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Topic : Debt

Number of Replies: 754
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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:21:14 am
Author : dataimport
Are you struggling with debt? Have you successfully managed your debt? Share tips and strategies with others.

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July 28, 2005, 7:14 pm CDT

Hey! Thanks!

Quote From: marcia52

Hi, just wanted to let you know that cancelling a credit card can damage your credit score.  Yes, for real!!!  Suze Orman said it once and then I just read it again in a magazine. 

 

I'm using Suze Orman's book The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom  to help me deal with my fears.  I've been spending years getting to this point.  One of the reasons I'm so in debt is because of my unhappiness at my job and with my life itself.  But I did manage to do something every so often to help to get to this point in my life.

 

SInce chosing this goal, I have learned many things:

  1. Don't cancel a credit card.
  2. If you owe more than 50% of your credit limit, your credit score is effected.
  3. You figure out which credit card has the highest financial charge and you go after that first.
  4. And that I know nothing about how my credit score is determined and how I'm going to get it back to the high score I had a few years ago.

Well, #2 isn't the highest, #3 has the lowest balance.  #4 means I'm going to have to learn - luckily, I signed up for something called CREDIT OBSERVER when I started to hear so much about theft identity.  It's an insurance type thing and it sends me a quarterly report of my credit report.

 

Now that I'm focused on this goal, I can now use their service to help me learn.  They have something called "Credit Education Specialists".  And they have a 1-800 too boot. 

 

My goal is to pay off the lowest balance and then begin tackling the next credit card.

 

I think that what shocked me the most was that my credit card companies had raised my finance charge %s and I never caught it.  I had one that was at 6.5% and now it's at 11.99%.  It happened to my mom as well and she has another credit card company. 

 

Have you attempted to track your daily spending? or are you good at that? My goal is to conquer my MINDLESS SPENDING by 10/1/05.  I'm doing rather good.  This was my first month to track my spending and it was surprising to say the least.   I was really off on "ALLOCATING FUNDS" - but it was my 1st attempt and now, I know that I can be more realistic than when I started.  (It's one of the things that Suze wants me to do.)

I havent heard of the book you mentioned before, but I think I might have to check it out. Thanks! I am pretty good at tracking my spending, but my problem is every time I go to a walmart or a target, I always end up spending alot of money, so I avoid them stores as much as possible. I am what you would call a "compulsive" buyer. If I see something I like, I get it. I'm not bad off in debt but if I keep getting out like I have lately, then, I will be. My bills get paid for sure and so do my credit cards but its like the more I pay, the more I charge. YIKES! I have only 2 credit cards and one is high but not maxed out (yet) so my goal is to NOT charge anymore and hopefully get them paid off before Christmas, so I can charge again:) I am going to look for that book, and I hope I dont have to go to walmart or target to find it. lol
 
July 29, 2005, 6:10 am CDT

I have 2 lists when I shop....

Quote From: jb7ctx

I havent heard of the book you mentioned before, but I think I might have to check it out. Thanks! I am pretty good at tracking my spending, but my problem is every time I go to a walmart or a target, I always end up spending alot of money, so I avoid them stores as much as possible. I am what you would call a "compulsive" buyer. If I see something I like, I get it. I'm not bad off in debt but if I keep getting out like I have lately, then, I will be. My bills get paid for sure and so do my credit cards but its like the more I pay, the more I charge. YIKES! I have only 2 credit cards and one is high but not maxed out (yet) so my goal is to NOT charge anymore and hopefully get them paid off before Christmas, so I can charge again:) I am going to look for that book, and I hope I dont have to go to walmart or target to find it. lol

What I discovered was that I had 2 list when I went shopping. The one that was written and the another list that was in my head.  One of the things that Self Matters taught me was to listen to what I was telling myself so 1 day, I sat down with paper and pencil and made a list of all the THEMES that were going on in my head.  It goes like this for me:

  1. Lose weight
  2. exercise
  3. Cook
  4. Clean
  5. Sew
  6. Weed yard
  7. finances

finally it ends with MINDLESS SPENDING.  What I discovered was if I reviewed the list before I go shopping to see WHERE I STOOD ON EACH OF THESE, I would see the 2nd Shopping LIst emerging.

 

And using the question:  Do I really Need IT?  doesn't work because I say yes.  So now, I'm going to do something different.   Not sure what, but I'm working on it. 

 

It takes time and the hard part was getting past the guilt and shame that I couldn't do better.  I am doing better!  I'm a lot better than I was a month ago or even 6 weeks ago.

 

I also don't go shopping if I'm upset or anything.  I plan on my shopping trips and make sure I have a list when I do go shopping cause I stand a much better chance of making it thru the store when I do!

 
July 29, 2005, 7:01 am CDT

Thank you

Quote From: queentween

As Patsy Cline said to all working girls, "Keep your chin up and your skirt down!" You will get ahead. You just need to give yourself a little break from worrying about money all the time. Have you called your creditors to tell them what is going on? Can they give you a break on interest, or lower your payments for a while until you get settled? Don't try to get an extra job right now- just keep concnetrating on NOT buying stuff, NOT grabbing something at the deli rather than making supper at home, NOT grabbing a latte on the way to work and making a coffee at home instead. Its tougher, too, because right now, you probably don't know a lot of people in the new place, and loneliness makes everything harder. Keep plugging and keep going- the only way you don't succeed is when you stop.......Queenie

Queenie,

 

Thank you for the advise.  I've been trying to do some of your suggestions and i have seen a little improvement.  I know i shouldn't be worried about money, but it's hard not to think about when every little thing you need has something to do with money.  Then too, i'm so far away from home, it's not like i can just go to a friend or Mom and ask for help.  I haven't tried calling some of the creditors, but i will definitely give that a try.  It sounds like a really good idea.  Maybe they will be understanding.  You know, it's all the little unexpected bills thats hurting me right now.  Slowly but surely, i will get them out of the way and then i can focus on getting those blasted CC out of the way.  Creditors really stick it to you when you're late on a payment for one of those.  They add all kinds of fees and charges.  I didn't realize that being an adult would be so hard.  I have a very long road ahead of me and this part has been truly an eye opener for me.  Keep me in your thoughts as i will do the same for everyone thats in the same situation.  Take care and again, thanks for the advise, i really appreciate it....NTYCE25

 
July 31, 2005, 6:47 am CDT

Today is the last day of the month

Can you believe that I've actually stayed true to my daily spending log.  At day's end, I print it up and look it over.  I already know that I've got to up my "projected allocations" and that it's helping with my mindless shopping already.  But it's just so scary --  cause I feel like I'm boxing myself in with the allocations -- isn't that crazy sounding?

 

I was supposed to go shopping this morning with my mom, but she backed out.  I'm hoping that I can make it thru the day without going to the store for junk food like a Dairy Queen ice cream cone.

 

July is nearly over and I can finally evaluate how I did this month and how far I've come.  At least I don't mindlessly disappear when I'm working on the spreadsheet - I did that at first - my thoughts took me off on all sorts of tangents. 

 
July 31, 2005, 5:02 pm CDT

hi

Quote From: gklassen

My wife and I are in a familiar boat. Life just doesn't seem to be going our way but somewhere out there, there must be hope. We've tryed paying one debt at a time but the others keep pilling up with interest. All the best to you and your family hope there is a light at the end of your tunnel, your freinds from North of the border.

 i read your post and me and my husband are in the same boat

did you go bankrupt?

we did like 5 years ago and now we cannot

buy anyhting at all

we struggle everyday

we are tryign to find out how we can start

building new good credit but

we dont know how

if you would like to chat sometime about

dept and life lol

i would love to

my email is paville3@hotmail.com

 hang in there

and keep your chin up!!

  sher in pa

 
August 1, 2005, 6:01 pm CDT

August 1st - Month 3's status report

I spent yesterday and part of today updating my financial spreadsheet that I created to help me in learning about finances. I found out years ago that I do better when I do hands-on cause then I can see how everything comes together.

 

Today, I tweaked the Daily Spending Log and then went over my MONTHLY EXPENSES and ESCROW SAVINGS ACCOUNT.  I had to rework the expense worksheets because I had dumped everything into it and it wasn't working out right.

 

I'm pretty proud of myself because I was finally able to write out step-by-step what I have to do for the month of August to move 1 step closer to completing Step 3 of Suze Orman's book:  The 9 Steps to Financial Freedom. 

 

I also figured out yesterday that it will take me ~7 years to pay off my $18,000 debt.  And that's only if I don't have a nasty little money crisis popping up to throw it in an uproar.  But, that's okay - cause I can do this because I have a plan finally.  I never ever really got this far before.

 

I've already started August's Daily Spending Log and I'm just waiting for my bills to arrive.  It's really funny cause now that I'm ready to begin the slow process of paying off my debt, I can't seem to get any of my bills coming in.  For real!  Usually, I've written out the checks and they are waiting to be sent off.  But, because I'm going to do this, I have to wait.  Isn't that just life at it's finest.

 
August 2, 2005, 3:40 am CDT

A Friend

Quote From: sherinpa

 i read your post and me and my husband are in the same boat

did you go bankrupt?

we did like 5 years ago and now we cannot

buy anyhting at all

we struggle everyday

we are tryign to find out how we can start

building new good credit but

we dont know how

if you would like to chat sometime about

dept and life lol

i would love to

my email is paville3@hotmail.com

 hang in there

and keep your chin up!!

  sher in pa

Life will get better you just have to keep strong like I did. I sent you an email so if you read this first you'll know about it or if you don't read your mail often. We are getting better thanks to our bank and a whole lot of begging, for a while there we thought we'd have to sell everything to pay our debts or go bankrupt but so far so good we're keeping our heads above water. We'll talk again soon I hope I'm not always on this message board and sometimes i forget but be patient I'll be back .

Take care keep hope and lol Gary.

 
August 2, 2005, 10:06 pm CDT

student loan debt

Anyone have student loan debt? I graduated college last year, and I have had my loans deferred for about a year. I am so worried about this debt. according to them its going to take 25 years to pay it off, by that time i'll have paid over 50,000

i have alot of loans, I did not realize it was so high, and now, i can't even find a good job with my degree. (business administration) ( i live in a small place) i just dont know what to do, its overwhelming to think about.

any advice would be helpful

thank you

 

 
August 3, 2005, 9:17 am CDT

Stop thinking about it!

You need to stop thinking about the loan - you have a year.  If you keep the loan/debt in your mind 24/7, then you will never find a job because you will never get pass the fear you are creating within.

 

I too have debt - ~$18,000 and I need to find a job.  I gave myself the summer off because I know that come September all the students will have returned to school and all sorts of jobs will open up again.  For me, I'm going to look at temporary service so that I can go to school part-time. 

 

What type of jobs are posted in the paper?  Is there a larger city nearby that you can look there for a job - I know you may not want to move but a small city/town is quite limited in work sometimes. Are there any big companies nearby?

 

You may have to take a lower paying job at first and work your way up - the Business Administration degree can open doors at an entry level in a business that you are wanting to learn from.  I know that being a secretary was quite beneficial for me because I was able to learn about the company and network with the other secretaries.  Secretaries are one of the best resources. 

 

Don't wait for the job to come to you in the way of a newspaper.   Put in your resume' and then follow-up in a month or so.  Let them know you really are interested.  Be open to the fact that you have a degree.  Many times, companies hire people with degrees that have no connection to the job - it's that the company knows that you are trainable and that you are willing to learn.

 

Your fears are just like my own.  How do I pay off my debt and prepare myself for retirement in 10 years when I've had to cash in my 401K to help me thru this transistion in life.

 
August 3, 2005, 11:47 pm CDT

HEAD ABOVE WATER

Hi everybody looks like i'm starting to keep my head above water. I bugged my bank long enough to consolidate my debts and they finally agreed. It tooks months but now I freed up nearlt $800/MTH which is going to help a great deal. I guess a person just has to keep going, because it was looking pretty grim and I just didn't feel life should go on or I should sell my house and vehicles just to servive. Good thing I didn't other wise I'd have to make more debt trying to regain what I had lost.

I have gone bankrupt in the past quite a few years ago and that to costs alot. But I had no choice due to a nasty divorce that was my only way out. But if bankruptcy is the only way then i'd say do it but you will have bad credit for about 7 years, atleast here in Canada.

All I can say to anyone thinking of going bankrupt is check every avenue first because credit seems to be very important these days. If anybody want to talk give me a holler at clean05@mts.net lol Gary

 
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