PDA

View Full Version : Debt Reducers


Pages : [1] 2 3 4

alicenwonder99
01-20-2008, 08:18 AM
Post here if you want to join the debt reducers' bandwagon. Let's encourage each other to stay focused to pay off this EVIL debt.

alicenwonder99
01-20-2008, 08:22 AM
I'll start:

My first step this week is to call the cc company to see if I can get my interest reduced. If they won't I guess I'll have to start researching to see about balance transfers.

I'm off from work tomorrow, so I'm going to get my coupons in order.

FirstTimertoDiz
01-20-2008, 11:24 AM
I am so IN! (See my new Ticker in my signature :) ) That is my first step on my debt snowball- I plan to have my emergency fund, as per Dave Ramsey, funded by the end of April, and then it is time to tackle the first debt- my husbands student loan!

I am expecting there will be setbacks along the way, but that is why I hope we can help each other in this journey. A little motivation, (and a lot of accountability) goes a long way!

To start, this week I called the cable company and cancelled our premium movie channels- that will save us $20 / month. I also currently have Blockbuster on-line, and that will be cancelled February 1st- that's another $20 / month.

The next thing I did was to take a look at our insurance policies for homeowners and cars- we increased our deductibles for our cars, and after looking at homeowners, we realized we were still paying for insurance on a garage that we tore down 2 years ago! We fixed everything we needed to, and our total savings..... $ 200 / year! :thumbsup2

I am really trying to stick to our budget- it isn't easy, so I am thankful for this thread- I will be visiting here a lot I think!

Lisa

becca-becca
01-20-2008, 11:43 AM
I'll join. We will be working on CC debt, student loan and car payments. I am officially starting in February.

lttlmc3
01-20-2008, 01:34 PM
I'm in too! DH and I have a lot of CC debt. He's about to be leaving for National Guard training for six months, so I hope to reduce a lot of my spending to get those cards paid!

npmommie
01-20-2008, 01:41 PM
I am in too. I got the dave ramsey book for hubby, but I ended up reading it too, i just paid off one cc.......now onto the next. I am doing the snowball.
and hubby is now obsessed with paying off our mortgage early. it will be hard and he is motivated. more motivated than me, i admit!
i need to look at our deductibles, thats a good idea.
i should also cancel some cable channels, we have all the premium movie channels, and the only one we really watch is hbo........
i should see how much that would save me. the only other place we can cut back is eating out and groceries.
i am working on that, we are not eating out, and i am watching the sale flyers more closely to buy what we use only on sale and stocking up and using coupons, i also shop in bulk at bj's for certain things and that helps. it helps a lot not going in to a grocery store as much too!

crazelion
01-20-2008, 01:45 PM
I have start to . I pay more than the minimum payment on my credit card each month. You would be amaze how my credit card bill payments is falling.

StephMK
01-20-2008, 02:56 PM
Count us in! Yesterday, I cancelled our 2nd phone line that I'd originally set up to do an at home calling job but don't work it enough to be worthwhile. I shopped & changed our car insurance - we should save about $480 this yr as long as I can move our home ins to someone cheaper. Otherwise, we'll pay $150 more for that since we won't get the home/car discount. I'm pretty sure I can get it moved for less than we pay now.

This week I will call our phone, Directv & DSL providers to see if they will offer an loyal customer deals because I'm getting offers from competitors.

I've been messing around w/PT jobs but think I'm going to go back FT so we can get ahead of the game. It's been fun to be a SAHM for the most part but ortho for 2, college in 4 yrs for 1 and rising costs makes me want to be really stable financially.

I've got the Dave Ramsey TMM & while we don't follow all his advice (not reducing 401) I do plan to get the snowball rolling.

Does anyone have goals for what they want to accomplish once the debts are gone?

Disneyoverload42
01-20-2008, 03:04 PM
I'm in although I've been working on this for a few years already (another modified DR planner). There isn't much we can change or cut at this point - just keep plugging away and look for better job opportunities...

Our goals - when we are debt free is to own DVC (may do that one before the mortgage is done as a reward for having killed the rest), have retirement & college for 4 kids paid for and (my big one) have cars with less than 100k miles on them :rotfl2:

FirstTimertoDiz
01-20-2008, 03:08 PM
Does anyone have goals for what they want to accomplish once the debts are gone?

That is a good question- first, I would like to pad my savings account a little bit more than what it is now. Then onto "fun" things- I guess first and foremost, I would love to pay cash for a Disney trip for my family. I feel like if we can successfully get through the next 4 years without too much backsliding, then we deserve to celebrate a little.

The next thing I would save for is a downpayment on a new home. We have a real fixer-upper old house now (over a 100 years old,) and between the constant remodeling projects and trying to make the house more energy efficient, I sometimes feel like we are in a sinking ship.

Soon after a downpayment, I want to really crack down on college/retirement savings.

I like all the good tips so far here -keep 'em coming! :goodvibes
Lisa

Tinker'n'Fun
01-20-2008, 03:12 PM
Count me in. DH just got a job after 2 years. I am disabled and receive SSDI. We have one daughter in Catholic HS, one son in MS.

I contacted one of my credit card companies a few weeks ago and they consolidated most of my debt and offered me 0% forever because I was able to prove I was totally disabled. I am going to pay off and cut up the very small cards that wouldn't transfer first. The little ones total about $750.00 but since we don't have a large income this will take a while.

We do NOT eat out anymore. DD and DS get treated once in a while for good grades etc. DH and I have "inhouse" dates and the kids are on notice for any new purchases. In fact I feel that they have too much and suggested DD should sell some of her excess clothes for her to have some money.

We lost food stamps and health insurance when DH started work (not complaining as I was greatful for them when we needed it) but I will need to rebudget for those two payments next month. I am very worried about health insurance.

We have the lowest package on the Satellite Dish, cable is too expensive in our area.

Cell phones have been reduced to emergency use only. (This includes having to stay after school etc.)

We have one bill to pay by the end of February. I know this is bad but DD is dancing down Mainstreet at Disney in April. We all want to be there. I did not redo our budget yet because I am taking DH paychecks til its paid in full (mid February). I know that I should pay the bills but I am using the logic that it will reduce my stress watching her:rotfl2:

So I am onboard but I am trailing just a bit behind. Hope to catch up soon.

By the way I am Diane.

happygirl
01-20-2008, 04:03 PM
count me in, I really want to build a savings account,

NikiM20
01-20-2008, 04:49 PM
Im in, I started this year reducing my debt. I have already managed to eliminate 2 small cc's .After we reach our goal (no cc or car debt) we are buying DVC!!

reginaastralis
01-20-2008, 04:58 PM
I am in! My 08 goals are to reduce my debt by at least $10,000. After this, it will leave me with a personal loan from my parents, and my student loans. I'd like to tackle those this year, but ... I'm working on the $10k first.

I'm going to start my EF for $1000 .... and if I am able to tackle the 10k, I will start to build that up more.

My goal for next year is the last 10k, and then starting a down payment for our first house!

minnie1928
01-20-2008, 08:06 PM
We'll be increasing our debt this year since my DH received a promotion and we must relocate to an area of the country with much higher property values. So right now I've put my snowball on hold and I'm hoarding cash until we sell this house, buy a new house and move. Once we get past the move and I have more defined payment amounts, then I'll get back on track to pay down our debts. Prior to finding out about DHs promotion we paid of one of our two DVC contracts, so I'm really eager to pay the other one off. After that it's nothing but house debt and re-building our savings (fully funded emergency fund, car fund, etc.).

34Angels
01-20-2008, 08:35 PM
Count me in! My b/f and I have a plan to have 2 loans and a good portion of our single cc down by Oct (and still save up to pay cash for my birthday Disney trip in Oct!). Once we get those two loans paid off, my car will be tackled next, by that time we'll owe less than 10k on it. Oh, and we're also adding to our savings acct as well!

PaulaSue
01-21-2008, 09:45 PM
I'm in! The last few months have been rougher than planned and I want to kick the debt before it kicks us ito a bigger hole. I am still getting my paperwork in order to figure our a budget but the no-buy threads have been so helpful and I know this one will too.

FirstTimertoDiz
01-21-2008, 09:49 PM
Just wanted to say hello to everyone, and give us a friendly bump in the process- thanks to the op for starting this thread- I will need this thread as I work my way to financial freedom!

becca-becca: are you excited for february so you can get started? I know once I decided to get started, I wanted everything done TODAY, lol. I have to keep reminding myself that it will take time.

lttlmc3: good for you on getting that cc down before hubby leaves for training- it sounds like you have a good plan! I am sure it won't be easy when DH leaves for training, so having some peace of mind on your finances will hopefully go a long way in reducing some of the stress for you! :grouphug:

npmommie: haha, Dave Ramsey is a good motivator, isn't he? I must say that the roles in my house are sort of reversed- I am more motivated in this process than dh at the moment, but I think once things get rolling, the excitement will catch on. Good reminders about using coupons- something I always seem to forget for some reason! :confused3

crazelion: Isn't it great when those minimum payments start dropping? You can see the progress- that is awesome that you are paying extra each month- it takes a lot of discipline! :worship:

StephMK: Wow, sounds like you have a great start! You have a goal, and you have plans on how to get there- I think that is half the battle right there! I have also been trying to decide if I should return FT to work (currently PT), but with my son still in daycare/preschool, the costs for child care would offset my extra income, so I may have to get more creative.

Disneyoverload42: A couple years in already! AWESOME for you! Has it been hard to keep your motivation this long? I am sure it is a great feeling to look back at where you were and see how far you've come.....and you will have that DVC in no time! :banana:

Tinker'n'Fun: another person who is already taking steps in the right direction- good for you! It sounds like you have cut where you are able, and that is not always easy to do. As far as your possible trip, it is a tough decision, I am sure. Maybe talk it over with your family and take a vote? I know we are trying to get out of debt, but seeing your daughter dance at Disney is priceless!

happygirl: Welcome! Can't wait to hear updates on how that savings account is coming along!

NikiM20- eliminating 2 cc's already! You are well on your way- and just think of that DVC reward you can get at the end of your journey!

reginaastralis- I love your goals! You have a set dollar amount to achieve, and as long as you keep those goals in mind, I think you will do really well! We are also working on that emergency fund, and our goals are similar to yours- we can keep each other going this year! Good luck!

minnie1928: I think it is great that you are thinking ahead with all of the changes that are coming up for your family. I am sure you will have enough stress to deal with during relocating, so having some money in the bank beforehand to cover those "unexpecteds" will hopefully help alleviate some of that for you. Btw, I grew up in York, PA!! I graduated from Central York, and most of my family is still there. Where are you moving to?

34Angels- wow, how good will it feel to have all of that paid off by October??? You are going to have a great time in Disney knowing that you don't have that debt hanging over you!


Ok, I hope I got everyone.....I had a tough day today, looking at all the sales circulars. It has been so cold here lately that I keep feeling like I just want to go to the mall and go shopping just to get out of the house. Instead, I have been working on little projects around the house to keep my pennies in the bank, lol. I opened up a savings account for my son over the weekend, and so we have been talking about the importance of saving money (he is 4.) I feel kind of hypocritical telling him advice, because I am not doing too well in this department myself, but I am hoping to keep him from making the same money-management mistakes I have made.

Today, I set up a spreadsheet of all my payments for the next 4 years to show all my debt snowball, and how it will decrease my payments. I thought if I have something I can look at all the time, it will help keep me on track!

rmjkharrisfam
01-21-2008, 10:37 PM
I'm in for this one. We are also working on paying off debt this year. Both DH and I have read Dave's book and, like some of you, decided on a modified plan. We "offically" started in Jan and this month paid off DH's student loan. Now it's on to his car and then our snowball will be rolling :)

I did a spreadsheet to with all of our payments to see how long it will take to pay off....I like updating it every month to see how fast things can drop. LOTS of sacrifice now but we also want to be DVC members when we're done. AND we want to pay for it in CASH!!!!!! That's a ways off but it's good to have a goal!

caa1277
01-22-2008, 06:43 AM
I thought I would just drop in and provide some positive encouragement!!

DW and I are debt free except for our house!!! :banana: :banana: :banana:

It is possible to do people!!! Just stay focused and positive.

We payed off both cars back in September when we sold our house. We have 1 credit card (Disney Visa) and charge stuff to that and turn right around after a couple of days and pay it off. We do this just so we can earn the disney reward dollars!

And if you have kids, you HAVE to learn the word NO!!

Good luck everyone with your endevours and I know that all of you will eventually be debt free!! :woohoo:

alicenwonder99
01-22-2008, 06:43 AM
Hi everyone!

Glad to see so many other people ready to get rid of their debt!

The kids and I started talking about WDW last night. I know that's a bad sign...once we start talking about it, I start planning!! Even though I always make our trips cheap, I really should hold off on a Disney trip for at least 12 more months (or longer). It's going to be hard.

I need to call my cc company today and ask about lowering my interest rate.

Also, dh and I STILL don't know how much our 2008 raises are. My boss usually doesn't say anything, and you just have to wait until payday to find out. I don't expect more than 2-3%. :mad: So, I'll find out next week on the 30th.

I'm REALLY, REALLY hoping dh gets a huge raise. He says we can't count on it, so I'm not. But it would so nice if he got a nice increase. My dh has to have his review still. So, his raise will be retro. Who knows how long before his supervisor gets around to giving him his review.

I've also been following the "NO BUY" threads. Yesterday, I had to run to KMart for some stuff. They had socks on clearance for 60 cents. I thought I was doing good only picking up one pair. As I'm standing in line at the check-out, I looked at the ugly socks and thought I didn't need them, they were ugly, and I have a whole drawer full of socks. I put them down and didn't buy them. Who cares if they were only 60 cents! I really have to change my way of thinking. I used to be so frugal (dh says cheap), and I need to get back to that.

alicenwonder99
01-22-2008, 06:50 AM
I thought I would just drop in and provide some positive encouragement!!

DW and I are debt free except for our house!!! :banana: :banana: :banana:

It is possible to do people!!! Just stay focused and positive.

We payed off both cars back in September when we sold our house. We have 1 credit card (Disney Visa) and charge stuff to that and turn right around after a couple of days and pay it off. We do this just so we can earn the disney reward dollars!

And if you have kids, you HAVE to learn the word NO!!

Good luck everyone with your endevours and I know that all of you will eventually be debt free!! :woohoo:


Great job being debt free!! Have you always been frugal (or careful), or did you have to change your ways?

About saying no to the kids: yesterday we were shopping and my dd9 was BEGGING for another webkinz. She already has 2, she's not deprived of anything, and she has around $30 at home. I was strong and told her no, but she could use her own money. She's very careful with her money, and she won't spend it friviously. My ds7 on the other hand...oh boy!!! He will think nothing of bringing his $10 into the arcade and spending it in 5 minutes.

I stopped giving the kids' allowances because ds7 isn't responsible enough with it. He loses it, he gives it to his friends, etc. I think I'll start up with dd9 again with the allowance, and maybe wait until ds7 is a little bit older.

caa1277
01-22-2008, 07:01 AM
Great job being debt free!! Have you always been frugal (or careful), or did you have to change your ways?

About saying no to the kids: yesterday we were shopping and my dd9 was BEGGING for another webkinz. She already has 2, she's not deprived of anything, and she has around $30 at home. I was strong and told her no, but she could use her own money. She's very careful with her money, and she won't spend it friviously. My ds7 on the other hand...oh boy!!! He will think nothing of bringing his $10 into the arcade and spending it in 5 minutes.

I stopped giving the kids' allowances because ds7 isn't responsible enough with it. He loses it, he gives it to his friends, etc. I think I'll start up with dd9 again with the allowance, and maybe wait until ds7 is a little bit older.

I have been cheap since I got married and bought my own house. DW hates when I go shopping with her for anything because I always tell her to buy the "cheap stuff"!! :rotfl:

DW doesn't like my ways necessarily, but I always remind her of where "my ways" got us......DEBT FREE!!!!!!!!!

Instead of just giving your kids an "allowance", make them "work" for the money. Start a chore list and a payment for each job. They do the job, they get paid. They don't do the job, they don't get paid. You wouldn't believe how much more responsible they will be!

karinbelle
01-22-2008, 08:19 AM
Ok, I hope I got everyone.....I had a tough day today, looking at all the sales circulars. It has been so cold here lately that I keep feeling like I just want to go to the mall and go shopping just to get out of the house. Instead, I have been working on little projects around the house to keep my pennies in the bank, lol. I opened up a savings account for my son over the weekend, and so we have been talking about the importance of saving money (he is 4.) I feel kind of hypocritical telling him advice, because I am not doing too well in this department myself, but I am hoping to keep him from making the same money-management mistakes I have made.

Today, I set up a spreadsheet of all my payments for the next 4 years to show all my debt snowball, and how it will decrease my payments. I thought if I have something I can look at all the time, it will help keep me on track!


Good for you! I also have the problem of just wanting to go to the mall. There's a million little things to do at the house - closets to clean, projects to start or finish, photos to organize, etc. - that I can do to keep myself interested. I just love to shop and a bargain makes my day (I'm talkin' the 75% off bargains - Just got DS a sweatshirt and sweat pants, myself a fleece top, DD a zip up hoodie, two shirts and two pair of socks for $21.XX at Old Navy - used a $20 GC DH brought home from a Christmas promotion.

Tell me, DH bought me a jacket like one he has and loves, but I don't think it fits me right. It was expensive (over $100). Should I return it, or just let it sit in the closet? He says take it back, but I feel like I should keep it because he picked it out. If I buy him something he doesn't like, he just puts it in the closet forever.

minnie1928
01-22-2008, 01:19 PM
minnie1928: I think it is great that you are thinking ahead with all of the changes that are coming up for your family. I am sure you will have enough stress to deal with during relocating, so having some money in the bank beforehand to cover those "unexpecteds" will hopefully help alleviate some of that for you. Btw, I grew up in York, PA!! I graduated from Central York, and most of my family is still there. Where are you moving to?

We live in York Township, I grew up in Dover. We are tentatively looking at the Orange County area of New York, about an hour west of NYC I think. It's gonna be a real change for us, the only time we leave York is to go to WDW!
:laughing:

tinaluis
01-22-2008, 02:21 PM
We are SOOO in on this! DH and I have taken the aggressive step of almost doubling our mortgage payment so we can pay off our house in 3.8 years. We don't get a tax deduction on the interest anymore and having the payment drives me nuts. We went through a lean spell recently and I kept thinking how much easier life would be if we didn't have the mortgage. I vowed then that we'd continue to live lean (even when our situation improved) until the mortgage was gone. Hopefully I'll be reporting back in October, 2011 that our mortgage is paid off!!!!

This thread is very encouraging!

Deffenm
01-22-2008, 02:37 PM
DH and I are on a mission to become debt free this year (other then house). My SUV is scheduled to be paid for in Sept. DH SUV is already paid for. His truck is actually over 10 years old so we are going to buy a used car for me with our tax return and he is going to use my SUV. So we will have no car payments this year. :cool1: My SUV hogs a lot of gas and since DH is a SAHD he is getting the big beast and I am going drive a small economical car.

I have already paid off 2 of DH's doctor bills from his ACL/Meniscus surgery. I only have 1 left to go. After that is paid off we will work on our one credit card, and then my student loan.

I love hearing about people who have been able to get out of debt. :worship:

mommyof3grlz
01-22-2008, 04:05 PM
We too are trying to get out of debt. This thread is very inspiring.

alicenwonder99
01-22-2008, 04:59 PM
Well, bad news & good news.

Bad news: I called my cc company and the "best" they could do was 23.99%!!! I told them that was crazy. I think I'll start looking through those intro offers I get in the mail and do a balance transfer.

Good news: I called the gas company and complained about my high gas bill last month of $400. The woman said it definitely didn't seem right. I usually keep our thermostat set at 62 during the day, and 58 at night. Since the high gas bill last month, I've been setting the thermostat at 58-60 during the day, and even lower at night. Anyway, she is sending someone out this week to check our meter. Our winter bill is usually under $200 a month.

Robert 31320
01-22-2008, 05:43 PM
We're in! We won't be debt-free this year but it will be drastically REDUCED!!! By the end of 2009 we'll be there!

dkostel
01-22-2008, 05:59 PM
I'm so in. I'll at least be credit card debt free this year. I was starting in Nov but then was hit with almost $10K between vet bills and a new furnace/ac. ARGHH. But even so the CC debt will be gone in 08. Then car in early 09. Want to buy DVC as well.

jwann
01-22-2008, 07:41 PM
We are in!
Car loan
Mortgage
That's what we got to pay off.
Thus - no Disney Trip this year :sad2:
My boys are already noticing that we aren't going out to eat.
When we are debt free, I'm going to quit my part time job!

roselark
01-22-2008, 08:01 PM
I am so in! My goal is to pay off all the credit cards this year. I am starting with the highest interest cards first and working my way down. I will be able to pay off at least 2 and possibly a third with a combination of our tax return and yearly bonuses. Then the monthly amount I have budgeted for those will be moved to the next card on the list until that one is paid off...and on down the line.

I have convinced my DH to put off redoing the bathrooms until next year (even though they really need work) since it will be much easier to pay for if we don't have all the CC payments. Also, we really HAVE to stop eating out. It is amazing how fast the "I'm too tired to cook, lets just grab something on the way home" statements add to that bottom line.

momtostitchandbuzz
01-22-2008, 08:52 PM
I just wrote an entire post here, but my internet cut out and I lost it all:headache:.
Anyways, Count me in on trying to reduce debt. My husband and I just recently decided to seriously start reducing our debt. We have a car loan, two school loans, and our mortgage. Our first goal is to pay off the car, and then snowball it from there. Anyways, as tough as it has been sacrificing this month, I am still so excited to get out of debt. This board is just helping to give me an extra boost to get through cutting back.:goodvibes

Karenj2
01-22-2008, 09:17 PM
I'd like to join - we are going to be paying off our car this year, and we're actually working on trying to sell our house so we can move into a smaller house. (1 - we don't need the house size since we haven't had kids, and 2 - we could use a smaller mortgage since we're earning a lot less than we did 4 years ago.)

We don't have any CC balances, but I'd like to keep it that way. We'd also like to add to our 401(k)s, and create additional savings accounts so that we won't feel guilty when we spend money on "unecessary" things.

So, hopefully we can inspire each other!!

Chris
01-22-2008, 11:03 PM
OK I'm joining in too! I won't be out of debt this year, or even next but eventually! :) This is a very inspirational thread, hopefully it will stay alive!! :)

isyt
01-23-2008, 07:54 AM
I am not into decreasing but this years theme is increasing for us. As of Dec 31 I did pay off all the cc. I was thrilled and still dancing. We are now debt free(except mortgage). Now I need to increase college savings and ef. I did reduce our interest rate on the mortgage but increased the payment. That will take a while but I am focused. My in laws just asked to go to Disney with us in May and they are going to pay for the air, I am really excited about that since we were going to drive !!

If U Had Wings
01-23-2008, 10:17 AM
I'm in as well. I started a modified DR plan myself this year. (I just can't bring myself to stop my 401K contributions). I got off to a rough start this month, when I received a letter from my mortgage lender that my escrow account has a negative balance (due to skyrocketing property taxes) and I now either owe them $375 or my monthly payment goes up $40. Ugh!

I am determined to knock out as much cc debt as possible this year, and then move on to my car. When I sat down to make a budget for myself I realized that my biggest problem is my transportation expenses. (My monthly train ticket, car payment, car insurance costs, and gas total more than my mortgage and condo fees). I've grudgingly started looking for a new job closer to my home so I can eliminate the pricey train ticket. I hate doing it though, and it's been depressing me a bit. I keep telling myself that being out of debt will make it all worth while.

My goal is to buy DVC at the end of all this. Not a huge contract, but a small one - resale- that will let me go to Disney every other year or so.

FirstTimertoDiz
01-23-2008, 09:24 PM
It sounds like everyone is on the right track, and doing well! I was thinking maybe we could post some sort of a goal list somewhere so we could easily check and see where everyone is at? That way we can cheer and/or encourage each other as needed by looking at where they are on their goal list....I don't know if that is even possible to set up, but just a thought I had.


As for me, good news is, I haven't really spent anything the past couple days, but that will change tomorrow when our heating oil delivery comes....I don't even want to see that bill! The bad news is that the reason I haven't been spending anything is because I have been sick. I don't really know what it is yet, but my doctor seems to think it may be gallstones, so I have to go tomorrow morning to the hospital for an ultrasound. Of course all of this has to happen now- I have been on Clomid for 4 months because we are ttc #2, but that could be on hold depending on what is going on with me. ugh, I am in desperate need of sunshine and warm weather- being cooped up and not feeling well is making me depressed! :guilty: Ok, pity party is officially over, and I must say that reading the stories of the people on this thread that have already been through the process of getting debt free is very inspirational! Thanks for sharing!

Jen_in_NH
01-23-2008, 10:31 PM
I'm in!

I know there is no way we'll be debt free this year, but I'm hoping to put agood dent into it. I'm just looking to pay down the credit cards this year, and then move on to the car payment. The student loans are consolidated at 3.5%, so I'm not in a huge rush to get them paid off.

We just finished installing our woodstove, so that seems to be helping with the oil bill. I need to call about lowering our car and homeowners insurance, as well as lowering CC interest. I just started a new PT job, so I'm taking home an extra $80-100/wk.

You all have some great ideas! Hopefully some of them will rub off on me.

Jen

alicenwonder99
01-24-2008, 05:53 AM
The more I think of my cc company (Bank of America) not lowering my interest rate, the more mad I'm getting! :mad: I've already saved a balance transfer code for 3.99% of the life of the "loan" to my Chase card. I really hate switching my balances around too much. It just seems to get me deeper in debt for some reason. But I think the difference between 23.99% and 3.99% is too huge to pass up.

I also contacted my mortgage broker to see about a refinance. I told him I will either want to add my 2nd mortgage into it, or get some cash out to pay off some (well, at least the high interest) cc debt. He's getting my house appraised so I'll find out today. We moved into this house over 2 1/2 years ago, and we already have about $100,000 equity. I'm not sure getting cash out to pay off cc debt from my refinance is a good way to go. It sure seems like a quick fix to get this high interest debt gone. But it really is just moving debt around. I just have to come up with a plan and STICK TO IT.

I watched the documentary Maxed Out last night. WOW! It just really made me madder about all of this evil debt. Dave Ramsey is also in it. I checked it out from the library. If you haven't seen it yet, make sure you do!

Heluvsme
01-24-2008, 07:42 AM
We're on the 2nd year of our 3 year plan. This year, by July, we will have written out $30,000 in checks to pay down our debt. It's really hard to even write that, I'm ashamed we let it get that bad, but on the flip side, I'm proud that we're able to pay it down ourselves. We didn't get any help, just something we'd been waiting for the right time for. We had to wait for some stock options to gain, we had to wait for a couple loans to be paid off, and now, by this time next year, we'll be out of debt except for our home loan, which we refinanced and is now down to $893/mo. We stick very close to a yearly budget, food, clothing, even down to the last $10 is budgeted. We have a small safety net in our savings if there is an emergency, and hopefully there won't be one.

It's hard, it's not something that's easy to talk about with people, and even though we may think we had a really valid reason (son diagnosed with a disability and me not working to stay at home with him and us paying OOP for all of his therapy since it's not covered by insurance), to a lot of people, they just hear the dollar amount of your debt and immediately jump to judgement.

Debt, it feels like you're swimming in peanut butter doesn't it??:scared:

lttlmc3
01-24-2008, 12:35 PM
bump!

smiller
01-24-2008, 12:41 PM
Count me in! :thumbsup2

#1 Goal: no new debt
#2 Goal: reduce current debt

I've got the small emergency fund (and add $10/wk), I'm using my envelopes for all discretionary spending, I pay all my bills on time, I'm putting almost 10% gross in my Roth IRA, and I've added $50 to the minimum payment on my smallest bill.

I'm finally starting to feel that I'm moving forward and not backward with my budget. :banana:

Here's to snowballing! :wizard:

problemchild718
01-24-2008, 12:50 PM
I'm in too! We have paid off the cc and vowed not to use them unless a true emergency. (we just had our 2nd cash Christmas-no cc!) We need to pay off a car and get our emergency fund padded. Then worry about college bills that will be coming soon ad another child for braces.
I just feel like it will never end....

lttlmc3
01-24-2008, 01:24 PM
Now, what kinds of things can we all do to reduce our debt?

Illuminations_Rocks
01-24-2008, 01:35 PM
You are all inspiring! I have a large student loan debt I'm going to try to pay down. I've been making rather large payments for the past few months (I just graduated a year ago) since I've had a good job, so I hope that in 2 more years I can eliminate it. I'm thinking it'll probably be 3 more, but hey, that beats the 25 years I have to pay it back! I have already paid off my accumulated interest and that just felt soooo good.

Other than that I don't have debt. I pay off my CC in full each month and really only use it when I buy something off the internet or stay at a hotel - I am just leery of them having my bank info on my debit cards. I am still using the car my parents bought me when I was in college, and hopefully it'll last a few more years.

DF and I are getting married at the end of August. So we'll be spending a lot on our honeymoon to WDW. This is something we've both earned and are saving for; I told him we weren't allowed to go since our trip last January 2007 until our honeymoon so we could save money. He is a major Disney junkie. Living in CA though we did go to Disneyland a few times - but we live less than 3 hours away. The most expensive trip we took there was when we got engaged and we even had an AP discount on the DLH.

We're also going to be moving next month to Columbus. Housing is a lot cheaper there than here in Bakersfield, but we think our utilities are bound to go up since the weather here isn't too extreme (well except for the heat in the summer but we were at work during the day and the cat didn't mind it being 78 in our apartment). Hopefully we are slightly better off there. Well, no matter what we will be, he got a nice raise with his promotion. While I'll have to take a small paycut (we pay by cost of labor in my company), I just got a raise, so all in all it'll be like a 1-3% difference - the big difference being I don't get overtime pay in Ohio while I do here in Cali.

DF has no debt but also has no credit. I want him to get some credit so my good score isn't the only thing carrying us.... Any ideas? My only thought is for him to get a credit card, it'll have an annual fee and I'm sure start up fees, but is this a good start? He'd also pay it off in full each month, of course. A car loan is out of the question for him; he doesn't drive. Our utilities, except for cable, are in his name, but this doesn't do anything does it?

I can't wait to keep reducing!

smiller
01-24-2008, 02:21 PM
Now, what kinds of things can we all do to reduce our debt?

I made a deal with myself that any extra money I earn, from odd jobs I sometimes get asked to do, half goes to debt reduction and half goes to fun money. That way, I'm motived to work extra when I can! Who doesn't like fun money AND what's funner than reducing your debt? It's a definite win-win. :cool1:

I also use envelopes for EVERYTHING to stick within my budget. It really helps me appreciate what I have and what I can afford, and makes me realize all that junk that I really don't need! :goodvibes

I'm very thankful for the CVS threads and No Buy threads here on the BB, too! :banana:

Heluvsme
01-24-2008, 03:37 PM
The little things we do are really that---little! But they really can add up! For instance, I turn off all lights when they're not being used. I put my computer to "sleep" when it's not being used.

I buy store brand at the grocery store, that saves a LOT. Also, I get the rewards from shopping at Kroger, so I save $.10 a gallon on their gas.

I stopped the newspaper.

I cook in the crock pot a lot, we can get several meals out of one pot....tonight is chili, $4.70 total, we'll eat it for 3 nights.

I pay all my bills on time to avoid late payments.

I've turned my thermostat to 63 and only turned it up on about 4 or 5 occasions in the past month.

I use a lot of baking soda instead of buying expensive cleaners. It also makes cheap kitty litter better!!

We eat in season. If it's not strawberry season, I don't buy them...too expensive.

I can't wait to read the other ideas, great topic!!!

lttlmc3
01-24-2008, 04:46 PM
When my husband leaves for his training, I'm going to have a lot more opportunities to save money and pay more debt off. He leaves February 9th. I plan on getting only food on sale and keeping the heat on only on a limited setting. Plus, we won't be buying food for two, or buying gas for two vehicles and things like that. I plan to go without a lot so that we will have a lot of the debt paid off when he comes home. That's my goal!

momtostitchandbuzz
01-24-2008, 04:56 PM
Little things I have been doing to help have a little extra money to get rid of debt include:

*Getting rid of my Entertainment Weekly subscription

*We stopped receiving the paper

*I picked up a extra shift at work.....still trying to talk myself into picking up a couple of more, I know one isn't going to help much, but I hate being away from my kids more than I have to

minnie1928
01-24-2008, 05:14 PM
DF has no debt but also has no credit. I want him to get some credit so my good score isn't the only thing carrying us.... Any ideas? My only thought is for him to get a credit card, it'll have an annual fee and I'm sure start up fees, but is this a good start? He'd also pay it off in full each month, of course. A car loan is out of the question for him; he doesn't drive. Our utilities, except for cable, are in his name, but this doesn't do anything does it?

I can't wait to keep reducing!

Verizon used to report to the credit bureaus, I'm not sure if they still do. A credit card is probably your best shot. If you want to get one at a low cost, try a store card.

minnie1928
01-24-2008, 05:19 PM
When my husband leaves for his training, I'm going to have a lot more opportunities to save money and pay more debt off. He leaves February 9th. I plan on getting only food on sale and keeping the heat on only on a limited setting. Plus, we won't be buying food for two, or buying gas for two vehicles and things like that. I plan to go without a lot so that we will have a lot of the debt paid off when he comes home. That's my goal!

That sounds like me! DH was recently promoted and we'll be relocating once school is over. So, for right now it's just me and the kids during the week and he's home on the weekends. The kids and I can tolerate setting the heat lower and our food bills should be lower. All the savings will go be put aside in anticipation of our move. Once we get past that, then I'll get back on track and pay down/off our DVC.

FirstTimertoDiz
01-25-2008, 01:49 PM
bump :mickeyjum

smiller
01-25-2008, 02:35 PM
I paid my Disney Visa in full today (well, scheduled the payment at least! :rotfl2: you know how it is online), which I do every month so the rewards are actually worth it.

Didn't reduce current debt but sure kept new debt from accumulating! :thumbsup2

hhartill
01-25-2008, 02:44 PM
You are all so inspiring, since the first of the year my family and I have been living on a budget and doing the debt snowball. My husband gets big end of the month checks so this has been a hard January! It's cold here! It's nice to read that we are not the only ones.

We should be debt free by our next trip to DW in Dec/08. It will be nice to see the parks without dragging all that debt with us.

As you can see...I'm new at this....did I do it right?

tmarquez
01-25-2008, 02:55 PM
Count me in too!

I haven't officially started yet, but next month my car will be paid off...so I will have extra money each month from that to pay off other things. Mainly I want to pay off the credit cards and start paying DH's truck as far down as we can.

I was wondering what you guys are doing in terms of the "emergency fund". Are you saving a set %, enough to live off for a couple of months...? I need to start there and will be using our tax refund as well as some money my mom is paying us back when she gets her tax refund.

In addition to the extra money from my payed off car, in May my stepson turns 18 so his child support will be over (although he will be going to college, so that may end up costing us more), and my DD starts public kindergarten in August (that's $400+ in our pockets each month due to no daycare). So hopefully we can really most things payed off this year.

I haven't read any of the books mentioned, but will go to the library tomorrow to see what i can find.

tinkryansmom
01-25-2008, 03:19 PM
DF has no debt but also has no credit. I want him to get some credit so my good score isn't the only thing carrying us.... Any ideas?


Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! And your move! It is an exciting time for you to be sure.

My advice on the no credit issue is to have DF get a secured credit card. He would open an account, think like a CD, it would earn good interest, and then that amount would be his credit limit. So in reality he is using his own money but it works like a credit card.

I had one after I ran up debt after college and it help re-establish my credit quickly.

MsLeFever
01-25-2008, 03:37 PM
I'm in! My DH and I have been doing some serious talking about our debt. We are both picking up one-time extra jobs because without extra income this debt just wasn't going away.

Our interest rates are high and it was frustrating to see even a large payment get eaten up in interest. We have 3 credit cards. We are paying off the Disney VISA in Feb!! (those extra jobs are paying off)

Then we have decided to take out a loan from my retirement (we aren't anywhere close to actually retiring) to pay off the rest of the CCs. The retirement "loan" (it is really your own money so it doesn't show as a loan on a credit report) will "charge" 6.5 percent - but that interest just goes back into my retirement so we will be paying the interest to ourselves. All of this means that our large CC balances will be zero as of March and the actual debt will be gone in 3 years!

The "extra" will be put aside for a downpayment on a house - and to give us a cushion so that the next time a car need $1000 worth or work we just have it!!

Good Work and Good Luck to all of us!
Barbara

Already told the kids that unless we really get a bunch of extra work that no WDW this summer - but that will mean a better (cash only) trip in a year or 2!

Chicago526
01-25-2008, 03:52 PM
DH and I will continue our debt pay down, we started in earnest in '06. We have three years left and then we'll be car and consumer debt free, assuming nothing major happens in the meantime. Actually, we may not be car debt free, it's two more years to pay of DH's truck but by then we'll be looking to replace my 10 year old (by then 12 year old!) Saturn. If it's still in good shape in two years, we'll bank the old truck payments until it dies and have a good down payment for a replacement, but I doubt we'll be able to pay in full for something. Oh well, we'll also be CC debt free so I won't mind a small and short car payment!

4fosterkids
01-25-2008, 06:15 PM
I caught the tail end of an interesting segment regarding Bank ATM & check cards. The guy recommended not using anything linked to your bank account because the banks are getting so tricky with all their fee's and rules. So many ppl are having problems with fee's because the banks are dragging their feet with your deposits, yet putting charges & checks thru first in order to throw the account into trouble...thus tacking on numerous fee's to cover it.
The book was called Gotcha Capitalism and he had tons of comments on all those stupid little fee's on your phone bills, cable bills etc.
Anybody heard of this idea, or this book before?

rmjkharrisfam
01-25-2008, 09:43 PM
That just happened to me...I was checking my account balance online a few minutes ago and I noticed 2..yep 2!!!!! overdraft fees. That's $64!!!! And I deposited money the same day..so the check tried to clear first and then the deposit hit. If the would add up the activity for the day my account was fine but for some reason I was still charged twice. I'll be calling on that one tomorrow morning.

FirstTimertoDiz
01-28-2008, 01:54 PM
Giving us a little bump-

I am having a rough day today; I had to take money out a personal service loan that we have to pay for our heating oil delivery last week. We just had a bunch of unexpected bills this month that popped up- how frustrating. I am only about 300 in towards getting my emergency fund filled, so I feel like this is a huge step in the wrong direction. I want to be reducing debt, not adding to it! :headache:

Tinker'n'Fun
01-28-2008, 02:11 PM
Giving us a little bump-

I am having a rough day today; I had to take money out a personal service loan that we have to pay for our heating oil delivery last week. We just had a bunch of unexpected bills this month that popped up- how frustrating. I am only about 300 in towards getting my emergency fund filled, so I feel like this is a huge step in the wrong direction. I want to be reducing debt, not adding to it! :headache:

Don't be to hard on yourself. I know the feeling. This month has been a killer for us. I am going to do minimum payments for this month. I know it is not what I planned but the upside it they are getting paid. Plus we don't even have enough to start an emergency fund yet. Savings is also still just a dream. But I know we are heading in the right direction. So I think you should treat yourself to a nice cold ice water with lemon:thumbsup2, watch a previously purchased comedy of your choice and sit in your warmest comfy pj's and just turn the heat down a bit!

FirstTimertoDiz
01-28-2008, 05:49 PM
So I think you should treat yourself to a nice cold ice water with lemon:thumbsup2, watch a previously purchased comedy of your choice and sit in your warmest comfy pj's and just turn the heat down a bit!

Lol, thanks for the post, that made me laugh. I know I shouldn't be too hard on myself, but sometimes I feel as though I am just treading water, you know? And lately, it seems like I am holding bricks while doing so....I feel like I am sinking! :rotfl: Seriously though, I know I have a plan, and I am trying really hard, so that should be what counts.

We had yet another setback today; I missed 2 days of work last week due to some gallbladder issues, and my son was sick, recovering from a nasty ear infection. :sick: Well, yesterday he complained of a sore throat, so we schlepped again to the dr's office- (I feel like I should rent a room there between the 3 of us!)- now he has strep! Ugh, so there are more dr bills and medicines.

I know it will get better, but I am frustrated at the moment.....and thanks to this thread, I can vent! Gotta love the DIS! :woohoo:

minnie1928
01-28-2008, 08:02 PM
Lol, thanks for the post, that made me laugh. I know I shouldn't be too hard on myself, but sometimes I feel as though I am just treading water, you know? And lately, it seems like I am holding bricks while doing so....I feel like I am sinking! :rotfl: Seriously though, I know I have a plan, and I am trying really hard, so that should be what counts.

We had yet another setback today; I missed 2 days of work last week due to some gallbladder issues, and my son was sick, recovering from a nasty ear infection. :sick: Well, yesterday he complained of a sore throat, so we schlepped again to the dr's office- (I feel like I should rent a room there between the 3 of us!)- now he has strep! Ugh, so there are more dr bills and medicines.

I know it will get better, but I am frustrated at the moment.....and thanks to this thread, I can vent! Gotta love the DIS! :woohoo:

The unexpected is what will get you every time! Do you get the sunday paper? Lately our local paper has had pharmacy coupons for both Target and Rite Aid to get gift cards by getting a new/transferred prescription filled there. I often cut these out and throw them in my purse, you never know when a prescription will pop up out of no where.

To make you feel better, let me tell you about my coworker. A few weeks ago she was told that her furnace could no longer be repaired (cha-ching!). Then a few days later her hot water heater died. A week and a half ago she slid on ice and wrecked her car (thankfully no one was hurt). Then today when I arrived at work I saw that a police car was behind her issuing her a ticket. So, when you think it couldn't get worse...be glad you aren't having a month like her!

FirstTimertoDiz
01-28-2008, 10:10 PM
To make you feel better, let me tell you about my coworker. A few weeks ago she was told that her furnace could no longer be repaired (cha-ching!). Then a few days later her hot water heater died. A week and a half ago she slid on ice and wrecked her car (thankfully no one was hurt). Then today when I arrived at work I saw that a police car was behind her issuing her a ticket. So, when you think it couldn't get worse...be glad you aren't having a month like her!


Thank you for the reminder- I know I am just feeling sorry for myself the past couple days and it will pass, but it is always good to be reminded that there are other people that have it worse than we do. I was just thinking about that tonight actually; I have just been down because we have been trying to have another baby now for about 3 years, and not having any luck. I am just finishing my last round of Clomid, and got a bfn. So, every now and then I for some reason need to have a pity party for myself, when in reality I should be rejoicing in the fact that I have my ds- all the doctors told me we would never have him! :goodvibes He has been telling me lately that he wants a brother, and that is painful for me to hear because that is what I want more than anything.

This leads me back to the whole budget thing; part of the reason I decided to get serious about becoming debt free is because I think sometimes that maybe God doesn't want us to have another baby until we are financially stable enough for me to be able to afford to stay at home, at least for a little while. So, I am moving forward, stepping in faith that I will not only be debt free in five years, but that maybe there is another child in my future.

Boy oh boy do I ever feel like the drama queen. :lmao: I think I need spring to come soon- I need to be out in the warm sunshine to lift me outta the funk! :rotfl2:

Tinker'n'Fun
01-28-2008, 10:20 PM
DD has a sinus infection that they can't seem to clear up and our health insurance ends the end of the month and I need to find one and rebudget. So I feel your pain. Today DS came home and told me Friday night he has a formal dance and not to worry it is only $5.00.... Neglected to tell me I had to buy dress pants and a sport coat is required. (he is only 12 and we do not own these items). I am going to Goodwill and Salvation army when he is in school tomorrow. If I find something I will have to stretch the truth and not tell him where I purchased them. Wish me luck!

alicenwonder99
01-29-2008, 08:11 AM
Hi everyone!

I'm not having a good week, either.

First, I contacted the gas company to see if they gave me a wrong reading. NOPE! It was correct...$400 bill for last month!!

Then, my mortgage broker called me back...yes, my home has enough equity in it to refinance (combine first and second, and get a little cash back to pay off bills). HOWEVER, the rates went up again. I was about a 1/2 day too late! UGH!!!!! He said he will contact me the second the rates drop again and he'll lock us in.

I'm going to do our taxes today. Whatever our refund is will go towards our EF. I'm estimating it will be almost $1000.

My ds7 had his doctor appt yesterday and not good news. He's had major medical problems and many surgeries in 2007. We thought he was getting so much better, but the doctor thinks otherwise. Everyone is in a funk around here because of the bad news.

We're expecting a "winter storm watch" today. I hate the winter!!!!

Disneyoverload42
01-29-2008, 10:32 AM
Treading water here... my van is broken again but still drivable. I'm going to see if I can fix it myself to save some money. I almost gave in this weekend and said "forget it, let's just buy a new one" (DH's van was messed up too) but cooler heads prevailed (DH) and we got his up and running again. If I can get mine working even temporarily, we can hold out until March and buy a cheapo (under $4000) "new to us" van.

Missed 2 1/2 days of work last week because of a sick kid, now I'm missing another for different kid.

And to top it all off, I'm starting to obsess about CVS :rotfl2: I'm having nightmares about getting to the register only to find all my coupons are gone.

All in all, we had a $15 change in position this week (to the good) only $240,000 more to go. At this rate, it will only take us :teacher: 16,000 weeks or 307.7 years (not including interest) :guilty:

FirstTimertoDiz
01-29-2008, 10:39 AM
Oh my, it sounds like we could all use a break this week! Sorry to hear that everyone is having a rough time.

Tinker'n'fun: Hope your DD feels better soon- nothing makes a parent feel worse than to see your child sick. Good luck today finding a suit for ds' formal! Here's some pixie dust that you can find something! :wizard:

Alicenwonder99: Hugs to you and your family on news about ds. Hopefully it is nothing too serious- I will say a prayer for your family. :grouphug: I think it is great that you are taking the initiative to call the gas company and mortgage company. I'm sorry it didn't work out as well as you had hoped, but you are working so hard on getting out of debt that I know it will pay off in the end for you! I love your motivation! Oh, btw, I totally hear you on the winter storm thing- we had freezing rain overnight, and the roads were terrible this morning. We are getting another cold front in tomorrow, and bringing a "wintery mix" on Thurs/Fri. Ugh, is is spring yet?

FirstTimertoDiz
01-29-2008, 10:47 AM
Ok, with the weeks we are all having, maybe we need to go a "vacation".....post your "happy place" and we can visit each other, lol. :rotfl: Here's mine:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v36/dragontrainerL/DSC_0134.jpg

Oh, and maybe I'll bring a couple of these- and I will have plenty to share with all my Dis budget-busting friends! :lmao: :

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v36/dragontrainerL/untitled-1.jpg


Who's joining me???:woohoo:

rebecca06261
01-29-2008, 12:46 PM
Bumping

Count me in too! I'm going to be the first one of us to admit openly about how bad I've let things get. Me: Single, no kids, 32 with $38,811.00 personal debt :scared1: -including suv, cc, student loan, and a debt consolidation loan. I just saved $500.00 as baby-step #1 and have a buyer for the suv:banana: . This will reduce my debt to $22,311, but I will have to borrow $4000.00 to pay the loan balance on the suv & to pay for a cheap-o car (bringing my total debt back up to $26,311.) :guilty: I am budgeted to pay $1031.00 per month toward the debt snow-ball - but will have 2 cc paid in full within 7 months! Unfortunately, neither one of these cc will be my Disney Visa :sad2:

5fordisney
01-29-2008, 12:52 PM
I'm so glad to read everyone's posts! Not glad people are having bad weeks or loads of debt but glad to know I'm not alone! I've been feeling so down lately over our debt load and for some strange reason reading all these posts made me feel better. I know no one where I live who carries debt like we do so at times it can feel isolating. It's nice to know you are all there and in a similar boat! Plus, I love the encouragement to reduce debt, even if it's baby steps at a time!
We will not be debt free this year, nor probably next. I became a stay at home mom about 8 years ago on my husbands teacher's salary. We've been accumulating debt since then it seems. We seem to live in a cycle of paying off cc, racking them up again, etc. My husband has since become an administrator with a pay raise but we spend so much a month keeping up with minimum payments that things are tighter now than they were 8 years ago! I'm with the poster who said it's embarrassing to admit how much debt you carry. We have no savings account, live paycheck to paycheck essentially, and probably pay close to $1000 a month in debt payments, not including house or car. We live simply-
basic cable $13 a month
dial-up internet- free
1 basic cell-phone- $50 a month
no gym memberships, nails, newspaper subscriptions, etc.
Super wal-mart for everything, tight grocery budget
eat out rarely
etc, etc

I think in our situation we really could never afford to live on one income but it was such a priority to both of us that I be home that we always said the debt was worth it. And we always knew that eventually it would be gone when I finally went back to work but right now it just seems overwhelming! Even with debt, I feel blessed to have a wonderful family, healthy children, etc. but boy would I like the feeling of not being so in the hole!! :)

To the poster having fertility issues, I'm with you in thought. We've been down that road and it's not easy. We had the same "we should just be happy that we have a son" conversation in our heads many a time! Just hang on to the hope that God knows all and has an ultimate plan for you. I have no doubt that a second child in your future- just hang on a little longer!
Thanks for this thread! :goodvibes

ldb1030
01-29-2008, 01:27 PM
I know no one where I live who carries debt like we do so at times it can feel isolating.


Please don't think no one around you is living the same way! People don't talk about it that's why you think you don't know anyone but I bet you knows tons of people in the same situation! Alot of your friends are probably living on credit cards, paycheck to paycheck etc....it's a hard thing to admit/talk about but believe me, people you pass everyday are living the same way!

Good luck to you! :hug:

Heluvsme
01-29-2008, 03:36 PM
Rough week here too.

FirstTimertoDiz, thanks for the picture, I actually just stopped there for a moment and exhaled for like the first time in days.


We are snowballing too, it's going to take at least another 2 1/2 years, but it feels good to know we're finally getting things in order.

This time of year brings me down, regardless of our financial situation....the winter blah's.

Thanks everyone for so freely posting, it helps to know we're not alone.

n3rf
01-29-2008, 03:37 PM
wow great love this topic since this is something the DW and I have been talking about for about 3 weeks and we live in CA which means left-over income after the regular needs are met is not great,

First we talked about getting into one of those free programs (any recmmendations would be great) that help reduce dept (around 17000.00 in debt atm) have 2 car payments + insurance will be done with one in February :thumbsup2 which will allow to reduce our all out debt which are, cc's, school loan (around 9000 left) and other misc debt that we have.... hoping this year i can reduce it by atleast half and improve my credit score as well.

JoanneNC
01-29-2008, 03:59 PM
DH and I started a "real" budget Nov 2006 and since then we have
Paid off our 2005 SUV (about 20k)
Paid off $35 in CC debt
Sold a house and bought a newer house with the proceeds

Found our problem areas
1. FOOD - oh my eating out is insane
2. WALMART - I swear that place is evil and the most expensive food store when you consider the non-food items you buy
3. Extra's- prem cable movie channels - large cell phone minutes, etc

While I still increased my mortgage quit a bit - we have extra money each month with the CC and Car debt gone.

My 2008 Goals

1. Max out each of our Roth IRA's
2. Double our 401k contributions
3. Build our EF (man cash burns a hole for us..lol)
4. Still enjoy life

Good luck everyone

DMickey28
01-29-2008, 04:02 PM
Can I join? We need to start reducing our debt. We made a huge mistake in the fall by getting two new credit cards because our credit got so much better over the last few years. Well of course both of those are now maxed out. So that's another $4500 we just added to our debt.

I haven't read any of those books or follow any sort of budget. I know that's why we haven't been able to get ahead it for the last few years with all our 'trying'. So what do you all recommend? We have 6 credit cards, two joint and then our seperate ones from before we were married. Our total credit card debt is around $8100. We are making double the minimal payments on all fo them for now. All except the news ones have crazy interest rates. We have student loans as well but those are the least of my concern because they are so low interest.

We need to get our credit up even higher now and start saving up money to buy a house as well. DH works a job that gives him bonuses and commissions throughout the year. We need to work very hard at doing the 'right' thing with them instead of buying something for the reward of hard work.

So I am in ... :-)

barbarabini
01-29-2008, 04:09 PM
Im in on this -- what i've done so far:

1. Cancelled the NYT and Star ledger and local paper subscription. Been checkin it online.
2. Got a handle on food costs and eating out. Eating out killed our budget.
3. Make a weekly menu an stick to it.
4. Transferred most balances to 0% card

Now, onto the hard part actually reducing the debts.

maxiesmom
01-29-2008, 04:15 PM
I want to join in!:)

I'm having a good day today. I got my income tax back ($929) and immediately used it to pay off my Sears Card:banana: Now I just gotta find the scissors!

Plus I spent the day yesterday figuring out where I can cut, and found 1 good spot. My cell-phone contract expires in April, so I am going back to a pay as you go phone. That will save me almost $50 a month. And I realized that I only have 4 more car payments to make!:yay: So that will be another $216.18 a month I will have.

I am always looking for more great ideas. Keep em coming!

rebecca06261
01-29-2008, 05:19 PM
Can I join? We need to start reducing our debt. We made a huge mistake in the fall by getting two new credit cards because our credit got so much better over the last few years. Well of course both of those are now maxed out. So that's another $4500 we just added to our debt.

I haven't read any of those books or follow any sort of budget. I know that's why we haven't been able to get ahead it for the last few years with all our 'trying'. So what do you all recommend? We have 6 credit cards, two joint and then our seperate ones from before we were married. Our total credit card debt is around $8100. We are making double the minimal payments on all fo them for now. All except the news ones have crazy interest rates. We have student loans as well but those are the least of my concern because they are so low interest.

We need to get our credit up even higher now and start saving up money to buy a house as well. DH works a job that gives him bonuses and commissions throughout the year. We need to work very hard at doing the 'right' thing with them instead of buying something for the reward of hard work.

So I am in ... :-)

Most of us are refering to Dave Ramsey's book Total Money Makeover , but really he does nothing but tell you what our parents should have taught us. In short, once you've written out your monthly budget, you begin with the baby-steps as follows:
Step #1- Save a baby emergency fund of $1000.00 (families) or $500.00 (single) Step #2 - If you are current on all of your basic needs, i.e. food, clothing, shelter, lights/gas, begin listing all of the balances for your consumer debt (student loans, cc, payday loans, cars - essentially everything but the mortgage.) Pay the smallest balance 1st, then so on and so on. I know, mathmatically it doesn't make sense, especially when you're dealing with 28% interest credit cards, which is why some of us chose to modify this part of the plan a bit. I did transfer a balance which carried 32% interest to a fixed 1% and will work it back into this baby-step. Step #3, save 3-6 mo. of living expenses. There are 3 more steps after this one but I don't want to take up too much room since most of us are on these three steps. Afterall, it took me 4 months to save $500.00 after keeping up with everything else. Just remember that it's very important to do a budget "write in on paper, on purpose, every time." :teacher:

I Believe n Fairies
01-29-2008, 06:54 PM
I'm on board too. I'm SO tired of being in debt. I'm a sahm to two and my dh took a new job in June that reduced his pay about $12k. It's been tough. To top it off, my dh HATES his job. He is thankful for it, just doesn't want to do it anymore. Currently, our home is on the market. We're in Alabama, and our market is steady. Slow, but homes are selling. Once our home is sold, ALL of our debt (except a new mortgage) will be paid off. This will allow my dh to go back to school and focus on finding a more rewarding career. He's a drummer and would love to play full time, but that's not in the cards right now. ;)

Our church is doing a Crown Financial series starting next week. Has anyone done that? Was it helpful? We know what to do to get out of debt, but getting the funds is our challenge. All money now is going straight to bills just to get by. We're SO tired of living like this. My goal is to reward our debtfreeness with a paid in cash trip to WDW in 2009. :goodvibes

comicguy
01-29-2008, 06:55 PM
Count me in.

I started in Jan 07 with reducing our debts. Last year we paid off the Lowes card 3000(redid DS room complete right down to the studs, new electric, new subfloor and carpeting, doors,windows, the works). Paid another CC(had 7500 on it) Have another cc down to 4500 and one down to 8000. DW's student loan down to 2800, my student loan(Graduated last may only 38,000 left:rotfl2: ) then of course there is the mortgage but I am not too worried about that right now.

We still use one cc every month for gas, groceries, ect... and pay it off when the bill comes in so we can get Disney Reward Dollars to use on out trips to WDW

My plan is to wipe out the 4500 cc and DW's SL plus lower that big cc a bit. By Dec. Things are tight because my SL's are 450 per month, so that does not leave much left over.

mattsmom2000
01-29-2008, 09:39 PM
I am in too. We just came back from our Disney vacation that I can happily say was paid in CASH. Now all we have to do is work on the debt that we still came back to. But I did vow to not use the credit cards for anything except emergency in January 2007 and I did accomplish that! I am Looking forward to report better things for 2008. In 2007, we managed to pay one cc down by $5000.00, but we need to do much more than that this year. :eek:

Illuminations_Rocks
01-29-2008, 10:36 PM
Now I'm starting to freak out a little. My DF has gone to his new job for a few weeks, and to find us an apartment in Ohio. Meanwhile, he asked me to pay the last month's rent so he has money to get us an apartment. That's $825 I wasn't expecting to pay! Plus my student loan payment - ugh, so something's going to come out of savings since I don't want to drastically reduce my payments but I'll probably pay $800 instead of $900. And since I am the one with a little bit of savings, I will also be fronting most of our moving expenses. His company will reimburse $3k and we'll probably spend around $3500 or $4k between the truck, gas for the truck, hotels, and gas for my car. At least I get one more paycheck before we move. And, to top it off, it's not looking good for me to be able to transfer within my company... which means I'll probably have to take a lower paying job in something that I once again have no idea what I'm doing! And I really do like the job I'm doing and the company I currently work with. Sigh. It has been a rough couple of days.
And I'll have to take the cat to the vet for a hefty bill there, and my car into the shop for a tune-up and I realllllly hope it won't be like my last one!!!!

Hopefully something works out! I just wish I'd get my W2s already so I can figure out my taxes. I'm hoping for a refund, but I am just praying I won't owe anything!

angeluna
01-29-2008, 11:21 PM
Hey guys! I need to join. We had been doing sooo good. (There's always a but) But, my DH and I (mostly DH) just bought a very large purchase. He never really asks for anything. So, somehow I gave in. But, this purchase (an RV) is bittersweet. We will definitely use it. We've had our current one for 12 years. (Traded that one in, for a good price). It was time for a new one a few years back. I just can't wrap my head around being in debt like that. He also uses his bonuses every year to pay off things or catch up on house maintenance. I have a 401K (his company doesn't offer one) and we both have Roth IRA's. We have educational Roth's for the kids college. They won't cover college but will take a chunk out of a state school. Credit cards are almost paid off. Trying to figure out what to do with tax rebate of
$2000. Finish off the credit card and lower monthly out of pocket, or put it in emergency fund (which always seems to disappear). :confused3 DH says we can pay off the purchase early (we always have with other things), especially with his bonuses. I'm just freaked out with the economy right now I guess. Any encouragement, ideas, or help will be appreciated. We are currently cutting out lunches (remembering to take lunch now) and stopping eating out. I don't want to stop living, just to cut back. That's why I'm here. You all are such an inspiration to keep going. Thanks. (Sorry so long).

angeluna
01-29-2008, 11:25 PM
Our church is doing a Crown Financial series starting next week. Has anyone done that? Was it helpful? We know what to do to get out of debt, but getting the funds is our challenge. All money now is going straight to bills just to get by. We're SO tired of living like this. My goal is to reward our debtfreeness with a paid in cash trip to WDW in 2009. :goodvibes


Crown seemed good to me. Follows my beliefs. I just have to continually go over the figures to see it in my head. If I don't review "the plan" I tend to stray. Good luck staying on track. Your goal sounds like a great motivator!

ourwed
01-29-2008, 11:38 PM
I am so in!!!!! New Year resolution, PAY OFF DEBT!!!!!!! Major budget for our family :)

angeluna
01-29-2008, 11:41 PM
DH and I started a "real" budget Nov 2006 and since then we have
Paid off our 2005 SUV (about 20k)
Paid off $35 in CC debt
Sold a house and bought a newer house with the proceeds

Found our problem areas
1. FOOD - oh my eating out is insane
2. WALMART - I swear that place is evil and the most expensive food store when you consider the non-food items you buy
3. Extra's- prem cable movie channels - large cell phone minutes, etc

While I still increased my mortgage quit a bit - we have extra money each month with the CC and Car debt gone.

My 2008 Goals

1. Max out each of our Roth IRA's
2. Double our 401k contributions
3. Build our EF (man cash burns a hole for us..lol)
4. Still enjoy life

Good luck everyone



Congratulations for reaching some goals and AMEN on the problem areas. Me too! Walmart is our closest grocery store, but they are killing my wallet and my time! Here's to all of us meeting our 2008 goals! :thumbsup2

0hmyheck
01-30-2008, 12:03 PM
I am in also. I thought I was ok until I saw it all in black and white. A budget is a good thing to really see where the money goes and then where it should go! I have kept track of every penny I have spent for the past month and was surprised at the waste.

Good luck to everyone!

akmom
01-30-2008, 02:16 PM
Hi ladies!
I'm definitely IN! I don't think I can get to debt free by the end of the year, but I want to put a HUGE dent in it. January is starting off very badly though. We need to replace our furnace, possibly the air conditioner too. DH's truck is in the shop as we speak! :( And our bathroom is falling apart. It's overwhelming.
One bright spot, van will be paid off in 4 more payments. Then it's on to DH's truck and then the cc's. Those are teh big goals for this year.

Heluvsme
01-30-2008, 03:20 PM
akmom, I'm like you, we won't be debt free, but the dent we will make this year is huge. We are currently on a 3 year plan. Three years seems like a lot when you're tackling this, but I know it really isn't. It took us years to get here, 3 is definitely do-able.

Today was another no-spend day for me! YAY!! Heat's been down to 62 all day, we've used space heaters. All meals are from home today, dinner is less than $5.00 for all 4 of us tonight. Laundry was done in cold water during off-peak hours and dishes were washed up by hand. Didn't use any gas today, stayed home all day.

Baby steps. :snail:

Laxmom
01-30-2008, 03:37 PM
Well, you all have inspired me. I felt totally overwhelmed with our debt until I read this post. I felt like I was treading water. Here is what we have done so far. We already have our emergency fund in place. We have limited ourselves to eating out 1 night a week. We have put ourselves on a budget of $20 per pay period to use for lunches or coffees out....each. Otherwise, we are brown bagging it. I have banned my husband from the grocery. He would make a run once a day and spend and average of an extra $100 per week by doing this. I have taken the shopping responsibility back but it will be tough working full time and going to college part time. It will be worth it though. This month, I am paying off 2 small credit card balances. Then I will snowball toward my teenage son's $2500 car loan. We did lower the thermostat by 2 degrees - my bill this month was $285!:eek: That is the highest we have ever had in this house. I signed up for level billing for our electric. And most importantly, no new debt!!! In 3 months, we also won't be debt free but we sure will be in a better position and we will have put a dent.

At least I fill like I am back in control of this situation. Thanks for listening and inspiring me to act.

Heluvsme
01-30-2008, 03:52 PM
Laxmom, I've always likened it to swimming in peanut butter, that's exactly what it feels like to me some days.

:upsidedow

ldb1030
01-30-2008, 03:55 PM
what are your "off peak" hours?

Laxmom
01-30-2008, 03:59 PM
Laxmom, I've always likened it to swimming in peanut butter, that's exactly what it feels like to me some days.

:upsidedow

That is a great metaphor for exactly how I felt!! Well put!

cobbler
01-30-2008, 04:04 PM
Feds cut interest rates today and prime 6%. Call your credit card companies to get them to lower your rates.

I was able to get mine down to prime + 3.99% today. (9.99 down from 12.99) so that is good. I plan on paying it down by leaps and bounds this year, if not totally off.

Heluvsme
01-30-2008, 04:58 PM
I'm in Northern Kentucky and our off-peak hours for running appliances are before 7:00 am and after 6:00 pm. We received a cost cutting pamphlet with our utility bill last year and this is what they recommended.

roadtripper
01-30-2008, 05:32 PM
20 months ago, I got my DH a glass of wine, and told him we needed to have a 'date' outside to talk. I let him know how much debt we had (lots), what the plan was going to be to pay it off, and that I needed his help. Bless his heart, he was totally on board, which was great, considering that he had no idea how deep of a hole we were in. Granted, it was for things like a new roof, a heating system, and (oh yeah) a 100 pt DVC add-on :thumbsup2. He just assumed I was taking care of the bills, which I was, but not really aggressively paying anything off. Since he was in the dark, I was the only one up at night thinking about debt. Needless to say, I don't recommend the stealth household finance management system:blush:

As of this month, we are 600 dollars from being CC debt free-- and that's on a 0% CC. Even better, we have been building up our emergency fund so that we won't get sidelined by a big bill. We had to tie into city sewer this year at over 4000 dollars, and didn't add one penny to debt, or decrease retirement, etc. So keep at it Disers! You can do it!:cheer2: :cheer2:

One really great site recommended by Money magazine that I just started using is the Yodlee Money Center. You can keep track of all your bills, investments, bank accts, etc in one place. It also has a budget center that alerts you by email when you are close to you budget threshold in any given category-- all of which you set up yourself. Hope this helps someone.

As you can see below, we're planning to take advantage those new DVC points in a few weeks- all paid for:woohoo: What a way to celebrate!

Laxmom
01-30-2008, 07:00 PM
I'm in Northern Kentucky and our off-peak hours for running appliances are before 7:00 am and after 6:00 pm. We received a cost cutting pamphlet with our utility bill last year and this is what they recommended.

Do you have Duke Energy? If so, I somehow missed that pamphlet. Laundry will now be done in the evening in my house.;)

FirstTimertoDiz
01-31-2008, 08:11 AM
One really great site recommended by Money magazine that I just started using is the Yodlee Money Center. You can keep track of all your bills, investments, bank accts, etc in one place. It also has a budget center that alerts you by email when you are close to you budget threshold in any given category-- all of which you set up yourself. Hope this helps someone.



Interesting- do you use this site? I was looking for information about it, and couldn't seem to find much to expain how it works. Course, it's late and I'm exhausted, so that may have something to do with it, lol.

btw Roadtripper- thanks for sharing your encouraging story! That is a great job! You worked hard, and I am glad you get to celebrate all your hard work at Disney- you deserve it! :goodvibes

MissMichelle
01-31-2008, 09:26 AM
This has been really hard..I was planning my Disney wedding next year in August but Dfi and I sat down and really went over things and it has dropped on our priority list. We have been house hunting and we sat down with a mortgage broker who said ALL DEBT MUST GO first....So I just paid down the CC's with part of the tax returns so we only owe about $1,000 (no interest cards till the end of the year) and I have $13,000 still owed on my car...We need to meet with an advisor to see at this point whether we should throw our savings (about $14,000) onto the car and last CC and then try and see where we can come up with down payment funds for the house. THere is also closing costs and all that is scaring me because we need to move soon since Dfi's mother is moving with us (she is putting up $5,000 towards whatever aka down payment,closing, etc since she is disabled and doesn't have much of an income that is all she can do)

Long story short we are very confused right now as to how we will pull this off....I just keep thinking we'll need to buy somewhere that has all appliances included and be in good move in shape since we won't have funds for awhile (I am NOT touching the CC's at all once they are paid) to get anything.

Heluvsme
01-31-2008, 10:01 AM
We have Duke Energy now, but it's only been in the last....ohhhhh 6, maybe 8 months or so? The switch seems like it's been less than a year ago to me. It was one of those single page inserts that come in the bill, I think it had "Energy Saving Tips" on one side and some other information on the other side.

They listed things like washing laundry in cold water. Checking the windows and doors for air leaks and replacing caulking around windows. Running appliances during off-peak hours and unplugging unnecessary appliances when not in use. Cleaning the refrigerator's coils regularly and insulating the water heater. These are just a few things that come to mind right now.

Count every penny because every penny counts!

MissMichelle
01-31-2008, 10:03 AM
One really great site recommended by Money magazine that I just started using is the Yodlee Money Center. You can keep track of all your bills, investments, bank accts, etc in one place. It also has a budget center that alerts you by email when you are close to you budget threshold in any given category-- all of which you set up yourself. Hope this helps someone.

As you can see below, we're planning to take advantage those new DVC points in a few weeks- all paid for:woohoo: What a way to celebrate!

This site is AWESOME THANKS!!!! I have already added most of my debt and $$ accounts to it and I am seeing it one place making my life so much easier.

duketennisgal
01-31-2008, 11:10 AM
I'm going to join in this thread.

I have about 9,000 is credit card debt and that's what I want to work on. I then have my student loans and my car loan which are at low interest rates and I don't mind putting them on the backburner while I focus on the rest of my debt. My goal is to have all credit card debt taken care of within 1 year, it's going to put a huge strain on my budget but it's going to be worth it in the long run!

Deffenm
01-31-2008, 12:12 PM
I got rid of 2 doctor bills in Jan. only one left to go! We still have one credit card, my student loan, and my car payment (which is on schedule to be paid off in Sept.) :cool1:

jenm2878
01-31-2008, 12:57 PM
We're in too. We're at a frustrating point of our debt payoff because we're out of things with small balances so it'll be a while before we get rid of any one balance. It's great to see the #'s go down, but it's more motivating to know that one is almost gone, you know?

We have no cc debt, but have a HELOC that will probably be paid off in about a year. We've been paying extra on my car and it will get it paid off in around 2 years, and then we will snowball all of that money into student loans, which will take 5 or 6 years to completely retire. Sigh. My goal this year is to reduce our debt by $20-$25k. We've got a good jump on it so far with a decent tax refund!

smiller
01-31-2008, 01:03 PM
Just transferred one of my CC balances to another card - went from 11.24% to 6.99% for life, no transfer fee! :cool1:

roadtripper
01-31-2008, 01:04 PM
Interesting- do you use this site? I was looking for information about it, and couldn't seem to find much to expain how it works. Course, it's late and I'm exhausted, so that may have something to do with it, lol.

btw Roadtripper- thanks for sharing your encouraging story! That is a great job! You worked hard, and I am glad you get to celebrate all your hard work at Disney- you deserve it! :goodvibes
Thank you!
Yes, I do use the site, but you're right-- it's not very user friendly at first. Frist you add all your accounts in (based on the username and password you use for online access to the account), then you can see the "dashboard" which is a snapshot of accounts. I also like the spending reports page, where you can categorize transactions, and it will give you a pie chart showing what percentage of your income you're spending on certain things--groceries, loans, utilities, charitable contributions-- whatever. It will even tell you what your house is worth, based on zillow.com, so that it can be included in your net worth profile (somehow, that makes me feel better!)It automatically updates all of your accounts, which is the best part, and you can link right to those accounts from the Money center. Hope this helps!

IheartDL
01-31-2008, 04:28 PM
Our church is doing a Crown Financial series starting next week. Has anyone done that? Was it helpful? We know what to do to get out of debt, but getting the funds is our challenge. All money now is going straight to bills just to get by. We're SO tired of living like this. My goal is to reward our debtfreeness with a paid in cash trip to WDW in 2009. :goodvibes


I've been lurking on this and the "no-buy" threads for a few days now, but I just had to jump in when you asked this question.
The Crown Financial Bible study is amazing and life changing. You learn so much, and it's great to have the accountability. I'd highly recommend it!

Since I'm jumping in, this is the year DH and I have decided to crack down and stick to a budget. It seems the more available credit we have, the more we spend. Just reading this thread is inspiring, though.

Yeah, and we're so tired of living like this too. Always starting a budget and recording spending and falling off the wagon again and again!

rluey29
01-31-2008, 04:37 PM
We just paid off our $3500 cc with 25% interest - Woo Hoo!!! I bet that company was floored. They probably thought they'd be sucking money from us for awhile.

We have another cc with $7000 on it that will be payed off in a week thanks to a good tax return and a cancelled WDW trip. We'll be free of credit cards after that!

NewmanFam6
01-31-2008, 06:40 PM
My DH and I began using Dave Ramsey's envelope system in Sept 2007. We have a strict budget and if there is no cash in the envelope then it doesn't get purchased. It was really hard at first but easier now. We have paid off his car and most of our CC debt. We will be debt free when I graduate nursing school in 2009 except his SL which will be paid off by 2013. He owed alot in school loans between his BS in Chemistry and his Doctorate in Pharmacy. I definitely use the menu planning and only buy the items for those recipes while grocery shopping with the exception of necessities(milk, detergent, etc) Stick with it everyone we can do this:woohoo:

Laxmom
01-31-2008, 07:41 PM
We have Duke Energy now, but it's only been in the last....ohhhhh 6, maybe 8 months or so? The switch seems like it's been less than a year ago to me. It was one of those single page inserts that come in the bill, I think it had "Energy Saving Tips" on one side and some other information on the other side.

They listed things like washing laundry in cold water. Checking the windows and doors for air leaks and replacing caulking around windows. Running appliances during off-peak hours and unplugging unnecessary appliances when not in use. Cleaning the refrigerator's coils regularly and insulating the water heater. These are just a few things that come to mind right now.

Count every penny because every penny counts!

Thanks! I use ebill so I didn't get the insert. We do most of this already except for the off hours thing. I think I will give it a try and see.

mami2camjax
01-31-2008, 10:49 PM
My debt haunts me during the day and at night. I am a single mother of 2 who has somehow managed to get herself into A LOT of debt! I'll do good and get things paid off and then it just adds back on and that cycle keeps repeating and I need it to stop. I need to be debt free and start saving for my kids and for my future.

I currently have about $13000 in credit card debt - split between 2 cards. I am hoping to pay one off with my tax refund and then cut up that card so I can never use it again. Then work on the other card.

I have my student loans which is about 12,000

and then I have my stupidest purchase ever - my minivan that I just had to have and I'm stuck with a ridiculously high payment for a LEASED van - so I'm pretty much stuck with that till October 2009 - so I have to work around that crazy payment - which I am far too embarrassed to post on here.

I have very little in savings - about $900 in an ING account. I spend my kids child support to help pay things down, when deep down, I know I should be saving that to help them. I'm just in a bad spot:(

I have a boyfriend who is very savvy with his money and I think he'll freak when he sees what kind of mess I have myself in. I want to be debt free asap and start saving so I can buy a house for my kids and I too live in. I'm tired of paying my Mom rent (she eats up a lot of my money too ).

This is the post I need to motivate me, encourage me and for me to not feel so alone in my past bad money mistakes...

minnie1928
02-01-2008, 06:39 AM
My debt haunts me during the day and at night. I am a single mother of 2 who has somehow managed to get herself into A LOT of debt! I'll do good and get things paid off and then it just adds back on and that cycle keeps repeating and I need it to stop. I need to be debt free and start saving for my kids and for my future.

I currently have about $13000 in credit card debt - split between 2 cards. I am hoping to pay one off with my tax refund and then cut up that card so I can never use it again. Then work on the other card.

I have my student loans which is about 12,000

and then I have my stupidest purchase ever - my minivan that I just had to have and I'm stuck with a ridiculously high payment for a LEASED van - so I'm pretty much stuck with that till October 2009 - so I have to work around that crazy payment - which I am far too embarrassed to post on here.

I have very little in savings - about $900 in an ING account. I spend my kids child support to help pay things down, when deep down, I know I should be saving that to help them. I'm just in a bad spot:(

I have a boyfriend who is very savvy with his money and I think he'll freak when he sees what kind of mess I have myself in. I want to be debt free asap and start saving so I can buy a house for my kids and I too live in. I'm tired of paying my Mom rent (she eats up a lot of my money too ).

This is the post I need to motivate me, encourage me and for me to not feel so alone in my past bad money mistakes...

I have several suggestions for you, but I'm getting ready for work so I'll keep it brief:

1. Go to the library and get some books by Suze Orman or Dave Ramsey. Read a little each night and they can act as a reminder/motivator to help keep you on track.
2. You mention paying off one of your CCs with your tax refund. If you typically get a decent refund each year then you should consider changing your witholding to get less tax taken off each check. That money could then be used to pay down debt.
3. Be honest with yourself, your mom and your boyfriend. If you can't do something because you need to pay something down/off, then you need to tell them the truth. I think they'll respect you more if you are upfront with them about the situation. The past is the past, what's important is what you are going to do with the future.
4. The minivan...can anything be done there? I'm no expert in leasing so I'll leave that to someone else.

Most of all I wish you the best of luck. Keep reporting back here and we'll support you as much as we can.:grouphug:

Heluvsme
02-01-2008, 06:41 AM
Oh you guys, I'm so excited!!!

Since the Feds have cut the interest rates, I thought yesterday, Hey, what the heck, I'll call my credit card company and see what they can do for me.

I simply said that I was on a debt reduction plan and I was wondering if they could do anything about the 17.99% interest on my current card. Within 1 minute I was given an 11.99% interest rate!! No time limit! Just can't ever be late with any payments (which won't be a problem, we've never been late).

WAHHHH HOOOOO!!!!!


Oh, and the envelope system from Dave Ramsey, I second that, it works GREAT!!!!! Hard to get used to at first, but it really does work.

alicenwonder99
02-01-2008, 07:40 AM
Hey everyone!

Glad to see so many more newcomers joining us and getting serious about snowballing our debts!

I'm going to be working on our taxes today. I'm expecting somewhere around $1000. Not sure what to do with the money, yet. So much debt, so little money!!! :rotfl:

I'm also going to do a balance transfer on the evil Bank of America who would only lower my rate to 23.99%. :scared1: My other card sent me something for a balance transfer for 3.99% until it's paid off! That's almost as low as my student loan! lol.

I just got a raise. A whole whopping $1.50 an hour raise. Now, instead of my salary being embarrassing, it's now just pathetic...lol. Oh well, every bit counts. Dh STILL hasn't had his 2007 review, so no raise for 2008 yet. He said it will be retro once he gets it.

On the bad side, dd9 needs new ice skates. UGH! I have to get them this weekend because she has a competition in 2 weeks and she needs time to break them in. I told her we have to keep it under $200, and she understands. Now, I just have to be creative and find a way to come up with $200 in the next 24 hours...lol.

aclov
02-01-2008, 08:43 AM
I'm going to try and stop my online shopping. I say "try" because I think I'm addicted. I usually get something delivered every other day!:scared1: I keep hearing my dad "do you REALLY need that??" I don't need it but it's a good deal and maybe some freebies are included!

I also need to stop eating out, which I usually try to go someplace with a coupon or use my entertainment book. After tipping it really adds up and I refuse to leave a cheap tip.

Another spurlge is coffee and sometimes breakfast in the morning.:headache:

WDWMagicNic
02-01-2008, 10:52 AM
I'm so glad to have found this thread! Our main New Year's resolution was to quit spending excessively and bring down our debt. This is wonderful motivation, and I really enjoy reading everyone's tips on how they are bringing down their debt and raising their savings. Congrats, group!

The way the economy is going, I wish there were even more folks who would be more mindful of what they are spending and make a real effort to get on solid financial ground. I will definitely be pointing my friends and family to this very motivating site!

Heluvsme
02-01-2008, 11:20 AM
Thursday's Frugal-ness

Took 5 minute shower.
Washed load of laundry-cold water.
All meals from home.
Made a menu and grocery list, went shopping, did an entire week's worth of food for 4 of us for $67.85. (Stew for 3 nights, spaghetti for 2 nights, soup and grilled cheese for 1 night, the 7th night I will be shopping again that day) Not the best, but cheap and somewhat healthy.
Saved $.10 a gallon on gas yesterday by using my Kroger rewards at their gas station.
Kept lights off as much as possible.
Only turned heat up past 62 for 3 hours yesterday evening.
Got interest rate lowered on one c.c. YAY!!!
Today's on track to be another Frugal day! All meals from home, heat is not up, quick shower....so far so good!

:laundy:

NCTWINSMOM
02-01-2008, 11:58 AM
Hi everyone! I'm glad I found this thread. DH & I have started Dave Ramsey's baby steps and recently paid off one small cc last month (Sams, $641)!!!

I'm really excited but really nervous at the same time. We tried something similar a few years ago and dh crumpled and that sent us in to more debt. I do feel that dh is in it for the long haul and has realized the stupid things we have done.


The plan we have in place will have us DEBT FREE in 3 years.

DH has taken a special interest in reducing other bills we have and was able to save us about $40 a month on cable and internet service. Next step is call and hopefully lower interest rates...I'll let you know how that goes...

HenDuck
02-01-2008, 12:01 PM
We have just agreed to cut back by:

1. Reduced cel phone minutes ($20/mo.)
2. Cancel land line ($36/mo.)
3. Cancel digital cable ($45/mo.)

And my goal is to cut at least $200 from our grocery/household budget.

I just "found" us an extra $300/month! :cool1:

And we're just getting started...:woohoo:

aclov
02-01-2008, 03:42 PM
I called cc company and they reduced my APR by 1% not much but I've only been with them for a year so I guess it was better than nothing.

I'm thinking of cancelling land line but than I would have no internet. I have a cell phone and I can use the internet at work. I'm debating.

FirstTimertoDiz
02-01-2008, 08:35 PM
Well, besides taking a step backwards this week because of our heating oil bill, I feel like I am starting to head towards the right direction again. Today dh and I (along with my employer and her dh) signed up for a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class that is being held at a local church. I am very excited about attending the classes, and hoping this will help keep us motivated on our way to becoming debt free!

Has anyone attended one of these classes? (I am going to post that question on a new thread, but I thought it would go here as well)

lisajl
02-02-2008, 06:44 AM
Joining

We khave three cards to pay off. One is $3,000 with zero percent, one is $2500 with 9 percent, and one is $4,000 with 9 percent.

The one with $4.000 I called the company to see if they would lower my interest. We have excellent credit and she said they could lower it to 5.5percent. I thought great, that would help. Well, it never came through.
I called the company back and complained and the supervisor told me I misunderstood. The previous person had said it would be for balance transfers, not to lower the percentage rate. I said a few choice words and the supervisor told me, "We have other incentives, just not right now".
Well, I am not waiting. I will transfer that and close that account asap.

We only want to have two credit cards. One in Dh's name and one in mine.
If we keep the two with lower limits I think that will help us.
The one with $4,000 on it has a $8,000 limit. Wayyyy too much for my blood.

Lisa

alicenwonder99
02-02-2008, 08:15 AM
Well, I had a GREAT financial day yesterday. I "found" $7000! First, I did my taxes, and we're getting back $3600. Then, I got a letter in my mail from our gas company and our meters WERE read wrong. I've got a $400 credit for my gas! Then, I got a refund check for $1400 from our county for our taxes. We didn't file for our homeowners exemption in 2005 and just realized it a couple of months ago. We refiled, and now we got a check from them. Then, I read up on the money we're going to be getting from the government for the economic stimulus and we'll be getting $1600.

On the bad side (there's ALWAYS a bad side), our insurance premium for our minivan was raised to almost $500!!! That's $1000 a year on a 2002 minivan!!! I'm tempted to just lower the insurance to liability. Not sure what to do about it.

Now I'm going to figure out how I'm going to spend my refunds (well, what bill I'm going to pay off first...lol).

Jen_in_NH
02-02-2008, 08:42 AM
Well, I can't say I've had a huge debt-reducing week. I had to go grocery shopping for the first timne in 3 weeks, and also had to pick up disposable diapers for my son. I did get to save 50 cents a gallon on gas though from the grocery reward points.

On the other hand, I did my taxes, and we're getting about $6700 back, so that should help pay off some CCs

mommyof3grlz
02-02-2008, 09:22 PM
We are actually beginning Financial Peace University at our church in 2 weeks. We watch the preview tomorrow night. My husband and I will be the facilitators. I have been listening to Dave's radio show for several months and we have already started our debt snowball, which is baby step 2. We sold a motorcycle, a used mobile home, and a set of twin beds. Since December 22 we have paid off over $9,000 in debt and still have quite a way to go. I really enjoy this thread. It helps keep me motivated as does the dave ramsey radio show, especially on Fridays when people call in and scream, "I'm debt free!!!!" I cannot wait until our family can do that.:cool1:

Jordans_Mommie
02-03-2008, 07:56 AM
Hi! I love this thread. I bought Total Money Makeover and have been following Dave Ramsey's baby steps. I am on baby step too and as of this past Friday, I have no credit card debt! :thumbsup2

I am really excited to start aggressively paying down my car loan and student loan. I expect to be completely debt free in 2-3 years. :cool1:

I am still doing my Disney trip this year, but it will be our last big trip until we are debt free. The good news is, it is all cash!

Good luck everyone! We can do this!

MarthaJr.
02-03-2008, 08:14 PM
Love this thread...been working on reducing our debt too. Unfortunately, just treading water the past few months with Christmas, $900 in car repair bills and $135 in trip to emergency room with DS. (He's just fine.) But, just wondering what you "budget boarders" think of a previous poster's taking on loan from 401K to pay off debt. We have tossed around this idea too.

jodim
02-03-2008, 08:38 PM
Our biggest thing is cc debt... we have almost 20k right now, however, almost 15k of that will be paid off when I settle with our insurance company (We had a fire, and I haven't had time to do all of my receipts and get a check from them)

Once our cc debt is gone, we will be cutting up all but 2 cards. (AmEx - because I LOVE it, and a MasterCard- for all the places that don't take AmEx)

I would like to start putting more in savings, we are planning on building in the next year, have a boy who will be off to college in 3.5 years (God willing) and then 4 more who will hopefully follow suit.

We also want to buy a new vehicle in the next year or two, and pay cash if possible. (we just bought a 06 suburban, and only had to borrow 5k - which will be mostly paid off when I sell my van - woohoo!)

ldb1030
02-03-2008, 08:51 PM
Well, I had a GREAT financial day yesterday. I "found" $7000! First, I did my taxes, and we're getting back $3600. Then, I got a letter in my mail from our gas company and our meters WERE read wrong. I've got a $400 credit for my gas! Then, I got a refund check for $1400 from our county for our taxes. We didn't file for our homeowners exemption in 2005 and just realized it a couple of months ago. We refiled, and now we got a check from them. Then, I read up on the money we're going to be getting from the government for the economic stimulus and we'll be getting $1600.

On the bad side (there's ALWAYS a bad side), our insurance premium for our minivan was raised to almost $500!!! That's $1000 a year on a 2002 minivan!!! I'm tempted to just lower the insurance to liability. Not sure what to do about it.

Now I'm going to figure out how I'm going to spend my refunds (well, what bill I'm going to pay off first...lol).


I'd check around for a better insurance rate! That's what I did! Does not cost you anything to check but time!:thumbsup2

problemchild718
02-03-2008, 08:56 PM
Love this thread...been working on reducing our debt too. Unfortunately, just treading water the past few months with Christmas, $900 in car repair bills and $135 in trip to emergency room with DS. (He's just fine.) But, just wondering what you "budget boarders" think of a previous poster's taking on loan from 401K to pay off debt. We have tossed around this idea too.

I wouldn't borrow from mine unless I was going to lose my home or couldn't feed my kids. I know how I am and I don't think it would make it back into the account.

roselark
02-03-2008, 10:06 PM
Woot! Just paid off 2 of my cards with my state return. Just waiting for federal and it will be one more down and a huge amount to another. Starting to snowball!!

Barring any major issues, it looks like we might actually be able to have $0 credit card debt by the end of the year!

WatchinCaptKangaroo
02-03-2008, 11:03 PM
AT&T offers DSL that does not require a landline for $23.99 a month. (http://consumerist.com/consumer/leaks/get-att-dry-loop-for-2399-303233.php) (that is a link to a website called the Consumerist which will tell you what you need to tell AT&T to get the offer.

akmom
02-04-2008, 02:49 PM
I've been reading all the previous posts about snowballing and the enveleope system. I just can't figure out how to get started when I'm soooooo far behind on everything. GRRRRRRRRR

WDWMagicNic
02-04-2008, 04:46 PM
Well, it's Monday again, and I hope everyone gets off on the right foot this week to work on their goals. This past weekend was one for me where I started to put myself in the right mindframe to be more budget-conscious. I cooked and baked and made several meals for a busy week so we won't give in to fast food. I also dusted off my copy of The Tightwad Gazette and began reading it again. I'd had it for years and used a lot of the ideas in the book, but had forgotten about many of the tactics to save money. If you are interested in discovering some frugal tips, you may enjoy checking the book out from your library.

Juliee8
02-04-2008, 04:56 PM
Count me in. This year I want to really start focusing on paying down our debt. I am hoping to get all of our smaller things paid off by the end of summer since I am working full time now.

pabef
02-04-2008, 05:14 PM
We have worked really hard to reduce our debt following Dave Ramsey. It didn't hurt that we came in to a small inheritance either, but we have tried to do smart things with that money to make the most of it. We have paid off all credit cards and cut them up, as well as paying all medical bills which all totaled about $10,000. We refinaced to a 15 year mortgage from a 30 and rounded our payment up to an even number and put that $78 toward principal each month. I also shop discount stores and clearance to put up gifts for Chirstmas and birthday and also find great deals on clothes and home items. We have a great store here called Dirt Cheap. Today I got my daughter 3 Video Now disc , 2 really nice sweaters for me, some workout pants, a set of measuring spoons, a Scattergories game, a Trvial Pursuit Game, and a set of colorful gift bags - all brand new and all for $37 total. We just remodeled a bathroom and paid cash for it. We saved and shopped around for the best deal on a contractor. We also bought our vanity on clearance at Kirklands.

Luvdancink
02-04-2008, 05:17 PM
I submitted my taxes on turbotax today. When the refund comes it's going straight to the big bad credit card. I can't wait.

~Kristy

FirstTimertoDiz
02-04-2008, 05:48 PM
I also e-filed my taxes today; we are using most of it to complete the renovations on a new bathroom that we started constructing next year. Ever since my son was potty-trained over a year ago, we have needed that extra bathroom, so we have made it a priority to get finished. All other projects will be on hold, however for now.

Well, looks like I am going to have to dip into the emergency fund- dh's windshield was shattered this week when a rock hit it on the highway....:eek: This comes only a couple weeks after I raised all the deductibles to save money on insurance! :headache: Oh well, I will just keep babystepping.

mommyof3grlz
02-04-2008, 06:04 PM
Our income tax refund, if we get one is going straight to the mastercard bill. Can't wait to see it go bye bye!

DearDaisyinDurham
02-04-2008, 06:06 PM
Well, it's Monday again, and I hope everyone gets off on the right foot this week to work on their goals. This past weekend was one for me where I started to put myself in the right mindframe to be more budget-conscious. I cooked and baked and made several meals for a busy week so we won't give in to fast food. I also dusted off my copy of The Tightwad Gazette and began reading it again. I'd had it for years and used a lot of the ideas in the book, but had forgotten about many of the tactics to save money. If you are interested in discovering some frugal tips, you may enjoy checking the book out from your library.

I love her Gazette series! :thumbsup2

minnie1928
02-04-2008, 07:48 PM
I've been reading all the previous posts about snowballing and the enveleope system. I just can't figure out how to get started when I'm soooooo far behind on everything. GRRRRRRRRR

When starting out you work with the basics first...total your expenses for the month (all the needs + minimum payments). Then look at your income. Say you spend $400 per month on groceries and you get paid every 2 weeks. Then out of each paycheck you would take $200 and put that into the grocery envelope. Do this for all your expenses. Any left over funds would be applied to the debt you are focussed on. Dave Ramsey would say focus on the smallest debt so that you get something paid off faster in order to keep your motivation up. Financially speaking it would be better to pay off the higher interest debt first. Personally, I think either way is good...as long as you stick with it.

Write down ALL your expenses (including that pack of gum) and tweak your envelopes as needed. The longer you track your expenses, the better your estimate will be. Keep in mind that this is a work in progress and will need to be altered from time to time, especially in the beginning.

doodlesmommy
02-04-2008, 09:10 PM
Oh it feels good to know I'm not alone! I too am working towards reducing cc debt. I'm loosing sleep at night. No more spending as of today and I'm going to pay these things off. Our upcoming trip is already paid in full and I'm starting to feel guilty about it. If I cancel I'm looking at loosing quite a bit of $$ for airline tickets. I can only move forward. Glad to have the support on this thread.

newt1912
02-04-2008, 10:00 PM
I need to recommend one of the Dave Ramsey books to a relative who is absolutely clueless when it comes to finances, budgeting, living within your means, spending less than you earn, etc. While I personally don't agree with everything Dave suggests, I have found his books to be very good and I find his radio show enjoyable. His simple, commonsense financial advice has helped me in many ways.

I need the name of the book that gets one started onboard with the basic Dave Ramsey program and then I can suggest that the others be read. Is it The Total Money Makeover or Financial Peace?

kandeebunny
02-04-2008, 10:20 PM
Well I had a GREAT debt reduction day!!!

I have been fighting with a former school about a course I didn't take for 6 months now. They said I owed them $900 for the course and put me in collections! (I didn't find out about ANY of this until I went to get my transcript.) Well after the 6 months of fighting them, they called today and removed all charges from my account AND removed me from collections!!! So thats $900 less to pay. It was getting to the point where I was just going to pay it because it is holding me up from graduating.

I also got my cell phone bill cut in half by saying I was cancelling my service (after 6 years) so that gives me $40 more a month towards my other debt!

I have 6 months left on the auto-billpay for my 2 credit cards that I have left, then they will be 100% paid off!

When that is done I will still have a few medical bills I am paying, and my student loan (I only owe like $2000 on it and have 4 years left, but am trying to pay it off ahead.)

I am hoping to have everything but the student loan paid off by the New Year.

leanan
02-04-2008, 10:42 PM
I would love to pay off my debt but my evil CC company Chase does not want to work with me. Not to mention last time I gave them my bank account information they screwed up and pulled too much out of my account. I hate that chase has foreigners on foreign soil working their call centers. I think for financial institutions this should be deemed illegal.

duketennisgal
02-05-2008, 06:40 AM
I don't know if this might help anybody but I used this site: http://www.simplejoe.com/web-calculators/debt-repayment-calculator.htm to set up plan. I input all of my balances, interest rates and minimum payments along with how much I could pay per month and it calculated a plan for me. I like it because it set out a monthly plan in black and white. Then I copied and pasted it into excel and broke it up by paycheck b/c I get paid every other week. It seems like it will be very easy to follow.

alicenwonder99
02-05-2008, 10:06 AM
Hi Everyone!!

I reworked my snowball debt with paying off my highest interest rate card first (as opposed to my smallest debt amount card first). Well, it shaved almost 2 years off my snowball debt!!!! What a difference!! I will be cc free in 2 years!!! I just have 2 loans to pay off which shouldn't take more than another year.

Then, I figured out how much money I'll have each month once my cc and loans are paid off. $2250!!!! I'll still have my 1st and 2nd mortgage, and my student loan, but that's ok. I'm using that amount as my incentive to pay off the cards & loans!

0hmyheck
02-05-2008, 10:26 AM
Hi fellow debt reducers;

I can't say much since being cyber bullied once. But I did sit down again and cut up credit cards. I called and canceled 4 cards today! I wrote the current balance due the four remaining cards and I know I should feel good about it but to see the numbers is really kind of sad. I can't help to wonder how on earth I got so far in???:confused3

But for now I am only using cash, only for what is necessary, and rest is for debt snowball. 1 more month and my Disney is paid off. I have also promised no Disney trips until I have an envelope with cash to pay for the airlines and all expenses. It will be two years but the madness is stopped and I am onto a new way of managing money.

Thanks for the support. Some days I think I am the only person who is struggling and working the program.

mmfan53226
02-05-2008, 12:44 PM
I am so totally in, my debt is getting way out of control for me.

I looked into Take Charge America, and while I could afford the payments I would be left with only $6.00 to save (and if we have a week, where hours are short, we would be screwed). I said I can't do that I need to try and save more, so I have written my credit cards and explained my situation and that I accept responsiblity for the amounts charged and I want to pay them and not declare bankruptcy.

For my budget I going to put everything over my budget amount to get our car paid off next month, then on to the next small balance.

And after I am done, I don't want to see another credit card or offer! I don't care how good of an offer it is, because in the end it only causes me problems!!!

Krystine

5fordisney
02-05-2008, 01:28 PM
Way to go everyone!! Even if it's just baby steps, it's still moving forward!! I sat down this weekend and planned out for the next 7 months. If we don't spend $1 extra out of our normal bills and expenses, and use our tax return check, we could be credit card free by Sept. 1st. (That still leaves our home equity loan and furniture payments but still...!) The only problem is we all know unexpected things come up. For example, my son just got invited to a classmate's b-day party so there's $10-15 needed for a gift unless I tell him he can't go. We also had a different $15 expense come up. That's $30 not planned in 2 days. But on the other hand, I'm proud that I said no to 2 girl scouts for cookies, Hannah Montana movie tickets that my kids really wanted to see, and haven't gone out to the mall so no money spent there! My husband also resisted the urge to splurge on pizza for super bowl Sunday so I guess I should be happy about all of those little things, right?!! Ughh, sometimes I get so tired though of living to the $1 tight. We don't allow ourselves ANY weekly spending, lunch money, etc. so there's never any wiggle room. But I sooo want these credit cards paid off asap!! Just in time to start all over again next Christmas with the debt cycle!! :eek:

aclov
02-05-2008, 01:38 PM
I don't know if this might help anybody but I used this site: http://www.simplejoe.com/web-calculators/debt-repayment-calculator.htm to set up plan. I input all of my balances, interest rates and minimum payments along with how much I could pay per month and it calculated a plan for me. I like it because it set out a monthly plan in black and white. Then I copied and pasted it into excel and broke it up by paycheck b/c I get paid every other week. It seems like it will be very easy to follow.

Thanks for sharing - kinda a reality check, I didn't think it was going to take me that long!:scared1: I can see how paying for smallest card helps the motivation. And this is if I don't charge anything anymore.

minnie1928
02-05-2008, 02:45 PM
And after I am done, I don't want to see another credit card or offer! I don't care how good of an offer it is, because in the end it only causes me problems!!!

Krystine

I saw this comment and it reminded me, go to www.optoutprescreen.com to stop all those unwanted credit cards offers from coming in the mail. Not only is it better for the planet, it'll lessen the temptation to get a new card!

jenrose66
02-08-2008, 09:58 AM
I'm getting ready to attack my debt :) But it's going to be very hard getting my husband on board. I was actually raised to not like debt. My mom never carried a credit card balance, never had a car payment, etc... Anyway, I always felt the same way, but dh's family are huge spenders. Out of 5 kids 1 went bankrupt and all but my dh ended up in consumer credit counseling. I kept a pretty tight reign on things at our house until I became a mom. When I stayed home for the first year I let dh control the cash and we are in a mess. We are carrying a balance on credit, almost all the bills are past due and we have no money in savings. I'm back at work now, and I know things will work out, but it is going to take a lot of sacrifice. I spend absolutely no cash now, but dh just keeps buying stuff. Anyway, this post isn't supposed to be about blame. I just read Dave Ramsey's total money makeover and I'm making it required reading for my dh. I'm hoping it will motivate him to support me with the changes we need to make to our way of life.

I was just wondering though, if anyone else finds Dave a little money hungry. I thought the book had good advice, but I was a little turned off by all the advertising at the end of the book (and the subtle advertising in the book). I mean, he says we can't spend any cash, we are in dire straights, but we should find $90 a year to join his website and be sure to buy all of his books? Hmm....

Anyway, thanks for listening and good luck to everyone!:angel:

doodlesmommy
02-08-2008, 05:27 PM
I went all week long and only spent $5 (on drycleaning). :woohoo: Now I just need to keep it up. I'm finding creative ways to have fun. I brought my own coffee and lunch to work all week. Tomorrow I'm going to cash in on all of those gift cards I got at Christmas. I'm off to the mall with my friend to shop on gift cards only. I have a Starbucks card for a coffee treat and movie cards to finish off the day. Debit cards are staying home. Credit cards were shredding last week! I've never done this before so I consider this a huge accomplishment!

I agree with the last post about Dave's marketing. Pretty sneaky; it reminds me of the Mars book series from the 90's with the marriage advice only to find out he has been divorced twice. :scared: What he describes works, I just prefer to get his advice free from his books at the library.

decaff38
02-08-2008, 10:14 PM
Ok tallied up cc debt. I knew an approx. amount and was within 2000.00 . At least I wasn't really surprised. Took the scissors to 4 cc tonight. Decided I needed to take the "baby steps" so that I don't get crazy and do something really stupid. reactivated my ING account with auto deposit. Small but something! Have a solid 403B and increased that this year and solid retirement account. . One day at a time. I should be out of CC debt in 2 years. Also have 2 girls in college next year( one on either side) and for the next 3yrs, --son getting married in the fall( in the middle between his sisters). Ofdah!!! I don't have enough body parts to sell!!!! I am moving forward and will snowball the smallest ones first (4) and then I will jump to the big daddy - sears!! How did that happen?!?! It will be fine but whoa! Last time I do this!! I was so much smarter when I was younger but I just didn't have the best information. Duh!! No more!! I will be smart!!!

Good news!! Daughter wanted to file her own taxes( one on the left). She decided to try HR Block. Bad idea. they said she would get 400.00 fed and 125.00 state. Even I thought that was low. She turned her paperwok over a friend of ours who has been doing returns for 20 years. For $40.00 she will get 200.00 state and 1500.00 from the feds. Is she ever happy!!!! I am also happy for her!!! A bit fearful about my own but can't do anything now. Just bite the bullet and see the accountant. I am getting so brave, i may just get the credit card interest reduction script and have at it!!!! THey can only say no, right!!!!

Best of luck to all in the venture to free ourselves and soar!!!!

alicenwonder99
02-09-2008, 06:23 AM
I was watching an old episode of Little People, Big World last night. It was the one where they went to Hawaii. They went all out for this trip. Stayed at the Four Seasons, went jet skiing, went snorkeling, etc. I thought to myself that if I didn't have this stupid debt to pay off, I could EASILY save for a trip like that in just a few months.

I am now doing something that I said I never would: I'm working for the credit card companies...sigh! :sick:

I think I'm going to increase my hours at work so I can get this debt paid off even sooner.

smiller
02-09-2008, 08:29 AM
I couldn't wait to go online this morning and pay $300 on my smallest CC - I love seeing that total go down down down! :cool1:

I'm all for the psychological boost - and it helps that all my CCs are within 3% of each other APR-wise. :thumbsup2

StephMK
02-09-2008, 09:34 AM
Checking in & want to go back & read through all the updates tonight. Everyone's posts keep me inspired. Looks like lots are making great steps & I want to check out some of the websites posted. We definitely need to sign up for the optout - that would save $ & time when I have to sort through that stuff every day in the mail.

I haven't made much progress other than 1 big step in the right direction. I took a FT job!! It was tough to make that leap since I've been home/PT odd jobs for 4 yrs but now I'm pretty excited! It's close to home & we'll be able to make good progress w/bills once I start. Plus both sets of g-mas have offered to come visit during school breaks so our daycare costs will be lower than I budgeted! Yippee!

We have also been collecting all unused/outgrown/unneeded items around the house & I am going to ebay/CL some & either donate or save the rest for our neighborhood sale in May. My dining room looks like a storage space now.

Way to go everyone! I look forward down the road to start having payoff celebrations with everyone!! :banana:

NikiM20
02-09-2008, 10:12 AM
I paid off yet another credit card!! Now the 3 little ones are gone but the 3 big ones remain :scared1: Baby steps I know......I got myself into this mess , gotta get myself out. But I have paid over $1500 worth of debt in 6 weeks!!

luv2nascar
02-09-2008, 12:34 PM
We have been so doing so great this month with not spending any money and eating out of the frig/pantry we are going to be able to pay off a large credit card by end of month $2800. Yeah. Also $400 is going towards a vet bill we owe. We have another $300 to pay on that vet bill and another $5500 on two credit cards that are going to be paid off this year. I want a $0 balance at end of the year. Not alot of extra money left this month but more debt paid down. Yeah. I am trying to sell a few things on ebay for extra spending money & filing income taxes today. We are getting around $1900 back. That is going in our emergency funds.

BocaBaby
02-09-2008, 12:51 PM
I am just keeping track of expenses and income this month to see what I am really spending and then in March plan to make my first budget. I have an actual number for my CC debt and will have the lowest card, my Disney, paid off next pay check.

Keep up the good work everyone!

goofyisinphilly
02-09-2008, 01:18 PM
I have been faithfully following this thread. This year we are trying to paydown alot of debts. There really isn't anything out of the ordinary. We do have about 7k in cc but that is on a no interest card. Everything else is car, truck, and student loans.

Thursday night I paid off a card that had $1500 remaining. We were very excited. Our excitement was rewarded by yesterday someone backing into my husband's truck...and not leaving a note. Well hello $500 deductible. :confused3

2 steps forward 1 step back.

alicenwonder99
02-10-2008, 06:27 AM
Hi everyone!

I was able to do a balance transfer from my Bank of America card. I can call them tomorrow and tell them to close my account!!! YES! I know you're not "supposed" to close accounts, but I'm going to. I don't ever want to be tempted to use a 24% interest card again!

On another note, I'm applying for a new job. It would mean a HUGE cut in salary for me, and a longer drive to work. But it's a great opportunity. If I get this job, I'll have to rework my whole budget. I'll have to become more creative in finding ways to cut my debt. :scared1:

NikiM20
02-10-2008, 08:51 AM
Hi everyone!

I was able to do a balance transfer from my Bank of America card. I can call them tomorrow and tell them to close my account!!! YES! I know you're not "supposed" to close accounts, but I'm going to. I don't ever want to be tempted to use a 24% interest card again!

On another note, I'm applying for a new job. It would mean a HUGE cut in salary for me, and a longer drive to work. But it's a great opportunity. If I get this job, I'll have to rework my whole budget. I'll have to become more creative in finding ways to cut my debt. :scared1:

I would love to get rid of our 25% credit card, but that is our oldest card (15 yrs) So we just dont use it.

FirstTimertoDiz
02-10-2008, 12:53 PM
Hi everyone!

I was able to do a balance transfer from my Bank of America card. I can call them tomorrow and tell them to close my account!!! YES! I know you're not "supposed" to close accounts, but I'm going to. I don't ever want to be tempted to use a 24% interest card again!

On another note, I'm applying for a new job. It would mean a HUGE cut in salary for me, and a longer drive to work. But it's a great opportunity. If I get this job, I'll have to rework my whole budget. I'll have to become more creative in finding ways to cut my debt. :scared1:

I just reworked my budget recently, and was looking for creative ways to trim it down. I signed up at the "living like no one else" forums, which are all about Dave Ramsey's philosophies. I posted my budget on the "pre-baby step 1- form a budget" forum, and I had lots of feedback on things I could do to cut it down. I must say, I was nervous about posting the numbers up there for everyone to see, but now I am so glad I did! Some of the advice was a bit hard to hear, because I was still in denial when it came to some of my "extra" spending money, but everyone there is truly trying to help. Most of them have been in my spot before, and it is inspiring to read how far they have come on this plan. I ended up cutting my monthly expenses by about $300! More for the debt snowball! I am not sure I can post the link here to the other forums, but you can send me a pm if you are interested.

alicenwonder99
02-11-2008, 07:10 AM
I've lurked on that board before. It's very inspirational!!

After today, I'm off from work for the next 3 days. I think I'll hang out over at that board for awhile and see if I can get some good, concrete tips.

I can't wait to tell Bank of America to get lost! lol. I'm so mean. pirate:

Juliee8
02-11-2008, 02:59 PM
I paid off 4 of our small cc's over the past week! Not a huge step, but it gives us a little bit more to put on our 2 bigger cards. By next month we will have all of our small cards paid off and just have the 2 left!!!

rebecca06261
02-12-2008, 06:39 PM
I paid off 4 of our small cc's over the past week! Not a huge step, but it gives us a little bit more to put on our 2 bigger cards. By next month we will have all of our small cards paid off and just have the 2 left!!!

Keep up the great work! :yay: Even though they are little ones, seeing them gone is like 2 steps closer to the goal! I'll have my first small one paid off next week! I can't wait! :woohoo:

Laxmom
02-13-2008, 05:53 AM
Well, it's been a rough couple of weeks. We suffered a loss. My father in law passed away suddenly on Feb. 1. To add to the emotional pain we had to travel to the funeral and pay for hotel for us and DS and DDIL and food. They are just not in a position to do that on their own yet. He is in school and they both work nonprofit jobs. I know that is what an emergency fund is for but now I have to repay that fund before starting on the debt again. I'm just really depressed right now and the debt isn't helping.

I did get a 0% offer from a cc that I have no balance on so I am going to transfer all to that. That will help. Thanks for letting me vent. This is a prime example of preparing for the unexpected at least financially. Be sure to have that emergency fund, guys!

rebecca06261
02-13-2008, 07:40 AM
Well, it's been a rough couple of weeks. We suffered a loss. My father in law passed away suddenly on Feb. 1. To add to the emotional pain we had to travel to the funeral and pay for hotel for us and DS and DDIL and food. They are just not in a position to do that on their own yet. He is in school and they both work nonprofit jobs. I know that is what an emergency fund is for but now I have to repay that fund before starting on the debt again. I'm just really depressed right now and the debt isn't helping.

I did get a 0% offer from a cc that I have no balance on so I am going to transfer all to that. That will help. Thanks for letting me vent. This is a prime example of preparing for the unexpected at least financially. Be sure to have that emergency fund, guys!

I'm sorry for your loss :grouphug:

RayJay
02-13-2008, 09:54 AM
Everyone,

Just a little inspiration for you all, imagine getting your income tax as I just did and also that company profit sharing and not having to put it towards debt.

This is what we always did while we were getting out, and boy did it hurt to have to put it towards past purchases. Flash forward to today where now the dilema is put it in the college funds, go to Disney, buy a Home theater, or maybe a pool. My point is "YOU CAN DO IT" and what waits for you on the other side is hard to describe.

It's the best feeling and once you get there and you'll swear to never go back. You sleep better a night and life is just not as stressful, don't let anyone tell you you need something before you can get it for CASH SAVED. It can be done and many are doing it.

Please help yourselves and your families, as tough as times are you can still have things and shop, once you do it with cash again you will be walking on air.

Good luck to all of you and stay focused. I post on these threads because I never want to forget what it was like, I feel your pain as I read many peoples posts.

I just wanted to say Good Job and Keep going, it's coming.

RayJay

Robert 31320
02-13-2008, 11:20 AM
Well, it's been a rough couple of weeks. We suffered a loss. My father in law passed away suddenly on Feb. 1. To add to the emotional pain we had to travel to the funeral and pay for hotel for us and DS and DDIL and food. They are just not in a position to do that on their own yet. He is in school and they both work nonprofit jobs. I know that is what an emergency fund is for but now I have to repay that fund before starting on the debt again. I'm just really depressed right now and the debt isn't helping.

I did get a 0% offer from a cc that I have no balance on so I am going to transfer all to that. That will help. Thanks for letting me vent. This is a prime example of preparing for the unexpected at least financially. Be sure to have that emergency fund, guys!

Sorry to hear of your loss.

Don't be discouraged by this unexpected cost. Use it as a motivating factor to do even better.

WDWMagicNic
02-13-2008, 09:21 PM
Laxmom-I'm sorry to hear of your loss as well. Thank you for taking the time to share because it really does make us realize why we are trying so hard. The emergency fund is incredibly important and by having something (anything) in place is better than having nothing to fall back on except the credit cards. It's a stressful time, but be strong and be sure to come back here often for the inspiration to get back on track when you are ready.

Laxmom
02-15-2008, 10:48 PM
Thanks for the words of encouragement. Today is a better day. The other day was rough. On top of the expenses we encurred, I found out that my job does not pay funeral leave. Three days. Oh well. Nothing I can do about that for the time being.

Anyway, got my credit balances transferred so now I can put all the money I would have sent the 3 cc's to the one and have no interest. It should be paid off by Christmas. At least that is my goal. I've been reading on other posts about cc companies raising interest rates to 20 something percent. Scary stuff.

Robert 31320
02-16-2008, 07:30 PM
Another CC bites the dust!!! Mailed off payment in full today with a letter to close the account!!! NEXT....

WDWMagicNic
02-17-2008, 10:43 AM
Well, yesterday was a productive day and a step forward in debt reduction. I paid off a bill about three months early. This was good news because it was for something we bought on 12-month free financing. I wanted to make sure it was paid so we didn't have to pay the mounting finance charges that would have went into effect should we have been 30 seconds late. What a relief!

I also took time to go through my bathroom closets to clean and organize them. I was amazed how many travel soaps and shampoos I found as well as some extra toothpaste, etc. I felt like these were all little bonuses as I won't have to purchase these items for at least a month. I am motivated now to go through my pantry and some junk drawers to find useful stuff that I'd forgotten about! :banana:

NCTWINSMOM
02-20-2008, 02:12 PM
Wow! I've had to play catch up with the posts and wanted to say I'm so proud of us all!

For those of you reading this thinking I can't do it, well I'm saying you can and to join us in taking back your $.

Good news, hubby sold his riding lawn mower, tiller and a dorm size frig and that paid off CC#2! So far we've paid off $2370 in two months!

Hubby also picked up DR's book from the library today (TMM). I can't wait to start reading that.

Because we sold a few items that has knocked off 3 months of this year's debt we figured on paying. That just means if murphy doesn't come we can have our debt paid off early!

comicguy
02-20-2008, 03:11 PM
I got one of my CC's to drop my interest rate to 2.99 until the bal. is paid off.:goodvibes I had to speak to a dept called Balance Retention. This departs job is simply to keep people from transferring balances from their card to another one with no interest. Seeing as I have had this card for 18 years, I told them they needed to do something for me because I got an offer from one of my other CC's for a 2.99 on balance until paid off. they agreed to do it. I guess in their mind it is better to lower the interest rate and make a little money then have me move the balance and make no money.:confused3

alicenwonder99
02-21-2008, 09:31 AM
Here's where I am as of today:

Following the Dave Ramsey plan, I paid off 3 "small" (hee-hee...that is, smaller than the HUGE ones) cc's. I have $1000 in my emergency fund, and I started my xmas fund.

I checked our FICO scores and they are super high numbers(low 800's), so I don't have to worry about that.

I never closed my BofA card after my balance transfer because I keep on thinking of "what if".

We are switching car insurance today. I will be saving $100 a month. That is such a huge savings.

And the best thing I have done to save money is NOT BOOK A DISNEY TRIP! Yes, I know that's taboo on this board, but I can't justify a trip to Disney with those cc unpaid. My ds7 is going back in the hospital on Monday for another surgery (this will be #7 since May 2007). If we find out this is his LAST surgery, then we will celebrate with something ALOT less expensive than a WDW trip. Maybe a special trip to Medieval Times?? Anyway, I will not even THINK about another Disney trip until I have cash saved up for it (ok, I will probably think about it, but I won't book it).

Deffenm
02-21-2008, 10:56 AM
We paid off 2 doctor bills, 1 credit card, and a loan to my mom. :cool1: We only have the truck and my student loan left. As long as we stick to our budget we will have both paid off by Oct. We will have our $1,000 emergency fund saved by June, and we should have enough money to pay for our 2009 WDW trip by end of year. :banana:

We are not going to WDW this year due to our plan to get out of debt but next year when we go no worries.

tinaluis
02-21-2008, 11:18 AM
And the best thing I have done to save money is NOT BOOK A DISNEY TRIP! Yes, I know that's taboo on this board, but I can't justify a trip to Disney with those cc unpaid.

Congratulations on paying off some of your bills! I know what you mean about not booking a Disney trip. It seems that I would be so much better off if I could just get this Disney obsession out of my head!!!!!!! Of course, it doesn't help that we still have park days left on our tickets and APs for US/IOA.

I hope your son's surgery goes well. Keep up the good work :thumbsup2 !

vic32
02-21-2008, 03:37 PM
I am so glad I found this thread. You are all so inspiring!! We are going to make a game plan! My end goal is to pay off all cc debt, so we can get DVC!!!! More debt, but fun and useful debt!

jenm2878
02-22-2008, 12:15 PM
We got our tax refund today and it went straight towards the LOC. I only kept enough of it so we can buy a new mattress. (We've both had back aches for the better part of a year) I should be tickled that my debt just went down $4k, but it's a bit sad to not be able to do anything 'fun' with our refund. I figured some things out and if we stay in our house another 5 years, (wanted to move in 2) we'll be able to pay off all of our mountainous student loans. Again, :) to be out from under the loans but :( that we have another 5 years in this house.

I know we're doing a good thing, but sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees, ya know? *sigh* Just keep plugging along I guess.

smiller
02-22-2008, 01:18 PM
I just paid an extra $76 on my smallest balance! It's fun trying to find money to pay it off with. :cool1:

Kathy C
02-22-2008, 03:14 PM
Subscribing.

mickeysbutler
02-23-2008, 11:35 AM
my dh & I began the plan less than a month ago. We now have our $1000 in savings, and plan on having over $17,000 in debt paid off by January. DD starts kindergarten this fall which will save us $600/month and we will have a $620/month debt paid off in July. Very exciting when you sit down and look at the numbers!!!

mickeysbutler
02-23-2008, 11:37 AM
we have quit eating out and limit ourselves to $60/week for groceries (fam. of 4) and $40/week for gas (2cars-both work local!!)

akmom
02-26-2008, 01:00 PM
I have been faithfully following this thread. This year we are trying to paydown alot of debts. There really isn't anything out of the ordinary. We do have about 7k in cc but that is on a no interest card. Everything else is car, truck, and student loans.

Thursday night I paid off a card that had $1500 remaining. We were very excited. Our excitement was rewarded by yesterday someone backing into my husband's truck...and not leaving a note. Well hello $500 deductible. :confused3

2 steps forward 1 step back.

I feel your pain here! Friday I checked the mail, state refund check was here. $400, wohoo! At least it's something. DH gets home and says he rear ended someone by sliding on the ice. $500 deductible. :( Boo!!!

NCTWINSMOM
02-28-2008, 01:44 PM
We got our tax refund today and it went straight towards the LOC. I only kept enough of it so we can buy a new mattress. (We've both had back aches for the better part of a year) I should be tickled that my debt just went down $4k, but it's a bit sad to not be able to do anything 'fun' with our refund. I figured some things out and if we stay in our house another 5 years, (wanted to move in 2) we'll be able to pay off all of our mountainous student loans. Again, :) to be out from under the loans but :( that we have another 5 years in this house.

I know we're doing a good thing, but sometimes it's hard to see the forest for the trees, ya know? *sigh* Just keep plugging along I guess.

I know how you feel...I was bummed thinking it's going to take us 4 years to get into "the house". So I've started collecting house pictures that I like, or plans that I like and I have them posted on the pantry door. It's a nice reminder that I'm looking into our future just 4 years from now...

2 years to pay off debt and 2 years to save for the house!

luv2nascar
02-29-2008, 06:49 PM
Had $8,385 in CC debt to pay off
Paid $2,885 on one card off 2/28
down to $5,500 in CC debt on two cards.
Onward and downward. In March will chisel the other two cards down.
(owe $2,200 on one and $3,300 on other).

8 Ears
03-01-2008, 06:16 AM
Yesterday I paid off $3,000.00 in CC debt :goodvibes but still owe $1,800.00 :rolleyes: but that is our last one! Wahoo!!:cool1:

Robert 31320
03-01-2008, 07:10 AM
Just mailed a BIG "principle reduction" payment on the Suburban! By late summer it will be our's!

carissanboys
03-01-2008, 07:19 AM
Just mailed a BIG "principle reduction" payment on the Suburban! By late summer it will be our's!

I've heard of doing that on a house, but not on a vehicle. If our loan is through our bank, can I just call up and say I want to put such and such an amount on the principle?

lttlmc3
03-01-2008, 09:19 AM
Well, my DH is gone so now it's time to reduce our debt! I've already started, but yesterday I went to the dreaded Target and spent $117 on things I really didn't need:scared1: I'm a pushover for that store! So now I feel guilty:sad1:

bdcp
03-01-2008, 09:27 AM
I've heard of doing that on a house, but not on a vehicle. If our loan is through our bank, can I just call up and say I want to put such and such an amount on the principle?

Any payment received that is over the regular payment is put towards principle. I currently send about 35/month extra on my Honda Pilot payment (round up to next $100) and it's even on the statement every month that anything over regular payment goes against principle. As a result, my minimum payment is lower on each statement, but if I only paid the minimum the next month's payment would be the regular amount. What I am doing is shortening the length of my auto loan. We have never gone the distance on an auto loan, usually paid off about a year early and by sending extra I am shortening the length of my loan. I can also do the same with my DH's car through our credit union by going to the ATM or going in and authorizing an amount to go towards it. You can also change the amount going towards it every month if it's an automatic payment. Just call or go in and find out how.

castleview
03-01-2008, 09:56 AM
Just paid off the Kohl's charge!

caitty13
03-01-2008, 10:17 AM
I plan on paying my Kohls charge with in the next month. The problem I have with kohls is the discounts I keep getting, it makes me use my card :scared1: Keep up the good work everyone.

2manypets
03-01-2008, 10:57 AM
I've got to jump on board with the debt reducers!

I started seriously paying our debt down last month and of course Murphy's Law hit us. The dog had to go to the vet, a rock hit my windshield and had to replace it, a tire blew, etc, etc, etc. Even with the over thousand dollar payment to CC#1, at the end of the month, I only paid down the debt a few hundred. :sad2: This month we'll have the tax refund to pay down debt with. Eventually we'll be CC free!

Ya'll are keeping me inspired!

carissanboys
03-01-2008, 11:10 AM
Any payment received that is over the regular payment is put towards principle. I currently send about 35/month extra on my Honda Pilot payment (round up to next $100) and it's even on the statement every month that anything over regular payment goes against principle. As a result, my minimum payment is lower on each statement, but if I only paid the minimum the next month's payment would be the regular amount. What I am doing is shortening the length of my auto loan. We have never gone the distance on an auto loan, usually paid off about a year early and by sending extra I am shortening the length of my loan. I can also do the same with my DH's car through our credit union by going to the ATM or going in and authorizing an amount to go towards it. You can also change the amount going towards it every month if it's an automatic payment. Just call or go in and find out how.

Thanks! I'm going to call my bank on Monday and see about changing our monthly payment :) I'd love to pay our vehicles off quicker than 5 years.

Laxmom
03-01-2008, 03:35 PM
Hi guys. I have been gone for a week or so. Beleive if or not, my DH's Step Dad died on Sunday. If you remember, his Dad died 3 weeks ago. Thanks for the syber hugs. What a month. We are worn out physically and emotionally.

Anyway, got my 0% check deposited and paid off Am EX and Chase. I am going to send a chunk to my now only remaining cc and will pay it off next month. After all of the travel for 2 funerals, flowers, hotels, food etc. I don't want to tap out the emergency fund completely but should have replenished it enough to feel comfortable by next month to send the balance owed to that last cc. That leaves the 0% card as the only one. Doesn't that feel just awesome!!!

smiller
03-03-2008, 12:26 PM
It's funny how much I look forward to the first Monday of the month - I get to make my CC payments! I love seeing the balances go down! Disney Visa in full, just a little over minimum payment on 2 others, and over double minimum payment on the smallest! :cool1:

Now it's time to find extra money this month to pay off on the smallest! :thumbsup2

Suzanna1973
03-03-2008, 12:56 PM
Joining this thread. I have paid off 6 bills since January 1st. Taking things a little at a time. Will be paying off two more bills with the month of March!

I like the idea of making my reward joining DVC...I think that's just what I'll do!! If all goes as planned(knock wood) I should be able to join in 2009.

erinsn77
03-03-2008, 01:02 PM
subscribing

erinsn77
03-03-2008, 01:16 PM
We live in York Township, I grew up in Dover. We are tentatively looking at the Orange County area of New York, about an hour west of NYC I think. It's gonna be a real change for us, the only time we leave York is to go to WDW!
:laughing:



Well HI, Im originally from Spring Grove.. so know my way around York myself and Dover!! I live in NC now been here for somtime now.. I like it not too bad.. but I make my way up that way everyonce in awhile!

NCTWINSMOM
03-04-2008, 01:57 PM
Well Murphy came knocking this weekend...

Saturday it was tires for the Saturn then Monday when driving to work the alternator died:scared1:

Ever car has broken down on me, never my DH? What's up with that?

Anyway so the price for the alternator was....$79 for the alternator (thanks to FIL's discount) and labor from our favorite mechanic in the world...$91! So not as bad as I thought, but still it was money out of our savings...

tinaninea
03-04-2008, 02:50 PM
I have to join! DH and I just pulled our credit reports and to put it nicely, our credit sucks! We used income tax to pay off DHs credit card. I have one that is maxed out too, just $1000, last night I paid $200 on it and I have a total of 3 medical debts on my report. I called & paid 2 last week and promised to pay one this friday. I asked for a settlement offer on them and got 25% off! So I still have plenty of debt, but it was a good start & we plan to continue paying it down and trying to increase our scores. We have paid off 2 houses, including the one we live in, I feel like we should have excellent credit, & it's just the opposite. It makes me feel like a complete idiot. :confused:

ess
03-04-2008, 03:05 PM
I have to join! DH and I just pulled our credit reports and to put it nicely, our credit sucks! We used income tax to pay off DHs credit card. I have one that is maxed out too, just $1000, last night I paid $200 on it and I have a total of 3 medical debts on my report. I called & paid 2 last week and promised to pay one this friday. I asked for a settlement offer on them and got 25% off! So I still have plenty of debt, but it was a good start & we plan to continue paying it down and trying to increase our scores. We have paid off 2 houses, including the one we live in, I feel like we should have excellent credit, & it's just the opposite. It makes me feel like a complete idiot. :confused:

Read creditboards.com under medical and you might find ways to get them off your credit report.

brockscandy
03-07-2008, 12:08 PM
Monday, I was able to make the last payment on a hospital bill and this morning I paid off Chase!!!:banana: :banana: :banana: Only one more card to pay. It is looking good!

Jennifer823
03-07-2008, 12:27 PM
Can you guys recommend the best way to set up a budget? Is there any free software I can use, or a website? Thanks!!

NY Disney fan
03-07-2008, 12:33 PM
Can you guys recommend the best way to set up a budget?


Create an Excel spreadsheet. That's what I have been doing for years. Take your monthly/weekly pay. Say your monthly pay is: $2000 a month (an example).

Column 1: Categories
Rent/Mortgage
Groceries
Gas
Savings
Misc.
etc.

Column 2: Plug in the numbers
Rent $800
Groceries: $300
etc.

"spend" the $2000 on paper at the beginning of the month. Use every last cent. Then as the month goes by, start erasing/deleting the amounts from your little chart/spreadsheet. By the end of the month, you should have $0 left over on your sheet on all categories.

I've been doing that for years and it works for me.

akmom
03-07-2008, 01:41 PM
I paid of my van today! I'm so excited. One debt gone. Now on to the next one. :cool1:

kimluvswdw
03-07-2008, 03:23 PM
I'm in too. My income as a Real Estate agent has pretty much gone away so to get my debt gone I have decided to get a full time job until things pick back up. I have already cut out things that we could and have made a hefty payment to the credit card company. I guess it is a place to start.

comicguy
03-07-2008, 06:49 PM
I just sent 2000.00 to chase this morning. Although the card is not paid offit is much closer. Only 1500.00 left on this one then I can tackle the wife's student loan as there is less than 3000.00 left on that one.

NCTWINSMOM
03-07-2008, 07:55 PM
Create an Excel spreadsheet. That's what I have been doing for years. Take your monthly/weekly pay. Say your monthly pay is: $2000 a month (an example).

Column 1: Categories
Rent/Mortgage
Groceries
Gas
Savings
Misc.
etc.

Column 2: Plug in the numbers
Rent $800
Groceries: $300
etc.

"spend" the $2000 on paper at the beginning of the month. Use every last cent. Then as the month goes by, start erasing/deleting the amounts from your little chart/spreadsheet. By the end of the month, you should have $0 left over on your sheet on all categories.

I've been doing that for years and it works for me.


I also created an Excel spreadsheet. If you want some sheets to look at, try googling Free Budget Worksheets or visit your local library. I've made copies of worksheets provided in the back of several financial planner books.

Shanan
03-08-2008, 07:41 AM
We had tax problems and medical bills last year that totally depleted our EF. I have been working on saving that and also paying off a credit card bill. I get it down to less then $1000 and then DH charges something on it. My car needs some work - speedometer does not work & sometimes the a/c & heat goes out. We had a bad hail storm which damaged our roof, broke 3 out of 4 double pane windows, and also did over $3500 damage to DH's truck (not including needing a new hood from the hail). With a $1500 house deductable and $500 truck deductable lets just say that we did not have that much money in EF. I can't help but fill like we are running in quicksand since no matter what I do we are behind the 8 ball.

We have been eating out of the freezer and pantry; take my lunch to work; saving change;and other money saving tips. Does anyone else get frustrated or disappointed?

blessedmommyX4
03-08-2008, 08:05 AM
We are also reducing our debt!! Outside of student loans, we do not have that much- maybe $3,000. We have no car payments.

My biggest problem is this...we have a TON of student loan debt $50,000 between the two of us. Yes, you read that right. How on earth can I get it all paid off faster? Two of the loans are smaller @ $6K each. the next smaller one is $18K though.

We REALLY want to buy a home soon. We are trying to rebuild our credit and save for a down-payment.

My husband works full time and I currently work full time. However, my husband has told me to quit my job. We homeschool our kids and it is very hard to homeschool and work. The kids come first.

any ideas on ways to reduce st loans faster? I am not seeing the light at the end of that tunnel... and I need to!

blessedmommyX4
03-08-2008, 08:41 AM
We are also reducing our debt!! Outside of student loans, we do not have that much- maybe $3,000. We have no car payments.

My biggest problem is this...we have a TON of student loan debt $50,000 between the two of us. Yes, you read that right. How on earth can I get it all paid off faster? Two of the loans are smaller @ $6K each. the next smaller one is $18K though.

We REALLY want to buy a home soon. We are trying to rebuild our credit and save for a down-payment.

My husband works full time and I currently work full time. However, my husband has told me to quit my job. We homeschool our kids and it is very hard to homeschool and work. The kids come first.

any ideas on ways to reduce st loans faster? I am not seeing the light at the end of that tunnel... and I need to!


I wanted to add that of the $3,000 other debt, about $300 of that is from credit cards. All of the rest of that is medical bills from last year (2 surgeries and a hospitalization for my 4yo.

blessedmommyX4
03-08-2008, 08:44 AM
We had tax problems and medical bills last year that totally depleted our EF. I have been working on saving that and also paying off a credit card bill. I get it down to less then $1000 and then DH charges something on it. My car needs some work - speedometer does not work & sometimes the a/c & heat goes out. We had a bad hail storm which damaged our roof, broke 3 out of 4 double pane windows, and also did over $3500 damage to DH's truck (not including needing a new hood from the hail). With a $1500 house deductable and $500 truck deductable lets just say that we did not have that much money in EF. I can't help but fill like we are running in quicksand since no matter what I do we are behind the 8 ball.

We have been eating out of the freezer and pantry; take my lunch to work; saving change;and other money saving tips. Does anyone else get frustrated or disappointed?


Don't give up!!! Satan sets out to kill, steal, and destroy anything that comes in his way. Your financial freedom WILL be under attack because money alone causes problems for most people. Keep at it...you are doing GOOD!!!!!!!!!!

Aisling
03-08-2008, 09:46 AM
I can't help but fill like we are running in quicksand since no matter what I do we are behind the 8 ball.

We have been eating out of the freezer and pantry; take my lunch to work; saving change;and other money saving tips. Does anyone else get frustrated or disappointed?

I get frustrated just like you. Sometimes I feel like the debt is never going to be gone, as something always comes up to take its place. Well, not always, but whe it does, its discouraging. Just keep doing what you're doing, paying it down. But try not to be too obsessive over money saving tips. It sounds like you're doing all the right things, but make it your lifestyle, not your life. It may not feel like it sometimes, but you're on the RIGHT TRACK. I wish I knew what more to say to you, other than I totally feel your frustration and disappointment.

Disneyoverload42
03-08-2008, 10:15 AM
:cool1: :cool1: We just paid off another loan!!! The one that has been hounding us for a couple of years at 33% interest (yes you read that right!)

We are down to Student Loans 102,000
mortgage 122,000
and our final little line of credit (unsecured) of 14,000

And it's bonus month!!!:banana: :banana:

TarzansKat
03-08-2008, 03:08 PM
After a long time lurking, I bit the bullet and joined on up! Just wanted to say thanks to all you debt reducers for helping to keep me on the right track. Thanks to this thread, and the Budget Boards, I've been paying off debt like crazy and am even more budget-minded. Last year we paid over $6000 in student loans (which are our only debt, but a very big one). Reading these boards has helped keep me going, even when I feel like there's no end in sight! So a big thank you, and looking forward to actively participating. :goodvibes

smiller
03-10-2008, 01:53 PM
I paid another $6 on my smallest card this morning - and then I added up all the columns in my debt spreadsheet - it is depressing! At least it's nice to see how it's gone DOWN over the past three months (well, it's been going down for several months, I just don't have them on the spreadsheet :) ).

I just keep plugging away! :goodvibes

yupikgal
03-11-2008, 06:53 AM
I've read all of the posts on this thread...sadly, I found this website to begin with back in 2003 when I was planning our last (hopefully not last!) trip to WDW...we live in Alaska, so it's hard for us to plan anything outside the state, since we would have to pay for 4 airfares, which isn't cheap!!

Anyway, we moved to where we live now in 2004, and due to a lot of upheavel in our lives, the move, new schools, new jobs, changing jobs, me not working full time consistently, deaths in family, we racked up some BIG bills..I am tired of being in debt, and as I type right now it's 4am so obviously it's bothering me enough to write this. I need encouragement and support, and I figured if I joined a group like this it would help. My husband doesn't have anything to do with making sure the bills get paid other than donating his entire paycheck (which is a biggie) but I am always stressed trying to rob Peter to pay Paul.

We have a massive amount of cc debt, way more than any of the posters have mentioned here, more in the $45k range...not to mention two car loans + 4 wheeler loan. Also a small JCPenney bill for about $400. The one car loan is less than $3300, so that's good (at this point that sounds low to me) and our truck loan we owe $7600 on (it started out being about $22k so this is good) I just feel like there is no hope at this point, but I'm trying to be positive.

I went from a 64/hr month job (I job shared) to a full time job, so that helps a lot. I'm getting paid on Friday, this will be my 2nd paycheck! I'm very grateful to have gotten the job that I have, my pay isn't high, but I have great benefits, including free tuition (which will come in handy in a couple of years our daughter graduates from hs) and retirement, leave, medical, etc.

I've already cut out two gym memberships, downgraded cable, and cut off other monthly expenses, but I know that I can do more. I've cut out eating out, although we just attended a wedding this past weekend and we stayed at a hotel for a night and ate out a couple of times. I have a lot of inventory from former direct sales businesses that I used to do, so I have been posting on Craigslist, although I haven't done Ebay, just not sure what to do there.

I would love a nice, simple easy spreadsheet that can show progress as we tackle the insurmountable debt that we have to face. If any of you want to personally email me with any tips, hints, advice, etc. please feel free!! tkpowell@mtaonline.net
I'm also on Yahoo Messenger as: spicyinalaska or akcardsender

Thanks so much, and hope to hear from some of you soon!!
Kelly ; )):headache:

tmarquez
03-11-2008, 07:26 AM
Just finished paying off my car. Now I have an extra $300 per month to put towards credit cards.

I'm really excited because in addition to the $300, in May we will have an additional $200 per month due to child support for my step son ending, although he's coming here to go to college so we won't be saving the full amount, but we're proud of him (first in his family to go to college)! Then in July my DD will be leaving private preschool and entering public kindergarten so that's another $400 per month in our pockets.

I don't have a spreadsheet...but would like one...does anyone have any reccomendations?

MyGoofy26
03-11-2008, 08:24 AM
For those of you looking for spreadsheets, there's one over on Creditboards that's pretty good. It's for credit cards but you should be able to put your other debts in there as well, haven't tried it.

http://creditboards.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=237067

I think you have to be logged in to download it though, so you may have to register if you're not registered over there already.

Laxmom
03-11-2008, 07:17 PM
Welcome, Kelly! Do you feel better after venting? I know I did. It felt like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders just to admit our debt. You are determined to do something about it and that is awesome! Keep your chin up and realize, like I did, that I didn't get in this position overnight so it will take more than overnight to get out! I haven't even figured how long it will be until we are debt free. I would rather celebrate the small victories of saving and paying things down. Your aren't alone.:thumbsup2

tinaninea
03-11-2008, 08:07 PM
Okay, I'm so in! DH and I have about $42,000 total debt. This includes 2 CCs with less than $1000 total, About $19000 in student loans between the 2 of us, $16000 on DHs truck, and a personal loan from a distant relative that I wish I had never gotten for $6200.
I also have a lease on my car w/2 years left on it. Not sure what I'm going to do with that yet. I have a few options.

So, I've started with the CCs!

jhnsnfamily
03-11-2008, 08:58 PM
Hey! This family is IN! :goodvibes I read Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace book about 7 ? years ago and we have been doing the envelope system and have lived off a very strict budget since then. From 1999 to 2003, I was a SAHM and DH was laid off. He was able to obtain a contract job at the base near where we used to live, but NO INSURANCE AND NO BENEFITS. If he called in sick -- no $$$ that day. Plus, we had two little ones (the baby had RSV and was on breathing treatments every 4 hours) so we had to buy health insurance...the bare bones plan (for major medical only) was $500 a month! Our house payment was $858 a month and our van payment was $350 a month -- not much was left after that on only $37,000 a year. Let's just say we only paid the minimum due on the CCs and A LOT of stuff went on CCs, even though we were very frugal -- our "entertainment" budget was only $50 a month, which was basically one meal out. People would ask us to go to dinner with them (esp. family), but we'd decline and invite them over for dessert and I'd throw some brownies or a pie in the oven. It was VERY HARD and VERY STRESSFUL. :headache: I was the coupon queen, and I never missed double or triple coupon days! (The most I ever saved was over $120!)

Okay, so that's what we were doing wrong (not that I'd give up my five years with my boys, but it really affected our financial future and was very stressful on our marriage). Thankfully, we are in a much better financial place and since DH has become a FF/Paramedic and I've been employed full-time since June 2003, we are now making over $100,000 a year (together). SO, we are paying over $1,000 a month toward credit card debt! WOOHOO! Two years to go and we'll be debt free (except our house, which we just refinanced and are saving $200 a month with no CC debt rolled in!). :woohoo: Oh yeah, all CCs are fixed for life 1 @ 1.99, 1 @ 2.99, and 1 @ 3.99%. Paying off 3.99 first, then 2.99, etc.

All the while we are investing for our retirement via our Deferred Comp plans at work (we both work for a municipality so we'll have retirement PLUS deferred comp payouts) and saving $250 to $500 a month--trying to save that three-month emergency fund that Dave Ramsey talks about. We are almost there.

We continue to live with the envelope system and a very strict budget, but it's so habitual now that we don't even think about. Check the envelope .. no money = no spendy! I've had to modify the budget along the way to include school clothes and supplies for the kids and all of their endless sports and activities (which REALLY adds up ... to over $1200 a year! :scared1: I couldn't believe it when I started keeping track last year! Another envelope was added with $100 going in each month!)

Sorry so long ... :rolleyes1 I'm almost done! DH also is a drummer in a RNR band and when he plays out, he gets about $100 a show. He also works PT for our community EMS station ($5500 last year), and we use that money strictly for vacations, camping, and "unbudgeted" items (like $50 pool toys for the boys and winter tubing trips... ahem ...) ... that's how we're going to DISNEY! :lmao: (He thinks he's buying a 4-wheeler next year ... :sad2: ).

Anyway, thanks for listening, and thanks for letting me join! I love the SNOWBALL plan (I'm just sick of SNOW!). Bring on spring! :hippie:

jhnsnfamily
03-11-2008, 09:09 PM
Well, DH and I were married in 1995 and EVERYTHING IN OUR HOME (except for our mattress set and the boys' bedroom furniture) was purchased then or are hand-me-downs from family members. Our "new to us" house needs new carpet, the boys' bedroom furniture needs to be replaced (cheap plywood crap from Value City and Odd Lots), the LR and FR furniture needs to be replaced, and I painted the kitchen/DR/LR last summer, but I'd really love to replace the counter tops, sink, faucets, etc. That's what I'd love to do when we are debt free ... and save for two college educations! :laughing: :rotfl2: :rotfl:

No seriously ... anybody know a good investment advisor? :confused3

roselark
03-11-2008, 09:11 PM
Woohoo! Yearly bonuses came in and I was able to pay down another big chunk on one of the cards. With this payment, our overall CC debt is down to under $20K. I am soooo happy about that, since we started the year at over $27K.

$8K of that is actually my mom's that will be paid back when my grandmother's house sells and is all on a 0% card...we are including it in our pay down plan though just in case...

I never would have thought that we could pay off all our cards in a year, but it looks like we just might be able to! Both DH and I make pretty good salaries and have no kids, but allowed our CC spending to get out of hand over the last 2 years. I have always been able to afford more than the minimum payment and just never really realized how much we had until I totaled it all up.

brockscandy
03-12-2008, 09:17 AM
Hi Kelly!

I just wanted to give you some warm thoughts this morning. I coordinate a Finanicial Peace class at our church. This semester's class is really a class that "needs" this information. However, we had a couple report last week that they have paid off over $6,000 since trying this approach since October and all they will be debt free except for the house by next summer. That will be almost $75,000 in debt paid off - but it will take them almost 2 years. They finally saw the big picture and they are excited!!! You can do it, it will just take baby steps. Warm wishes:hug: and good luck! We are cheering you on, girl :yay:

Kandee

yupikgal
03-12-2008, 03:27 PM
Kandee, thanks soo much for your warm welcome. I would like to keep in touch with you, I saw your email but I have very little time at lunch, I'm off on Friday, if you are on Yahoo IM please IM me or I'll just reply back to your email later this evening from home...I would love to know more about your financial peace class!!

Hugs, Kelly

yupikgal
03-12-2008, 08:37 PM
*bumpp*

Grumpy's Gal
03-12-2008, 11:02 PM
I also took time to go through my bathroom closets to clean and organize them. I was amazed how many travel soaps and shampoos I found as well as some extra toothpaste, etc. I felt like these were all little bonuses as I won't have to purchase these items for at least a month. I am motivated now to go through my pantry and some junk drawers to find useful stuff that I'd forgotten about! :banana:

I was just reading this thread -- and I wanted to offer a suggestion. I know this won't help anyone pay off their bills, but it might help a little here and there.

Visit http://walmart.triaddigital.com/Free-Samples.aspx. You can sign up for 5-6 free samples of everything like shamppoo and laundry soap to lotion and hair care products. Even food sometimes. I check this site every few weeks and I have free samples arriving ALL THE TIME. I especially sign up for the laundry soap and dryer sheet samples. Every little bit helps!

yupikgal
03-13-2008, 08:48 AM
hi Grumpys, and thank you for the ideas! I do like samples, whenever my husband travels for work he brings those back, or I get them from people that send me samples from their direct sales businesses, and I actually have some from mine (Watkins) so it helps!

Thanks for the encouragement and ideas...

Appreciate it!

Happy Thursday! I get a day off tomorrow for Spring Break since I work for the University of Alaska, and I plan on doing a lot of spring cleaning and organizing and getting things done.

Cheers, Kelly :thumbsup2

carwesty
03-13-2008, 09:14 AM
I don't know if this has been posted or not but I love this spreadsheet. You just plug all the information in and see how long it will take and tweak it to fit your needs.

http://www.whatsthecost.com/snowball.aspx?country=us

tinaninea
03-13-2008, 11:30 AM
Thanks for the link! It says I'll be paid off in 3 & 1/2 years. That seems like so long for ssomeone who didn't even consider herself to be in debt. :laughing:

Oh well, hopefully I can keep up with this and get there!

yupikgal
03-14-2008, 10:12 AM
I don't know if this has been posted or not but I love this spreadsheet. You just plug all the information in and see how long it will take and tweak it to fit your needs.

http://www.whatsthecost.com/snowball.aspx?country=us

that was nice of you, thanks!

Kelly :yay:

mom2kazkids
03-14-2008, 01:50 PM
Ok I have been following this thread, but was yet to post. I am very happy to say that yesterday I paid off DH truck. Now I just need to work on one credit card with no interest until May 08 that we still owe $800 on, Home Depot with no interest until June that we bought appiances with, and a home equity loan that we will be able to pay off once I receive some money from my mom. By May we should be down to my van payment and our house payment, then I will start double payments on the van and have that gone in a year.

Barb

8 Ears
03-14-2008, 02:33 PM
I think I am going to :sad1: , so proud of us last night when after DH sold some firearms we paid off $200.00 in medical bills :cool1: , then I opened yesterdays mail and we had got another one for $68.51 :rolleyes: but then I get home today and we have an email from our insurance of another bill for nearly $700.00 :scared1:

If you have been following me since September you know that one DS broke his leg in September, DH backed into a skidder in October and other DS broke his toes in November :headache: so i would think here before long the bills would stop coming in!!?? The $700.00 one is for services provided for the broken leg back in September!! and they were just sent to the insurance in Feb.??!! :confused3

OK, back to being positive........ we reduced our debt last night by $200.00:goodvibes

Have a wonderful weekend everyone :hippie:

tinaluis
03-14-2008, 02:39 PM
Ok I have been following this thread, but was yet to post. I am very happy to say that yesterday I paid off DH truck. Now I just need to work on one credit card with no interest until May 08 that we still owe $800 on, Home Depot with no interest until June that we bought appiances with, and a home equity loan that we will be able to pay off once I receive some money from my mom. By May we should be down to my van payment and our house payment, then I will start double payments on the van and have that gone in a year.

Barb

Wow, WTG!!!!!!!!!

jhnsnfamily
03-15-2008, 02:27 PM
and went from 7.5% to 4.78%!!! :cool1: :banana: :thumbsup2 :woohoo: :yay:

I'm saving $65 a month this way, which means $65 more toward our debt payoff plan! Five-year loan ... heh heh heh ... I'll pay it off in 3!

Just wanted to share!

caitty13
03-17-2008, 02:27 PM
bumping

RayJay
03-17-2008, 03:23 PM
I think I am going to :sad1: , so proud of us last night when after DH sold some firearms we paid off $200.00 in medical bills :cool1: , then I opened yesterdays mail and we had got another one for $68.51 :rolleyes: but then I get home today and we have an email from our insurance of another bill for nearly $700.00 :scared1:

If you have been following me since September you know that one DS broke his leg in September, DH backed into a skidder in October and other DS broke his toes in November :headache: so i would think here before long the bills would stop coming in!!?? The $700.00 one is for services provided for the broken leg back in September!! and they were just sent to the insurance in Feb.??!! :confused3

OK, back to being positive........ we reduced our debt last night by $200.00:goodvibes

Have a wonderful weekend everyone :hippie:

These things will happen, stay strong, your doing great.

RayJay

Juliee8
03-18-2008, 11:41 AM
I just sent in the final payment for our medical bills!!! I also called 2 of our credit cards companys and got them to drop our rates down to 7.99%!!!

lttlmc3
03-18-2008, 03:17 PM
bump!