Feeling a little discouraged

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-16-2012
Feeling a little discouraged
Fri, 01-25-2013 - 8:04pm

I guess I'm just wishing I had a bigger shovel to dig with. Since the beginning of the year my pay has went down(the tax thing and my insurance cost up) and some bills have increased like my cable,house/car insurance I am just like really?? Can I not get a brake here!! Anyone else feeling the same way??

i just want to make real progress on my cc's but it seems like it will take forever!



Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 4:36pm

Michelle - 

I hear ya!  Yes, it does seem that inflation has hit harder than I ever recall in the past.  I could be wrong, as I don't have hard figures to back it up, but I agree that it seems everything increased at the same time, and at a larger than normal rate.  And let's not get going on the cost of fuel over the last 4 years.  Then you add the ramifications of the economy down turn in 2009, the changes in CC regulations, and it did effect everyone in one way or another.  

Some days Michelle, I have to be okay (like PoorBoy touched on) with where I am today.  For example, the irony of my situation is by maxing out my CC, I can't really get any farther in debt!  Well, I suppose I could find a way, Surprised  

We all have our own journey and our own lessons to learn.  I had to max my card out (again, for the third time) before I finally surrendered to needing to find that bigger shovel to dig with.  Along with cutting back, of course.

When I was in middle of my second divorce, I went from driving a brand new company earned car to a $200 car that overheated in every drive through.  My water was turned off every other month, etc. etc.  Once you surrender and are just simply toast, things are ironicly easier.  

"Who wants to admit complete defeat?  Practically no one, of course."  Twelve and Twelve, Bill Wilson, founder of Alcoholics Annonymous.  

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-11-2006
Wed, 01-30-2013 - 3:09pm
Thanks, Marie! My husband has an option to automatically increase his contributions by 1% each year, and we've signed up for that. Otherwise, we'd probably never get around to doing it and convince ourselves we couldn't afford it. It's tight, yes, but I'm starting to think we need things to be tight or we're not disciplined enough.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 12:28pm
Twosillymonkeys - Good job increasing your 401k by 1%, it will help in the long run, really!
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 12:24pm

Turtlemom - I am not contesting that Congress is made up of both parties. My input was that NONE of them will stand up and say that we are now spending more than we take in and we ALL need to make some cuts. When social security began, 41 people supported one retiree, in 2010 that was 2.9 for one retiree and within 10 years that will be one for one. People are living longer, using more in medical benefits from Medicare and Medicaid. But no one will say that those taxes must really go up.  No one wants to cut benefits for the elderly who are taking more than planned.  I see people one after another who are about to retire and have not saved enough.

People say that Congress spent the money we put in Social Security - sure did, on the people that retired before us. When a poor person retires, they paid in less overall into their Social Security, but get more of their paycheck replaced. Wealthier people get a larger check, but paid a lot more in and as a percentage of replacement of their working wages, it is a lot less - as it should be. Data is here: http://mercatus.org/publication/how-many-workers-support-one-social-security-retiree

Consumer debt in this country has gone DOWN. Mortgage debt still makes up the primary consumer debt, but overall all debt has gone down since late in 2007. IF people were to stop spending (as they did in 2008-9) the economic growth would stop, there would be more unemployement and a trickle to every part of the economy again. So that is why Congress enacted the 2% PAY CUT in social security, to get people to spend.  Now that people are spending again, they took it away.  Personally I don't think they should have ever messed with social security.

Yes, I love this country and I have been to many other countries as well.  The issue is that when we stop being primarily makers and become primarily takers, the economic growth will shift to countries who are MAKING - such as China, Mexico and those developing countries.  Look at what is now happening to Greece, Italy, France and Spain.  There are more people in those countries collecting on government programs (like retirement, medical and special needs) than are putting into them.

As far as what I spend, my kids have had summer jobs throughout college - my DSS (Dear Step son) does not have a job while in college, while my daughter does and pays all her expenses.  Both my children have student loans and pay their own books and fees.  They do have older cars and cell phones, and those are my choices to vent about.  Yes, I could cut them off, and we will at some point.  My children are not ungrateful saps - they are both on the Dean's list this year at really good schools, and we only had two of them in order to be able to educate them.  They are not on Pell grants or any kind of grant program.  They are both respectful children, funny, have great groups of friends and are not into heavy drinking or drugs, for which I am thankful.  They both also do charity work on their own.  Venting about the cost of that education is not to say I don't want to do it, just a vent as it has gone up so much more than we ever anticipated.  Venting about the cost of car insurance is just a vent, and they do have to contribute a bit, but come on $3200 a year for two kids with old cars who have never had an accident?

I am just a bit more scared than usual because I have gone on my own, without a big company salary. Dh is making the same, yet seeing only about 50% of his gross pay per check, and much less than last year. If push comes to shove, I will ask the kids to pony up more.  We are not in danger of loosing this house, we have paid off over $100k of debts (including my student loans.)  We have been strict for a long time and only splurge occaisionally.  We both work well more than 40 hours a week.

Oh, BTW, $800 would not do a thing in our bathroom - we need tile gutted, new shower, tile removed and major renovations, not a paint job.  DH no longer does those things since he is now on 24/7 with his teams in several countries.  DH has not had a birthday gift from me in 5 years (other than a shirt and pants the last two years because his were toast) and did turn 50 this year, which is why he got a good pair of binnoculars he will use often, and a nice dinner out with his son, for which I had a coupon.  We did not do a huge bash.  And I did cut back on the holidays this year to be able to afford him the bigger birthday gift. 

Venting is OK, everyone is jiggling budgets.  We have many successes here - just look at Norma!  We do not have to solve everyone's problems by telling them where they should cut, it is their own decision.  Yes, we are on DSS to get a job, and he did apply for two paid summer internships so far. 

The economy is a mess, it was always a mess, it will always be messy.  If it wasn't there would not have to be economists and another class of workers would be out of a job!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-11-2006
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 12:09pm
Michelle, I'm sorry you are feeling discouraged! My husband's monthly pay is down about $500 between the 2% tax increase, a 1% increase to 401K, and increased medical premiums. It really stinks! I'm just trying to keep on keeping on, using cash only, and sending whatever measly snowflakes I can find to the debt. Don't give up, our little shovels are at least still shoveling!!
Avatar for turtleemom
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-25-2007
Tue, 01-29-2013 - 8:45am

Last time I checked, Congress was the governing body to decide on taxes and I believe Congress is made up of both parties.  Election or no election Congress needed to do something wiht taxes.  My point is taxes went up, but the average joe should be able to handle a small hike and still pay their bills.  The problem is consumer debt and not the new tax hike.

"We have been on rice and beans for 5 long years. We have lived in half the house with major needs to update that we have been unable to do. We are dealing with sending our kids to public colleges."- Market Virgo

I'm not making judgements its your money and you can spend it how you see fit.  I don't get making a descision and then harping on it.   If you don't like your decision- if it is too hard to live with- make a different one.  You choose to spend $800 on a birthday weekend (that would have done a spruce up on a bathroom).  You choose to pay for your kids' college education.  You choose to pay for their cell phones- a luxury. You choose NOT to require them to work in the summers and at school and to help pay.  You choose to live in the house you do.  I am constantly remining my 12 yeatr old that life is all about choices.  Sometimes the choices aren't all that great (usually because other poor choices brought you to that point), but you pick those one that works best for you and you move on-- no whining.   

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Mon, 01-28-2013 - 6:55pm
I have been on this board for over 5 years and it is a place to post ideas on how to cut debt, but it is also sometimes a venting spot. Money is a personal thing, and it seems we are now allowed to talk more about sex than money. We have been on rice and beans for 5 long years. We have lived in half the house with major needs to update that we have been unable to do. We are dealing with sending our kids to public colleges. The issue I posted was that over and over on the campaign, we were told by one party that taxes would only go up on the rich. Well that was not really true was it? And it should not be true, we have a deficit in this country because more people are using the benefits we have than are paying in. I just wish someone in Washington DC would be brave enough to say that taxes must go up, spending must be cut and all of us will have to take a hit - ALL of us! And sometimes, after 5 or more years of this, of packing lunch every day, of cooking from scratch, of driving used vehicles, of not going anywhere, and hoping for a light at the end of the tunnel, you just might need to vent a bit. And that is OK too.
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2006
Mon, 01-28-2013 - 6:10pm
I am responding to Marie's post. I have been thinking about this since ester day, and I considered starting a new thread because this is off topic from the original post, but others have responded here, so I will too. I am an American, and I know many people who post here are Canadians, so I want to be clear that I know there are differences in our systems. I am currently working in Poland. It is wonderful here, but it makes me appreciate America a lot because we have had prosperity and freedom for so long. There is a lot wrong in my country right now - mostly because we are too busy fighting with each other to listen and work together. Our taxes are high because we receive a lot of government services. Our military, deployed around the world, and whether one approves of the battles and wars we are fighting, I think most of us are grateful for the brave men and women who are paying a very high price to fight in our name. We pay for their supplies, housing, transportation, food, medical care - sometimes for horrendous life changing injuries. We pay for their funerals and to care for the cemeteries where they are laid to rest. We pay to educate them for a return to civilian life. We pay for education for others - through state colleges and universities where some expenses are subsidized, through Pell grants, through guaranteed student loans. We pay for kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, high school...some school systems do good jobs and some not so much, but everyone had some opportunity for education. The handicapped are not excluded from our educational system..many states require that. Children receive all the services they need. We pay to fight forest fires. We rebuild after floods, hurricanes, tornadoes. We provide clean drinking water, and we regulate food and drugs and air quality. We have roads and bridges and airports and tunnels and trains and buses that are kept in pretty good shape and are relatively safe. We can pretty easily get from where we are to where we want to be. We have fireman and policeman who do dangerous work (and women too). We warehouse a lot of people in prisons....and we support a court system which is hopefully making sure that the guilty and the not guilty end up on the correct side of the bars...and even though justice isn't always served, it pretty much does. We track diseases and fund research to cure and prevent it. We spend money on foreign aid to try to build alliances through investment and benevolence instead of forcing it at the point of a gun. SocialSecurity has problems...people are living longer and fewer babies are being born, so more people are being supported nd less people are working. We are letting jobs leave the US, and supporting an illegal immigrant workforce who perhaps is not paying in to the system. We are dependent on oil for much of our energy, and we buy it from people whe may not be our freind's and may be our enemies, and may be using the profits to suppress their own people's opportunities and arm against us. I don't think the results of November's election would change much of what happens in our individual paycheck. If we don't stop blaming each other and calling each other names and start looking at the problems and agreeing on how to compromise on solutions, we are just hurting ourselves. I will share with you something one of my young colleagues said to me. We were talking about the differences between our cultures, and I asked about the differences between him and his parents. He told me 'my parents don't understand why I need so much. When they were growing up, they didn't have anything. Not because they had no money - because there was nothing in the stores to buy'. We who live in America might think we are living through hard times...here, hard times was 250 calories a day worth of food in 1945. I hope we can work together to solve our small problems, and we can encourage our elected leaders to work together to solve our big ones.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-01-2008
Mon, 01-28-2013 - 4:13pm

My car insurance & home owners went up slightly, then the electric bill jumped $22 a month (budgeted by the electric company) and I called cable company.  They gave me a $15 discount but turned around one month later and raised the bill by $8. GRRRRRR....  It's hard.  But we were lucky.  I was having an extra 2% taken out of my paycheck for taxes that I no longer needed to do. So I off set my 2% increase.  Hubby was extra lucky and got his first raise in 3 yrs. of 5%. So we're doing OK.  I think with the increased cost of the above and his raise, we ended up with at least 1%....well at least we're not in the hole like you and lots of other people.  I feel really lucky bu extremely sorry for the pinch this has caused on the average person.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-1999
Mon, 01-28-2013 - 12:20pm

I hear you.  As for us our escrow went up due to increase in insurance & property taxes.  I am also bringing home $20 less per week due to the increase in social security which went up 2% this year.  It does effect everyone!!  I am in payroll in my job & the rate in 2012 was 5.65% for Social security/medicare & in 2013 it is 7.65% for the employee's share.  The government probably never should have cut that rate a couple of years ago but needless to say they did & now we have to get used to the higher tax.  It is effecting our pocketbooks!

We are all in this together, hopefully we can get through our debt & all meet on the other side with more cash to spend freely!!

Have a good week,