Climbing out of the debt hole... Anybody wanna join? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 204 Old 05-29-2006, 08:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Over the past week I have finally gotten to see just how bad our finances are.

DH took over budgeting, paying bills, etc. when DD was born 3.5 years ago and he had left me in the dark as to just how bad the situation actually has become, of course to spare me. Well, now there was nowhere left to turn and boy, was it a shocker to face reality!

We are up way above our heads in CC debts and bank loans. CCs here (Brazil) charge 15% interest a month and basically living off the cards and only paying the minimum payment for the past two years means that we have incorred a horrific debt with Mastercard and Visa. There's no such thing as filing bankruptcy down here.

We are self-employed (teachers) and rent a house, there's nothing to sell or even to pawn...

But we are going to get out of debt. I refuse to continue living like this. I get a knot in my stomach thinking about people our age (mid-thirties) already being well-prepared for retirement and we are still paying off student loans I took out 16 years ago.

I thought it would be nice to find somebody in the same situation or one similar to have someone to encourage me to keep on and the other way around. Is anybody in???
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#2 of 204 Old 05-29-2006, 09:25 AM
 
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I'm in the same situation. Actually today we are hopefully hearing from a loan guy to do a consolidation loan for our student loans and visas - so we can start climbing out of debt. Gotta go feed a baby but wanted to write quickly and say we are in a very similar situation!
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#3 of 204 Old 05-29-2006, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Andra.

I hope everything works out with the loan consolidation today.
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#4 of 204 Old 05-29-2006, 06:00 PM
 
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I'm in, sometimes I feel pressure to buy as we are in our 30's two kids and NOTHING but cc debt. All our friends own houses, cars etc(we have car payments on our little car)

I wonder if I feel the pressure for buying over renting because all my friends say things like: "it would be so great if you got on the property ladder and stopped paying someone elses mortgage etc." I'm not sure buying would be right.
I lie awake at night worrying about the interest we pay on the bloody ccs
Hopefully with DHs bonus we can get some of our debt down.

Lisa: Homeschooling Mum of ds, 8 and dd, 6
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#5 of 204 Old 05-29-2006, 06:45 PM
 
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Magster, are you still adding to the debt now? Or is it holding steady and it's just a matter of finding the money in your budget to pay down the old debts?

The idea of no bankruptcy option truely horrifies me.
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#6 of 204 Old 05-29-2006, 07:22 PM
 
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We are at the beginning of climbing out of CC debt. I posted about it a few weeks ago and I has so many helpful answers! I am right there with you, sister!

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#7 of 204 Old 05-29-2006, 07:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herausgeber
Magster, are you still adding to the debt now? Or is it holding steady and it's just a matter of finding the money in your budget to pay down the old debts?

The idea of no bankruptcy option truely horrifies me.
Tell me about it! I sigh with envy when I read about people in the US declaring personal bankruptcy. Although I know that it surely isn't a walk in the park going through that either.

There is no money to be found within the budget. Dh is going to start teaching 14 hours a day again. It wrecks our family life but there's no other option. I go to college and work with translations from home (yk, juggling a three-year-old and trying to get some work done without her noticing it ).

To fill some money in that black abyss of CC debt we will once again refinance our small car. We still owe a lot of money on it but can refinance it at a mere 2% interest a month against the 15% of the CCs. Robbing Peter to pay Paul and all that, but there's no other way right now.

Bathrobegodess (love the name!), I will check out your thread.
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#8 of 204 Old 05-29-2006, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa72
I'm in, sometimes I feel pressure to buy as we are in our 30's two kids and NOTHING but cc debt. All our friends own houses, cars etc(we have car payments on our little car)

I wonder if I feel the pressure for buying over renting because all my friends say things like: "it would be so great if you got on the property ladder and stopped paying someone elses mortgage etc." I'm not sure buying would be right.
I have also heard that buying is at least as expensive as renting. Whether it holds true or not I don't know, we have always been renters (we have been married for nearly 15 years).
What I do know, is that I would like the certainty that if everything else went wrong, we would have a place to call our own. YK, if you don't have money at all, you can let your own place go to hell and still live there but you cannot not pay rent (at least not without getting evicted ).

If all came to all, we could probably go live with my ILs but that would come at an extremely high cost. I honestly don't think my own family would take us in (I cringe just typing that, how embarrashing to admit). Not that we are there AT ALL, thanks heavens, I am just musing out loud about worst case scenarios...

Hope we can be a support for one another in fighting the CC debt monster.
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#9 of 204 Old 05-29-2006, 08:57 PM
 
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15% a month? Isn't that like 180% a year? That's legal there? Most people here wouldn't be able to climb out of that hole. I admire your determination.

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#10 of 204 Old 05-29-2006, 09:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa72
I wonder if I feel the pressure for buying over renting because all my friends say things like: "it would be so great if you got on the property ladder and stopped paying someone elses mortgage etc." I'm not sure buying would be right.
We bought last year thinking we were "throwing away" our money renting when we had tons of cc debt, student loans and a personal loan. That was SUCH a mistake. Houses for the most part aren't good investments b/c they require upkeep, repairs and they're typically more expensive. We received a small inheritance allowing us to pay off our CC debt but if not for that we'd be in big trouble financially.

We're selling our house and going back to renting so we can save up some money for a house down the road and pay off the 8k in student loans I have left.

Stacey reading.gif Happy wife to Rick coolshine.gif ,homeschooling Mama to Jacob, Noel, Joanna jumpers.gif  and a sweet stork-girl.gif due in the Spring!
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#11 of 204 Old 05-29-2006, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poddi
15% a month? Isn't that like 180% a year? That's legal there? Most people here wouldn't be able to climb out of that hole. I admire your determination.
There's nothing to do but try at least. Unfortunately, your calculations are correct. The Brazilian Constitution prohibits exorbitant interest rates but luckily for the banks and financing institutes 200% anually is only considered borderline exorbitant down here. :
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#12 of 204 Old 05-30-2006, 03:40 PM
 
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I'm in. What'cha got in mind for a solution? I think I'd need someone to live w/me and watch over my shoulder 24/7!!

I filed bankruptcy last fall so I don't have cc's anymore, but my what a person can't do w/paypal.

Liz~A wife and homeschooling mother to two gifts from God!
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#13 of 204 Old 05-30-2006, 04:45 PM
 
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I want to get my CC paid off. DH says that when we get the CC paid we can have another babe.

So how do to it?
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#14 of 204 Old 05-30-2006, 05:09 PM
 
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How much do you owe, at what interest rate, and how much do you think you could put toward it every week/two weeks/month?
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#15 of 204 Old 05-30-2006, 05:45 PM
 
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We are still waiting to hear about our consolidation loan... the guy we're talking to called today and said he doesn't have an approval for us yet, but is talking to a lender who is "sympathetic to our situation" so I hope that is a good thing!

Part of getting the consolidation loan is so we qualify to buy a van as we no longer all fit into our car and going without a vehicle isn't an option here. Hopefully we will get the loan.

If not we'll have to just keep pumping as much as we can toward the credit cards -- and CUT THEM UP!! That's the only way we'll ever pay them down/off.
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#16 of 204 Old 05-30-2006, 06:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by oneotamama
I'm in. I filed bankruptcy last fall so I don't have cc's anymore, but my what a person can't do w/paypal.
Are you U.S.? I ask because as the OP stated DH took over almost 8 months ago and now we are looking at filing. I was going to be SAHM but have to go back. How have things gone for you through it all?

As a side note with me going back we MAY be able to refi our house. Does anyone have any experience w/that?

Thanks
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#17 of 204 Old 05-30-2006, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I hope everybody is having a nice, frugal day and that the credit cards aren't being used!

I have started writing down every single penny spent. It feels weird but it has been en eye-opener to how much "boredom" shopping I have been doing, you know, the kind where you have half an hour to kill and you decide to stop by the supermarket or an outlet just to browse and you end up buying something (or a lot). Now I try to remember to take a book so I can sit and read instead of killing time inside shops. It also helps remembering that a "good deal" isn't that good at all when you charge it to your credit card and you will end up paying interest ad nauseum on the purchase. : (Hey, new smilies! Neat!).

Have a great day you all. Remember: We can do it!
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#18 of 204 Old 05-30-2006, 09:11 PM
 
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I need to join this thread. I used to be super-frugal, got my DH and I out of a MAJOR financial mess (he was divorced with tons of debt), got us to the point of having no loans beyond a student loan and a mortgage (and this with paying $20,000 for infertility treatments), and then when my son was born ten months ago it all fell apart. I just didn't have the time or energy to spend on our budget the way I used to, and it was way too easy to buy stuff online. None of it was really all that extravagant, but it all added up. (Stuff for ds, new clothes for me since I lost a ton of weight BF'ing, work clothes for dh, etc.) Plus we needed a new furnace and a new roof this past winter/spring.

Anyway, it's very depressing, since we dislike the end of town we're on (we're here temporarily to be close to my stepsons while they're in high school) and hope to move to a much more expensive (but liberal and cool) part of town in three more years. Now we have a bunch of credit card debt and unless I get my act in gear I don't see how it's gonna happen. But it's been a dream of mine to live in that area and I want my son to grow up there, not here!

So I need a kick in the pants and support. I'm a member of a frugal living board but it's very conservative and I don't feel at home there anymore after having my son.

Formerly New Mama to Henry, born August 2005 and Silas, born November 2010.
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#19 of 204 Old 05-30-2006, 09:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Collinsmom
Are you U.S.? I ask because as the OP stated DH took over almost 8 months ago and now we are looking at filing. I was going to be SAHM but have to go back. How have things gone for you through it all?

As a side note with me going back we MAY be able to refi our house. Does anyone have any experience w/that?

Thanks
Yes, I'm in the U.S. And our troubles began when I took a hands off approach as well! Dh is self employed and I couldn't stand not knowing how much money was (or wasn't) coming in. He doesn't keep the check book balanced either. Drove me nuts so I handed it over to him. We accumulated so much cc debt that I didn't even know how much I had. I honestly had no idea until my attorney pulled up my credit report. I filed on $48K worth of cc debt. My dh has another $50K, but he didn't file.

I filed before the laws changed back in October. It was easy when I did it. I've heard that it's tougher now. I believe that they want to set you up on a payment plan now whereas when I filed, it was all basically wiped clean. I think now you have to go to counseling too, but as far as I know I don't have to. I received my dishcharge papers in March and I haven't heard anything about going to any classes.

In all honesty, it was too easy. Have I learned a lesson? Yes and no. I get cc offers already in the mail. And I don't send them back. So in that sense, yes I've learned my lesson. But I still spend too much of my funded paypal, so in that way I haven't learned anything. Like I'll sell some stuff thinking I'm going to transfer it to my checking, but then I'll blow it on something on the fsot board that I don't need.

If you want more details, you can pm for specifics. I lived in MN when I filed if that makes a difference.

Liz~A wife and homeschooling mother to two gifts from God!
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#20 of 204 Old 05-30-2006, 09:32 PM
 
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I was also going to comment on the refinancing of your house too. Yep, we did that too. Big mistake. We originally bought our house in MN from my MIL for around $43K. A couple years later we refinanced to pay off cc debt. Brought the mortgage up to $80K. We decided to remodel the basement and pay off even more cc debt a couple years after that. Okay, so then we had our mortgage at $120K. The mortgage company appraised the house at $124K.

Two years after that we put the house on the market. It sat for 6 months before we finally fell behind on our payments and it entered foreclosure (I kept our house out of my personal bankruptcy). Then the mortgage company sent another guy to appraise the property. He appraised it at $84K. What ended up happening is that we sold our house through something called a "quick sale." We finally accepted an offer that was less than the appraised value. When it was all said and done our mortgage company lost $34K from what we owed on our mortgage and what it sold for. It won't effect my dh's credit and we don't get taxed on it either.

Okay, where's that little smilie where the guy is hiding under the chair?! That's me. We're in terrible financial distress and it keeps happening over and over and over. But what I'm getting at w/the refinancing is that yes, it may lower your interest rates, but it's almost guaranteed that they'll borrow you too much money against your house. I guess I know that's something we won't do again. We won't put our house in jeopardy by borrowing too much against it.

Liz~A wife and homeschooling mother to two gifts from God!
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#21 of 204 Old 05-30-2006, 09:36 PM
 
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Ugh we are sinking in 25.5% on our 2 credit cards...most of the time I try not to freak out, today it's pissing me off. we aren't getting ANYWHERE...
we applied for a consolodation loan and were refused. I called a place today that is a lot cheaper to rent so I guess thats a start. We both feel like such idiots for getting into $10000 @25%.
Thanks for letting me blab

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#22 of 204 Old 05-31-2006, 01:55 PM
 
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I too am on this ladder out of debt. I've been cc free for almost 2 years now And currently pay for everything with my debit card. I even have dd's bike trailer on layaway. My dh on the other hand has a bad case of Iwantatitus! Every time I turn around he is buying something : And is currently in the process of building a sugarhouse and outfitting it with an evaporator etc. - cha ching! He had to take a loan out for this : .

We've done the debt consolodation loan and that has been the best thing. My payment is half of what I was paying monthly on ccs and it will actually be paid off in 9 short years! Sadly though its much better than what we were paying and with no end in sight. We currently are paying off two relatively new cars and a new Harley on top of it. So even though we make decent money we are always strapped. My car will be paid off next year with his truck the following year. My plan is to double our loan payments once my car is paid off to get the loan payed off in 1/2 the time.

It's so tough, as it's very tempting to "finance" those little "wants". I am wanting a camcorder so badly right now and I know I can't have one until probably Christmas.

Even though we still have a ways to go I'm so proud to say "we have no credit cards". And that we are paying cash for most everything (except the sugarhouse). We are even putting on a new roof this fall and paying cash for it.

I still feel I could use support, it's such a struggle. To manage all of this I am forever buying things on sale, second hand and with coupons. I really have to cut corners whenever possible to ensure everything is taken care of on a monthly basis. And as tight as things are I still feel the urge to splurge on certain things as well (dd's darling little cds for example ).

Anyway good luck to everyone fighting this battle, its a shame they didn't tell us more about this kind of thing in math class instead of algebra :
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#23 of 204 Old 05-31-2006, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lisa72
We both feel like such idiots for getting into $10000 @25%.
You're not an idiot. Not at all.
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#24 of 204 Old 05-31-2006, 02:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Kerri, what is a sugarhouse? All I can imagine is that house made of sweets and pancakes in Hansel and Gretchen but somehow I doubt that is what your DH is buying.
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#25 of 204 Old 05-31-2006, 03:09 PM
 
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oh how I dream of a chocolate covered sugarhouse!

Seriously though its where maple syrup is made. The real homemade variety, not aunt jamama (sp?).

Here is some info on MA maple products http://www.massmaple.org

And here is a sugarhouse (not ours by the way)
http://www.thewarrenfarm.com/backpic_tapping.htm

And an evaporator...
http://www.thewarrenfarm.com/backpic_tapping.htm
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#26 of 204 Old 05-31-2006, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mom2olivia
oh how I dream of a chocolate covered sugarhouse!

Seriously though its where maple syrup is made. The real homemade variety, not aunt jamama (sp?).

Here is some info on MA maple products http://www.massmaple.org

And here is a sugarhouse (not ours by the way)
http://www.thewarrenfarm.com/backpic_tapping.htm

And an evaporator...
http://www.thewarrenfarm.com/backpic_tapping.htm
Wow, it makes me think of Little House on the Praire. Is it a hobby or for work?
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#27 of 204 Old 05-31-2006, 04:27 PM
 
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Its just a hobby, but he should be able to make some money once he breaks even (in about 5 years). The season only lasts about 6 weeks, but there is lots to do in the off season, especially getting all the wood ready. Lots of cleaning to do as well, washing sap buckets, pans etc. Its tons of hours of work and really if you figured out your hourly rate, you'd soon see you are in it for the joy of sugaring and not for the $$

It's nice family fun though and its also a sign that spring has arrived in the northeast!
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#28 of 204 Old 05-31-2006, 04:35 PM
 
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I'm joining in!! Our young stupidity lead us into CC debt very quickly. In the past 2 yrs we have paid off about 50% of it but still have a little ways to go.
We have the ideal situation now that we should debt free SOON!
We are living rent free ... home was left to a family member after a death & they didnt want to mess with renting it.
We have a car for sale that we will use the $ to pay off some of it. We plan to pay as much as possible to get it gone! Then come tax time again we will apply our return to get them paid off.
I just want it gone so we dont have to worry about a monthly payment & can start saving to buy a home.
I hate credit cards! : : Actually I guess its our bad decisions
We have learned our lesson!

~Tia~ Mom to 3 girls
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#29 of 204 Old 05-31-2006, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Welcome aboard, Tia. It sounds like you guys are moving towards your goal rapidly!

Kerri, happy tapping (is that what's it called?)!
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#30 of 204 Old 05-31-2006, 05:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by magster
Kerri, happy tapping (is that what's it called?)!
You got it! You sound like a pro already! We recently had some visitors here from Brazil and one of our Engineers always gives the rep from there some syrup to take home with him. I forget what he gets in exchange, some cigars maybe? Or perhaps it was coffee....anyway they do a little exchange every year and Paulo loves bringing home some syrup It was almost our syrup, but the Engineer didn't give me enough notice so I didn't have any here at work with me, so he ended up buying from one of the larger farms around here.
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