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Sinking In Debt, More Bills Than Income

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If your bills are higher than your take-home pay, it's time to get some help. This guide has advice about sinking in debt, more bills than income.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 31, 2005

We have over $22,000.00 in credit card debt, 2 car payments and can't get rid of them for we owe more than they are worth, a house payment and heloc loan we got when we purchased our home for the down payment, medical bills, and the utility bills.

We have an 18 y/o senior without a car but she works a part time job which is not enough to save for a car, she has a 3.86 grade point average but has not qualified for a college scholarship which she needs desperately.

Bottom line is that we have way more bills than income and are sinking fast. I am married and mother of two. I hardly know them anymore for I work all I can.

The bills are all paid on time so far but I know without a miracle, we will sink . Does anyone out there have an answer that will give us some hope? Your help is much appreciated.

My husband is out of work on medical leave in which doctor will not release him to work at this time. He still has insurance from his job but has used up his disabilty money which has left him with no income but his company is still providing the medical insurance.

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I am a nurse and work hard. We are not lazy people but I know we have made bad choices. Thank you in advance for some good advice and your prayers most of all.

ablssdmm

Answers

By Kathryn (Guest Post)
April 1, 20050 found this helpful
Best Answer

My heart goes out to you and your family.

We too have been ear deep in debt and are still somewhat clawing our way out of it. We have four kids who range in age from 9 to 24. It's scary not knowing how you'll make ends meet.

Fortunately we were introduced to the Dave Ramsey website ( http://www.daveramsey.com ) and learned how to prioritize and budget our money. He has several books out and I'm sure some of them are available from the library.

Two of the best tips we got from him are: 1) name every dollar before you spend it; and 2) protect the "four walls of your house"

Name every dollar refers to his zero based budget idea. The idea is that you sit down with a piece of paper and list each check. From each check you deduct each expense you have before the month even starts.

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That way you know where your money is going. You direct your money rather than trying to chase it down and see where it went after the fact.

Also, as you pay your expenses, you pay them in a certain order which protects the "four walls" of your house. What are the four walls? The four walls are what every family needs in order to survive: food, shelter (rent, utilities, etc), transportation (gotta get to work), and
(reasonable) clothing. Credit cards and other revolving debt gets budgeted last.

He also has a three hour radio show he does M-F. If you don't have a local station that carries it, the broadcast is also available off his website for free.

I wish you and your family the best. God bless.

Kathryn

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By Ronsan (Guest Post)
March 31, 20050 found this helpful

Have you checked with any local foodbanks or an organization in your area that can provide some relief for you on your grocery bills? Also, check with the same organization for heating assistance or any other type of help they can offer.

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If you aren't already using a budget to get the maximum out of your financial resources, I would strongly recommend putting one into play. It will help immeasurably to see where the money is going and how you can use it to better advantage.

Call your local Extension office and see if they have any helpful booklets on budgeting, low cost meals, etc.

Surf the internet for all kinds of helpful advice on budgeting, consolidating debt, accerelated strategic debt reduction plans according to your debt load and based upon your current income.

Spend lots of time going through back issues of every thrify internet site there is because you will find a wealth of hints and tips for keeping more of your money in your pocketbook to be applied to those debts.

I wish you good luck! While getting out from under this kind of debt can be a challenge and at times will seem disheartening, it can be done!

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By Ang (Guest Post)
March 31, 20050 found this helpful

Approach all the foodbanks and also goodwills in your area, go through your whole house and garage and sort out anything that may be sold in a yard sale. Approach all of the agencies and people you owe money to and explain your situation to them fully and honestly. They will see that you are a woman of integrity and honor and in all likelihood will be open to an arrangement for payment that will be easier on your family.

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Seek budgeting advice from an agency that offers this service for free. Many church s do this.Never miss an opportunity to gather free food for your pantry or freezer. Become a hunter gatherer. Also, make do and mend as our grandmothers used to say. Keep your family together, and continue with your faith. You are in our prayers. All the very best for the future. Please let us know how you get on.

Ang

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By Debe1204 (Guest Post)
March 31, 20050 found this helpful

Have you checked out Consumer Credit Counseling?(or some similar non-profit organizations?)

My sister was in a similar situation and she contacted CCC and they helped her reduce her monthly expenses (on Credit Cards) by almost $400.00 month. This action saved her from filing Bankruptcy..which she did NOT want to do.

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Good Luck

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