I hope someone can help me with my problem. I am deep into debt and I would like to know if someone could guide me with a very basic easy way to get myself out of this ordeal. I have tried everything that i could and still I fall back. I am going to start this week when i get paid to get this monkey off my back. Could suggest a very simple and basic budget or using the envelope method what ever it takes. I don't want any thing that is to complicated right now.
I am looking at about seven thousand in total debt that includes miscellaneous items and credit card debt. I also owe the IRS. What should i do first? I get paid bi-weekly total of 679.86 monthly. Also, I have a second job in retail so that check is not always the same, It goes by the hours I work. Help me please someone.
I have been told that if you call to talk to the IRS, they can be helpful working out a payment arrangement and such. You could also contact any credit card companies and see if you can make arrangements for a lower payment or lower interest rate. Many companies have a department for people in trouble but you have to ask for it. Next step would be to CLOSE all the credit cards. You will always have some rationale for using them until you take away the temptation. If you do decide to keep one, for emergencies, make sure it is the one with the lowest interest rate and no annual fee. Don't keep it in your wallet, hide it at home somewhere. I've heard it recommended to freeze it in a block of ice in the freezer so you have to work to get it out.
The best thing I did to better my debt situation was to set up automatic payments from my paycheck. Having two bank accounts can help this: one for household bills and the other for spending. Try to put a little bit in a savings account at the same. Another thing I did was to post my debts on a board, with balances and interest rates and show how they were decreasing every month. Any time I got a windfall: taxes, birthday money, whatever, I would put it toward the card that was at the highest interest rate or whatever one I could pay off entirely.
Many people say to write down everything you spend so that you are aware of where the money is going. It isn't easy but you just have to refocus every day to get back on track. It is sort of like a diet.
Get Jerrold Mundis' book HOW TO GET OUT OF DEBT, STAY OUT OF DEBT & LIVE PROSPEROUSLY. It's in paperback. He follows the principles of Debtors' Anonymous and has a detailed plan as to how to deal with your creditors, establishing payment plans, and so on, which I used quite successfully! I also recommend Debtors' Anonymous as a great free resource - and, of course, learn as much about pennypinching as you can from this great site! Good luck.
Everyone has had great suggestions. I would also suggest making a budget and sticking to it. Many people do find the envelope system a good way to do that. One great method for getting out of debt is called the "snowball" method. You pay the minimum amount on all your accounts except one. On that one account (either the one with the smallest balance or the one with the highest interest rate, whichever you prefer.) , you pay extra, even if it's just a little bit. Once that account is paid off, you apply that payment to the next debt and so on down the line until every debt is paid off. The most important thing is to not to accumulate anymore debt. I hope this helps. I know it can be done because we were once in the same boat also. Good luck!
The snowball repayment is a very good way to pay off debt, but you have to have the will and focus to do it. Pay cash, no debit or credit cards. Also, don't spend the loose change, save it up, roll it up, cash it in & apply this down on your debts as well.
NO CREDIT CARDS!!! CASH ONLY!!!
I am an accountant and I would suggest that you have to make a budget of your very basic needs.Delete in your mind the unnecessary purchases.When shopping take with you a list and stick on the list. Avoid luxurious parties and dresses,shoes and bags.
Yes, close your credit cards, pay in cash instead.
I think you are spending lavishly.
These are great suggestions. The only comment I have is about automatic payment from your checking account. I've had friends who made automatic payments. The card companies took the payment before the agreed upon date. There wasn't enough money in the bank to cover the debt, so there were numerous fees. Be very careful if you do this. I wish you well. Gloria
The suggestions are good. I am a pensioner on a low government income, plus I just work one day a week. I have NO debt, apart from the utilities as they come in, rent, power, phone, and I pay them promptly. How? No credit cards. Not true, I have one, which I got before a visit to Canada (fromAustralia) to see my brother and family 5 years ago. I paid it off promptly when I returned and have not used it again.
I'm sure these things have been said before.. but here we go. Sort out your 'needs' from your 'wants'
Live simply and as frugally as you can. Pay the essentials first rent (or mortgage) utility bills, etc.
Haunt thrift shops for clothing, Don't worry about 'fashion" tho really you CAN get very nice and in fashion garments from thrift shops.. eat simply, whatever is in season right now is usually the cheapest to buy.Plus staples like eggs, potatoes, rice, etc.. Don't accumulate huge heating or cooling bills. When it;s really cold inside put on an extra sweater or wrap a rug around you while you are sitting (tv etc) instead of powering up the heat,
Seek professional help on debt consoilidation if you need to. You CAN do it! Best of luck!
Check this book out at any library..
Title is - "I can't pay my bills"
I have just started reading it too and I too like you am in over my head with everyone including IRS except for house payments. Take care and I will be checking in and seeing how others respond.
You can get a real live counselor for free to meet with you and work with you in person, for FREE, did I mention it's free? It's a group of volunteers who like to help people because it's rewarding to see lives unlocked and freed from the 'monkey'. Look online for Crown Financial Ministries, and find their links on Budget Counselors. I did, they were a most wonderful help. Yes, it's Christian, but it's all just to help you get back on top. God bless you!
Hello from Quebec, Canada.
I presently survive debt free and contentedly on $500. a month. The secret is to find and break hidden expenses. For example, your Television set burns money. 1. Close it and deposit the thing outside near the trash bin. 2. Your hot water tank burns money. Turn it off and remember to switch it back on two hours before you take a shower. Go to the plumbing store and buy an automatic timer switch. Your lights burn money. Change to the new energy saving bulbs or better yet, buy several recharchable motorcycle batteries and hook up a few small LED lights to the batteries. Junk food burns money. Buy only the best but eat less. Your car burns money. With obvious limitations, such as winter and very long distance, I regularly use a light-weight twelve speed bicycle. I laugh at people who own cars and trucks as they are usually stuck in traffic. Have a happy future and relax, plant a spice garden and then sell the spices.
Signed: Your friend in Canada
Go to the library and check out Dave Ramseys' Total Money makeover. Listen to him on the radio and check out his website. Many churches offer his 13 week course. Debt is a symptom-change your behavior and you'll get/stay out of debt.
Follow Dave's plan and you WILL have success.
My father always said, "It's not how much money make, but how you spend the money you have." I have found this to be true throughout my life.
The first thing to do is control spending. Don't buy anything. Since I retired, I've found we really need very little in this life. Most of the things we buy are only things we WANT. So before you can make a purchase, you have to think to yourself, "Do I really NEED it, or do I only WANT it?" (smile) Save credit cards for emergencies. Maybe you can stick them into the freezer compartment of your refrigerator. Don't keep them in your wallet! Otherwise you will need to cut them up so you cant use them.
Once you have controlled impulsive spending habits, you'll be able to concentrate on paying down your debts. Call the IRS and ask to make a payment plan. Call all people to whom you owe money and make a payment plan. I think you'll find them to be receptive to the idea.
After you've taken the measures I've mentioned, I think you'll be able to concentrate on thriftiness. For example, do you really need a land phone AND a cell phone? (I use Tracfone BTW which only charges me for when I use it in an emergency.) NO, a cellphone is NOT a necessity! A phone is a necessity, but not two phones. NO, you do NOT need to be in contact with your friends by phone. These are the things you need... air, water, modest home cooked food, clean clothing, and shelter from the elements. That's pretty much it.
Best of luck. If I were you I'd contact that Christian organization someone has mentioned in another posting.
Lots of good ideas here.
I would suggest that you get a small notebook and write down everything you purchase for a month--this will help you know where the money goes. Then study your spending habits and decide which things are totally unnecessary purchases that you can live without or somehow reduce the cost of.
Cut up most of your credit cards and mail them back to the credit card companies. Put the one or two remaining cards in a safe place (perhaps in the freezer in a block of ice) and don't carry them with you--use them only in an emergency.
Try to pay your bills with the $679.86 monthly and let the other job income be your grocery, clothing, and optional spending money OR allot yourself 10 % of your total income for optional spending.
I also agree with the snowball bill paying method.
DON'T get rid of your credit cards for this reason; it will go against your credit score in the long run. Just don't continue to using the credit cards. You may have to give the credit cards to a family member (like your mom).
A lot of good suggestions have already been made.
Get over the feeling of what people will think of you when you try to trim your necessarties to the bare minimum!
Generally, the things that put a person in debt is WANTS not necessities and lack of organizing your thinking about money.
When you take the bare bones approach of living and paying off debts ... make a game of it!
I don't know if this is too complicated for you, but I would take Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University class. You can get more information at DaveRamsey.com. He has the best finanical plan ever. You can put in your zip code and and it will tell you where classes are being held in your area. His first book is the Total Money Makeover. Good luck!
Well, that makes two of us. I think if i had a buddy who was supportive will help. There are agencies that can help, but sometimes this costs to enroll. So if you think this is a good idea, we could support each other. I am willing to look at all resources that i have although I am in Canada and you in the U.S. If you have a computer, this is a good start.
I will start for a program that is free to send to you, and each week we will check to see what we can do to lessen our load.
You are certainly right about the monkey on ones' back, but i have come to realize that something is got to go, but what? Listing all our expenses is a good start. Patience is important.
Be good to ourselves, although circumstances have brought us to this point. We need to do something now, not tomorrow. So if you are a willing participate, let us try this together. Once a day we need to be committed, no one is going to hand us over money.
I even went to the Casino with hopes of winning, but soon realized I was withdrawing monies from my credit cards, ouch that hurts. So if you're in, please let me know.
regards and best wishes
Janet from Toronto
jsimp52 AT yahoo.com
I read the book GET OUT OF DEBT by debtors anonymous. It helped me tremendously. I contacted all my credit card companies and changed the due date to the 22nd - now NO more late fees. I also wrote each redit card company a letter and said I would always make a monthly payment (albeit, perhaps lower than the minimum due, but the obligation would be paid in full). When the creditors called I referred them to the letter I had sent. I have since fulfilled my obligations and no longer have a monkey on my back. Even my credit score is good. And to think an attorney told me to declare bankruptcy... Good luck and read the book.
You are in a difficult spot, to be sure, as are many of us. But listen: YOU ARE UNDEREARNING! House cleaners make $10-20 per HOUR, so you can start a sideline business of cleaning homes. You could be out of debt in a year if you cleaned just a few homes per week. Check cleaning books out of your local library to learn how to clean safely. Place an in expensive ad in your local paper. "Light housecleaning. Your Name. Phone" I did this when I was broke and got lots of calls, more than I could handle. Use their cleaning supplies. Once you are out of debt, look into getting a better-paying job that you enjoy (I didn't enjoy cleaning other people's homes, and I now have a nicer job).
It might help.
Hi! I read your delema and look on the bright side. Yes there is a bright side. I had worked very hard 25 years and had 5 strokes and 2 heart attacks. To say the least when I turned and looked I was $70,000.00 in debt from medical bills. I had perfect credit too. I had to end up claiming bankruptcy. There was no way I could ever work again. If you have your health thank God first. Then I suggest you count your loses and claim bankruptcy. I thought it was the worse thing in the world but now I realize it was a blessing. May God be with you! I ended up homeless with no money and all my so called friends turned their back when I needed someone the most. Do what is best for you. Good Luck!
gerri..I am so sad to hear that people turned their back on you when you needed them I pray you are ok now
I would add the following points: 1. Read Eric Tyson's Personal Finance for Dummies (in fact, anything by Tyson is great) and don't let the title offend you. 2. Get rid of ongoing or repeating expenses, such as monthly cable TV bills, monthly cell phone bills, put away your dry clean-only clothes, etc. You can live without cable and your dry cleaned clothes for a couple of years. 3. Consider trading out or down with your car or your housing. If you are in big trouble it might be better to trade your car down now and get the most for it than to let huge interest rates jack up your total debt. If you have a more expensive car than you should, sell it now and get something that reflects reality, using the extra $ to pay off debts.
Don't claim bankruptcy. It's not fair to put your bills on others and drive them under too. Pay them off gradually as best you can.
Getting out of debt is work. You must list your income, and any other money you get in each month. Then make a separate list with your "must pay" expenses , like rent , utilities, insurance, and add an amount to feed you (and your family if you have one.) Don't forget once yearly bills for car insurance (divide by 12 and add to your list.) Also, if you have an agreed upon payment for taxes, include that. When you have the second list done, deduct it from the first list. You will then know how much money you have available to pay down your debt and start an emergency fund . If you only have enough left to make the minimum payment on your debt, you need to cut back on something . Cancel the cable tv, cut back on groceries (there are lots of ways to do this online). You need to be willing to do this work if you want the extrodinary feeling of being debt free. There is no other high like it.
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