getting out of debt (7/8) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 121 Old 07-09-2004, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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hey mamas. Here's the new thread. I need someone else to check in so i know I'm not alone in my struggles.

i went to goodwill this week and splurged 6.50 got me:
a f.price little person and car
f.p. helicopter, pilot and gas car
wooden school bus
spot book (my dd spot)
cars and trucks and things that go book (dh LOVES this book).

I feel like I got some good deals, but then realized that my inlaws are coming up this week and MIL told me she had bought some stuff for dd. So my deals aren't really "needs". Maybe I should put some of the stuff away for the lull round about sept. when we have nothing new to play with and the holidays are still a month or so away (dd's bday is nov 5).

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#2 of 121 Old 07-09-2004, 11:00 AM
 
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I have always had a box of toys put away for those crazy days when my ds is "bored". I pull out the box and change some toys. I always put some of his "boring" toys in, and wait for the next time. For us it is very effective.
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#3 of 121 Old 07-09-2004, 11:00 AM
 
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Hello again.

We slowed down a bit, didn't we?

I am plugging along, trying to find more ways to make money from home, as where we are right now, we are just making ends meet, not getting out of debt at all. Sigh....


The important part is we are not accumulating new debt, and that is a big thing .

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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#4 of 121 Old 07-09-2004, 02:05 PM
 
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Thanks for the new thread!

Yeah, I could use a kickstart, too. Went $50 over budget at the grocery store this week. Grrrr.

However, I DID finally switch our car/homeowners insurance, which is saving us almost $1000 a year for the same amount of coverage! Anybody that has State Farm or Farmers, really, look around for a better deal!
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#5 of 121 Old 07-09-2004, 02:16 PM
 
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Hey all Good news! We only have 1303.00 left on our furniture bill and we have 1100.00 on the Gacume as my daughter refers to it! We are getting there and those will be paid off atleast by the first of the year! Then we can get rid of my car payment and build our house! YEEHA!!!! Well I have to go but all of you are doing a wonderful job keep it up!
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#6 of 121 Old 07-09-2004, 03:42 PM
 
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Nothing new here since we are travelling and stuff... but still trying to keep the frugal mindset as we go.

I am a homeopath, offering acute and constitutional consultations for children, babies, and parents. Long-distance treatment is easy, either phone or skype! I also am certified to offer Homeoprophylaxis, a vaccine-alternative program. Message me for more details. www.concentrichealing.com
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#7 of 121 Old 07-09-2004, 04:17 PM
 
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We are still surviving on one income.

Had a good conversation with dh last night about goals. The last several weeks with one income shows us that we are capable of living on my income. The goal will be that when he finds a job we will use ALL of that income to pay our debt down first CC's, then on to car loan, student loan and mortgage.

He is taking the checkbook over since he has more time. We switch off every couple of years it seems. I just seriously need to have a savings account to be able to fall back on and we don't at the moment. Actually had to borrow $50 for gas money from my son cuz my check was a bit smaller than I expected.

My family of 3 (plus pup) Indigo (Aimee), Rob (dp), Ryne (ds) & Phebe (dog), plus my BIL's family of 3.

 
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#8 of 121 Old 07-09-2004, 06:23 PM
 
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Wanted to report that DH and I had an excellent "meeting" about finances this past weekend, when DD had gone to bed.

We are moving back home in late August (I'm finishing my job and will be a SAHM for DD and baby) and it's DH's turn to "bring home the bacon". DH quit his career two years ago b/c he hated it, even though he was bringing in a hefty salary with great benefits. He turned to investing, and has been slowly making a go of this, but it wasn't enough. I went back to work last fall and he is SAHD, still doing the investing biz on the side. But with this baby coming, I won't be working again for at least a year (he PROMISED me that before we started TTC, that I could have a year, and if he had to go back to his old hated profession, he would).

We're selling a property in September, at which point we will be almost totally debt-free. I wanted to set some ground rules, since the last time we went back home we spent all our savings and got ourselves deep into debt due to lack of a "plan", awareness of our spending, and total lack of communication.

We agreed that the profits of the property will pay off both my CC's and the car. DH's credit cards are now in repayment mode, having negotiated with both of them. He wants to keep making the monthly payments since there is no interest accruing anymore. I explained that while it may be "free money" (he's an investor and he'd rather use that extra money to make more money) I told him that the psychological burden of having that debt over us was more than I could bear, after this brutal last 10 months we've been through. He agreed that was important and we struck up a deal. If he can make a certain amount by Sept 1 via his investing, he gets a three month "extension" on his CC payments. However, if he hasn't made that much, they get paid off. The three months deal gets renewed each time. And, that money is on top of the regular minimum monthly income we agreed that he must bring in. Frankly, I don't think he's going to make it, so I'm pretty sure I negotiated to get that paid off . But if he does make it, that is not the worst news, b/c it means his investing biz is picking up, and he still has to keep this up every three months, lol.

The only other debt we have is my student loans, which only have about a year or two left on them. I would really like to pay those off too, but we'll see. The interest is really low, and you can get a six-month break from payments if your income drops.

We also agreed on a limit to how long we will finance our relocation for, before DH has to start looking elsewhere for a good-paying job. The options are rather limited back home, and at this point we're not sure how much he can make. We both want this move to be permanent, but I am also determined that we don't make the same mistakes again. We settled on 3 months. If, by that time, he is not pulling in the minimum we agreed upon, we must go wherever he can get a decent-paying job. Even if it means going back to his old profession. And...the minimum I negotiated is not poverty-level. I expect a minimum level of comfort and standard of living.

So I am feeling SOOOO much better. I cannot tell you how stressed I was. And DH was so good about how I felt, etc. I'm feeling positive. Let's just hope we can make it there!!

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#9 of 121 Old 07-10-2004, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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piglet I really like the compromises you and your dh made. I think they seem financially savy and at the same time try to meet both of your needs.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#10 of 121 Old 07-10-2004, 01:23 PM
 
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I just noticed that there was at least one other getting out of debt topic but I'm new and wasn't sure which to post on so I thought I 'd try this. I feel so bogged down by our debt right now and it's such a rotten feeling. I am trying so hard to get us out of it the best I can, mainly to just get where we are paying everything ON TIME again. Any suggestions on just getting started are so very welcome. We are currently working on it-we're canceling our phone line (just use cell phones that we'd have to pay a fee to get out of), we're canceling internet, we're getting a car that will have lower payments (i'd rather just get rid of the car but it doesn't look like a possibility), i'm sewing DDs diapers and a lot of her clothes, but I need suggestions on anything else I can do. Good luck to all you other mammas trying to live debt free!
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#11 of 121 Old 07-10-2004, 05:56 PM
 
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I should so be on this thread, but I've been in denial lol. May I join in? :
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#12 of 121 Old 07-10-2004, 07:50 PM
 
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I'm new on this thread too.

Well, our only debt other than mortgage is MY student loans, but they are doozies. Right now I am only paying on one of them b/c it is all we can afford. I have shuffled things a bit and should be able to start paying on a second one soon. My mom died several years ago and her house is just now going on the market since my sis had been living there. That wont bring in a lot (has to be split 6 ways), but will be enough to completely eliminate one SL and get us a newer car w/o debt. Our current car is a 1992.

Good news is we DO have an emergency fund. Some of it got spent on vacation (before I made a separate vacation acct) and I am working hard to get the E-fund back up to where I feel comfortable. We dont have credit cards so this is an absolute MUST for us, we have no other backup.

Our problem is our income is so low. It is less than 50% of the median Family income in our area. It makes it hard to get ahead. DH works for the state, so he can't ask for a raise. He has applied for other jobs as they have become available and has moved up once, but they are few and far between. He's going to need a Masters to get much higher. He's looking into it- but slowly.

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#13 of 121 Old 07-11-2004, 05:07 PM
 
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I know I'm new on this list and have only posted once but I am really excited about what happened yesterday and wanted to share. We traded down to a different car (truck actuslly) that will be about $30 less/month AND our car insurance went down. AND since I had an extended warranty on the previous car and we were still under the factory warranty I am going to get most if not all of that back and we'll be able to get everything current and pay off one credit card completely!!!! Yea!!! : I feel so much better. Just wanted to share a little success!
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#14 of 121 Old 07-12-2004, 01:24 PM
 
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That's fabulous, ashcox!!

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#15 of 121 Old 07-13-2004, 07:54 PM
 
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Welcome to the new ladies posting here, no one WANTS to join a thread like this, but admitting you are in serious debt and that you NEED to find a way out is the most important part- then it's all about staying with it, being supported (like here), and at least making no new debt, and hopefully making steps to pay off debt .

I have been doing well with my ebay business lately, and with babysitting for the summer, I am helping out more, any other SAHMs on the thread find this esp. hard, feeling like you have little control? I mean, I have always paid the bills and done the shopping, but *I* need to make some money too, to feel like I am really contributing to getting us out of this debt (as if washing cloth diapers and BFing weren't enough ).

I have decided that I will have a goal to make $400/month to put toward debt. On a normal week I make $60 on ebay, and during the school year I make $40 for babysitting, so, that should do it, and dh is designing more stuff for me to sell on ebay too, so that number *may* go up, but I am not banking on it. Right now, we put about $500 toward debt a month (CC debt that is), so, with $900 a month we should be out of debt in just over 2 years, that is not counting any tax returns or good months in business, etc. (because of course those will be used up with unexpected car costs, etc., yk? I have to start remembering that) Also, after next March, we will be down to one car payment, possibly no car payment if dh can find another job where I could drive him to work.

So- I am feeling better about it all again, and I am still staying strong on not spending. For example- we have an old table for our deck, but no chairs for it, I would like to go get the cheapo plastic white ones, which are only like $4 a piece- so $16 bucks? NO! We can bring lawn chairs out from the front porch, and even kitchen chairs if need be- we DON'T NEED CHEAPO WHITE PLASTIC CHAIRS!

OK, time for everyone to report in what they are doing/ have done this week toward their goal. Let's hear it ladies! (my dh is so glad for this thread too).

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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#16 of 121 Old 07-13-2004, 08:52 PM
 
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Can I join you ladies too?
I have just taken over the budget as it appears my DH hadn't been keeping on top of things. And boy is it a mess!!! I have been going crazy the last two weeks. I am a SAHM and my DH has a pretty good job, but things are getting a little out of hand trying to pay off these CC's. I've been trying to find ways to make money myself, but have come up with nothing. I never had a "real career", I have always worked at a greenhouse (well, for the past 7 yrs.), so I don't really have much to fall back on. And I can not see myself getting a job right now. My DD is 6months old and won't even let my parents hold her most of the time, let alone leave her anywhere. Well, anyways, I just thought I had a hold on things and as it turns out one of the CC bills never came, but is due in a week (my dh called to find out what was going on), now I have to find a way to come up with 600 bucks, but realistically can only pay 200, so I guess they're just going to have to wait for the rest. I just don't know what else to do. I am glad that now I know whats going on with our money, I just really wish I had taken over a few months ago before things got so out of hand.
My dh has always had a bad CC habit and I think that is taking over again. So I need to nip it in the bud. So far I have a pretty good system going. I have a notebook that I use to keep track of the bills with. One column for date due, bill name, and amount. I also have a little pocket calendar that I use to correspond the notebook to. It just gives me a good view at a glance. I hope in a couple months I can start putting a little away in savings, I just can't stand the feeling that there isn't a cent to fall back on. And we just got a "new" washer and dryer this week. I found some used for a hundred dollars each, but had to borrow the money from my mom, .
Well, thanks for letting me vent, if I don't find someone to tell all this to, I'll start bringing it up to my mother and she'll start freaking out.

hearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gif A house full of girls, but for dad and one brother bikenew.gif
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#17 of 121 Old 07-14-2004, 10:10 AM
 
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Welcome newbies! It's definitely half the battle to recognize the debt and begin to fight back.

Mary, you sound pretty durn organized! I wish I was that together when I was your age (soooo feeling my age lately - 37 - ack!). And it's great to work on reigning in your dh.

Jess, that is huge...being able to almost double the money going toward your debt. The light at the end of the tunnel must be a bit brighter now. Two years is no time at all to be out of debt (and with windfalls and if your business grows, it could be sooner!). Selling on ebay is something I'd defnitely like to explore more in the future, but I don't have a digital camera yet. I DO sell books on amazon.com and that has been going well - about $1k so far this year in addition to my university admin. gig. It's been like getting a 5-10% raise.

thistle: Your student loan lender should have something called "income contingent repayment" where they can only take a small percentage of your salary if it's below a certain level. You can also get them deferred because of hardship... Not making payments on your loan can lead to default, which will follow you around ickily on your credit report, so make sure they are deferred (stepping down off soapbox...).

As a sidebar... I've been hanging around MDC since hipmama.com crashed and burned way back when. DH and I have been dealing with primary infertility for over two years (still hoping for that miracle after one early m/c...), and I'm realizing just how much infertility could impact us financially (and detrimentally) depending on how far I pursue it. My current ob/gyn is a participating doctor in my health insurance, but we don't exactly see eye to eye on the next step to take. So I need to start seeing a doctor outside my plan (cha-ching), an RE possibly (cha-ching)...and on and on. I am 37 and dh is 49, and we live in a rapidly changing (getting more expensive by the second) part of the world and make small salaries. If we had to buy a house now where we live, we'd live in a tool shed! Anyway, it's sad and interesting to see how infertility may impact our financial lives... I hate to think about it that way.
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#18 of 121 Old 07-14-2004, 10:41 AM
 
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bamboogrrrl

I am sorry about your struggles, it sure does put the debt thing in perspective- if your fertility treatment puts you further in debt- I say, that's good debt I would pay any amount of money for my children, as would most parents. I will be praying for you (hope that doesn't offend).

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#19 of 121 Old 07-14-2004, 12:20 PM
 
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Jess, thanks so much for your prayers. They are much appreciated despite my pagan leanings.

While this is probably fodder for another conversation elsewhere, our situation probably doesn't warrant us spending many many thousands of dollars to have kids. DH is way late in the preparing for retirement game. It was only at my instigation that he began a Roth IRA at all. He is too old now to pursue domestic adoption, and shelling out in excess of $35,000+ in overseas adoption fees is a little alarming given our salaries. Not to say that any of this is impossible, just cause for deep breathing and a lot of forethought.

In the meantime, I'm working to eliminate our last debt (our mortgage) in order to free us up for what the future may bring us fertility-wise...
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#20 of 121 Old 07-14-2004, 01:20 PM
 
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I am so sorry bambogrrl. I may not know the story, but here in Michigan 49 isn't too old my dad is 50 and my parents adopted a baby two years ago. They did it through fostering, so I don't know if that makes a differance. They are fostering two right now that are being adopted by a couple older than them. I'll pray too. Before we had dd, we were going through infertility, we tried for 3 yrs before getting pregnant and suffered through a few m/c's. I think thats the hardest thing for someone to go through.

hearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gifhearts.gif A house full of girls, but for dad and one brother bikenew.gif
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#21 of 121 Old 07-14-2004, 01:56 PM
 
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I can only comment on fertility treatments to say that I researched and wrote a story for publication about a woman who was a surrogate mother for some friends, and it is remarkable all the things they can do with science. But, yes, terribly expensive . . . and such an emotional roller coaster. I followed the families for over a year . . . it really was an incredible journey, for me included.

On the debt subject, it's not a good day here. It's grocery day, and in looking at the checking account balance, I'm realizing that we're in bad shape. I'm going to have to transfer money OUT of savings if we're going to eat this week, pay the minimum house payment (goal is to pay $200 extra principal each month, but that won't be happening this month), the (new) insurance and buy the goods for little DD's birthday party. Sigh.

On the proactive front, though, I just printed out the bank statement and I'm going to go through and itemize every single damn expense to see where the leaks are. I know I've had trouble keeping the grocery bill down. We also had some misfortune with the car: brake pads ($175 in-home garage job by DH) and a couple entertainment expenses we could've skipped. But I'm going to delve into it during quiet time this afternoon and see if I can't get to the bottom of it. I suspect a lot of the problem might be gasoline, which is $2.20 a gallon in California right now and we drive too far in cars that only get about 24 mpg.
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#22 of 121 Old 07-15-2004, 02:56 PM
 
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Hi Mary! And welcome.

re: your $600 CC bill....do call them. they really can be very accomodating if you just tell them up front "look, I can't pay it all this month". We did this with DH's credit cards and were amazed at some of the deals we negotiated. With one, we closed the account and asked it to be sent to their "recovery" department. It hasn't gone on DH's credit record b/c he is dealing with them from the start, AND now we are not being charged any interest! He is a really good negotiator, lol.

We're having a good month so far. We're ahead of the game for once, largely due to the increase in my paycheck this month by adding our expected child to our tax credits (less tax being withheld). We are halfway through July...in two months our property will sell (we've been in contact with the buyer again and all is still on!) and we should be out of most of this hole.

The one bummer is I called Student Loans to see how much I had left owing. The provincial loan was a bit lower than I thought - less than $2k, but the federal part was almost double what I thought it was - just over $12k. So we will not be paying that off. Probably will pay off the provincial one though, since it's so small. It's not so bad since the interest is low and if our income drops down we can get a six-month repreive on payments...but still it was a bit depressing. At the current rate it will take until early 2011 to pay off the federal one...so we'll have to take care of that at some later date.

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#23 of 121 Old 07-15-2004, 03:31 PM
 
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Well, not a lot to report. I don't think! and : all new moms!!! I did bills today and payed a little extra on everything. (just a little of course!) We will be nearly all out of debt the end of this year at the rate I am going!
Piglet I am SOOO glad that things are looking up for you even if its not all and roses! Its still getting somewhere. I heard this one day and I thought it would be especially good for this thread! Remember not to lock your budget up so tightly that you can't enjoy yourselves today! For that will set yourselves up for failure! Well Alicia is waking got to go!
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#24 of 121 Old 07-15-2004, 05:13 PM
 
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I sat down yesterday with the bank statement and was horrified. Working with highlighter pens, I lined out gas, groceries, eating out, repairs, plus all the regular bills. I definitely found the leaks. In the past month, even as I've posted on this thread about REDUCING the grocery bill, we spent--sit down, everyone--$980. THAT'S ALMOST A THOUSAND DOLLARS! If this is how we did when I was WATCHING it, I can only imagine how much was flying out the door BEFORE we were watching it. I swear we've cut the bill in half in the past month . . .

We also spent $355 on gas, $127 on eating out and $200 on repairs (car and stove).

For this, we're roasting away every afternoon because we're afraid of the utility bill!

So yesterday I threw out my values and did the WEEKLY grocery shopping at Winco, someplace I've been reluctant to go because I like to buy organic and I'm just against these big cheap corporations selling tasteless, low-quality food. But I spent only $53 and a lot of what I got is the same stuff I often buy at our local grocery store. Then I went to our local grocery store and spent $20 on organic meat, fish and DH's blasted soda (which I forgot at Winco). I stayed right in town, no driving to that faraway co-op.

Now I'm trying to throw a birthday party for DD for less than $100, including party favors, art project materials and food. Anybody got any ideas for the CHEAPEST place to pick up some plain white shirts?
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#25 of 121 Old 07-15-2004, 08:50 PM
 
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Witch's Mom,

I need to do what you are doing with checking into where everything is going. I have an LLBean VISA card and they send me a statement at the end of the year as to how much I have spent and where it went. Oh, boy, is that eye opening! I could not believe how much we spent on eating out last year!

For the t-shirts for your DD's party, could you go to Target and pick up one of those packs of 3 white undershirts in the boy's department? When my DD was in preschool, that is what the teachers requested when they needed t-shirts for arts and crafts projects. Good luck with the party! I know how hard it can be to throw a party inexpensively.


As far as how we are doing, I paid a big chunk on the credit card last month. DH is a salesman and some big sales have gone through (thank goodness) and we are hopefully going to pay off the credit card. The next item to pay off is my car, followed by the home equity line of credit.

Sorry I haven't been around for a while. I am trying to catch up. DS ended up getting a virus that was not bad, but was enough to make him miserable for 2 weeks. It turned into double ear infections. I also had to take DD in the same day as DS, and she had an ear infection. That afternoon, DH and I went to the doctor - he had a bad sinus infection and I had bronchitis. We left 3 days after our diagnoses to go see DH's sister. She has cancer and her youngest child is going off to college, so we wanted to see them and her DH.

Good luck to everyone! Welcome to the new members of the "G.O.O.D. Club" (Get Out Of Debt Club!).
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#26 of 121 Old 07-16-2004, 01:08 PM
 
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Kathsmom, sorry your kids were so sick! But hey....that's a GREAT anacronym for our club. The "GOOD Club"...I love it!!

witch's mom...holy COW. I cannot believe you spent that much on groceries, LOL! how many are in your family? before DH and I had kids, we used to buy pricey gourmet foods, shopped only at Bread and Circus (whole foods market) - my mother went nuts when she visited us and saw the prices....and still I doubt we spent that much!! (i hope you know i'm teasing you...!)

Still, I think it's great that you know where your money is going. Like you said, it puts your efforts in perspective. You want to make sure you channel that energy to the right places!!


Well, I have a good report today. There was a pile of receipts waiting to be recorded on our monthly budget sheet (we have been putting ALL receipts in a little box and tallying them up on a monthly sheet so we always know exactly how much we've spent and what is left for the month)....and I was worried about how we'd fare. Well, we did great!! They were mostly small amounts... anyways, we are halfway through the month and have DOUBLE what we usually have left over at this point. And that is AFTER paying off the bit we dipped into in our overdraft account last month. DH is going to get a haircut tomorrow ($25), and I think we may celebrate by going out for sushi ($30)!!

So, assuming we don't go overboard with confidence for the next two weeks, we should have at LEAST $100 left over at the end of the month. In my "old ways" I would look around for something I wanted to buy and spend it, lol. BUT...you ladies have been such an inspiration. So instead, I'm determined to put it as an extra payment on my credit card. I'll be sure to post and let you know if I did it (now that I'm saying this, it should help me keep my resolve!).

Also, we had to renew our car insurance (from BC, Canada) but we are out of the province until next month, so we had to buy 3 months at once and had to use our credit card to pay for it (total $388). So, it will be good to pay a bit extra this month towards that. AND....I'm also inspired by you ladies to NOT consider next month's regular payment as "done". In other words, had our insurance kept going as usual, we would have had $125 taken out of our account. Since it's paid, that won't happen, so I am going to put that $125 onto my CC instead. That way, the balance on my CC should not end up being much more than it was before we bought the insurance. Again, I'm going to try to stick to my resolve on this...

I'm SO grateful for this thread!!!

teapot2.GIF Homeschooling, Homesteading Mama to DD ('02) and DS ('04)  ribbonjigsaw.gif blogging.jpg homeschool.gif

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#27 of 121 Old 07-16-2004, 02:24 PM
 
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Yes, Piglet, the grocery bill was horrendous--and I don't mind your teasing at all. I actually do not even WANT anyone to commiserate with me about the grocery bill because it's just so clearly outrageous that no one should be spending that kind of money for something you don't even KEEP. We're a family of four, and I counted in "grocery" anything we bought at the local grocery store, Costco, Trader Joe's, the natural foods co-op, the farmers market and the berry patch. So the figure includes pet food, paper products, deoderant and shampoo, prescriptions. The scariest part for me was the fact that this is what we spent when we were on a reduction plan. I'm not EVEN going to go back and look at previous months. I'd be sick.

Congratulations to all of you who are making strikes. This is GOOD!
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#28 of 121 Old 07-16-2004, 02:39 PM
 
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I love the GOOD club!

Piglet- that is GREAT! I am glad we are all keeping each other inspired (or as the Dr. Phil in me would say, "accountable").

witch's mom- all I can say about the groceries is that it is soooo good that you figured it out now, and can put a plan in place to make changes , are you sure you didn't add an extra 0 in the calculator?

I am shopping for private health insurance, wondering if there is something better out there.

:Patty :fireman Catholic, intactalactivist, co-sleeping, GDing, HSing, no-vax Mama to .........................:..........hale:
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#29 of 121 Old 07-16-2004, 04:56 PM
 
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Witch's mom: Way to go, grrl! Isn't it weird how you can't even see the leaks until you start to keep track of where the money goes?

My GOOD deed of the day? I had found out about a cheaper garbage service for dh's business to the tune of about $10/month. Doesn't sound like much, but that's $120/year. Called and canceled current dumpster. They will take it away at the end of the month. Realized that we don't really need the new service until maybe October. So that's at least two months of saving about $65/month.
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#30 of 121 Old 07-16-2004, 05:22 PM
 
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A week before this baby was born my husband got up, showered and trimmed his beard and said, "I'm going to the bank." Hmm, thought I, we don't have any deposits to make, why? 'I'm going to apply for a home equity loan." o-kay. We got a bit less than we applied for, but he was laid off after the terrorist attacks and we still struggle under that CC debt that accumulated. We had just bought this house, too, and I had left my job. So the home equity loan has been a big help. It's still debt of course but those CCs are so sneaky, they raise the interest rate as quietly as they legally can, and some of them had climbed quite high. So those are gone, gone, gone. There is still more but at least the worst are gone and we can now qualify for new cards to play the balance transfer game on those that are left, while paying them off. Also plan to refinance student loans. They are only four percent but I have seen offers for 2 or less. We thought of trading in one of the cars for a larger one, now we have two kids, but decided not to, for now. They are almost paid off and why get further into debt? We have some property in PA to sell and that will take care of the rest of the debt as well as some left over for our new house someday. After years of struggling with this it seems finally to be coming together!
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