Update

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
Update
4
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 3:51pm
I just posted recently and I wanted to thank all of you for the support and advice. I started to list everything I buy and write down all my debts. It doesn't look so well when they are all written down does it! Well, in calculating, I should be debt free in 3 years, and that's including student loans...not too shabby. I was in a lot more trouble a couple years ago, but my aunt loaned me money ($12,000) to pay off some debt. I have been repaying her back ($500 per month). In 1 1/2 years I should be even with my aunt! Then I could start snowballing that money into my CC and loans. I'm excited to get all of this paid off!! I haven't been debt free in a long time and I don't ever want to be in this position again. I guess it takes writing all the #'s down for me to realize how much trouble I was in! I never realized it because I never pay late and my CC debt is on 3 different cards, so it doesn't seem too bad.

Also, I was wondering if anyone has any advice for me. I am trying really hard not to accummulate more debt, but I have a long-distance relationship and my bf lives across the country in DC (I live in So. Cal). I love him very much and we try to see each other often, but with my new plan, I can't really afford to buy plane tickets every other month like I have done in the past. Any advice? Should I save up some money and try to see him less often...eeekk...not sure. I know if I keep seeing him every other month, my debt won't go anywhere!

Avatar for cl_phocid
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: sunshinecali
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 5:35pm
I'm so glad you've found the board helpful! Thanks for letting us know :)

Long distance relationships ARE expensive - I know - dh and I did that for a little while, but it was CA and AZ, so plane fare wasn't too atrocious.

While I think it's great to be able to see your bf as often as possible, it sounds to me that you've come to the realization that flying back east every other month is too expensive. I hope he's flying to YOU on the off months??!

While it's no substitute for the real thing, I'm a huge fan of instant messenger - no long distance phone charges. DH and I IM each other ALOT b/c he travels 4 to 5 days most weeks. Maybe you could cut your trips to quarterly? That would save you 2 trips per year. OR - you might find through writing things down that you can cut out something else and continue to see your bf on your current schedule.

The important thing is to KNOW where your money is going and to have a plan. Sounds like you're working on that right now!

All my best,

Danni

All my best,
Danni

Avatar for zaboz
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: sunshinecali
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 7:29pm
It sounds like you're on the right track. It's hard to write it all down but it's a great start.

The only suggestion for the long distance boyfriend is that, if you're very serious, maybe one of you should consider moving. Are you from the east coast?

How does he feel about California? Or maybe something in between.

Wisconsin's beautiful in the summer! ;)

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: sunshinecali
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 9:06pm
Sounds like you've got a great plan! Good luck!

About your bf--I can think of a few options, in addition to those already mentioned. You could postpone your trips by a week each, thus reducing your yearly expense by at least one plane ticket (if I've done the math right??), or postpone by two weeks, or something similar.

Another option might be to work a second job one or two nights a week. Consider those nights your "date nights"--only your date is with a job that will allow you to buy those tickets every other month so you can have a *real* date with bf.

Also, look and see if you can just shave $5 off one budget category, and $5 off another until those plane tickets are affordable. For instance, when we started funding our "freedom account," I never thought we'd find all the money. But I took $5 off our weekly grocery budget (it went from $50 to $45--it's tight, but we manage), $10 off gasoline (by making a commitment not to make trips to distant parks and attractions with my son except once a week--we were doing it several times a week, but now we stick to parks close to home), $5 off the phone bill (by shaving each long distance call by a few minutes and committing to email when possible), and so on. I was able to free up about an additional $60 this way to fully fund our freedom account, without sacrificing much in any one category.

I don't have a long distance relationship, but my family is scattered all over the U.S. and for three years my parents were in Thailand (talk about an expensive trip!! lol), so I know how expensive that can be. We've often said that if our family just lived nearby we'd be so much richer! But I know the truth--that "extra" money would have slipped through our hands some other way and we'd still be just as in debt. It's all about how you manage the money.

Blessings,

Heather

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-24-2003
In reply to: sunshinecali
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 8:12am
Hi! I was reading your post and I have a suggestion about the long distance thing. THe IM is great, but what if you both got cameras for the computers?! I had heard an interview with Brad Pitt saying he and Jennifer had them and when they were on different locations, they would have "date night" and go to the computer and with camera on, chat. I have NO idea what a camera would run, but it's got to be cheaper than flighting.

Just a thought!