I'm SO stressed out! - LONG

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
I'm SO stressed out! - LONG
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 6:29pm
Hi, there. I first visited here last night and spent a couple hours here. I'm hoping that I can get the support that I need right now, and find within me the diligence to stick to a plan and make it work. We have about 12,000 in debt, so the amount isn't quite astronomical, but we cannot ever seem to get everything paid at once. We are living on one income, and have been doing so for a couple of years. We've always had a credit card to fall back on, though, when things got tight. A few months ago we maxed out the only card we have and weren't able to use it.

The feeling of not having anything to fall back on is very scary, and I absolutely detest it. No savings, no credit card, nothing. I feel like we're drowning here and the money we NEED to get things back on track is simply not there.

After reading a lot of this board last night, I thought that I might go to cash and money orders for a while. Using that debit card is hurting us, I think. There is so much to keep track of when we're using that regularly, it makes balancing the checkbook that much harder. I think maybe if we had hard cash in hand, that would help us keep to more of a budget.

I can't help but wonder, how do people do it?? I feel like DH makes enough money to support us, but the way we're going now, that's not the case. We have three kids so me working is hardly worth it. My real goal is to make this income work for us. I was working PT for a while, and we just felt so much more frazzled, and DH would have to turn down overtime because of my piddly little job. Didn't seem to make sense.

Thanks so much for letting me ramble, it's been a little therapeutic getting it all out there. I'd appreciate any advice. I think a swift kick in the rear might help too. lol! I know now that I'm not alone, but when things are bad, it sure feels like I am.

Anyway, I'll shut up now. Thanks for "listening" and I look forward to responses.


Edited 6/6/2003 1:21:53 AM ET by karadoll

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-30-1999
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 7:12pm
Hi Kara,

I haven't been here long myself but it's so helpful. I'm no expert but I think your first step has to be that you will not incur any more new debt.Second, write everything out and make a budget.Cut all that you can from your budget to have money to catch up. Have a yard sale....things like that. Try to get a small emergency fund started even if you can only contribute a small amt at a time now...it will help you from incurring new debt when things come up. I've been working on debt for 1 1/2 years now....slowly but surely it's coming down.As long as your not adding to your debt it will start to come down. You can do it..but it takes time and discipline and some creativity!! Hope this gives you some ideas and encouragement. :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-08-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 7:29pm
Hi Kara, welcome. I saw your "panic moment" post too.

You sound like you had a real wake up call. That's usually what it takes to get things going to dig out. It sounds like you already know what you need to do. You sound an awful lot like me too, I managed other peoples' money for a living (accounting), then when I left to be a SAHM all hell broke loose. It's the kids, I swear it :-) They can totally turn our worlds upside down with chaos, not to mention our 'jobs' going from a 8 hour day to 16 hour days... I think the house and kids became my 'job' in my mind, and the money went all to pot, got sorely neglected. DD4 & DS3 now, but they were DD1.5 and DS0 when things started going nuts.

One of the community leaders has a post that lists the steps needed to get out from under, she'll probably post that. The Mary Hunt Debt Proof Living book is a great bible to follow to dig out. Or the Mundis book too if you're unable to meet minimums right now. I read everything I can get my hands on, free from the library of course :)

Might be a little stressful starting out, but stick around and start working out your plans and it will greatly improve!


Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 7:30pm
Welcome Kara!

I'm so glad you have decided to join us. Have you sat down and written out everything you owe, etc... Sounds like your biggest enemy is not tracking, we do have a Tracking Your Spending board to help you in that area http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-mljournal.

Also, I like your idea of cash and get rid of the debit card, as from your post sounds like that is getting you into trouble too, easy to just use it and not record the transactions, etc...

Have you tried saving your change and snowflaking? It will be a start at least.

I completely understand about the PT job scenerio. I also have 3 kids and did it last summer thinking it would *help out* because DH's hours got cut, besides the stress which was horrible, I think we ended up losing money on the deal, in the end we decided it wasn't worth it for the $50 or so paychecks I would get.

Please continue to post here for emotional support as you work your way out of debt.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-02-2003
Tue, 06-03-2003 - 8:57pm
Thanks, Becky. I haven't tried snowflaking yet. I pretty much know what we owe and the interest rates because I've written it down so many times. Then I get discouraged because even though I've listed the debts a gajillion times, we have yet to actually implement a plan.

And it's strange, too. I've read numerous times that tracking your spending for a couple of months will show you where your money is going. Yet somehow, that seems like too daunting of a task or something, because I haven't done that yet, either. I always feel like, I want a solution NOW, not in a couple of months. Real effective, too. lol!

I did have a happier moment this morning. Knowing I didn't have much money, I went to Wal-Mart and did so good at sticking to my list. They had loaves of bread for $.44!! So I bought 6 of them, we can go through a loaf a day sometimes. Anyway, when I went up to pay, I thought around $20.00 maybe. Usually it's not under $50. (Then again, this wasn't a diaper trip.) Anyhow, my total was $12.78. I actually felt a bit uplifted by that. I actually went to the store, got what I needed, and spent under $13. I guess if that sense of satisfaction could stay with me, it might make this all a little easier to swallow.

Thanks again for the post, and I know I'll be sticking around.


Avatar for cl_phocid
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-04-2003 - 10:43am
Welcome Kara - glad you felt so satisfied "list shopping" - it's truly a $$ saver! We get so much extra stuff just browsing. I also take stock of what's in my bathroom, and I never buy new shampoo, conditioner, lotions, bath gels, etc, until I've completely used the last of something - otherwise you can get a serious stockpile sometimes!

Even when I see things on sale - I know they'll go on sale again :)

Welcome to the list! We're glad to have you here.


All my best,