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Hello Everyone,

I am a long-time lurker here but this is my first time posting. I hope that I am putting this message in the right place!

I don't know if my family would be considered to have "financial hardship" but we do struggle and definitely live paycheck to paycheck.

The advice I am looking for is about credit card debt. We have about $8,000 worth of cc debt (wow...it's so hard to even admit that!) Since I have recently gotten a small raise at work, I feel that the time is right to start seriously trying to pay it down.

So I have been trying to think of ways that I can get the cards paid off. I know that when I get my tax return this year I can use that, but I'm trying to do what I can in the meantime. We don't go on vacation, eat out, buy lunch, etc. Most of our income goes towards bills and food (and our property taxes just went up...oh joy! lol)

Does anyone have any advice they could offer so that I might "find" some exta cash to put towards the debt? And what do you think is a realistic timeframe to have it paid off?

Thank you so much for reading my post!
 

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are there any other "necessities/luxuries" you can cut? Cable bill, cell phone plan, anything like that?
Also have you stopped using the CC's? Don't keep adding to the bill.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
are there any other "necessities/luxuries" you can cut? Cable bill, cell phone plan, anything like that?
Also have you stopped using the CC's? Don't keep adding to the bill.

Well, we have one of those "disposable" type cell phones for emergencies only. It's about $10 a month. I also have a work cell so if I have to make any calls related to my job, I use that. (I know it's hard to believe in this day and age, but we don't text and we rarely even talk on the phone...lol)

The cable bill is a good idea...I don't know why I didn't think of that before. I know that in our area you need to have some kind of cable hookup or else you can't get any channels but I can probably get just a basic plan. We don't have any premium channels or anything like that.

I have stopped using the CCs since I got my little raise. That's why I figured the time is right to get serious about paying them off. :)

Thank you for your response! :)
 

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Do you have a budget set up? Have you tracked your spending to determine if there are any leaks you can plug?
 

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Do you have a budget set up? Have you tracked your spending to determine if there are any leaks you can plug?

No, to be honest I don't have a budget. That is good advice also!

Is it better to track the monthly spending and then make a budget, or make a budget first and try to stick with it?
 

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You can start making a budget because you should know what most of your bills are each month.
But track your spending as well. Every penny.
 

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You can start making a budget because you should know what most of your bills are each month.
But track your spending as well. Every penny.
Awesome! I will start doing that for August. I think tracking the spending will be a big help, too. :) Thank you very much!
 

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Making a budget and tracking your spending, you will find extra money. Give every dollar you make a job. Tell it where to go.

You can also sell some things or get a part time job.

I would reccomend The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. He does a great job of laying out an aggressive yet realistic plan for paying off debt.

Good luck!
 

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This may not be the most appropriate answer but since you're already used to struggling and living paycheque to paycheque...take your bonus/raise and apply that lil extra amount to your debt with each paycheque. Don't wait til you save up a small amount saved up monthly, just have it automatically transferred from your account so you don't even have time to second guess your plan and use it elsewhere.

Can't see it, can't spend it.

I also agree on tracking ALL your spending right down to the penny. Cash, credit, debit - all of it. Even if you donate your $0.30 change to charity at the register or tip jar. ALL OF IT. You'll be surprised when you go over the entire list and you'll be able to determine where you are willing to cut back.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Making a budget and tracking your spending, you will find extra money. Give every dollar you make a job. Tell it where to go.

You can also sell some things or get a part time job.

I would reccomend The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. He does a great job of laying out an aggressive yet realistic plan for paying off debt.

Good luck!

We had a yard sale at the beginning of summer and did pretty well...I'm hoping to have another one in the fall!

I like the idea of "giving each dollar a job." That is such a cool way of looking at it!

I have seen Dave Ramsey's name tossed around quite a bit on these boards. :) I'm going to find out if his book is at my local library.

Thank you!
 

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Good Advice so far. Could you get a lower interest rate loan and transfer the CC bal. to it like a loan from the credit Union? Or even a zero %. And start socking evrything at it.
Make sure your not paying any bank fees. I suggest a credit union again.
Cut the magazine and newspaper,buy used,walk or ride bikes when its an option.
 

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Look at your food budget also. See if you can reduce it and still keep a stockpile or start one if you don't have one. May take a little extra money to start but in the long run you save money since you can wait for the good sales to come around again. For me it is like money in the bank. I end up saving money grocery shopping and if something unexpected happens I always know I can still make a meal.
 

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I know that when I get my tax return this year I can use that, but I'm trying to do what I can in the meantime.
Change your withholds so you have more in your paycheck now and less refund later. You can pay more on your CC sooner
 

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I second the Total Money Makeover. Also check out this site: Living Like No One Else. They have lots of good advice there.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you everyone for your help and advice! I really appreciate it and am excited to start using the tips you have given me! This website/forum is a real blessing and you are all very kind! Thanks again!
 

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Congrats on changing your life...once you read the TMMO...you look at money differently(in a good way).
 

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Have you tried contacting your credit card company to see if they will reduce the interest rate? While it's not finding extra money, it can slow the rate your bill increases.
 

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Track spending first. Second make a budget (spending plan). Then fund an emergency fund or you will once again use a cc. Once you've got everything under control you will be ready to start paying down the cc debt.

I understand that once you get the fever to pay down debt its hard to do the ground work necessary before attacking the cc debt but in the long run it will workout much better if you do it step by step with a good plan.
 
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