Newbie

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2013
Newbie
8
Sat, 09-07-2013 - 10:16pm

Hi all,

I'm new here and have a consumer debt which I'm struggling with. It hasn't been an easy journey and I'm so glad to find this community to share my journey with and have accountability.

A little background, I'm married, 28 and DH 29 yrs old living in Houston, we have a household income of 120K and started with a total debt of $30,200.The debt was made up of car loan of $8,800, 2 mastercards credit cards of $6,200 each, 2 visa credit cards of $5,000 and $4,000.

We traded the car and got a cheap car last month(a 2002 toyota camry-with tons of miles) and paid cash for it.So we eliminated the $8,800,which was $635 payment per month.This month we are looking into finishing the first visa card with a $5,000.We have cut down our expenses like got rid of cable,moved to prepaid phones,cut eating out and started brown bagging our lunches,no movies at the theatres etc and every dollar saved we are putting into our debts.

The journey seems long and to be honest,I find it so hard to stay motivated.What are you guys doing to keep yourself motivated?

Thanks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
In reply to: Htowngal
Sun, 09-08-2013 - 6:55pm

HI, welcome!

As a long time member of this board(2008) I would say you are doing the right things. And staying motivated is so different for everyone. 

As you go along your priorities will change. Not about getting rid of debt, that will remain constant. However, you will see the light as the end comes near and you will find yourself asking what is next? What have a I learned that will take my savings to a new level and all the things you want to accomplish in your life with your family. 

Keep this all in mind. Set some goals of things you want and use it to get through this part, the hard part. The savings is easier believe me. 

A dream is something you want that you think about. A goal is something that has a date timeline on it and a way to get there as in putting money aside for it. 

You can do this. You are already on your way!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-2012
In reply to: Htowngal
Sun, 09-08-2013 - 9:23pm

Congrats on taking control of your life! You are making all the right choices. I know that a lot of people choose to pay off their debts smallest to largest, which provides some motivation. It sounds like maybe you are throwing large amounts at debts all at once. Maybe planning a night out with your husband to celebrate each debt paid off? It sounds like you have cut out all of the extras, so that might make a great motivator. Obviously nothing overly expensive, but even a night out at the movies might be just enough to stay motivated. I would recommend discussing with him what would keep him motivated, and perhaps the two of you can come up with a plan that you both like. Welcome to the group!

Jan

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
In reply to: Htowngal
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 12:41pm

Welcome!  Sounds like you are going a great job so far.

Do remember to also set some cash aside, so you don't have to pull out a credit card.  A common mistake is put everything towards debt, then not have any cash for the unexpected (or should I say expected, and we just hope it won't happen to us) like an appliance going out, car repair, large medical bill, etc. 

And like the OP already said, do allow yourself a little fun to take the edge off. 

I look forward to seeing your progress!

Serenity

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2013
In reply to: Htowngal
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 3:56pm

Thank you all for the great advice and encouragement. I'm glad to have the support.

@Serenity-yes,we did set aside $1,000 for emergency so we wont go back and use the credit cards Smile

I'll be updating our progress here and looking forward to that day we'll be debt free!!

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
In reply to: Htowngal
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 4:01pm

Welcome!  Great comments already from the others.

We had gotten to the end of our rope on "cutting back" by 2004 and were at a point where living frugally just wasn't enough.  Eventually I had to change jobs in order to get where we wanted.  As Galstorelady said, you have to think about not just paying off debt, but what is next.  For us, at our ages (41 at the time), paying off debt wasn't enough; we also needed to pay for college, buy a house (yes, we were still renting at 41, which was mortifying), save for retirement.  The challenge of taking on a new job was a lot different from cutting back on expenses, but ultimately a lot more satisfying too.

So, keep an open mind.  Besides cutting back, what else can you do?  Sometimes creative thinking can get you farther, especially if you or your DH have abilities you haven't tapped yet.

Avatar for poorboy2011
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-02-2011
In reply to: Htowngal
Mon, 09-09-2013 - 11:47pm
For me, "austerity" doesn't work -- cutting all the "non-essentials" out can be bad for the morale. It sounds like you're living very frugally. Perhaps once in a while break the rule by doing something the two of you can enjoy -- going out to a good restaurant, perhaps. It's a reminder of what you can have -- without the debt weighing on you -- when you're out of the mess. At least that's what I tell myself.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2013
In reply to: Htowngal
Wed, 09-11-2013 - 12:24am

I appreciate everyones comments and encouragement.

@ Poorboy2011-You are right, we'll adjust our budget a little bit to allow some wiggle room for little splurges here and there. We talked about doing that but it never happened and now both DH and myself are feeling a little tired I think it's an ideal time to introduce a liitle bit of fun money.

Y'all are awesome and once again thanks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2013
In reply to: Htowngal
Mon, 02-03-2014 - 1:14am

Happy New Year everybody!

I promised to stick around and keep you guys posted on the debt repayment progress,sorry I was not able to do that.

Life happens and was going through divorce. Emotions and everything else in between hindered me to keep up with the outside world.

It's a new year, still getting over it , it will be finalized this month and decided to keep my head up and stay on track.

Here's is where I stand today:

2 Credit cards with a balance of $7,800. Planning on finishing one credit card with a balance of $1,600 this month and bring my balance down to $6,200.

Have $700 saved for emergency, planning to increase it to $1,000

After finishing paying the credit cards, would start saving for 3-6 months emergency fund.

Income dropped since I'm single now to $65K. 

I will keep coming back for accountability and encouragement. 

Y'all are awesome and I'm glad to be back.