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Advice for a newbie

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    Originally posted by UpToMyEars View Post
    Cars: 13,000 and 23,000 @ 5.9% APR
    BOA CC: 4,300 @ 22.9%
    Citi CC: 1,200 @ 19.9%
    Carecredit CC: 2,560 @ 13.9%
    Personal loan: 7,200 @ 13.74%
    Fifth Third CC: 7,050 @ 10.9%
    HH Gregg CC: 1,500 @ 0%
    Health One CC: 1,840 @ 9.24%
    Student loan: 7,000 @ approx 3%
    Are these rates per month or per annum? sorry to ask Im from Philippines and compared to our loans here, those above rates are pretty stiff.


      Originally posted by snafu View Post
      Compliments for taking action to evaluate your finances. Please call CC providers to request a reduction in interest rates as paying 22.9%, 19.9%, 13.9%,13.74% is outrageous when savers get .09%. If you have CC statements add up just the interest you've paid recently and add in approximately sums going back to 1/1/11. Are you shocked?

      I suggest you and SO develop a spending plan going forward; perhaps split regular, monthly expenses 55% & 45% for rent, utilities, food, 5% savings to get to $1,000. emergency sum & CC paydowns. However, each of you pay your own car and phone costs.

      Perhaps it's time to develop cash flow plan to see clearly how much you spend each month on categories food [home & restaurant], entertainment, auto operation & maintenance, clothes, personal costs, gifts etc. When we learned average food spending was 17%, average transportation 15%, average clothes spending 4%, savings 5% we applied percentages to our spending. Of course gas has ramped skyward but we cut back on gift & entertainment category to keep in our targets.

      Let us know how you're doing and we'll cheer you on and offer other suggestions to make this a bit easier.

      Yes adding up all the interest we pay out in the past several months is shocking and makes me ill.I have made sure she is responsible for her car payment,phone bill,student loan and medicine.I am hoping to give her the electric bill and her car insurance as well.I have been trying to track my spending much closer than I used to and it is crazy how much simple purchases add up!For example,I used to stop at a gas station on my way to work to get gum and a drink.I have cut out that routine and only get my gum and drinks from a regular store.It is WAY cheaper and it saves time!Thanks for the words of encouragement btw.


        Originally posted by drglen View Post
        Are these rates per month or per annum? sorry to ask Im from Philippines and compared to our loans here, those above rates are pretty stiff.
        Per year I think.APR stands for annual percentage rate and yes the rates are quite high,especially on the one credit card with an APR of over 20%!!


          Originally posted by maat55 View Post
          Personally, I would be selling both cars and replacing them with 5k cars or less. This would also lower your auto insurance.

          I would look at selling everything that is not tied down, especially things you do not use or need.

          I would downgrade cable to the basic 13.00 per month. I would drop the cell phones.

          You really need to look at getting out of debt as a boot camp and your utmost priority. This will accomplish two things, a swifter payoff date and you will detox from your over-spending habits. Believe it or not, over-consumption and spending are addictions as well.

          Keep in mind that these recommendations are meant to get you debtfree quickly and adjust your mentality towards debt and consumption. Once you have reached your debtfree goal you need to establish savings and emrgency fund goals. As mentioned above, you should have a 1k emergency fund to start.

          You should never use your credit cards again until you have them paid off and enough money in savings to payoff any monthly purchases.

          I highly recommend that you read The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey.
          I absolutely agree that overspending is an addiction!!I remember feeling a rush when I purchased things with my credit card.It was strange,because I knew I was putting us deeper in debt,but I could not control it.Honestly,it is a struggle everyday to stay on track with my budget.I leave all cards at home and carry only cash which is working pretty well.I am also reading alot of advice type website like this one.I have heard from many people that Dave Ramsey's book is a really good one.I do want to check it out soon.


            UTME: Ramsey books and CDs are likely available at your library. Suggest playing CDs in car on commute or podcasts on computer. What is the plan to pay off $ 60,250. debt that increases without new purchases due to interest? What action have you & SO taken to bring down monthly expenses? Have you reduced cable? Eliminated land line? Committed to budget on paper? Got CC interest rates reduced? Reviewed fall/winter wardrobe to know what purchases will be necessary? Set a budget for holidays? What will be spent on cards? decor/entertaining? gifts? foods? travel? Will you keep to cash? No adding to CC? What other leakage can be stymied? Have you started to accumulate an emergency fund? What is the plan for upcoming pay?

            Like stopping buying gum & drink while buying gas, this process is a l-o-n-g list of tiny steps to have YOU control your finances instead of having money or lack of it, control YOU. If you stay on your current trajectory, the end result is a passel of debt for items long discarded due to the cost of credit.


              Okay your electric bill and phone bill are way, way too high! We have 2 smartphones in my family and we pay only $100. Call up your phone company and ask if you can reduce your minutes or texting. They can do a quick audit of your usage and then tell you if a lower minute plan would work better. If not, you need to switch providers! Similarly, call up your electricity company. Ask if they have a plan to help you out. Or ask for an energy audit! Something is sucking power! Here is a website about saving electricity that is really, really helpful Saving Electricity: How to Save Electricity


                If you are however in debt then consider going to a company that will be able to help give advice on how you will be able to manage this debt or give advice on how you can consolidate your debt. If you are unsure where your first point of call is I would suggest going to the citizen advice bureau and they will be able to guide you from there.


                  UTME: I suggest you and GF commit to a written spending plan and avoid Consolidators who can add to your problems and costs. You are within your rights and capable of negotiating a lower interest rate with creditors. Pay minimum on CC to keep them current but pay as much as you can, as often as you can to clear off the smallest balance. If you can work overtime, commit those earnings to the targeted CC. to get the snowball effect.

                  The holidays are coming so before the hype begins, I suggest decisions be made now to limit spending. Let family know you will celebrate without spending. Start researching community events you and GF enjoy that are free or nearly free. I know you can demolish this debt with determination and perseverance.