Climbing out of the debt hole... Anybody wanna join? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums
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#121 of 204 Old 06-22-2006, 07:54 PM
 
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I just need to talk to someone, I don't know what to do... I'm 25, recently married, due with baby #1 (EDD Dec 6), and we have NO money... Really. Currently there is about $50 in the bank (Checking, we don't have a savings), and other than rent, no bills have been paid for the month. We got married last Saturday (yeah!)(oh, and not just b/c we're prego, we were engaged b/f we found out) but there is no wedding gift money, for reasons I can't go into here. Our one cc is almost maxed out. About $200 left on it ($3500 limit). I have health insurance, but it doesn't cover pregnancy(!), so I'm on Medicaid for that. And I'm part of the WIC program. My DH has not had much work lately (about 20hrs/wk), and I've had to cut down my hours b/c of a rough 1st TM (about 30hrs/wk).

I gave DH control of the $ about 5 months ago, b/c he was complaining that he didn't feel a part of our finances. So, I let him see for himself how tight it is. I guess I enjoyed not having the responsibility, and so I stopped caring. And he was very immature with how he handled everything too.

I don't know where to start cutting from. We have a small 1br apt for a very cheap rent. We have 1 car (pd- bought it used) that gets decent millage. He smokes , but rolls his own which is cheaper. (He says that he will quit b/f the baby comes, but I know how hard it is.) I think I'm going to have to cut off my regular health insurance, and just do the Medicaid thing. He doesn't have any. We both have cell phones (family plan thing), and there's the DSL, which of course needs a land line. But, he goes to school for computer stuff, so we need (?) the Internet access, and with the cells, there's the early termination fees.

I just don't know what to do. I don't even know how to make a list of what's due b/c he got so overwhelmed by everything that he just stopped taking care of stuff it seemed.

I'm worried that in 2 months, we will have collectors calling and we'll get evicted for not paying rent.

I have good credit (so far), and I'm getting preapproved cc offers in the mail. I KNOW that it would just make things worse to do that, but...

We're in a really bad spot...
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#122 of 204 Old 06-22-2006, 08:21 PM
 
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mamaD, no advice . . .I'm sure someone here will have some . . .just a

We ended up buying a washer AND dryer. With tax, 3 yr warranty, and delivery it was $1000. OMG.

Now we have earwigs. I think we should just spray ourselves. DH wants to get a $ervice.

Our bathroom is leaking. I found water in the basement.

Now, had DH not bought the new TV, this would have all been bad, but necessary so oh well. Having these expenses plus paying so much for that TV feels horrible.

I am trying to do no spending days, one day at a time. I have been trying to use all the food we have instead of going out and buying more. The only thing I've spent is gas, but I am even cutting down on our trips and staying home more.

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#123 of 204 Old 06-22-2006, 08:54 PM
 
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We are trying to get all our credit card debt paid off over the next year or so and from there save for a house and begin investing a little. My husband and I made some stupid credit choices when we were just old enough for credit, and although our debt is not astronomical, it is something we would both love to be rid of. I am hoping to get all of this paid off and to never use credit cards again...well barring true emergencies, not the latest sale at Express

~Daisy~

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#124 of 204 Old 06-22-2006, 09:31 PM
 
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mamaD, I don't know the sort of work you and your DH do, but can either of you get a second job to bring in extra $$? Since neither of you is working full time right now, that seems to be the best place to start.

Also, I know phone line plus DSL can cost about $50-$70 a month which would double what you have right now. Huge sacrifice, I know, but libraries usually have internet access and the extra time will help find ways to earn more $$
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#125 of 204 Old 06-22-2006, 09:32 PM
 
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So sorry you are going through this mamaD but are you married to my dh? I just did the same thing a few months back and oh so regretting it. Some suggestions; food, go to food banks for anything you must have, shop at your discount stores, bills for apartments, call them, tell them you are pregnant and you are in a tight spot but will pay, sometimes they let you not for a month or so, with anythign but the phone they can possibly let you slide if you have a "medical reason" and pregnancy/new born baby sometimes qualifies if you jump through hoops. The CC offers, are they 0% for X months. If so, jump on it and then hide them. Transfer the balance of your old CC to that one and then pay the bare minimum. Do you qualify for subsidized housing? You may want to find out. Do you have any family that will loan you any money for just a few months? Can you sell anything? Check on the living simply forum if you need ideas. And if you NEED something, try freecycle. Also consider putting up a "trade" in something like craigslist. I will babysit if you come fix my plumbing, for example. Or something like that. Just some thoughts. *hugs*
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#126 of 204 Old 06-23-2006, 10:51 AM
 
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mamaD - Other people have given good advice about what to do now to get you through the next few weeks, but you need to really get a grasp on what you have going in and coming out. There's another debt message board I read and everyone posts a SOA (state of affairs). You don't actually need to post yours if you're not comfortable with that, but I think you should write one down for your own use. Here's how they suggest doing it (this is UK based, but you should get the general idea):


Monthly Incomings:

My salary - £1,330.34
Partners salary - £874.32
Benefits - £100

Total - £2,304.66

Monthly Outgoings:

Mortgage/Rent - £700
Council Tax - £89
Gas - £20
Electric - £20.53
TV License - £10.99
Sky £45.99
Phone - £40.79
Food - £300
Car Insurance - £32.53
Petrol - £80
Life Insurance £20

Total: £1,359.83

Make sure you include EVERYTHING you can think of!

Also give us as much detail about your debts as you can especially with the APR’s. If you don’t know them, phone the credit companies up and get them to tell you.

Egg CC – Balance £2,300 (limit £2,500) APR 12.9%

Tesco Loan – Balance £5,000 APR 8.9% Length of term 60 months, 12 months to go

Overdraft - £800 (limit £1,000) APR 20%


Also start a spending diary. Note down every single penny you spend each day. It's amazing where it all goes. I was spending over £30 a month on the drink and snack machines at work! That's a minimum £360 a year!

This is crucial in telling you where the "spare £300" a month goes!

(this is not my SOA, it's just an example )

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#127 of 204 Old 06-23-2006, 02:16 PM
 
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Those are some good suggestions for mamaD.

Ok, the *car* needs a new crank shaft for around $200. I told DH he was not getting it fixed.....unless a person buying it offers enough to make it worth it.
A guy is coming tonight to look at the car. Fingers crossed everyone!! I'm holding my breath.



Update: The guy didn't want it.
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#128 of 204 Old 06-25-2006, 10:13 PM
 
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My DH listed the car for sale on some VW hobby website. I really want this car to sell. :
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#129 of 204 Old 06-26-2006, 07:51 PM
 
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at the end of a very long, dark tunnel is showing.

This is very, very hard. But I think that if I manage to take things in very small steps we will be okay. We have both gone through and made starter lists of things that we can sell (anyone want a nearly new wetsuit? lol), and things that we can do to reduce expenses. My landlords are being wonderful about the rent, I know what bills are going to get paid this month, and the others ones will just have to wait. It sucks, but it's the best I can do. Right now during this 'damage control"/crisis time I need to remember to take it one day at a time. And I also have a list of longer term goals so that this NEVER happens again. It's h*ll but we'll be okay...
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#130 of 204 Old 06-27-2006, 12:19 AM
 
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mamaD, yes, one day at a time!!!

I have been doing well with my no spending days . . .not that we haven't spent money but it's been with a purpose. DD got baptised so we had family over and had a simple but good meal. And, I bought DD a toy . . .but it was with my personal "fun money" so I feel OK about that.

DH bought spray for our earwig problem . . .no expensive service!

We still have expenses (just had to buy window well covers to keep our basement from getting wet) but that is life. I am trying to pare down to just the essentials . . .the essentials are costly enough!

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#131 of 204 Old 06-27-2006, 08:15 AM
 
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We're doing better. Dh has given me all his CC's and he sold some of his little toys so we could buy food. We also looked at the "hillbilly housewife" site and we're doing the $45 plan which out here in Chicago is more like $75. Not sure if it will be much cheaper than what we were doing before but dh wants to try it and I'm cheering him on. At least he's trying. OTOH, Dh and I both start therapy this month and that's going to get expensive but what can I do. *sigh*
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#132 of 204 Old 06-27-2006, 02:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It's great to read about how well you are all doing.
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#133 of 204 Old 06-27-2006, 03:14 PM
 
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wendygrace, it sounds like things are really moving in the right direction!

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#134 of 204 Old 06-28-2006, 12:57 AM
 
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Hi everyone. Im glad I happen to come across this website and joined.

I am a sahm and Dh has a great job with the city. We just moved into our new house in March. We have no car payments but we do have one credit card $5500 with 18% interest rate. Its killing us. Its latched onto our checking account so its like credit/overdraft card. I applied for a 0% interest card and got approved but only for $5000 so they will let me transfer $4500 of this amount which I already did. We have another credit card with $0 bal through our credit union for 11% interest, so should we just put the other $1000 on it since its a lower interest rate?

Dh makes good money, and we have a nice house. Both our trucks are paid for thanks to the sell of our last home. Both trucks are 2000 but in good shape and dh is mechanic so he can fix anything!

I handle the bills and hate it. I feel overwhelmed most days and dont even want to look into our checking online. We overspend on stupid things we dont need. I am always jealous over what everyone else has too and that drives me nuts! Dh makes enough to cover our bills but after that there is nothing left. I clean my moms and sisters houses every other week so thats an extra $250-$300 a month. I think I should be able to use my cleaning money for cc but by the time I go to pay it there is nothing left in checking or we have already overdrafted and more on cc. Uh....

Anyway anyone know of any good budget worksheets for free? I need help. I think just staying home instead of going out will help me not spend as much. Dh is good about not spending its really me.

Another question....how do 0% cards work? What will my minimum be monthly? How do they figure that out?

Thanks for any thoughts or comments. Im glad I found a place with others in tight spots too. It feels good to vent!
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#135 of 204 Old 06-28-2006, 01:11 AM
 
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Welcome surprisemom. You might want to check out the "No Spend" threads in this forum. Great support for not spending money on anything nonessential.
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#136 of 204 Old 06-28-2006, 09:39 AM
 
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I too was just going to suggest the "no spend" thread....I can't wait for the "no spend July" to come out...as I was way too late in joining Junes I also need to join "no spend august, sept & october" as we need a new roof, tires for both vehicles and brakes for my car :

Anyway a site I found helpful when figuring out a paydown plan for credit cards was www.bankrate.com you can decide (based on your balance/interest %) how long you wanted to take to pay off the card and it will tell you what you need to pay a month to get there. If its 0% introductory rate you will need to know what it will be once the intro rate expires.

And unless you can pay off your 1000 w/ 18% quickly I would transfer it all to the 11% card. One thing that helped me was to pay 25% of the amount due weekly (by using online bill pay). It helps to ensure you don't pay as much interest and it saves you from having a whooper of a bill at the monthly cycle.

We were so far in that we needed to do a debt consolidation loan and so now we don't have any cc's and we have about another 5 yrs on the loan. We also still have 3 auto payments (car, truck, motorcycle) that are hefty....but in 1, 2 & 3 years from now they will all (SLOWLY) be gone. All of our projects or new "must have items" are paid for in cash. My dd just turned one and for her birthday I wanted to get her a bicycle trailer (and I wanted the fancy Chariot Cougar 2 model), so I sold our canoe to raise $ to buy it. It felt good not to "charge it" and I was glad to see my canoe go to someone that was going to use it. I'm now constantly looking around for stuff I can sell for extra money and you'd be surprised at how quickly it adds up.

Welcome and good luck!
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#137 of 204 Old 06-28-2006, 09:50 AM
 
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I'm now constantly looking around for stuff I can sell for extra money and you'd be surprised at how quickly it adds up.

Welcome and good luck!
Yes! I'll sell even little things for like $5 for and there and it adds up.
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#138 of 204 Old 06-28-2006, 02:38 PM
 
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So if you dont want to answer I completely understand!

After all your bills are paid how much is left over a month for your gas and groceries???

We have about $600 left. So that has to cover gas (ouch) and groceries. That also is not including my cleaning money but I dont want to count that in because I want to use that to pay cc down. Does that make sense?

Do you all just use the old pen and paper method of how you keep track of spending? I have online banking but paper seems to work better.
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#139 of 204 Old 06-28-2006, 04:49 PM
 
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I'm new here, but I thought I would join this thread. I'm 23, and have made some BAD decisions. Hindsight is 20/20 - so true in my case. I'm fairly sure I picked THE most expensive college in America (NYU) to attend. Also, in THE most expensive city (NYC). About halfway through it I realized college was not for me. It wasn't challenging, I wasn't learning anything, and what I really wanted to do with my life couldn't be learned in class. So, with only my associates, I dropped out. I moved upstate NY for a while, mainly because it was 1. cheap and 2. I had a job offer. Of course, as soon as I moved, the company started laying off employees. Long story short, I was without a job for several months and afterwards I held various part time jobs.

Recently, I was offered a good job with a steady salary - all the way across the country. But, I went for it anyway.

So, now that I'm in San Diego and working full time ... I've realized how much money I have to actually pay off. It's really overwhelming. Not to mention, my credit score is just terrible from the times I couldn't make any payments. But, on the bright side, since now I am making payments, I don't have to : like I used to from the collectors.

I'm in awe (truly!) of how all of you are doing it with children in the mix.

I'm trying to stay positive and I have long term goal of being debt free by age 28 (5 years) ... sooner if a publishing house picks up my manuscript and it turns into a bestseller over night. Ok ... coming back to reality now.

I've been reading all the suggestions in this forum, and they're great. Thanks for all of those wonderful tips!

First special delivery - April 2010 :
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#140 of 204 Old 06-28-2006, 11:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SURPRISEMOM
So if you dont want to answer I completely understand!

After all your bills are paid how much is left over a month for your gas and groceries???

We have about $600 left. So that has to cover gas (ouch) and groceries. That also is not including my cleaning money but I dont want to count that in because I want to use that to pay cc down. Does that make sense?

Do you all just use the old pen and paper method of how you keep track of spending? I have online banking but paper seems to work better.
We usually have less than $600 after bills. For keeping track I like to use Quicken. I don't have it hooked up directly to my account online. You can do that but I just don't bother. I do online banking and then input everything into my Quicken account.
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#141 of 204 Old 06-30-2006, 04:27 AM
 
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I haven't read thru the whole thread, but I wanted to join for some support. We live in the USA. We are in $15,500.00 cc debt alone. Not counting van payments, student loans and mortgage payments. The worst part is we had just paid off a huge debt thru a credit counsler (about 18 months ago). It took 5 years and as soon as we were thru we charged up the cards. I am so ashmed of myself and embarrassed. Alot of the debt is me. I spend out of boredom. Usually on line. : Anyway on the bright side, we are back with a credit counsler, and trying to get things in order. I feel like I have a manageble budget with some breathing room and if all goes well we can have the van and credit cards paid off in 3 years.
It is a bad time of year for me too, as it is so blazingly hot here and the kids and I are pretty much stuck at home. Which leads to boredom which leads to spending... UGH!

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#142 of 204 Old 06-30-2006, 10:03 AM
 
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After all your bills are paid how much is left over a month for your gas and groceries???
Um...lots, but most of our excess goes to paying off debt. We are very fortunate. I try to keep our grocery budget under $300 a month for the two of us and gas usually comes in around $100. I've been really trying to pay off our debt as quickly as possible because we want to TTC (just started this month) and I want to be a SAHM, so things will be tighter. I want to get us used to living on DH's salary alone. We haven't succeeded even one month so far : Still, in the past three years we've already paid off like $9000 worth of CC debt, $1500 worth of furniture, and DH's car. My car which I bought a year and a half ago will be paid off next month. Then we will pay back the money my parents loaned us to buy our house - still owe them $13,000. We're snowballing and it's really rolling now and I hope to have them paid off in nine months (hence the TTC ). If we can't quite pay them back completely before I have a baby, my parents would be fine with that since being grandparents will be worth the much slower repayment.

Quote:
Do you all just use the old pen and paper method of how you keep track of spending? I have online banking but paper seems to work better.
I was using pen and paper until this month when DH talked me into using the new google spreadsheets. It's still in beta version but it's pretty cool. I can upload my budget spreadsheets and DH can view them and add to them and we can chat in the browser while we're both looking at it. With DH's help I even created another sheet that pulls the monthly totals from the other spreadsheets and tells me how far I'm over or under budget in each category. Pretty cool

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#143 of 204 Old 06-30-2006, 08:33 PM
 
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I need to be here too Dh and I bought our first home last year and the spending has been non stop since. We both spend out of boredom. He is in the Navy and we moved last year to this small town in South TX where there is pretty much nothing to do, compared to South CA where we came from. We have CC debt as well as his truck and the house. I am just now starting to track our spending and working on the envelope system which has helped us in the past. Its going to take us forever to pay it all off. I am in college which is thankfully paid by the VA, as well as child care. I need a good kick in the pants and the will power to start down the path to paying off this debt :
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#144 of 204 Old 07-01-2006, 08:27 PM
 
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We went ahead and transferred the balance of one of our cc to a 0% apr until June 6, 2007. If we charge $100 in the next three months (and not return the purchases) than the 0% is extended until September 2007. So we're going to buy gas with the cc up to $100 and then of course pay it off right away. The rules don't allow returns put say nothing about not paying the $100 off right away. So we'll be saving a little in interest for the next year.
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#145 of 204 Old 07-01-2006, 10:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe
We went ahead and transferred the balance of one of our cc to a 0% apr until June 6, 2007. If we charge $100 in the next three months (and not return the purchases) than the 0% is extended until September 2007. So we're going to buy gas with the cc up to $100 and then of course pay it off right away. The rules don't allow returns put say nothing about not paying the $100 off right away. So we'll be saving a little in interest for the next year.
Be careful to look at the fine print on the new spending you have to do. DH and I *almost* did that and found out that they charged the regular amount of interest on any new purchases, and that any and all payments get credited to the transferred balance only--you can't specify what gets paid off first. So that $100 could be sitting on your CC drawing interest until every penny of the transferred balance is paid off. It still might be worth it though, depending on the rate.

I'm sure not all cards work like that...but it took going over the lending agreement with a fine toothed comb to figure it out in our case, and it really would have sucked for us, the rate on new purchases was insane!

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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#146 of 204 Old 07-02-2006, 12:49 PM
 
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Well, if that's the case then we can just skip the extra 3 months of 0%.
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#147 of 204 Old 07-03-2006, 11:52 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Kleine Hexe
Well, if that's the case then we can just skip the extra 3 months of 0%.
That sounds like a great idea...unfortunately ours required us to charge on it to keep the darn 0%. We ended up getting a home eq loan instead...yuck!

Mom to Liz (14) and Dillon (3) and Mitchell FINALLY born 7/11/10!
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#148 of 204 Old 07-03-2006, 02:36 PM
 
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I am in!

I finally added up all of my student loan debt and it's 71K. We also have about $1300 left in CC debt. We are working to pay off the CCs and keep spending to an absolute minimum. Being in decluttering mode due to a move is also helping tremendously.
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#149 of 204 Old 07-03-2006, 04:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SURPRISEMOM
After all your bills are paid how much is left over a month for your gas and groceries???
If we're lucky, $100-$200 for both gas and groceries and that's with paying only the minimums on the cc and having our big student loan in deferment.

Dh is applying for army and navy officer school. He's ex-military and has missed it and considered returning to service ever since he got out. I hope this brings him happiness. It would almost double his take-home pay and get us out of my IL's house, which has become more of a need!

Mama to ds 11, ds 7, dd 5, dd 2, and dd born on 6/17/12!

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#150 of 204 Old 07-03-2006, 05:52 PM
 
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HI. I am new here and am really glad I found this thread. I recently quit my job to stay home with the kids, but I seem to keep spending like I have a paycheck. My dh gets so stressed out about our increasing cc balances and he keeps it in until it causes a fight. I am the one with out of control spending and I need to get my act together before I run us further into debt and ruin my marriage. I have never worried about finances in my life and I guess I just expected my dh to "take care of everthing" and I wouldnt' have to worry about it. I feel like such an idiot. Anyway, I am turning over a new leaf and need all of the help I can get on saving money.
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