Hi from NJ

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2007
Hi from NJ
6
Wed, 01-06-2010 - 12:18pm

Good afternoon all! I'm new here and just looking for a bit of support as I try my best to help my family out of debt.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
In reply to: mandasabs
Wed, 01-06-2010 - 2:46pm

OMG your daughter is adorable!

Welcome to the board.

I have a couple of suggestions:

Do you have an emergency fund? If something happened with the house,car or pet or anything really could you pay it in cash and not use a CC?
This is really important and helps you not charge anything else. Is there anything you could sell to start this or go without like cable? Just until you get the efund? Birthday money or extra cash coming in?

Next: If the budget is maxed you might have to earn more income to pay it down. What about child care? Can a relative watch the baby even one day a week so you actually make more? Extra shifts to be picked up by anyone or an after work 2nd job to earn more?

I would hold off on bigger house plans until you can get a handle on things and a plan. This can be done.

Good luck!


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2006
In reply to: mandasabs
Wed, 01-06-2010 - 8:43pm

I am right there with you with a relatively new home (we bought our home in 10/2008) and about $25,000 in debt. It's scary but we have seen over the last year that we have been able to pay down about $5,000.

Some of our tips:

We always pay the minimum on credit cards PLUS the finance charge for the month. It's a struggle some months but we have worked it into the budget.

We kept a jar of loose change we accrued over the course of the last year and just put another $289 toward credit debt

I took a babysitting job one night a week from 6-10 and we used that money toward our debt (this gave us the biggest chunk of change).

We will occasionally get a small check for a birthday/holiday or anniversary - that totaled about another $200 this year.

It's not a lot all at once but it was nice to see it add up to a decrease of about $8,000 over the course of the year.

We didn't get into debt over night and we won't get out overnight.

Good luck and keep posting here.

- Michelle

Avatar for sohappilyme
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
In reply to: mandasabs
Wed, 01-06-2010 - 9:03pm
Welcome, Amanda! I'm doing a flyby (have three articles for two clients tonight and it's after 9p) but I wanted to welcome you. I promise if you stick around you'll be a pro in no time!

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FLINGING DEBT:
Sarah
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-15-2007
In reply to: mandasabs
Thu, 01-07-2010 - 7:47am

Well, we have no emergency fund, which definitely scares me. We do have a few $1,000 savings bonds stashed away if we ever really needed them. They're not fully matured, but they're up there and worth something if there were an emergency. We already have family watching our daughter three days a week, so she's only in daycare twice a week, which ends up costing $535 a month. Luckily my mother has decided that when we have another child she is going to quit her job and take both kids while we work. She'll want a little money, which I totally agree with, but not close to as much as daycare.


We should be getting quite a bit back on our taxes this year since I was on maternity leave for half of last year. Plus we can claim our DD this year, as well as some other expenses.


I'm looking to sell Avon on the side and see if that brings anything at all in. Even the smallest amount could easily go to a bill. I've been trying to find some side work on elance.com as a proofreader or editor, but because I've never done a job on there and have no "ratings," it's tough to find someone who will hire me. I will be taking on some extra hours once spring hits...I work for a park system and the winter months are slow so there's not much need for overtime at all right now. I've even applied for a job teaching creative writing at the local community college (a job they've had posted on their site for 3 years now), but still nothing as of yet.


My husband works overtime here and there, but he works for a retail store, and with the economy the way it is, there's not a lot of overtime to be had. Taking a second job for him would be difficult because his hours are all over the place sometimes, working late all of the sudden because something got scheduled wrong. Another employer would not be happy with him being really late because he was busy at his first job.


Any ideas of work I can take on from home that's not a scam? I'm willing to work, I just can't seem to find anything worth while.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-14-2008
In reply to: mandasabs
Thu, 01-07-2010 - 3:48pm

Funny, I sell Avon. I have a general store and it is really easy to sell this stuff because of that. I don't know if I would do it other wise. People come to the store and pick up a catalog with their previous purchase and phone in or drop off orders for me. A lady in my area quit and I told her I would take over her customers. I have actually added a few here at my store. I also have a shelf set up that I invested my own money in and sell from it, from time to time. I don't actually work really hard it and what I do make in profits I usually spend on my self or for gifts for other people but it does all help. I buy shampoo and cream rinse and deoderant and other essentials that can cut into your grocery bill. I do have a lip stick problem but I am doing better LOL and have not bought any in a few months(I'm sure I have 30 tubes right now, stupid I know). I buy my girlfriends, mom, and sister's birthday presents from Avon and that doesn't have to come from my regular budget so it all adds up. If you could find some friends and co-workers that would buy on a regular basis it might be worth it. I have done it for about 2 and 1/2 years. I don't plan to stop, it is almost a hobby for me and feels like Christmas when I get to pick up my orders LOL!

I also signed up for elance but have been intimidated by all the details involved. Sarah(SoHappilyMe) writes for them I believe and does quite well. She even has a detailed list of a way to be successful in the bids. So you might want to ask her for more info.

We all struggle with making money at things that are worth while. I have faith it will be easier at some point to make money online, I'm just quite sure we are there yet.

How easily accessible are the bonds? This sounds like savings you would not want to touch. Would you have to charge something if an emergency arose? This is what it is for. Lots of people have them in a savings account that only takes one day to get to. It really is a horrible blow to the momentum if you back track on your debt repayment. This is supposed to make things easier.

Hang in there. Keep networking on the extra income. Plan for a garage sale in the spring. (lots of people do this to get started on their efund)


iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2010
In reply to: mandasabs
Thu, 01-07-2010 - 4:23pm

Hi! I second the emergency fund. That was a hard concept for me in the beginning but it has been a lifesaver for us. We have had several things happen around the house here lately and because we had a EF, we were able to do those repairs with out freaking out AND without having to put any of the house repairs on the CC.

Another thing that turned my mindset around was to read the book "Your Money or Your Life." The exercise where you track every single penny that you spend for an entire month, even if you found the penny on the ground, was revolutionary for me. I found so many small areas where we were wasting money that I had no idea. If you have a good local library . . . go check it out!

Hope this helps. At the very least, congratulation for getting started. That is the hardest part!

Cheers,
Kate







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