Hi Lynn and welcome!
I have about $14,500.00 of consumer debt left (car payment, CC buy not pay later for appliances!). I also picked up a second job to pay off debt faster (and I have roommates who help as well).
Here are some things that I have learned.
Your second job MUST be dedicated to debt. I do this with my job AND rent. As soon as it comes in, it goes right to debt. This way it never becomes part of the general budget. If you start using it for other things, then you rely on it, and thats never good! It also means that if something were to happen and you lose the second job, your debt repayment slows down, but nothing else major happens.
Also MEAL PLAN MEAL PLAN MEAL PLAN, lol. There is a post above where Abby is asking for help reducing her food budget and a lot of people had ideas. Look over it. If you can spare a few hours on a Sunday to cook a big batch of something and then freeze it, you have quick, convenient meals for the week. This weekend I did lasagna, meatloaf and sqaush soup. I still have some chicken caccitore, cabage rolls and chicken soup from last week so on nights when BF and I don't feel like cooking, we have a ton of options.
Good luck to you! You can do this!
ITA about the slowcooker! I would die without it, lol.
I use mine weekly during the winter. You can prepare your ingredients the night before, and then throw it in before you go to work and voila, home cooked meal when you get home.
One of my favourites is to put some carrots and potatoes on the bottom, then put a whole chicken on top with some cut up onions. I throw a packet of onion soup mix over top, add 1/4 cup of water and let it cook. When I get home, I have chicken veggies and potatoes ready to go! I always have enough for lunch the next day (usually dinner too!).
You can do this with chili, soup, stew, beef etc. Mmmm I think I'll have chili tonight, lol.
Hello and welcome.
I always tell the moms(me too!) that when you are doing big meal preps there is nothing wrong with getting the kids to help. You can spend time together, they can learn to cook and you save money. It is a win win.
Good luck with your journey. Do not get discouraged and keep working on your budget. You control where your money goes, not the other way around.
Stick around and post often there are really great ideas on this board.
Thanks for everybody's responses. I felt so alone in this journey I started. My friends know that I am working to pay off debt, but I am so embarassed by the amount. If I can knock the eating out down to once a week I will be ok and much healthier as well. I need to loose about 30 lbs and I know once I get a control on teh eating out, the waist line will shrink as well. Its just me and I ahve no kids or Signifcennt other to
Welcome to the board Lynn...
These people have been great with their ideas and support....
I have been a member since last month and love the ideas...
What I'm finding that I need to be gentle with myself and take one idea at a time and integrate into my life...
Right now for me its NOT USING CREDIT cards and being able to say NO in a kind way to other's requests for my money (until my debt gets paid off)
I will be looking for a second job as well...I have taken the last three years off and worked only one job but prior to that was working two jobs at 65 to 75 hours a week for many years....I'm not sure I can go back to that but I could do an extra 6 to 10 hours....