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hi all. i read TMMO years ago. remembered the concepts, but never followed through. DH and i are now trying to fix our financial messes. i dont have a budget yet, and havent reread any of Dave lately, but am going to as soon as the library has a copy read for me. i have been on his website and am reading what i can.

my question is kind of a where do we start. background is that my husband had to have a surgery out of the blue when we had no savings and basically had been a bit behind on bills anyway (of course). well, the one surgery had complications, and he ended up back in the hospital for another surgery a week later. this all equals out to basically not working for a month. he got paid his base rate (which isnt much) but not his commission, which was better than nothing, but didnt do a whole lot since he makes way more than i do.

obviously, we need to stay on track with regular bills. rent, my car (we only have one)and all utilities are about a month behind. then we have a mountain of medical bills from these surgeries, and the one he had 6 months ago.

if we have extra money, where do we send it first? my inclination is to rent. but then where? utilities, or a bit to each medical bill? I know we can set up payment plans on the medical bills, but even then they all want at least $100 per month which just isnt feasible right now. i know we also need a savings, but at the same time want the collectors calls to stop!

Thanks for any help in at least where to start. we just feel overwhelmed.
 

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:welcome2:roxydiva4 to the village on your question about whether to pay rent,utilies before paying on hospital bills i personally would pay rent utilities and for food before paying on hospital bills if you dont sign anything showing how much you can pay you can pay as little as $5. or $10. a month and they can not take you to court. :yeah: as little as that.
 

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I don't like giving financial advice but as I think about what I would do in your situation, a few thoughts come to mind. First I would list all my expenses and get a budget in order. I would find ways to decrease my utility bills or cancel them (like cable/internet) I would look for a 2nd job to bring in more income. I would sell any unneeded big ticket items (we sold ATV and a boat in the past to pay bills). I'd look if there was a cheaper rental property. I'd keep in contact with the hospital so they knew I was trying and give them what I could. I would call my renter and let them know my situation to keep an open line of communication. Keep reading this forum and you will learn alot. Sorry about your husbands situation, I hope he has recovered.
 

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I totally understand and am sorry that you are going though this. I would start by making some phone calls. When we were in a pinch I called the car loan company and they were very willing to work with us. They put 3 months of payment to the end of the loan so we didn't have to pay for 3 months giving us some breathing room until we got a job. I don't know if you could sell the car and get a cheaper one with cash, but if not I would at least start there. Even ask the medical companies if they will work with you and give you a few months until hubby can start back at work. Call the landlord and ask either for a month or two off (to be paid at later date) or maybe some adjustment to be added to future rent payments to make up for the adjustment. Some (ok most) companies are darn right nasty, but there are a few that really would love to help and will work with you. Now cut and sell everything (but the kids:)) No phone, cable, don't drive anywhere, read this site for cheap meals, washing laundry in cold and hang drying I mean everything you can think of to get caught up and get moving forward. You will get better it's hard, but this site has great info and people. I will send a prayer your way.
 

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I hope your husband is healing and getting better.

Like the others here have said - rent, heat/electric, food and in that order. Before you call your creditors make a budget. This will help you to know how much you can afford to send each one every month and will give you a place to start the negotiations. Plus it will make you look proactive and maybe they will be more willing to work with you. I'd pay $5-10/month on the medical bills. They may "demand" $100/month but (to the best of my knowledge) you do not have to pay more then $5-10/month - as long as you are making a good faith effort by paying every month there is little they can do. (I have a medical bill I have been paying $10/month for 6 years now.) Before you spend any money beyond that point ask yourself if it a need or a want, can I make it myself, do I have a substitute for it, do I HAVE to have it or can I wait, can I barter for it, try to find ways to get it cheaper - use coupons, garage sales, freecycle.org, start a garden.... Keep searching FV for ideas. If you post your budget others will give you ideas of how you can cut it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thank you guys for the advice! it was kind of what i was thinking too, but i guess i wanted to check with others who might have more knowledge in this area. thank you!
 

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Did you have medical insurance?

If not, know that you may be able to negotiate the bills. Keep in mind that with insurance, the medical providers write off much of the bill. No one pays full-fare. If you didn't have medical insurance, ask them about programs that might help you with some of the bill. Of course, do all the usual, too. Double check all the bills to make sure there are no billing errors (even if you do have insurance). My experience is some hospitals will knock off a percentage of the bill if you find even one error.

Whatever you do, DO NOT charge the medical bills to a credit card! The leading cause for bankruptcy in this country is people medical bills charged to credit cards.
 

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My 2 cents~and hello!

1st get all your bills current and get a written budget on paper. If you don't know how much money you have to pay out and how much is coming in, how can you accomplish anything right?

2nd Write down how much you owe in debt. IT HURTS but do it anyway.

3rd See what is left after what you owe each month is paid.

4th START YOUR SAVINGS TO $1000! Yes. it seems nuts to save money when your boat is sinking but it will sink faster if a tidal wave comes and you can't scoop fast enough.

Do what everyone said and try to talk to the medical bill companies. When I found snowballing I paid off medical bills first doing what I could every month and snowballing until I paid off a car and a cc and a camper. (have a bit of a mess now so I am working it all again)

Move your snowball as things pay off and keep at it.

You can do this. It will be hard. You will be frustrated. I am sure there will be times when you will cry. keep at it!

Welcome to the forum!
 

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Your first priorities are:

Food
Utilities
Rent
Transportation

After these are budgeted for, look at what you have left and then prioritize them. Pay the minimums until the money is gone. Repeat till your income gets stable again. If its not going to stabilize soon, then you will have to look at making major changes - lower rent, 2nd job, different job....etc.
 

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My experience with medical bills is that if you ask them to write some of it off, they will...if you pay the balance in full right then. Don't make them any promises except to say you will do the best you can and DO NOT sign any payment plans. My father, 84 years old, had several hospitalizations within a year or so, we pay $5.00 every month on each bill without fail, but never miss a payment, even if it is just $5. When you get the smallest paid off, add that $5 to the now smallest & so on.

Wishing you the best of luck. You can make it.
 

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I also agree with rent, utilities,food. Would contact medical billing and tell them about your situation.
 

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I would have said just about everything someone else already said. Very important to live like no one else right now. You will be surprised at how creative you can get. You are in my prayers.
 
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