(Closed) No end in sight?

posted 7 years ago in Money
Post # 3
Member
963 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Have you thought about a credit counseling program?  With over $10,000 in debt, you qualify for this.  They basically agree on a “settlement amount” and you pay them (plus lawyers’s fees, etc) for a certain period of time (2-4) years.  Then they settle with your credit card companies for usually about 40-50% of your debt.  Yes, it will mark your credit.

Also, cut unnecessary things like cable/internet, alcohol, and eating out. I know, it sounds like no fun, but that extra $100-$150/month could really help you.  I’d also start couponing.  $1 for the sunday paper (at the .99 cent store) and you can drastically reduce your bills. 

Lastly, is there anyone that will help you.  Do you have the option to perhaps have your parents take out a home equity loan that will cover your credit card debt.  This way, you can make monthly payments to them at a smaller interest rate.

Oh, and if there is a way to get a weekend job or something on the side, perhaps look into those oppotunities.  Maybe you can work a few hours waitressing for banquets or helping out at a store for some extra cash.

Post # 4
Member
4693 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

I know this isn’t a pleasant suggestion, but is there any way for either of you to get a second part time job to help pay the bills?  I don’t have student loan debt, but I do have as much credit card debt as you do.  Some of it is because I was young, I was stupid, and I didn’t think it would catch up with me, and a large portion of it was a credit card I took out when my kitten got very sick, and I did everything I could to save his life.  I work part time at McDonald’s nights and weekends for an extra $200/week which goes 100% towards paying off my credit cards, in addition to what I can spare from my regular paycheck every week after my mortage/condo fees/car payments/insurance etc are paid.  I will be completely out of debt in about a year, and then I can quit my second job. 

ETA: Feel free to PM me if you ever want to talk about it.  I know how stressful this is.

Post # 5
Member
223 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

Is there anyway you can transfer all your credit card debt to a no interst credit card?  that way when  you are making the payments it goes right to the principle.  It may only be for 12 – 18 months but just think how much you can put towards it in that time!

Post # 6
Member
4824 posts
Honey bee

You are married?

Then in no way is it OK that you both don’t know what each others finances look like exactly! OK so he doesnt want to combine finances? No problem.

Pull out all CC statments, all bills for a month, all checking account statments all estimated variable expenses (gas) for BOTH people.

Then make a detailed list of all expenses for both of you combined.

Figure out how much each of you need to pay to pay your joint bills.

Then look at those bills and work to reduce them. Do you really need a data plan on your phone? Maybe a family plan or switching providers will save money.

Can you move to a cheaper place?

How about seeing if you can get a 0% balance transfer new Credit card and move your 20% CC balance to that- be sure to pay each month and at the end of the year you will have paid down a significant part of the balance and not the interest which is what is killing you now.

Insurance on your 11 year old car? Can you get a higher deductible to save insurance money?

Lower the temp on your hot water heater.

No cable, period.

Are you really really good about lights? Turning off lights, using cold water for laundry actually do help in bringing down your bills. Keeping your freezer full (even if just jugs of frozen water)

Its the small things that will add up to bring down your expenses.

Once you do all these then make sure you total your new bill total and tranfer bill money to a joint account and pay all bills from there. HE can keep his own savings or spending money seperate. This money is for bills only. As your bills go down the excess money goes towards the CC’s every few months. You will both have access to this account so you can go online and see what is being paid out of the account. Completely transparent. And honestly, this would not be an option for my Darling Husband. He has to do it- this way you KNOW bills are bing paid ontime- thus saving late payment charges.

AND of course, make more money. Seriously. Side jobs, new job? Can you babysit, tutor, check craigslist for one-off jobs like someone needing manual labor for one day in the yard, part-time job etc. 

 

Post # 7
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Is there a way you guys could move to a less expensive place? Or move in with family temporarily to put extra money towards the 20% credit card for a while?

Saving for a house is not a realistic possibility (even if you had extra money to save) until you have paid off that credit card debt. When you’re paying 10-20% on debt, that is not the time to be saving for something that will put you in even more debt.

Post # 9
Member
713 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I hate money and bills and everything financial!! I have the same feeling as you sometimes – that it’s never going to end! I’ve always been frugal, in university and afterwards. But I kind of wish I hadn’t been so careful and just spent my money while I had it because now I don’t have much space $$ for anything anymore! So I totally understand how you are feeling.

It sounds like you are on top of the situation as much as you can be. Paying bills and taking care of problem CCs… etc. You’ll have to talk to Darling Husband about his finances in more detail of course. Assure him that you don’t want to have the same problem as his parents did – so you need to be open and honest. You don’t necessarily have to have joint accounts, but you do have to know what’s going on in each other’s financial worlds. Could you speak to a financial advisor at your bank or his bank for some help? Let him know how much this stresses you out. My Fiance tends to be less stressed about this stuff. He’s a little older than me and owns a business so he’s used to financial ups and downs.

But to answer your question, yes, it will get better one day! Money will always be an issue and it’s a cycle for sure, but it will slowly get better. And just because you don’t have a house yet doesn’t mean that you are not building a life together! Learning to manage your finances together is all a part of it. It will get better!

 

Post # 10
Member
4824 posts
Honey bee

 Have you spoken to him about this

Not because he doesn’t trust me, but because his parents combined finances when they got married, and it was a complete disaster because they didn’t communicate, they ended up divorced. So now he is gun shy and feels like he is giving up is independence by thinking of it as “our” money and not just his.

I would tell him that this is indication to me that he doesnt trust me. The fact that he doesnt have the same commitment to debt repayment as me is a problem and that is no different than what his parents when through.

No matter how you track finances you both need to agree on how money is spent, espcecially with a lot of debt, but also what your future financial goals are. Even if you were not in debt and he spent all his money on stuff for “him”, but you had to pay for all vacations out of your money, that is not fair. Or is it fair for you to spend it all on vacations and his is all for retirement (unless this was the agreement)?  If you have different goals and are doing different things with your money that is just as problematic to a marriage.

His reluctance to see the money as “ours” is a lack of communication. The same lack of communication that broke his parents up. 

Post # 11
Member
389 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I could have written this. Right out of college I couldn’t get a job. I had a huge amount of credit card debt and student loans because I was an idiot. I assumed I’d get a great job because I was smart and had good grades…again I was an idiot to think that! I defered my student loans entirely. I only paid 10 dollars a month because it was all I could afford. I also balance transferred my highest interest credit card (which everyone tells you not to do but hey it helped!).

The biggest hurdle for me was when I met my now husband. Mr. Financial wiz! It was gut-wrenching to tell him about my financial woes and how I had gotten myself into a huge mess. I had the luxury of his help and he is now also my financial advisor. The thing that scares me for you is that you and your husband? Aren’t open with each other. That will only end up badly. You both need to be working together so you can really see what you have. Thats the biggest thing I see here.

Post # 12
Member
4693 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@beeinthehole: It’s hard to work two jobs, there’s no denying that.  I work between 67-75 hours a week depending on my schedule for that week.  I get up at 6am go to work until 10pm, go home and go straight to bed, get up and do it again the next day.  I do ok as long as I have one day off a week.  Even if you find a job that you can work 2-3 nights a week that extra money helps tremendously. 

Another thing though, I really believe that if you are married your husband should be helping you with this.  Whether it’s your debt or his, it affects BOTH of your futures.  My SO is helping me pay off my credit cards so that we can start our life together debt free, even thought the credit cards are 100% mine. 

Post # 13
Member
2027 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I really think you both should meet with someone that can help you and give you a plan. I cannot imagine being stretched so thin without a definite plan. It must surely be stressful. You both need to lay everything out and really get this together. It sounds like you are getting by, but there must be a way to get yourself some relief. 

I found this site, which has some great info;

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/pubs/consumer/credit/cre19.shtm

Best of luck!

Post # 15
Member
4824 posts
Honey bee

@beeinthehole:

I want to MAKE Darling Husband become fully transparent with me, but so far, he keeps avoiding the issue, which turns into a big fight because I feel like I’m the only one taking this seriously.

This worries me, a lot. He has no desire to change his habits which means you two are in debt for a long time. Its one thing to have seperate accounts, its another to have secret finances. Something is fishy.

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