New here and trying to control debt

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-21-2003
New here and trying to control debt
9
Thu, 06-26-2003 - 10:44pm
I have figure out a budget with some help from our pastor at church. the only problem is we can't get it started because we don't have enough money. There is some other problems too. When the budget was made my husband's student loan was lower. But now it has gone up $34 a month. We definately can't afford that. But there is more bad news to this. My husband is having a gaarnishment being taken out of his paycheck. this really puts us under. We can't afford groceries sometimes. This happens when rent is due and the electric bill and car ins. Unfortunately we need help or more money but can't really get either one. Our old health ins. company isn't paying for some bills either so we are getting stuck with them or they go straight to collections. My husband's workplace has to resubmit these bills at least 3-4 times before they take care of any. This is really stressing me out a lot. Any ideas on how we can actually try and get our budget started?
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 10:05am
Hello,

Since your situation has changed since doing your last budget, you may want to start out with a new, revised budget.

You'll need to have more money coming in than going out, or else you'll end up deeper in debt. There's more than one way to balance something. You can take away from one part, add to the other part, or a little of both. In other words, if you can reduce expenses, AND increase income, you'll get on track faster.

If you could get to the library and read Jerrold Mundis' book "How to get out of debt, stay out of debt, and live prosperously" you'd be off to a good start.

All the best,

Lee ann

Lee Ann

www.werenotafraid.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-21-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 11:36am
The thing is we have more money going out then coming in. All the bills are late. I'm trying to convince my husband to put his student loan on forberence or deferment until this garnishment thing is over. I don't think they did the garnishment with our kids in mind either. he is the sole wage earner and has to support all of us. Should I call them and tell them that they need to keep in mind there is no other income then his coming into this house? We are only paying the basic bills which are late. I took a look at our budget and in a four week month we go over our budget by $22. And last night my husband's car kind of broke down. He lost a brake pad to it just up the road. Now he is driving my minivan which overheats. My other minivan overheats but we know the cause of that and that van won't pass inspection otherwise I would drive that or have my husband drive it. Oh the financial troubles we have. When will it ever end.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-31-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 11:55am
Well, it will end when you put an end to it.

$22/month over shouldn't be too tough to cut. Other ladies on this board have better ideas than I have about cutting back, let's see if I can remember some:

Bake your bread instead of buying it, pack lunches instead of eating out, use less of something (water down your shampoo, cut dryer sheets in half), shut off lights when you leave the room, walk instead of drive when you can, go to the library to take out free videos instead of renting, cut out cable, use more beans and pasta in cooking. These are things I do.

If you're a SAHM, maybe you can earn extra income by making things and selling them on ebay, or taking in another child to watch, or laundry, or home curtain making. Or trade off with another mom for watching your children so you can get a part time job. The possibilities are almost endless.

You can do it!!

All the best,

Lee Ann

Lee Ann

www.werenotafraid.com

Avatar for mquin73
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 1:14pm
Hi,

I just want you to know that you are not alone. My dh and I have as much going out as we have coming in and I tell you what I have done to cut costs.

1. We don't have cable (haven't actually for about 2 1/2 yrs now).

2. We cut out extras on our phone bill. I have also heard of people discontinuing their long distance service and just buying phone cards for when they need to call long distance.

3. We got rid of our cell phone.

4. We went as long as we could w/o turning the a/c on. Thankfully we have an attic fan and ceiling fans in each rm to make this more bearable, however, it started getting REALLY humid so I couldn't stand it any longer.

5. I also had been trying to not run the a/c in the car too, that saves a little on gas.

6. I only grocery shop 2wks at a time, and I use coupons whenever I can. You can shop the grocery ads for the best price and combine them with coupons. Also, check around, you might be able to find a grocery store around you that doubles or sometimes even triples coupons. And stockpile when you get a good deal. I have had laundry detergent, fabric softener (liquid/sheets), cereal, instant oatmeal, lotion, face scrub, toothpaste, toothbrushes, body wash, soap, paper towels, toilet paper, shaving lotion, deoderant, canned goods, snacks for the kids, butter, juice, ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce, salad dressing, kool aid, and some other things that I have not had to buy for the past 6 mos b/c of my stockpile (with the exception of some cereal and laundry detergent). Also, plan menus and shop accordingly.

7. cut out prepackaged foods, they usually cost more. And don't buy little snacks bags and such, it's usually cheaper to buy the bigger quantity and make your own little snack bags (cookies, chips, crackers, and such).

8. Scrounge up any lose change you have around and put that towards your debt.

9. go through your house and anything that you don't love or don't use, get rid of it. Have a garage sale or sell items like clothes to a resale shop. I have sold some of my kids clothes that they've outgrown to a resale shop.

10. We very rarely go out to eat anymore.

11. We haven't really bought any gifts lately for b-days and such w/the exception of a couple, however, no more than $15 was spent. We do always give cards though.

12. Along with using coupons, some items have rebate forms out for them. I have gotten alot of money back by using rebate forms.

13. About 7 of our 18 separate bills we have are paid online and 3 of them are automatically deducted from our checking acct. This saves alot on postage. And I recently went to paperless statements for a couple of our bills. When they need to be paid they email me to let me know that the stmt is ready. Also, just the other day I added another bill to the list of being paid online.

That's all I can think of that we have been doing so far. I hope some of this helps.

Michelle


signature 2008

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-21-2003
Fri, 06-27-2003 - 10:58pm
Well, here are some things we have cut out already. We don't get cable out here in the country, even though the line runs right by our house. They say we can't get it, Figure that one out. We don't have satellite dish either. We have a place to shop for groceries that is cheaper then grocery stores. Pay over half the price at the grocery stores. We are on the WIC program which helps on food. I haven't been driving the minivan because it needs fixing, so we save on gas there, but my husband sure does here it when he gets home and he wants to relax. I'm stuck in a house I dispize and hate. It has to do with my mil because it is her house and we are buying it from her. Bad idea there. We pay all or most of the bills locally and we don't have long distance either. We don't use dryer sheets only detergent. We shop mainly at Wal-Mart for things like cat food and litter , diapers, wipes, some formula because Amanda eats more formula then what WIC gives us. We do have to buy water because we can't drink the water here. Too much sand and sulfer and the sulfer has a very strong odor and stings your eyes like soap does. We have no cell phones and as for the a/c we have very low ceiling and can't put up ceiling fans. Downstairs the ceiling are only 7 ft. tall and upstairs they are only 6 ft. I bump my head sometimes upstairs and down I can touch the ceiling just stretching a little. I am 5 ft. 11 in. tall. And we just began running the a/c this week. Othewise I have just opened the windows. As for taxable stuff I only use shampoo and bodywash and my husband only uses shampoo and a bar of soap. He doesn't like to smell like lavender. I always buy the suave products at wal-mart because they are cheaper. We have so much shampoo and bodywash given too use that it will last a year or more for the shampoo and about a year for the bodywash. I don't buy cookies or chips. I will make my own cookies when I have time and ingredients and chips are too salty and my body doesn't react well to salt. I have cut a lot of salt out of our diets which is good for us. As for spices I go to a menonite shop to get flour, spices and produce because it is cheaper. The spices in store cost 2-4 dollars and I can get them for less the 50cents depending on what I buy and get 3 times as much or more. They do it buy pound there. As for lose change I am always digging in the couch or on our bedroom floor for money my husband leaves behind. I once got $23 in pennies from collecting it and put it in a savings account for Caitlin. We don't have anything that is worth any value to have a yard sale. Believe me I've looked and brought up the idea to my husband. We don't pay bills online because everything is local and we don't get the newspaper so we don't get many coupons. We don't go to the grocery store anyways. We go to discount stores. As for bread i do make my own when I have the ingredients, but the bread maker is getting pretty worn out now. This is the second bread maker I own. Both are worn out, and need new pans. So as you can see we do pinch pennies. We don't even rent videos either. And we pay the basic bills. This gets tiring after awhile. I also have a garden in which every fall I can tomatoes and other veggies for the winter. Never know when the snow will pile up too high so we can't get out. So we do a lot to help save money, but what more can we do?
Avatar for mquin73
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 06-30-2003 - 1:14pm
Wow, sounds like you already do alot! Can you go to work? Maybe cleaning peoples houses for extra money or running errands for them. Or work at a daycare where you can take your kids as well? How about watching other peoples kids?

As for getting coupons, you would not believe the number of message boards out there of people trading coupons and such. I'm not sure if the discount stores will take them, but WalMart will. Especially for diapers, cat food, and litter. Those things are expensive. How about using cloth diapers? How about just making your own bread w/o the bread machine. I have heard someone else saying they don't like those things cuz they wear out quickly. Do you have any hobbies? Cross stitching, quilting, and the like? If so, what about selling items like that to make some extra money?

There is a Voluntary Simplicity board at parentsplace that I like to frequent. They have some good ideas, as well as the Frugal Living board. Here's the links:

Voluntary Simplicity

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppsimplicity

Frugal Living

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-ppfrugal

Check them out, they may be of some help as well! Good luck!

Michelle


signature 2008

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2003
Thu, 07-10-2003 - 8:27pm
Hello. Just wondering how things are going? I noticed in your first post, it sounds like you have two minivans (although neither oe seems to be working properly) - why not sell one? Even if you only get a couple hundred, it might pay for a brake job for your husband's car, and it would also decrease registration adn nisurance, assuming you are keeping up those payments. We are down to one car now and it has made a huge difference. Not only is there less gas, maintenance, insurance and fees to pay, but it keeps any of us from making impromtu trips to the store. I have kids, but we walk or carpool with other moms and kids if we need to. My parents only had one car when I was growing up, and at first it felt weird for me when we got rid of the second car, but the adjustment was quick and surprisingly easy. Also, I would call about the garnishment, but you don't say what it is for - if it's for back child support, then you kind of ave to think about the other mom who has been struggling for a long time without the pay that is due the children. If it's for a non child support issue, I'd call the courts and offer to show them your budget to see if it can't be amended. As far as making bread, you don't need a bread machine - you don't even need to knead a lot - recipesource has a recipe for cuban bread and also a no-knead wheat bread which are both good, simple breads not using a bread machine. Good luck, and I hope you post to say how you're making out!
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-21-2003
Wed, 07-16-2003 - 12:24pm
Both the vans overheat, but only one of them do we actually know what the problem is. Our 87 caravan is currently off the road and has no insurance on it. We do want to keep it and fix it up because it has been such a good vehicle to us, but it needs a lot of work. The age is starting to show on it. I'm sort of attached to this van too. It's a good winter vehicle too, probably the best we have ever had. Our 92 voyager overheats and it looks like the previous owner had the same problems with this van. this currently has insurance on it and plates because we can drive it just not too far. we know all the problems with the 87 but don't know what is causing the 92 voyager too overheat. All the things it could be were replaced not to long ago. It also loses power too which was also a problem in the past. The previous owners gave us a file on all repairs that they made when they bought this van until they sold it to us. So we have a history on it. We do need 2 vehicles though. We have doctor's appt. and other appt. and sometimes my husband can't get out of work early. A lot of people at our church work during the day and the same for my husband's family. My family lives out of state. We have tried having one car but it is just too hard to get from place to place around my husband's work schedule and our other schedules we keep. My husband doesn't let me drive my van because he is afraid it will break down on me and the kids, so I have to drive his car which sits really low to the ground. And selling a vehicle wouldn't be worth the while because we would get less then 200 for the 87 and the same for the 92. But we are still hanging in there.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2003
Wed, 07-16-2003 - 2:21pm
I'm glad to hear you're still hanging in there! One thing you might want to try as far as diagnosing your van problem is to go to dejanews.com ... this is a listing of all the usenet groups. Then look for a group that discusses vehicles - something like rec.autos.misc, or something like that - that we used to help solve an electrical problem our car was having. It's basically just a group of other vehicle owners and mechanics who share problems and answer questions. Maybe another caravn owner out there has had the same problem and can give you some ideas on what it might be. Good luck!