Paying half your income on the house is eating you

This is all good and sound advice so please no one take this the wrong way. If you cant pay your credit cards from personal experience I would say dont even bother. If you cant make the minimum monthly payment they are asking for and you are’nt working out any other arrangement with them, sending them 10.00 a month will do nothing for you. I’ve tried this. It does nothing more then waste your money because if you dont pay the minimum required monthly payment they are asking and you dont have an arrangement with them they will consider you in default and at the six month mark they will charge it off anyway because if you are’nt making the minimum monthly payment to them its like you are’nt paying at all. Save your money to pay your utilities or buy food or gas. I would strongly suggest you file bankruptcy.

It will give you a new start free from the debt but the only way you will succeed is you remain debt free. Meaning dont get new cards or go back into debt. That is where the advice of the other poster is so important. Get rid of the debt first. Then use that advice and learn how to live within your means. I know its so very very hard, I’ve been there and am still there in some extent but am climbing out of it.

This is really important. If you are unorganized its more then likely costing you even more by way of late fees etc. I know.. again, been there done that. One thing I have found that helped me was keeping an actual notebook that I write all my info down in. I keep alot of files on my pc but writing things down makes it more clear to me for some reason. For example, I will write at the top of one page the name of the bill, followed by all the pertinent info like where to pay or send payment, customer service number, account number etc.

Due date(highlighted) if there is a grace period, late charge, overlimit fee, website address, accepted forms of payment(telephone, internet mail,) how long things take to post to account etc. Anything that I can find that is relevant to that bill whether its a credit card bill, insurance bill, utility bill etc. I write down. Also because I am the one who has been saddled with the job of paying the household bills and balancing/managing the budget as well, if something should happen to me then everyone knows that all they need to do is look in this notebook to find what they need to know.

When I make a payment or schedule a payment I write this info down on a separate piece of paper that I use monthly- one paper a month. When all the bills are taken care of that paper can go in the trash. It simply is a note to myself that such and such payment is coming out on such and such date from whichever bank account (We have two joint checking and savings accounts)and as those items come out of my account I cross them off of my list/note to self. All of this has helped me to stay more organized and focused. When the mail comes open up everything! Throw all the stuff you can in the trash right away. For me, this is all return envelopes to all my bills since I pay everything on line or in person. All junk mail too.

Then if you cant handle looking at your statements and things put them in a bag,folder, box or whatever and stick them away in a drawer. Deal with what you can but DEAL with something. Dont just let it go. Dont let it pile up and accumulate on the desk or elsewhere. It will seem even more overwhelming then. Put it in a bag and stick it away BUT at the end of the month take it out and if its been paid- shred the statement and be done with it.

If it has’nt been dealt with stick it in a separate pile. When you are done, toss the shredded stuff in the trash and then decide what to do with the stuff that has’nt been dealt with. Dont ignore it. Even if it means putting it back in the bag and back in the drawer or whatever. Try to come up with a plan. Paying and dealing with one bill is better then not paying or dealing with any. Deal with them one at a time if you have to to get a start on it. Once you get a start and a plan you will develop a way to deal with it all.

When I have’nt been able to pay all of my bills in the past I’ve looked at it all and decided what I could pay and deal with trying to take care of what the most important stuff is first- roof over your head, heat and lights on, food, gas, insurance etc. Sadly the credit cards are at the bottom of the list and things that are luxuries and not necessities like cable, cell, etc. need to go until you regain some control over your situation. When you do deal with a bill make a committment to deal with it always from here on out. Try to deal with the bills that are necessary for you to live first and get those under control then worry about the other stuff.

Find a way to get organized

First thing…find a way to get organized. You need to know how much money you have coming in and how much you have going out, where its coming from, when its coming and when your bills are due…

Second– figure out where you need to cut back…my husband and I are living on less and raising a 4 & 2yr old right now. We have the cheapest cable available (about $14/month), I shop for grociers that are on sale (by checking store ads in paper) or use stores like Aldi’s or Save-A-Lot, use coupons, etc.. I rebate for shampoo, toothpaste, etc. at Rite Aid and Walgreens- which means I usually get all my money back minus the sales tax.

Third– look into your options regarding your mortgage…can you, should you refinance? Should you sell and move into something more affordable?

Fourth– Unless they are physically or mentally unable to work or are still in school (and thats optional) your son and girlfriend should be contributing. It costs to live and they are living off you, right?

Fifth– you really need to try to find a way not to use those credit cards unless you can get them paid off monthly. Be careful about spending money on things you don’t need. I also buy my clothing and the kids clothing through Goodwill, Salvation Army, consignment stores, or great sales at dept. stores. You can get great brand name clothing in good condition at second hand places.

I do alot of researching on the internet for free help, suggestions to get things done. Type in a word and do a search for articles on organizing, bills, saving money, etc…and you may find a lot more ways to save than you can think of yourself.

I hope these suggestions help…they are only suggestions. We also have to keep finding ways to cut back. My husband just started a second job himself and I work from home so I can stay home w/ the kids.

Paying half your income on the house is eating you. I’m pretty sure DR would say “get rid of the house.”

Sounds scary. No car payments is good. Cable will need to turn into free Red Box rentals and the library video rack. Cell phones go away. Kids pay rent as soon as possible. I don’t know that the kids need to take on two jobs to help you, but if they were willing….. What is your food cost? Coupons, budget, food bank, garden, get creative…..

Husband is probably more stressed by the finances (given the fits he experiences over it) than anything else. The second job might not hurt (it might too – I don’t know). You can’t work at all? Babysit? Bake? Pet sit?

The bills…. forget the ones on the table. Pile them in a box for the moment so the table is clean. Breathe…. Every day when you go to the mailbox, open the bill on the way in, drop the extra contents (the ads, etc) into the recycle bin before you enter the house. Do not put the bills down out of your hands until you have scheduled a payment on them. Go online immediately, and schedule whatever amount you are going to pay to go out on DH’s payday. Then put the bill in a file folder that is marked for that bill. It will only take a few minutes. Then you can forget about that bill and move on. (My bills were every which direction and I didn’t pay anything because I couldn’t find it, or I forgot it – the late fees were eating me. This worked wonderfully!!!)

For bills that you sigh over because you have no idea how you are going to pay them…. schedule a $1 payment to go out on payday. Then, when you budget and there is money in that envelope, edit the balance to go out. Make it $5….

One babystep at a time……