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  1. #31
    Registered User Its_Donna's Avatar
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    Big to You! Everyone has given you some great advice and I really don't have anything else to add other than take care of yourself, give those babies and DH some hugs and remember: You can do this!

    Oh yeah....Get a budget written down on paper and if you need to go to a cash only system and use envelopes if you need to to help curtail unnecessary spending.

    We are here for you!!

  2. #32
    Registered User krissyre's Avatar
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    Just big HUGS and sympathy. I understand where you're coming from, and I've been where you are. You really have done the hardest part already -- by opening up every one of those credit card statements, writing down the total amount, and adding it all up. I remember quite well when I didn't have the guts to do that much.

    You've gotten so many great ideas from the other ladies, I don't have much to add. As others have said, pay for your groceries last. You'd be surprised at how far you can stretch your dollar and your meals when you really have to. It's time consuming to shop sales, use coupons, and cook from scratch, especially at first. But the amount you can cut from your budget is another way you can contribute to your family financially. And you don't even have to pay taxes on it.

    Just keep your chin up, and know that you have a plan. You are in control, and YOU CAN DO IT!

  3. #33
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    Hello from me and well done for writing up your message. As others have said, just take it a step at a time so you don't get overwhelmed. It is doable! (great word!!)
    Have you read TightWad Gazette? In it Amy writes about children's birthdays and how they can follow a theme - cheap and definitely fun! That might help with your birthdays which are coming up. With extended family, might you be able to just cut down this year? Would you be able to make something - people love something which has been made especially for them.
    All the best
    W

  4. #34
    Registered User rainbowgc's Avatar
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    1st call your cable company and ask for a discount for customer retention. (my bill is $132 for cable, digital, 2 DVR boxes and HBO and I am in Florida, I use Vonage for my phone so that is $27, so i have more and my bill is lower than yours) Call about insurance until you find a more affordable one. I agree with the budget plan for electric, but also consider all ways you can cut electricity costs. The electric companies offer free energy inspections, call and schedule one. I don't know who you have for cell plan but T Mobile lets you downgrade service to a cheaper rate without breaking your contract. I agree with "cut out all entertainment" the stress isn't worth it. Plan home entertainment, use the library (Check out Dave Ramsey, "The Tightwad Gazette" for ideas) All non essential car trips need to come to a halt.
    As I say to DH you can't leave the house without spending $.
    Food can also be reduced substantially, Learn to shop loss leaders, try Sav-a-lot, Angel Food Network but also try SHARE. Try Dollar tree for all non-food products except maybe diapers.
    Learn to cook cheaper meals, beans, pasta, breakfast for dinner, bake your own homemade treats. As $ frees up use thrift shops, garage sales to buy additional appliances to vary menus, like a bread machine, waffle maker, Crockpot etc. Also to save on gas, Walmart will price match on loss leaders, (just not buy one get one type deals)
    Here is a good site to get the grocery flyers: http://www.sundaysaver.com/
    Here is a good and honest place to get coupons, they are located in Florida so turn around should be quick: http://www.thecouponclippers.com/index.html
    Here is a site with a lot of info about how to use coupons: http://www.spam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typedspam! It is better fried than typed.com/forums/index.php
    and another: http://www.mycoupons.com/boards/
    Here is site about general information for saving money in all kinds of categories: http://www.stretcher.com/index.cfm
    Here is a site for Fugal fun: http://www.thriftyfun.com/
    Also the Motley Fool again has free forums: http://www.fool.com/

    Good luck!

  5. #35
    Registered User FrugalMomof3's Avatar
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    I agree with the ladies above:

    - Cut down that entertainment, that's really high
    - Reduce your electricity costs
    - Cut down the food bill (buy less or buy generic)
    - Cut down on gas in the car for personal use, that's high too!

    I am sure you can do it, as you've already made the first step and that's writing it all down.

    Good luck and remember we are all here for you!

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    Not a whole lot of advice here other than what's been given, but BIG HUGS!! YOU CAN DO THIS!!!

    ...ok... one small piece of advice - check out the 1800diapers.com mentioned earlier. I can buy them cheaper at BJ's, but not by much. It may be cheaper for you.

    Also - try asking some of the moms in your area for ideas - you don't have to phrase it as "Hi, I'm trying to save money - please help" you can just ask them where they get the best prices on groceries or who they find to be the best for car insurance. I find a lot of the money-saving/budget slashing things I have done are fairly specific to my area. I can tell you which stores near me sell marked down produce and what the local grocery store promotions are, but that probably won't help you. My car insurance is a lot higher than yours (and most people's) but because I live in MA the industry is state regulated - I can't even get Geico or Progressive - so it does me no good to call around for a better rate. But I can tell you all of the VOIP providers in my area :-) So try asking some of your local mom groups.

  7. #37
    Registered User Cricketlegs's Avatar
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    I don't know what your interest rates are but just that $400 @$10 a month @ 10% interest will take a whooping 49 months to pay.

    You need to start at the beginning. Find EVERY penny you can from every non debt area even if it it 10 dollars and hit your first card and then keep LOOKING for ways to trim your budget and SNOWBALL that debt.

    It will be HARD but there is no where else to go but up because if you are in the (-) you are at the bottom.

    Loose the cards except one.

    On the flip side~~~just finding $40 additional dollars(groceries or gas perhaps) gets that card paid in 9 months!

    See that???YOu can cut 40 months or 3.4 YEARS off that card alone!

    You need to go to this site and make a plan. I can feed 5 people on $300 a month.

    Find every penny!
    http://www.whatsthecost.com/snowball.aspx?country=us

  8. #38
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    Well done on getting all the numbers down on paper!

    My tip: remember that your young children are only ''used to'' things that YOU make them ''used to''. So, if they are used to big birthday parties (do YOU remember your 3rd birthday party?), it is because YOU made them used to it. To ''unuse'' them to it is also your responsibility, and because they are only so young, I do not think they will notice as long as you hold out for the first 3 days.

    This comment is not meant to pick on you, but to show you what a great influence a mother has on her children's perception of ''normality''.

  9. #39
    Registered User mommy4ever's Avatar
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    That is so true on the Birthdays!

    DS this year had 1 buddy come camping with us for the weekend.

    DD10 had 2 friends sleep over.
    DD8 had 1 friend sleep over.
    DD3, had grandparents over for cake, and one child from our home daycare.

    We've had the big expensive birthdays, but it's not in the books anymore. (wasn't then either.lol). But the kids took it in stride. It's nice to have intimate parties and they spend time with the kids that WANT to spend their special day. Not all of the kids at a party are close friends.
    Mom to 4 wonderful kiddos. Homeschooling mom
    • FFEF 2/6months
    • Retirement savings to start
    • Mortgage


    DEBT, n. An ingenious substitute for the chain and whip of the slave driver.
    - Ambrose Bierce






  10. #40
    Registered User cdmom's Avatar
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    Everyones advice is awesome. Please, don't give up on getting rid of that car payment! We were upside down on a car too and took Dave Ramsey's advice and took out a small loan with the CU for the difference. You can reduce your debt by $18,000!! That is a lot of money. You can find a great car that is good on gas way cheaper. An extra $400 a month would change your situation! Good Luck!!

  11. #41
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    We are entering the onslew of family birthdays and holidays and I have to figure out how to make it fun for the kids without spending. I know this will be good for them in the long run, but when they are used to parties for every birthday....
    A day at a park, a sleep out in the back yard w/picnic, a home made cake, a day of games and/or art projects, a visit to the library... there's a lot to be done inexpensively.

  12. #42
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    I'd agree with what's been said with an a few additions: 1) try seeing if you library has Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy, there's a lot of good stuff there 2) look at the Frugal Zealot books for hints on buying your kids' clothes 3) if the corp Amex isn't on a fixed payment, see if you can do that.

    Also, I'd see if you could tell one or the other cc companies (the one you pay the most interest to is the one I'd pick) that you want to close the account and simply pay off the balance...and if you do that, could they please come up with a fixed payment AT A LOWER INTEREST RATE? Also, tell them you're talking to 3 companies to get them to compete with each other.

    Finally, as an IT wife I'd get your DH to ask if he could work from home one day a week, to catch up paperwork, customer calls, etc. or 1/2 a day or....

    Give your husband a bag lunch every day, unless he's on an expense account taking customers/prospective employees out.

    Finally, at various times (twice) we've supported DH on longterm travel. The cc bills get insane, but are reimbursed, but the home expenses go down since here at least there's 1/2 as many people to feed, provide gas, etc. I can really whittle down the other cc bills then because basically his living is subsidized, and that can be useful!

    I hope this helps!

    JD

  13. #43
    Registered User Cricketlegs's Avatar
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    I would love an update.

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