Lurkers -- Tell us why you are here.....

Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Lurkers -- Tell us why you are here.....
55
Wed, 12-09-2009 - 1:16pm

Lurkers -- Tell us why you are here...come out & play



  • I'm trying to stay out of debt this holiday season?
  • I'm doing fine but keep motivated by reading here?
  • I just realized how much in debt I am?
  • The economy put me in debt recently?
  • I used to be a regular but just lurk now?
  • I was in debt got out & keep reading to make sure it stays that way?
  • Other? Because you always have to have an Other ;)


You will be able to change your vote.


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Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Wed, 12-09-2009 - 1:18pm

Then after you answer the poll, why don't you post here to introduce yourself so we can get to know you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2006
Thu, 12-10-2009 - 2:54am
I'm not a regular. I lurk most of the time but occasionally add a comment here and there. I find reading what everyone has to say helps to keep my debt reduction on track, however since I'm from outside the US I often don't feel I have much to add.
Lyn

bpeblink.gif picture by beautifulmandaPhotobucket


Lyn

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2008
Thu, 12-10-2009 - 3:10am

I'm another guy who has read this group from time to time.

 

Steve

 
Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 12-10-2009 - 8:10am

Welcome to the board.


Where are you located?

Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 12-10-2009 - 8:12am

Welcome!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-07-2007
Thu, 12-10-2009 - 11:10am

I came across this board when I was helping a friend set up her budget and get out of her credit card cycle. It turns out that it is hard to advise people who are in this cycle if you have never been in it yourself, even if you are good with money (for example, I don't even have a budget!!). I don't know what debt is like but I do know what poor is like!

I have only paid credit card interest once in my life (I was 19 and even then I realized that the math was really, really outrageous and I knew that I would never pay someone 20% to "borrow" money again...) I have also never had a car payment; I drove my first $1000 beater car for 7 years until it literally started on fire :-), then on to the next car I could afford at the time - which means I paid cash for another beater until I got my first real job out of college and paid cash for a fancy Honda Civic (WITH moonroof LOL). The only debt my husband and I have is our mortgage which we keep because of low interest and to leverage our investment dollars elsewhere.

I grew up in a family that lived paycheck to paycheck and I never knew what investment vehicles were, etc. I just new that my mom didn't have debt but we didn't have a lot of nice stuff either. I read "The Millionaire Next Door" early in college and I knew that I wanted that life. I never wanted super nice cars, a mansion, or jewels but I did want a lot of $ in the bank(because $ = freedom and security to me) and I wanted to be my own boss - and I am. I also married a frugal minded DH and we have exactly the life we want.

Back to the original question, I still lurk because your stories are so similar to those of many of my friends. I guess it is due to curiosity - and I don't mean this with disrespect at all. I just don't get how my friend can have a Blackberry, but then tell me she is out of grocery money for the next few days and have to charge food. I don't understand the look of shock on her face when it is tax time and she owes on her independent contractor income as if it is a surprise, despite me telling her several times throughout the year. She doesn't have reliable transportation and "can't swing a car payment" but does find about $300/month to blow on her hair, Starbucks, prepared foods, dog toys, etc. These are smart, good people with Master's degrees.

It is easy to see from my perspective what I would change in their lives. I would be SO uncomfortable if I had any CC debt or lived that close to the edge every month. But they aren't that uncomfortable (maybe conditioning that debt is normal?), and they are pretty happy, and I guess that is what is great - we can all have our own priorities.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-2009
Thu, 12-10-2009 - 11:56am

well...i am lurking a bit now because i'm still in debt. just turned 25 and i'm at a net worth of NEGATIVE $1,412.50.


I don't want that for my future. I'm trying to stay positive but the debt has me in bad moments. I have a shopping addiction and I'm learning to get over it. I don't want to be like this when I get married and start having children. I won't get married until I'm debt free...that's for sure.


For 2010, I believe I can be debt free.

Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 12-10-2009 - 12:22pm

Welcome.


Thanks for posting and letting us know your story.


It really is hard to understand things until you have walked in their shoes type of thing.

Avatar for cl_beckymk
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Thu, 12-10-2009 - 12:44pm

Welcome!


That negative net worth stinks!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-07-2007
Thu, 12-10-2009 - 1:39pm

My husband and I are having our first child in a few months, so we have thought a lot about the kids issue. I do not mean the following as a personal attack to anyone, just to give you our perspective on the kids issue as a way to understand another perspective. Again, this is NOT directed at you or anyone else as a direct criticism, just our observation:

I totally agree internet, cell phones (our elementary student will probably have one), braces, activity fees, etc are all mandatory child expenses. Yes you could technically do without them, but these are things most of us want to provide to our kids.

Those are not really the optional expenses. Having kids at all is the optional expense. My husband and I make a comfortable six figure income. There is _no way_ we could afford more than two kids and give them the kind of life we want. We are not talking Disney every year, new cars at 16, or even child care (I get to stay home part time, grandparents will do the rest for free :-). We are talking about having enough money to take them to the doctor when they need to go (!); letting our child explore new activities within reason without worrying how to afford, say, a saxophone; contributing to a college fund because education is a strong value in our family; having the funds to help our child if they have special needs that require extra $$ for tutoring or other aid.

PLUS, we still need to save for our retirement, keep our vehicles in good condition, ensure that we can always afford to live in a good school district, etc. Could we get by (i.e. not starve) on less? Yes/maybe/yes-with-help-and-debt. Could we meet these minimum goals independently on less? NO.

I know no one would ever wish their kids away (except I teach kids and sometimes I wish the teenagers away LOL). But I think Marie said something the other day along these same lines... knowing what goals she wanted for her kids before she decided how many she could afford to have. I think sometimes people underestimate the long term cost of lots of things. My husband and I need to save over a million dollars to retire. Actually, our financial analyst estimated over three million, but we think we can get by with about half that as long as social security still exists in some form. I am only 30 and already that is our goal. Again, this is not to fund a glamorous retirement! This is to pay for day to day living expenses, with some travel and lots of anticipated medical expenses. It is not a secret that people get old, stop working, and sometimes get sick in their old age so we are saving for it now.

It is boring to plan ahead. We don't live in as nice a house as our coworkers who make the same income as us. We drive boring cars. I only own 4 pairs of shoes. But I have no idea what my credit card interest rates are because I don't care. I was in the emergency room last week and I did not have to shuffle money to pay a deductible. That is true luxury.

I am not implying that you are anyone else who is a regular here is spending lots of income on cruises and yacht payments, but I think a lot of people in debt (my friends all included) have more house/car/kids/vacations than they can realistically afford when you really crunch the numbers. It is the big decisions that will get you, not how much you spend on lattes.

Just my 2 cents.

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