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    Need some help / advice?

    So up until 2 years ago I had been spending like crazy and living above my means. I'm now in the situation of repairing that. I have one credit card thru navy federal with almost 16k on it (300ish min payment monthly). I also have a walmart CC with 3500 on it (135$ monthly minimum) and I have a amazon card with 500 on lit (25$ minimum monthly). My problem is just paying the minumum payments I barely have enough at the end of the month to put any more on there. I haven't tried doing any to consolidate and don't know much about it but my main goal right now is to try to crunch these minimum payments down so I can have more to spend on what I need and also put more on the debt and at the same time I really need to buckle down and stop spending so much. Any advice would be appreciated!

    #2
    Welcome, Curt.

    In order to help, we'd need more info on your income and other expenses. There are really only 2 ways to go, and you really want to do both. One is to trim expenses as much as possible to free up money that can go toward debt repayment. Two is to increase income and use the extra money for debt repayment.

    How much do you earn?
    Other than your credit card payments, what does the rest of your budget look like?
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

    Comment


      #3
      Sounds like you need to boost income. Can you pick up more hours or a second job? Do you have any marketable skills that you can translate into a side business?
      Brian

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Curt6887 View Post
        my main goal right now is to try to crunch these minimum payments down

        I really need to buckle down and stop spending so much
        Your goal shouldn't be to get the payments down. Your goal should be to stop overspending. As I said, we need to see your overall budget to help point out areas that you can improve upon.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


          #5
          Welcome to SA. Good on you for realizing that living beyond your means has resulted in $ 20,000. in CC debt. Paying only the minimum, monthly requirements totals $ 460. That total for just CC minimums is squeezing you financially. There is not enough money left for other expenses.

          I've the impression you're seeking an easy solution to your financial problems. I point out you may qualify for a consolidation loan but there is a downside. If you use credit before paying off the debt, you will be in worse financial condition, than you are now. The consolidators add 'origination' fees to your existing debt, so you owe even more than today. Consolidators charge major fees for transferring each of your debts to their program. Their interest rates can be higher than what you currently pay. All in all it stretches out the years of debt payments. You must stay on their program. Late payments or lower payment or missed payment results in major penalties and even higher interest rates.

          As disneysteve says, coming face-to-face with your numbers can reveal places to trim costs or offer ideas for more income. How do you feel about the challenge of getting your spending under control?

          Comment


            #6
            Thanks for the replys. After taxes I bring home about 640 a week so roughly 2560 a month after taxes. Here is what I pay monthly

            mortgage - 595
            car - 352
            car insurance 95
            internet 64
            water 65
            electric - 150-200
            phone 118
            netflix 10
            hulu 10
            amazon prime 10
            navy fed CC - 305
            Walmart CC - 135
            Amazon Card- 25
            bowling 16$/week (ends in 4 weeks and won't be continuing)

            As for working. I'm on salary but when we have a lot of work I can work weekends through our staffing agency and make 12$ an hour or roughly 180-240 on a weekend extra. We currently aren't busy enough for me to do that. I have a lot of skills in online marketing I just haven't had much success with it. Maybe I should start selling stuff in the house first? I would like a part time hobby where I could make more money, just don't seem to have much time these days.

            Comment


              #7
              hmm

              Originally posted by Curt6887 View Post
              So up until 2 years ago I had been spending like crazy and living above my means. I'm now in the situation of repairing that. I have one credit card thru navy federal with almost 16k on it (300ish min payment monthly). I also have a walmart CC with 3500 on it (135$ monthly minimum) and I have a amazon card with 500 on lit (25$ minimum monthly). My problem is just paying the minumum payments I barely have enough at the end of the month to put any more on there. I haven't tried doing any to consolidate and don't know much about it but my main goal right now is to try to crunch these minimum payments down so I can have more to spend on what I need and also put more on the debt and at the same time I really need to buckle down and stop spending so much. Any advice would be appreciated!
              Well you need to work hard and try to find a part time job. But I will ask you to do any type on online work which would be much easier for you. Do you have any skills that you can use online?

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Curt6887 View Post
                Thanks for the replys. After taxes I bring home about 640 a week so roughly 2560 a month after taxes. Here is what I pay monthly

                mortgage - 595
                car - 352
                car insurance 95
                internet 64
                water 65
                electric - 150-200
                phone 118
                netflix 10
                hulu 10
                amazon prime 10
                navy fed CC - 305
                Walmart CC - 135
                Amazon Card- 25
                bowling 16$/week (ends in 4 weeks and won't be continuing)

                As for working. I'm on salary but when we have a lot of work I can work weekends through our staffing agency and make 12$ an hour or roughly 180-240 on a weekend extra. We currently aren't busy enough for me to do that. I have a lot of skills in online marketing I just haven't had much success with it. Maybe I should start selling stuff in the house first? I would like a part time hobby where I could make more money, just don't seem to have much time these days.
                This is a good starting point. Some comments:
                1. You've listed your monthly bills but haven't listed your total monthly spending. Do you know where every dollar is going? You didn't include things like food, clothing, gas, auto maintenance and registration, insurance premiums (home, health), home maintenance and repairs, entertainment, travel, etc.

                2. Interestingly, you started the thread about your credit card debt but failed to include your single largest debt: the car. How much is the car worth? How much do you owe? How many payments remain?

                3. The phone bill is high. Consider switching to a prepaid plan and using the phone strictly for emergencies.

                4. If your regular job can't provide weekend shifts consistently, go out and get yourself a weekend job. It isn't hard to find work if you're a dependable employee who will show up on time and do the job. Deliver papers or pizzas, get a job serving at a restaurant, find a retail job, whatever. Employers are always looking for good workers.

                5. Definitely sell stuff you don't need and put those proceeds 100% toward the debt. That 20K in credit card debt must have resulted in some purchases that you could get rid of to raise cash.
                Steve

                * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                  This is a good starting point. Some comments:
                  1. You've listed your monthly bills but haven't listed your total monthly spending. Do you know where every dollar is going? You didn't include things like food, clothing, gas, auto maintenance and registration, insurance premiums (home, health), home maintenance and repairs, entertainment, travel, etc.

                  2. Interestingly, you started the thread about your credit card debt but failed to include your single largest debt: the car. How much is the car worth? How much do you owe? How many payments remain?

                  3. The phone bill is high. Consider switching to a prepaid plan and using the phone strictly for emergencies.

                  4. If your regular job can't provide weekend shifts consistently, go out and get yourself a weekend job. It isn't hard to find work if you're a dependable employee who will show up on time and do the job. Deliver papers or pizzas, get a job serving at a restaurant, find a retail job, whatever. Employers are always looking for good workers.

                  5. Definitely sell stuff you don't need and put those proceeds 100% toward the debt. That 20K in credit card debt must have resulted in some purchases that you could get rid of to raise cash.
                  Yea, I'm very bad a spending. Also, I traded my car in january for a truck and had to turn over 5k negative credit towards it so my truck debt is around 19k and the truck isn't worth but maybe 10k at least it has very low miles so it will last a long time. I buy a energy drink every morning before work. I tend to buy fast food every once in a while when I could spend that money on groceries. The main problem is the truck requires more gas and that's been hurting pretty bad my drive to work is about 45 min there and 45 back every day. I think right now I should probably work out a budget and track my spending and also go ahead and start looking for a evening / weekend job and start selling off everything in the house I don't need. My main credit card that is right now 310$ a month only 100$ is going towards principle.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Curt6887 View Post
                    my truck debt is around 19k and the truck isn't worth but maybe 10k at least it has very low miles so it will last a long time.
                    Ouch. Yes, being 9K upside down you're kind of stuck. I hope you like that truck and can keep it for 10+ years.
                    I buy a energy drink every morning before work. I tend to buy fast food every once in a while when I could spend that money on groceries.
                    You really need to focus on every dollar that goes out. Even little things like the energy drink or fast food can add up to significant amounts over the course of the year. A $3 drink 5 times per week is almost $800/year. A $6 lunch once a week is another $300/year.
                    The main problem is the truck requires more gas and that's been hurting pretty bad my drive to work is about 45 min there and 45 back every day.
                    At least make sure you are paying attention to which gas stations typically have the best price. Even saving 5 or 6 cents per gallon can add up over time.
                    I think right now I should probably work out a budget and track my spending and also go ahead and start looking for a evening / weekend job and start selling off everything in the house I don't need.
                    Exactly. For the next month, write down every penny you spend on absolutely anything. Then sit down and review that list to see where you can cut back.
                    Steve

                    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Unfortunately, your timing to buy a truck with a $ 5K carry over [$19K] slams you against a wall. I suggest you add 'Gas Buddy' app to identify cheapest gas on your route as spring gasoline prices increase. It's important to review your vehicle's manual for anticipated mileage servicing so that the money is there when needed. Scheduled maintenance is the best thing you can do to extend performance long term.

                      Between $$$ and poor nutrition, Fast Food is not in your best interest. I hope you'll take a big step forward with a weekly stop at at grocery store for something like.... bagged salad, + dressing you like, a rotisserie [cooked] chicken, 2 pkg. of whatever frozen vegetables you'll eat, pkg fz. shrimp, Mrs. Dash [spice/condiment], pkg. hot dog buns, instant oatmeal, 6 oranges, pkg. raisin bran muffins & box sandwich sized ziplock type baggies.

                      Challenge yourself to eliminate the 'Latte factor,' those smaller spends that add up and wreck cash flow. Eat breakfast at home daily, [instant oatmeal, beverage of choice, + orange] takes less than 5 minutes. Easy peasy take-away lunch is sliced or chunked chicken on a hotdog bun[s] slathered with salad dressing transported in a zipbag, likewise bagged salad + midday break muffin. If you chose to stretch income with a part time evening/weekend job/overtime, add chicken chunks to a batch of cooked [fz] vegetables for take-away dinner. All this alternates with fz shrimp [dropped in boiling water] or non meat, easy fix, protein you'll eat.

                      An effective money management tool is to operate on cash only [except mortgage & utilities]. It means... leave one CC in the fridge freezer, hide the 2nd somewhere difficult in the truck, [taped under the dash or between the seat springs and upholstery]. As disneysteve recommends, it's very worthwhile to note every dollar spent on your phone's 'shop' program.

                      Do you know your FICO type Credit Score? It influences the interest rates you are charged. Do you know how much of your net pay goes to interest? Are you willing to keep adding interest sums from truck loan, CCs 1, 2? If your Credit Score is high enough, it might help you negotiate a lower interest rate. It's important to line up your pay days with the dates bills are due. When you are walking so close to the edge you must avoid late fee, penalties or anything that causes more costs.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        start cooking home meals if you haven't already. avoid eating out at all. Say you eat out, and it costs you $10, that's at least 5 home cooked meals you could have eaten instead.


                        drink water instead of energy drinks. Maybe treat yourself to one every Monday or something if it's something you can't give up completely.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          One tool I used to track spending is Mint.com. They have a free app and once you link your accounts it automatically keeps track of your spending and allows you to set a budget. It's an easy way to see how your doing at a glance and it will also pull past spending so you can see how you have improved.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            The out of whack part of budget is the car. The insurance, gas, and payment doesn't work. That makes everything else fail. But you do need to cut other things. But the bottom line is the car is too expensive for the budget.
                            LivingAlmostLarge Blog

                            Comment


                              #15
                              car only worth 10k though, I think he's better off keeping it and running it into the ground unless he can find a very cheap replacement car that's reliable.

                              Unless mass transit is an option in your area. Dump the truck and bus/subway it for a year.

                              Comment

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