Post # 46
LilliV : I probably should have looked more into it, but I was just in a debt busters class the other week and those were the numbers they listed… I just found something that said the avg household income before taxes was around $75k and people spend a little under 7k on interest, so around 10% before taxes.
Post # 47
You need a job. You don’t need a dog.
Debt is not normal — maxing out even one credit card isn’t normal.
You’ve gotten great advice here, but your early responses read like you posted looking for commiseration, not actual advice.
Post # 48
1) don’t take the puppy.
2) set up a budget sheet and work together to make sure you’re on the same page on the allocation of every.single.dollar.
3) do not take out a loan. That’s like putting a bacteria-soaked used bandaid you found on the street on a fresh wound.
4) track your spending weekly, not monthly. Know exactly how much money you have at your disposal at any given time.
Post # 49
I use everydollar.com to track every cent I spend – the free version. I highly recommend it. When you create an account start straight away with modifying categories. My account is very detailed with lines for restaurants, groceries, alcohol, household products, toiletries, healthcare, etc. I have great control now of where my money goes, no head in the sand.
Post # 50
I just wanted to say that you’re not alone in that it seems like lots of people dig themselves into financial holes. It can happen at any time of life! The thing is, you’re right at the beginning of your marriage and you will recover. Especially once you’re both working. BUT only if you make immediate serious changes. Remember that you don’t have to give up “luxuries” forever. Just for a while until you pay what you owe. But a year from now you could be in such a better place and have a dog stress free and be able to handle the unexpected emergency bills or the dental cleanings and extractions that you are suprised by ($1,000+ a couple weeks after i adopted my little dog–his previous owners hadn’t taken care of his teeth at all, so 7 extractions. yikes.)
Anyway-a dog is a life you’re signing up to responsible for. And as sad as it is, it’s better to actually act responsibly for his life and choose to not take him right now and let that $300 go. You need to start working and with both of you working –that’s a really rough time to train and take care of a puppy anyway, and you may want to consider seeing how your schedule is before getting a dog anyway even if the financial situation weren’t so serious.
Post # 51
I’m so bothered by this post in so many ways. This is what happens when parents spoil their children and doesn’t teach them basic financial skills. You have no job and wedding & credit card debt. Your husband wants to take out a LOAN just to pay rent. And you’re contemplating about keeping an animal that you cant afford. I mean seriously, do you hear yourself? I’m just angry. I’m not going to sugar coat anything about your financial standing because I think you get enough of that already since you still don’t seem to grasp how bad of shape you really are. My advice is cut the loss on the dog and STOP SPENDING. No more eating out, going out, shopping because you HAVE NO MONEY, NONE, ZERO, YOU’RE BROKE. You’re worse then broke, you’re in debt. All you need is basic care, pay your rent, phone, insurance, utilities, groceries and cleaning supplies. Cut everything else out, it’s unneccessary.
Post # 52
You’ve gotten a thousand reasons to change your spending habits.
I want to provide you with another tool that has really helped my husband and I track our finances, and more importantly plan ahead. Check out “You Need a Budget” AKA YNAB. Debt is not something to mess around with, and you CAN get your way out of it if you put the effort in. Good luck!
Post # 53
Do not take another loan, get a job, stop spending so much money, and absolutely DO NOT GET A DOG. As PPs have all said, dogs are expensive. You can return all of your supplies, assuming you got them from a pet store or Amazon or something. Since you are not getting the dog from a shelter or rescue, the dog will not come fixed or vaccinated, so that’s all money you will have to spend to make sure your dog is healthy. I had two dogs in my life. My yorkie torn both of her ACLs, which cost $2000 to repair each time and had mammary lumps that we had to get removed, which was a $1000 surgery. Her annual vet bill was $150 a year, and she was a very healthy dog. My shih-tzu was dropped as a puppy by his previous owner (which can very happen to any dog you get) and his hip snapped in half. Well, they didn’t have the money to treat him, so it healed improperly and he limps for life now. When we got him, we had to get his hip surgically repaired, because he tweaked it. That was $2000. We only had him for 3 weeks at that point. His annual vet visits are at least $300. He has seasonal allergies, so we have to get him special shampoo and meds every spring. Yes, all that translates to $$$$. Please do not get that dog.
Post # 54
r06387 : Wow, you are asking for a whole lot of stress on a brand new marriage by adding a puppy to this situation that is already compromised.
I have to say that phrasing “we’ll be out 300 dollars” regarding an actual living, breathing, feeling creature is disheartening. It’s not an object, it’s not a stack of cash.
Please rethink this.
Good luck with everything else. There is a learning curve when you’re first starting out but if you commit yourself to making sound decisions over frivolous ones you will get on and be much more comfortable in the future.
Post # 56
For the millionth time, please don’t get that dog. Walk into your local mall, speak basic English, agree to work weekends and holidays, and you can be working by Monday.
Post # 57
ksn1219 : that seems more reasonable assuming those people own a house and are relatively early in their mortgages. Even still people should calculate their own percentage – I just did mine for last year and it was 8% but that is ALL tax deductible mortgage interest as we don’t have any other debt. That’s pretty eye opening.
Post # 58
There’s tons of good advice on this thread already – what I want to say is I hope you actually take it to heart. You created a post wanting to know if anyone else has been in your situation – yes! Many have – but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to continue down the same path. DO NOT GIVE EXCUSES. Just because others have had financial or budgeting trouble just after marriage doesn’t mean it’s ok to still get this dog, or put things on credit cards, creating more debt.
Also, you say that things aren’t great, but they could be worse– get out of that mentality. Debt is a problem. No income is a problem. Don’t continue on just because you think things could get a lot worse — get ahead of the problem !!
Dogs are a HUGE expense. What you need to do is put your emotions aside – there are thousands and thousands of puppies that will need your love and a caring home, WHEN YOU CAN PROVIDE ONE. Which is absolutely not right now.
First and foremost, take any job you can right now. Any income is better than nothing. You can still keep looking for something in your field, but you cannot afford to sit around and not take any source of income you can get your hands on.
-Use a budgeting/tracking site such as Mint.com to see your spending
-Itemize your budget:
rent, utilities, car payment, insurance, school loans – 1st priority
gas, cell phone, tv/internet, food – 2nd priority – you could potentially lower some of these – drive less, change plan, use coupons/shop sales
“miscellaneous” money –you can’t afford much right now, so keep it small – cut down on your daily coffee, lunch or dinner take out, movies/entertainment.. at least until you get under control
-Use “snowball” methods to pay down your credit card debt.
-Start up a small savings in case of emergencies, so once your debt is gone, when something unexpected comes up, you don’t end up in the same cycle of charging things.
Post # 59
1. You say that you can live off your SOs salary. I bet you only think that because you looked at his GROSS amount. Recalculate and look at his NET amount.
2. It’s Canadian, but Til Debt Due Us Part with Gail vox oxlade is awesome. Google her and she has tons of tips, including budget spreadsheets to get you started.
3. Debt on your credi cards worry me. What is your interest rate? If your interest rate is high and you are making low payments, you may NEVER pay it off. This is the ONLY reason I’d suggest getting a loan. If you get a loan with very small interest, put your credit card debt onto it and start making it a priority to pay it off as soon as possible. Put nothing else on the loan or credit cards, since you need to start living within your actual means. But having a loan with 5% interest vs a credit card with 18% interest could mean a huge difference in terms of when you will pay off that debt.
Post # 60
You lost me when you said you still go out to eat and drink with friends like you did before and then put “haha”like it was funny. Knock that off! That life is over now. Debt is fine as long as you’re able to pay it off and you haven’t even started to come up with a sensible plan for that. Oh and don’t even get me started on what I think of adding a dog to this mess…