Crying over debt

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-30-2003
Crying over debt
2
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 9:08am
Another Sunday morning - five days until the next paycheck and not only is THAT one spent but I've had to hit up or (very meager) savings to cover the dentist and I have tax bills sitting here in addition to another $800-$1000 in "incidentals."

I work THREE jobs (juggled so I can still be mostly home with my two small kids) and my husband works TWO plus we have rental properties and yet we are STILL barely getting by.

I have nearly 18k in credit card debt on four accounts, another $670 in equity accounts and at this rate it will take me 28 years to be debt free.

We still have good credit (what a joke) but we have no reserves for the regular things in life like dentists, doctors, repairs and maintenance.

I feel helpless, hopeless, and most importantly like I am putting my babies security and futures at risk (college fund? what a joke ...)

I am tired of living paycheck to paycheck but over a year ago the third job I received was a Godsend that would enable us to pay down debt in a few years!! But it didn't. Becaus each month my additional $800 some dollars just gets spent on these "other things" that crop up because, frankly, after my husband and I get our preliminary paychecks they go to bills and we have less than $500 mo budgetted for gas, groceries, and anything else. Which is, of course, totally unrealistic.

So a year+ later I have yet to make one real "extra" payment on a bill and my debt paydown plan is a joke. Meanwhile I have grown to count on income from a job that will most certainly be short term (may end this year or next).

I don't think bankruptcy is the answer since I can't lose my house(s) and freeing up some $300+/mo. in unsecured credit debt but ruining ourselves for 10 years isn't the answer. I hope.

I feel so hopeless. I am nearly thirty-five years old and have no control over my financial life or future. We live in an affordable house, don't buy fancy cars, clothing, dine out, or have anything more luxurious than digital cable. What are we doing wrong!!!

We have financed our life away and we are truly working not for our family but to pay off our debts. I feel so hopeless. big knot in my stomach. no hope.

Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 1:58pm
There *is* hope...you are on this board, so I know deep down you know there is some hope...may be really, really, really, really buried though. You are feeling overwhelmed right now and trust me everyone on this board has felt that way before (and sometimes STILL do!!). Hugs!!

First off, have you tracked ALL your spending?? Every penny? It is so easy for "extra" money to just get mixed in with your other bills as from reading your post has happened with your 3rd job. You had planned on it going to extra bills and somehow it got mixed into the "daily living" pot and absorbed (unfortunately, extra money has a way of doing that!!). Then also track all your income. Before you can really make any changes you need to see where everything is going & what is coming in, etc... If you aren't sure how to go about that, there is a Tracking Our Spending board that can help you get started http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-mljournal but right now, today, just take any ol piece of paper (back of an envelope, etc...) and start marking down all that you spend.

I know you said you don't live fancy, and I'm not saying you do. I don't either but guess what? I'm always finding small ways to cut back. The biggest place to start anyway is look at your grocery budget..do you buy generics or store brands? Is there an Aldi's or Save-A-Lot near you? What about a Wonder Bread/Peppridge Farm, etc... outlet store?

How about your phone? Do you have extras on it like call waiting? voice mail? Would an answering machine do? We have just the basic line and we average around $15/month or so.

When you are at work, are you buying lunch/dinner? Since you have 3 jobs, do you buy a lot of convience food (the crockpot is great! :) ). How about making extra batches of things when you are cooking and freezing them?

Paper towels? We bought some cheap washclothes to use as napkins. I picked out a specific color that is *only* for the kitchen so I know those one belong there and don't end up in the linen closet. :)

Just look everywhere...you may be surprised and please continue posting here for emotional support as you work your way out of debt.

Becky

Avatar for mymartes
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 03-30-2003 - 11:18am
Hang in there. I know it is better said than done. I'm trying to take it day by day. Some days are harder than others.

Perhaps u can shop around for a low interest cc and consolidate your cc debts into one cc. We have $40K in cc debts. Last month, I consolidated it into one cc which offered me a 3.9% for the life of the balance. It is making it a little easier to make one cc payment than 5 like before.

Just something to think about.

MYM