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In Debt

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I'm in so much debt I don't know what to do Crying or Very sad

When I split up with neil I struggled with doing everything by myeslf so I bought loads of stuff on credit. I owe catolgues and credit cards and I got out a loan which I have to pay £70 a month for the next 5 years Confused

In total I owe £500 to credit card, £200 to one catolgue, £1500 to another, I have a £3000 loan plus all my other monthly bills like £60 cable, £60 phone bill, rent, electricity, food etc

I have basically no money left over at the end of the week

Any ideas on what i can do?

Has anyone succesfully got themselves out of debt? What did you do?
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replied December 13th, 2007
Community Volunteer
First prioritise your debts.

Rent/mortgage, electric/gas are your first priorities.
Groceries come next - look at where you can cut back - make stuff from scratch instead of buying ready prepared stuff.
Do you buy baby/toddler food? stop buy ingredients and make it yourself, lots lots cheaper.
Look at buying store brand instead of brand name - it doesn't have to be forever - just until you get yourself out of debt.

what cable provider? which package? can you downgrade for the time being?
£60 phone bill is a lot - can you cut the calls down for the time being?

Make a list of your creditors.
Make a budget sheet. - I'll draw up a draft to send you.
Once you see what you have left write to each creditor.
Ask that they freeze the interest, but that the account can't be used - so you can't spend more.
Then offer to pay a percentage to each creditor each month - it might only 2-5%.
But in the UK they have to accept your offer (even if it is only £1 per week) to pay.
If they refuse your offer - they are agreeing to write off your debts.

By succeeding in digging yourself out of debt you actually boost your credit rating - strange I know, but what it says is that you acknowledge your debts and that you make the effort to clear them.

Gimme 10 to draw up a draft budget sheet.
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replied December 13th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
Thanks Kia! You are a darling
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replied December 13th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
i think kia's got it all for you Smile i'm sorry you're having money troubles
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replied December 13th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
I think im going to have to pull Layla out of Nursery Sad And i don't think logan can go either. It's really sad cause she loves it. I'll have to just take them to baby groups until she turns 3 and can get a part time place for free

The nursery costs £42 and week for Layla. Neil gives me £20 a week but when Logan goes thats another £42 a week we have to find. Just can't afford it. I'm really depressed
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replied December 13th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
nursery is really expensive when they're under 3. mother and toddler groups is a good idea. you'll only be cutting back for a while, until you get your money sorted. i hope things get better
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replied December 13th, 2007
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OK I mailed them to you in Excel and Word - let me know if you don't have those and I'll do them in a different format for you (just let me know which you prefer).

The excel one is best because you just have to put the numbers in and excel does the math LOL
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replied December 13th, 2007
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Oh and...

Turn off all non essential electrical goods.
Do you need to hoover everyday? can you do it every other day? (hoovers use quite a bit of electric). If you need to do it everyday, can you do it before 8am or after 6pm when the electric rate is usually cheaper?

Turn off lights when not in use.

Does your home phone come with your cable package? does it offer free evening and weekend calls? Restrict yourself to only making calls then.
Find out what your mobile off peak times are and only use it when you have to.

Clean out the freezer - a iced up freezer uses more elecrtric and is less efficient.
Batch cook meals during off peak times so that you have your own brand of ready meal - just needs heating when you're hungry.

You get the idea =)
Remember it's not forever.

My mom and her fella buy a lot of pre-prepared stuff and snacks.
Their grocery bill for 2 adults is over double what Steve and I pay. The bigest difference is I cook almost everything from scratch.

I paid £10.50 for a piece of beef couple of weeks ago - sounds expensive, but I got a Sunday roast, 2 stews and a chilli out of it.
Bought a Tesco veggie box - got 5.5lb potatoes, 4.5lb carrots, 2lb parsnips and 2lb onions all for £4!!!
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replied December 13th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
sounds like me and my hubby, but its his fault partly for wanting a truck but when he gets back we are selling my car. he thinks its not a good idea but financially its thebest thing to do. I try and cut back on groceries too, they have toddler pull ups for $5 and i usually paid $10 for the pull up brand. they work just the same. It is very hard to shop properly with 2 kids under age 2 though to actually spend time reading lablels. my parents were nazis about lights, during the day they open all the blinds and let the natural light in and at night use maybe a desk lamp. I think sometimes its easier to write down all the billsu have and your pay and figure out the maximum u can pay, i mean some people always want to make sure they have extra money but if you have everything u need like food, gas etc then who cares. LIke after we sell our car and use that and taxes to pay off some bills and as soon as our truck and hte other bills are paid off we are gonna look into getting an used SUV, but technically right now we dont need 2 vehicles since im not working or anything , money sucks, who ever invented it lol, why cant we just barter.
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replied December 13th, 2007
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see how can you justify spending money on pullups? - one of my personal pet hates, nothing aginst you.

You don't have to spend time reading labels.
Make a list of what you need.
Instead of picking up brand name item, pick up store brand.
If it ain't on the list - don't buy it.
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replied December 13th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
I totally understand where you're coming from. We are in debt ourselves. And trying to figure out HOW we can get it so i can spend another 4 weeks off with the baby before she goes to day care. I don't know if we can make it. But we are going to try. It's hard to make ends meet i know. I've been there so many times. I can't seem to get away from it. Kias idea is wonderful, and i think i might take a look at it myself. I hope things get better for you soon hun. I know it hurts, and it's a awful feeling.
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replied December 13th, 2007
Especially eHealthy
I'm the queen of cheap. I cleaned up my dh's credit in a little under a year. It's still not the greatest but I took it from a 489 to a 611. You simply have to look at your life and pare down things that are non-essential. I cut everything down to the bare basics. The only luxuries that I allowed were ones that could serve a dual purpose. The first thing to go was the cable. I shut it off completely and only watched the networks (they're free if you can pick them up). That saved me $60 a month. You may not want to do anything that drastic but you can downsize. The next thing I did was call the phone company and ask about different packages. I found out that I could get a package with unlimited free long distance for the same price that I was paying for my basic package. That saved me loads since none of dh's family is even in this state. I followed the same advice about electricity that Kia gave you. Just basically turn things off when you're not using them. We don't have different rates at different times of the day here so I simply cut back. I washed bigger loads of laundry to save on both water and electricity and cut the time that I showered in half. Also I started to grocery shop at discount grocery stores like Aldi and Walmart. I started to buy my meat in larger portions because most of the time it's cheaper. It's a little inconvenient to have to cut it up yourself but it's worth it for the amount that you save. I looked at the prices and saw that I could buy a whole chicken for 59 cents a pound and cut it up myself or I could buy it pre-cut for 99 cents a pound. No contest there. $2.40 on a 6 pound chicken is a big savings. Plus I bought a lot of items in bulk when I ran out. Things that I would definitely use like toilet paper, paper towels, kleenex, sanitary and hygiene products. I replaced most of my name brands with store brand (except my ketchup, my coffee and my tampons oh and my milk. There is no generic lactaid and to me there is no other ketchup in the world besides heinz). It's rough but it can be done. We got about $4,500 dollars worth of debt paid off with no additional income. The key is to budget and really know what you're spending. Know where your money goes. If you track everything that you spend in a week you'd be amazed by how much you spend on unnecessary things. Another thing that I would do is save my change, every time I broke a bill I'd keep the change in a jar. At the end of every month I'd take it to the bank and I'd always have between $50 and a $100 dollars just in change. It was like getting another paycheck.
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replied December 13th, 2007
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* sorry to post again because I know my other post was long, but I talked to everyone that we owed and worked out payment arrangements with everyone that I could. I found out that if you're willing to close out a credit card that sometimes the card company is willing to allow you to pay it off for a lesser amount and not charge interest on the balance while you pay it off. For example I owed $1900 on my discover card and it carried a 12.9% interest rate. When I called and made the arrangement, they stopped charging me interest and allowed me to pay it of with only two payments. One for $650 and one for $550. That was a godsend.
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replied December 13th, 2007
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we are in the same boat but its cause dh likes to buy things for himself arg he just doesnt get it.
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replied December 13th, 2007
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I save change too, i got a ton of it, never brought it to the bank yet though eventually. jason was talking about consolidating bills, technically we have about $500-$60o each paycheck wich is twice a month for groceries and gas, wich is more then enough but still we have 2 hue bills wich are loans, one for his truck. then another higher bill, and 2 small ones, then the phone bill, wich i got the cheapest they have here for unlimited calls to the states. Cell phones would be pointless with the cards since u cant call stateside on them. But my plan is to clean my car so we can sell it when he gets back and pay off one loan. Then with our taxes put it towards the other bills, it sucks that we owe the irs $2,500 but oh well. But the armys o great and messed up his pay so he wil get about $800 when he gets back after he goes to finance to fix it for familiy seperation he never got down there, thats going into savings, then the money my grandma is sending for christmas will go in savings as well, because there is nothing we need at all. And im all done christmas shopping. They had toys on clearance buy one get one free at the px so igot some and i shopped online and got stuff on sale! I love clearance lol. but half the time i buy something super cute and a few weeks later i go look back and its on clearance, but usually they never have the size my kids are in or something when i look on clearance but it seems to always happen that way. Most things i try andbuy generic, but theres only so many options at the commisary, but i do some shopping on the economy, fruits and veggies are cheaper, and i get toiletrees too. I cant wait until joseph is potty trained though, but he doesnt go through to many pull ups now, its like $5 and i get like 30 pull ups. They didnt always have these pull ups there orluvs diapers and stuff but when they got em in i started buying them, and i always use the coupons, if we had a walmart here id prob shop there for everything. We're kinda lucky that we dont pay electricity and water over here, since we live in base housing but his pay is lower because of that, but living oversead we get COLA pay wich we wont be getting in the states wich is a reason we have to re evaluate our finances within the next year. Im thinking about selling the baby swing and crib, minus the matress since we are using it for the todler bed now. When jason comes home we are gonna go over all our finances and stuff to figure it out. I think also a good idea is to talktoa financial advisor, imean here on base we can talk to them for free through the military but if they have one around u mabe u can talk to them as well, sometimes they can offer really good advice.
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replied December 13th, 2007
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We feel like we have saved a great deal on just buying florescent (sp?) lights. Our electric bill seems to be about $35 cheaper since we have bough those lights.
It's the little things that add up.

I really need to learn to cook things in bulk!! What a time and money saver.
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