i need some major financial help - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 04-20-2004, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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this is the story of my life right now.

dh and i both work fulltime - and opposite shifts at that, so that we dont' need to use day care. our marriage is suffering for it, as we never see each other. we both make just about the same amount of money.

my company is restructuring and my job has been eliminated. i had to reapply for the job that replaced mine, and i have been told they dont' have a place for me at this time. i'm being offered other jobs within the company, but TBH, none of them appeal to me. part of me wants to just find another job ASAP, as i have 6 weeks until my current position ends, and i'm also feeling horribly bitter and demoralized for having to apply and interview for a job i already had, and then be told i need to do something else. but a huge part of me wants to be a SAHM. unfortunately, i can't see that happening, because we would be losing a full half of our yearly salary. so i'm trying to figure out how to maybe work two days a week, at least for awhile. my company will have some opportunities in another (much cheaper) state in a few months - dh also works for the company, and this might work out for us. because of that, i'm not sure i want to quit outright right now.

i guess i just want to get some good ideas for cutting back. i already CD my two kids, we have 10 months left on our car payment, i do have digital cable, which i could get rid of, i *could* go back to dial up internet, we can stop the water delivery and just fill up at the machines ourselves. i'm also thinking that if i'm home more, i can cook more - which would save money on grocery expenses, if i can keep dh away from all the packaged foods. . .if i shop at work only (i work for a healthfood store) i can get 20% off groceries, we can eat out less. we do have some creditcard payments i wish we could get rid of - and i took a year forebearance on my student loans when i went on maternity leave, and that will end in june - but i might be able to change that over to a financial hardship deferrment. . .i need ideas mommas! i really depressed and upset over the whole job situation, so i need to start doing something proactive to feel better.
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#2 of 11 Old 04-21-2004, 02:44 AM
 
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Hi, Jeri!

I'm sorry to hear about your job situation. I think what you listed already are good ways to safe money. Cooking at home really helps too, especially from scratch. We moved to a cheaper house and that has helped us out a lot. I don't know if cheaper housing is possible for you. I'm sorry this is depressing you. I wish I had better advice and suggestions.

OUR DAUGHTERS ARE PROTECTED SHOULDN'T OUR SONS BE TOO! :
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#3 of 11 Old 04-21-2004, 03:18 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hi heather, good to see you over here!

i think my biggest problem is going to be figuring out where the heck all our money is going to right now. we also have credit card bills that i wish we could jsut erase. maybe if we do a consolidation loan of some sort and cut up the cards. also, i just figred out that i spend $70.00 a month going to get a bagel and a soda for breakfast on the days i work and dh probably spends twice that going to starbucks - so if we cut that out, that's over $200 right there!
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#4 of 11 Old 04-21-2004, 11:19 AM
 
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The Goddess of Putting Off Paying Back Student Loans, signing in.....

When your forbearance ends, apply again. That will buy you some time, fiscally speaking, and they will totally let you do it. If that makes you tremendously nervous, you can pay the interest that accrues every quarter (which won't reduce your debt, but will reduce the amount of interest they can charge).

If that still makes you nervous, look into re-organizing your student loans to maybe get an income-sensitive payment, or an interest-only payment for the first couple years. That cuts the monthly debt way down.

Consolidation loans are a good idea ONLY if you are disciplined enough to pay them off and not rack up more debt AND if you can get a consolidation loan with a LOW interest rate.

CUT UP THE CREDIT CARDS, even if they are up to the limit and you don't use them.

Allow yourself an indulgence every now and then, like Starbucks for DH twice a week (instead of every day) and bagel/soda for you every other time you work, instead of all the time. Eliminating these things completely makes you feel deprived, and you will end up spending more.

Good luck; DEBT SUCKS!!!!

HoneyFern

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Never let your schooling interfere with your education. ~Mark Twain~

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#5 of 11 Old 04-21-2004, 12:10 PM
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Jeri

I know it's stressful but it will work out mama

Do what everyone else says

Do cook at home

Do get this book "Spiritual Economics"

You will attract what you and DH need to make it work if you get in the right mind space.

Don't worry - it attracts negative outcome and depletes your energy.

Why not fool around with some WAHM ideas. What can you sell from home? Can you provide a service to people from home?

Sit and write out a budget. Look at your expenses that can be cut. Cut them. Have you and dh sign the budget.

then set about finding creative ways you may be able to pull in the amoung of money you need to make the budget work - whether within or outside of the store where you work.

Don't be demoralized. Life is moving you. You will discover that if you keep your eyes open for the opprotunities!
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#6 of 11 Old 04-22-2004, 12:45 AM
 
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To figure out where your money is going, get "Your Money or Your Life" from the library. Excellent book.

The Tightwad Gazette, also at the library has lots of great ideas. I resisted the TWG at first- my mom was the ultimate tightwad and I didn't want to have to go back to that level of frugality (ei "poor" and "deprived") but it isn't about that- take what works and let the rest go.

Good luck. The good thing about TWG is she has kids so her ideas are geared that way.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#7 of 11 Old 04-22-2004, 01:37 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for the advice and support mamas. i'm still reeling a bit from this - my self esteem has taken a hit, and i have a whole lot of anger that i'm trying to let go of. at the same time, i'm really excited about the possibilities ahead of me.
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#8 of 11 Old 04-23-2004, 02:21 AM
 
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When I decided to be a SAHM we lost two thirds of our income as well as benefits with my job that were much better than my husbands. But I really wanted it and if you want it bad enough you find a way. It does take a while to adjust. Here's what we did:

1. We cut out eating out unless someone gives us a giftcard or money or its a very special occasion (our birthdays). Even then we eat somewhere inexpensive.

2. Set a budget.

3. We take the amount of money budgeted for food and put it into an envelope when we get our paycheck. If we run out of money we don't get anymore groceries. We have to dig through the cabinent and try to put something together out of what we have. Next time we manage our money better. We cut our bill dramatically by doing this. If there is any left over we can eat out or get a special treat. This also works well for other things like gas, household items, etc.

4. We consolidated our student loans at a lower interest rate. I wouldn't suggest consolidating anything else, but its a good deal with student loans especially because interest rates are still low. We try to pay extra as much as possible because I really want to be out of debt.

5. We don't have any credit card debt so I can't help you out there. But I second the idea to cut them up and never use them again. Pay off the smallest as fast as you can. Then take whatever you were paying on the smallest and add it to whatever you were paying on the next smallest. You will free up so much money when you pay off your credit cards.

6. We bought our car with cash for $2,000 and have had it for four years. We have put aside a little cash and when our car dies we will buy another for very little money with cash. Never have a car payment again. If you have two cars, you should sell one of them.

7. We moved to an apartment in a different area that costs $400 a month less than our old one.

8. Turn off your TV. It just makes you want more stuff (and eats up electricity).

9. We use the library for books and movies.

10. Remember that by staying home you will be saving money. You're more likely to cook from scratch, not be tempted by co-workers to spend on treats, not have to pay for commute or childcare, etc.)

11. Try to be creative about spending on gifts. DH and I used to spend several hundred dollars on each other for Christmas. This year we spent $25 each. We spent $2.85 on dd but she was only 8 months so we could get away with it.

12. We don't have modern conviences like fast internet, cable, cell phone, etc. Our only splurge is dial up internet for $9.95 a month. Otherwise we go to free events. There are actually a lot out there if you look.

I know its overwhelming at first. And it probably helps that my mama brought me up to be a cheapskate. But you can do it. It just takes a lot of work.
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#9 of 11 Old 04-26-2004, 12:58 PM
 
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Check out The Complete Tightwad Gazette from your library. It reading it will really help you to evaluate your spending. Not everything will apply to you, but the overall philosophy could very well change your life.
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#10 of 11 Old 04-26-2004, 01:02 PM
 
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Also, I wanted to add that you are eligeable for unemployment if you don't get your job back. The cushion worked nicely for DH and I when we went from 2 incomes to 1. We gradually decreased our spending knowing that the unemaployment would end in 6 months. By the time it was over we were spending less than 1 income and putting the rest in savings (and we make less than 24K per year).
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#11 of 11 Old 04-26-2004, 02:43 PM
 
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Indie has some great ideas. If you are renting, definitely look and see if there's a cheaper place. You might have to cut back on what you are used to size-wise or even location-wise, but if you tell yourself it's for a short time then you can do it. Rent/mortgage usually represents the biggest "bill".

I don't know about the US, but in Canada the interest rates on student loans is so low that it isn't worth consolidating. They are, however, great at granting you leave and it is renewable, too.

Credit cards, on the other hand, most definitely are. But you do have to be good about not using them again. I don't really recommend cutting up ALL of them, because there are things in life that require one just for ID purposes. If you think you can handle it, keep one in a drawer somewhere for such occasions, and cut up the rest. You can also call your credit card company and ask them to lower your rates. I've yet to build up the courage to do this, but everybody I talk to says it really works. Honestly, if you can get a personal loan or line of credit for a good interest rate, I'd do that. Credit cards are the worst b/c of the high interest and the fact that paying the minimum gets you nowhere fast.

Working out a budget is also very very important. You will be surprised to learn where your money goes. That cup of coffee and muffin at work everyday (who, me?) adds up. Eating at home is DEFINITELY cheaper. Especially if you buy whole foods. My DH is a great cook and we buy almost nothing that is processed. I'm always amazed at how far he can stretch our grocery budget (I'm definitely not that strong so I don't do the shopping, lol).

I never go to shopping malls anymore, or any stores. When you don't see it, you don't need it. When we're in tough budget mode, we don't eat out, except on rare occasions and only at cheap restaurants. A treat is getting tacos from Taco Bell, lol.

I'm very careful to buy only what is absolutely necessary. You'd be amazed what I've gone without in tough times. One month my "payday treat" was a diaper pail from WalMart and a Mop. I'm constantly amazed at how perspective changes when need be.

It really helps to have a light at the end of the tunnel. When you have a monthly plan in place, then work out how long it will take you to get out of your debt. Each card you pay off is more money for you to spend on stuff you need/want. It could be psychologically helpful to know that, for example, in six months you'll have an extra so-many-dollars in your budget.

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