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  1. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    60
    Congratulations, Miss E! Sigh, I just cannot seem to get a plan together for paying off my sickeningly huge credit card debt. And it just keeps growing, even though I rarely use it. I just feel so completely powerless over this, and I'm really upset at myself for having gotten into this mess.

    I've always really respected my mom's control over her finances. She got divorced when I was about a year old and moved back in with her parents--at 30 years old--until I was in kindergarten. Then we rented a house for a year, then she bought a house which she managed to pay off in about 16 years! Now she rents that house out (along with a second house she bought a couple of years ago)--I mean, she's just been so smart and disciplined financially. She would absolutely freak out if she knew about my debt--it's really the only thing I'd be ashamed of her finding out. Mom, if you're reading this, please don't confront me about it!

    Anyway, congrats again, Miss E. I've asked about this before, but if anyone has any advice or words of encouragement, I could REALLY use it!

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  3. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    down by the bay
    Posts
    767
    The most interesting advice I've heard before for getting out of debt / spending less is to go on a money diet for a month. So if you want to read a magazine, you have to go do it at the library. Same for books and videos - the movie selections aren't so bad at mine, maybe not the hot new releases but go for some old classics. No buying clothes, no drycleaning, no going out for dinner, have your friends over instead - to be super cheap make it potluck! Credit cards get hidden in the flour bin or in a big block of ice like those ads you see :) Eat up all that food in your freezer and pantry, and only buy fresh fruits, veggies and meats; buy whatever staples you'll need in advance. No mac and cheeze, buy the noodles and real cheese and see how good it tastes.

    Then when you want to buy something, write it down, and write down *why* you want it - at the end of the month go back and see all the crap you would have wasted your money on! (And what you really do need too of course.)

    This is from a book called "Coach Yourself to Success by Talane Miedaner - look it up on Amazon, they'll let you search inside for "money diet" and you should be able to read the relevant chapter - for free!

    I know you're embarrassed about it, but maybe you could ask your mom for help - there must be some secret she had that you didn't pick up on growing up. You don't have to frame it as "oh no, I have debt problems," you can say, "mom, I've always been impressed with how you are good with money, and I'd love to know your secrets so I can pay off a house in 16 years too" - then just back track those secrets and apply them to your debt.

    You can do it, I know!

  4. #13
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    60
    Thanks for the encouraging words, Kindarana. Actually, between your advice here and in the school/work lunch thread, I began to wonder whether you really were my mother (who does hang out at Getcrafty from time to time). As for the money diet, unfortunately I already do most of those things. I'm not really sure where my overspending happens: it seems to occur on a grand scale, cause I've already mostly cut out things like magazines (except for ReadyMade every two months), books, videos, clothes. I do eat out more than I should just from lack of time to prepare things at home, but when I cook at home I pretty much stick to basic ingredients and fresh fruits & vegetables. My rent is way too high and I live alone (which I CAN'T give up unless it's with a boyfriend--I have serious roommate-phobia), so that's a big part of it. Plus interest on the existing balance on my credit cards.

    But thanks for the book recommedation; I will definitely check it out. And I really appreciate your vote of confidence!

  5. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    eastern pa
    Posts
    28
    you are my hero! i was just stressing about mine yesterday. i only have one, and everytime i get it down to about $2000, i guess i congratulate myself by charging a big purchase (our downfall is vacationing, probably about 50% of my card is plane tickets).

    the worst part of my problem is that i took a cash advance about 4 years ago. well that's at a much higher interest rate, and it's the last thing that gets payed off (scoundrels). so i have to get it down to zero before i pay my regular lower interest rate again.

    i just took $2000 out of savings to pay some of it down. $3000 left, and i want to get rid of it by december. the credit card's in the freezer, although thanks to buying lots online i know the # by heart. wish me luck. and no more big ticket emergencies.

  6. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    down by the bay
    Posts
    767
    Maybe when you've got those kinds of cash advance problems switching your balance to a new card might not be a bad idea - and have the new one's credit limit set right near the amount you're going to put on it so you can't go higher :)

    Oh, and no alterego, I'm not your mother, no babies yet. Maybe it's time to investigate adding a parttime job? If you spend money on entertainment an extra little job will keep you busy and save you money while you earn it! Also are there cheaper apartments in your complex? You might be able to change and make a new lease. I don't know how big it is or if space is a problem out there, but maybe you could rent out a room for storage rather than an actual roommate. My best friend from college is renting out her spare room to a visiting professor for just a month, so you don't get that long term roommate blues, just a quick bundle of cash. Basically it's paying to furnish the room, but when the next one comes around in a few months she'll be able to pocket the money.

    Maybe investigate freezer cooking? I've heard some people love it, especially if mealtime is busy.

  7. #16
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    eastern pa
    Posts
    28
    i did think of that, and setting the amount at the amount i need to pay off is a good idea. is that possible? it would also be a great idea for me because then i wouldn't have the number memorized.

    unfortunately i have so much else going on that i could think about doing something forever and never actually do it. just like that ing direct savings account someone from here reccomended.

  8. #17
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    eastern pa
    Posts
    28
    i did it! made a crazy 3 month plan and pulled it off!

    yay me.

  9. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Coaldale, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    507
    Miss E,
    Congrats! Especially at this time of year when everyone gets sucked into more dept!
    I've very happy for you!
    -Anners

  10. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    down by the bay
    Posts
    767
    YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!

    Go do something cheap to celebrate, like find a wine tasting or get a good book at the library :)

  11. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    10
    Hmmm wine tasting. I need some wine!

    Congrats on paying off your debt!!

    Mine is just the reverse. DH and myself are not in debt, but we feel as if we can never afford the things we need like a car or a new bed because I have a bad back.

    Hoepfully I'll figure it out.


 
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