First thing to getting rid of DEBT - Page 3
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  1. #31
    Master Dollar Stretcher LastDragonfly's Avatar
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    I'm still in the juggling stages too Jen, and I'm not sure where to begin. I've started this process before and then fell apart on myself so I've scared myself into digging my head in the sand.

    I'm hoping to get back on track and follow through this time.

  2. #32

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    just started a notebook with monthly adverages for everything. when i thought i had gotten it all, i remembered some more (twice so far). i need to make more, spend less. i'd like more breathing room in the budget. will have some when one or two debts are paid off. i know you're suppose to snowball, but i'm stretched beyond myself from what the numbers say, so i will snow ball half of my first debt into the second when i can. for now i am starting a list of payments w/months and will work towards a workable budget and getting all payments caught up and made on time, while still trying to save a little each month in my baby ef. wish me luck, it's very uhggggg - this reality check of writing everything down, i'm not finished with it...i think it will be a work in progress for a while. i have decided i've spent enough energy on this for today, hopefully i can make it a once a week or month visit eventually.

  3. #33

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    I use a large poster board and have the debts listed down the side. i go in 3 month intervals across the top. so i can see progress. i did slip for a while and just had to redo my board. Grand total for august 2006 is 25,618$. i hang this in the kitchen and i see it every day. my emergency fund(just started) is $250. this is my first post to the site. thanks for being there.


    kate

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  5. #34

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    i'm starting to feel more organized finacially. almost all of the bills are caught up or there is a plan in place to get them there. whenever a bill gets paid, i update my list in the book so i can look in this one place and see where we're at, what is the furthest behind, and so forth. for each month i've been keeping a separate recipe card with debt balances, savings and challenges...will transfer this info into the book so i can see how the balances are changing each month (hopefully down). i'm not so daunted by the unknown , i find i don't shutter when the mail comes, now i can enter the amount of the bill in the book and know what's what. i think it's the nagging thought of the bill pile that depresses alot of us. there's always a few that we have engrained in our heads that need to get paid, but when you write them all down it makes it easier to come up with a plan to take care of them. i've been using the opposite page to do just that.

  6. #35
    Registered User SHOPGIRL's Avatar
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    I wrote all of my debt and monthly expenses down again. This time, I took all the number and created a table in Microsoft Word. I would have used Excel, but I'm not that comfortable with the program yet.

    I created a monthly average for my gas and electric bill. I don't have the budget billing and I doubt I'll sign up for it. I don't mind the expenses being variable. In fact, I think I try harder to lower the bill from month to month by not having the budget billing.

    I included in the budget $300 for groceries. I honestly don't have good figures on food so I just estimated what I spend. I don't think I spend this much money a month, but if I included going out to dinner, this would probably be right. I've been fortunate to stockpile quite a few items. I have on hand enough toothpaste and shampoo to last the next couple years. I also have a good paper supply of toliet paper and paper towels. I have enough pasta sauce to last through the next year, in fact, maybe too much there.

    My point is, the grocery budget could be cut down. I also know with babies, my expenses will rise. Although I'll attempt to nurse both, I'm realistic that I may have to supplement with formula or buy entirely formula. I'm planning on cloth diapering, but I plan on using disposable when we travel or if the kids have to go to daycare. I've been stockpiling baby items this summer.

    So, the grocery bill is an area that I'm going to work really hard on to decrease. If I can do this, the extra money can go towards debt.

    I have the option of being paid in 21 pay periods or 26 pay periods. The advantage of the 21 pay periods is, my check is larger, and I get the money I earn right away. The advantage of a 26 pay period is, I'll earn the same amount of money every two weeks for the entire year. This actually can make it easier to budget monthly expenses. Plus, it's a more realistic paycheck. I think I'll be less likely to overspend. The true deciding factor is, I may have to go on disability for a few weeks or a month or so, and if I do, then I'd get 70% of my pay. I'd rather have 70% of a smaller check than a larger check.

    My dh owns his own business and the business income isn't conistent. So, my paycheck is what I have to use to budget all our expenses. Any money I get from my dh will vary depending on the month. This makes it tough to pay down a lot of debt.

    So, my plan is to pay down what I can and keep my expenses low. We have twins arriving in a few months, so our expenses will double. I've already purchased a lot of baby items and I don't need much more. This summer, I've made some Christmas and Birthday purchases, and I'm planning on finishing up my Christmas shopping within the next month.

    Unfortunately, I've exceeded my budget so I'll be playing catch-up for the next couple months. I plan on using my ebay sales money to pay off credit cards. So, I'll just need to put more items on ebay to sell.

    So, my plan is to update my house expenses monthly. I'll also update my monthly credit card expenses. Rather than have an estimate of what I owe, I'll have everthing on one piece of paper. This should make it much easier to track.

    I do all my payments online through my bank's online banking program. This really helps keep me organized and helps me to avoid missing a payment. Plus, saving the $.39 stamp all adds up.

    This summer I used multiple cards for purchases, which really got me off-track. I usually use just one card. So, I'll be back to using one credit card, and of course, I'll make sure to pay it off monthly. I think what I'll do, is take all the receipts and input them into Microsoft Money so I can keep track of my monthly spending. I could carry a checkbook and write it all down there too.

  7. #36

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    This is a great idea. I came here searching for ways to get home and finance undercontrol and this looks like my answer. Money is definatly a problem at my house. There is no system WHATSOEVER at my house. About every other week...or three weeks (whenever my husband or I feel like doing it) we sit down and pay our bills hoping we got them all. Usually we have at least 2 late bills and 1 shut-off notice. We NEVER keep a balance of our checking account, we just stop writing checks for a few days then go online and see what we have.

    We're so bad at this that I didn't have a clue where to start to get things under control...I'll go home and (smiling sheepishly) try and find all bills (did i mention that we just lay mail down where-ever we feel like it?) and write them down...then I'll post back tomorrow.

    LOL, I really need someone to take me under their wing. After reading my own post I sound pretty pitiful!

    Mel

  8. #37
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    I had a journal for several years but over the past year I have not kept one. My progress reducing my debt seemed much faster when I was keeping better track of things. I will definitely be going back to this kind of system.

  9. #38

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    wow, I just added everything up and have become thoroughly depressed. Between student loans, mortgage, 2 vehicle payments and one credit card we have over 60,000 is in debt. How do you even know where to start?

    mel

  10. #39
    Registered User justpeachy92's Avatar
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    I agree that it is very eye opening to write it all down and see everything that you owe. It took me 2 weeks to finally get up the courage to finally call and request a copy of my credit report. I haven't received yet, and I almost don't want to look at it when it comes, I am really hoping there isn't some big bill on there that I have forgotten about that isn't listed in my notebook. But I know I need to see it so I know what I owe and to whom, as that is the only way I will get myself debt free.

  11. #40

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    Okay! I did it!! Scary...being my end total is....
    .
    ..
    ...
    ....
    .....$20,287.09
    ......
    .....
    ....
    ...
    ..
    .
    Yikes.

  12. #41
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    May I join in here? I need some cheerleaders.

    We have a fair amount of consumer debt. 30500 approx. Student loan $3200. Mortgage $115000. I'm hoping to pay off over half by the end of the year, and the balance the year after that,leaving on the mortgage.

    We are kickstarting that with a tax refund of $3000. I'm in Canada and we pay an astronomical amount in taxes, this year we're looking at approx $12000 paid And maximizing all writeoffs.

    Can I ask what RRSP in the US are? Here it's a registered retirement savings plan, optional. Dh contributes to his every month, well twice a month. It'll be close to $240/mo I can't convince him it's smarter to use 1/2 of that to accelerate payments on the debts, so I have to work around it.

    I do earn money. I have $1800 a month, that pays all the bills and groceries leaving about $600 for accelerated bills, CF and FA. But some how it's never working that way.

    Ideas?

  13. #42

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    I hate having debt but we are really working hard at paying it off.

    Here is a run down of our total debt:

    $57,449 on our mortgage
    $14,300 on a HELOC
    $27,730 on vehicle
    $8,284 on student loans
    $14,500 on 3 credit cards

    GRAND TOTAL of $122,263

    ouch!

  14. #43

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    Mine is in my sig...

  15. #44

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    everyone finance guru always says there's good debt and bad debt
    like good debt is student loans or mortgage
    bad debt would be credit cards or frivolous things
    so do you include all those things when writing down how much you owe or just the stuff that's really the unnecessary debt you got yourself into?

  16. #45
    Registered User tlenad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bargainQUEEN View Post
    everyone finance guru always says there's good debt and bad debt
    like good debt is student loans or mortgage
    bad debt would be credit cards or frivolous things
    so do you include all those things when writing down how much you owe or just the stuff that's really the unnecessary debt you got yourself into?
    I wrote down everything. Once I got a good idea of where my debt was it was a lot easier to prorioritize the pay back schedule.

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