I'm sorry for your problems. It seems to get out of control so fast....
The thing that jumps out at me that could make the most difference is your food bill.
That is one way I have created more cash flow at our house. I don't know how many children you're feeding but $600 seems very high. I hate grocery shopping and cooking but got a very big sense of accomplishment and contributing to a solution from seeing how well I could do. The people here can give you super shopping tips, they can squeeze a food budget 'till it squeeks, lol. But basically, I just look for the bargins and try very hard not to waste anything. You'll be surprised the difference it makes.
As far as eating out, that's my biggest budget busting fault. But I've made a game out of seeing how long we can go without eating out, and then reward myself by eating out!
Seven years sounds like a long time when you're looking forward, but look back and see how fast the last seven years have gone by. Then forget the time frame for now and just take everything in little steps. Good luck with getting this all resolved with hubby!
the food budget definately has gotten huge; but I was actually glad to have it to $150/ week!
We have two children, and they are really good about eating what we eat for the most part.
Something that you might want to do. First figure out some way to come up with $50.00 a month for snowflaking. Cut back on eating lunches out at work or use more coupons just
I use to be a medical biller for an infertility center so I know the expense you are talking about......yikes, it's so expensive.....
I too was hiding debt from my DH....for almost 3 years.
Its a tough situation, but if you really buckle down you CAN dig your way out.The biggest problem that I see is that your budget does not add up. You have already spent all your money, and you haven't accounted for insurance (life and disablity), clothing, haircuts, gifts, vacations etc. No wonder that you turned to the credit cards - these expenses do need to get paid, and since you are already spending everything you make, how else can you keep the household running? This makes it a household problem, NOT JUST a problem with you.
That said, you are going to have to really cut some things in order to free up enough money to pay those debts. I suggest you start by selling the car and the truck and buying one replacement used car. This will eliminate the 300/month payment as well as lower the insurance costs. Cancel the cell phones, or cut them down to the very minimum. Keeping a cell phone is not a "safety" issue - even phones that aren't turned on can make emergency calls. Cut the alarm unless you live in the ghetto. Sell all your consumer goods on ebay or craigslist. Get a part time job. It will help convince your husband that you are serious about getting out of debt.
know you are probably thinking of reasons whu each of these things will never work for you. Just remember that you are going to have to do something DRAMATIC to get out from under this debt in time to save for retirement and college for the kids.
Best of luck!
First hugs on your situation. It must not have been fun to have that debt hidden for so long from your DH. Now it's in the open you can work on a solution together.
I have to say I agree with the previous poster. You need to make some real changes to lower your bills and pay off the debt fast enough that you are paying more than the minimums each month. Until you both gain a significant payrise you will need to see how to live on the current budget. Unfortunately prices generally don't ever go down on things related to homes - unless it electronic gadgets!
367 truck (car paid off)
I would definitely limit yourself to 1 vehicle. A truck with the price of gas is not
First of all, hugs to you. Sometimes admitting the problem and recognizing that you need help is the hardest thing to do. Not only have you done this, but you have tallied up the damage which can also be mind numbing. So now that its out of the way, what are the solutions?
Credit counselling and BK seem to be out since it will impact your husbands job. That leaves good old fashion budgeting and repayment.
First, have you called the CC's and asked them to lower your rate? If you have perfect credit like you say then they should be willing to work with you.
Finally, I agree with the previous posters who said now is the time to really focus on need versus want. Needs include shelter, food, heat and water and transportation to and from work, and whatever else may be required to earn income. Everything else is a want.
Cell phones could be switched to pay as you go and used only in emergencies. Alarm service could be cancelled if needed. Reduce cable subscriptions, eating out etc.
Another thought (and I am not sure how the US system works so I don't know if this would even make sense). What about cashing in some of the mutual funds to help pay down the debt? Especially with the markets doing what they're doing, it would make more sense to use the money to pay high interest debts, and then once the CC's are gone, using all the money you had been putting towards debt toward building up the mutual funds again. Not sure of the tax implications on that one so you probably should check on it.
Let us know how you are doing!
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift -thats why its called the present."
*blush* actually I was thinking about ways to get around the suggestions.
I'm just a lurker here, I've almost work me and DH complete out of debt besides our house, which we are putting on the market in August. I've always been a "saver" not a spender. I hope my suggestions help.
First off, you need to get out all the bills, put the kids to bed, sit down and talk to DH. He knows about some of the debt and needs to know about the rest of it. If one of you is working to pay off the debt and the other doesn't know, it will never get paid off. You both need to be in the same boat, if not, the boat will sink. I also believe that the TWO of you need to work towards a plan to pay it off. Number one DO NOT touch your investments. They are there for a reason.
A fast way to get money is to do a yard sell. Its getting spring time, so clean out the closets, and have that wonderful yard sell! You may only make 50 dollars, but could make a lot more. (My parents have a yard sell yearly, and make over a grand each time.) When
I feel for you.