Where to begin...?
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  1. #1
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    Default Where to begin...?

    My husband and I have a ton of debt and like zero in savings. Where is the best place to start to get rid of debt? Small bills first then work on the big ones? How do you get anything into savings when you are living paycheck to paycheck?

  2. #2
    Registered User sanderson76's Avatar
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    We just started this in Oct. The general rule is to start paying off the debt with the highest interest, however, those are our highest balances. So, to feel an accomplishment sooner, we are paying off our smaller balances first..we had a few little pain in the butt ones is what I call them ranging from $90-$900 as the balance. This month I have managed to get 2 of them off of us and getting ready to start #3 for the month of Dec.

    We too, live paycheck to paycheck and for us it was trying to determine in what areas we could cut back and in turn help with paying off bills and adding money to the savings.

    We have cut back on power, went to basic basic phone service, really cut back on groceries (i now do a meal plan and stick completely to that).

    I would suggest tracking your spending for about a month so that you can see what goes where. I started using the money program that DH bought about 4 years ago to track ours and now I can't function without it. This has really helped me to see the areas that I can cut back on.

    Keep track of everything, even if you buy a soda, write it down and then at the end of the month see what things you could of lived without.

    It has been hard for us per say. Our kids were used to going out to eat at least once or twice a week. That is a big expense for a family of 4 and we didn't realize how much we were spending until we stopped it. The kids miss it and I will admit that it has been hard for me too, but like I told DH. I want the kids to see going out to eat as a treat, not that it is expected weekly (which they thought it was).

  3. #3
    Registered User slowtypinwoman's Avatar
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    I know it seems overwhelming when you first start, but it can be done. First off I'd look at how you live. No matter how tight you think things are, you can always tighten your frugal belt. Do you have cable, DSL, or Netflix you gan get rid of? That one thing could add as much as $60 a month to your budget. Look then at your food budget. Do you coupon shop, loss leader shop, or have a price book? Again, this can add a bundle of money to your monthly budget.

    Let me warn you, it is not fun when you first start. You may have friends that you do things with. Just because your mindset has changed, does not mean theirs has. The rewards however are vast when you can look at your E fund, saving, and lack of debt.

    That being said, I personally would start on the smaller bills. You can have a bigger sense of accomplishment when you see some of the debt come off. When you get the smaller bills paid off, put all the money you had been putting toward them to the bigger ones.
    Try to get your husband on board on this. It works best when you are a team. If he is reluctant, persivere yourself. We have many members here who are in the fugal lifestyle on their own. Plus, you'd be surprised how many spouses start doing things just because that is the way it is done now.

    Good luck! Joining this site was your first step. Look at all the old posts if you can. They are a wonderful source of information!

  4. #4
    Registered User mom22grls's Avatar
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    I agree with Samantha. We did our little ones first....you get the satisfaction sooner.

    We didn't start saving until recently. Then, when we have a little saved...we're busting butt on the camper & then more savings & then our house.

    Check out the Dave Ramsey threads...he is a wonderful help & listening to his online show gives you motivation to keep pluggin' away.

  5. #5
    Registered User Scattymum's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone else, welcome and good Luck!
    we are in the same position ourselves and have started by cutting back on groceries and reducing power/phone bills to start with. DH is finally getting on board and we are going to sit down and work out a proper plan of reducing those bills, starting with the smallest one first!
    looking forward to seeing you post!
    Rachael
    Wife to Dec
    Mum to Ciara, Jamie and Jack

  6. #6
    Registered User nodmicks's Avatar
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    I totally agree with everyone else. Brainstorm as a family on ways to cut back. I've started my 9 yr old on being the lights police.
    If you have an Aldis in your area their grocery proices are great.
    You can do it!!!

  7. #7
    Moderator aka AmyBob AmyBoz's Avatar
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    You've gotten some great advice so far, and the first step is admitting you need some help! You'll find wonderful ideas and support here, so welcome!

  8. #8
    Registered User Mojjo's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard....it's definately do-able.

    But the other thing I would recommend...read the boards here. There are so many great ideas and we have most of them.

  9. #9
    Registered User PrairieRose's Avatar
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    Hello and

    You might start by reading threads from the beginning of the debt reduction forum and then read the frugal tips and challenges forum here. We've all been there, work all the time at trying to keep things in order and pay down debt. It's not easy but so worth it.

  10. #10
    Registered User frugalfarmwife's Avatar
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    You've gotten a lot of good advice already, also know that it won't happen overnight and that we all fall off the wagon at times, it's best when this happens to just pick yourself up and keep going, don't look back and stress about it!

    I've learned TONS here and have cut many things drastically

    KJ

  11. #11
    Registered User dwallyfam's Avatar
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    Kat you are in good hands here. I have learned a lot from this sight and from these wonderful people. Just write it down is the only advice I can give you. Sometimes it takes being in black nd white and in front of you to make a difference and get you started.

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