 56K -- still a scary amount, but a LOT better than it could have been.

For Christmas we're doing wedding photo albums for our parents -- I figure that since we've been married for nearly two years and have yet to get photos to anyone, that makes up for the fact that we probably 'owe' everyone photos. I just joined a book club (after realising that even considering having to buy three more books and paying for shipping, it would save me enough money on the inital selections that I want that I'd break even) and so I'm using my free promo selections to buy presents for my sis and some of DH's family, and I'm slowly buying yarn on-sale to try to do some last moment crocheting for gifts. I wish I could manage canning, since I've got a bumper crop of homemade tomato sauce that I'd LOVE to give away, but I think the inital investment plus the time is too much with finals creeping up.
post #7 of 90

Wow that's a huge amount...

taken off your load. I would be proud of yourself. Working partime and going to school is tough but doable. And you have cut your school loans in half. I'm impressed! you go girl.
post #8 of 90
We are not doing any gifts this year. Am I a scrooge? My family has never done any except for children and this year dh's husband agreed too! I am so happy because I almost never like a gift that someone gives me. Does anybody else feel like this? To me, it is usually just something I have to find a space for. I hate knick-knacks! I think for the kiddos I will make some felt shapes and letters and some playsilks.
I love this get out of debt thread! My husband recently changed jobs for various reasons and took a major pay cut! We recently quit eating out and sare saving about $900 a month. : I am embarrassed by that but just typing it reinforces the fact that I need to eat at home.
post #9 of 90

vent/advice (long)

Hi there!

I need some encouragement and advice. My DH and I are trying to get out of debt. I am trying at least- DH seems to think that it is okay to be in debt. Part of the problem comes from his upbringing- they were always in debt. Our problem this year is that due to maternity/parental leave and delay in benefit payments we had to use are ccs more than I wanted. Now we are beginning to pay them off. When discussing Xmas gifts for the fams we ran into a disagreement. My fam says we will only being doing small gifts since my brother and his wife have no money and are paying to fly home. My sister works inconsistently (nature of job) and thus does not have much money. My parents have everything they want so they do not want us to buy lots of things. DH,DS and I had a family portrait done earlier this year. I will be giving a copy to my parents as their XMAS gift- along with my brother and sister. I told DH that is what we would be giving his family also. He told me that we would still have to give them another gift because they would not accept pictures : . I said my family would and that is all we could afford. His response was that my family had everything that we wanted and it wouldn't work for his family. Plus we are already driving half way across the country to be with them for the holidays. Also he has decided that we are to go to Paris in March. I reminded him that we will have to pay for DS daycare starting in April.

What do you ladies do when you and DH are out of whack with money ideas? Sorry for the length of this post?
post #10 of 90
Welcome, momtowill! It's really difficult when your dh isn't on the same page you are re: finances. The only advice I have is that maybe with the Christmas present thing you could give his family a nice frame (nice: tjmaxx nice, not jcpenney's nice :LOL) to put the pic in. Re: Paris, perhaps you could have him draw up a projected budget to show how you are going to pay for everything? We did the cc route too, and now have so much outstanding credit we can't get any more -- and we are still hammering out a monthly budget so we don't go over EVERY SINGLE MONTH out of necessity! You definitely don't want to get to that point!

Good luck!
post #11 of 90
Well, I'm sad to say I have to join this thread :LOL

We are seriously in debt. I don't want to go into why cept to say we tried to start our own biz a few years back with what turned out to be dishonest partners. Nuff said, huh?

I think we've hit rock bottom. We don't have enough money to go grocery shopping this week. Dh was worried but I pointed out we're typical Americans who have a well stocked freezer and pantry. I'm not saying it will be yummy but we certainly won't starve til payday.

But even though we have massive debt from the biz, I really think that dh and I are most of the problem. Ok, largely me. I buy too many "little things" and I don't think about how they add up. I'm sure you all know the drill

So we're trying to make changes. It's hard. Today I had an epiphany. I realized I was wondering how to get the money to buy Christmas presents and thinking about if we should put them on a credit card (Which we haven't used in months). That's when I realized how ridiculous that is. We can't buy FOOD this week and I'm worried about buying Christmas presents for the in-laws? Ugh, how did we get here!

Anyway, I'm hoping this thread will be the inspiration I need
post #12 of 90
Welcome Shannon and all the other new mamas to this thread. It really is about changing your mindset Shannon. You sound a lot like me in all this.

I completely know what you mean wondering about wether to put Christmas gifts on the CC when you can't even go grocery shopping.

I got into debt so many ways, which I have outlined throughout these threads, but when it comes down to it, when we have had "extra" money, we have spent it, and then when "emergencies" came up, we were "forced" to put them on the CC.

I have found our key is savings, we need to get a savings set up. DH got his first paycheck from his new job this week, so now I know what we have to work with, and it is time to sit down and write down all of our regular expensives, and then start the cash system, meanwhile putting "extra" money (whatever is left after paying minimums) into savings for a while. When I first started these threads, it was all about lowering my CC balances, and it still is, but I realize I need a savings "cushion" to really do that, so first things first.

My plan is still a 2-years out of CC debt and car loans.

My transmission just went in my car which is the only car we can fit all 3 carseats into, so it must be fixed, that will cost anywhere from $1600 to $2400. My dad gave me $1000 yesterday toward it, and we have about $600 coming in from an old IRA dh started which needs to be cashed out b/c the bank is being sold and we can't roll it into his current TIA account.

So- that is where we are.

Welcome to the new mamas, I hope you find the support you need here to Get Out Of Debt.

Megan- how's the job search going for your dh?
post #13 of 90
Thread Starter 
Welcome, Shannon! If you read a bit back in the old October thread there's discussion about the "cash system" that many of us have started to refer to. If you choose to do it, it might help you really figure out how much all of those little things add up to. Which, we are all guilty of- or at least, have been at one time if we haven't changed our ways yet

well, if it isnt' one thing, its another. Dh told me that his accountant told him that we will probably still owe $5000 in taxes this year, even though we have been socking them away and paying quarterly. I was/am so irritated. I just keep thinking, when the #$)(*#$(* are we going to stop oweing people money? it just starts to grate on me sometimes. Just when I think we are doing well- bam!! Dh seems to think that we will be able to save up for it and not have to borrow the money to pay for it, which i agree, but it will be at the expense of paying anything else off, so we will have gotten *nowhere* in the last 6 months : .

I"m cancelling my chiro appt this week so that we can buy dog food and stay within our cash allotment, which we lowered to $180 from $200.

that's all for now. dd needs my attention and its sunday- so we have money and its time to shop. at least i feel flush for one day a week! ....
post #14 of 90
Thanks for the welcomes! Yes, I think cash is the way to go. We keep talking about a budget on paper, but I think the cash thing will work better than having to keep track of what we've spent on the debit card. (I mean in addition to putting it on paper)

Of course suddenly our car is squealing so that's another trip to the mechanics this week for who knows how much. And we have to see a lawyer next week to FINALLY end our relationship with the ex partners. The lawyer visit will cost hundreds but if we had seen one at the *beginning* of all this we might have saved ourselves from massive debt. Live and learn I guess. But we don't have hundreds right now so we'll have to borrow (again). I can't do anything about these big expenditures right now so I'm concentrating on everything else.

Anyway, I probably won't post much but I'll read for inspiration
post #15 of 90
hi mamas!

I've been away for about 3 days and then somehow missed the one announcement of the new thread. We are doing ok -- not great because while I was away I decided I could not possibly go away for 6 days in dec (without my dd) so that'll cost us like 500 bucks (airfare + daycare at the conference + I'm thinking we need a new stroller). But it is one of those non-negotiable items for me.

I went to the mall this weekend to do a little shopping for various items I needed and EVERY place i went asked me if I wanted a cc. Hello? I buy like 1 item at eddie bauer a year, do I want a eddie bauer cc, no! and don't ask me again because I won't buy that one item!!! That's part of the reason people get into debt in the first place -- this idea that we all will save so much $$ if we just do x,y, z when all you really need and wanted to do in the first place was x.

I also discovered that this past weekend was a fabulous time to shop -- 10 am, no one there! I could shop, think and look without someone bumping me and ticking me off. I prefer to shop local if I can -- puts $$ into my economy, but I HATE the crowds.

newmainer -- on coats -- I bought my dd one at lands end's overstocks last spring. I bought the size she's wearing now for 20 bucks. the nice, warm jacket. Check them out come spring if you need the next size. They only had red and pink left but it was 20 bucks and is super warm (i have the adult version!).
post #16 of 90

one more rant

: We've been working on consolidating my dh's loans into my loans -- reducing the interest rate and meaning we don't begin paying while I am still in school -- freeing up $$ for day to day expenses and thereby lowering our debt load overall. Anyhow the d*** federal student loan place has screwed it up three times so we have to make two extra high interest payments and it has required three phone calls.
post #17 of 90
Newmainer- Please PM me if you want that coat- I am going to the PO tomorrow. It's a nice warm pink coat.
post #18 of 90
Thread Starter 
peppermint, I pm'd you.

kerc, are the land's end overstocks online or in the store? also, i just made and sold the *cutest* leg wraps and balaclava set with that blue striped fleece
post #19 of 90
newmainer --> we've gotten TONS of compliments on the balaclava --- and the good news is erin loves the "bug hat!" it was a agreat trade.

and landsend.com has a little tab at the top called "overstocks" go there and search for toddler stuff. The best deals are always out of season stuff so you might not find what you're looking for.
post #20 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by newmainer
peppermint, I pm'd you.

kerc, are the land's end overstocks online or in the store? also, i just made and sold the *cutest* leg wraps and balaclava set with that blue striped fleece
The overstocks are online - just go to landsend.com and there's a menu at the top with overstocks. You can get great deals and lands end quality is always wonderful.

All is well here. My goal (for the newbies) is to stay home with DS and DD-to-be beginning next fall when my contract for this job is up. We've been trying to use my salary to reduce my student loans and to build up some savings. Unfortunately, the extra money from my paycheck usually goes to extras.

We sort of fell of the wagon for a while. All three of us had colds and between that and pregnancy fatigue, we've been eating dinner out quite a bit. I just couldn't bring myself to cook. We also had property taxes due this month - which has wiped out any extra funds. I hate coming up on christmas with any cc debt, so as of the end of the month, we're going to use some savings to pay the cc debt and start fresh. I've also been stressed out because prenatal care is proving to be fairly expensive. I hate medical bills.

On a good note, I sent a check to the SL people and we still have money in savings.

As far as Christmas gifts - I'm actually minimizing them as much as possible. I'm not giving gifts at the office this year - except to my boss. DH and I also decided that we don't need to do gifts for our siblings or neices and nephews. I feel like kind of a scrooge, but I'm really trying to simplify. We don't need more "stuff" around the house. Even if we don't use cc to pay for gifts, because we're in debt, I don't want to take the money that would reduce that debt and spend it on "stuff" for other people who don't need it either. Besides, we both come from big families - we're each one of six, with nieces and nephews on both sides. It's not just the money, it's all the time and stress of trying to find or make gifts for everyone. It's been kind of a battle - I suggested to my mom that we stop exchanging gifts and do something charitable instead. For example, donate to a charity, work at a soup kitchen, etc. It didn't go over well. On DH's side we've politely told them we'd like to stop exchanging gifts. the request has been ignored so far.

even amongst ourselves, DH and I usually buy something we both agree that we need or want as a couple, and then get a few small gifts for jack - 1-2 books, toys, etc. I like that much better than the gift giving extravaganza that goes on at my parents' house. My mom seems to need to have lots of packages under the tree to feel like it's Christmas. We don't.

Am I the only one who thinks that Christmas should be about spending time together and doing nice things, but not about the "stuff" that comes with it?

End of rant.
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