For those of you getting out of debt - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 09-22-2004, 09:44 PM - Thread Starter
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A couple of questions...


Suze Orman said that she can tell by looking at your closet whether or not you are in cc debt. According to her, messy closet=debt. So, what does your closet look like? Does this ring true to you? Is there a correlation between "cleaning up" your finances and the rest of your house?

Secondly, are any of you still using credit cards? Do you have, for example, one card you still use each month, but pay that card off in full while working on the other cards? Why or why not?

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#2 of 24 Old 09-23-2004, 10:17 AM
 
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Never really thought about the closet/debt correlation before! I did have a weird moment a few years ago when a friend saw our bedroom closet and commented that we had the neatest closet she's ever seen... And I am so NOT a neat freak. Anyway, we don't have an CC debt either. Maybe "cleaning up" debt takes other forms...

I don't use my CC card anymore. I have a debit card tied to my checking account, and it's all I use. If I have to go over the amount in my checking account, I transfer $$ from savings to cover it. Until about two years ago, I would use my CC to cover the gap between paychecks, but I stopped that by enduring a couple of very frugal months. Living like that was really stressing me out!
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#3 of 24 Old 09-23-2004, 04:53 PM
 
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There is definitely a correlation between clutter and debt - not just in our closets, but everywhere. There are some de-cluttering books I have that talk about the "cost of clutter" and how (in most cases) streamlining your belongings, and staying organized will save you money.

We got into huge cc debt when we bought our house a year and a half ago, but we almost never use cc's now. I'm actually trying to work on de-cluttering and get the balances on the cc's down at the same time. It seems to make sense to focus on them almost as one issue.

Living among clutter and being in debt both contribute to a feeling of being out of control, inadaquate or even stupid. I think the "clutter = debt" equation probably rings true for a lot of people.
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#4 of 24 Old 09-23-2004, 05:48 PM
 
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Hmmm... interesting concept. I think I saw something like that on Oprah a few years ago. We don't have CC debt, but do use our CC for our monthly expenses,and pay it off every month. My closet isn't exactly neat, but it's pretty good. I just packed away all my non-maternity clothes, and they ALL fit into one plastic tub (jeans, shorts, tops, everything). I'm not a shopper, and only go shopping 1-2 times per year. I don't have alot of clothes, or other stuff b/c I get tired of shopping for it, so I only get what I *have* to get. Maybe this has more to do w/ it than actually being "clean"? Maybe she ment that people w/ CC debt have more clothes and stuff to store inthe closet, making it messier? Just a thought.

Now I'm wondering what everyone's closet looks like
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#5 of 24 Old 09-23-2004, 07:40 PM
 
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Yep sounds right! I have cc debt and my house is very cluttered! Although I don't have the $ at the moment to tackle the cc debt. I am trying to de-clutter my house. I've been getting rid of anything we are not using or don't want. This has helped: http://www.freecycle.org (someone from MDC mentioned it in a different post)
Kamilla626-what books do you have on de-cluttering? Which one would you recommend? I'd like to read one.

I used to have one cc I'd use and pay and the rest ......we'll didn't have the money to pay them. Decided not to use that one either. Need to learn to live frugally from now on

RayRay-

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#6 of 24 Old 09-23-2004, 07:44 PM
 
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I don't fit that profile. My closets--and the rest of my house--are pretty cluttered, but we don't have cc debt. In fact, the only debt we have is for our house. And yet, we're overrun in CRAP!

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#7 of 24 Old 09-24-2004, 09:51 AM
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My house is in shambles right now because we're getting a master bath (finally, hurray!!!!) but normally our closet is relatively neat and tidy. We have relatively few clothes. In fact, very little compared to most master bedroom closets full to overflowing with stuff.

We pay our cc off every month.

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#8 of 24 Old 09-24-2004, 12:22 PM
 
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i think suzie's idea is that if you have messy closets then you aren't as careful about what you have ---> thus are more likely to not be as careful about your $$.

That can be true for us. I find it is definitely true that when I am seriously out of wack and not paying careful attention to my finances, I'm not paying careful attention to my stuff either.

Kristin -- mom of Erin (11/5/02) and Leah (9/29/05)
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#9 of 24 Old 09-24-2004, 12:47 PM
 
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I have a semi-organized closet and no cc debt, but other kind of debt. I agree with the concept though. I find that when I'm watching what I spend, my house tends to be more organized and vice versa. I suppose it's just a matter of getting your act together in all areas of your life.
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#10 of 24 Old 09-24-2004, 02:00 PM
 
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Ummm.. yep- the closet it a mess and- the kid's closets are too(they are "managed" by me too). I clean them every so often and they stay that way for a while, then, they get all cluttered up again. I haven't cleaned them since I really fully committed to getting out of debt, I wonder if they'll stay clean this time .

I think there is a real connection here- for me it's a lack of organization and a lack of commitment to being organized.

I am just getting the hang of taking care of the debt- now I have to get and keep my closets clean too : .

A&A you should put a link to this thread in the GOOD thread to get more responses from people who *are* in debt.


On CCs- nope- we aren't using any anymore- haven't for a few months and very proud of that .

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#11 of 24 Old 09-27-2004, 05:30 AM
 
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as is the most of the house. We have no cc debt but have bad credit because of medical bill debt.
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#12 of 24 Old 09-27-2004, 06:40 AM
 
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Our closet is pretty clean.....the shoes arent organized but everything else is ok....LOL....we used to have a ton of CC debt but were able to pay it all off about 3 months ago. I still use my air miles CC but I pay it off each DAY! I have online banking set up and the minute I get home I go and pay it online from my bank account real quick.

Desiree

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#13 of 24 Old 09-30-2004, 04:05 PM
 
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I've never had cc debt. My closets were a NIGHTMARE about ten years ago- and we didn't even have a car payment- just a mortgage. We had clutter everywhere- mostly junk someone gave us.

I decluttered five years ago after having enough of the "stuff." Now my closets are almost bare and I'm ruthless about clutter- and still the same- no cc debt.

I think some of us are just right-brained artists who aren't very organized with our "stuff" and need to work at it- but that doesn't mean we run up cc debt. I really watch the bills and finances like a hawk but it takes me months to notice the wad of junk in the top of my closet. It just seems less important that two sweaters, a pair of jeans, a non-working watch and some paperbacks are mashed in there with a dented kleenex box.

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#14 of 24 Old 10-01-2004, 12:27 PM
 
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I read this about a week ago and have thought about it quite a bit. I'm self-employed in direct sales, and what I notice is that there is a direct correllation between the state of my house and my business. If my house is in order, I'm working my business. If my house is a mess, I'm not getting much of anything done, including working my business. I have much better mental clarity when my house is in order, including my closets. When I'm working my business, I'm making money. So that would tie the clean closets to the money...if you want to go that far.

But really, clutter is generally stuff you probably aren't using but are afraid to get rid of because you fear you might need it. That's a scarcity mentality - you need to keep things because you may not have the resources to get them when you need them. An abundance mentality would be more like allowing yourself to not keep things you don't use and love in assurance that if and when you do actually need them, you would be able to get them. People with cc debt are generally living ABOVE their means. People without cc debt are generally living within their means (again, abundance mentality because they have more money than they need perhaps because they are more realistic about what they actually need). I don't know if I'm making any sense here, but if you have a clean closet and want to keep it that way, you're less likely to go out and spend money on things you don't really need, and thus you're less likely to spend money which means you're less likely to have debt since you're more frugal. Does that make sense?

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#15 of 24 Old 10-05-2004, 06:58 PM
 
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Well, our closets are a mess and we pay off our credit cards in full each month. We always pay them off, it is just another bill which NEEDS to be paid and we make sure it is in full.

My parents don't have any debt, have never had ANY debt, no mortgage, no car loans, no students loan, never used credit cards and they are major pack rats, closets and whole house is very cluttered and usually messy. Same thing with my grandmother, her closets and house are cluttered. They save EVERYTHING. I think messiness just runs in my family. I must have a gene for it or something. :LOL

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#16 of 24 Old 10-05-2004, 07:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ameliabedelia
My parents don't have any debt, have never had ANY debt, no mortgage, no car loans, no students loan, never used credit cards and they are major pack rats, closets and whole house is very cluttered and usually messy.
Same with parents- cash for everything and never had any debt in their lives and MESSY CLOSETS! They save everything. They are also very handy- and actually repair use the stuff they save.

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#17 of 24 Old 10-08-2004, 12:44 AM
 
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our family doesn't fit the bill.

dp: spottless closet, everything folded and on the right shelf. horrible credit. I finally paid off his credit card debt when ds was born with my own money. he still has huge student loans for a degree he never got. he was in default on those too till i came along. he is a compulsive spender also.

me: not much in my closet, but it is in huge disarray, and usually there are ten projects i'd rather do then straighten up. i have never had any debt at all, and am religous about balancing my checkbook and paying bills the second i get them. i hate buying stuff, but packrat as i plan to(and often do) fix or use things later in some project.
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#18 of 24 Old 10-10-2004, 01:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A&A
A couple of questions...


Suze Orman said that she can tell by looking at your closet whether or not you are in cc debt. According to her, messy closet=debt. So, what does your closet look like? Does this ring true to you? Is there a correlation between "cleaning up" your finances and the rest of your house?

Secondly, are any of you still using credit cards? Do you have, for example, one card you still use each month, but pay that card off in full while working on the other cards? Why or why not?
:LOL that's funny!

My closets are always messy, as is the rest of the house (well, certainly not organized). I haven't had CCs for years, when I did, I rarely bought clothes with them. I rarely bought/buy clothes as it is anyway. I got rid of credit cards when I was 22. They just are NOT a good thing. I have a visa check card for purchases where debit only isn't allowed, that's it. Comes straight from my checking account.

Messy=type b personality, little bit packrat, family with depression-era mentality, emotional attachments to non-human items. :LOL
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#19 of 24 Old 10-10-2004, 09:38 AM
 
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It doesn't fit me. My closets (and apartment for that matter) are extremely uncluttered and clean pretty much all the time. We have lots of CC debt.

We don't use any credit cards, but we do use the debit card because I don't like to write checks and we get 1.5% back on all purchases on the debit card.
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#20 of 24 Old 10-10-2004, 08:12 PM
 
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We have ONE clothes closet and one small coat closet for a household of six people, and both closets are clean and fairly well organized. At least I know exactly what each closet contains and where it is.

We do have a small ammount of credit card debt, but this is an aberration for us. Usually we pay the balance in full each month. I expect our card to be completely paid off in one more month.

As for how we deal with credit cards: we have two cards, one of which is due to be paid around the 15th of each month. The other is due around the 30th of each month. I juggle the two cards, so as to avoid a huge bill on one card, but usually the one due on the 15th has the higher ammount b/c I can pay that one & not worry about the mortgage payment until the next pay period.
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#21 of 24 Old 10-13-2004, 12:05 PM
 
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My closets look like the "after" picture in a magazine. They are beautiful. We don't have cc debt but I have a ridiculous amount of student loans.

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#22 of 24 Old 10-16-2004, 02:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pageta
I read this about a week ago and have thought about it quite a bit. I'm self-employed in direct sales, and what I notice is that there is a direct correllation between the state of my house and my business. If my house is in order, I'm working my business. If my house is a mess, I'm not getting much of anything done, including working my business. I have much better mental clarity when my house is in order, including my closets. When I'm working my business, I'm making money. So that would tie the clean closets to the money...if you want to go that far.

Does that make sense?
Makes absolute sense to me. I believe this to my core. I fight clutter constantly. I clean out my house at least 3-4 a year. Also, I now SAH but for years I worked at a large corporation in the executive branch. Our President would not allow people to work in messes or to leave paperwork all over the place. That's not to say he was a maniacal task master - he wasn't. He just prescribed to the theory that if you allow yourself to work or wallow in a messy pit then you will be less productive AND that it speaks volumes about your interior (spiritual, mental) organization. I agreed with him.

As a person who used to be in terrible debt I know that ...the way you live...is the way you live. If you kick your dog when you're angry then you probably mistreat others in your family regularly. If you don't take care of your home and mananging what you own I can't see how that couldn't spill over into all areas of your life in one way or another.

That being said....in case you were wondering because I talk this big talk......... my closet is picked up but not organized. Neat enough not to shock, but not a place anyone's ever been impressed by!
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#23 of 24 Old 10-17-2004, 06:19 PM
 
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Short answer - No closets, but we have clutter due to our transition (lots of works in progress), and we only have 1 credit card with a balance of $750 which we use for big ticket items that we need but can't pay upfront, and stuff bought online where debit cards just won't work (don't ask me how they can tell the difference).

LONG ANSWER:
We don't have closets in our bedroom(s). Well the boys have a small space about 3' x 3' x 3' which is more like a shelf for their computer and board games. There is a closet rod but they don't often use it.
We do have alot of clutter that we are working through, but we decided when we started remodeling that closets are deadspace, another unused area for things to accumulate. We started by taking the 6' closet out of the boys room and putting in a stairwell to the basement. When we remodeled our room we took out the boxy looking closet and put in a set of adjustable bookshelves recessed into the small hole in the wall (about 1' deep). The only true reason for a closet is to hang articles of clothing that can't be folded and put away, anything else is clutter. I own exactly 1 dress which falls into that criteria, and Michael has 1 suit (shirt and pants). Those can be hung on a peg behind the bedroom door.
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#24 of 24 Old 10-17-2004, 06:42 PM
 
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doesnt ring true for me... i am a total neat freak and all my wardrobes (you dont get closets much in england!) are very tidy as is the rest of my house...not much clutter or anything... but i have a huge amount of CC debt and other debt aswell...
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