Hit rock bottom, now what?
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    Default Hit rock bottom, now what?

    Greetings all. This is my first post here, and am hoping for some encouragement, advice, or someone to slap some sense into me.

    My story, in a nutshell. Single, part time dad. Ex left me in sort of a financial mess about 5 years ago, though I consented to it. Since then been overusing credit cards, livin' large, not making good decisions. Now I'm maxed out, having trouble paying bills, and made the stoopid decision to replace beat up truck and no payment with nice used car and a payment.

    So, been to see a credit couselor who wasn't able to help me with a debt management plan but advised to ask for temporary payment plans from credit card companies, get the little stuff paid off, and cut expenses where i could. Already cut some living expenses, food, etc. But beginning to feel stressed.

    So, I KNOW I can do this. But some friendly advice, encouragement would really help. I've read a few of the other posts re plans to reduce debt and all that. Just feel like I'm totally over my head and facing a losing battle.

    Thanks for reading. I hope you are having a blessed day.

    Tom

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    Registered User ARCMOMMY's Avatar
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    Hi Tom. You are in the right place. My opinion about debt is that you need to hit rock bottom to realize that you need to change. Have you started to ready Dave Ramey's total money makeover? If you are really trying to cut some costs try to just borrow it from the library and just keep renewing it if you need to hold onto that info a little longer. Start cutting in every which possible way. You can definetly do it you just have to find the will and their will be a way. Hope to hear how your doing soon.
    TOTAL DEBT REMAINING=0, Nada,Zilch and never ever again

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    Tom. You are indeed in the right place. I guess the biggest change for me was an attitude change. I used to spend money to feel good about myself. Now I view a lot of the little frugal things I do as ways to feel good about myself.

    I used to eat out a lot at restaurants. I decided to become interested in cooking at home. It is much cheaper than going out to restaurants. And guess what? It's about planning and preparing ahead.

    Look at how you use your car too. It's new wheels, but it doesn't have to go everywhere. Can you walk or bike places? Or take the bus occasionally? Can you arrange errands so you do them in one big loop, ending up home? Can you set aside just one day a week for car errands?

    Depending on your size, you may find thrift stores have some very nice clothes in them. I'd suggest consignment stores, but in my city those are reserved for women's clothing.

    There are lots of ways to cut expenses. A lot depends on your current lifestyle and asking, "How can I get the same WOW factor for fewer bucks?"

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    Have you tracked your spending yet? It will help you see where all your money is going.
    If you're buying things you really don't NEED on sale, are you really saving?

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    You are absolutely in the right place. Many on here have faced very similar situations to yours and have come out on the other side with a much better life for it. My advice is surf around this site read, read and read some more. You will learn to cut your budget and plan out your life in more ways than you ever thought possible. Also know that this board is a very great place to come and fellowship with like minded people who will encourage you on your way
    We are debt free!!!

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    Get the whole picture of your finances. List debts smallest to largest, noting interest rates and min. payments. Track your spending in detail. Use cash if possible to curb impulse buys until you understand how you handle money. It's harder mentally to buy useless stuff with cash.

    Stop using cc's. Don't put yourself in anymore debt NONE...stop the bleeding.

    Start a tentative budget, this will be revised many times, but you need a place to start. Look at every aspect of your life and see where you can cut costs, coffee shops, subscriptions, phone plans, cable, eating out etc. get to a bare bones necessities only budget.....and then allow a small amount each month for free spending or blow money (very small).

    What can you sell? Any savings? Keep a small emergency fund, like 1000. Everything else throw at debt.

    You can do it!

    The more you attack debt the quicker you can get back to living the way you like...try not to prolong the process to keep unnecessary expenses. Sooner it's gone, the better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    Have you tracked your spending yet? It will help you see where all your money is going.
    Absolutely! This is the first step. How can you set a budget if you don't know where your money goes? Good luck Tom - You are indeed in the right place and welcome to the Village!

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    Registered User YesDear's Avatar
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    Hi Tom,
    I'm new here too and while I can't say I have hit rock bottom and I can say I have been pretty low.
    My family and I are currently on our way back up but I know that if I don't stick to a plan and make good choices daily I'm only a day away from being back on the bottom.
    It's is extreamly difficult at first to learn new habbits but I promise you it does get better. The first thing you have to do is get honest with yourself bout the things you are willing to do and what you aren't. Can you move or take in a roommate?
    The envelope system saved me life, look into it if you haven't. Good luck

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    Welcome, Tom. Like everyone else said, you are in the right place. One thing I remember doing when I was just getting started was go to the library and check out every book they had about frugal living, money management, etc. Then I read them all. Some resonated strongly with me, some I just skimmed through. But I learned something from each one. Reading here lots helps of course, too. I guarantee someone here has already been through any of the thousand and one troubles you are dealing with, and has already posted about it.

    Best wishes on your journey!

    Kara

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARCMOMMY View Post
    Hi Tom. You are in the right place. My opinion about debt is that you need to hit rock bottom to realize that you need to change. Have you started to ready Dave Ramey's total money makeover? If you are really trying to cut some costs try to just borrow it from the library and just keep renewing it if you need to hold onto that info a little longer. Start cutting in every which possible way. You can definetly do it you just have to find the will and their will be a way. Hope to hear how your doing soon.

    Yes, checked out Ramsey's TMM book yesterday. Thx

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    Quote Originally Posted by JerryG View Post
    Absolutely! This is the first step. How can you set a budget if you don't know where your money goes? Good luck Tom - You are indeed in the right place and welcome to the Village!
    Creating, and sticking to, a budget is what i just can't seem to do. seems now all I can do is bidget for credit card payments and not much else. Same with tracking spending

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    BTDT. You WILL get through it.

    It sounds to me like you need to adjust your thinking a little and get over the addiction to credit cards. Cut them up if you have not already. Don't even keep one for 'emergencies.'

    Cash (or debit card) is the best way to stay on budget, IMO. If the money ain't there to spend then you can't 'go over'.

    Track your spending, as others have said, go over those bank statements and figure out where your money goes. Then make plans to knock out one or two of the smallest debts quickly. You may be eating ramen noodles for a while, but once you get rid of a few debts things will ease up financially and your stress level will drop.

    It's painful at first, living at subsistence level if you're used to big spending, but keep in mind that it is only temporary until you get some debt paid, then you can start adding in a few things to make your life more comfortable while you continue to pay off your debt.
    Use it up, Wear it out,
    Make it do, Or do without. ~unknown

    You can't always get what you want
    But if you try sometimes you just might find
    You get what you need ~Rolling Stones

    A clean house is a sign of a wasted life. ~unknown

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    www.mint.com is free to use

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    Well, a couple of the cards just went through the shredder. I made a copy of each for my files, and planned to write down the cvs number just in case I needed to purchase something online, but managed to forget oops

    At the moment I'm trying to get caught up with a few little things. Already re-aquired my taste for ramen noodles. Good thing is the kid loves that stuff.

    The other good thing is being broke keeps me from drinking and eating fast food, which goes directly to my other goal of staying fit and healthy. Many more blessings in my life but thats a topic for another day.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flashyMcGee View Post
    www.mint.com is free to use
    Thanks! I'll check that out more this evening.

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