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    #16
    I am taking online classes only, so that's not an issue.

    Moving closer to where I work is an issue, though. Most of the cheaper places here are seriously crime riddled (I mean murders, rapes, drugs, etc.). There are a couple of areas within 15 miles of my office that we are looking into, but I've already been turned down for the apartments and houses do not come up to often for rent there (at least not in my price range). I'm keeping my fingers crossed, though.

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      #17
      I can't help you much except to agree to do what you have to do to lower your bills, even if it destroys his credit, at least you guys will be ok. The one area that I would like to touch on is the groceries and household expenses. There are only three of you. I think that with careful planning and couponing you could get that down easily to 100 a week.(maybe even less some weeks) It is only 25 extra a week but that is a hundred a month. For example, I just got coupons off ebay for scott naturals bath tissue. they were 1/a four roll pack or larger. my walmart sells them for about 2.88. it is a 4 roll mega rolls equal to 10 rolls regular rolls. so I pay about 1.88 for a pack of the "good" stuff and it lasts longer than that really cheap stuff: angel soft. This is just an example. I can't use a lot of coupons now because we changed our eating habits but depending on what you guys eat you can still save at least 25 a week. I save on cleaning supplies, shampoos, etc. there are also options to make a little money online. it's not much but every little bit helps. feel free to email me for info. I do not get anything for this. I just want to help. they will not be affiliate links. to be honest I don't have time or interest for that sort of thing. I have one that I write for and get paid about 10 a month, I could do better but I hate to write! my email is cicy35@yahoo.com

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        #18
        Yeah... $125 is high, but that's the max we ever spend (I'm bad about rounding my income down some and my bills up some). Most weeks, we get away with $75 or less (like, the last 2 weeks, we've only spent $50-ish because we were given some deer meat, and didn't need much else). Unfortunately, we ended up going out to eat and splurging, so... yeah... not very good.
        Last edited by catatonico; 05-14-2010, 07:09 PM.

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          #19
          Your husband should focus on cutting all extraneous costs. He should learn to cook, cut coupons, etc. That way he is able to reduce your spending to a minimum and maximize your income since he can't work.

          It's work caring for a child, I won't touch the criminal stuff since I have no idea the backstory. It can easily be full time if he is cooking and cleaning on top of it.

          But because you are in the hole, I would definitely tell him to cut the grocery budget bare bones, cut his cell to a prepaid cell, cut cable and use basic internet.
          LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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            #20
            My husband is not the problem here. He contributes more to our way of life and well being then his working could ever contribute. And he has nothing against taking whatever legal opportunity comes his way to make a little extra cash. Unfortunately, EVERYONE in this area is hurting and doing the exact same thing.

            I desperately want to figure out how to save a little money, but at the same time, I want to keep the little that I have built back up after losing everything that we had.

            Everyone says cut out all of the unnecessary expenses. I have read posts of people that have 6+ months of savings and little debt berating themselves because they spent $100.00. I have a very difficult time wrapping my mind around the concept of saving money just to have money. I can understand the desire to save money for stability and for the future. But what good is saving and scrimping and scrounging and working your tail off for years if you have absolutely nothing but a bank account full of money to show for it, but no fun memories of the journey? Its like a diet... when you are dieting and you stop allowing yourself any of your favorite foods or rewards, most people end up binging or simply just giving up.

            One of my main concerns is trying to get us out of this hell-hole that we live in. There are some items that can definitely be cut down and will be as soon as possible (the cable will be completely dropped when we move, as we are already as low as our contract will allow, without paying fees that would end up not saving us any money). I am trying very hard not to add anything else negative to my credit, as there is a chance I can qualify for an FHA loan in a couple of years. I am concerned about our lack of an EF (I don't count my 401k, since I pretend its not there and its not a lot, anyway) and would like advice, specifically, on what to do with the collections on my credit.

            Are there baby steps to saving? To be quite honest, this "spoiled princess" is finding the idea of cutting absolutely everything that she enjoys out at once extremely daunting and more than a little scary.

            Feel free to flame away

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              #21
              Cataconico- I am not going to flame you here I promise! I genuinely hope that your situation gets better soon. You seem to have a lot of issues that have come up recently that would look daunting to anyone. But it seems that you have seen at least some light or you would not be here asking for help (if that makes any sense).

              This is what I would do in your situation with the creditors and some of the other stuff.
              1. Pick and choose from the advise given that sounds the best for your situation. Don't worry about what anyone says about your husband. If you love him and you know that you both are trying your best then leave it at that.

              2. As far as the creditors go, anyone on here will tell you that technically they should all be paid, but life isn't as seemingly perfect for some as others. Let the older ones drop and once you have some extra funds try to pay off the newer ones. Some of them look like small debts that can be paid easier. I would focus on those.

              3. Please please please stay away from the rental places. Pay Aaron's off and do yourself a favor and never go back. I'm not saying that you're stupid or anything, but those places are pretty much bad news (but I think you know that now!)

              4. You seem to think that having some savings is bad or futile, but it's always a good thing to have a nice backup. I'll agree with you that some very frugal people beat themselves up over the smallest amount of money (sometimes I do it too!) Try to get up a little EF and make saving fun for yourself, but of course like you said if you never splurge ever what's the fun in life?

              Good luck with your financial journey and hope that everything starts to fall into place soon!

              Comment


                #22
                NM,

                I really appreciate what you said, and everyone else on here, has said. I know that, even though we are maintaining right now, it wouldn't take much to leave me scrounging to pay for an emergency right now.

                My husband and I have discussed our bills and gone back over our spending habits and have managed to locate some definite areas for spending less. I don't have anymore *wants* besides a better place to live and a better car (the car is extremely frivolous though, so that will just have to wait until I can save for it). With strictly watching what we spend, I can find about $600/month to put to savings (or some of those creditors that won't be dropping off in the next couple of years). I know that its not a lot, but it is a beginning for me. My income increases by about 7.5% every year (and my review is in a month and a half), so that will definitely help.

                I would like to do what was suggested earlier, and "pay myself first", but I'm not exactly sure WHEN to start doing that. When I decreased my income to account for any savings, it threw my 6-month bill plan out of whack and started showing that I go negative some weeks. I think that's just a matter of double checking the dates that I have in there to pay items on, because I know that the money is there somewhere. I think I'll just bite the bullet and start hiding the money and make adjustments as I need to (there are a few bills that I pay well before their due date because I don't like having to pay bills the same week that I have to pay rent). Oh well.... I'll figure it out.

                At least I know that my job is secure for at least the next 5 years.

                Is there anything anyone else can think of that I need to plan for (besides car maint, which I always forget)? I would like to try to avoid any nasty surprises.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Here's a variation of paying yourself first, without making yourself short. Here's what I did, I used to get paid every 2 weeks so I would take my paycheck and do the following as an example:

                  $1000 paycheck #1
                  -$300 mortgage (budget)
                  -$100 auto expenses (budget)
                  -$200 groceries
                  -$100 utilities
                  -$100 savings
                  ________
                  $100 remaining

                  say during the next 2 weeks, some incidentals come up and I'm left with $75 on the night before my next paycheck. I would send the $75 to whatever debt/savings goal I was aiming towards. That way I've still sent money towards my goal, without feeling "broke" all the time. But at the same time, it did become a game to see how much I could send from each paycheck. But, basically this approach has you starting at $0 before your paycheck hits, every time. I did this for years and it really worked for me.

                  The best way to figure out what categories you need to budget for is to look at where you've spent money in the past and to track how you spend money in the future. I think an important thing to remember when starting a budget is that is will be a work in process. It could easily take 6mos or more for you to really get your budget down to a science.

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                    #24
                    Originally posted by catatonico View Post
                    My husband is not the problem here. He contributes more to our way of life and well being then his working could ever contribute. And he has nothing against taking whatever legal opportunity comes his way to make a little extra cash. Unfortunately, EVERYONE in this area is hurting and doing the exact same thing.

                    I desperately want to figure out how to save a little money, but at the same time, I want to keep the little that I have built back up after losing everything that we had.

                    Everyone says cut out all of the unnecessary expenses. I have read posts of people that have 6+ months of savings and little debt berating themselves because they spent $100.00. I have a very difficult time wrapping my mind around the concept of saving money just to have money. I can understand the desire to save money for stability and for the future. But what good is saving and scrimping and scrounging and working your tail off for years if you have absolutely nothing but a bank account full of money to show for it, but no fun memories of the journey? Its like a diet... when you are dieting and you stop allowing yourself any of your favorite foods or rewards, most people end up binging or simply just giving up.

                    One of my main concerns is trying to get us out of this hell-hole that we live in. There are some items that can definitely be cut down and will be as soon as possible (the cable will be completely dropped when we move, as we are already as low as our contract will allow, without paying fees that would end up not saving us any money). I am trying very hard not to add anything else negative to my credit, as there is a chance I can qualify for an FHA loan in a couple of years. I am concerned about our lack of an EF (I don't count my 401k, since I pretend its not there and its not a lot, anyway) and would like advice, specifically, on what to do with the collections on my credit.

                    Are there baby steps to saving? To be quite honest, this "spoiled princess" is finding the idea of cutting absolutely everything that she enjoys out at once extremely daunting and more than a little scary.

                    Feel free to flame away
                    I would have to say that the purpose of scrimping and saving just for the sake of having money would be to NOT end up in the self described "hell-hole" that you have found yourself in. As far as being a "spoiled princess." Drop it and grow up. How can things honestly be any worse than they already are? Do you really think that not having cable or internet will make things any worse or less stressful than they already are? Doubtful. I think that your husband can start his own side business and pull some income in for your family. Place an add in the paper. "Grass mowing, painting, contracting, etc. Honest, dependable. Please call, 555-1234." You get the idea.

                    As far as the collections go, you will have to make a moral judgement. Many will say that you incurred the debt, so therefore you are responsible for paying it. Others will say to lay low and let the SOL runout. That's up to you though. Personally, I've never incurred a debt that I didn't pay back, but's just how I feel. Either approach will get you out of debt I suppose.

                    There are babysteps to saving. You have to start somewhere. Start with cutting the excess in your budget and then go from there. Next, work on increasing your income and your husband's income. Next, start saving diligently every month without fail. You get the picture. Most people don't have an income problem. They have a spending problem. They have this idea that they are somehow "entitled" to live a lifestyle that their income does not support. Change this way of thinking and it will change your life for the better.
                    Brian

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                      #25
                      I know that some of you are trying to help, and have offered sound advice, but there are also others that have sounded more judgemental then helpful. Sure... there are things that I could give up. But not everything some of you see as frivoulous really is. Some things are necessary for my job and for my school. And somethings are kept because other items have already been sacrificed.

                      The "hell-hole" my family lives in now was a deliberate downgrade from a nicer place. It was not because we couldn't afford a nicer place, it was because I had a couple of larger debts that I wanted to get taken care of. Those are now done and over with.

                      Morally, yes. I should re-pay everyone. But the biggest debt that I have is not something I should even owe. The smaller ones, I have no problem paying, as most of them could be paid off quickly, without the need to settle.

                      I came to this forum for advice, which a lot of you have provided, and I appreciate it. I was hoping to find a little understanding and maybe someone else that has had to work through some similar hang-ups regarding finding the middle ground between saving and still being able to maintain some luxuries, at the same time (which is my biggest problem). I don't think I've found that yet. Thanks for trying, though.

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                        #26
                        The last thing at this point I would be worrying about is past debt. You have more important things to worry about, like feeding your family. Once you are out of the dark area and have a little money saved up and life is a little more manageable, you can worry about paying those off. I tend to agree with part of what you said regarding the savings thing. I also feel that having a huge savings and getting an ulcer spending a dime of it is detrimental. but it is important to at least have a little bit of money set aside. even if it is only 1000.00 I would attempt to achieve that number. as far as the cell phones go. if you want to cancel them do it. what is the worst they can do? make your credit worse? I don't think that is a major concern at this point. but that is your choice. I don't personally recommend anyone cancel cable completely only because I do like my tv when I want to watch it. if you are not a tv person then by all means! and internet is just as important to me. these are my entertainment! the one area I would say to cut out completely or at least limit to once a month is eating out or going out. for a while my so and i were eating out regularly. not only was it bad for my checkbook but my butt, waist and thighs! not to mention we no longer appreciated it. once we settled down to eating out about once a month we found that we really enjoyed it again. and you can eat at places for a reasonable cost these days, split meals, drink water, etc. you don't have to give up everything but yes, you will have to cut back some places if you want to get ahead. that is just part of life.

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                          #27
                          HaHa! Well... I am not in such a bad place that I have difficulty feeding my family. We are able to pay for the things that we have now, but its the past stuff and lack of savings that weigh heavily on me, though they do not weigh so heavily that I am willing to give up the few things that we have managed to get back.

                          I think I will set my goal low, and then work towards that, first. That method seems to work best for me, especially it would allow me to not lose anything else.

                          I may also try to split my monthly bills up into their weekly amounts (at least some of them) and see what I have left after that.

                          Thanks for the advice!

                          Comment


                            #28
                            Originally posted by catatonico View Post
                            I know that some of you are trying to help, and have offered sound advice, but there are also others that have sounded more judgemental then helpful. Sure... there are things that I could give up. But not everything some of you see as frivoulous really is. Some things are necessary for my job and for my school. And somethings are kept because other items have already been sacrificed.

                            The "hell-hole" my family lives in now was a deliberate downgrade from a nicer place. It was not because we couldn't afford a nicer place, it was because I had a couple of larger debts that I wanted to get taken care of. Those are now done and over with.

                            Morally, yes. I should re-pay everyone. But the biggest debt that I have is not something I should even owe. The smaller ones, I have no problem paying, as most of them could be paid off quickly, without the need to settle.

                            I came to this forum for advice, which a lot of you have provided, and I appreciate it. I was hoping to find a little understanding and maybe someone else that has had to work through some similar hang-ups regarding finding the middle ground between saving and still being able to maintain some luxuries, at the same time (which is my biggest problem). I don't think I've found that yet. Thanks for trying, though.
                            I am the same way. while I want to be more debt free I will not make my life miserable achieving it. I have seen people die with no warning. I don't want to do that. you know, pay, pay, pay, no fun and then be gone. I want to enjoy life. For me the luxuries are cable and internet. (and a little casino gambling) for you they might be different. the one area that I mentioned earlier, the grocery budget, is the one area I try to cut as much as possible so that I can afford other things.

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by catatonico View Post
                              HaHa! Well... I am not in such a bad place that I have difficulty feeding my family. We are able to pay for the things that we have now, but its the past stuff and lack of savings that weigh heavily on me, though they do not weigh so heavily that I am willing to give up the few things that we have managed to get back.

                              I think I will set my goal low, and then work towards that, first. That method seems to work best for me, especially it would allow me to not lose anything else.

                              I may also try to split my monthly bills up into their weekly amounts (at least some of them) and see what I have left after that.

                              Thanks for the advice!
                              dont' get me wrong, I totally understand! I am personally working daily on fixing my past errors. we all have them and sometimes it seems to me on here that others either never had them or don't remember having them. I look past those posts and focus on the ones that actually help me. It sounds to me like you are doing the best you can and handling things just fine. I agree with starting small with goals. 1000 is probably high, I know it has been for me in the past. Maybe 250?

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                                #30
                                Cable and internet are my luxuries, as well. My cellphone is nice, but I had a regular boring one until my company started needing me more.

                                We could definitely stand to cut way back on going out to eat and some of the groceries (I lump household items and some of my kid's necessities in with our grocery budget, too, though). We spent $200 in the last month on dining out (which is ridiculous). We did well this past weekend, though. We didn't eat out at all, which is unusual. My husband, son, and myself even cooked together, which was pretty fun (ever seen a 4-year old cook? funny!). And we only go to the movies about once every 6 months or so (I hate theatres, so I will only go when certain movies come out that I have waiting forever for). For me, it really is finding a balance between saving a little money and maintaining some quality of life for my family.

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