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    Originally posted by wantoutfromunder View Post
    I appreciate your suggestion and agree completely. I will admit that I was SHOCKED to hear that my husband was afraid to discuss money issues with me. I was more upset about his lack of trust/faith in me than the fact that I need to change my lifestyle. I am upset that I can't trust him in the same way any longer. A husband and wife should be a team and that's not how he was treating our marriage. And I feel like I can't treat him like we are a team and instead I've found myself acting more like a mommy to him "we can't afford an IPad" etc, etc.
    This is where you'll have to emphasis that you and your husband ARE a team and have a goal of eliminating the debt. I know it may be hard for you to not come off as "mommy" in all of this with telling him what he can't afford but it has to be done. However it has to do be done in such a way where he doesn't feel like he made a huge mistake by revealing the financial situation to you and may in the future try to hide things from you. Just keep that "team" mentality alive and show him that you're making sacrifices right along with him for the improvement of the family's financial situation.

    Originally posted by wantoutfromunder View Post
    ETA: Any opinions on using the debt snowball method? Some of our cards do have finance charges so I tend to want to pay those off first, but there is something to be said for that feeling of accomplishment I got when I paid off that first card in the very first month of my new budget.
    I know it feels good paying off a card but with a 19% interest rate I'd have to say tackle them first and then start on the 0% ones and see if you can get some of them before they start charging interest. Besides some of your lowest balances are the ones with the high interest rates anyway so it will be kind of like a snowball effect anyway.

    And as Petunia pointed out, if any of those are going to charge deferred interest if not paid in full by the end of the promotional period, make sure they're paid off before that period ends. Although if they're CC promotions I doubt they'd have the deferred interest clause but check to make sure.

    Originally posted by wantoutfromunder View Post
    The cards are no longer in our wallets. I may sound naive, but I don't think there are any that I don't know about. I am always home first though so I will keep a close eye on the mail for a while. All of the 0% cards will eventually start charging interest but I don't know when. I'll have to figure that out. It seems like every day we get new offers to transfer balances over with no interest for a year. Is it worth it to shuffle the balances around while paying everything off? Most offers are for one year and by then, I hope to have at least 1/2 of this debt paid off.
    Find out when the cards come off the 0% and see what other 0% offers are out there that you might qualify for. Like bjl said, most will come with probably a 3% transfer fee but if it's a 0% card that's going to go up to 19% it would be worth it if you couldn't pay the remaining balance within a couple of months of the interest rate increase.
    The easiest thing of all is to deceive one's self; for what a man wishes, he generally believes to be true.
    - Demosthenes


      Thank you everyone for your excellent advice!!!

      I have already cancelled the gym membership so that expense is gone. I can't cancel the cell service just yet as we are locked into a contract. As soon as that expires, (or it's cheaper to pay the fee than it is to continue) I'll cancel those. We have to keep our internet service as my dh needs it for work. My mother lives with us (in an in law) and I don't think she can handle giving up cable. I did talk to her and she has agreed to contribute some money for that and the electric bill! The electric bill will go down as soon as summer is over. Right now she can't handle the heat and her AC seems to be going 24/7. We have gas heat that we are on a budget plan for so that won't go up even when the cold weather hits, thankfully. I am still looking into other ways to lower the bill.

      As for the grocery budget, not knowing where to start, I budgeted $250 a week. That was way too much and I've been coming in at about $150 a week. We are a family of 5 which, according to the link posted above comes in as "thrifty" so I think I'm doing pretty well.

      Sorry for the discrepancies between min payment and what dh was sending. I was going off his worksheet and he obviously didn't update it when the min payment went up.

      As for savings, I left that 300 in the budget because I think one of my dh's biggest problems is an extreme fear of putting nothing in savings. It makes NO sense to me (or any of you I'm sure) to leave money on a credit card and put money into savings. But, he was literally getting hives and very anxious when I didn't have any money going into savings. I think I will take a closer look at that.

      As for the car loan, we bought a larger car because he needs a bigger car due to some car pooling that we do. Our second car is completely paid off and we plan to own if for quite a few more years as it only has 70K miles on it. I would like to see how we do with erasing this debt for a few months before I make a decision about getting rid of the car. His car seats 8 and that's how many people are in the car pool so it would be difficult to find something that would work that would also be reliable. If we aren't doing well, I'll have to rethink that decision. I did warn my dh that it might be something we need to do. In the interest of working more as a team, I don't want to just dictate how we are going to manage this. He asked me to take over doing the bills, etc. as "obviously I don't know what I'm doing" so I told him I would be fine with that, but we'll have to agree to weekly "team meetings" to see how we are doing.

      I am also thinking of going to the envelope system because it's hard to keep track of what each little withdrawal from the bank was for even if we do check it weekly.

      Anyway, I thank everyone SO much for taking the time to help with this problem. I am SO motivated to attack this debt. I keep dreaming of what it will feel like to no longer have credit card bills and to feel free to put that money towards college funds and retirement. On a lesser note, it's nice to think about being able to add a few luxuries back into our budget again too...maybe eating out with friends a couple times a month!!


        There were a few things I did not see listed in your monthly payments- yearly expenses that everyone forgets to include.
        When drawing up a budget you can't forget to include these items and put money back for them each month. They are must have type things that can cause an unprepared person to feel completely justified in pulling out a credit card, and once you do that what's another $50here and there?
        It's a slippery slope to allow yourself to be caught like that.
        Don't let that happen to you- write down all of your expenses and include things like car registrations and taxes, auto insurance, car service and repair, AAA memberships, medical and dental copays, home maintenance and repairs, and so on.
        Regular things that happen infrequently.

        I had to sit down and pour through a years worth of old credit card statements and Quicken to get a handle on where exactly all our money was going.
        Until you count everything it is difficult to make a realistic plan that excludes surprises.


          Since you have 'excellent credit,' try calling credit grantors and ask for a reduction of 19%. Have you sought a personal line of credit to enable you to pay off CC for a lower cost of credit [interest rate]? I'd temporarily stop contributing to the Fidelity college fund until you get debt under control. It's very important to get DH on board with your debt reduction plan. Sadly a huge percentage of marriages get into trouble when the principals have different views of money management.

          Good on you for cutting eating out and meal planning. There are dozens of tiny cuts that can be made that seem inconsequential in themselves but add up over time and remind you of your goals. Do you use Gas Buddy to reduce operating costs? Plan your travel to incorporate errands and reduce mileage. Cancel land phone since you're locked into cell plan. It's important to plan larger purchases. Thanksgiving and Christmas are coming up quickly. you will need to be creative to avoid adding to debt. Include the children in the debt reduction project and begin telling them now that the holidays will be more family oriented and not shopping focused for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.

          You've made a great start, you can get to your goal but it will take co operation from DH, DMIL, DKs.


            Originally posted by wantoutfromunder View Post
            As for savings, I left that 300 in the budget because I think one of my dh's biggest problems is an extreme fear of putting nothing in savings. It makes NO sense to me (or any of you I'm sure) to leave money on a credit card and put money into savings. But, he was literally getting hives and very anxious when I didn't have any money going into savings. I think I will take a closer look at that.
            Is there a savings balance that would make your husband okay enough to stop saving for awhile? If you have $10K now, would he be okay if you had $12K? At what point would he feel secure? Or is is more about saving something? Could he be okay to lower it to $75 or $100 temporarily? Just a few things to think about!

            Congrats to you both for making a change for the better.
            My other blog is Your Organized Friend.