anyone else ready to GET OUT OF DEBT? - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-26-2004, 06:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Specifically, for us, it's credit card debt, and it is NOW time to get out of it! I'd love to have a tribe of sorts to work toward this goal with.

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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Old 04-26-2004, 07:26 PM
 
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I can't join the tribe, but I wish you luck. It is very hard, but very worth it. It takes a long time- we just paid off the last of our stuff last month after working on it for about 2-3 years. (The debt seems to build up MUCH faster than it goes down!!)

Michelle -mom to Katlyn 4/00 , Jake 3/02, and Seth 5/04
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Old 04-26-2004, 08:06 PM
 
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Well, we are very fortunate. We managed to rack up some big credit card bills over the last year, but we have an investment that's about to mature in another 3 or 4 months, and we will pay them all off. We have four between us, and will cut up all of them save one.

I tell ya, I will never, ever buy anything again on my CC unless I can pay it IN FULL at the end of the month. I have learnt my lesson, and only count my blessings that we have an opportunity to get out of it all quickly.

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Old 05-01-2004, 01:10 AM
 
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I am SOOOOOOOOOO ready to get out of debt!!! Ours is luckily no credit card debt, it is unpaid bills, student loan and basically just bad spending.

Any help and support would be wonderful!
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Old 05-01-2004, 01:20 PM
 
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I'm in debt, I'm in debt!

We have credit card debt, and we are in a debt management program to pay it off. Unfortunatley, my credit is screwed up from trying to pay my bills off through this program. I've since found out that if I would have filed bankruptcy and not payed for anything, my credit would be getting back on track right about now... Crappy, huh? I can't wait till it's all paid off and behind us.

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Old 05-01-2004, 01:46 PM
 
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ME ME ME ME ME ME!!!!!!!!!!!

We are so far in the hole we couldn't see the light if we climbed up halfway!!!!!!!! I am desperate to get us out of debt, but I am more desperate to stay home and take care of my children. If anyone has ideas or budgeting tactics, PASS THEM ON!!!!!!!!!

Solo Mum to 4 and loving every minute of it!!!!
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Old 05-02-2004, 02:19 AM
 
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US TOO! Dh did a number before he met me...
Left bills from college- never paid a credit card or two....
It all came back after we applied for a home loan. I am working very hard to get back on track- but it just gets to be soooo much after awhile to keep up with.
I have most bills come right out of our account and that helps- I donot have to remember to send them- etc.
I have just set up quicken and that helps- I feel like I am doing a JOB kind of when I enter it on the computer.
Hopefully in 5 years we will have the money to repay our student loans! UGHHH!!!
No saving for ds college here! What to do what to do!
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Old 05-02-2004, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So, does anyone have a timeline?

I am hoping that in 2 years the credit card debt will be gone(our car payments too, which will just leave us with dh's student loan and the mortgage). I am finally getting serious about it, cancelled cable and everything . Luckily for me dh has to have the internet connection for his job . Right now I feel like there is no place else for us to cut back, and we recently took a few hits that have cooled my fire a bit.

I had hoped that when we sold our rental house (Made $3000) that that would help, but it really just seemed to catch us up. Dh was going to cash in an investment account he has for retirement (I know all the financial people say not to ever do that) but found out that though the value right now is around $6000, we would only get like $3000 or $4000 if we did that, so we realized that really was a stupid idea. Then, there is the fact that we usually get money back on taxes (usually between $2000 and $3000) and this year we ended up paying around a thousand to the government , and then there was the health insurance hit, we now have to pay $650 a month out of pocket to cover our family, and we owe $2000 for the recent birth of our baby. When it rains it pours . We know how lucky we are in other areas though , and we are aware that our debt is our own fault, which doesn't make us feel better, but does make us determined.

Dh is talking about taking a second job, and I don't want to resort to that, b/c the kids will only be this small once, YK? I won't take any out of home jobs right now, b/c this is sadly my last baby, and I am going to cherish every moment, besides the fact that he is nursing and won't take a bottle.

So- at this point it's basically "make ends meet and aquire no new debt". I am going to babysit a 5 1/2 year old for the summer, and then after school too. I also sell some stuff we make on ebay- but that is sooo not a reliable income. I am thinking about starting Usborne book sales. As far as the "making ends meet" right now I am selling off random things on ebay and the TP, and in 2 weeks we are having a garage sale . I am also asking my brother and SIL to give us a few months off of our car payment to them until dh can get a job with cheaper health insurance.

We have switched our credit cards to ones with 0% interest for the next year(and cancelled the old ones ) so at least our minimum payments make some small difference.

Anyone else ready to share more details? I'd like this to become a "tribe" where we can work towards our goals together and support each other through all this.

I'll tell you one thing, after we pull ourselves out, this won't happen again(which is our reason for not doing bancruptcy-no offense to those that has worked for- we qualify- we just feel we HAVE to do this ourselves!)

Glad you other ladies are here , I am too embarrassed to talk to RL friends and family about what we have gotten ourselves into .

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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Old 05-06-2004, 11:35 PM
 
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Hey Patty, you must be feeling kinda exposed after putting all those personal details out there with no reposnse, huh?!? I just found this thread and am intrigued, altho I must admit that my head has been solidly in the sand since ds was born so I really couldn't lay out the details of our finances if I wanted to! (I grew up basically in poverty -- child of 2 eternal grad students -- so money stuff is just scary for me. Used to have to donate my babysitting money so my parents could buy milk -- at age 12.)

I can say that while we were both fortunate to get full fellowships to pay for undergrad and grad schools, we accumulated credit card debt for living expenses in those years (now 4 years ago!). Wanna hear our little trick?

We (actually, all dh's creativity) have shifted the debt from one 0% card to another . . . for 4 years! So we feel pretty darn good that we haven't payed a cent of interest -- it's been free money, really, and therefore not worth it to pay it off. The assumption has been that one day dh's ivy league degrees will lead to some good income for us (ahem, WHEN is that going to happen?!?!?) and that we'd be in a better position to pay off the debt in the future. Dh calls it "borrowing against future income" which is, apparently, a legit econ concept. (I have taken his word for it!)

The rub is, we have not been saving to pay off this "free money" -- not a penny! We do save $50/mos for ds's college, but nothing else. His birth (now 2.5 yrs ago) is still on the CC, as are all vacations we've taken in the last 4 years. We also pay $450 a month for health ins, and also owed taxes this year -- unbelievable! We have cut cable, too (altho can't get rid of the internet!), cut one cell phone, and are always looking for stuff to sell, but cannot seem to curb our eating out habit. Between that and the organic groceries, almost ALL of our money goes to food and mortgage. And 2nd mortgage, which we had to take out to pay off other debts! AAAAAHHHH!

I can't seem to get committed to paying things off. I keep waiting for dh to get a huge raise, but it just has not materialized and I know we are living on borrowed time.

So I'm all for a little motivation. Fire away!
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Old 05-06-2004, 11:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did kind of that I got no responses to that, but people are funny about mony I guess. I don't tell people IRL b/c then they either pity you or think you are stupid :LOL.

I am just finally ready to take responsibility for our situation and go along the slow road of getting us out.

Thanks for sharing Breathe.

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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Old 05-07-2004, 12:01 AM
 
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I'd love to join this thead.. we did it a few years back ( got out of debt) and have managed to stay out... except for my student loans ( $130 K) and house and cars... I'd love to get rid of the student loans!!

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Old 05-07-2004, 01:52 AM
 
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So here we are trying to get out of debt, and my car has become unsafe to drive and the repairs are to expensive to justify. So off we go to the car store, but our credit is so bad, we are going to pay 16% interest but there isn't an early payoff penalty. So here's hoping we can pay it off early. let's keep this thread alive and support one another, I know I need it!!!!

Solo Mum to 4 and loving every minute of it!!!!
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Old 05-07-2004, 09:33 AM
 
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Just popping in to wish you all good luck! I got out of debt 10 yrs ago and it was incredibly worth it. FWIW, what worked for me was to cut way back in every area of spending and just hold that line for a few years. Initially I thought it would only take 6 months (silly me) but it did take about 2-3 years. Also, we put away the credit cards and only bought things if we had cash for it.

After that, our income rose enough so that we haven't had any problem spending more than we have. So I am pretty sure *that* problem is licked for now.
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Old 05-07-2004, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Glad to see others working toward this goal- Comet thanks for sharing that you were able to do it--that must be a really great feeling when it's all over.

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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Old 05-07-2004, 11:10 AM
 
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I wish this thread was here a few months ago.

we recently paid off $6,000 in credit card debt over 3 months. they are all in the freezer except for my american express, which i cary. i dont consider it a credit card in the true sence, because i have to pay it off every month. and i have to really watch what i spend on it because of that.

We want to refinance our home, current interest rate is 6.5%, but its and FHA loan, so i have to see what my options are.

We have one car payment. I'd love to send $1000 month until its paid off, but i'm not sure we can do that.
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Old 05-08-2004, 02:57 AM
 
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We're up to our ears in debt - home equity loan and CC and some student loans (but their interest is really low). WE'd love to pay it off but they've been building and building because we don't make enough money to live on. Our monthly bills are: 2 cell phones, 1 car insurance (car is paid), 1 house insurance, regular phone and electricity, internet. We don't have TV.

But I'm in school part time and work only part time and DH is unemployed, making money on eBay. He makes a heck of a lot that way, but it's still not enough for us. So we had the home equity line and used that to pay off some cc debt as the interest is much lower, we just got it raised and will pay off some more. Then we just have to hang in there until we eventually sell the house and pay off all the debts with part of the money. The thing is that we have to fix up the house quite a bit before we can sell it, and furthermore, we have tenants whose rent money pays for OUR rent money, so if they left so we could sell the house, how would we pay our rent!?!?!

It's all a fuddle. But we're trying. We spend every penny we can towards those bills and DH is desperately trying to find more ways to make money. (He's a writer, so good luck in that line of work, KWIM?)

I know we'll make it out, particularly since we have this house and by next year I'll have my master's degree, but until then...

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Old 05-08-2004, 03:09 AM
 
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I had all of my CC's paid off until I became addicted to cloth diapering. But I am working on knocking those out. Of course don't know how long they will stay paid off due to the fact that I am in school and will be for a few years due to what I want to do. DH is in Korea and we have to buy the plane tickets for his midtour visit home.
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Old 05-11-2004, 10:50 PM
 
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OK, starting slowly. I Quit smoking. I dropped the digital cable down to basic cable. Bill went from $75 a month to $20 a month. Got a clothesline, I live in Florida for crying out loud, bet it dries faster on the line than in the dryer!! Let's hear some more!!!!!!!

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Old 05-11-2004, 11:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quit smoking? HOORAY! That is huge in and of itself! How fabulous!

Well, I just cashed in a life insurance policy that my parents started when I was 4, so that I can pay our health insurance . I am now coupon shopping too (didn't ever realize how you could get stuff for free that way).

We are considering selling dh's car if he gets a job in the Fire Department (which we will know soon) then he'll either bike to work, I'll drive him, or he'll get a ride from another guy. Right now between car payments and insurance we pay $200 a month for his tiny car that we can't go anywhere as a family in, just not worth over $6 a day to have it.

I have a bridal shower and baby shower coming up in the next couple of weeks---dh is going to make a gift for the bridal shower (framed Irish Marriage Blessing- $2 walmart frame), but I promised to buy some cloth diapers for the baby shower- so- I'll have to spend some money there-sigh!

Any ideas anyone else?

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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Old 05-13-2004, 08:56 AM
 
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I would love to joing a "tribe" to get out of debt! We had some debt that we managed to pay off and for a few years, all we owed was the mortgage and my student loans. We eventually paid off the student loans, but had to get a new car, because mine literally died in the parking lot at the mall. Still, everything was manageable and I continued to be a SAHM.

Even when I was pregnant with my second child, things were going well for us. Then, DH took what we thought would be his dream job. Two months later, DH quit this "dream" job (it turned out to be the biggest nightmare) and was out of work for almost 2 months. We had DD in a small private school and DS was only 4 months old. So, we got behind due to the lack of income.

Then, the driveway cracked and buckled and had to be fixed. The trees had to be cut down/trimmed/pruned. DS has been sick a lot this winter and our insurance deductible was raised. Now we need a new washer and dryer.

Everytime I think that we will get ahead, we are thrown for another loop. We do have cable, but I consider that our entertainment, because we don't go to the movies, etc. We do need to cut out eating out so much.

I have checked out the website www.miserlymoms.com and there is a section on frugal tips and frugal recipes. I have also checked out www.cheapskatemonthly.com as well, but I am not a subscriber.

Good luck to you all!
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Old 05-13-2004, 09:43 AM
 
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I'm in! The weight loss thread here at MDC has helped me lose weight so I'm all about cleaning up my finances as well! We do OK except we have one credit card that dh doesn't even know about. I used it a long time ago when I had PPD and shopping made me feel better. I've tried to pay it off ever since but the interest is unreal. Where do I go to get lower interest? I need to get rid of this CC debt. We're also paying off dh's car slowly and will be buying my next vehicle. I would love to own both the cars and have no CC debt in 5 years. Esp. since ds1 will be starting college in 6 years! Thanks for putting this thread here and for the honesty that's going into it!

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Old 05-13-2004, 03:34 PM
 
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ekblad - you can try calling your credit card company to see if they will lower the interst.

your other choice is to apply for a new card - many cards have a zero-percent interest introductory rate (usually for the first few months) on balance transfers. This will save you some money. Perhaps you could keep applying and transfering (i think someone else here said they do that). of course, you have to be good about not using them, and cutting them up when the balance has been transferred. but that way you will be able to get the balance down faster.

DH and I have started to keep track of every expense. We save all receipts. Ones purchased with cash are just marked "cash" and all debits or cash withdrawals are recorded each day on a sheet of paper. It's really helping us.

I also made a big effort this month to bring snacks and lunch to work with me each day. I'm amazed at how much it is cutting down on my weekly spending. I didn't think I was spending that much on food at work - and I'm an experienced budgeter. It really does sneak up on you!

I also think that part of being frugal is developing the right attitude. As in "we are broke - do I really need this?". You wouldn't believe the things I go without b/c they are just not necessary. And "necessary" really changes in it's definition. Just a few things I'd like to buy are: a hairbrush (we only have a comb and my hairstyle is different now), a hairdryer, a popcorn popper, a new bathmat (ours is looking really grungy, but I wash it regularly so oh well), new batteries (DH has a milk frother and uses the batteries from the TV remote when he needs it, instead of buying more batteries), maternity underwear (I only have three pairs, my regular ones are not comfortable, I just have to remember to keep them in the wash cycle), new bras (my current ones are showing alot of wear, but they work and nobody sees them).

Now none of these things are expensive - I could probably get a hairbrush from walmart for a few bucks: the problem is, when you add them all up together, you end up with about $40 worth of things. and the fact is that NONE of these are necessities. They aren't food or toilet paper. So I go without them for now. It does help that I know this is a temporary situation for us, and somewhat self-imposed (drastic debt reduction program going on right now in our house!), but still....I'm amazed at how much you really CAN do without, when you recognize the difference between a Need and a Nice to Have One.

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Old 05-13-2004, 03:55 PM
 
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Hmmm . . . other ideas . . . How about calling around to comparison shop and be SURE you're paying for the cheapest car and home insurance? They change, you know, so you might be able to save some there.

Also, we cut back on dh's withholdings each month, bc we were getting huge tax refunds every year, but decided we needed the cash flow instead. We did end up owing ~$200 this year, which did hurt, but was probably better in the long run than having the govt "hold" our cash for a year.

Are you guys already washing and reusing your ziploc bags? Bringing home extra napkins from take-out restaurants? (We do use cloth napkins, but when we have guests for informal meals, they get the Chinese and Subway napkins!) Visted your dollar store lately? Some things there are a rip-off, but they have paper plates, art supplies, gift wrap, tupperware, and yes, probably hairbrushes Piglet!

And ABSOLUTELY everyone should transfer their CC balances to 0% cards -- TODAY!

My two weaknesses right now are eating out and buying clothes for ds. We were the first of friends and family to have a baby, so we got no hand-me-downs. So every time he hits a growth spurt I have to (read, GET TO!) buy him all new clothes. Of course I hit consignment first, but Target is often cheaper, and way cuter, than second-hand around here. And I simply cannot do the thrift store thing. I cannot stand the musty, moldy smell, HATE sifting thru all the crap (my girlfriend thinks of it as "treasure hunting") and I think I have flash-backs to my childhood of having to wear thrift shop clothes.

But I don't buy jewelry or make-up or music or books or clothes for myself or, or, or . . . !!! (oops, forgot you guys are not dh!)
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Old 05-13-2004, 04:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I took the kids to the Picture People yesterday with one of those free sitting, free 8x10 coupons, well, I liked 2 pictures- one of the 3 kids together and one of the baby alone, normally I would say "but they are pictures" and buy the baby's pic. too at $15 for one picture. But, I said to myself- NO- you have more coupons at home, and you can come back tomorrow if you really need another professsional baby picture this month.

I also thought ahead and took lunch with us to eat in the food court while we waited for the pic.s to be ready. I only paid for the kids to ride the carousel ($2) and a single small frosty from Wendy's that we all shared, granted I could've spent nothing- but I did do better than my usual $20-$30 trip for a free pictures .

I have to use part of my aforementioned life insurance cash in to cut down a dead tree in our backyard (it is completely dead and is huge, big enough to hit our house or the neighbors in a storm). The rest though- will pay health insurance and credit card debt.

YUCK! I can't believe we got ourselves so far into debt in only 5 years of marriage. I hope to teach my kids how to use money and not abuse it, and the best start to that is DOING better ourselves.

I am thankful to have you ladies here, I think we really can support each other.

Piglet- great points about need vs. would be really nice to have .

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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Old 05-13-2004, 04:39 PM
 
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Going to try and transfer that balance now......

Amy - Blessed wife to Jesse (the best dad in the world), mother of 10 on earth plus 8 in heaven.   PROUD to be a Catholic! : winner.jpg familybed2.gifhomeschool.gif

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Old 05-13-2004, 05:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breathe
My two weaknesses right now are eating out and buying clothes for ds. We were the first of friends and family to have a baby, so we got no hand-me-downs. So every time he hits a growth spurt I have to (read, GET TO!) buy him all new clothes. Of course I hit consignment first, but Target is often cheaper, and way cuter, than second-hand around here. And I simply cannot do the thrift store thing. I cannot stand the musty, moldy smell, HATE sifting thru all the crap (my girlfriend thinks of it as "treasure hunting") and I think I have flash-backs to my childhood of having to wear thrift shop clothes.
I so feel you on the issue of not liking thrift store shopping, Breathe. There are a couple I have gone into where just the smell practically brought tears of despair to my eyes. But I have found a couple others that are better, where there is no smell and the clothes are in good condition and there are dressing rooms. I also agree about children's consignment not being so much better than discount stores--we have a Carter's Outlet near us where they sell lots of outfits for $5-7 each, and they are brand new and cute and nice quality. Versus the consignment store where the prices are very similar but selection is poor and things are already somewhat worn. I'd be lucky to save a dollar per outfit. So now I just go to the Carter's store. (I also shamelessly beg from friends, co-workers, etc., so we have fortunately not needed to buy much clothing.)

Okay, my stats: 35K in CC debt accumulated while DH and I were in school. I owned a money-pit of a house and had a car payment as well while I was putting myself through school--I got scholarships and student loans but they weren't enough. It seemed like the debt was going to a good cause, but neither DH nor I were fully aware of quite how much it was until I pulled my head out of the sand and started adding things up. We have an additional 75K or so in student loan debt. And another 10K on a car, although fortunately my car has been paid off for a couple years now.

Despite all that debt, I thought we were making good progress on it and felt optimistic enough to TTC last year. I was planning to SAH and we would be paycheck-to-paycheck for a while but we were both really emotionally ready to be parents and felt like it would be way too long of a wait for our financial situation to be "perfect." We thought it would be okay to just tread water financially for a couple years. We also thought I could figure out something to WAH to bring in a little income.

Little guy is here now and he is the light of our lives...but then DH was laid off when I was 6 weeks pp. I went straight back to work (at half DH's salary) and DH is doing the SAHD thing while I pump. It is mostly working out. Except for the part about how DH's unemployment benefits run out in two weeks and at that point there is no way to meet our bills on just my salary. The part that really kills is that I make a reasonable amount; we are very slightly above the income cut-off for things like food stamps or earned income credit. But if you were to subtract our student loan payments (total of $500/month) from my salary we would totally qualify for assistance. At the same time, the student loan folks don't consider us needy enough for deferment either.

I try not to worry about it too much because I will just make myself sick...but our situation is pretty scary. I want to pay back our debt because were it not for that we would be getting by okay right now. It would be tight, but doable. It is because of our debt that it is a crisis, and I hate that. Don't even know how to make a plan to get ahead when we can't even get by now.
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Old 05-13-2004, 05:41 PM
 
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I can totally relate! While we finally paid off student loans last year it took us forever to do it! So now we're scraping by (we don't live lavishly but we do have plenty to eat, wear, etc.). I stress about it a ton mostly because if dh really knew what we owed he would freak out. I know it's part of a "normal" live. One CC with $9,000.00 is a ton but about the national average. That's all we have besides the cars and typical bills. I just want that gone. We've paid it off a million times. I was so freaking depressed. Don't even know what I bought! Isn't that awful? I'm so embaressed. I totally drag dh down when it comes to money. He would've been fine had I not come into his life. Poor guy. I feel totally guilty.

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Old 05-13-2004, 05:54 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekblad7
I totally drag dh down when it comes to money. He would've been fine had I not come into his life. Poor guy.
Oh yeah. Me too. Dh actually paid off my modest CC bill when we got married. So we started off well. But grad school really will kill your finances, won't it? I SO feel for you guys with school loans, and it makes me realize how lucky we are to have only the CC debt, which is soundling more and more reasonable. If you guys can pay off thousands and thousands of dollars, we can certainly manage our small debt, and you're helping me commit to really tackling it. Thanks for being so candid!

Oh, and this is not a way to get OUT of debt, per se, but if you do have equity in your home, you can use it to pay off CC or cars, and then write the interest off on your taxes. Just another stall tactic, I guess! We've also used a "courtesy deed of trust" which basically sold our car back to the credit union so we could get the cash out of it -- for home maintenance, another black hole for money! -- and then we paid pack the loan as if it were a car loan. Not a solution for a debt, but a way to get cash without CCs.

wakeUpMama, we're in NC too and also have a Carter's outlet . . . we could be neighbors! (But I think Target is even cheaper and the quality is just as good. Oh, my love/hate relationship with corporate America!)
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Old 05-13-2004, 06:20 PM
 
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I totally hear where you are coming from. We are living paycheck to paycheck, problem is the paycheck doesn't cover the bills, so I just went back to work nights so we don't have to pay for daycare.

Solo Mum to 4 and loving every minute of it!!!!
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Old 05-13-2004, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, yes, we too are making just enough money that we do not currently qualify for any services, the only one we want/need is the health insurance. Of course (rightfully so) they do not take into account credit card debt/payents.

I think the varying amounts of debt here are good, hopefully we will soon see some of us (not me ) get out of debt, which will encourage the rest of us to keep on plugging along.

I tell you though, if I didn't BF, cloth diaper, and make most everything from scratch- we would be in soooo much more debt.

I still think health insurance is a total crock, at least with the way my dh's current employer handles it. Grrrrr!

Do any of you get really depressed by your debt situation? That was what prompted me to start this thread- I couldn't take the guilt/worry anymore and MUST get out.

Ekblad- are there any saints to pray through for finances I can use all the help I can get!

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