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Old 11-26-2008, 03:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need some advice, big time. I talked to my husband and he left it up to me. So here I am, asking for advice in the best place I know, although this is a little different than most of my situations.

I am a school teacher and my husband works on an oil rig. I am not tenured and he is in grave danger of being laid off at the moment, though we hate his job, and a few years ago I would have thought his being laid off as a blessing in disguise, we are big in trouble. I am going to give you a lot of background info so you can have a handle on the situation, so bear with me.

We got pregnant, after one time of not using protection. I stopped using BC because it gives me horrible side effects, no matter what kind I try. I did follow my chart and I shouldn't have been ovulating. We wanted a third child, so we are not upset about the pregnancy. It wasn't the best timing, but there is almost never a perfect time for such things anyway.

I had already made the decision to do everything possible to stay home and take care of my two children next school year instead of going back to work. It is important to our family that I stay home, and I have been trying to find a second job to help us out.

As I am not tenured, it is never certain that I would have had a job next year in the first place, this year I found out there was a place for me after being laid off, a week before school went back into session.

My school board, like the rest of the world, has fallen apart financially. Every month it hits the news that we aren't going to be paid and then they end up getting a loan a right before the checks come out. They laid off six hundred teachers last year and most did not get rehired. My principal has already discussed with me the fact that because of the pregnancy my late rehire would be very unlikely next year. It would be at too much off a cost to the school board and others involved. There are too may teachers looking for jobs who don't have the same complications.

So now, what I thought was an unlikely dream, being able to stay home, is an absolute reality for the future.

Here is the dilemma, with student loans and credit cards we are 100000 + in debt. We pay out over 3600 a month in bills alone. When my income goes kapoot that will be about the equivelant of our monthly bring home income. I called careonecredit who I had talked to before about getting on the debt management plan, but the payments would just be too high this time next year. The counselor I talked to suggested that I try their debt reduction program instead which would basically cause everything to go into collections and involve a lawyer but allow me to pay back half of my debt. I am sure some people here are familiar with this semi-bankruptcy. Everything would be paid off in five years and be settled, My credit would be completely destroyed, not that it is too healthy now. Two years ago it was perfect, ironically enough.

What do I do? The debt reduction plan sounds perfect, I would be able to stay home and in five years I would have no more debt. AT the same time I feel like I am throwing away everything I've worked for in life.

I am so depressed.

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Old 11-26-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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What is your alternative to NOT doing this plan? It seems to me like you have even more to lose by not getting help immediately. I know it is frustrating, but the reality is that you didn't suddenly just lose everything you worked for: you made some decisions about credit that slowly resulted in your current situation. I'm not trying to make you feel bad, but I just think you sort of postpone reality by relying on credit, and now the time has come that it just can't be put off any longer.

I'm sorry you're in this position, but I'm glad you have the fallback of the debt management. :
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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how much of that $100,000 is student loans & how much is credit cards? What are your other bills that add up to $3600/month? Can you defer your student loans & pay off your credit cards?
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Old 11-26-2008, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Valkyrie - I can pay my bills right now, so my other option is to keep paying them and do the right thing, find a job immediately after having the baby, whether teaching or not. I will get paid through next September. You are right about my depending on credit cards. You can't say anthing to me that I haven't said to myself. The reason that I say that I feel like I am destroying everything is because we used the cards to buy/repair our house, land, and transportation. I feel like I am shirking my responsibility letting someone bail me out. On the other hand, if I don't get bailed out, I will feel like I am shirking my repsonsibility by not raising my own children(i already do). I want to be able to stay home. I know no other way to do that, but a part of me feels like that is a luxury that I shouldn't be afforded. I should have to put my kids in daycare like everyone else.

CarrieMF- 40 grand for student loans, 5 grand for our truck. (I just paid off my car) The rest is credit cards but they were used to purchase our land and build our home. One was used to create a down payment for the truck, also 2 grand is what i still owe from my 12 hour stay in the hospital to birth tristan in a broom close since they were out of real rooms.

My husband had poor credit when I had good credit, but good income when I had none, so we had a hard time getting anything. I had a ton of credit cards, so I used them instead of traditional loans.

Now there are one or two credit cards that I used to buy junk and go on vacation. I'm not guilt free.

The 3600, aside from credit cards, consists of student loans (dh's are 150 a month, mine are 300 a month), the truck note, hospital bills, electricity, telephone, internet, insurance. I can not get my loans in deferrment unless I go back to school, if I go back to school I have to figure out how I am going to pay for it. Leaves me in the same boat.





Another reason that I feel like I will be destroying my life is because where as I can struggle and pay now, if I give up, I will not be able to buy a nicer house one day, or have a car that I can fit three car seats on, or have the credit I may need one day to help one of my children.

I feel like my brain is going to explode.

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Old 11-26-2008, 05:11 PM
 
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I've had my own bail-out from the Bank of Dad, and it was definitely an eye opener. I don't want you to think I am wagging my finger at you!

I see the dilemma better when I think about the hopes for the future that you have--car that fits all the kids, etc. I'm not sure what advice to give you with the extra clarification you provided. It sounds like a tough call either way.
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:25 PM
 
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I am not familiar with the debt management programs in any US state and things up in Canada are different, so I dont' want to make any bad suggestions. I just wanted to give you a .

4 kids under 10
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Old 11-26-2008, 05:33 PM
 
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If it were me, there is no way I'd become a SAHM, having $100K in debt. I would continue to work. I know that's not a popular opinion here, but that's me.

I'm sorry you are dealing with this.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:13 PM
 
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I personally would do everything I could to avoid any debt management programs. If that meant I had to work until things were paid off, that's what I would do.

In the meantime, can you get your student loans deferred for hardship for a few months? Have you contacted the CC companies to try to get a lower rate so your monthly payments are less? If your DH is laid off, does he have other places where he can get a job?

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Old 11-26-2008, 06:35 PM
 
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I wouldn't do it.
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Old 11-26-2008, 06:38 PM
 
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If it were me, I would try to WAH first and maybe apply at some flexible or otherwise mommy friendly places incase the WAH didn't work out.

I would also see if DH could get a 2nd or 3rd job.

I would call all my CC companies and plead for lower interest rates.

I would do whatever I could to defer the student loans.

Mama to expecting Babe 2
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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I would call all my CC companies and plead for lower interest rates.
Do this now, not later. If they won't then find new deals & get rid of the current cards you have.
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Old 11-26-2008, 07:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by EFmom View Post
If it were me, there is no way I'd become a SAHM, having $100K in debt. I would continue to work. I know that's not a popular opinion here, but that's me.

I'm sorry you are dealing with this.
me too. that is a lot to have in debt.. in my opinion you both need to work as much as possible to get that down!!

things will get better in time... hang in there
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Old 11-26-2008, 08:55 PM
 
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I am sorry things are tough.

One thing that caught my eye is that you were considering using Care One credit counseling. I thought that they were largely considered a scam? I did a little searching online about them and there are people out there who were told that their debt would be reduced by half but that isn't the case. I guess I would be really, really careful about believing anything they say.
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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Sunflower, Tenured or not no one should be discussing your health concerns (pgnt) with you. That is basis for discrimination and has lawsuit written all over it. If those words came out of your principals mouth I would consult an attorney sooner than later.
Is there a different school district you an apply with, can you do sub teaching?
In your spot i could not sahm.
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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I agree with the pp, it sounds like a scam where they take your money and make a low ball offer to your cc's when you miss a bunch of payments. You can do that yourself.

Also student loans aren't bankruptable. however, you can almost ALWAYS get some kind of deferrment. Just give them a call and let them know what is going on, they will help you figure it out!! I have dealt with them many times and never had a problem.

You have not, nor will you ruin your life. This is a low spot, but you will fix it and someday, by working hard and saving and making different choices, have the things you need. They may not be new cars, but you have tons of used cars within most budgets, etc.

This is a difficult spot to be in. Check out the book Bankruptcy for dummies. Even if you aren't there, it has tons of great info on dealing with cc companies, etc.

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Old 11-26-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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Just noticed something else, you say you want a car where you can fit 3 car seats... FWIW, we still dont have a vehicle we all fit in, on the rare occassion we all go somewhere (maybe 1-2x month) we just take 2 vehicles. IMO it wasnt worth a car payment or purchasing a larger vehicle for those few times..
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:55 PM
 
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You can call your creditors directly yourself and negotiate a better settlement without involving a third party. Also a lot of those third parties are involved in class action lawsuits over their practices.

If you are willing to ruin your credit, stop paying your bills for 3-6 months, and then the creditors will be more willing to work with you on settlement terms.
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Old 11-26-2008, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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1growingspout- you are right, for the most part. However, in my county every non tenured teacher is fired in may. We get paid until August, some are hired back, some aren't. Getting hired back in August is a gamble, and getting hired after that is rather difficult. My baby is due around the time school starts back, so I wouldn't have an easy time finding a job. It is a very unfair system to begin with. It wouldn't be very feasible for me to work in a different school system. Ours is very large, in area. I would have to add an hour to my driving to get out of my district and with three babies to transport in the morning that isn't very logical. I can sub and that is a viable option. The car thing would be an issue if I went back to work. I couldn't work if I couldn't get my three kids in the car, the oldest is 3.5 years old. My dh is out of town 2 weeks of the month. They have to get to a sitter.

Azuralea- I found a lot of negative information about the company today myself.

EFmom and dearmama22- I know that. It is the hard truth. Right now my sister keeps my kids. I work an average of 11 hours a day. My sister is a spanker, she is loud, she smokes around the kids. WE have a terrible relationship but she is the only one around to watch my babies. They eat junk food all day, she fed meat to my baby behind my back before I gave up on him being a vegetarian. Those are the mild things that make her terrible. She only charges 200 a month as opposed to 800 for daycare, so I am stuck. I know I have to do what I have to do. It's a little more complicated by the sitter situation. I have to do what I have to do though. She owes me 7000 to boot and hasn't paid a cent so there is a lot of animosity.

Someone asked, I don't know who, but DH has several years of experience in the oil field and a CDL so he would likely be able to find work.



It helps to talk about this. I am glad I did. I am not going to use carecredit. I am going to continue to seek help of some other sort. I brought this upon myself, I have to get myself out of it. I've called about the loan deferment. I have been told I do not qualify. I didn't consolidate those through the best company in the world either.

I guess life will go on, one way or the other.

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Old 11-26-2008, 11:00 PM
 
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You could try applying for hard ship deferral on those student loans. That would free up some extra $$ to pay off bills or set aside or whatever.

I agree with the pp about the car thing. Her idea is good.

Do you have a master's? Could you teach adjunct at a cc? You could teach a night class, or at some other time that is most convenient. That would be extra money.

Are your kids in child care now? I know that my ONE ds' dc is about 1/4 of my take home pay each month. For three, it wouldn't be worth working! I'm a teacher in a district with relatively high pay, FWIW.

Think about your income (minus) expenses. With three kids, I almost can't see being a WOHM as being more profitable than a SAHM, unless you won't have to pay anything for child care.

I also like the subbing idea. Keeps you in the loop, and no pesky planning or grading! sup

Good luck!
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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1growingspout- you are right, for the most part. However, in my county every non tenured teacher is fired in may. We get paid until August, some are hired back, some aren't. Getting hired back in August is a gamble, and getting hired after that is rather difficult. My baby is due around the time school starts back, so I wouldn't have an easy time finding a job. It is a very unfair system to begin with. It wouldn't be very feasible for me to work in a different school system. Ours is very large, in area. I would have to add an hour to my driving to get out of my district and with three babies to transport in the morning that isn't very logical. I can sub and that is a viable option. The car thing would be an issue if I went back to work. I couldn't work if I couldn't get my three kids in the car, the oldest is 3.5 years old. My dh is out of town 2 weeks of the month. They have to get to a sitter.

Azuralea- I found a lot of negative information about the company today myself.

EFmom and dearmama22- I know that. It is the hard truth. Right now my sister keeps my kids. I work an average of 11 hours a day. My sister is a spanker, she is loud, she smokes around the kids. WE have a terrible relationship but she is the only one around to watch my babies. They eat junk food all day, she fed meet to my baby behind my back before I gave up on him being a vegetarian. She only charges 200 a month as opposed to 800 for daycare, so I am stuck. I know I have to do what I have to do. It's a little more complicated by the sitter situation. I have to do what I have to do though. She owes me 7000 to boot and hasn't paid a cent so there is a lot of animosity.

Someone asked, I don't know who, but DH has several years of experience in the oil field and a CDL so he would likely be able to find work.



It helps to talk about this. I am glad I did. I am not going to use carecredit. I am going to continue to seek help of some other sort. I brought this upon myself, I have to get myself out of it. I've called about the loan deferment. I have been told I do not qualify. I didn't consolidate those through the best company in the world either.

I guess life will go on, one way or the other.

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Old 11-26-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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Do you have a master's? Could you teach adjunct at a cc? You could teach a night class, or at some other time that is most convenient. That would be extra money.
Unfortunately, it's usually very little money for the work involved. The ccs around here pay about $4500 per course per semester. That works out to about 3 cents an hour for the first year and maybe 5 cents an hour the second. It's better than nothing, but it's not going to be close to what you make as a ft teacher. It is, however, usually a much nicer teaching environment in that you don't have to deal with all the crud involved in public schools.
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:36 PM
 
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So most of the $100,000 is money that went towards your home right? Do you have a mortgage on top of that or is that all you owe? I know this is not a good time for home loans but if by chance you could refinance your credit card bills onto a 30 year fixed home loan the payment would go way down. $100,000 in credit card debt sounds really bad but if you look at it in terms of $100,000 in home loans that is really not bad at all. I know this is a long shot but it's something to look into. Maybe even look into a personal loan.
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Old 11-26-2008, 11:59 PM
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What your principal said to you was illegal. It's illegal to discriminate against you because of your pregnancy. I'd be talking to the EEOC (equal employment opportunity commission) if I were you.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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Old 11-27-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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Have you applied for a hardship deferral for your student loans? Especially if your income is nothing (not your husband's income because most likely YOU are the only one on the loan so his income does not count towards your ability to make payments) you should really give it a shot. I have student loans in the US and my student loan company has the forms for deferral right on their web site, but will happily help you apply over the phone, too.

I am astoundingly lucky! Mother to my beloved child since 01/06/07. Fighting cancer since 09/06/07.
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Old 11-27-2008, 03:25 AM
 
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AngieB has a good idea.





Honestly after reading the description of the "care" your sis does, I would make it priority number one to get them out of her house ASAP. Even if I had to claim BK and live in an apartment. They are only little once and substandard care can "ruin" them. That situation is a set up for lifetime problems. I would then most likely cut off contact with her and right opff the money owed to you mentally.




Have you read up on Dave Ramsey? He was in a worse situation at one time. You might even try calling him live on his show just to see what he says to do, though it would most likely be keep working, but its worth a shot. If not maybe you and hubby should read "Total Money Makeover" together.

His snowball method might work well for you.






Can you post ALL your bills? All CC'd with balances and %. All monthly bills, food, gas, misc... and then post post all money brought in? Costs to do your job (supplies, car, gas, clothes, daycare, etc...)

Maybe we can all brainstorm and see what you can do and cut and on and on.




{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}

There are many people in your same shoes!

Resistance is futile Matey
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Old 11-27-2008, 04:41 AM
 
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Normally, I say work and pay it off.

But, after reading about the care your kids receive ... I agree with the pp. I'd do anything I could to get rid of as much debt ASAP. If that meant bankruptcy, apartment living, etc., - fine.

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Old 11-27-2008, 05:07 AM
 
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I don't quite understand about your housing situation. You paid for the house with credit card? How does that work? Do you still have a mortgage?

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Old 11-27-2008, 10:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Poddi- my husband and I built most of our house it started out as a trailor that we rented to own for a few years, we bought our land seperately and got a great deal on it. I borrowed 10,000 on a credit card to pay for the land and some clearing. I borrowed that on a credit card but using a fixed interest 5% loan (one of those checks they send) so I have actually done really well on paying on it. My mother loaned me 15,000 more for the house (we had to pay off what we owed which was around 10,000 and movie it which was 3, and do some add ons which took the other 2)which I pay her back at 325 a month. She used her card to get the money, using the same principal, but the loan was 3.99 for the life of the loan, so again it was pretty good even though it was a credit card. I do not have a mortgage, so it is not so bad.

However, I took 5,000 off a card with less than stellar financing to pay for the water pump and some other expenses.

I have 7,000 on three other cards. One was used as a down payment for my car and his truck (the car i recently paid off, the truck we still have two years on). The other two were my big mistakes. I owe 4000 on my Best Buy card, total waste there, though I did buy some items for my job which are atleast claimable on my taxes (my county has not given us any allocation yet this year because of the financial crisis, in the union letter this month, we were told if we did not get it by monday we should contact them) the bulk is my fault though and I claim it. I bought appliances on it and a computer. I have a Lowes card with 1500. I think that is it. I sat up last night and looked at my bills and what I could do and I think we can pay off enough for me to stay up in August. I also called my mom, and asked her if she would keep the kids for free. I originally took them away from her, free care, because of a deal that sister and I, and because I had no idea about her antics. My mom is not the greatest sitter in the world but it is mostly because she is a grandma and spoils the crap out of them and because she has custody of her 4 year old great grandson who is a handful. I mainly took the kids away because I didn't want her to have so much pressure. 4 year old is about to start pre k so it will just be my kids and her so I think it will be much better, plus its only 2 weeks, dh is a SAHD the 2 weeks he is home from work every month.

That will save me 200-240 a month.

I stayed up all night budgeting. I think we can make this work on our own. If DH does not get laid off. If he does, and gets another job with equal pay, which we dont think will be a problem. He may have to go to Utah or Colorado, but there is an oil rig somewhere that would take someone with 5 years experience. He hates his job but said he wouldn't do anything else, unless it paid as much, until we get our head above water.

Ok this is my regular monthly budget as of right now (just so you can see what I am looking at)

Cingular 100
Storage 65
JCP 100 (owe 400) 18%
S. Loan 265 (owe 40,000) 19 years to go, percent is in the 5's i think.
S. Loan 150 (0we 4000) no idea about % on this one. it is dh's.
Chase 325 (11,000 this is my mother's card) 3.99%
Capital1 198 (7,000) 21%
Compass 200 (8,000) this is the card that my land is on 5%
Allstate 104
Visa 220 (7,000) This one has the highest interest 24%
Lowes 50 (1500)
S. Loan 65 (4500) 10 years, not sure of %
MCARD 100 (4,000) 19%
Truck Note 265 (5,000) 21%
B Buy 300 (4200) Mostly 0%, we are paying xtra to pay it off
MCard 109 (7000)
Sam's Club 65 (600)
telephone 100
Ala Power 200
Medical 100
Medical 100
Medical 100
Midwife 300 (from this month until month baby is born and we will be paid up with her)


Charlie spends about 120 a month on gas now that it has gone down, i spend about 160. We each take 200 a month that is supposed to be for entertainment/eating out/etc. Somehow all the rest of our money disappears every month plus some.

income dh 3400
income me 2200

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Sunflower223 is offline  
Old 11-27-2008, 03:45 PM
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You owe more than your dh's salary every month. He makes 3400, your minimum payments on bills total 3600, and from what I see that's before household expenses and groceries etc. You simply need more income. Second job for dh, work at home for you, something. The Dave Ramsey thread may be a good starting point.
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Old 11-27-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunflower223 View Post
.
Cingular 100
Storage 65
JCP 100 (owe 400) 18%
S. Loan 265 (owe 40,000) 19 years to go, percent is in the 5's i think.
S. Loan 150 (0we 4000) no idea about % on this one. it is dh's.
Chase 325 (11,000 this is my mother's card) 3.99%
Capital1 198 (7,000) 21%
Compass 200 (8,000) this is the card that my land is on 5%
Allstate 104
Visa 220 (7,000) This one has the highest interest 24%
Lowes 50 (1500)
S. Loan 65 (4500) 10 years, not sure of %
MCARD 100 (4,000) 19%
Truck Note 265 (5,000) 21%
B Buy 300 (4200) Mostly 0%, we are paying xtra to pay it off
MCard 109 (7000)
Sam's Club 65 (600)
telephone 100
Ala Power 200
Medical 100
Medical 100
Medical 100
Midwife 300 (from this month until month baby is born and we will be paid up with her)


Charlie spends about 120 a month on gas now that it has gone down, i spend about 160. We each take 200 a month that is supposed to be for entertainment/eating out/etc. Somehow all the rest of our money disappears every month plus some.

income dh 3400
income me 2200
is cingular your cell? could you have either a landline or a cell? both isn't actually needed. you could cut the landline and get skype or another webphone and use your cellphones, but cut your package down to a cheaper one. that would free up at least 100$, right?
storage - move it into your house or toss it. you're throwing away 65$/ month. even if you give up a room in your house to storage, you're saving enough money to be worth it.
if you sah you won't spend nearly as much on gas - maybe 1/4 as much, right? that's 120$/ month you won't be spending.
do any of your cards give you balance transfer deals? i often get mail from the cc saying i can do balance transfers at a lower rate for a set amount of time. you could shift as much debt as possible to a lower rate, pay it off like crazy, and shift it to a different balance transfer deal before the deal expires. that could save you a boatload of interest, if you were very careful.
200$/ month each for entertainment & eating out?!?!!? we get 15$ a month, each for that. cut it waaaaay down. you need to adjust your lifestyle to fit your income, and focus on paying down this insane debt instead of doing fun stuff.
if you sub during the time dp is home and sah when he's away, plus eating mostly rice & beans and maybe doing some online tutoring, it could be ok.
the bottom line, as i see it, is that you have both made good money and this is a brutal wake-up call that it's time to start living more responsibly. this isn't un-doable, but it's hard. you can do it.
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