Author Topic: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!  (Read 30373 times)

dashh

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Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« on: January 16, 2017, 02:44:10 PM »
Life Situation:  Married filing jointly, early 40’s with two kids (8 and 2).  My wife and I both have 60 mile round trip commutes to work each day.  I was laid off around 2 years ago and am currently doing contract work in finance and trying to find a full time job.  I am starting a journal to give more background/context on our current life situation and how we got here.  I am looking for help and advice as we begin to dig ourselves out of the pile of debt we have accumulated.

Gross Salary/Deductions/Taxes:

mr. d mrs. d
Gross pay $7,155.00 $7,273.22
Pre-Tax
  Dental $-    $34.00
  Medical $-    $332.00
  Vision $-    $13.00
    Total Pre-Tax: $-    $379.00
Adjusted Gross Income: $7,155.00 $6,894.22
Taxes
  Federal $966.84 $814.76
  State $378.24 $366.00
  OASDI $443.60 $434.96
  Medicare $103.76 $101.72
    Total taxes: $1,892.44 $1,717.44
Post-Tax
  401(k) loan $-    $565.22
    Total Post-Tax: $-    $565.22
Net Pay: $5,262.56 $4,611.56

I am working an hourly contract position so my take home varies some with non-paid holidays and time off.  The breakdown above is for one week for me and my DW is paid monthly.  Our monthly take home is ~$10k.  I am trying to get a full time job to maximum income.

Current expenses/budget:

Original Revised
Monthly Monthly Monthly
Expenses Expenses Savings Comments
Cable/Phone $260 $80 $180 Canceling cable - Internet plus Netflix?
Cell Phone $32 $32 $- Verizon Prepaid flip phone
Daycare $490 $490 $-
Dog Wellness Plan $25 $- $25 Cancel
Eating Out $100 $100 $-
Electric/Gas/Water $340 $340 $-
Entertainment $100 $50 $50
Gas $400 $400 $-
Groceries $600 $600 $-
Hair/nails $100 $100 $- Need to discuss with DW
Auto Insurance $81 $81 $- Get quotes
House Cleaning $160 $- $160 Cancel
Lawn care $39 $- $39 Cancel
Medical/Health $30 $30 $- Copays - prescriptions
Pest control $53 $- $53 Canceled
Security $40 $- $40 Cancel
Shopping/Birthdays/Misc $125 $100 $25
Tithing $60 $- $60 Cancel?
YMCA $65 $- $65 Cancel
YMCA Childcare $277 $277 $- Looking for ways to at least cancel early care $114
  Total Monthly Expenses: $3,377 $2,680 $697
Car Pmts $1,040 $1,040 $- Frontier paid off March 2017
Credit Cards $1,405 $1,405 $-
IRS $240 $240 $-
Mortgage $1,986 $1,986 $-
Personal loans $1,941 $1,941 $-
Student Loans $561 $561 $-
  Total Debt Expenses: $7,173 $7,173 $-
Grand Total Expenses: $10,550 $9,853 $697

Our monthly take home pay is ~10k (varies some with my hourly contract job), so with the revised budget it will still be tight. 

Mortgage:
Principle & Interest = $1,596 (5/1 ARM @ 4.5%)
Taxes & Insurance =      $390
Total monthly =          $1,986

Assets:
Primary residence – Owe $302k, worth ~$315k
Autos – Frontier Owe $1k, worth ~$13k
             Pilot owe $25k, worth ~$25k
Cash - $10k
401k - $53k

Liabilities:

Total Monthly
AmountRatePaymentComments
Loan #1$4,67635.90%$177
Loan #2$4,27827.98%$194
CC #9$1,00026.24%$41
CC #1$2,58825.99%$28
CC #2$2,27924.99%$72
CC #3$7,99724.49%$198
Loan #3$88220.00%$284
CC #4$8,44715.49%$231
CC #5$4,37614.90%$109
Loan #4$31,14810.75%$720
Student loan #1$49,0366.88%$368
Auto loan #1$25,8684.09%$515Honda Pilot
Auto loan #2$1,1723.84%$525Nissan Frontier
Student loan #2$4,0663.63%$86
401K loan$27,7433.25%$565
Student loan #3$2,5082.75%$108
CC #6$17,7112.00%$3395-year pmt plan
CC #7$2,0320.00%$78
CC #8$16,6620.00%$3095-year pmt plan
IRS $17,290 $240Requesting 72 month pmt plan
Total:$231,758 $5,187

My thoughts on a plan moving forward (any advice on these or others are appreciated):

1)    Trim the monthly budget even more to free up some cash.  This is going to be a transition for our family as we have lived beyond  our means for some time.  I am all in – the DW is going to need some help though.  The kids will adapt.

2)   Sell the cars and pay cash for used ones.  I know everyone is going to suggest this and I know it needs to happen.  My plan would be to buy a Honda Civic for $4k - $5k for myself and buy the DW a Honda Odyssey for $8k - $9k.  I anticipate my DW is going to freak out though so any suggestions on having that discussion would be appreciated.

3)   Get a full time job to maximize income and then use some of our cash to start paying down debt (highest interest first).  With my employment situation being hourly/contract we have been just trying to make it month to month and kept the cash just in case. 

So there you have it – our financial mess.  We are drowning in debt and have to begin digging out.  Obviously our primary goal is to get stable and begin paying down the debt.  I have a lot of mixed feelings right now – extreme embarrassment and shame, fear and a little bit of empowerment. 

I have followed the Beatles thread and know the face punches are coming.  I am ready and deserve them all.  However, I am hoping after the punches you guys will pick me back up and support me in this journey.  I am committed to making this happen.  Let the beatings (and then healing) begin…

« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 04:29:54 PM by dashh »

CheapScholar

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2017, 02:58:44 PM »
Are you paying private mortgage insurance?  Is your $315K house excessive?  I ask because I don't know what your local market is like.

nereo

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2017, 03:01:38 PM »
I applaud you for giving such a data-rich case study.

First the cold hard truth:  you have a hair-on-fire debt emergency but you are currently spritzing it with water from a squirt gun in the hopes that it will just go out.
It's time to make some more serious moves.

For starters I'll not the following:
Cable has to go & find a cheaper internet.
Hair/Nails - DW has to be on board to chop this expense
Groceries - plenty of ways to feed a family of 4 very well on $400/mo
"Going-out" of $100: sorry but you can't go to restaurants without shoes, a shirt, or when your hair is seriously on fire.
Utilities: varies from locale and home efficiency, but seriously consider whether you can cut this by 25%  Drop the thermostat and eliminate a/c
Your cars.  Oh god your cars.  $1,000+/month in car payments.... very poor fuel economy (Pilot ~20mpg?) and long commutes. Worse, they're financed and not at the greatest of rates (4.09%)

Several of your credit card rates are astronomical and need to be tackled IMMEDIATELY.  35.9%??  Start seeing which of these can be transfered to a lower card, nad then attack the others with a vengance.

Other thoughts:
time to think about alternatives.
Can you take on a renter (e.g. a university student)?
What can you possibly do to get full-time employment again?
Time to sell at least one car and buy a cheaper, fuel-efficient car
What's available for you to car-pool.  Your commuting budget is a big problem.
Can you move closer to work and into a cheaper home? This step along might solve lots of problems.
Sell things to pay off debt - what do you own that you no longer use and is cluttering the house?

Good luck!

ETA:  You obviously understand on some level that things need to change, and in a radical fashion. Your DW has got to get on board too, though. It appears that you've been living way beyond your means for some time, and "past-self" is giving "present-day-self" the shaft.  That bites, but either you dig yourself out of this mess or "future self" is screwed too.  I agree with CheapScholar's assessment that this isn't a band-aid fix; you've got to find a way of throwing several hundred dollars more per month at your debt.  Kids adapt easily enough, especially at that age.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 03:15:01 PM by nereo »
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SimpleCycle

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2017, 03:06:01 PM »
I think you need some background on how you got here.  Is this what you are really spending or what you wish you spent?  You don't end up $231k in debt plus a $302k mortgage on $180k gross without a SERIOUS spending problem.  I'm guessing from your daycare expense that you're in relatively low cost of living, unless that is not full time daycare.

Basically, you are living an entire life you cannot afford.  This is not a "tweak the budget by $200 on groceries" problem, this is a "restructure your entire financial life" problem.  I applaud you for facing the problem head on, but you definitely need to confront whether you're actually in a place to fix this problem.

Proud Foot

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2017, 03:11:28 PM »

Liabilities:

Total Monthly
AmountRatePaymentComments
Loan #1$4,67635.90%$177
Loan #2$4,27827.98%$194
CC #9$1,00026.24%$41
CC #1$2,58825.99%$28
CC #2$2,27924.99%$72
CC #3$7,99724.49%$198
Loan #3$88220.00%$284
CC #4$8,44715.49%$231
CC #5$4,37614.90%$109
Loan #4$31,14810.75%$720
Student loan #1$49,0366.88%$368
Auto loan #1$25,8684.09%$515Honda Pilot
Auto loan #2$1,1723.84%$525Nissan Frontier
Student loan #2$4,0663.63%$86
401K loan$27,7433.25%$565
Student loan #3$2,5082.75%$108
CC #6$17,7112.00%$3395-year pmt plan
CC #7$2,0320.00%$78
CC #8$16,6620.00%$3095-year pmt plan
IRS $17,290 $240Requesting 72 month pmt plan
Total:$231,758 $5,187


It looks like you have outlined some good starts changes in your budget.  For the debts it would really help a lot if you could sell the Frontier for around the $13k you estimate it is worth.  Then purchase yourself a good used car for cheap like you mentioned.  Since your spouse is not on board I would not suggest selling the other vehicle for now.  So selling the Frontier and buying a new car, try to net $6-7k.  Since you already have $10k in the bank I would keep that as an emeergency fund and then use the sale proceeds to start on the loans.  Personally I would pay off Loan #3 and put the rest to the IRS debt. Then I would use the $809 freed up to work to get the IRS paid off ASAP. Thats how I would do it because the IRS is a lot more powerful than any of your other creditors.

If the IRS debt doesn't bother you, I would pay off Loan #1, Loan #3, and the remainder on Loan #2.  Then using the $986 freed up from your three paid off loans I would start hitting the payments hard on the loans with the highest rates to the lowest.

Until you are able to sell the car or get a full time job consistently making more money I would do the Dave Ramsey method and throw anything extra at Loan #3 to help alleviate your monthly cashflow.  Once you have a little more free cash each month or get the car sold then change back to paying them down from the highest rate to the lowest.

BlueHouse

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2017, 03:13:08 PM »
Life Situation:  Married filing jointly, early 40’s with two kids (8 and 2).  My wife and I both have 60 mile round trip commutes to work each day.  I was laid off around 2 years ago and am currently doing contract work in finance and trying to find a full time job.  I am starting a journal to give more background/context on our current life situation and how we got here.  I am looking for help and advice as we begin to dig ourselves out of the pile of debt we have accumulated.

Gross Salary/Deductions/Taxes:

mr. d mrs. d
Gross pay $1,788.75 $7,273.22
Pre-Tax
  Dental $-    $34.00
  Medical $-    $332.00
  Vision $-    $13.00
    Total Pre-Tax: $-    $379.00
Adjusted Gross Income: $1,788.75 $6,894.22
Taxes
  Federal $241.71 $814.76
  State $94.56 $366.00
  OASDI $110.90 $434.96
  Medicare $25.94 $101.72
    Total taxes: $473.11 $1,717.44
Post-Tax
  401(k) loan $-    $565.22
    Total Post-Tax: $-    $565.22
Net Pay: $1,315.64 $4,611.56

I am working an hourly contract position so my take home varies some with non-paid holidays and time off.  The breakdown above is for one week for me and my DW is paid monthly.  Our monthly take home is ~$10k.  I am trying to get a full time job to maximum income.

Current expenses/budget:

Original Revised
Monthly Monthly Monthly
Expenses Expenses Savings Comments
Cable/Phone $260 $80 $180 Canceling cable - Internet plus Netflix?
Cell Phone $32 $32 $- Verizon Prepaid flip phone
Daycare $490 $490 $-
Dog Wellness Plan $25 $- $25 Cancel
Eating Out $100 $100 $-
Electric/Gas/Water $340 $340 $-
Entertainment $100 $50 $50
Gas $400 $400 $-
Groceries $600 $600 $-
Hair/nails $100 $100 $- Need to discuss with DW
Auto Insurance $81 $81 $- Get quotes
House Cleaning $160 $- $160 Cancel
Lawn care $39 $- $39 Cancel
Medical/Health $30 $30 $- Copays - prescriptions
Pest control $53 $- $53 Canceled
Security $40 $- $40 Cancel
Shopping/Birthdays/Misc $125 $100 $25
Tithing $60 $- $60 Cancel?
YMCA $65 $- $65 Cancel
YMCA Childcare $277 $277 $- Looking for ways to at least cancel early care $114
  Total Monthly Expenses: $3,377 $2,680 $697
Car Pmts $1,040 $1,040 $- Frontier paid off March 2017
Credit Cards $1,405 $1,405 $-
IRS $240 $240 $-
Mortgage $1,986 $1,986 $-
Personal loans $1,941 $1,941 $-
Student Loans $561 $561 $-
  Total Debt Expenses: $7,173 $7,173 $-
Grand Total Expenses: $10,550 $9,853 $697

Our monthly take home pay is ~10k (varies some with my hourly contract job), so with the revised budget it will still be tight. 

Mortgage:
Principle & Interest = $1,596 (5/1 ARM @ 4.5%)
Taxes & Insurance =      $390
Total monthly =          $1,986

Assets:
Primary residence – Owe $302k, worth ~$315k
Autos – Frontier Owe $1k, worth ~$13k
             Pilot owe $25k, worth ~$25k
Cash - $10k
401k - $53k

Liabilities:

Total Monthly
AmountRatePaymentComments
Loan #1$4,67635.90%$177
Loan #2$4,27827.98%$194
CC #9$1,00026.24%$41
CC #1$2,58825.99%$28
CC #2$2,27924.99%$72
CC #3$7,99724.49%$198
Loan #3$88220.00%$284
CC #4$8,44715.49%$231
CC #5$4,37614.90%$109
Loan #4$31,14810.75%$720
Student loan #1$49,0366.88%$368
Auto loan #1$25,8684.09%$515Honda Pilot
Auto loan #2$1,1723.84%$525Nissan Frontier
Student loan #2$4,0663.63%$86
401K loan$27,7433.25%$565
Student loan #3$2,5082.75%$108
CC #6$17,7112.00%$3395-year pmt plan
CC #7$2,0320.00%$78
CC #8$16,6620.00%$3095-year pmt plan
IRS $17,290 $240Requesting 72 month pmt plan
Total:$231,758 $5,187

My thoughts on a plan moving forward (any advice on these or others are appreciated):

1)    Trim the monthly budget even more to free up some cash.  This is going to be a transition for our family as we have lived beyond  our means for some time.  I am all in – the DW is going to need some help though.  The kids will adapt.

2)   Sell the cars and pay cash for used ones.  I know everyone is going to suggest this and I know it needs to happen.  My plan would be to buy a Honda Civic for $4k - $5k for myself and buy the DW a Honda Odyssey for $8k - $9k.  I anticipate my DW is going to freak out though so any suggestions on having that discussion would be appreciated.

3)   Get a full time job to maximize income and then use some of our cash to start paying down debt (highest interest first).  With my employment situation being hourly/contract we have been just trying to make it month to month and kept the cash just in case. 

So there you have it – our financial mess.  We are drowning in debt and have to begin digging out.  Obviously our primary goal is to get stable and begin paying down the debt.  I have a lot of mixed feelings right now – extreme embarrassment and shame, fear and a little bit of empowerment. 

I have followed the Beatles thread and know the face punches are coming.  I am ready and deserve them all.  However, I am hoping after the punches you guys will pick me back up and support me in this journey.  I am committed to making this happen.  Let the beatings (and then healing) begin…

Not sure I understand how you've laid out your budget.  If you're showing one week of income for you against one month for your wife, does that mean that you only work the equivalent of one week per month or are you making 4 times that amount?   (I know you're PT right now, that's why I'm asking).  Right now this looks very very bad, as if you cannot come close to covering even your revised budget.  But I think I may be misinterpreting your budget.
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BabyShark

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2017, 03:18:51 PM »
I'd be curious about what others think about selling the Pilot and getting something much cheaper with better fuel efficiency.  $400/month in gas is a lot to me, though with your commutes, I see why.

theotherelise

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2017, 03:28:36 PM »
Follow up questions:

How do you and your wife handle finances right now? Are you tracking spending or making a budget together? Does she have a full picture of your current debt to income situation?

Are you still using the credit cards?

First Thoughts:

The Cars. Yeah, $1040/month is ludicrous when you're sending over 70% of your take-home income (+500 deducted on 401k loan) on debt. It's ludicrous in almost any financial situation to be honest. If you sold both vehicles and bought two used ones with the profit, you would be at 206k in debt AND have an extra $1000/month to put towards debt. That would be a huge jump start on this plan. If you don't do that and can't get your income higher, then you are going to have a very very very difficult time ever getting ahead of things. You can't cut 70% of your budget because it's minimum payments. The cars are one of the only real things you can get rid of to make room in your budget. Everything else you've already listed just gets you back to living within your means and not charging anything.

Using Savings. I would probably use some of your savings to pay off debt. I'd maybe leave 3000 in savings and use the 7000 to pay off Loan 3, CC #9, and Loan 1. I think that leaves you with $500 to put to Loan 2. That (combined with selling vehicles) would leave you with a new monthly debt payment cost of $3645 or an extra $1542 a month to pay off debt.


Loan #1   $4,676   35.90%   $177   
Loan #2   $3778   27.98%   $194   
CC #9   $1,000   26.24%   $41   
CC #1   $2,588   25.99%   $28   
CC #2   $2,279   24.99%   $72   
CC #3   $7,997   24.49%   $198   
Loan #3   $882   20.00%   $284   
CC #4   $8,447   15.49%   $231   
CC #5   $4,376   14.90%   $109   
Loan #4   $31,148   10.75%   $720   
Student loan #1   $49,036   6.88%   $368   
Auto loan #1   $25,868   4.09%   $515   Honda Pilot
Auto loan #2   $1,172   3.84%   $525   Nissan Frontier

Student loan #2   $4,066   3.63%   $86   
401K loan   $27,743   3.25%   $565   
Student loan #3   $2,508   2.75%   $108   
CC #6   $17,711   2.00%   $339   5-year pmt plan
CC #7   $2,032   0.00%   $78   
CC #8   $16,662   0.00%   $309   5-year pmt plan
IRS   $17,290      $240   Requesting 72 month pmt plan

At that point, I'd go down the list from highest interest to lowest and snowballing the payment from each paid off debt into a larger extra payment on the next.

The House. It's going to take you YEARS on YEARS to pay off all of this debt with only an extra $1542/month. You're probably going to need to sell your house if you want to pay this stuff off. You need more of a margin. You guys make great money, the income is not your primary problem.

ETA: Are you sure CC #1 and #3 details are correct? I put your numbers in a snowball calculator and it said that you'd never pay those off with the listed minimum payments.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 03:31:04 PM by theotherelise »

nereo

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2017, 03:33:25 PM »
I'd be curious about what others think about selling the Pilot and getting something much cheaper with better fuel efficiency.  $400/month in gas is a lot to me, though with your commutes, I see why.

My personal opinion is that this needs to happen if dashh is genuinely serious about eliminated this debt.  He/she did mention that selling one car and buying a used civic was a possibility, though DW might not be totally on board.
My recommendation is that they sell both and buy two used cars, and/or they move closer to work and downsize their house.  The latter will have more real results but obviously will be a much more disruptive change.
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CheapScholar

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2017, 03:34:36 PM »
How opposed do you expect your wife to be about getting your financial health in order?  Does she know you're on here seeking advice?  This is a BAD situation that requires two people working in tandem.  Right now you're on a path that leads to collecting social security & having little else to rely on, massive debt that leads to bankruptcy, not providing much of anything for your children, and possibly being a financial burden/embarrassment for them. 

Next question, what do you expect you can bring in once you find full time work?  If you can start throwing your new revenue at your debt and your wife is willing to make a few changes you might possibly be able to get out of this mess.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2017, 03:39:03 PM »
I think a lot of people are going to tell you to completely restructure your finances starting today.  My advice is a bit different.

First, the good news.  If you make NO CHANGES, you can snowball this debt paying minimum payments only in 51 months, or 4.5 years.  That includes the student loans.

Second, the bad news.  You will NEVER be debt free until you can stop the bleeding.  I think you need to really look hard at how you ended up in this place to begin with, and create a workable monthly budget that has you living within your means permanently.

There are lots of specifics about how you can do this, and I'm sure they will be well covered in this thread.  But the very basic truth is you are spending more than you earn, debt makes up a huge portion of your monthly costs, and you can't dig yourself out until you accept reality that money is a finite resource.

theotherelise

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2017, 03:42:58 PM »
I think a lot of people are going to tell you to completely restructure your finances starting today.  My advice is a bit different.

First, the good news.  If you make NO CHANGES, you can snowball this debt paying minimum payments only in 51 months, or 4.5 years.  That includes the student loans.

Second, the bad news.  You will NEVER be debt free until you can stop the bleeding.  I think you need to really look hard at how you ended up in this place to begin with, and create a workable monthly budget that has you living within your means permanently.

There are lots of specifics about how you can do this, and I'm sure they will be well covered in this thread.  But the very basic truth is you are spending more than you earn, debt makes up a huge portion of your monthly costs, and you can't dig yourself out until you accept reality that money is a finite resource.

Show your math! Even with the revised budget in the OP, they only have an extra $200 month for debt. That is not going to pay off 231k in debt in 5 years even with snowball...

Poundwise

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2017, 03:45:01 PM »
Have you considered not working (unless you can telecommute), staying at home with the kids, and getting by on one car?

Your wife's income is similar to my husband's, and we do quite well now on a single income, 3 kids, and larger monthly housing costs than yours. We drove a used sedan a long time, finally upgraded to a 2004 minivan last year. Husband bikes to train. We save about $2K/month out of his take-home pay (and could do better), but you would have to put that towards your debt.

For a few years I was working from home as a contract programmer, pulling in about $30K a year but this became untenable with a third child and a sick elderly parent.  It was not easy, but you might be able to pull off something similar if you can find a gig that will let you work from home.  When you aren't working for pay, you will have to be your own babysitter, housecleaner, cook, landscaping guy, and appliance repairman.

 theotherelise is right, the fastest way to pay off is to sell your house, and move to a smaller place near wife's work.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 04:04:04 PM by Poundwise »

Unique User

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2017, 03:46:51 PM »
I agree with everyone else and say sell the cars.  I get that your wife might have trouble cutting out certain expenses, but the hard truth is that you are in your early 40s and this much in debt.  You are WAY behind.  I'd set a strict budget for groceries probably around $400 to start and no restaurants or shopping.  Cut the cable, use your time to learn how to cook if you don't already or find some money making hobbies.  Search the forum for side hustles.  Sell EVERYTHING you can find in your house that you don't need.   

Hair and nails is a tough one, some women really have trouble with cutting this out entirely.  Personally I would halve it, tell her to find cheaper places and cut down on frequency.  You're going to need to ease her into this as quickly as you can, this is going to be a marathon for you to pay this all off and ever be able to retire. 

What is your likelihood in finding new employment?  Have you been looking for two years?  I think the other trap you might fall into is that once you get a new job and your income goes back up, you'll be tempted to go back to your old ways, but unfortunately in your early 40's you can't.  Once all your debts are paid off, you need to divert all that cash to retirement funds.  I started late too, we spent years either not working or only working part time.  But our household income has doubled in the last eight years and although we've eased up somewhat on the austerity, we haven't inflated to what most people would expect given out incomes.  Instead we've been maxing everything we possibly can - 401ks, IRAs, ESPPs, HSAs.  You came to the right place for support, good luck!
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 04:04:12 PM by Unique User »

SimpleCycle

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2017, 03:50:14 PM »
I think a lot of people are going to tell you to completely restructure your finances starting today.  My advice is a bit different.

First, the good news.  If you make NO CHANGES, you can snowball this debt paying minimum payments only in 51 months, or 4.5 years.  That includes the student loans.

Second, the bad news.  You will NEVER be debt free until you can stop the bleeding.  I think you need to really look hard at how you ended up in this place to begin with, and create a workable monthly budget that has you living within your means permanently.

There are lots of specifics about how you can do this, and I'm sure they will be well covered in this thread.  But the very basic truth is you are spending more than you earn, debt makes up a huge portion of your monthly costs, and you can't dig yourself out until you accept reality that money is a finite resource.

Show your math! Even with the revised budget in the OP, they only have an extra $200 month for debt. That is not going to pay off 231k in debt in 5 years even with snowball...

I put the whole set of debts into the snowball calculator here: http://www.whatsthecost.com/snowball.aspx

Auto loan is paid off in 3 months, which frees up $525.  Loan #3 is paid off in 4 months, which frees up an additional $284.  With that $809 thrown at the highest interest debt, the snowball builds pretty rapidly.  I'm guessing it's not 100% right since those 0% cards are likely intro rates, but debt snowballs are incredibly powerful.  He's paying $5187 IN MINIMUMS, which certainly can pay off $231k in debt.

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2017, 03:53:00 PM »
This is so much debt - and a lot of it debt that could be dischargeable - that you might benefit from talking to a bankruptcy lawyer.
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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2017, 03:53:48 PM »
One thing that really helped my SO get onboard with frugal living was just watching me do it.  He was very opposed to it at first, and he really didn't understand how finances worked.  I would mention little things here or there and I would demonstrate good behaviors (budgeting, reconciling the finances almost daily, etc) and eventually he came around.  He watched me pay down my debts quicker than he thought was possible and now he is fully on board and excited to have me help him with his.  Good luck!!
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SimpleCycle

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2017, 04:04:55 PM »
I think a lot of people are going to tell you to completely restructure your finances starting today.  My advice is a bit different.

First, the good news.  If you make NO CHANGES, you can snowball this debt paying minimum payments only in 51 months, or 4.5 years.  That includes the student loans.

Second, the bad news.  You will NEVER be debt free until you can stop the bleeding.  I think you need to really look hard at how you ended up in this place to begin with, and create a workable monthly budget that has you living within your means permanently.

There are lots of specifics about how you can do this, and I'm sure they will be well covered in this thread.  But the very basic truth is you are spending more than you earn, debt makes up a huge portion of your monthly costs, and you can't dig yourself out until you accept reality that money is a finite resource.

Show your math! Even with the revised budget in the OP, they only have an extra $200 month for debt. That is not going to pay off 231k in debt in 5 years even with snowball...

Also, my point is not to actually make no changes.  My point is paying off this debt is doable on their current income if they can live within their means.  They obviously have not been doing that for a long time.

Your plan of jumpstarting the snowball with the savings is an excellent one, and I agree with selling the cars as well.  But that is not the root of the problem.  The root of the problem is INCURRING debt.

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2017, 04:09:48 PM »
This is so much debt - and a lot of it debt that could be dischargeable - that you might benefit from talking to a bankruptcy lawyer.

He said he does contract work in finance.  I've heard that filing bankruptcy can make you ineligible for jobs in banking/finance.  Not sure if that's true or not.

GetSmart

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2017, 04:23:36 PM »
It might help to multiply your income by 4  (even if you don't expect to stay at this job), so that it is more easily compared to your wife's income.  I think it's confusing people to look at it this way.

Is there any way you could transfer some other balances to another 0% card?

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2017, 05:24:23 PM »
I will try not to repeat previous posters too much, but forgive me if I fail.  Here is advice on getting your wife on board, but you two REALLY need to sit down and talk about how much trouble you are in.

My wife and I both have 60 mile round trip commutes to work each day.  I was laid off around 2 years ago and am currently doing contract work in finance and trying to find a full time job.

This is a HUGE amount of time to spend commuting, and it is a HUGE amount of gas and wear-and-tear for your vehicles.  60 miles each?  Why?  Do you and DW work in the same direction?  Can you carpool together until you sell this house and rent within a few miles of work?  (You don't have the assets for a down payment, so I think you have to rent for a while.)

A rough geographic location would help us determine whether a $300K house is bare-bones in your area (such as in NYC) or quite fancy and huge (such as in Smalltown, Midwest State).  What would be the monthly cost of the cheapest two-bedroom apartment in a no-gunshots neighborhood that would put you two close to work?  In my area, you could get a pretty decent place for $800-ish, which would give you guys a little more breathing room until all the debt is paid off.

I am starting a journal to give more background/context on our current life situation and how we got here.  I am looking for help and advice as we begin to dig ourselves out of the pile of debt we have accumulated.

Gross Salary/Deductions/Taxes:

mr. d mrs. d
Gross pay $1,788.75 $7,273.22
Pre-Tax
  Dental $-    $34.00
  Medical $-    $332.00
  Vision $-    $13.00
    Total Pre-Tax: $-    $379.00
Adjusted Gross Income: $1,788.75 $6,894.22
Taxes
  Federal $241.71 $814.76
  State $94.56 $366.00
  OASDI $110.90 $434.96
  Medicare $25.94 $101.72
    Total taxes: $473.11 $1,717.44
Post-Tax
  401(k) loan $-    $565.22
    Total Post-Tax: $-    $565.22
Net Pay: $1,315.64 $4,611.56

I am working an hourly contract position so my take home varies some with non-paid holidays and time off.  The breakdown above is for one week for me and my DW is paid monthly.  Our monthly take home is ~$10k.  I am trying to get a full time job to maximum income.

Please update the income numbers in the original post for you to be estimated per month, not per week.
Are these amounts enough to get you two paid in fully for current taxes?  The IRS will be ticked and less likely to agree to a payment plan on old taxes if you aren't keeping up with new taxes.

Current expenses/budget:

Original Revised
Monthly Monthly Monthly
Expenses Expenses Savings Comments
Cable/Phone $260 $80 $180 Canceling cable - Internet plus Netflix?
Cell Phone $32 $32 $- Verizon Prepaid flip phone
Daycare $490 $490 $-
Dog Wellness Plan $25 $- $25 Cancel
Eating Out $100 $100 $-
Electric/Gas/Water $340 $340 $-
Entertainment $100 $50 $50
Gas $400 $400 $-
Groceries $600 $600 $-
Hair/nails $100 $100 $- Need to discuss with DW
Auto Insurance $81 $81 $- Get quotes
House Cleaning $160 $- $160 Cancel
Lawn care $39 $- $39 Cancel
Medical/Health $30 $30 $- Copays - prescriptions
Pest control $53 $- $53 Canceled
Security $40 $- $40 Cancel
Shopping/Birthdays/Misc $125 $100 $25
Tithing $60 $- $60 Cancel?
YMCA $65 $- $65 Cancel
YMCA Childcare $277 $277 $- Looking for ways to at least cancel early care $114
  Total Monthly Expenses: $3,377 $2,680 $697
Car Pmts $1,040 $1,040 $- Frontier paid off March 2017
Credit Cards $1,405 $1,405 $-
IRS $240 $240 $-
Mortgage $1,986 $1,986 $-
Personal loans $1,941 $1,941 $-
Student Loans $561 $561 $-
  Total Debt Expenses: $7,173 $7,173 $-
Grand Total Expenses: $10,550 $9,853 $697

Our monthly take home pay is ~10k (varies some with my hourly contract job), so with the revised budget it will still be tight. 

I just want to check - Is the first column good, historic data from Mint, YNAB, GnuCash, Quicken, pen & paper, or some other tracking system, or is this what you think you guys are spending?  I don't see clothing (or is it under "shopping?), disability insurance, or life insurance.  I don't see how you guys got so very far into consumer debt.  Is there some large, past expense that you have given up?  Was it just overspending during your unemployment after relying on two huge incomes for years?  Have you been deeply in debt your entire adults lives?

Mortgage:
Principle & Interest = $1,596 (5/1 ARM @ 4.5%)
Taxes & Insurance =      $390
Total monthly =          $1,986

Assets:
Primary residence – Owe $302k, worth ~$315k

How are you not paying PMI when your equity in the house is so low?  Has the value of the home recently dropped?

Autos – Frontier Owe $1k, worth ~$13k
             Pilot owe $25k, worth ~$25k
Cash - $10k
401k - $53k

Liabilities:

Total Monthly
AmountRatePaymentComments
Loan #1$4,67635.90%$177
Loan #2$4,27827.98%$194
CC #9$1,00026.24%$41
CC #1$2,58825.99%$28
CC #2$2,27924.99%$72
CC #3$7,99724.49%$198
Loan #3$88220.00%$284
CC #4$8,44715.49%$231
CC #5$4,37614.90%$109
Loan #4$31,14810.75%$720
Student loan #1$49,0366.88%$368
Auto loan #1$25,8684.09%$515Honda Pilot
Auto loan #2$1,1723.84%$525Nissan Frontier
Student loan #2$4,0663.63%$86
401K loan$27,7433.25%$565
Student loan #3$2,5082.75%$108
CC #6$17,7112.00%$3395-year pmt plan
CC #7$2,0320.00%$78
CC #8$16,6620.00%$3095-year pmt plan
IRS $17,290 $240Requesting 72 month pmt plan
Total:$231,758 $5,187

My thoughts on a plan moving forward (any advice on these or others are appreciated):

1)    Trim the monthly budget even more to free up some cash.  This is going to be a transition for our family as we have lived beyond  our means for some time.  I am all in – the DW is going to need some help though.  The kids will adapt.

2)   Sell the cars and pay cash for used ones.  I know everyone is going to suggest this and I know it needs to happen.  My plan would be to buy a Honda Civic for $4k - $5k for myself and buy the DW a Honda Odyssey for $8k - $9k.  I anticipate my DW is going to freak out though so any suggestions on having that discussion would be appreciated.

Why get a van?  Why not get a second Civic (or Camry or Corolla or or), or some kind of hatchback car if you need the storage space?  You only have two kids.  Just make sure to get a four-door car instead of a two-door, and everyone should fit in just fine.  Until you move closer to work, you two need vehicles with much better fuel efficiency.  DBF just got a 2003 Toyota Echo (35/40 MPG) for $3400 after we scoured CraigsList for a few weeks, and I bet you could find something almost as good.  If you two work in the same city, you could even get by on one car.

3)   Get a full time job to maximize income and then use some of our cash to start paying down debt (highest interest first).  With my employment situation being hourly/contract we have been just trying to make it month to month and kept the cash just in case. 

Again, geographic location would be useful.  Is the local economy something that has prevented you from getting FT work?

So there you have it – our financial mess.  We are drowning in debt and have to begin digging out.  Obviously our primary goal is to get stable and begin paying down the debt.  I have a lot of mixed feelings right now – extreme embarrassment and shame, fear and a little bit of empowerment. 

I have followed the Beatles thread and know the face punches are coming.  I am ready and deserve them all.  However, I am hoping after the punches you guys will pick me back up and support me in this journey.  I am committed to making this happen.  Let the beatings (and then healing) begin…

Well, this certainly is the time of year for case studies!

What are your credit scores?  Would you be able to refinance your CCs and personal loans through SoFi or something similar to get the rates down?  Or take the suggestions of others for more 0% promo rate credit cards?
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khangaroo

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2017, 06:35:11 PM »
Have you heard of Dave Ramsey and The Total Money Makeover? I would suggest picking up the book and reading it.

Also, sounds like your wife is not 100% on the same page as you and this is a major concern. He has a class called Financial Peace University that could help both of you in your dire situation.

Your situation has a lot of moving parts and pieces and I think your best route is to sit down with someone in your circle that has their finances together and walk through your budget with them and work on the debt snowball. The good thing about your scenario is that you have a good HHI so that should help you tremendously with getting out of this pile of debt.

You need a cure for the debt and the best doctor I know for that surgery is Dave Ramsey. I know he sometimes gets ridiculed on this website but his principles work - I can personally attest to that.
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FIFoFum

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2017, 06:50:25 PM »
This is so much debt - and a lot of it debt that could be dischargeable - that you might benefit from talking to a bankruptcy lawyer.

He said he does contract work in finance.  I've heard that filing bankruptcy can make you ineligible for jobs in banking/finance.  Not sure if that's true or not.

There are some employers that wouldn't hire him and some that would (the key is disclosure, of course). Then again, there are many employers that now run credit score checks and wouldn't hire him, even without a bankruptcy on the record. There is definitely a short to medium "hit" in having filed for bankruptcy, but it is something that goes away afterwards. This debt is not going away any time soon.
 
I don't know if bankruptcy makes sense for him. I have no idea what state he is in or what the exemptions would look like. I have no idea how he would do on a means test & what options might be available.

I also don't know how his wife will handle the prospect of bankruptcy. If they are on a Chapter 13 plan, will that create discipline and acceptance of reality that doesn't otherwise exist? Would the recognition that bankruptcy is the only alternative to massive spending cuts then alter behavior or get her on board? 

Anyway, I see a lot of threads where there is no debt too big for our MMM forum to tackle. But the point of bankruptcy law is to let people with certain types of massive debt get a "do over" & that do over can be worth thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of dollars. That's why it makes sense to at least talk to a professional and consider it.
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jmwagner5

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2017, 06:50:56 PM »
Okay.. I just have to ask, did you receive loans from the Mafia?? What sorts of loans are you getting that have interest rates of 35.90%??! That's just outrageous! The snowball effect those sorts of rates can have is mind boggling. 

dashh

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2017, 06:54:01 PM »
Hello all,

Thanks so much for all the great feedback.  I have tried to compile the questions asked with my responses below.  I will make a separate post regarding more on our background/context on how we got into this mess.

Are you paying private mortgage insurance?  Is your $315K house excessive?
We are not paying PMI (mortgage is with a credit union that does not require it).  I guess excessive is relative – it is around 2,900 sqft and is probably slightly under the median house value in our area.  I have considered selling it and downsizing but the DW is opposed.  We have a great neighborhood/neighbors, schools, church, etc. so I definitely see her points, but also we are drowning in debt.  I really like the idea of a smaller home as I have become interested in minimalism the past year or so. 

Not sure I understand how you've laid out your budget.
I originally only showed one week’s pay but I have updated it to show an estimate of my monthly pay.  I am working between 35-40 hours a week at my current contract position.  Sorry for the confusion on that!

How do you and your wife handle finances right now? Are you tracking spending or making a budget together? Does she have a full picture of your current debt to income situation?  Are you still using the credit cards?
Excellent questions!  Starting in January we are using YNAB to track all of our expenses and make our monthly budgets.  We started using it a while back and then got off track.  Yes, she has a full picture of our situation and no we are not using the credit cards. 

Are you sure CC #1 and #3 details are correct?
Yes, I double checked them and those numbers are correct.

How opposed do you expect your wife to be about getting your financial health in order?  Does she know you're on here seeking advice?
I do not think she is that opposed to getting our finances in order.  She is very concerned about our lack of saving for retirement and college for our kids.  I think I just need to show her how much in trouble we really are and that could help her get more on board.  She does not know I am on the Forum seeking advice yet.  I am fairly new to MMM and she is not aware of the blog at all.  I want to find a way to introduce her to all of it so she has a better idea of where I am coming from with all this.

What do you expect you can bring in once you find full time work?

Probably not much more than I am currently making on a full time contract basis, but I would have paid holidays and PTO which would help. 

Have you considered not working (unless you can telecommute), staying at home with the kids, and getting by on one car?
We need my income now just to break even pretty much, so I have never really considered that option.

What is your likelihood in finding new employment?  Have you been looking for two years?

I think my likelihood is pretty good – I may even have an opportunity to convert to a permanent position where I am working now as a contractor.  I took some time off when I was laid off and attempted to pursue house flipping full time (I have flipped houses for several years on the side).  I will get into that more with my background post.

In terms of bankruptcy, I have thought about it in the past and just didn’t want to go down that road.  However, given our current situation it may be something worth exploring.  I did a quick look at our debt and around half of it is credit card and unsecured loans which I believe are dischargeable.  I have to think about this because I just feel like I should honor my debts.

Is there any way you could transfer some other balances to another 0% card?

My credit took a hit last year when I had to stop paying on credit cards so we could get by each month.  I looked into SoFi yesterday and got denied.  My wife’s credit is better so we could look into from her side.

60 miles each?  Why?  Do you and DW work in the same direction?
Yes, I hate the commute but would probably earn $25k less in our area.  We work around 15 mins from each other, but are on different work schedules.  However, this is something we should look into. 

I just want to check - Is the first column good, historic data from Mint, YNAB, GnuCash, Quicken, pen & paper, or some other tracking system, or is this what you think you guys are spending?
The first column was our first attempt at a new budget and the second with even more cutting.  I have not gone through a prior month in a while to track every expense but have in the past.  Our issues have always been eating out (me) and shopping (her).  So the budget represents a big drop for both of those categories as compared to the past. 

How are you not paying PMI when your equity in the house is so low?
The credit union we use offers 100% financing with no PMI. 

Why get a van?
If my wife is ever willing to get rid of the Pilot, I am not sure I can persuade her to get a sedan.  The funny (or not so funny really) thing is we had an Altima that would be paid off in March, but traded it for the Pilot when baby #2 arrived.  You know because everyone with 2 kids just has to have a SUV.  Terrible decision!  That is one of my patterns it seems…my gut says terrible choice but I end up doing it anyway. 

What are your credit scores?

I am in the 650 range and my wife probably 700ish.

Have you heard of Dave Ramsey and The Total Money Makeover? I would suggest picking up the book and reading it.

Yes, in fact I got his book several years and listened to his show daily for a while.  One of our problems is we would get all pumped and ready to budget and attack the debt and just fall off the wagon a month or so later.  It is a bad pattern we have developed.  A big part of it is my fault…I say we are going to cut back on eating out and then a week later bring home take out or we go out.  My wife sees that and thinks well he isn’t committed so why should I stick to the Shopping budget this month and we are off to the races.  A vicious cycle we have to stop. 

ltt

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2017, 06:59:54 PM »
Life Situation:  Married filing jointly, early 40’s with two kids (8 and 2).  My wife and I both have 60 mile round trip commutes to work each day.  I was laid off around 2 years ago and am currently doing contract work in finance and trying to find a full time job.  I am starting a journal to give more background/context on our current life situation and how we got here.  I am looking for help and advice as we begin to dig ourselves out of the pile of debt we have accumulated.

Gross Salary/Deductions/Taxes:

mr. d mrs. d
Gross pay $7,155.00 $7,273.22
Pre-Tax
  Dental $-    $34.00
  Medical $-    $332.00
  Vision $-    $13.00
    Total Pre-Tax: $-    $379.00
Adjusted Gross Income: $7,155.00 $6,894.22
Taxes
  Federal $966.84 $814.76
  State $378.24 $366.00
  OASDI $443.60 $434.96
  Medicare $103.76 $101.72
    Total taxes: $1,892.44 $1,717.44
Post-Tax
  401(k) loan $-    $565.22
    Total Post-Tax: $-    $565.22
Net Pay: $5,262.56 $4,611.56

I am working an hourly contract position so my take home varies some with non-paid holidays and time off.  The breakdown above is for one week for me and my DW is paid monthly.  Our monthly take home is ~$10k.  I am trying to get a full time job to maximum income.

Current expenses/budget:

Original Revised
Monthly Monthly Monthly
Expenses Expenses Savings Comments
Cable/Phone $260 $80 $180 Canceling cable - Internet plus Netflix?
Cell Phone $32 $32 $- Verizon Prepaid flip phone
Daycare $490 $490 $-
Dog Wellness Plan $25 $- $25 Cancel
Eating Out $100 $100 $-
Electric/Gas/Water $340 $340 $-
Entertainment $100 $50 $50
Gas $400 $400 $-
Groceries $600 $600 $-
Hair/nails $100 $100 $- Need to discuss with DW
Auto Insurance $81 $81 $- Get quotes
House Cleaning $160 $- $160 Cancel
Lawn care $39 $- $39 Cancel
Medical/Health $30 $30 $- Copays - prescriptions
Pest control $53 $- $53 Canceled
Security $40 $- $40 Cancel
Shopping/Birthdays/Misc $125 $100 $25
Tithing $60 $- $60 Cancel?
YMCA $65 $- $65 Cancel
YMCA Childcare $277 $277 $- Looking for ways to at least cancel early care $114
  Total Monthly Expenses: $3,377 $2,680 $697
Car Pmts $1,040 $1,040 $- Frontier paid off March 2017
Credit Cards $1,405 $1,405 $-
IRS $240 $240 $-
Mortgage $1,986 $1,986 $-
Personal loans $1,941 $1,941 $-
Student Loans $561 $561 $-
  Total Debt Expenses: $7,173 $7,173 $-
Grand Total Expenses: $10,550 $9,853 $697

Our monthly take home pay is ~10k (varies some with my hourly contract job), so with the revised budget it will still be tight. 

Mortgage:
Principle & Interest = $1,596 (5/1 ARM @ 4.5%)
Taxes & Insurance =      $390
Total monthly =          $1,986

Assets:
Primary residence – Owe $302k, worth ~$315k
Autos – Frontier Owe $1k, worth ~$13k
             Pilot owe $25k, worth ~$25k
Cash - $10k
401k - $53k

Liabilities:

Total Monthly
AmountRatePaymentComments
Loan #1$4,67635.90%$177
Loan #2$4,27827.98%$194
CC #9$1,00026.24%$41
CC #1$2,58825.99%$28
CC #2$2,27924.99%$72
CC #3$7,99724.49%$198
Loan #3$88220.00%$284
CC #4$8,44715.49%$231
CC #5$4,37614.90%$109
Loan #4$31,14810.75%$720
Student loan #1$49,0366.88%$368
Auto loan #1$25,8684.09%$515Honda Pilot
Auto loan #2$1,1723.84%$525Nissan Frontier
Student loan #2$4,0663.63%$86
401K loan$27,7433.25%$565
Student loan #3$2,5082.75%$108
CC #6$17,7112.00%$3395-year pmt plan
CC #7$2,0320.00%$78
CC #8$16,6620.00%$3095-year pmt plan
IRS $17,290 $240Requesting 72 month pmt plan
Total:$231,758 $5,187

My thoughts on a plan moving forward (any advice on these or others are appreciated):

1)    Trim the monthly budget even more to free up some cash.  This is going to be a transition for our family as we have lived beyond  our means for some time.  I am all in – the DW is going to need some help though.  The kids will adapt.

2)   Sell the cars and pay cash for used ones.  I know everyone is going to suggest this and I know it needs to happen.  My plan would be to buy a Honda Civic for $4k - $5k for myself and buy the DW a Honda Odyssey for $8k - $9k.  I anticipate my DW is going to freak out though so any suggestions on having that discussion would be appreciated.

3)   Get a full time job to maximize income and then use some of our cash to start paying down debt (highest interest first).  With my employment situation being hourly/contract we have been just trying to make it month to month and kept the cash just in case. 

So there you have it – our financial mess.  We are drowning in debt and have to begin digging out.  Obviously our primary goal is to get stable and begin paying down the debt.  I have a lot of mixed feelings right now – extreme embarrassment and shame, fear and a little bit of empowerment. 

I have followed the Beatles thread and know the face punches are coming.  I am ready and deserve them all.  However, I am hoping after the punches you guys will pick me back up and support me in this journey.  I am committed to making this happen.  Let the beatings (and then healing) begin…

Okay, that just seriously made my head spin.  :) Your Frontier will be paid off in March, so take the additional $500+ and immediately throw it at Loan #3...$800+.  When that card is paid off, go after CC #9 for $1,000.  Get rid of those small credit cards---you will feel so much better because you will start to see progress.  Does your wife know how much debt you are in?

Then, you really need to sell the Honda.  You can get a good, used Toyota for half the price of that Honda.  Take that money from the sale of the Honda and apply it to Loan #1, Loan #2, and CC #1.  You are now starting to see more progress.

Then start paying down CC#2 and CC#3.

As far as the other expenses, hair and nails every month has got to go.  Can your wife cut it down, for the time being, to every other month?  Pest control you can easily take care of yourself, so glad you are cancelling.

I say start with that and let us know how it goes.  Keep us posted on how things are going with the debt you are paying down.

And regarding tithing, even though it might be tough to do, I say to cut it back to $25 a month or so.  At some point, you can go back, but right now there are just more pressing items.

 
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 07:03:42 PM by ltt »

GetSmart

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2017, 07:17:55 PM »


Quote

Liabilities:

Total Monthly
AmountRatePaymentComments
Loan #1$4,67635.90%$177
Loan #2$4,27827.98%$194
CC #9$1,00026.24%$41
CC #1$2,58825.99%$28
CC #2$2,27924.99%$72
CC #3$7,99724.49%$198
Loan #3$88220.00%$284
CC #4$8,44715.49%$231
CC #5$4,37614.90%$109
Loan #4$31,14810.75%$720
Student loan #1$49,0366.88%$368
Auto loan #1$25,8684.09%$515Honda Pilot
Auto loan #2$1,1723.84%$525Nissan Frontier
Student loan #2$4,0663.63%$86
401K loan$27,7433.25%$565
Student loan #3$2,5082.75%$108
CC #6$17,7112.00%$3395-year pmt plan
CC #7$2,0320.00%$78
CC #8$16,6620.00%$3095-year pmt plan
IRS $17,290 $240Requesting 72 month pmt plan
Total:$231,758 $5,187

I would print this out and post it on the refrigerator and / or bathroom mirror.  (I think that's a Ramsey thing).  It's good to cross out as you pay things off to show your progress and should also make you think twice before spending on anything that isn't absolutely necessary.

Poundwise

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #27 on: January 16, 2017, 07:31:15 PM »
Quote
Have you considered not working (unless you can telecommute), staying at home with the kids, and getting by on one car?
We need my income now just to break even pretty much, so I have never really considered that option.

Ah, didn't realize that the income you posted was weekly, not monthly.  Paying so much in auto loans, childcare, etc. made no bloody sense if your take-home was under $2k/month.

Cpa Cat

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #28 on: January 16, 2017, 07:42:17 PM »
The interest on the IRS debt is 4%, so you can list it in order around where the car payments are.

Are there any penalties in there? Do any of them qualify for First Time Penalty Abatement? All you need to be a first timer is a clean three year penalty history.

So for example, if your debt included a penalty from 2015 and a penalty from 2014, but you hadn't occurred any penalties (not including estimated tax penalties - you can have those) in 2013, 2012 or 2011, you'd qualify to get 2014's penalty removed. All you have to do is write and ask them for it.

SwordGuy

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #29 on: January 16, 2017, 07:46:09 PM »
You've got the income part of the equation solved, you just need to get the spending problem solved.

First of all, I would suggest that you really lead the way.   Cut your own spending until it hurts.   And stick with it.
And smile and joke.  Be fun, funny, and a wonderful, loving husband and father while you do it.

If your wife wonders about the change, tell her you want to grow the character necessary to be worthy of her.   That's why you're making these sacrifices, for her and your family.

That may help motivate her to come around and do her part in full, too.

If you make the spending changes people have suggested, you'll work your way out of debt in a reasonable time and into full financial security even faster.   

If you just make the changes in your full control and your wife just curbs her spending, but doesn't make the sacrifices she should make, it will take you longer to get out of debt.   And you'll know your wife has yet to grow up.   

If you can get those cars replaced with two low mileage, high mpg vehicles the extra $1000 a month, plus the other $900-$1000 of low hanging fruit in your budget, that debt will start to disappear.  Just at a rough glance, you could pay off Loan #1, Loan #2, CC #9, CC #2, and CC#3 with those changes.

Take in a lodger in a spare bedroom and you could  also pay off CC #1 and CC #4.   

By that point you'll have another $700 or more in freed up loan payments each month to toss at your debt, and that's without a lodger.   That's an extra $30,000+ on your debt the next year.   Make it $36,000+ with a lodger.

Best of luck!

Easye418

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #30 on: January 16, 2017, 08:06:23 PM »
Holy moly.
Listen to these people.
You either cut expenses, raise income, or both.  Simple as that.

dashh

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2017, 08:12:41 PM »
Okay.. I just have to ask, did you receive loans from the Mafia?? What sorts of loans are you getting that have interest rates of 35.90%??! That's just outrageous! The snowball effect those sorts of rates can have is mind boggling.

Yeah the Mafia would be Avant...

marty998

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2017, 08:20:31 PM »
Hopefully you can bring your wife here... will be so much easier if the both of you are on board.

horsepoor

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2017, 08:50:35 PM »
This might be an unpopular suggestion, but would your wife go for leasing a more efficient  car and selling the Pilot?  Might be too many miles with the commute, but a 35+ mpg car on a sub 200 lease would save a lot of money between payments and fuel without making her feel like she's driving an old clunker.  Not the best solution, but would help your cash flow situation while you knock out those most usurous debts.

Take some of your cash and pay that 35% interest debt.  I think that's the highest I've seen!

Shwaa

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2017, 08:52:30 PM »
All good advice above, although I am not sure I agree with those saying to sell the Frontier.  Frontier's are super reliable, like Tacoma's.  If this truck has been trouble-free I am not sure I would risk selling it and buying a "used Honda" or something similar.  You never know what troubles you could inherit.  Yes it's not great on gas mileage, but I would attack your commute first before ditching that truck, i.e. see if you can carpool some days at least, find a job closer etc.

Agreed on getting rid of the Pilot though. 

JLee

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2017, 08:57:37 PM »
This might be an unpopular suggestion, but would your wife go for leasing a more efficient  car and selling the Pilot?  Might be too many miles with the commute, but a 35+ mpg car on a sub 200 lease would save a lot of money between payments and fuel without making her feel like she's driving an old clunker.  Not the best solution, but would help your cash flow situation while you knock out those most usurous debts.

Take some of your cash and pay that 35% interest debt.  I think that's the highest I've seen!

Way too many miles for a lease. We're looking at ~15k a year in commuting alone, plus anything else.

dashh

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2017, 09:00:34 PM »
All good advice above, although I am not sure I agree with those saying to sell the Frontier.  Frontier's are super reliable, like Tacoma's.  If this truck has been trouble-free I am not sure I would risk selling it and buying a "used Honda" or something similar.  You never know what troubles you could inherit.  Yes it's not great on gas mileage, but I would attack your commute first before ditching that truck, i.e. see if you can carpool some days at least, find a job closer etc.

Agreed on getting rid of the Pilot though.

Yes, I really love my Frontier and have had zero issues with it at 101,000 miles and still have not had to put new brakes on it!  It will be paid off in March and will be the first vehicle that I have actually owned outright in my life!  I know that is sad.  Cars have been a big part of my problem - always trading for a new one or leasing ones when I was younger. 

I do worry about selling it and getting an older Honda and then having issues that will need a cash outlay.  But I know the equity in it could be used to pay off another debt.

SimpleCycle

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2017, 09:08:13 PM »
How far are you into the 5/1 ARM?  That's a fairly concerning liability to me, especially considering the rate.  Do you know if you qualify for a 30 year fixed on that amount?

The description of buckling down followed by relapsing to your previous spending habits is why I think stabilizing your budget is imperative before you tackle the debt.  When is the last time you used the credit cards?  Your "current" budget before the revisions still has you spending more than you earn by $700/month, and the revised budget has you spending every dollar you earn on debt minimums and living expenses.

JLee

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2017, 09:23:25 PM »
All good advice above, although I am not sure I agree with those saying to sell the Frontier.  Frontier's are super reliable, like Tacoma's.  If this truck has been trouble-free I am not sure I would risk selling it and buying a "used Honda" or something similar.  You never know what troubles you could inherit.  Yes it's not great on gas mileage, but I would attack your commute first before ditching that truck, i.e. see if you can carpool some days at least, find a job closer etc.

Agreed on getting rid of the Pilot though.

Yes, I really love my Frontier and have had zero issues with it at 101,000 miles and still have not had to put new brakes on it!  It will be paid off in March and will be the first vehicle that I have actually owned outright in my life!  I know that is sad.  Cars have been a big part of my problem - always trading for a new one or leasing ones when I was younger. 

I do worry about selling it and getting an older Honda and then having issues that will need a cash outlay.  But I know the equity in it could be used to pay off another debt.

Add up your car payments and vehicle maintenance since Oct 25, 2015.

Here is what I have into my 2006 Mazda. I removed performance parts that I bought, decided not to install, and am selling (so far at a profit). Note this includes two new sets of tires (winter and summer), as well as another set of wheels.

10/25/2015   Purchase price   $6,000.00
10/25/2015   Dunlop Winter Maxx tires   $542.50
10/26/2015   Tire install, alignment/AC/lug nuts   $300.00
10/28/2015   Wipers/cabin air filter   $49.22
11/3/2015    GROM stereo adapter   $132.99
12/27/2015   ATF/PS fluid, oil filter   $10.44
12/27/2015   Oil (12qt Mobil1 5w30)   $59.90
01/10/2015   oil change @ 129,423   $0.00
03/13/2016   tire rotation @ 131,677   $0.00
08/23/2016   HVAC controls    $30.00
09/14/2016   Sumitomo HTR ZIII tires   $458.88
09/20/2016   RX8 wheels and center caps   $219.99
09/20/2016   Sumitomo HTR ZIII's mounted/balanced   $60.00
09/20/2016   Summer tires installed @ 132,595   $0.00
09/29/2016   Taillight   $46.65
10/3/2016    Trunk carpet   $65.00
10/04/2016   Bosch oil filter, ATF   $19.24
10/04/2016   oil change @ 133,754   $0.00
11/18/2016   Snow tires installed @ 135,367   $0.00
12/31/2016   ATF   $5.34

Just about exactly $2,000 -- and half of that was tires that will be good for several years.  How much were your car payments plus maintenance?

That said, I'm not sure I would sell the Frontier.  The Pilot, on the other hand...
« Last Edit: January 16, 2017, 09:25:29 PM by JLee »

babybug

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2017, 09:30:28 PM »
First off, I'm stunned & confused . . . is this MMM or Yahoo Spendypants Fake Finance?   How can anyone even mention bankruptcy when OP is splurging on cable, lawn care, housecleaning, hair/nails??? 

 Whatever happened to "financial freedom via badassity" of cutting spending, getting rid of car loans, side hustles and the like? 

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk


ltt

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2017, 09:34:09 PM »
I don't think you should sell the Frontier because it will be paid off.  Do you have a lot of debt, yes, but you can't get rid of everything--I don't think that's realistic.  Some things have to be done in baby steps and not one big, fell swoop.  So, start with the Honda.  Find a good, used Toyota Corolla or something comparable.  Just start with selling one vehicle, not both.  Even the used Hondas are still quite pricey.  You could probably get a 2 to 3 year old Corolla still with fairly low mileage for 1/2 the price of that Honda and put the other 1/2 of the money towards the credit card/loan debt.  They are a lighter vehicle, not necessarily great in the snow in the winter, but you can get around 250,000 miles.  I don't know if you live in a warmer or colder climate.  Or you could get a Toyota Rav4 which is more of a small SUV.  You would probably have to buy a little older.

   

JLee

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2017, 09:39:00 PM »
I don't think you should sell the Frontier because it will be paid off.  Do you have a lot of debt, yes, but you can't get rid of everything--I don't think that's realistic.  Some things have to be done in baby steps and not one big, fell swoop.  So, start with the Honda.  Find a good, used Toyota Corolla or something comparable.  Just start with selling one vehicle, not both.  Even the used Hondas are still quite pricey.  You could probably get a 2 to 3 year old Corolla still with fairly low mileage for 1/2 the price of that Honda and put the other 1/2 of the money towards the credit card/loan debt.  They are a lighter vehicle, not necessarily great in the snow in the winter, but you can get around 250,000 miles.  I don't know if you live in a warmer or colder climate.  Or you could get a Toyota Rav4 which is more of a small SUV.  You would probably have to buy a little older.

 

A Corolla with snow tires will be awesome in snow.

khangaroo

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2017, 11:07:59 PM »
You need some motivation man!! Here's the Dave Ramsey video that got me pumped up for getting out of debt: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imBjHvIlou4&t=769s

Sounds like you've tried but just haven't been able to stay on the horse. Only when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired will you be able to get out of this mess.

One of my favorite quotes: "If you want something bad enough, you'll find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse" - Jim Rohn. You gotta want financial independence like your next breathe. Just think about how much wealth you can build with your $160k+ HHI!! That's a ridiculous amount of money that is being squandered. Everybody can give you all the tips, plans, budget apps, and wisdom but if you don't change your attitude about your debt, you're in for a financially stressful life (as you have figured out).

Here are your loans from smallest to largest. You can knock out 10+ of those things in a year if you get on a budget and limit your spending. If you buckle down and get serious, I bet you can be debt free in 3-4 years - you just gotta have a strong WHY. Do it for your kids. Do it for your future self. For your wife. Being able to pay for 100% of your kids college. Paying cash for your dream car. Early retirement. It's a marathon but it's so, so worth it.

Get the debt snowball rolling on this thing!!

Name   Amount
Loan #3   $882
CC #9   $1,000
Auto #2   $1,172
CC #7   $2,032
CC #2   $2,279
Stu.L #3   $2,508
CC #1   $2,588
Stu.L #2   $4,066
Loan #2   $4,278
CC #5   $4,376
Loan #1   $4,676
CC #3   $7,997
CC #4   $8,447
CC #8   $16,662
IRS          $17,290
CC #6   $17,711
Auto #1   $25,868
401K    $27,743
Loan #4   $31,148
Stu.L #1   $49,036
Total:   $231,758

"Live like no one else so that later you can live and give like no one else" - Dave Ramsey
My Story of How I Paid off $81k of Debt in 1 Year and got completely debt-free! http://khang-nguyen.com/?p=624

marty998

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2017, 11:57:49 PM »
First off, I'm stunned & confused . . . is this MMM or Yahoo Spendypants Fake Finance?   How can anyone even mention bankruptcy when OP is splurging on cable, lawn care, housecleaning, hair/nails??? 

 Whatever happened to "financial freedom via badassity" of cutting spending, getting rid of car loans, side hustles and the like? 

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

I agree. Bankruptcy for consumer debt basically teaches the lesson "it's ok to fuck up financially and just walk away leaving everyone else to clean up the mess".

Pay your debts and learn lessons that will stop you from doing it again.

galliver

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #44 on: January 17, 2017, 12:12:45 AM »
I've been playing with your numbers over here because I'm a massive nerd.

I think you're a perfect candidate for the Dave Ramsey snowball method (balances smallest to largest instead of highest to lowest interest), because it will only extend your repayment by 1 month, and it will be much more motivating. Here's my spreadsheet...balances on the left, payments on the right. I know it's messy. I'm sorry. https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/4115375/MMM_CS_231k.xlsx (No intentional viruses I promise.)

->It will take you only 1 extra month (51 vs 50 months) to pay off your balances smallest-->largest instead of by interest rate. It will cost you $5k extra (out of ~260k total) to pay your balances this way. This is 2%.
-> HOWEVER, you will pay off a balance and free up money EVERY 2-3 months for most of your journey with the DR method.  In the first 3 months, you'll free up $800 from minimum payments! After 6 payments, you'll have 928 free...and so on, 100-200 every couple months! Given what you've said about trouble with motivation, this seems like it would be worth the 2% total hit for you...
-> This will ONLY work if you carry out your budget as listed and keep putting the SAME TOTAL $$ toward debt the entire time. If those first $800 crawl back into your household budget instead of staying in debt repayment, you'll extend the timeline by almost a year and pay $13k more interest (on top of the $5k extra from using the DR plan vs IR plan)! Furthermore, that third payoff that should happen in 6 months will take you almost 2 years to reach, increasing the chances you'll get discouraged!
->If you carry this out, in 5 years you'll be debt free and used to living on HALF your income (or less if you get raises). You'll be all set to save like a Mustachian!

-->So to reiterate: You'll hit lots of milestones and hopefully stay motivated if you STICK TO IT! :)

----

Now, as far as getting fast food/takeout: it's a fact that it's hard when you both work and I imagine it's SO much harder with kids! I think it helps to have a go-to list of budget-friendly, low-effort options. Ours are: frozen dumplings (ravioli, potstickers, pierogis, etc), pasta w/ sauce from a jar, and frozen pizza. When we're feeling health-conscious but lazy, we add a quick salad. I also like rice bowls...I'll make a batch of sushi rice (20 min) and while it's cooking either prep crabsticks/cucumbers/avocado or omelet/sauteed kale/mushrooms (It's more an "I don't want to think" meal than an "I don't want to cook" meal).  Anyway, I find having these mental shortcuts changes the conversation from "I'm lazy, takeout?" to "I'm lazy...is takeout REALLY worth it or is pizza (etc) ok?" For the record I'm by no means perfect...but I think that qualifies me *more* to speak to what works for imperfect people :)

Villanelle

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #45 on: January 17, 2017, 01:29:58 AM »
Your wife is opposed to selling your excessive McMansion?  (And yes, 2900 sqft is definitely excessive, even if you weren't drowning in debt.)

Sorry, but tough shit for her. You have both made choices that mean you can't afford that house.  Full stop.  Is she opposed to not flying to Europe 4 times a year and staying at the Ritz?  You don't get to be opposed to not doing things you can't afford.  I'd ask her to look at the budget and tell you where the money will come from if not the house.  If she can't do it (and she can't), then the house goes.  You say it's a median cost/size for your area.  That's a ridiculous rationalization.  If everyone else was heating their home by burning $100 bills, it would still be stupid for you to do it.  And downgrading to "only" burning $20s wouldn't make your actions less stupid, even though they looks slightly less asinine compared to your neighbors.

She needs to see this is an emergency.  In addition to asking what her alternative suggestions are (to selling house and cars), I'd also ask her if she'd like to be able to help pay for kids' college (if that's something that's important to her), or for their weddings, or for their school sports, more than she wants to stay in that house.  And would she like to spend time with grandkids when she's 65, or be too busy because she's working full time. Appeal to what's important to her.  If it's not these things I mentioned, figure out what is, and show her the budget so she understands she is choosing the fancy house over time with the grandkids, or with being able to have time to travel when you are older, or whatever it is she values. 

Also, depending on the timing and terms, you could be in for an even bigger mess when that ARM starts adjusting, making all this even worse.

In your shoes, I'd be considering really dramatic things, like a roommate or an exchange student (from a program that actually pays you to house a student). 

Look at Lending Club and see what your rates would be and if you could get loans to pay off some of your higher rate debts, while still being able to afford the monthly payments.  >30% is insane.  Also consider zero balance card transfers, but be careful with that is you need to keep careful track and make sure you meet the terms.  But it might be worth it for at least the highest interest debts.  Of course, you might not qualify for cards, but it's worth looking in to.

Read the linked post about getting your partner on board.  But if you can't do that, you are pretty much screwed, unfortunately. Not just because you can' make changes to tap some of your equity, but because that means it's very unlikely she will stop the behaviors that ended you up here.  It's very unclear how you ended up that far in debt, with the budget you posted, so I suspect there are a lot of things that have been left out.   

rpr

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #46 on: January 17, 2017, 02:14:50 AM »
Getting out is possible and doable. What you will likely need to do is to watch your spending closely. Do you really have the $700 extra as you listed in your modified budget? If so, doing the debt snowball may just possibly get you out of this crushing debt in under 5 years if you stay focussed.

Sapphire

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #47 on: January 17, 2017, 03:27:45 AM »


Quote

Liabilities:

Total Monthly
AmountRatePaymentComments
Loan #1$4,67635.90%$177
Loan #2$4,27827.98%$194
CC #9$1,00026.24%$41
CC #1$2,58825.99%$28
CC #2$2,27924.99%$72
CC #3$7,99724.49%$198
Loan #3$88220.00%$284
CC #4$8,44715.49%$231
CC #5$4,37614.90%$109
Loan #4$31,14810.75%$720
Student loan #1$49,0366.88%$368
Auto loan #1$25,8684.09%$515Honda Pilot
Auto loan #2$1,1723.84%$525Nissan Frontier
Student loan #2$4,0663.63%$86
401K loan$27,7433.25%$565
Student loan #3$2,5082.75%$108
CC #6$17,7112.00%$3395-year pmt plan
CC #7$2,0320.00%$78
CC #8$16,6620.00%$3095-year pmt plan
IRS $17,290 $240Requesting 72 month pmt plan
Total:$231,758 $5,187

I would print this out and post it on the refrigerator and / or bathroom mirror.  (I think that's a Ramsey thing).  It's good to cross out as you pay things off to show your progress and should also make you think twice before spending on anything that isn't absolutely necessary.

This ^^^ is a good idea.  It doesn't sound like your wife appreciates the full extent of your situation.  Maybe print out the debts, smallest to largest (as someone has already done), with a bit of commentary about how the less obvious debts were incurred (eg, holiday, Xmas presents etc).  Then with the big total at the end.

Print it out in very large font so it is a bit "in your face". 

Sometimes we can fool ourselves into thinking a situation is not as bad as we thought if we can "skip over the figures" and not see a total.


horsepoor

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #48 on: January 17, 2017, 03:37:01 AM »
First off, I'm stunned & confused . . . is this MMM or Yahoo Spendypants Fake Finance?   How can anyone even mention bankruptcy when OP is splurging on cable, lawn care, housecleaning, hair/nails??? 

 Whatever happened to "financial freedom via badassity" of cutting spending, getting rid of car loans, side hustles and the like? 

Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk

That's because we assume that the OP would prefer to stay married, and his wife needs some time to come along.  Stopping the bleeding is the first step.

OP, I would seriously consider selling the house if you can, and moving way closer to work, even if that means an apartment.  That opens up more opportunities for sharing a car, a lease like I mentioned, less gas and less utilities, even if rent = your  current mortgage.  Plus a commute like that is about the worst thing you can do for your mental and physical health, and takes away from time with your kids.  You have a lot of work to do to dig out of this, save college funds if you plan to do that, build some equity in a smaller property (Yay, you live somewhere that a small house would be fairly lowpriced!) And save fore retirement.

I still say sell the truck.  Even if it's reliable, gas and maintenance are more than on a small car.  If you're worried about reliability, look at getting a lower mileage economy car.  Your Titan already has 100k on it, so if and when it breaks, that will be more $$ to fix than a Yaris that incurs a similar issue. 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #49 on: January 17, 2017, 03:45:27 AM »
If you can charge it at home and work, selling the truck and buying a used EV could net you a few grand and save you immense amounts of fuel. An extra $180 a month would really help you.