Hi all! I'm a LONG TIME lurker and finally got the courage to post. It's not easy to put this all in writing but I'm going to do it because I think it will help me a great deal. I am stressed out but the amount of time and energy I put into keeping up with where my money goes. Each week it seems when it gets towards the end of the week, my checking account has less that $300 in it..by the tomorrow I will have $90.00 in my account after the bills are deducted. Its an endless cycle, it's embarrassing and I don't know how to fix this...
All income listed is take home, minus 401K contribution.. We receive $100 in reimbursement through our employer towards cable/internet/cell phone bill.
I have a daily planner that I write all expected expenses as well as projected expenses. I find that I am spending WAY too much of my time looking at my budget, constantly running the numbers, looking a day ahead, a week, a month ahead trying to wring more money out of my budget somehow.
I am approximately $35K in debt (credit cards). One of the most troublesome and stressful things is this- I made one late payment (one day late) to one card and they raised my interest rate to 29.99%. It has been over 1.5 years with no late payments and they refuse to lower it. This debt is $20K and costs me $765.00 per month (minimum payment)!
Since I was having trouble anticipating my husband's expenses out of our checking account, he has a credit card he uses to pay for his work lunches, gas and any other misc. spending. The problem with this is, I find myself putting any extra money on this credit card.. The past 2 months I have put $500 per month on this card, only to have it go back up again.
We RARELY go out to dinner. I would say once a month, max. We have 2 car payments (the higher one will be paid off in August, the other in 3 more years)
Here's my budget for the month. When I do the math I come up with approximately $1380. leftover for the month. But I surely do not ever see this surplus when I'm balancing my checkbook
Take Home Pay $ 7,510.00
Credit Cards (minimum only) $1200
Personal Loan: $600
Cell phone (3 people): $187
Car Insurance and home owners: $183
Car Payments (2) $950
Netflix, Cable/Digital phone/ Internet: $190
Mortgage & HELOC: $1347
Life Insurance: $155
Gas- cars: $420
Any advice and/or insight is greatly appreciated!