Overwhelmed and confused! Debt

Visitor (not verified)
anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Overwhelmed and confused! Debt
9
Mon, 08-27-2012 - 7:53pm

I just don't know how else to say what is going on right now except for the fact that I am extremely overwhelmed.  My husband and I are in a dire situation.  We moved to a modest home about eight years ago.  This is when the problems began.  No matter what we do it is just never enough to cover all the expenses.  Between gas prices to everything in between we never get ahead.  Before we moved we were actually doing ok, we lived within the city.  Now credit cards, two, are going up and up.  I really think one of the big problems is because we are thirty minutes away from our main sources of grocery stores or any activites we do.  Gas is consuming anywhere between 400 to 500 a month.   Our youngest is in special needs which requires pick up and drop off at school.  Now a major problem is that I do not handle change easily.  The fact that one of our chilren is already moved out means I cannot replace those memories now within a new home.  That is what will be my biggest downfall.  Our home is beautiful but we are just spinning our wheels.  Just would like some advice on what anyone would maybe do in this situation.

Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 12:17pm
So, are we to understand correctly that your combined cost of mortgage, insurance and property tax is in itself beyond your means right now. So the move is not just about saving on gas? Is that correct?

Is the cost of fuel just sort of putting your budget over the edge and so it feels like that is the only other place to cut back on?

It sounds like you have been at this budgeting thing for a while now. I didn't catch whether you worked outside of the home, or not. With a special needs child, I can appreciate that your options may be limted.

My knowledge is limited, but if your housing expenses all by itself is too much, then I could see moving.

Gayle, from Till Debt do us Part, says our entire housing expense (mortgage, insurance, property tax, electricty/heat and water) should not be more that 35% of our gross income. Transportation (payment, insurance, maintenance, fuel) should not be more than 15%.

I am wondering if you really can't afford your house and the cost of fuel is sort of straw that broke the camel's back.

I won't go into my whole story here, but medical bills have really kicked me in the butt this last year, and so has gas prices in my v8 rig, but I can't blame my financial problems on that. If I had made better choice in the recent past, these added expenses would have been tough, but they would not have put me over the edge.

I finally had to buck up, as much as I hated to do it, and ask for more hours at work.

Enough out of me. I don't know what you should do, but I hope something in there was helpful. Keep us posted!
Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Tue, 08-28-2012 - 8:46pm
I guess I don't see how facing a huge move and the associated costs will make up for an increase in gas prices. I mean you are looking at maybe saving $200 a month, or $2400 a year. A moving van will easily trump that costs, let alone closing costs, etc
In our case I took a second job to make over $1000 more a month in order to pay down the debts, and it really helped us.
Do you just really want to move and maybe any other ideas are not accepted at this point?
#Marie
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-15-2005
Tue, 08-28-2012 - 2:24pm
If you are comfortable with it, there are a lot of very wise people on here who would be happy to give advice on your budget if you are comfortable with it.

However, I agree with Serenity that first you need to keep track of every dime you spend for a month and see where it's really going. If you do mostly electronic transactions, add them up for a couple months and see.

Memories aren't the house. You can build new ones at a new home, and you'll ALWAYS have your memories of the people and events from your current one.

Jennifer


 


Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Tue, 08-28-2012 - 12:49pm

Welcome! 

Fuel can be a killer on the budget.  If you are not close to anything, it makes cutting back pretty hard.  I am playing the "keep what I have or get something with better gas mileage" myself.  I have decided to wait until it is paid off to make that decision.  It is always tough, because I know what repairs I have made on my rig, and getting another one brings on a whole set of unknowns.

But back to the bigger picture.  Simple, but not easy.  Cut back spending or make more money.  Often it means both.

I was told here to start with writing down every penny I spend for a month.  We are often suprised how a few dollars here and there add up.  In the meantime, priorities can vary depending on what your ultimate goal is.  It also depends how far in the hole you are and how important your credit score is to you. 

So, without knowing all of the details, starting writing everything down and just make minimum payment on your CC while you figure out what to do. 

Can you cut back on your cell phone plan, cable, eating out or grocery bill?  Any extras you can but back on, like hair products or the clothing budget?  Is there any assistance within your school district, or within your county or state, that would help financially with your special needs DD?  Is there any kind of assistance you might be eligible for, but just too proud to apply and find out? 

Anyways, just my take on your situation in general.  If you want to offer up more details, we can throw out more ideas for you. 

And again, welcome!

 

 

Serenity
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
Tue, 08-28-2012 - 10:27am

Hi welcome,

Your post is not very number specific but it sounds like you are spending more than you make and the cards are supplimenting your income. Can you make more money? Work another shift or a 2nd job? Either that or you have to cut variable expenses. Write down everything you spend for one month and see where you can cut.

Good luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-2010
Tue, 08-28-2012 - 1:46am
Well they say it takes 3 years before you are comfortable in a new place, so rest assured it will get better. Also how you react to change will really impact your children and how they react to change their entire lives, so buck up Mom, this is a good time to show a roll model example.
For the financial side, how about making a monthly budget? We are close to work and still spend about $800 a month on gas, so $500 does not seem unreasonable for two adults. That is about one fill-up each a week, just put that in the budget.
You probably did some alterations when you moved in, new curtains, staples in the pantry, toiletries to replace those you tossed before the move, etc. Moving IS expensive and those expenses do calm down over time, so just watch.
Are you also eating out more? If anything can consume a budget it is eating out and maybe with the longer commute you are feeling a bit more tired and less apt to cook. Making a weekly menu on the refrigerator helps me know what we are eating each day and my DH can start dinner if I am late.
You do not have to "replace" memories of a child. Children grow, move out, become adults and find their own lives. Really this happens to all of us. This week both my kids left for college and I think this was the last summer of having one of them home. Instead of mourning, I celebrate that I did all I could to get them on their own 2 feet.
Now I can spread out a bit more on the couch!! Oh, and I have a bit less laundry.
You always have to find the bright side, life is really full of them if you look, and most are not that expensive.
-Marie
#Marie
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2008
Tue, 08-28-2012 - 12:18am
What would I do in your situation? Find a very, very fuel efficient vehicle. $400-500/month on gas is very expensive.

Are you thinking of moving? You'd have to factor in the cost of closing and realtors and really crunch the #s. What would a new home closer to your activities cost? Is there a considerable savings? if there were savings, then I would do it. But I am not sentimental. I gave birth to my child in this home and I'm ready to sell and move closer to DH's work. You have the pictures, the stories and the memories. That's all you ever really have regardless of where you live.

Good luck whatever you decide,

Dee