Page 5 of 19 FirstFirst ... 3456715 ... LastLast
Results 81 to 100 of 367
  1. #81

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Age
    70
    Posts
    3,009
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    3722
    Some years ago I was in a similar situation. Lots of debt, little income. My strategy was to pay 25% of each balance each month. When the balance got to $50, I paid it in full.

    This works best in cases where the balance is about $1000 per debt. For greater amounts, I would suggest paying the minimum on the debts with the lowest interest rate, and using the 25% method on the one with the highest rate until they are all paid off.

    Talk to your creditors and tell them your situation. Ask for an extension, a reduction, anything that will help ease the pressure.

    Definitely reduce the amount of prepared food...and coffee...purchased outside the home. Pack a lunch and a thermos. Shop at thrift stores and used book stores. Make parties pot luck and BYOB.

    Review all your monthly expenses. Can you reduce your transportation expenses? Can you cut back on some aspect of your phone, cable, or insurance costs? When I did this I discovered that we had forgotten about an automatic withdrawal for hot water heater rental. We decided to pay the small balance and purchase the heater outright rather than continue with an rental charge for an unlimited period.

    When you are anticipating a present, ask for cash and apply it to your debt. You will be getting peace of mind, the greatest gift anyone can give.

    I now have an unsecured Line of Credit with the bank. The interest rate is much less than a credit card. I transfer any credit card balance to the LOC every week to avoid high interest rates. Then I pay down that LOC ASAP.

    Good luck. I hope you will get this under control and be able to enjoy a debt free life.

  2. #82
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,748
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    Cell phone. I have a pay-as-you-go and use it only for important stuff. I pay about $15-20 a month for the whole family.

    I also cut my landline down to the minimal--not even call waiting. (People email these days)

    Cable-we as part of the homeowner's assoc negotiated a packaged deal so everyone got $15 a month for cable. If I have to pay more that will be a cut for me. I watch TV on the internet and netflix these days anyway.
    We use our cells for long distance. My whole family is long distance from our land line and calling without cell would cost quite a bit more. We are getting cell service as cheap as possible and using all of the minutes. Pay as you go would cost us about as much. I'm not willing to sacrifice keeping in touch with my family. My parents and aunts and uncles do not use the internet very much.

    As for cable, I like sports too much to give up cable entirely. Starting next fall, we are going to need the Big Ten Network. And that is hardly our biggest expense. We pay less than $134 a month for landline, caller ID, digital cable on one tv and basic plus on the second and internet--do the math--its not even $45 each for phone, cable, internet. Small town life is not so bad.

    Say we ditch the cable...first of all, the way it is set up here (and it being a small town--less than 6000 people--there is one phone provider, one cable provider, and two internet providers), it is cheapest to bundle from one company for all three. If we eliminate cable, they will charge us more for the landline and internet. So we won't save a third of that cost. Then we'll want to watch football (we're Nebraskans, we're obligated by residency to compulsively watch at least their games), so we'll either drive 50 miles round trip to watch at my inlaws house, 134 miles round trip to watch at my parents' house or go to a bar in the city (50 miles round trip) to watch where there will be a cover charge and/or drink/food minimums plus tips. Gas or other costs will eat up a lot of what we saved for the entire football season.

    Then there is the matter that I just don't believe that saving money is the first priority over quality of life. We like to watch some things on cable. So we will make that work. I like to buy people gifts. I don't buy expensive gifts. We already got a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law--a $4.50 used LP by her favorite artist. She doesn't have an original LP copy of any of his recordings; she has them on cd and digital download and had mentioned to my husband that it would be cool to own the LPs because of the covers and all. So he found one at a used record store. And it was cheaper than most candles.

  3. #83
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,748
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Two other thoughts--if some homeowners associations are able to negotiate cheap cable for their neighborhood, isn't that just driving up the cost for the rest of us??

    And as for asking for cash for your debt for gifts...I have a really hard time telling people what to give me. Because they are not ever obligated to give me anything. My parents always ask for a list of ideas for Christmas and I rarely give them one because it feels rude to me. And asking for cash seems even worse. A friend has a paypal account set up for people to donate for her honeymoon Disney trip including the footnote that anything left will pay off debt and the wedding is over a year away--and to me that seems greedy and distasteful.

  4. #84
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Lapsed skating fan
    Posts
    14,713
    vCash
    550
    Rep Power
    0
    I downloaded this free e-book from a personal finance site a couple of years ago:

    http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/20...r-family-well/

    It's pretty hard-core homesteading, but I imagine it would work. We tried a couple of recipes. The eggplant lasagna was decent.

  5. #85

    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Not after the same people as Theatregirl
    Posts
    21,923
    vCash
    350
    Rep Power
    36500
    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Then there is the matter that I just don't believe that saving money is the first priority over quality of life.
    Thank you. I love to travel; it is my main reason for living. Well, travel, shoes and cats. So I acknowledge that I'm always going to have some debt on my credit cards. I'd just like to have less, at the moment.

    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Two other thoughts--if some homeowners associations are able to negotiate cheap cable for their neighborhood, isn't that just driving up the cost for the rest of us??
    Possibly not. They might get more subscribers at the discounted rate than they would if they didn't offer the discount. I'm guessing it evens out.

  6. #86
    Title-less
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    8,767
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    6417
    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Then there is the matter that I just don't believe that saving money is the first priority over quality of life. We like to watch some things on cable. So we will make that work. I like to buy people gifts. I don't buy expensive gifts. We already got a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law--a $4.50 used LP by her favorite artist.
    But that's why I said this whole thing deep down is psychological/emotional. I didn't grow up getting used to most of these things so cutting any of these cable/cell stuff isn't considered a sacrifice of quality of life for me, like it is for others here. And that's also why I'm not raising my kid getting used to so much stuff for their "minimum" expected living of standard will be so high it's hard to cut back without feeling like "sacrificing".

  7. #87
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Lapsed skating fan
    Posts
    14,713
    vCash
    550
    Rep Power
    0
    PDilemma,

    What about growing your own veggies or keeping chickens? Seriously, I'm not being sarcastic. I totally want some chickens, but I rent, so I don't think it's a good idea.

  8. #88
    Title-less
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    8,767
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    6417
    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Two other thoughts--if some homeowners associations are able to negotiate cheap cable for their neighborhood, isn't that just driving up the cost for the rest of us??
    I don't know about this, but I worry that if people with large amounts of debt end up relying on government benefits when they get older, I'll indirectly have to pay for it.

  9. #89
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,748
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Our "backyard" is a parking lot for our 4Plex and I doubt the landlady would let us plow up the front yard for gardening (especially since she shares the place--living next door). And even in our small Nebraska town, you are not allowed to keep chickens in town. We do get lots of produce for free in the summer from my parents and my husband's grandparents and some canned goods from both as well. We also get free use of an extra garage and money off of our rent in return for my husband taking care of the lawn and some light maintenance around the whole place.

    And I just looked over our cable/internet/phone options yet again. Essentially, cutting out all cable would only save us $30 a month. Cutting out our landline (and God forbid we have an emergency when the cell signals didn't feel like working) and keeping cable and internet would save us $7 a month, and getting internet from the alternate provider and keeping cable and the landline would cost us an additional $12 per month.

    We aren't going into debt, ftr. And the only debt we have is my car which is less than $4000 right now. My income has just dramatically decreased as I am working part time instead of full time and going back to school. We are paying for school with a mix of funds from my retirement account and an inheritance. And the job prospects when I am finished will pay at least 33% more than my previous salary. If we were facing a situation where we had to pay the bills on credit or were accruing more debt, we'd ditch the cable and anything else we could. But as long as we can pay all the bills, and we can, and as long as we have a little savings (and we do as we started cutting back before my contract ended in order to put more in savings), we will keep cable and Netflix which are pretty much our only luxuries.

  10. #90
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    849
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    But that's why I said this whole thing deep down is psychological/emotional. I didn't grow up getting used to most of these things so cutting any of these cable/cell stuff isn't considered a sacrifice of quality of life for me, like it is for others here. And that's also why I'm not raising my kid getting used to so much stuff for their "minimum" expected living of standard will be so high it's hard to cut back without feeling like "sacrificing".
    I totally agree with you that it's habitual. I come from very frugal cultures (mom Chinese, dad Jewish) and I never feel deprived about not having many of the things mentioned in this thread. DH on the other hand spends at least two or three times as much each month and still feels deprived.

    And I have the same plan for my future kids. I understand where they are coming from but I strongly disagree with some people's "I didn't have nice things growing up so I want my kids to have everything they want" sentiment. Nope, not my kids. It's always easier to go from not having things to having things, but not the other way around.

    I don't have any actual tips but I think someone mentioned it before, free financial services provided by banks. I have a friend who used it and it helped tremendously. I recommend checking it out. Also I have another friend who consolidated her students loans recently and ended up with ridiculously low interest rate. Right now with the low interest rate, refinancing may make sense if it's feasible.

  11. #91
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    Lapsed skating fan
    Posts
    14,713
    vCash
    550
    Rep Power
    0
    Ah you're a renter too. Well, we're in the same boat there.

  12. #92
    Title-less
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    8,767
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    6417
    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    We aren't going into debt, ftr.
    Oh. So we're going into financial mgt in general and not talking about paying down credit cards. Sorry, my bad.

  13. #93
    Saint Smugpawski
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Cutting Down Privet Because Food Prices Are Going Up Next Year
    Posts
    11,719
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    33860
    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    so we'll either drive 50 miles round trip to watch at my inlaws house, 134 miles round trip to watch at my parents' house or go to a bar in the city (50 miles round trip) to watch where there will be a cover charge and/or drink/food minimums plus tips. Gas or other costs will eat up a lot of what we saved for the entire football season.
    This is the same thing with me and laundry. My friend lets me use her washer and dryer, but it only works out for me if I happen to be going to her house, anyway. The money I would spend on tolls and gas just to go to her house to wash my clothes pretty much negates what I would be saving by not pumping quarters into the laundromat.

    Then there is the matter that I just don't believe that saving money is the first priority over quality of life.
    Yep, it's a balancing act. I went to London last year. Found a super cheap flight and stayed for free at my friends' swanky apartment in Hampstead. Now, was that money I could have saved? Sure it was, but it was also a VERY cheap European vacation. I thought the opportunity to live in London for a week was well worth it. I certainly don't regret going, and I did pay for it mostly in cash.

    So he found one at a used record store. And it was cheaper than most candles.
    And the LP was probably pressed in the USA, too!
    The fastest thing out of New Jersey since Tricky Nicky in a Muscovian handbasket

  14. #94

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    3,281
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by barbk View Post
    That's a really helpful visual.

    The other thing that I heard, long ago, was that the single most important thing you could do to decrease debt (or increase savings) was to revisit your biggest expenses, which are usually the ones we consider to be "fixed", and not as much trying to pinch and pare every last bit out of the discretionary expenses. Living in a less expensive house or apartment can have a huge impact on your budget -- rent/mortgage is cheaper, taxes are cheaper, insurance is cheaper,...all these things that you'd assumed weren't up for consideration turn out to have huge impacts.
    In this day and age this advice has a HUGE flaw IMHO! What are you going to do with the house you CURRENTLY live in? If you rent, sure wait until the lease is up and "downgrade"

    But if you own... you have to SELL the current house.

    Now my house is VERY cheap and I really could not 'live cheaper' in the area then I do (and still be happy) but.... even if I could.... There are TONS of homes for sale around here and NO buyers so...

    I have had a lot of debt and a little debt. I also don't think that credit cards are "evil" (They don't spend themselves, you have to take them out of your wallet)

  15. #95
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,748
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    But that's why I said this whole thing deep down is psychological/emotional. I didn't grow up getting used to most of these things so cutting any of these cable/cell stuff isn't considered a sacrifice of quality of life for me, like it is for others here. And that's also why I'm not raising my kid getting used to so much stuff for their "minimum" expected living of standard will be so high it's hard to cut back without feeling like "sacrificing".
    Because our minimum standard of living is so terribly high and we have deep psychological/emotional issues. Okay. I spent my high school years in an unairconditioned farm house that was built in the 19th C. I slept to the sounds of the leaky roof muffled by the fans my dad bought at Goodwill.

    As for right now, we lived on less than $55,000 a year combined income before I left my job. And I made more than my husband, yet we can pay all of the bills on his salary and simply cut back a bit on food (primarily eating out--which we only did once a week anyway-- because I have always cooked at home from scratch which is significantly cheaper--compare the cost of a box of hamburger helper to the cost of a bag of pasta and a pound of hamburger and a few tsps of spices) and entertainment and still get by. The $30 ditching cable would save us can be made up elsewhere--if we stay home and watch it instead of going to the movie theater just once a month we've paid for over half that ($18 for two tickets plus gas and miles on the car to drive 25 miles). My original point was that a lot of the advice out there on how to cut back doesn't help those of us who don't spend a lot in the first place. You can't cut down to basic cell phone service as all the money experts tell you to if you only have basic cell phone service. Your next choice then is to cut out cell phones. We could do that. And may do it if we have to at some point. But right now, it isn't necessary.

  16. #96
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    4,748
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Carolla5501 View Post
    In this day and age this advice has a HUGE flaw IMHO! What are you going to do with the house you CURRENTLY live in? If you rent, sure wait until the lease is up and "downgrade"

    But if you own... you have to SELL the current house.

    Now my house is VERY cheap and I really could not 'live cheaper' in the area then I do (and still be happy) but.... even if I could.... There are TONS of homes for sale around here and NO buyers so...

    I have had a lot of debt and a little debt. I also don't think that credit cards are "evil" (They don't spend themselves, you have to take them out of your wallet)
    But you're thinking that you should be happy. Big mistake. Clearly you were a spoiled child.

  17. #97
    Title-less
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    8,767
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    6417
    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Because our minimum standard of living is so terribly high and we have deep psychological/emotional issues. .
    That's not what I said. I think Suzie explored the psychol. component to finance and I thought it worthwhile to bring it up. I myself think back to my childhood days to figure out why I spend the way I do now.

    Your next choice then is to cut out cell phones. We could do that. And may do it if we have to at some point. But right now, it isn't necessary.
    As I said I thought we were still on the cc debt topic.

  18. #98
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Rejecting your reality and substituting my own
    Age
    30
    Posts
    11,004
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    0
    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6 View Post
    My reaction? Don't beat yourself up. You're obviously watching spending so you can avoid increasing your debt.

    Can you pick up some seasonal work? Party stores need extra folks through Halloween. Florist/fruit basket folks need extra people around Thanksgiving. If either of you could find 10 hours a week of extra work, even at minimum wage, that would give you an extra $200 a month after taxes. That might be enough to get you over the hump.
    I agree. Really, the most important thing is to be aware of where your money is going and prioritize. Most people don't even know and won't bother.

    Quote Originally Posted by jlai View Post
    But that's why I said this whole thing deep down is psychological/emotional. I didn't grow up getting used to most of these things so cutting any of these cable/cell stuff isn't considered a sacrifice of quality of life for me, like it is for others here. And that's also why I'm not raising my kid getting used to so much stuff for their "minimum" expected living of standard will be so high it's hard to cut back without feeling like "sacrificing".
    A lot of it is also personality and the people you spend time around. My mom and her older sister certainly grew up in the same household, and had similar educational backgrounds too. But my aunt grew up to to have VERY expensive tastes and major shopaholic tendencies, while my mom will happily go for months without spending a dime on anything except food and gas for her falling-apart beater car. Her only luxuries were private college educations for us and her weakness for Michaels sales.

    The main difference? My dad is frugal to the max and never made all that much money, while my uncle makes a lot of dough and likes throwing his money around. My aunt developed a hobby for shopping because he had the means to let her. (Although why he stands being around roomfuls of unworn clothing is a mystery to me...)

    I've noticed that my roommate's shifting in the same direction - the people she works with have expensive tastes and like to shop, and recently I've been noticing she's coming home with Sephora and Coach shopping bags. While everyone I work with are hippie tomboys who have a weakness for books, if anything.

  19. #99

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    6,867
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    88512
    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    But you're thinking that you should be happy. Big mistake. Clearly you were a spoiled child.
    Very very spoiled

    The problem with "common sense" type psychology is that people base their theories on their own lives and discount any evidence to the contrary. The problem with the theory that says that if kids don't get used to things when they are kids, they won't feel deprived when they are older, is that it may work some of the time (probably about 50% of the time.) But what about those who had very little when they were younger and decide to make up for it when they finally leave home? My dh is a prime example of this. He had very little growing up and is looking to make up for it now. I had an middle class upbringing - not rich but not wanting for essentials - and I'm quite happy to cut out stuff now if we can't afford it. The difference between my family and his was the way we thought about money.

    The difference I see right now is that for MANY people their money / debt problems have absolutely nothing to do with their ability to manage their money and everything to do with situations which are totally out of their control. If you lose your job or, in the US, get really sick, it can cripple you financially for years if not life. You can be the most skilled, conscientious employee who does everything to look after yourself, but if your company folds or you get cancer it really can't be considered bad management on your part.

    Sorry, slightly OT, but if find the "if you just cut back and manage better" kind of smugness a bit trying at times. It may apply to some but definitely not to all.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  20. #100
    fragrance free
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    between here and there
    Posts
    1,469
    vCash
    500
    Rep Power
    12924
    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    We use our cells for long distance. My whole family is long distance from our land line and calling without cell would cost quite a bit more. We are getting cell service as cheap as possible and using all of the minutes. Pay as you go would cost us about as much. I'm not willing to sacrifice keeping in touch with my family. My parents and aunts and uncles do not use the internet very much.
    Reading this I realized I don't think anyone has mentioned skype as a way of cutting costs for people who have high speed internet. Many grandparents use it now as it lets them 'see' the grandkids who don't live near by. I like skype as there is no additional charge for me to use it. I'm already paying for the high speed internet and now I don't need to pay for the long distance phone charges.

Page 5 of 19 FirstFirst ... 3456715 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •