Did you have a "panic amount" moment?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Did you have a "panic amount" moment?
12
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 8:07am
Hi, I was just reading a post somewhere from beckymk about her "panic amount" being $10,000 cc debt and I found myself saying "oh I wish!". (over $40,000 here, sigh...) Got me thinking about how everyone has a different amount of debt that sets them into panic.

I don't think I had a panic amount per se because I had never actually totalled all the debt. I did have one line of credit bill coming in at $17,500 and that *really* bugged me, so I'm thinking an amount over $15,000 was uncomfortable. One cc at about $12,000 sorta bugged me too, but there was no real panic. I think rather than panicking I had a moment of realization that I was just sick of juggling money from one account to another to cover regular bills.

I also think that working in the accounting field before being a SAHM hindered rather than helped me. I was very used to massive lines of credit (like $1,000,000) being "a cost of doing business" and very much accepted. Maybe that's why I didn't panic at my bills.

So... did you all have a "panic moment" that woke you up that things needed fixing? Curious here. FYI my new accepted amount of debt is $0, I will never borrow again, never!

Lorraine

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 9:18am
Hi Lorraine,

I was so in denial about my debt for so many years, that by the time I added it up I was almost numb to it. It was $24K. I think that because I had formed a plan to pay it off at the same time I added it up, I wasn't so panicked.

Now as I hover around $10K, I'm looking forward to it going down, and when it passes another $1,000 milestone I get happier and happier.

Good question, thanks!

Lee Ann

Lee Ann

www.werenotafraid.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 9:22am
I can't really remember when I started panicking. Maybe at about $20000? (We're now well over $30000 so I guess the panic didn't help much) We were making good progress until DH opened his credit card statement which had been maxed out, but they went and raised his limit (grrrrr!) Next thing you know he charged more than $500 in who knows what for our boat that we didn't need (we lived without it until now). I told him the other day NO MORE CHARGING. I've worked too hard to get those balances down even a little and he racks it back up again on unnecessary purchases. (oops... I turned this into my vent).

Panic's starting to hit me again since he just set us back more than $500. With debt this high every penny counts. I'd be comfortable with $10000 in cc debt believe it or not. But knowing where I am now, I guess it makes sense.

Sharon

 

Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 9:42am
Great question!!

I know mine is *low* compared to others but it's the feeling that's the same (and also the income vs. debt ratio...if we were making $100,000/year, $10,000 might not panic me as much, know what I mean?). LOL!

Everyone has a debt tolerance threshold I think...now my mom freaks out at the concept that we have a $220,000 mortgage...she has told me she would be having a heart attack if she had the owed that much money on a mortgage and had our payment amount, where as that doesn't bother me at all (probably because I know the housing in this area and this isn't even consided an expensive house, more like a moderate one). LOL!!

It's the *unsecured* debt that bothers me, not the car payment/mortgage amounts. (Well..OK, I *hate* the car payment but know it was necessary at the time for us...we have had a time in the past without one and it is very nice!!).

Becky

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 11:15am
My mortgage doesn't faze me any either, it's only $80,000 CAD (about $55,000 USD) for a detached bungalow, and it got us a housing payment that costs less than rent does around here. But even on that token, after I pay off the unsecured debt and fund a 6 mos living expense emergency fund we'll be tackling the mortgage and paying it off early.

*then* I'll never go into debt again :)

I feel pretty fortunate to live where I do (Nova Scotia), we have all the ammenities of a big central or western city, with housing at a fraction of the cost. I can't believe what people pay for houses. $220,000 USD would be around $300,000 CAD here and I would just die inside owing that for a house! I guess it all depends on the area I guess. We would no doubt have lower incomes here compared to the other cities, so it probably all balances out in the end (about $40,000 USD here for a salary would be considered pretty good).

Avatar for cl_phocid
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 11:23am
I'm similar to Becky in that I don't worry about the mortgage or the car payments. Now mind you, I think the mortgage is outrageous, and I would love to find something less expensive, but I have no problem with the actual debt - if that makes sense?

My threshold for debt is pretty low actually - once I go over $2500, then I get worried. Now that we're over 60K in cc debt, I figure what's the sense of worrying? We know it's there, and we're working to not increase it, and we have a plan to eliminate it. Now it's just a matter of sticking to the plan, I guess :)

Great question.

Danni

All my best,
Danni

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 11:32am
My panic amount is pretty high I think. We have 70,000 in business cc debt. It was the only way we could finance my dh business at the time. It doesnt bother me that much but I cant help thinking what else I would rather spend 2000.00 a month on. We are paying it down so I know it wont last forever.

Leanne
Avatar for akirez
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 11:34am
I started panicking when I had many different cards with various amounts charged on them and I couldn't use them anymore because they were maxed out. My highest unsecured debt was @$22K--small loans and credit cards. I will never let it go that high again! I think the max I could handle would be no more than $5K. I can't wait to get down to that number--I still have over $13K in unsecured debt now, so I have a little ways to go. I think once it hits $5K, it won't consume so much of my thought. I don't worry about my car loan or student loans and don't have a mortgage yet, but as long as the payments are comfortable, I won't worry about having that much debt.

Akirez

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-19-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 1:02pm
Lorraine, great question!

I am somewhat like you in that I don't *panic* as I too, am used to dealing with millions of dollars of lines of credits etc. I worked in a bank and 1 million dollar line of credit was considered small! LOL I guess its all a matter of perspective.

On the other hand when I read that some of you had (gulp) 60k, 40k, 70k(?) in cc debt that would send me into panic mode (I think). Having a mortgage (don't have one now but did in the past) wouldn't bother me unless the payment was too much (which is why we sold and our renting now). It wouldn't matter how much we owed as long as we could handle the payment. I figure if you pay rent every month and money goes no where (in my pockets) why not pay a mortgage and at least get some of the money back? KWIM?

I, personally have never really had a panic attack yet and we have 20k in debt (started at 26k) but I do not want to get any further in debt again (other than a mortgage).

Sandra

Avatar for mymartes
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 1:09pm
my panic amount was $60,000 in debt. $20,000 in student loans and $40,000 in cc. In a few months, we were able to bring our cc debt down to $30,000. (as all of you know by now, cc debt was due to my husband's affair.) he has cut all his ccs. i've cut mine as well. however, i have one frozen in a metal can in the freezer. (reason for the metal can is i can not put it in the microwave. and by the time it defrost i don't want to use it anymore). we have not accrued any new cc debt.

we have a long way to go in becoming debt-free and rebuilding our marriage. my panics and sleepless nights has decreased drastically due to our debt.



iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 6:16pm
I had two "panic moments"; one was seeing that First USA interest rate had shot up to 37.5% after I had paid late once and gone over the credit limit, and gotten a cash advance. I did panic and felt like vomiting. I felt so trapped and helpless and dumb!

My other "panic moment" was when my minimum payments each month totaled $1200, and that was just the MINIMUMS! My interest payments in a year totalled $8,000. YIKES! It really made me open my eyes and thank god I found this Debt Support Group. It has so changed my life!

cl-12by10

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