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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I said in my other post, I am 47, newly seperated, employed full time. I am starting over again, basically, with no savings and $4000 on a 0% till 7/05 cc. I've been so dedicated to paying off that cc in time, to avoid any interest. So dedicated that I leave myself almost NO spending money to eat. Well, it's catching up with me.

I've been putting living expenses on my Discover card, which is alright, or has been till now, because I pay it off in full each month. Recently I've thought that maybe I ought to keep envelopes for some of my regular HAVE TO HAVE items, such as dog food, gas, coffee ($1 a day at home, but I deserve it, I special order and get free shipping, I won't do without it) andhair cut/color money.

When I got paid this last friday, I decided to get the cash out and put it away for next month's Discover bill. To my HORROR, that bit of money set aside ate up almost ALL of the money I budget for everything discretionary. I realized I am BROKE!

I have been putting money away for vet/vehicle/medical, so that has saved me, but I am sending too much to this cc to pay it off and not having any money to eat with.

Since this revelation, I have been SO BAD! Almost rebelling against it...going out to lunch every day this week, buying from the vending machine at work, all these little things that spell freedom right now, but will spell disaster if I keep it up.
What can I do to change my mind set on this. I guess that I will just have to send less to the cc and plan on more for groceries and cook instead of buy, but I don't feel it's worthwhile to try to cook for one person.

Also this little rebellion helps me feel better when I am so miserable about my life situation anyway. It's all so complicated and difficult for me right now.

Anyone have any input for me?
 

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ruth, you either want to pay the card off or you don't. You must decide as you're the one who will suffer the consequences. You know what it will take to pay it off, you wrote about it all above. So, the ball's in your court. What are you going to do? Keep to your plan of paying off the cc with no interest, remembering to give yourself enough money to eat properly, or continue to waste money on eating out and vending machines? I know what I'd be doing.
 

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I understand the urge to splurge...I think stress does that to me too. BUT not having the money I need to pay my bills causes me sssooooooo much more stress than the momentary relief I feel when I splurge. Ssssooooo, you've got only one choice. Buckle down, go to the library, take out some really good, frugal reading and "indoctrinate" yourself. No discretionary spending, no eating out, nothing extra. You can do this. We all have had to fall back on this strategy several times in our lives. Remember that the situation is only temporary as long you decide to take control of it. You can do anything for a "while".....otherwise these changes will become permanent and you will be soooo mad at yourself for a lot longer.
 

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:hugz:

I understand how stress can make you want to spend more money than you have. Been there, done that, suffering for it!:(
I really think making a budget and sticking to it will be you best friend in the long run. You can also do some bulk cooking. For an example, make a lasagna and take a portion out for your meal that night. Divide the rest into individual meal sized portions and freeze them for later. Do the same with a pot of soup, chicken, meat loaf, chili, or pasta sauces. Soon you will have a freezer full of individual entrees and all you need to do is take it from the frezer in the morning, pop it in your fridge to thaw for the day and then warm it either on the stove or in the microwave at night when you get home. Add a salad, some fruit, bread or vegis and you have a meal. I also cook rice and freeze it to make things easier for myself and my family.
 

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Why don't you set up a little reward system for yourself - like saving money from the vending machines and eating out all week and maybe everytime you have ten days in a row you get some decadent "little" treat - like a millkshake or a fancy piece of chocolate truffle torte or a cadbury bar - something sinfully delicious and enjoyable (to you) that want break the bank and lets you focus on your accomplishment - and paying off that card only to use it up again isn't getting you anywhere - cut back on your payment a little so you can live on cash and your "punishment " will have to be paying a little interest - however - lessons learnt - you will train yourself not to do that again!! good luck and I am proud of you for making it on your own!! :D
 

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I remember being just like you! I was newly single, had cc debt I HAD to get rid of, and went whole-hog on making payments - then yo-yo'd back to splurging when I felt so unbelievably deprived paying down debt...luckily, a girlfriend gave me the book Stop Working - Start Living by Diane Nahirny and I just followed what she did. It's an amazing story of how this single woman retired in her 30's by figuring out how to manage her money by herself - bit by bit - and it only took her about a dozen years on a $20,000/yr Canadian income to do it...but her $ freedom goal wasn't important to me - it was all the lessons I learned on how to get myself to handle my money really well. Get it working for ME! Like, she emphasizes saving money wherever you can (and she has hundreds of ways), then using the savings for debt reduction AND priority luxuries, to keep you on an even keel, motivated. Her practical money tracking charts and forecasting and her philosophy kept me going! Why don't you see if you can get the book out from your library? Or she has Money Tips articles on her website smartmakeovers.com. Really, there's so much you can do and it's so much easier to follow what someone else has done successfully. Best of luck!
 

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ooops - I forgot to mention that her ideas on breaking down expenses into 4 categories: basics (survival), necessities (have some choice over cost - like food at home vs eating out), variables (lots of ways to save $ without deprivation) and unusual expenses (surprises) really helped me organize my spending/paying down debt because I became empowered deciding how much went where, depending on how easily I could adjust costs in each category, and how much realistically was leftover for debt payments. I just know you could be as successful as I was - I now have no debt at all and live really well!
 

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So you fell off the wagon, get back on! I think we've all been in that situation before, every day is a new day and you can just start over again. Don't beat yourself up over this. I agree with the idea of making a meatloaf, lasagna, pot of soup and dividing them up in individual sized portions for you to freeze and eat later. Check out the library for free books and videos you can use for entertainment. Maybe a daily, free walk would help relieve your stress and also use up exta time you might want to be shopping with. Post your goals on the fridge and look at them frequently. Tell yourself that you can beat this. I know you can! :)
 

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I had another thought, do you live near an Aldis? I can't believe the amount of food for little $ you can get at Aldis!
 

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Ladies gave you some great advice, I'm here to cheer you on.:yippee: You can be debt free and indulge, it takes planning & control & a sense of adventure. Nip this debt in the bud before it's out of control and find fun ways to get what you want and pay for it too. Going out eat a treat for you? Go to lunch and use coupons. Movies? Go to a matinee or rent them for free at the library.There are ways to enjoy just about anything & never pay full price. It really can be fun.;)

You can do this Ruth!:thumb:
 

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Hi Ruth!
I, too, have been there and done that. Three times, actually. With the credit cards, not husbands!
It was and is hard, but it is getting easier as I change my point of view. I feel that my children and I deserve vacations, nice gifts, treats, etc. I am trying to stay focused on what I really want, and that is to be debt free and pay cash for "wants." Focusing on my core values works well for me.
Blowing money gives me a false sense of freedom, but it actually ties me down. It's not worth it! I have become aware of the times of year and emotional triggers when I blow money and strategise to get around them.
I don't know about you, but I need to follow a good eating plan or I can get very emotional. I dislike cooking, but enjoy having single servings in the freezer for lunches or dinners so make sure to double or triple recipes (I share custody of my children, so often they are not here for supper). I'm not fussy about what I eat, as long as it is easy and good.
What is most important to you?
How can you create the end result you want?
How do you want your life to look? In one year? In five years?
Do you keep a journal? I find it invaluable. I don't write much, but when I do, I go back and analyse my writing for triggers and core values.
My heart goes out to you Ruth! :hugz:
You're right, it is a miserable and difficult time. And I mean "time." It will not last forever. Try taking it one day at a time, one goal at a time.
You can do it!!
:soapbox:
I'll step down now.
Next!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks for all the advice and support everyone. I CAN do this, even if it's not the way I originally planned, I can do this.

Off to rework some #'s :)
 

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Ruth,

First, :hugz:

Second, follow the loads of advice you have been given here already!

Third, You need to eat to be and stay healthy. There are excellent sugesstions already on freezing a large meal into smaller portion sizes. If you are not healthy you can't work and if you can't work then you cannot pay off your CC debt.

You can do this!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Michele, you're right, I need to stay healthy. I'm working on it!
 

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Hugs Ruth! I am an emotional spender and eater, so I can feel some of where you are coming from. You have gotten some great advice already and I can't think of another thing to add to it. If you get to feeling down, come here and post before you spend. We are here for you. I sometimes think of this as my money 911. If I get those "I feel down, I want something new/to eat something expensive" feelings I usually come here and distract myself and it helps.

Not being able to get what you want when you want is frustrating, I know, but remember - when that debt is paid off, you can give yourself a little money back for saving for those things you would like to have now. :) It won't be instant gratification like you can achieve with a cc, but its even better I think because you perserveered and earned it! Just my .02 and the way I am trying to beat the buying bug.

:hug2:
 
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