or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › Geez how did we get like this and how can it get better?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Geez how did we get like this and how can it get better? - Page 2

post #21 of 143
http://www.ymcagreenville.org/

Looks like it is about $60 a month for a family membership
post #22 of 143
It's been so long since we had cable or anything I don't miss it at all. We have such fun just hanging out around the house, gardening, chatting, coloring, cooking, walking, wandering, etc. Our family is never bored.

Your original question is how can it get better? Well, it's hard to do, but infinitely doable. Just pare down a bit. Cut out all the unnecessary stuff--all the entertainment, all the gyms, timeshare, eating out, etc. Just do it for a month, and see what happens. You'll have tons of extra money for some of those things, it looks like to me. Especially the fun stuff like bowling, eating out, etc.

It's hard to stare things like this in the face!
post #23 of 143

more stuff to do that doesn't involve television, a lot of it free or low-cost

Lander University Fine Arts Department performances (free and open to the public)
Greenwood-Lander Performing Arts 2007-2008 season calendar
Furman University musical performance calendar
Furman University athletics calendar, including soccer matches
University of South Carolina (Greenville Campus) athletics calendar - they, too, have soccer

all of the following are from www.greenville.com
animal shelters
stuff for kids
arts & culture
recreation guide
volunteer opportunities
more stuff for kids
post #24 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilMamiBella View Post
I was totally being serious when I asked what we'd do. I've just never been without cable/satellite! I feel like karate and dance is important. I have a homeschooler's discount for the karate ( we pay $60 less) and we pay half price for our son for dance. We don't have any community centers that I know of. We live outside of Greenville,Sc.
Honestly, and I'm trying to say this with no snark, but you really are going to have to adjust your way of thinking.

You cannot afford your life.

Literally.

As it is, you're one accident or one lost job away from bankruptcy and possibly worse, since I don't see how you could possibly be saving any money. The credit card debt you have indicates that you're not only not saving, you're actually spending more money than you actually have every month.

Cable, karate, and dance are all luxuries.

You can barely afford necessities.

Again, I am not trying to be mean. I am trying to be blunt. I honestly hope you can change your paradigm here -- and fast.
post #25 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilMamiBella View Post
Well, Dh would watch soccer all day everyday iof you let him. I wanted to watch Lost, desperate housewives,etc.
Well, hey -- if you get rid of the cable, you now have several hours more a week that you can spend with your family. How about reading? The library is free.
post #26 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Honestly, and I'm trying to say this with no snark, but you really are going to have to adjust your way of thinking.

You cannot afford your life.

Literally.

As it is, you're one accident or one lost job away from bankruptcy and possibly worse, since I don't see how you could possibly be saving any money. The credit card debt you have indicates that you're not only not saving, you're actually spending more money than you actually have every month.

Cable, karate, and dance are all luxuries.

You can barely afford necessities.

Again, I am not trying to be mean. I am trying to be blunt. I honestly hope you can change your paradigm here -- and fast.
I don't understand this. Didn't she say their bills are around $4000 a month and they bring home $5000 a month? How is that not affording necessities? Did I read wrong?
post #27 of 143
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the replies. I think I will try to sell some things to help pay off our cc's. We could get rid of dish and our home phone and go to a more basic charter plan. I'll contact the two gyms and see what I can do to cancel. I know one gym will let you pay $10 a month instead of the regular price. It doesn't make much since cause I'd be taking longer to pay it off. I'd give up blockbuster to keep cable though. But blockbuster online would be cheaper than going to the movies. I'll talk to Dh about this.
post #28 of 143
I saw some good advice here - I might post where I live and see what you guys can pull up!

LilMamiBella - I agree with a lot that was posted. It is up to you to make choices - what is important. I, personally, say keeps the kids dance or karate. It is important that they get out. I would find a good homeschool coop (if you haven't already!) and get involved. That will get you and the kids involved.

Volunteer. Take the kids to the "old folks home" or soup kitchen - that is a rewarding way to get out of the house. google "your town name" "free things to do". When a holiday is coming up, google "your town name" "holiday(like I just found a free Oktoberfest activity in my town!)".

Get rid of cable. You can probably find some sports stations online. Get rid of the gym memberships as soon as you can.

Apply for scholarships and grants - you homeschool - see if you can get some extra money.

And for what to do - crafts are always fun. Pick up knitting, crocheting, needlefelting. Swap here on MDC. Learn to sew. Paint. learn to paint with pastels (an easier to clean up activity!)

Learn to cook. I make 2-3 HUGE loafs of bread at a time. That way I only have to make it once or twice a month.

And last off, have fun. It's fun to be frugal. Enjoy it.

good luck!
post #29 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by boysrus View Post
I don't understand this. Didn't she say their bills are around $4000 a month and they bring home $5000 a month? How is that not affording necessities? Did I read wrong?
I agree with this. I honestly am not seeing what the big problem is. I WISH we had almost a $1000 extra each month. Well some of the things do seem excessive, I just don't see the WHY you feel that your budget too crunched. If you cut back even $500/mo, you could apply that to your debt and I'm sure with all your extras it wouldn't be too hard. Have you been saving the extra money each month?

I guess, I just don't see the big problem, other than an excessive lifestyle, but you make more than you spend, so that's good. Especially if you can put that extra $1000 each month to savings to debt repayment.
post #30 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by boysrus View Post
I don't understand this. Didn't she say their bills are around $4000 a month and they bring home $5000 a month? How is that not affording necessities? Did I read wrong?

I am sitting her scratching my head too.

Somebody isn't reading something correctly, or something is terribly off in the OP. If her expenses are listed at just under $4100/mo, she says they are bringing in $5000/mo, that's $900 'leftover'.

Are there things that could be cut from her list? Absolutely.

I don't, however, understand the replies stating they are living beyond their means, must be putting lots of stuff on credit cards, can't possibly be saving anything, can't afford that lifestyle, etc.

Has there been some substantial editing of the OP, an extra 0 or something added to the income, what? Cause I don't get the replies at all.
post #31 of 143
Cut half of your items out.
post #32 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by boysrus View Post
I don't understand this. Didn't she say their bills are around $4000 a month and they bring home $5000 a month? How is that not affording necessities? Did I read wrong?
Yes. "Not affording" is not what I said. Please reread my post. I said "barely affording," and this was accurate.

You are leaving out the fact that they are putting no money at all into savings and are making ONLY the minimum payments on the credit cards. Given compounded interest, the credit card bills will quickly metastasize, eating up the $900-or-so they have per month. They have no cushion at all. I'm praying they do not have an adjustable rate mortgage.
post #33 of 143
My comments come from the duplications on her list of expenses. She asked how to have more money to put toward her credit cards, and I noticed 2 gym memberships, 2 TV services, etc. It seems to be that without thoughtful spending, her "extra" $900/month could be spent before long, too. I was only trying to help her look at the big picture, the same way someone had to help me.
post #34 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by wifeandmom View Post
I am sitting her scratching my head too.

Somebody isn't reading something correctly, or something is terribly off in the OP. If her expenses are listed at just under $4100/mo, she says they are bringing in $5000/mo, that's $900 'leftover'.

Are there things that could be cut from her list? Absolutely.

I don't, however, understand the replies stating they are living beyond their means, must be putting lots of stuff on credit cards, can't possibly be saving anything, can't afford that lifestyle, etc.

Has there been some substantial editing of the OP, an extra 0 or something added to the income, what? Cause I don't get the replies at all.
Really? Because when you're only making the minimum payment on credit cards, that means you can't afford to pay off your balance.

If you have a balance, you put stuff on credit cards.

If you cannot pay off your balance, you put a lot of stuff on credit cards.

If you put lots of stuff on a credit card and cannot pay for it, you are living beyond your means.

If you can't afford to pay off your credit cards and do not state that any money during the month is going into savings or a retirement plan, it is reasonable to assume from the data the OP gave that NO money is going into savings or a retirement plan or she would have said it.


I do hope that this has made things clearer.
post #35 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilMamiBella View Post
Thanks for all the replies. I think I will try to sell some things to help pay off our cc's. We could get rid of dish and our home phone and go to a more basic charter plan. I'll contact the two gyms and see what I can do to cancel. I know one gym will let you pay $10 a month instead of the regular price. It doesn't make much since cause I'd be taking longer to pay it off. I'd give up blockbuster to keep cable though. But blockbuster online would be cheaper than going to the movies. I'll talk to Dh about this.
IMNSHO, since you asked for opinions, I think you should get rid of ALL the pay-for-viewing stuff. The library has DVDs. The library has no up-front costs. You pay for the library, in fact, when you pay for your property taxes, but in essence the library is FREE. If you MUST have screen time, take advantage of the viewing options available at the library and online at the network websites - ABC.com has both Desperate Housewives and Lost available for viewing FOR FREE at your leisure, with fewer commercials (I used to watch Ugly Betty online & it was three 30-second breaks).

Take your charter payment & put it toward credit, take your dish payment & put it toward credit, take your blockbuster payment and put it toward credit. Take the money you'd otherwise pay the gym and put it toward credit, paying the $10/month they offered you. Yes, it'll take longer to pay off, but it won't be such a burden. Chase is offering a card with no interest for 15 months. If you make a repayment plan that will fit within those 15 months, it might be worth it to transfer your other balances to that.
post #36 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
Yes. "Not affording" is not what I said. Please reread my post. I said "barely affording," and this was accurate.

You are leaving out the fact that they are putting no money at all into savings and are making ONLY the minimum payments on the credit cards. Given compounded interest, the credit card bills will quickly metastasize, eating up the $900-or-so they have per month. They have no cushion at all. I'm praying they do not have an adjustable rate mortgage.
Well, then where is the extra $900/mo going?? If it's not going into savings, and she didn't list any other expenses that it's going to, I don't understand what she's doing with it.

But I guess this is coming from someone who doesn't have cc debt, and I guess some people can have super high balances that I couldn't even imagine that would cost a fortune in interest only. So I'm probably just looking at this from a different perspective. When I did have cc debt, the min. payment was $20/mo. I guess that's probably not her min. payment though.
post #37 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by zersha View Post
Well, then where is the extra $900/mo going?? If it's not going into savings, and she didn't list any other expenses that it's going to, I don't understand what she's doing with it.

But I guess this is coming from someone who doesn't have cc debt, and I guess some people can have super high balances that I couldn't even imagine that would cost a fortune in interest only. So I'm probably just looking at this from a different perspective. When I did have cc debt, the min. payment was $20/mo. I guess that's probably not her min. payment though.
I'd like to hear how much credit card debt she has too, if only for clarity's sake. OP, would you care to share?
post #38 of 143
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Meg Murry. View Post
I'd like to hear how much credit card debt she has too, if only for clarity's sake. OP, would you care to share?
um well its $12,400
We go out to eat Fri, Sat, and Sun and Dh buys lunch and misc with it. I also shop. So I know we need to stop those things..i was just trying to think of more things to do because I hate owing anyone money. Once we have everything paid off we'll put those cards somewhere and pay cash only. We don't have any savings or health insurance! We always paid with cash but then in December I was offered a few credit cards. Since we had 6 mos interest free we thought we could pay them off easily but we kept using it up till it got really high.
post #39 of 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilMamiBella View Post
um well its $12,400
We go out to eat Fri, Sat, and Sun and Dh buys lunch and misc with it. I also shop. So I know we need to stop those things..i was just trying to think of more things to do because I hate owing anyone money. Once we have everything paid off we'll put those cards somewhere and pay cash only. We don't have any savings or health insurance! We always paid with cash but then in December I was offered a few credit cards. Since we had 6 mos interest free we thought we could pay them off easily but we kept using it up till it got really high.
WOW. Ok, here's what you do: cut them up and close the accounts. You won't be able to completely close them until they're paid off, but you can make it so you can't put anything new on them. NO MORE BUYING FOOD YOU DON'T MAKE YOURSELF. Period. When you get them paid off, you can celebrate. Until then, lunch is sandwiches or soup or leftovers from dinner, dinners are at home or potlucks at friends' houses, etc. Clothes come from thrift stores if they come to you at all, and you have to give yourself 48-72 hours to contemplate any purchase - that MUST be made in cash - before buying ANYTHING. If you put $1000 a month toward your debt you will be out of it in just over 14 months (remember, interest still builds, so it's not a simple 12 month thing). Cable is at least $50, tivo is another $50, satellite is another $50, cell phone is another $50, blockbuster online is $20, eating out is at least $30 per meal, lunches out are at least $5 each, lattes at starbucks are $4 each, it ALL. ADDS. UP. And what it adds up to is: you're hemorrhaging money. Stop the bleeding, put yourselves in a financial tourniquet, and deal with living within your means.
post #40 of 143
You need to RUN to the library and check out a copy of Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover Then, you need to get rid of all the tv's in every room. Keep one tv, and have the sattelite on that TV (with the DVR) Then, your DH can watch soccer when he wants, and you can use the DVR to record the shows you want, or watch them online. YOu cannot afford the life you are living. The outline you gave did not include all the eating out you are doing (as an aside, ignoring what eating out three nights a week does to your budget, think about what it does to your health and your children's health and the way they will look at food for the rest of their lives!) plus whatever other entertainment you do on weekends. You cannot continue to live like this, or you will wind up bankrupt.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Frugality & Finances
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Natural Living › The Mindful Home › Frugality & Finances › Geez how did we get like this and how can it get better?