finances thread

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Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870
finances thread

since the actual finances board is pretty slow.... and this board isnt all that hoppin eitherbut it think more of us remember to check this board.... i was thinking we could start a finances thread- inspired by our couponing and budgeting conversation that we started in another thread.

since several of us seem to have a common interest and some of us are seasoned shoppers and more of use are just starting out with the couponing etc.... it could be a place to support and encourage eatch other, share deals that we might not notice alone, and find ways to keep our sanity and budgets!

what do you think?

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

And to get this started- i just want to share a DH story today. my mom was reading the Dave Ramsey (dave says) article out of our local free weekend papers to me- it was a question from a guy who said that they had their first emergency fund saved and paid off most their debt but didnt have the second emergency fund or any savings and his wife was getting really insane about buying a house NOW. Dave replied that it was a stupid decision (he said it nicely) because they didnt have the downpayment or any living expenses if something went wrong and buying doesnt save any money in the long run unless you are prepared for emergencies.

i read it to my DH who is really annoying me about buying a certain house NOW (we don't have an emergency fund, we have 3 maxed out credit cards and NO savings, we are depending on my sister to give us the downpayment, and we could only do that with a FHA that only had 3.5% down etc) and he got PISSED. like i was taking his candy away.

and now i realize that he's not thinking this through, and at this point unless he gets his head on straight, i need to refuse to go through with this with him. not like i'm worried really, because he doesnt know what to do and keeps asking me, so he couldnt manage to put an offer in on his own or anything, but the point is, he's just house hungry and ready to make us broke over this BECAUSE this house has a pile of junk which has a bed that will fit his truck int he back yard. he wants the truck parts and is willing to buy the house to get there. idiot. i love him, but seriously, testosterone is worse than crack.

heateras's picture
Joined: 06/01/06
Posts: 192

Why doesn't he just offer to buy the truck bed? Silly boys.

I am pretty big into couponing Wink (as evidenced by my blog). I actually interviewed Mr Coupon from We Use Coupons on my blog today (he was on TLC's Extreme Couponing last week).
While I have no ambition to be an extreme couponer, the amount of product that they donate is so admirable. One day I do want to be able to donate huge amounts like that.

We donate now, but it's on a much smaller scale.

Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455

I think this is a GREAT idea. I need to save now more than ever. I just opened up a bill from the GI that I went to in August... They are threatening collections. I'm having DH call tomorrow to arrange payments and whatnot. He asked back in November and they said that the account wasn't delinquent enough for them to offer us any discounts. :roll: I hope it's delinquent enough now! Lol Anyway, it's $1,022.19 and that's after we paid some! :eek:

On top of it, we are gonna have other medical bills racking up soon. I'm pregnant and hoping for a midwife, but it's all depending on the money. :confused:

On top of it, I'm calling the naturopath tomorrow to ask to have Daniel evaluated for autism.. he's showing more and more autism signs lately, and I'm hoping it's just the terrible twos, but just in case, it would be good to catch it early if it is autism.

I'm feeling kind of discouraged with the whole coupon thing cause we have been trying to cut out all processed foods and there really aren't any coupons out there for whole/organic foods, so I'm not saving much for my efforts. :confused:

Anyway.... :roll:

lcmancini's picture
Joined: 11/07/06
Posts: 197

I think that this thread is AWESOME!!! I've been VERY into our expenses since the last few months I've gotten us on a serious budget.

"gypsy86" wrote:

and now i realize that he's not thinking this through, and at this point unless he gets his head on straight, i need to refuse to go through with this with him.

I think you're right. No reason to make yourself house broke. I would never sell my house to rent right now, but partly because I'm already in the debt, and partly cause we couldn't sell it for a profit. But if I was renting, I wouldn't buy until I had my finances in order. Kudo's for you!!!

"heateras" wrote:

I am pretty big into couponing Wink (as evidenced by my blog). I actually interviewed

I JUST got into reading your blog. Congrats on the big interview. I'm heading there next in order to read it.
Question for you - Seems that coupons work the best at sale time, HOWEVER. Since this budget, there is a 2-4 day time that I shop, and NOT AFTER (otherwise I dont have the money for it). Most of the time, it doesn't coincide with the great deals. I'm excited for the time where I can go at anytime of the month, and pick up those things that aren't on my necessity list but are such a great deal, and I'd like to have. Please tell me how I'm going wrong, and what I can do to fix it.

"Nell4Him" wrote:

I just opened up a bill from the GI that I went to in August... They are threatening collections. I'm having DH call tomorrow to arrange payments and whatnot. He asked back in November and they said that the account wasn't delinquent enough for them to offer us any discounts. :roll: I hope it's delinquent enough now! Lol

Isn't that rediculouse!!! Why do they make us wait until we have a problem? How dare you be proactive about a situation you know you're going to be in PRIOR to have a problem? I just don't understand.

AFM: I just finish up with our end of the month snowball recount and......
We have paid off our 1st item in our snowball (the Line Of Credit)!!! Yahoo
We have $400 in our emergency fund!!! Yahoo
Our current total payoff since begining our budget and "gazelle intensity snowball plan" is a wopping $4500!!!! Yahoo

September of last year, we had to BEG a friend for $21 because we didn't have the money anywhere to cover it. And now we're out of our LOC, and got a good start on our Efund!

We spent too much money on Christmas, but my grandpa was told what we were doing and how much we paid off, that he sent us a HUGE check and made us promise to spend it on Christmas for the girls. We spent most of it, but that's what got us out of our LOC. So we definitely had help last month. This month, we are back onto the strict budget, and I'm a bit nervouse that we might wonder, but I've got MANY reminders and figures up all over the house, so when we think we might go have lunch or something, it reminds me what we are working for.

Joined: 02/08/08
Posts: 35

I love a great deal as much as the next guy, but don't have the patience or time for couponing. I watched the Extreme Couponing show the other day on TLC and decided that those people really have a sickness to go that far. Ultimately, by having that much stuff, that they can't eat before expiration, is a waste. And to take over an entire room? Or to have 100 toothbrushes? Weird! I'm all for stocking up, but 40 jars of spaghetti sauce? 125 boxes of pasta? CRAZY!!!!

That said, I do get excited when I get a good deal. Today I used a Groupon worth $20 (soap.com) and (purchased for 10), 22.17 in cashback credit from diapers.com to get laundry soap, dishwasher soap, batteries, clorox wipes, and rinse aid. Cost me 3.63 in the end. I love $5 shoes from famous footwear, but also have caviar tastes for other things, such as purses.

My mom has always used coupons. Always. I remember going down the cereal aisle and wanting captain crunch and her telling me no because she didn't have a coupon. She used to file them in a shoebox. I think she has a wallet thing now. Maybe if I had one of those....Does Louis Vuitton or Coach make one? Dirol But seriously, where can you get one? Office Depot?

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

Ok, since i started this, i feel the need to unload/come clean.........

i mentioned our maxed out credit cards in my post about DH being house hungry. He has a card witha limit of 7000 almost maxed out, and it was paid off last march. i have a 1000 limit card maxed out, mostly car parts, x-mas, gas and emergency groceries, and i only activated it in November, and then we transferred 2000 off DH's card this summer onto one of mine witha 4700 limit because it had a balance transfer offer- yes, he has racked up his card since then, but i never activated that card, just used the account for the transfer.

last year we got 8000 back in taxes, we're hoping for the same, but DH doestn realize thatd 1. i wont cover just the credit card debt, 2. i'll be off work on maternity leave and i'm probably going to have to pay rent at least one month with it, and 3. there won't be much of anything left to buy him a new truck so he can park this one and work on it. Plus, i remember when he BOUGHT this truck, he was having a quarter life crisis IMO, had to have it, maybe he was truck hungry, and we ended up buying it with a cash advance off a credit card and the only way I saved our a$$es from going down the drain was to transfer it onto my credit card where it didnt show as a cash advance and then pay off his completely. oh, and 4. i usually stock up on toiletries for the year when we get our tax refund (bulk shampoo for me, styling products, 4 packs of body wash for him, shaving cream, the expensive venus razor refills i like and the mach 3 ones he likes) and we won't have those at ALL this YEAR if we don't get our ducks in a row. Plus, i like to get my bras for the year through VS's sale, and i pick up clearnace stuff to tuck away for DD's wardrobe next year (which worked well, the snowsuit i spent $10 last year, is perfect this year! i saved a bunch!) and on top of all that, we'll need a bunch of new baby stuff, especially if this is a boy!

AND he still thinks we should go vist his grand ma 4 hrs away for easter, which is what broke our budget and started the credit card racking up last year. so i guess if we can work the trip in with CASH ONLY, then maybe it can happen. or maybe one grandma can pack her @$$ up and come see us 4 people who have LIVES and can't just take off work for a week and drive down to see her! (sorry for the vent there, seriously, we've gone to see her 5 times in the past 3 years and she hasnt been to this part of the state in 15 years. not my problem lady!)

and to top that all off- we applied for food stamps in november and got them, so we are broke in every way. And DH buys 12 packs of mtn dew with the food card. i better hide that thing better.

he seriously has no understanding of money, finances, or budgeting, despite my attempts to teach him. maybe we should go over it again so he'll understand where the money went/goes.

(i do want to say we dont' have any outstanding medical bills, but no insurance, the kids will have stat insurance and i do while pregnant, but all medical stuff is out of pocket otherwise. we are up to date with all our payments and utility bills, and we havent borrowed money from anyone, its just the credit cards right now, but they are BIG compared to our income)

shannonjp's picture
Joined: 06/23/08
Posts: 4

This thread is a great idea! I would love to find ways to get our finances on the right track. We both have good, full time jobs and I often get depressed over our financial situation, because I don't understand why it is not positive!!! My issue with couponing is that I do not have the time to do it. I do clip coupons for items I regularly use, however I can't be obsessive about it, or go to various stores for the 'best' deal. Heck, some weeks I'm lucky if I even have time to stop and get a gallon of milk.
I was thinking of getting Dave Ramsey's book and seeing how that would work for me. What are your thoughts on him? Are his ideas sensible and logical?

lcmancini's picture
Joined: 11/07/06
Posts: 197

Shannon - I'm following Dave Ramsey's book!! One exception. I don't believe you need to put you and your family into proverty in order to get out of debt. See my previous post to see how AWESOME we are doing!! And, Yes, I give me and my DH and allowance, and we both have ONE luxury item. Mine is the internet and WOW. His is the cable. It's all budgeted in. (BTW, we both kept our bikes!!)

Jenni - You and your husband have a problem. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be harsh. But you can't afford food and you are thinking about buying a truck so another can be worked on!!! Can you hold off for two or three years? If you get serious about budgeting for that long, you may find yourselves in a debt free situation. Our closest family lives 500 miles away. We went to visit about 2-3 times a year and the cost was at least $300 (if someone helped with gas). We haven't been up to MT this entier year. Our usual Thanksgiving trip was spent here at home! It's ok if you can't make the trip to see his grandma this year.

Sticking to a strict budget is really the key!!! We started with EXACTLY $38,095.73 worth of credit card and usecured loans. We read and started our Total Money Make Over in October, and we currently have $33,573.67 worth of debt. This is not made up. We gave up ALL our vehicles (except the bikes, we couldn't do that), bought a little "rat" car as I call it, but it works for us. We are selling those things that we don't need. DH sold his HUGE stainless steel 5 burner grill, and bought a small propane grill that would work perfect. We made about $500 in the trade.

DH makes an over average US household income on his own. But I still could not make it through the month with enough milk for the girls. Our situation was (and still is) disgusting. But I feel great that we have the solution and are working on it.

Jenni - I will pass on my book of The Total Money Make Over to you if you promise to pass it on to someone else in the board who is interrested if you like. PM me.

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

Jenni might not always budget money exactly where its supposed to go, and while i can't say i'd be completely without debt on my own, i'm going to blame it mostly on DH. its all his fault. and the part that sucks is that i guess mentally i keep thinking he must have an idea of how much money he spends etc in his head, but he really seriously has no clue whatsoever where the money goes or how much of it is gone. its been that way for years, but nothing i've done has gotten him involved or interested or understanding our finances, and i have yet to buckle down and start one more fight over money and indulgences when sometimes i just get really sick of fighting with him over everything else... like the house chores.

not only have i read, but i own "your money or your life" and a couple of Suze Orman's books. i understand how to control MY spending but i dont understand how to control HIS spending and make it feel worth it to start the fight.

And as for DH's truck- it does need work, but i think he can stick it out and deal because HE's the one that picked out the POS and had to have it so bad, he can deal with it if it doesnt run nice. i just wanted to illustrate how rich his fantasy life is.....

but its time to deal with the raving and just let it go.

like i said he got PISSED when i read that Dave Ramsey article to him, like, if he could have left the room he would have.... but that would have meant the bedroom or bathroom because thats all the rooms we have... and he wanted to watch TV i guess.

i'm also considering finding a financial counselor or taking a class offered by a local organization, but the problem is, i'm totally into this, and he has no interest at all. i'm afraid if he goes and sleeps through the class it wont help anyway.

It makes me sad that when i was pregnant with Ellie i still managed to pay off several credit cards, and i felt so good about it (closed those accounts BTW, done and over with!) but since then its just been downhill... and so has the economy so its not just me, but i feel like i should have learned more from it.

what does make me feel good? that some chunky soup, usually $2.05 a can, i got on sale for $1 each (10 for 10!) and then the 11th item was free so i really got them for like $.91, plus i had a buy 2 get a $1 off coupon, so for a total of $.82 i got 2 cans of soup, and one was my lunch today Smile for $.42 i had lunch. yay!

les27's picture
Joined: 05/21/08
Posts: 840

Yes I like this thread! One of my two new years resolutions is to get on top of my finances and pay off my debt. (my other is to lose 20 pounds, I know real original) My little sister is sending me a CD of Dave Ramsey's....I kinda get the gist of what he says to do, but I want to make sure I'm doing it right. I also have a dh that can't be controlled at this point. I buy things at the store that are inexpensive (and I'm on a diet!) to eat for breakfast and lunch.....my dh goes to Maverick and spends $10-20 A DAY for his breakfast and lunch. We even went to the store and bought him stuff to make and he has barely touched it. Apparently I'M supposed to make his breakfast and lunch, even though I also have a full time job and take care of our daughter 90% of the time. GRRR. I do take care of all our bills though, so I do have control over what gets paid off and how much, so that is what I'm trying to get in control. At this point, my goal is to pay off our 2 loans, totalling $12,000. I would still have a car loan and our mortgage on top of that, but if I can at least get down to those 2 payments, we would be saving almost $400/month just in bills...which could then go towards our car loan or into savings (or both).....we do have over $5,000 in savings that we are trying to keep at that amount for emergencies (like my dh possibly getting laid off in 2 weeks, but that's another story, he will get hired back on in April/May)

Roobear's picture
Joined: 03/26/08
Posts: 343

This post has come at the perfect time for me too! DH and I are going from a 2 income household to a one income household, and while I make a very good salary, I have credit card debt that I've been working on for years. I had it before we got married, and cause we still kept things divided, I never fessed up to DH about how much it was. I finally told him the truth over Christmas, and he didn't freak out the way I thought he might. So at his suggestion we are going to go to my work's credit union and see about getting a line of credit, at a much better interest rate and pay off the cc and drop the limit right down for emergencies.

We are starting ynab.com (you need a budget) for tracking our finances, but I am starting to read Dave Ramsey's principles and hoping to apply them to our debt repayment. Its scary, but once we have this debt paid off we'll be quite comfortable with my income alone. I also want to get some money socked away before going on mat leave again.

lcmancini's picture
Joined: 11/07/06
Posts: 197

To almost quote Dave Ramsey; Don't deal with debt by trasfering it. And I completely understand why. Most people will open a LOC, or a CCard with a much better interest (me being case in point), Have the best of intentions to pay off the credit cards and then close the accounts. Something happens, and you won't close the account. Then you end up with a new ccard or LOC maxed AND that old debt maxed!! We did this so many times. We even cashed in a retirement to pay off credit cards. WE DID! Low and behold, my DH held the accounts open and started using them. (I had no idea) a few months later, we ended up with NO retirement and the same ccards maxed out!!

So Meghan - Use me as an example and close the accounts IMMEDIATELY!!! not a day or two later.

Gals - You won't be able to do it alone. Especially Les, DH was the same commuting to SLC. I gave him control of the bill for two months, he FINALLY came around when he saw that eating out everyday was putting us into the hole. He kept forgetting to pay my ccards, and I tried not to chew his butt. But HEY!!! It was time for him to get a grip and get on board. He handed back the bills said he couldn't deal with it and to give him an allowance.

Maybe you can convince him to make his breakfast and lunches WITH you for a little bit until he can do it by himself. I actually started buying DH frozen Steamables for lunches and he LOVES them. They are only $1.50 each. Hey also takes leftovers.

You have to get your DH's on board. It's a family problem and you BOTH need to follow the budget. Millionairs have money for a reason. They don't go out and blow it.

Sorry, I don't mean to preach so much. But I'm so passionate about it. I'm seeing what can happen!!

Joined: 05/15/08
Posts: 413

Great thread! Gypsy, I am so sorry about your situation with your dh! My dh had a spending problem for a while, but he's finally come round.

At the same time, though, between the economy and the amount of debt we carry, we came to the conclusion a couple months ago that there is absolutely no way we will be able to pay off our current debt. And I had always made a point of making more than the min payment in the past, so it was really upsetting to me when I had to stop making payments altogether. Basically, without our debt, we can manage on as little as 1200/mo, but with the debt (only min payments), we need to NET (not Gross) at least 4K/mo just to tread water. Most of our debt at this point is student debt (two false starts, to BAs and one MBA), but we also have over 30K in personal debt, mostly accrued to deal with emergencies and scraping through various patches of unemployment and underemployment. So, as soon as we can afford the fees, etc., we are going to file for bankruptcy. In the mean time, we've defaulted on all our debts.

On the bright side, we've been making do with very little for several years now. I really pride myself on being careful about food--shopping carefully at the store and cooking from scratch. Going on WIC has actually doubled how much we spend on food and halved how much fresh produce we eat, so I'm thinking about ditching it after this month. We'll see if I can afford milk, though. We're also pretty conservative with electricity and other utilities, and we live in a really inexpensive apartment (not a bad one though, we lucked out!).

Most of what I've learned about saving money is less on the personal finance end and more on the frugal living side of things. However, I recently switched to ING for my personal checking account (DH and I like to have two accounts at two banks: one to hold our money and one to spend out of), and I'm really happy with it. There checking account is interest bearing. They treat overdrafts as a line of credit, so if you go over, it just accrues interest, rather than incurring a fee. You can "link" to accounts at other banks, so that transfers to and from those other accounts are really easy. And they have this gimmick for opening an account where you get $50 if you do three transactions within 45 days of opening the account. And their customer service people have been really great when I've called them, too!

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

i think i started working on getting through to DH today.

First, i made him sit down and write out our monthly expenses and approximate income- which was actually just for this month because i'll be on maternity leave sometime into next month. i even had him put down the dates everything is due and showed him how much we would (wouldn't) have leftover... and that would have to include gas to work, TP and anything else we need, but at least we have the food covered for once! DH is a Mtn dew addict and has been for years, he has tried to cut down but he still needs some daily.... and i hated going without fresh fruit and veggies when he didnt go without his dew... so i got stuff on the credit card... anyway, good thing its covered for once!

Then, he had to go get a part for his truck, its broken down in the fire station parking lot (he's a probee firefighter) and has been since saturday. When he got back, he handed me the recipt for the part, the recipt for gas he had to get, and another recipt he had in his pocket from whatever he got at a conveninece store the day before.... and i stacked them up and tucked them into the notebook where i had him do the budget, so when he gets home tonight or before i go to work tomorrow he can log them all and track his expenses. i'm a genius Smile

lcmancini's picture
Joined: 11/07/06
Posts: 197

JENNI Yahoo

Awesome!! Great job to get him into the finances! You got him on the right track! Way to get started in getting your finances back in line.

Joined: 05/15/08
Posts: 413

Go Jenni!

Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455

Yahoo Jenni!!! That's awesome! Yahoo

I've been told to tell my DH to just give me a food allowance and a spending allowance. It's not easy when I have no idea what's coming in and what's SUPPOSED to go out (bills, etc.) He takes care of it all, but I do the shopping. We need to start communicating with each other more.

I KNOW we spend upwards of $550/month on "groceries" (which, honestly, includes household stuff like TP, dog food, cat food, pharmaceuticals, etc).

Joined: 04/20/05
Posts: 323

Jenni, that's great! There is no way to do it by yourself, believe me I tried about 4 years ago and it just didn't pan out. DH was like that's a good idea, but didn't follow through at all, Once it hit him how much he was spending on "going out", and buying random stuff, and gas for his stupid gas guzzler car, he realized that maybe we could have gone on vacation, or paid off a cc or 2.

But as a pp said, with our income as it is, there was no way we were going to be able to realistically get out of debt anytime soon, so we filed for bankruptcy in Nov., had our meeting of creditors and now we are waiting to see if they want to collect any of our assests, namely our business, to repay our creditors. We will know for sure by the end of Feb, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that they won't ask us for it.

But even with filing for bankruptcy, we still have over $45,000 in student loans and $19,000 in dh's car loan left to repay. So now we are starting fresh, and it feels good, we have learned quite a bit in the last 6 or 7 years, and we are now ready to make smart decisions with our $. It is going to be a struggle for a while, but the payoff will be so worth it.

I went to a Dave Ramsey LIVE show in Sept. and one of the things he emphasized was, "what would you do if you had NO payments?", if you had no house payment, car payment, credit card payments, loan payments, add it up, and think of all the wonderful things you could do with that $. You could travel the world, start a business, donate to your favorite charity, retire young. That sounds awesome to me. Smile So we are going to bust our butts for a few years and make it happen.

lcmancini's picture
Joined: 11/07/06
Posts: 197

Monica, I would totally do all that. AHHHH! To not have payments. I'm excited. I can't wait.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

I'm just really getting into the whole couponing thing. I've been slowly doing it for certain things but now I'm really getting into it. I just did a chat on fb on Tuesday for beginning couponing and it was really helpful for me to get more organized. With me it just me and the kids and my debt(Student Loans-Graduated Dec 16- and Medical Bills-which they keep calling me every so often to start making payments). I know how much is coming in and how much is going out which I am trying to curb my spending on clothes and things for the kids(with deadbeats I think I need to make up for that). Its hard and with me looking for a job and waiting to hear if my friend who I worked for during school for class credit will be able to hire me on paid its hard. I also have to make a road trip in 2 weeks to Iowa City(first of many) for Taylor to get checked out at the U of I for possible surgery so I'm having to factor in alot more in gas for these trips. I'm trying to get things straight with everything but its hard when it is just you doing it.

Joined: 05/15/08
Posts: 413

"monarn" wrote:

But as a pp said, with our income as it is, there was no way we were going to be able to realistically get out of debt anytime soon, so we filed for bankruptcy in Nov., had our meeting of creditors and now we are waiting to see if they want to collect any of our assests, namely our business, to repay our creditors. We will know for sure by the end of Feb, and we are keeping our fingers crossed that they won't ask us for it.

But even with filing for bankruptcy, we still have over $45,000 in student loans and $19,000 in dh's car loan left to repay. So now we are starting fresh, and it feels good, we have learned quite a bit in the last 6 or 7 years, and we are now ready to make smart decisions with our $. It is going to be a struggle for a while, but the payoff will be so worth it.

I'm sorry you've had to go through a bankruptcy! But I'm glad that it's had such a positive impact on your lives! In our case, we actually make little enough that we stand a fair chance of being able to get rid of the student debt too. And we don't have any assets. We just have to come up with the money to get the paperwork rolling, and i have no idea how we'll manage that.

Joined: 04/20/05
Posts: 323

"harper35" wrote:

I'm sorry you've had to go through a bankruptcy! But I'm glad that it's had such a positive impact on your lives! In our case, we actually make little enough that we stand a fair chance of being able to get rid of the student debt too. And we don't have any assets. We just have to come up with the money to get the paperwork rolling, and i have no idea how we'll manage that.

yeah, it's tough to come up wth all this $ when you have none. We had a good summer and saved for it. As far as I know, and what more than one lawyer has told us is that federal student loans are not dischargeable, just FYI.

Joined: 05/15/08
Posts: 413

"monarn" wrote:

As far as I know, and what more than one lawyer has told us is that federal student loans are not dischargeable, just FYI.

That's what we heard too, but the lawyer we saw about it said that there is this paperwork you can do in addition to the actual bankruptcy to ask the federal government to discharge student debt. If approved, the government does reserve the right to discharge some or all of it at their discretion. Normally, no one does it because it's usually a waste of time and money. However, because our gross income last year was less than $10k and our student debts are over 100k, the lawyer thought it is actually worth a try.

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

My parents have actually filed/went through bankruptcy twice now once in the 80's when I was about 4 when they lost their business and the farm and then this past summer. Its a long process and makes things really suck for a long time afterwards but it can help get rid of debt. Student loans can not be forgiven. It even said that in my paperwork for exit counseling for my student loans before I graduated and my dad said that its not allowed either. Hopefully this lawyer your going through isnt lying to you go get more money out of you.

Joined: 05/15/08
Posts: 413

"keaty" wrote:

My parents have actually filed/went through bankruptcy twice now once in the 80's when I was about 4 when they lost their business and the farm and then this past summer. Its a long process and makes things really suck for a long time afterwards but it can help get rid of debt. Student loans can not be forgiven. It even said that in my paperwork for exit counseling for my student loans before I graduated and my dad said that its not allowed either. Hopefully this lawyer your going through isnt lying to you go get more money out of you.

At this point, it doesn't really matter anyway. It's not like we can afford to start the bankruptcy, and we probably won't be able to for at least several months.

lcmancini's picture
Joined: 11/07/06
Posts: 197

I'm just so excited. By selling all our vehicles, and getting into a small car, it's not going to fit all three kiddo's. Yesterdy DH and I got on to see if there's any older vehicles out there that we might be able to buy when we get our tax return. We're expecting a decent return, and it looks like we should be able to get an older suv for me to drive the kids!!! I'm so happy!!! That's our only big purchase, we've got everything else, so I'm so happy that we're not going to have to get out of our "pay off" stage, just reassess our budget. YAY!!

Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455

My car is a cross-over SUV and it's HUMONGOUS.... but still won't fit three car seats in the back. We bought it thinking there was a third row seat option that we could add later, as it turns out, they'd have to re-work the frame to put it in. Sad

I have to fit a no-back booster (Jacob's gonna be 7, and is still only 4'3", OR law is 8 years or 4'9"), a high-back booster (for Daniel) and an infant carry seat with base. No way it's all gonna fit in one row. Sad

Since we OWN my car, we are gonna get it priced for installing the 3rd row. DH would rather pay a couple grand up front (we'd borrow most from family) than to start having a car payment again.

Joined: 04/20/05
Posts: 323

"Nell4Him" wrote:

My car is a cross-over SUV and it's HUMONGOUS.... but still won't fit three car seats in the back. We bought it thinking there was a third row seat option that we could add later, as it turns out, they'd have to re-work the frame to put it in. Sad

I have to fit a no-back booster (Jacob's gonna be 7, and is still only 4'3", OR law is 8 years or 4'9"), a high-back booster (for Daniel) and an infant carry seat with base. No way it's all gonna fit in one row. Sad

Since we OWN my car, we are gonna get it priced for installing the 3rd row. DH would rather pay a couple grand up front (we'd borrow most from family) than to start having a car payment again.

Look for the Sunshine radian car seats, I think that's what they are called. They are much more narrow compared to regular seats. I have seen pics where people have 3 across the back seat of a Jetta (what I have). It's way cheaper to get a couple of car seats than to re configure your whole car, especially if Jacob's only going to need a seat for another year or so.

Joined: 04/20/05
Posts: 323

here's a link to the seat
http://www.amazon.com/Sunshine-Kids-Radian65-Convertible-Seat/dp/B000G7YM0Q

I think they make infant seats too.

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

also check out the cosco scenera for the smaller boys- pretty skinny, i think i could fit 3 across in my skinny SUV/van... Mazda MPV. and its CHEAP. i'm sure it doesnt have the best safety ratings, but the fact that i can install it quickly, easily and securly in any vehicle we need to i feel makes it WAY safer than another carseat that is difficult to install.

and i just want to add for budgeting purposes that we own both of our cars outright, my MPV and DH's 77 F250..... and i never, ever, ever want to make carpayments. i can BUY a junker for less than some people pay per month (like my engineer sister with her Audi A4... but we won't talk about who has less debt proportionally to income, because she wouldnt win that one)

Roobear's picture
Joined: 03/26/08
Posts: 343

"lcmancini" wrote:

So Meghan - Use me as an example and close the accounts IMMEDIATELY!!! not a day or two later.

Don't worry Lisa, this is my biggest fear already. I am tempted to close the account now, and just work on paying it off, but I worry about emergencies, and on top of that I have to book some things for work travel myself, and get reimbursed. So not having a cc at all may not work.

I have officially started my new job, and while my paychecks will be a bit messed up the first month, we should have a good idea in Feb of our actual take home income. Then we can officially do our budget. I haven't had the time to really go through the DR stuff, but I hear people talking about "snowball" payments...can anyone give me a quick overview of what that means?

Joined: 05/15/08
Posts: 413

In Ramsey's system, you create what he calls a "debt snowball." You prioritize your debts from lowest to highest balance. Then you budget so that all but the lowest balance debt gets JUST the min. payment, and then the lowest balance debt gets every penny you can throw at it. When that debt is paid off, you role the amount you budgeted to pay into it over into the next lowest balance debt...in addition to the minimum payment you're already paying on it. That's the snowball. You're always paying the same amount on debt (plus any extra income that comes your way), but the payment your putting in gets bigger as you knock out each debt.

He has you start with the lowest balance debt so that you can see progress more immediately and stay motivated. Personally, I'm more motivated by tackling the highest interest debt first. How you prioritize your debts is really up to you, since you should prioritize them such that you will STAY MOTIVATED. But other than that difference in prioritizing, I was doing that for a few years before our income evaporated.

Hope that makes sense!

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

so i was good and bad yesterday- we were just about out of all the good food in the house so i broke down and went shopping. 1. got my WIC stuff, good thing. 2. only spent 23$ (food stamps) on the rest, and only the brownie mix and candy bar in the cart were not on the list and not healthy. the rest was apples, oranges, bananas, cellery, broccoli, carrots, a box of cereal (on sale and half healthy) and a few other things.....

but then i decided to swing by the family dollar in town to say hi to my sister's MIL and they had half price x-mas leftovers- so i bought a $10 fold up slide for DD. $10 i didnt need to spend. but it is GREAT! awesome in fact! we actually left it at Nana's in the back yard, but Ellie loved it and if it saves my sanity for 5 minutes at a time when either i can't handle getting Ellie outside or we put it outside but i can't get her to the park then i really think the $10 was worth it.

and because i only allow myself to get nifty things like that every so often- i think i'm back on the wagon for a week. and then we have a planned expense of taking DD to the waterpark for her birthday (DH works for the company, so its $10 a person for his family to get in, we won't have a party there, just us having fun) because she's been pulling her swimsuit out of her drawer and wandering around with it for 4 days now.....

but DH is working a double shift today! at least that's something!

lcmancini's picture
Joined: 11/07/06
Posts: 197

"gypsy86" wrote:

so i was good and bad yesterday- we were just about out of all the good food in the house so i broke down and went shopping. 1. got my WIC stuff, good thing. 2. only spent 23$ (food stamps) on the rest, and only the brownie mix and candy bar in the cart were not on the list and not healthy. the rest was apples, oranges, bananas, cellery, broccoli, carrots, a box of cereal (on sale and half healthy) and a few other things.....

but then i decided to swing by the family dollar in town to say hi to my sister's MIL and they had half price x-mas leftovers- so i bought a $10 fold up slide for DD. $10 i didnt need to spend. but it is GREAT! awesome in fact! we actually left it at Nana's in the back yard, but Ellie loved it and if it saves my sanity for 5 minutes at a time when either i can't handle getting Ellie outside or we put it outside but i can't get her to the park then i really think the $10 was worth it.

and because i only allow myself to get nifty things like that every so often- i think i'm back on the wagon for a week. and then we have a planned expense of taking DD to the waterpark for her birthday (DH works for the company, so its $10 a person for his family to get in, we won't have a party there, just us having fun) because she's been pulling her swimsuit out of her drawer and wandering around with it for 4 days now.....

but DH is working a double shift today! at least that's something!

Hey, You did great!!! Sounds wonderful!! AND, buying something that's a good deal that you can use, but don't always need is OK once in a while. Especially if it's only $10. Just remember that the money has to come out of some place in the budget, so if you can handle it, then it's ok.

On that note, yesterday DH told a guy that we'd buy his boat!! WHAT?!?! Trust me, it was a great boat for really cheep. About $2000 under what it was worth. AND, the guy said he'd take payments. That right there is a bad idea. and he got all pissed off at me when I flat out told him NO. We can't afford it right now. It would put a bind on us BIG TIME. and with a new baby on the way, we have other things we have to purchase first. WOW, was he mad. So I handed him the budget and told him that if he could find the money, then we'd buy it. So he came up to me about 2 hours later, and said he called the guy and told him we weren't able to buy it right now. Glad he made a good decision.

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

A boat? i'm glad he figured out where you could spare the money from at least (nowhere)!

DH took his truck apart yesterday and we have figured out that its more broke than we thought. i told DH that we've done with one vehicle before and if its going to be a long time before its fixed, we'll live. He has a friend take him to his fire classes anyway, and if i drop him off at work on friday he'll take the casino shuttle home after work (bouncer in the bar weekend evenings, so 2 am ride home, he works a double that day too)

it will be annoying to plan ahead seeing that after next week i'm down to weekly appts, and Ellie has her 2 year checkup, and i want to take DD to playgroup (its Early head start and not only do i get a $10 gas card and the benefit of her playing with other kids outside the house, but they had extra money and have started a shopping pantry where everyone gets up to $15 worth of goodies- diapers, paper towel, houshold toiletries and cleaners, whatever they thought we could use they bought- and that will help us save some money.

but i think it can be done! DH doesnt work half the weekdays anyway, so it shouldnt be TOO much conflict!

les27's picture
Joined: 05/21/08
Posts: 840

so my biggest thing right now is NOT going to the grocery store! We have so much food at home that can be made! I live in a VERY small town with ONE grocery store, so obviously everything is expensive. I usually go in with a small list and come out with over $50 worth of groceries! So I went a few days ago with coupons in hand (I haven't used coupons in a long time) to see if I could get some good deals...nope nothing on sale and store brand was cheaper....i did use one coupon and bought 10 cans of my WW soup for $10 (saved $5) but other than that I didn't use any coupons. BUT i go back to the meat department and they had chicken thighs/legs on sale for 79 cents/lb (absolutely UNHEARD OF here) and chicken breast for $1.79/lb (same, GREAT PRICE for here) so i got a BUTTLOAD of it, I pretty much got every single package they had and stuck it in my freezer. DONE.... I should have enough meat for dinners for months. Now i should only need to go to the store for bread/milk and small items and maybe some hamburger here and there. I'm hoping I stick to that :eek:

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

i used to live in a small town with just one store like that, but luckily they were a spartan store and ran some pretty good deals on a regular basis. when i went with a list of things i needed i could spent $50 really quick, but if i went LOOKING for the deals i'd go home with way more and spend way less. damm them regular prices!

But the good thing was that we were only 30 miles from bigger towns with bigger stores and better regular prices, so if we made a trip it sucked to forget things.

les27's picture
Joined: 05/21/08
Posts: 840

our closest "big" town is an hour and a half away....my dh does go there every month for drill (he's in the national guard) so I can usually go with him and go shopping, but then again, I always spend too much there too Smile Like I said, I have a LOT of food at home, I just need to use the food I have before I go buy more. My name is Lesli and I'm a grocery-shop-a-holic

les27's picture
Joined: 05/21/08
Posts: 840

oh yea I finally got my bountiful basket ordered, their schedule throughout the holidays SUCKED but it's finally back on track, fresh produce every 2 weeks for me! YEA!! Yahoo

by the way if anyone has bountiful baskets in their area, it's TOTALLY worth it

Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455

not available in our area. Sad

les27's picture
Joined: 05/21/08
Posts: 840

they didn't come to our town until about 6 months ago.....my sister told me that you can email them and ask them to set up a site in your city? might be worth a try.....it looks like they do come to Oregon already??

Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455

"les27" wrote:

it looks like they do come to Oregon already??

yeah, to one town that I've never heard of :dontknow:

les27's picture
Joined: 05/21/08
Posts: 840

"Nell4Him" wrote:

yeah, to one town that I've never heard of :dontknow:

yea but what i meant is they are at least in one town so maybe they are looking to move to other towns there, like they did here in UT....if they have enough people asking for a new site, they will come Smile

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

i've never even heard of those, but you said fresh produce and i'm going to eat an orange now Smile

les27's picture
Joined: 05/21/08
Posts: 840

i think its only in parts of the west, utah, idaho, arizona, but it is spreading! I LOVE it Smile

i just looked on the website, and there are now 10 states they go to, it has spread A LOT

FYI http://www.bountifulbaskets.org/

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

note to self- NEVER GO TO THE DOLLAR STORE!

the only thing i ever get there at a good price there is toothbrushes for Ellie- and i can visit very rarely and not take DH if i do- otherwise we end up with at least $20 worth in the cart- all useless crap. so no more dollar store.

Other than that we actually had a horrible spending day.
1. the wipes i ordered off amazon came today- not a significant savings off wal-mart prices anyway, but does add quite a bit of convenience that they show up TO MY DOOR. So the jury is still out on whether that really helps with saving.

2. went to the meat market- it makes me sick to pay $3 a lb for 73/27 ground beef at the big box stores when i KNOW there is local, hormone and anti-biotic free 81/19 for $1.99 daily at this place that is 2 miles north- which is the direction i don't usually go- i go south to go shopping. Got 5lbs of that, and i took DH so he could pick out some steaks. those were a bit of a luxury, but its good stuff! total of $25 there (food stamps)

3. hit GFS for some big stuff- i really needed chocolate chips so that i can use up the cookie mix my mom made for x-mas or it will go bad and that would be a waste Sad added salad, a box of crackers because Ellie likes them like candy, croutons for the salad, and i feel in general it was all at a reasonable price- didnt even buy a bunch of snacks or packaged stuff like i kinda wanted to- total $37 (foodstamps again)

4. dollar store. at least we got the toothbrushes for Ellie! (5 for $1!) and she eats them... litterally, bites chunks out of them, so i need CHEAP ones for her. and i did get some snacks for my hospital bag, same ones i had from Ellie, those filled strawberry ones, which i ate because the hospital air is dry. and we had lots of guests that i handed them out to as well. worth the $1. and i found a couple books for reading while nursing- keeps me awake at 1 am if baby is up and i'm TIRED.

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

Ok, a couple weeks ago i bought a paper and made out a little better than even with all the coupons i used- combined with sales, to make some pretty good deals on things i'd probably buy anyway. So today i jump online to see if i can get a better rate by getting home delivery of the sunday paper.

bad news.

i know i live in a rural area, but almost NOTHING is available here! even if its mail order and a day late or something, there was only one paper i could get and it wasnt really much of a better deal than just buying a paper every few weeks. and it ticks me off.

i guess couponing doesnt work for anyone who doesnt live in a big city. bastards. So its been a couple weeks and i think i'll buy a new paper and get some more coupons. i'll try a different paper this time.

and i watched extreme couponing last night and i'd totally go dumpster diving if there were not very large signs on the recycling things that say "no picking" or something like that.... and we don't have to sort any paper products anymore, so its all cardboard, newspaper and office paper mixed.

off to freecycle to see if anyone wants to hand over their coupons.

Nell4Him's picture
Joined: 10/25/06
Posts: 2455

"gypsy86" wrote:

i guess couponing doesnt work for anyone who doesnt live in a big city.

I live in a big city right now and couponing isn't working for me, either. The paper is too expensive and doesn't have coupons for the stuff I buy. :roll:

Joined: 11/23/07
Posts: 870

if you get just the sunday Chicago tribune delivered its only $.50 a week, i could afford that but they won't deliver here.

my FIL knows a guy who has a sunday paper delivery route so he's going to check and see what what papers he does with coupon inserts.

les27's picture
Joined: 05/21/08
Posts: 840

I forgot to mention one great thing that is helping my finances right now....my job! I work for a rental car agency, I am the manager (and only employee) of this branch, so I do it all. One of the perks of my job is I can take a rental car whenever I need to. Now this really helps us because we have 1 gas guzzling truck and 1 gas guzzling SUV, so we can take a car that gets amazing gas mileage for free Smile It's also great because it puts less wear and tear on our personal vehicles. My boss even let us take a rental car on our vacation to CA back in SEptember, so instead of taking our SUV that gets 16 mpg (at its best) or our truck that gets 12 mpg, we were able to take a car that got 35 mpg Smile It was awesome (other than my tall dh cried about it the whole time cuz the car was too small, waaah)

Oh and I got my bountiful basket on saturday and got yummy kiwi, oranges, pears, apples, pineapple, tomatos, romaine lettuce, spinach, butternut squash and more, all for $16.50 Smile I do have to go to the grocery store today, but just for a few things and I'm sticking to my list Smile

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