Author Topic: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!  (Read 47662 times)

Novik

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #200 on: February 27, 2017, 01:16:15 PM »
Then on Saturday we took the Pilot in for a routine oil change ($70 which is ridiculous enough since Honda recommends synthetic oil) and ended up dropping $900.  Turns out we needed tires and a new battery plus the front wheel bearings are damaged which will cost another $600.  I passed on the wheel bearings because frankly I didn't trust the shop.  I checked out our warranty and luckily it is covered under the powertrain so IF we truly need the bearings it should be covered by Honda.  That was a relief but I certainly wasn't planning on the tires/battery this month but life happens.

Hey, isn't it amazing how your spendypants car just cost you $900. Its funny how the argument everyone gives for brand new nice cars is that it will be worry free... Well spendypants car uses spendypants tires and spendypants oil and probably a spendypants battery...

Dash, I don't understand how this is an "oh well life happens" moment... New tires is absolutely a non-urgent thing unless you are completely oblivious to the world. Unless you have worn your tires down to no-tread racing slicks then you have at least a couple weeks to turn down the upsell from the jiffy-lube, inspect the tires yourself, determine if they are actually worn out, and research a good cheap tire and where to buy them at the least cost.

Also, if your car started when you drove it in for an oil change then how did it need a new battery? You need a new battery when you get up and turn your car on and the battery wont start the car. Then because you are a 2 car household you can jump start the car and drive it for a battery replacement that day for a minor 2 hour inconvenience.

I believe you fell for the jiffy-lube upsell tactic here that they make all their money on. They are able to do this because most people view car repairs as absolutely essential based on the recommendation of the "expert mechanic" who understands the "incredibly complicated process" of checking the tread on the tires or the wear and tear on your serpentine belts or whatever other crap they try to sell you...

Grow that mustache and question every expense... even the "absolutely essential" ones!

Just wanted to emphasize everything CmFtns said.

If you'r worried, to you don't have to be a mechanical expert; you can get a second opinion. That would be, in my eyes, the bare minimum due diligence before dropping nearly a grand into a car. Quick car service places are always happy to tell you to spend money - but if you take it somewhere else and they don't come up with the same list of things, I'd feel pretty safe the car is fine (and it might be fine even if they list the same things too).

Again, please use these facepunches as motivation to find a garage you can trust, and/or to learn just enough about cars (youtube!) to tell the difference between an emergency and not.
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CmFtns

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #201 on: February 27, 2017, 01:52:09 PM »
Then on Saturday we took the Pilot in for a routine oil change ($70 which is ridiculous enough since Honda recommends synthetic oil) and ended up dropping $900.  Turns out we needed tires and a new battery plus the front wheel bearings are damaged which will cost another $600.  I passed on the wheel bearings because frankly I didn't trust the shop.  I checked out our warranty and luckily it is covered under the powertrain so IF we truly need the bearings it should be covered by Honda.  That was a relief but I certainly wasn't planning on the tires/battery this month but life happens.

Hey, isn't it amazing how your spendypants car just cost you $900. Its funny how the argument everyone gives for brand new nice cars is that it will be worry free... Well spendypants car uses spendypants tires and spendypants oil and probably a spendypants battery...
...
I believe you fell for the jiffy-lube upsell tactic here that they make all their money on ...

Might seem a bit harsh, but I'm with CmFtns on this one...
A quick browsing of tires available from tirerack shows you could buy 4 name-brand new tires for <$600 delivered and a battery at CostCo for $80. Add mounting and balancing fees and you're still $150 less than what you spent. Mobile1 Synthetic and a filter run $30 Walmart, and changing your own oil takes 15 minutes. And that's all assuming you needed to get all those things this week, but chances are you didn't.

We've grown up in a society that normalizes and even glorifies spending money.  Step one is to question every purchase, asking "is this truly necessary and/or will this make me happier?" It's a hard notion to dispel, but it's the first step in wealth-building.

Nereo, I also looked at tires and battery prices and found similar prices and DASH, I don't mean to be harsh at all btw... it's just about getting the point across about changing the mindset of money and questioning every single expense.
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PJ

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #202 on: February 27, 2017, 02:04:47 PM »
Again, please use these facepunches as motivation to find a garage you can trust, and/or to learn just enough about cars (youtube!) to tell the difference between an emergency and not.

Hey, isn't it amazing how your spendypants car just cost you $900. Its funny how the argument everyone gives for brand new nice cars is that it will be worry free... Well spendypants car uses spendypants tires and spendypants oil and probably a spendypants battery...
...
I believe you fell for the jiffy-lube upsell tactic here that they make all their money on ...

We've grown up in a society that normalizes and even glorifies spending money.  Step one is to question every purchase, asking "is this truly necessary and/or will this make me happier?" It's a hard notion to dispel, but it's the first step in wealth-building.

Nereo, I also looked at tires and battery prices and found similar prices and DASH, I don't mean to be harsh at all btw... it's just about getting the point across about changing the mindset of money and questioning every single expense.

And to add, to apply the lesson learned to the next problem that faces you, whether that's running out of an ingredient for a recipe you want to make (can you substitute something you have in the house rather than running to the store, or make a similar recipe for which you have all the ingredients) or a piece of clothing that wears out (can you do without for a while until you find a replacement at the thrift store or on sale) or a home repair that's needed (can you fix it yourself, or trade service with a friend who can), etc.

Honestly, I'm surprised, both about the TV thing and the car thing. 

But then, you did say that you have pretty good self-awareness but trouble taking steps.  Seems like you maybe need more self-awareness to figure out why you have such trouble with taking steps/making difference choices. 

Are you missing a keystone habit?  (I just posted about these somewhere else - some reading:  http://jamesclear.com/keystone-habits  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/charles-duhigg/the-power-of-habit_b_1304550.html )

Are you an abstainer rather than a moderator, in which case you might need a total, hard and fast rules "No Spending Month" to break your tendency to throw money at a problem:  https://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2011/04/quiz-are-you-a-moderator-or-an-abstainer-when-trying-to-give-something-up/

What do you know about yourself in terms of personality traits, that affect your consumer behaviour - in terms of materialism, compulsiveness, hedonistic adaptation, etc:  http://www.beyondthepurchase.org/blog/01/what-do-personality-traits-tell-us-about-consumer-behavior/

I say this as someone who is figuring things out right alongside of you, not as someone who's judging you.  For example, I had the recent realization that when I'm stressed about my financial situation, I want to DO something about it.  I start searching for sales, and "stock up" my groceries - many months worth! - so that I get a good price.  Only thing is, in the long run, I'd be better off not to stock up so far ahead (on things that regularly go on sale every couple of months) and use that money NOW to pay down my debt.  Much as I want to DO something to pay off my debt, what's actually going to get me there faster is DOING LESS spending.  Refraining.  This is a huge realization for me.  I had to unsubscribe to any chain store emails I was signed up for, I've actually minimized my coupon clipping (because sale prices + coupon is almost too much for me to resist) etc.  I had to understand, acknowledge, and learn to work around the fact that I succumb to sales.  That's (one of) my thing(s) to work on. 

So what's yours?  What's the common thread in your reasoning about these two situations that cropped up, the TV, and the tires?
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englishteacheralex

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #203 on: February 27, 2017, 04:19:56 PM »
Oh man the car repairs thing...I used to just whip out my checkbook whenever I went to Goodyear to buy every darn thing they told me I needed. Every time. A $40 oil change would ALWAYS turn into $500+ on brakes, tires, the flux capacitor...then I got married and my husband scoffed at all that. He never lets me get the oil changed because I always want to sign on the bottom line for everything. We drive old 100k+ mile vehicles that we buy for less than $4k, so I always felt I ought to pay through the nose for maintenance.

Husband youtubes everything and does all minor repairs himself. Also got a mechanic we trust. We now pay much, much less for maintenance and the cars keep running just fine. Jiffylube, Goodyear etc. really are a racket.
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Poundwise

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #204 on: February 27, 2017, 05:56:44 PM »
Here's another vote for returning the TV you just bought.  Put $300 from the return directly towards your debt.  Then taking a couple of weeks to shop Craigslist for a <$100 replacement.  I know that with kids, it's hard to downsize.  But it is possible to delay. 

We got rid of our TV ten years ago. Periodically my husband talks about getting a television, but in the end we've decided to wait till my mother finishes downsizing and gives us one of her four televisions.  Free TVs are easy to find.

Laura33

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #205 on: February 27, 2017, 08:52:31 PM »
First, I also suspect you got hosed on the car stuff.  One thought: could you have fallen for the tyranny of the "busy"?  You have jobs with long commutes, and small kids, and you're trying to tackle all your debt and learn new habits and all that stuff.  And then something went wrong, and you thought, well, crap, NOW I have to spend time getting a second opinion on the cars and pricing tires and batteries and seeing if I can YouTube stuff to do myself and researching TV prices and alternatives on Craigslist and then I won't get to enjoy any downtime or spend time with my kids -- so screw it, I'll just take care of this all RIGHT NOW because I don't have the headspace to add all that in with everything I'm already doing.

I don't know if this is you, but like PJ said, you need to consider the "why" of this all so you can be armed against it.  Maybe this was an extinction burst; maybe the stress of changing your ways built up until your old ways found a more socially-sanctioned way to burst through ("safety" and "it's a deal" being the excuses du jour).  But it could also be because you just feel overwhelmed by the mental effort involved in adding two more decisions to optimize when your life is already overly full.

Note that I tend toward the overwhelmed-by-choices issue myself, and it's just so *easy* to make problems disappear quickly with the application of a large sum of cash.  If this sounds familiar, then may I suggest adding a fair bit of "buck up, buttercup" to your self-talk -- you can do this, you can and will find the time to make the decisions that matter to your family's future, so don't let your lizard brain convince you that you can't.
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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #206 on: February 28, 2017, 06:38:57 AM »
+1 to "buck up, buttercup" self-talk. 

Next time you are about to do something that you know will bring facepunches, stop.  Then don't do it.  Then figure out what everyone here would tell you to do instead.  Then do that.  I really think you are getting the whole philosophy, and why it is good.  You just need to do the steps.

I mean, your hair is on fire and you went to buy a brand new TV at retail price!  Take it back! 


Poundwise

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #207 on: February 28, 2017, 07:10:10 AM »
Hey, forgive me if I missed the post, but have you put your truck up for sale yet? What movement have you made there?

Zoot

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #208 on: March 01, 2017, 09:07:02 AM »
I mean, your hair is on fire and you went to buy a brand new TV at retail price!  Take it back!

And then go to Goodwill, where you can buy a CRT TV for < $10.  You can't even give those things away these days, and my local Goodwill has dozens to choose from--I'm assuming yours will have something similar.

Then use the fact that you're watching a CRT TV to spur yourselves on to pay off debt.  Put $40/month in a "TV savings" account and buy one for yourself at an after-Christmas sale, in cash.

It's all about playing games with yourself.  :)

ChasingStache

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #209 on: March 01, 2017, 11:46:20 AM »
dashh,
Congratulations on taking the first steps and sharing your story. You aren't the only one out there in this situation, and you aren't even the worst out there.  Reading your story has me thinking a lot about close friends of ours. Here is their situation they have put themselves in in the last 2-3 years alone.
  • New House - 3 people full time, 1 part-time (shared custody) - $550,000
  • New furniture for house - $10,000
  • New truck lease - $500/mo - $65,000 truck
  • New car lease for 17 yo - $250/mo - $28,000 vehicle
  • New 5th-wheel camper - $85,000
  • Engagement Ring - $25,000
  • Destination Wedding - $15,000 (refinanced paid-off car to pay for)
  • Travel for 6 to wedding - $7200
  • Honeymoon - $3000
  • Credit Card Debt - $20,000

Everything above is financed in some way.

Upcoming expenses:
  • "Graduation Trip" for 18yo to Mexico - $5,000
  • College Tuition (out of state) for new grad - $64,000/YEAR!!

This is just what I know of. They are great people but just buried and they don't even realize it yet. They probably make around  $150k/year. This also is a solvable problem similar to yours, but the first step is realizing it, the second is to take action.

I hope when they are ready, I can use your story to help inspire them and show it can be done.

Good luck and remember, you have the chance to show others it CAN be done! Don't just be a leader for your family, you can make a bigger mark!

Cheering from CO!

ChasingStash

**Edited for grammar and spelling. DOH!
« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 11:47:57 AM by ChasingStash »

meandmyfamily

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #210 on: March 01, 2017, 11:58:33 AM »
When we were struggling to quit justifying our spending it really helped to have a no spend weekend-literally we never spent a dime or left the house unless it was on a bike or foot the entire weekend.  Then we would have the occasional no spend week and we only allowed gas for driving to work.  We drew a line in the sand and said we will NOT spend for this time period.  It helped us realize a TON of things.  Things we thought were "emergencies" were not.  It helped figure out priorities and made us stop and think about what really mattered.

dashh

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #211 on: March 02, 2017, 02:19:14 PM »
Hello all,

I took some time to process and take all the posts in and first just want to thank everyone for the face punches.  I think my old mindset truly set in with the TV and car repairs and I did not really realize it until I wrote my update post.  Also, I believe Laura33 nailed a big part of what happened with the “tyranny of the busy.”  Anyway, I wanted to give more details on the TV and car repairs to help me process my behavior and to be better prepared in the future so I can avoid bad financial choices (and face punches)!

TV:  So the TV was a 50” Samsung Plasma that we bought around 5 years ago.  A year or so ago it stopped working and would just click on and off.  I did some research back then and it turns out that model had issues with capacitors going out which would cause the clicking.  So I found a local TV repair guy and he fixed it.  I tried to find the receipt but could not, but I believe it was a couple hundred bucks.  So in my mind I figured a new one would not be that much more than the repair and we decided to buy a new one.  Of course I was assuming it was the same issue.  I also was thinking we will need to get a repair guy out which means one of us would need to be at home (probably during the week), etc.  So the easy/convenient answer was just buy a new one – a choice/behavior that pretty much got us into the mess we are in.  Also, we just found out that my wife is getting a bonus this year and her rationale was that we could use some of it for the TV.  However, if we did not buy a new TV we could use that $400 of the bonus to go toward debt.  After I typed up my first post I thought to myself that we should have just moved the 42” TV we bought for the bonus/playroom last year (on credit d’oh) into the living room and bought a cheap replacement (or even an old CRT in the attic) for the bonus/playroom.  I am considering returning the TV and doing just that once I discuss with the DW.

Car repairs:  On the Pilot, I knew we were getting close to needing tires and I thought the road noise issues were just related to them.  Then they spring the bad wheel bearings deal on me and that got my head spinning (especially the cost quoted).  Of course, they played the “safety” issue with me and I bought right into it thinking about my wife and little one riding in it for a long commute every day.  So I caved and just wanted it to be done (bad move) instead of just waiting on the battery and waiting on the tires so I could research pricing.  I was going to do the wheel bearings but called back and canceled that (thank God since they will be covered under the warranty).  The last time I got tires for my truck I priced things out on Tirerack.com, etc. and made sure I got a decent deal, so I have not been so oblivious on car repairs in the past.  I was able to get the oil change for free and no labor charge on the battery so that helped some.  So my take home on this is slow down, don’t cave to the shop BS and do your research before making a decision.  I am also going to find a local garage I can trust moving forward.

Truck:  I am still planning to sell the truck (I know just get it listed!)  I did need to make a minor “repair” which I figured out with an easy Google search.  The airbag light has been blinking for 2 years and I finally figured out how to reset it.  When it first happened I was going to take it to the dealership since my usual shop said they could not fix it.  Procrastination set in (one of my BIG issues I might add) and two years later I finally fixed it myself.  So now it is ready to go and I just need to get it listed and find my new to me used car (most likely a 2006 Honda Civic).

I’ve thought a lot about our mindset this week and we have truly been living like we can afford all of this shit.  Or I should say we have been living like we SHOULD be able to afford all this shit, so we just pay for it when we feel we need or want it.  The reality is that we cannot afford it when we are $230k in debt no matter how much money we currently make.  I know that is very obvious to ya’ll, but until recently it just hasn’t been to us.  I have always hated the debt but over the years (and even now) still continued to make choices financially that just perpetuate our situation.  So my challenge is helping my DW see like I see and also to translate that into new behaviors/habits.   

Thanks again for the support – it really helps.         

PJ

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #212 on: March 02, 2017, 02:29:46 PM »
I'm glad you shared your reflections, dash.

Not because you "owe" us any explanations (except by some social capital calculation in which those of us who have spent time and energy offering suggestions feel repaid by observing you move toward living in a fashion we deem acceptable) but because I suspect that writing out those reflections helped to solidify them in your mind.

Also, I had noticed you didn't post again for a bit, and was worried that you'd chickened out after this round of face punches.  So I'm glad to see you back!

On the truck and getting wife on board fronts - two birds with one stone.  Lead by example.  The fix is done, what do you need to get the truck sold?  Take pictures.  Write out a description.  Open up accounts with CL, kijiji, or wherever you're going to try to sell it.  Anything else?  Ready, set, go!
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dashh

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #213 on: March 02, 2017, 02:30:25 PM »
dashh,
Congratulations on taking the first steps and sharing your story. You aren't the only one out there in this situation, and you aren't even the worst out there.  Reading your story has me thinking a lot about close friends of ours. Here is their situation they have put themselves in in the last 2-3 years alone.
  • New House - 3 people full time, 1 part-time (shared custody) - $550,000
  • New furniture for house - $10,000
  • New truck lease - $500/mo - $65,000 truck
  • New car lease for 17 yo - $250/mo - $28,000 vehicle
  • New 5th-wheel camper - $85,000
  • Engagement Ring - $25,000
  • Destination Wedding - $15,000 (refinanced paid-off car to pay for)
  • Travel for 6 to wedding - $7200
  • Honeymoon - $3000
  • Credit Card Debt - $20,000

Everything above is financed in some way.

Upcoming expenses:
  • "Graduation Trip" for 18yo to Mexico - $5,000
  • College Tuition (out of state) for new grad - $64,000/YEAR!!

This is just what I know of. They are great people but just buried and they don't even realize it yet. They probably make around  $150k/year. This also is a solvable problem similar to yours, but the first step is realizing it, the second is to take action.

I hope when they are ready, I can use your story to help inspire them and show it can be done.

Good luck and remember, you have the chance to show others it CAN be done! Don't just be a leader for your family, you can make a bigger mark!

Cheering from CO!

ChasingStash

**Edited for grammar and spelling. DOH!

Thank you for posting this! 

I didn't really think about how we can show others it can be done, but that is very motivating!

Vindicated

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #214 on: March 02, 2017, 02:31:24 PM »
When I first started really analyzing my spending, I realized I was wasting so much.  I cut back, but continued smaller amounts of wasting.  This made me cognizant of the waste each time it happened, and it is becoming more and more uncomfortable daily.

At the same time, it is increasing my happiness to see how much I cut my spending in February.  It really gives me hope that I'll get out of my debt if I keep at it.  I now know for a fact I can keep my spending <$3k a month, where I was spending $4k+ on average before.  Now I'm challenging myself to keep it under $3k, and it's super motivating.

Not sure if this helps at all, but I hope it does.
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homestead neohio

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #215 on: March 02, 2017, 02:35:49 PM »
Hello all,
I took some time to process and take all the posts in and first just want to thank everyone for the face punches. ...
Thanks again for the support – it really helps.       

Way to take those face punches on the chin and get right back on board!  This is a process, you are taking the corrections with the right attitude!  Keep it up!

CmFtns

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #216 on: March 02, 2017, 08:54:32 PM »
I know that is very obvious to ya’ll, but until recently it just hasn’t been to us.  I have always hated the debt but over the years (and even now) still continued to make choices financially that just perpetuate our situation.  So my challenge is helping my DW see like I see and also to translate that into new behaviors/habits.   

Thanks again for the support – it really helps.       

you are right that it seems obvious but many of us have been doing this for a long time and even before MMM I know at least I was naturally very frugal. I like following a story like yours because watching the advice of people on this forum foster a turnaround story is such a great motivation for all of us to keep at it. It's incredibly frustrating to have this mindset, knowledge, skills and goals which cannot be shared with anybody because at least in my experience the whole real world rejects it. I use this forum as really the only place to talk about this kind of stuff and to see someone new come in and actually accept advice and turn their life around is so cool.

keep it up!
"the only efficient way to get there is on the front of the wave" -MMM

Villanelle

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #217 on: March 02, 2017, 09:41:01 PM »
Don't "consider" returning the TV.  Do it!  You have 2 perfectly functioning TVs in your house already, one of which is less than a year old.  (Yes I know you need to talk to the wife and make this a joint decision, but it sounded from your post like you are fully set on that plan yourself.)

Also, you seem like someone who would benefit greatly from a cash-only system, since impulse buys tend to be a problem.  If' you'd had to go pull out cash from an ATM for that TV, would you have been less likely to purchase it? Or better yet, if you'd had to go home and take money from various envelopes marked "groceries" "Debt repayment" "kids' activities", because literally every penny you have to spend for the month is allocated already--and not just in a spreadsheet, but the actual dollar bills-- would you have taken $150 from groceries knowing that meant ramen and beans and rice for 2 weeks, or from "debt repayment", knowing that it would push out your goals even further?  (If you do this, I recommend calculating a full debt repayment schedule and putting it on the envelope each week so that you know taking $100 out means you won't meet that deadline.  Or better still, paying down the debt first so there isn't any lingering money to steal from.)
« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 10:09:38 PM by Villanelle »

PJ

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #218 on: March 02, 2017, 09:58:56 PM »
Don't "consider" returning the TV.  Do it!  You have 2 perfectly functioning TVs in your house already, one of which is less than a year old.  (Yes I know you need to talk to the wife and make this a joint decision, but it sounded from your post like you are fully set on that plan yourself.)

Also, you seem like someone who would benefit greatly from a cash-only system, since impulse buys tend to be a problem.  If' you'd had to go pull out cash from an ATM for that TV, would you have been less likely to purchase it? Or better yet, if you'd had to go home and take money from various envelopes marked "groceries" "Debt repayment" "kids' activities", because literally every penny you have to spend for the month is allocated already--and not just in a spreadsheet, but the actual dollar bills-- would you have taken $150 from groceries knowing that mean ramen and beans and rice for 2 weeks, or from "debt repayment", know that it would push out your goals even further?  (Is you do this, I recommend calculating a full debt repayment schedule and putting it on the envelope each week so that you know taking $100 out means you won't meet that deadline.  Or better still, paying down the debt first so there isn't any lingering money to steal from.) 


Oh, that's another good suggestion! 

dashh, have you ever seen any episodes of Til Debt Do Us Part?  It's a Canadian show, off the air now, but you can check on episodes and clips on youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=til+debt+do+us+part+full+episodes 

The host has families live with a cash budget, kept in jars rather than the envelopes Villanelle has described, but same idea.  Also, as you watch the full financial picture revealed for those couples, it may help to sink in where your own finances are.
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
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elaine amj

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Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #219 on: March 02, 2017, 10:32:54 PM »
Dashh: u use YNAB right? I remember u mentioning that before. It is based on an envelope system. Have u gotten to the point where u let your budget guide your spending? Its a tough step (one I have been fighting) - but if u are able to do it, it will help u so much with impulse decisions like these.

I struggle with this a lot and am super proud that this past week, DH was pushing to go out to eat but we only had $4+ left in our dining out category and I somehow found the strength to keep repeating "no". I was so close to saying yes and just moving the money from another category. But then realized that the discipline is good for us. Especially since my DH is off sick and his income stopped at the end of January. Its a very small thing to be proud of - but baby steps. I figure if we can get in the habit of letting our prior decisions govern our spending, we are less likely to spend impulsively.


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ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #220 on: March 03, 2017, 06:59:21 AM »
Listing a car on Cars.com (I have done better there than on Craigslist) takes like 20 minutes if not less. Get it done.

cats

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #221 on: March 03, 2017, 09:22:50 AM »
One more thought on the TV: you mention that you want to improve your health, then also mention that you have a tendency to drink soda and snack while watching TV in the evenings.  It sounds like the TV is contributing to your poor health!  How about returning the TV, and then replacing TV time with things like reading to your kids or playing games with them (if it is "down time" for them also), chatting with your wife about how her day went (if she sees a more attentive/caring husband as an outcome of no TV, she might be more inclined to stay on board with the decision), going for a walk around the block, doing some work around the house that you might have previously outsourced (can't remember if you had a cleaner in your initial costs, but if you've cut that, spending 15-20 minutes vacuuming and picking up each night will go a long way), or packing your lunch for work the next day (or your wife's lunch or your kids lunch)?  Or even just use the time you would usually spend on TV to go to bed a little earlier--with your long commute I imagine you must be chronically short on sleep. I know when I am sleep-deprived I am much more inclined to make all sorts of bad/silly/stupid decisions.

I notice that when my husband and I turn on TV in the evenings, we have a tendency to go to bed later and later and get more and more tired as the week goes on.  And I'd say snacking and TV often go together for us too :)  This week we actually resolved "no TV on weeknights". It's now Friday and I'm feeling pretty energetic, I knocked out a few little tasks during the evenings that I'd been procrastinating on, our kitchen is way tidier than it usually is by Friday because either my husband or I have been doing dishes and such each evening rather than letting them pile up, etc.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #222 on: March 03, 2017, 09:54:02 AM »
^ Well that was very motivating/inspiring for me! No tv on weeknights, what a great idea! Not too late to start on that for lent, I think.
I journal at https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/the-aloha-journal/msg1267277/#msg1267277

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PJ

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #223 on: March 03, 2017, 12:10:06 PM »
^ Well that was very motivating/inspiring for me! No tv on weeknights, what a great idea! Not too late to start on that for lent, I think.

(Psst... come and join us in the Lent 2017 thread in the Throw Down the Gauntlet section of the forum!)
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
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mustachepungoeshere

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #224 on: March 05, 2017, 06:58:14 PM »
I have not made much progress on the health front yet (soda/junk food) but I have started to notice my habits/patterns.  In terms of soda, I definitely see a pattern of only wanting it when I eat certain foods.  In other words, when I eat something healthier I would prefer to have water or tea.  But if I am going to have pizza, burgers, etc. (bascially fast food) I have to have a soda.  The other time I always have one is in the evenings when I snack while watching tv (junk food and a soda).  This habit has been around a long time and is really bad for my health in general, but especially since I have had issues with acid reflux.  For acid reflux, the worst thing I can do is eat anything before bed but especially not junk food and soda. 

Watch or read as many of these as possible and learn more about how (and why) to break the sugar cycle.

That Sugar Film
Jamie Oliver's Sugar Rush
Fed Up
Sweet Poison
The Great Aussie Bloke Slim-Down


PDXTabs

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #225 on: March 06, 2017, 10:47:24 AM »
We are located around the Raleigh area of NC.

I'm new to MMM but not new to these problems. When I was 24 I woke up to a very similar situation which eventually lead to a divorce and a foreclosure. However, now I am 34 with 1x my salary saved in my 401k and my student loans paid off. By MMM standards I'm in poor shape but I've lived through a lot of what you are talking about, came out better for it, and am still making improvements. The hardest part for me is psychological. You really need to convince yourself that this is not how humans were meant to live. This is not how middle class people in other countries live, and it is not how Americans lived 80 years ago.

Please go check out Your Money or Your Life from the library and read it. You are trading your life to service debt for consumer goods. The sooner you stop the better. Also, even by spendthrift American (not MMM) standards you are way behind in saving for retirement https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/how-much-money-do-i-need-to-retire.

If I were you I would find a 2 bedroom apartment close to your wife's work for $1000/mo or less and try to figure out how to get by with one car. The happiest I ever was with my (now ex) wife was when we were crammed into a two bedroom apartment with three kids and got by with a $1200 car. We didn't have a lot of space but we also didn't have any stress about money. I rode my bike any time that she needed the car and my health greatly improved. Unfortunately for reasons that weren't strictly financial our marriage eventually failed.

If you insist on staying in a house you could learn how to change your own oil and batteries. Mobil1 is $25 for 5qt at Walmart and the oil filter for my car is $4 on Amazon.

EDIT - Also, I've never paid for a TV in my life. I can't imagine paying for a new one when you had a spare!
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 10:52:00 AM by PDXTabs »

Larsg

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #226 on: March 06, 2017, 10:17:22 PM »
First of all, congratulations on having the courage to make a start and stare down your challenging situation! Baselining where you are is a very first step. I won't go through all the line items as I see lost of good advice already posted. The most important thing is to NOT be discouraged. Many of us have been through similar experience so look at it as an incredible learning opportunity on the path to a richer, freer life. I'm going to pick perhaps some of the most simple things to do that I did when I got into debt when I was young - and yes, I lived to see a far better side.

Let's start w/the debt first as finding a new job is stressful, time consuming and may not help if you don't get the debt under control.

- Cars - sell, buy in cash as you recommended something reliable but still nice that gets good gas mileage. Toyota, Honda, some others folks have mentioned.

- Credit Cards, first call them and just ask if they will lower your interest rates and then use every opportunity you get to do zero balance transfers. Start with the highest, then once paid off, work your way down.

- Kids, make sure you and your wife agree not to have any happy accidents. Now is not the time.

- Now to earnings and I encourage everyone who needs to earn more to do this - apply for jobs at the big software firms if even if you have no tech skills. If you have a functional background in Finance, HR, Legal, general business, these firms also have many many jobs that help them "Run the Business." As they grow, so too do those departments. Why in tech - because they pay more...a lot more. A lot more in that it's worth it to move to where they are - I would look in texas as Tech is growing (Dell, Intuit (Small but there), Texas Instruments, many others). The also offer stock/options and bonuses. If you you want ere, the new blue chip is the tech chip to make a start. If you get rejected, try try again and again and again. You will get a sing on bonus (there is 10K for your cc bill), you will get a relocation package in some instances, even lower management if you have a skill they need and finance is always a skill that is needed; you will get an annual bonus - there is another 5-10k for your cc's, and then if you rise, so too does your bonus. You will get stock and options, there is another 5-30K for your cc's and so on.

Don't let anyone tell you it can't be done. Although I am no longer in tech, semi retired, we hired all kinds and my BA was general bus and english and I had zero trouble getting into the tech industry.

Best of luck to you.

DanishMM

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #227 on: March 07, 2017, 12:15:48 AM »
Hi!
I have been lurking on this thread for a while because it's so inspiring! Way to go with the honesty and how you're tackling face punches!

I have been in a similar situation and what really turned everything around was getting my husband on board. I realized he needed to see the point. He loves his job and couldn't consider retiring 20 years ahead of time. What convinced him was seeing the opportunities FI could give us…We calculated that living 20 % mustachian would mean I could retire at the same time as him. (I am 10 years younger) 50 % musician would give us the freedom to go unemployed if we got sick of our jobs and needed time to find something interesting. 80 % would give us A LOT of money when retired to give us freedom to travel, do philanthropy, help familymembers (which could be a real thing) or whatever…These numbers are of course arbitrary but my point is that whenever we get bitten by consumerism, it really helps to see what the end goal is other than "pay off debt".


Have you talked to your wife and defined a goal? It could be: work less, work but with the freedom of being able to quit, save for college. Whatever it is I think its crucial. When you have a goal then suddenly "the eating out", the cars, the tv, everything becomes stealing from that goal….

Cheering for you!


SwedishMoustache

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #228 on: March 07, 2017, 02:17:06 AM »
Holy moly.

Well, you've taken really important first steps here. It's awesome. It's people like you, people deep in the muck who are willing to grab a rope and drag themselves out that are the real people to admire.

You can do it - seconding the advice given here. The real important step is to get your DW to see it as you do. Set goals. Weekly goals. Monthly goals. Annual goals. Achievable goals.

We're all rooting for you :).

Scortius

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #229 on: March 07, 2017, 08:39:12 PM »
I love this thread! 

I just want to chime in with a separate consideration.  One of the MMM tenets that I love is to revel in the absence of convenience.  More specifically, you should try and do things by yourself that you would normally pay other people to do.  Once you try new things, you can be amazed at how quickly you pick up new and incredibly valuable skills.

Why do I mention this?  Well, your TV just blew out and it's not something you're willing to pay to get repaired.  Are you planning on throwing the broken TV out?  DON'T!

Capacitors go out all the time (just Google around for 'busted capacitor'). They're incredibly easy to fix yourself, you simply need an extremely cheap replacement capacitor and a soldering iron.

Do you know what is fun?  Opening up a 50" Plasma TV!!!

If you were not going to get the TV repaired, then you have nothing to lose by opening it up.  And, there's just a small chance that you might teach yourself how to fix a large number of your electronic devices for pennies on the dollar.

Top hit on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Plasma-Capacitor-Repair-Replacement/dp/B0044J4U2W

Do your due diligence (don't buy electronic parts from China), read some different approaches, watch a youtube video or two: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=samsung+plasma+capacitor+replacement

Playing with massive electronics?  Saving tons of money?  Fixing your televison?  Sounds like a great way to spend a few hours to me!


Laura33

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #230 on: March 08, 2017, 06:01:45 AM »
I love this thread! 

I just want to chime in with a separate consideration.  One of the MMM tenets that I love is to revel in the absence of convenience.  More specifically, you should try and do things by yourself that you would normally pay other people to doOnce you try new things, you can be amazed at how quickly you pick up new and incredibly valuable skills.

Why do I mention this?  Well, your TV just blew out and it's not something you're willing to pay to get repaired.  Are you planning on throwing the broken TV out?  DON'T!

Capacitors go out all the time (just Google around for 'busted capacitor'). They're incredibly easy to fix yourself, you simply need an extremely cheap replacement capacitor and a soldering iron.

Do you know what is fun?  Opening up a 50" Plasma TV!!!

If you were not going to get the TV repaired, then you have nothing to lose by opening it up.  And, there's just a small chance that you might teach yourself how to fix a large number of your electronic devices for pennies on the dollar.

Top hit on amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Plasma-Capacitor-Repair-Replacement/dp/B0044J4U2W

Do your due diligence (don't buy electronic parts from China), read some different approaches, watch a youtube video or two: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=samsung+plasma+capacitor+replacement

Playing with massive electronics?  Saving tons of money?  Fixing your televison?  Sounds like a great way to spend a few hours to me!

I love this.  It really is all about the mental attitude.  I have had people be amazed that I bake bread and such -- "oh, I couldn't do that."  Umm, yeah, you could.  What's the worst that happens?  It doesn't rise and it sucks and you throw it out.  And?  I mean, I really, really don't get what people think is so hard about that that they won't even try -- it's just the intimidation factor. 

Then again, I have the *exact* same reaction with things like replacing bad switches and such, so I totally get where it's coming from.  Luckily for me, I have DH to do that stuff (E.E. = at least he won't burn the house down).  But the reality is that I am a capable, competent human being who could figure out how to do that.  And changing your mindset from "oh, I couldn't possibly" to "let's figure this out" opens a ton of doors that you didn't even realize were closed.
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

BlueHouse

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #231 on: March 08, 2017, 12:48:54 PM »
^ Well that was very motivating/inspiring for me! No tv on weeknights, what a great idea! Not too late to start on that for lent, I think.
I might jump on that too!  I hate the fact that I've let TV back into my life.
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

Walsh1122

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #232 on: March 08, 2017, 05:48:37 PM »
Posting to follow, Rooting for you Dash!

PJ

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #233 on: March 08, 2017, 11:25:07 PM »
I'm checking in too, dashh.  Haven't seen you post recently.  Hope you'll check back in with us.  Not only are we rooting for you, we really do understand how hard it can be to make all the changes necessary.  Stick it out for the long run, and we'll be with you all the way!
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
Dr. Cornel West

dashh

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #234 on: March 09, 2017, 01:32:12 PM »
Hello all,

Thanks for checking in everyone.  Again the support is very helpful and I finally feel like I have some accountability by sticking with the forum.  I feel like avoiding it at times but keep coming back so that is a good thing!

Here is an update on some things:

1)    TV:  We still have it but I know it would be best to return it.  My wife and I have not discussed it yet and I am sure I am avoiding it.  On a positive note we finally got switched over to Sling TV and it is great.  We were paying $260/mo for cable/phone/internet and now we will be down to $75/mo - Sling $30/mo and DSL $45/mo for 12 months (after which we can switch back to Spectrum at their new customer rate for another 12 months).  I can already feel myself not wanting to watch as much with the Sling because I don’t have hundreds of crappy channels to scroll through on the remote.  We also have not bought a Roku player for my old CRT TV in our bedroom (we got a free one with Sling for the living room TV).  I think less TV will be a good thing for us.   On nights that we don’t have a specific show we want to watch I want to start doing other things (working out, cleaning, reading, updating budget, etc.) instead of just sitting on the couch and watching whatever.

2)   Truck:  I make my last payment tomorrow on my Frontier.  I wrote up my CL ad today and will be taking pictures and posting this weekend.  My wife has an internal board at work she can post on as well.  Time to finally sell and pay down some high interest debt!

3)   Debt:  I am planning on paying off several of our debts in the next month or so.  My wife is getting a bonus of around $3,500 (net) this month which is great.  I should hopefully get around $8-9k from selling the truck and plan on using ~$4k of savings leaving us around $5k.  Also, one of our personal loans will be paid off this month as well.  So if all goes as planned we should be able to pay off around 8 debts which will save us ~1,400/mo which we can snowball.  I am very excited about this as I feel like we will finally be making some progress with the debt!

4)   House/Honda Pilot:  Nothing new here.  I would be willing to list the house tomorrow but I know I need to just focus on things that I can control and do myself for now.  I have to set the example and just be patient on this. 

5)   Job:  Still at the contractor finance job for now.  No major prospects and I am feeling kind of stuck and frustrated but at least I have a job.  More to come on this…

ysette9

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #235 on: March 09, 2017, 01:54:45 PM »
Those are great steps. Come back when the truck is listed for sale for another round of virtual high fives. :)
"It'll be great!"

dashh

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #236 on: March 09, 2017, 01:57:56 PM »
Those are great steps. Come back when the truck is listed for sale for another round of virtual high fives. :)

Thanks - I definitely will this weekend!

Vindicated

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #237 on: March 09, 2017, 01:59:34 PM »
Good steps you're taking!

I look forward to seeing the update on your debt totals after you sell the truck, get the bonus, and pay things off this month!
My MMM Journal: https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journals/my-almost-perfect-life-experience/

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dashh

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #238 on: March 09, 2017, 02:01:21 PM »
Good steps you're taking!

I look forward to seeing the update on your debt totals after you sell the truck, get the bonus, and pay things off this month!

Thanks - I will make sure to show details on what we pay off and new debt/budget totals. 

That will be motivating!

Novik

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #239 on: March 09, 2017, 02:05:36 PM »
Good steps you're taking!

I look forward to seeing the update on your debt totals after you sell the truck, get the bonus, and pay things off this month!

Seconding this - can't wait to see an updated list with new totals, and the ones you've paid off crossed out. 8/20 debts would be amazing progress, but please for all our mental health, pay off "Loan #1   $4,676   35.90%   $177".  The interest rate is abysmal, and if you include that I think you could still pay off ~6 loans (loan 1+3, CC 1,2,9 and frontier loan).
Help me stick to my 2017 goals: Procrastinating my way to FIRE
If you're a dual American/Canadian citizen living in Canada and investing in index funds outside an RRSP, please PM me!

dashh

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #240 on: March 09, 2017, 02:07:22 PM »
Good steps you're taking!

I look forward to seeing the update on your debt totals after you sell the truck, get the bonus, and pay things off this month!

Seconding this - can't wait to see an updated list with new totals, and the ones you've paid off crossed out. 8/20 debts would be amazing progress, but please for all our mental health, pay off "Loan #1   $4,676   35.90%   $177".  The interest rate is abysmal, and if you include that I think you could still pay off ~6 loans (loan 1+3, CC 1,2,9 and frontier loan).

Yes, Loan #1 is at the top of my list to get rid of!


Laura33

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #241 on: March 09, 2017, 03:09:00 PM »
Could you make it 9 debts if you return the TV?  :-)

Come on, you know someone has to say it -- it's out of love.  You are really making great strides, and I am in actuality very proud of you; you have done things that involve significant blows to the ego and self-image, and yet you're still here coming back for more and executing the plan like a champ.  Yay you!  *But*:  That avoidance of hard conversations is something that will really hold you back -- I have a feeling that habit/preference played a significant role in how you got into this position in the first place, and so that is one of the behavioral changes you will need to make to maintain long-term success. 

[Yes, I am again being presumptuous, because I don't know you or what's in your head.  But I know that I myself absolutely dread hard conversations and do anything to avoid them, as if the issues will magically go away on their own if I avoid them long enough.  Hint:  they don't.  I had to learn that things are always better when they are faced head on and early, before they have a chance to spiral out of control.  I am trying here to help you move about 20 years ahead of me on that particular learning curve].

Tl;dr:  Return the TV.  Not because you need the $400 (although of course you do).  Because you need to learn how to tell your wife you need to return the TV.
Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

freya

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #242 on: March 09, 2017, 04:29:10 PM »
This is an outstanding and inspiring thread.  Dashh, I hope you keep posting regular progress reports!

I've noticed a lot of phrases like "in the next month or so", "planning to", "considering" etc.  I know you're doing a great job psyching yourself up to take all the great advice you've been getting, but I think it would do you a world of good to Do Something Right Now.

So how about this.  Get online right nowand pay off your smallest loan, using cash from savings.  Then repost a list of the debts with that one crossed out, or moved to a separate "Paid Off" list.  Hopefully, that will help motivate you to work on the truck sale this weekend.   The next time any income (paycheck, sale) comes in, calculate how much of it can go towards debt and then immediately pay off one of those high interest credit cards (like that 35% job) with whatever is left over after making minimum payments.  Then proudly post your new list!

I'd keep the rest of your savings in the meantime, for situations like that $900 car repair.  It's the slimmest of emergency funds.  After selling the truck, go through your house & closets with a fine tooth comb and get rid of anything you aren't using.  Donate it to goodwill and claim the tax deduction, or sell it on Craigslist or Amazon.  This will accomplish three things:  1) you'll pick up some extra cash which you can then put toward debt payments, 2) it will help prepare you to move, and 3) you'll feel like you've lost a huge weight of stuff purchased on those credit cards that's been weighing you down.

Also for a perspective on giving up the big house in favor of renting close to work:  I convinced my sister to do something similar.  She put her big, beautiful home on Airbnb and the family moved to a small rental house within walking distance of her kids' school and a nice downtown.  She had been spending $1000/month on gas shuttling kids around and driving 45 minutes to the grocery.  She almost cried tears of joy telling me how happy she is with the new living situation - and on top of it, the Airbnb income is more than enough to cover the rent.  She just had to buy a lockbox for key exchanges and a lock on the door to the room where they piled all the belongings they left in the house, and arrange for cleaning services.    You might want to do something similar, especially if your home sale will cost you $$ out of pocket given how little equity you have.  And, you'd be able to move as soon as you like with a lot less hassle, and it won't be an irreversible decision.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 04:35:31 PM by freya »

PJ

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #243 on: March 09, 2017, 07:50:33 PM »
Man, I am glad to see your update!

Sure, I wish the TV had been returned (and please, read Laura33's post again, and really ponder it!)  But trimming those monthly bills is good.  And having an actionable plan to get the truck listed, with a timeline set, is also good.  Developing a plan for how you'll use your extra money to pay down debt, also good. 

Please do come back real soon, and give us the updates on taking the steps.  Like someone said, we'll be here for high fives and to continue cheering you on!
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
Dr. Cornel West

Paul der Krake

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #244 on: March 09, 2017, 08:13:40 PM »
This is great. Keep at it and you will be out of the hole in 2-4 years.

dashh

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #245 on: March 10, 2017, 09:08:36 AM »
This is an outstanding and inspiring thread.  Dashh, I hope you keep posting regular progress reports!

I've noticed a lot of phrases like "in the next month or so", "planning to", "considering" etc.  I know you're doing a great job psyching yourself up to take all the great advice you've been getting, but I think it would do you a world of good to Do Something Right Now.

So how about this.  Get online right nowand pay off your smallest loan, using cash from savings.  Then repost a list of the debts with that one crossed out, or moved to a separate "Paid Off" list.  Hopefully, that will help motivate you to work on the truck sale this weekend.   The next time any income (paycheck, sale) comes in, calculate how much of it can go towards debt and then immediately pay off one of those high interest credit cards (like that 35% job) with whatever is left over after making minimum payments.  Then proudly post your new list!

I'd keep the rest of your savings in the meantime, for situations like that $900 car repair.  It's the slimmest of emergency funds.  After selling the truck, go through your house & closets with a fine tooth comb and get rid of anything you aren't using.  Donate it to goodwill and claim the tax deduction, or sell it on Craigslist or Amazon.  This will accomplish three things:  1) you'll pick up some extra cash which you can then put toward debt payments, 2) it will help prepare you to move, and 3) you'll feel like you've lost a huge weight of stuff purchased on those credit cards that's been weighing you down.

Also for a perspective on giving up the big house in favor of renting close to work:  I convinced my sister to do something similar.  She put her big, beautiful home on Airbnb and the family moved to a small rental house within walking distance of her kids' school and a nice downtown.  She had been spending $1000/month on gas shuttling kids around and driving 45 minutes to the grocery.  She almost cried tears of joy telling me how happy she is with the new living situation - and on top of it, the Airbnb income is more than enough to cover the rent.  She just had to buy a lockbox for key exchanges and a lock on the door to the room where they piled all the belongings they left in the house, and arrange for cleaning services.    You might want to do something similar, especially if your home sale will cost you $$ out of pocket given how little equity you have.  And, you'd be able to move as soon as you like with a lot less hassle, and it won't be an irreversible decision.

Thanks for this it was very helpful!

Ok, I just called and paid off the remaining balance of Loan #3.

Loan #3   $882   20.00%   $284

I am running out to the bank and lunch to pay off the Frontier and I am listing it on CL tomorrow.

Also, last night instead of just sitting on the couch and wasting time on my tablet I decided to clean all of the bathrooms in the house.  It felt good to actually do something productive around the house during the week.   
« Last Edit: March 10, 2017, 09:25:07 AM by dashh »

ToTheMoon

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #246 on: March 10, 2017, 10:38:13 AM »

Thanks for this it was very helpful!

Ok, I just called and paid off the remaining balance of Loan #3.

Loan #3   $882   20.00%   $284

I am running out to the bank and lunch to pay off the Frontier and I am listing it on CL tomorrow.

Also, last night instead of just sitting on the couch and wasting time on my tablet I decided to clean all of the bathrooms in the house.  It felt good to actually do something productive around the house during the week.   

This is AWESOME!

RidetheRain

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #247 on: March 10, 2017, 10:51:08 AM »
It's great to watch you make progress dashh. Just a tip from someone else in the negatives. I (try to) think about purchases in terms of time. My Dad used to say "Monday is for the government and that's why it sucks so much". Because every cent he earned on Mondays went to taxes.

Using a wise man's philosophy, we can point at individual purchases to see if they are "worth it".
For example, I want a Starbucks coffee right now because it's 9:30 and I haven't had my caffeine.
That coffee usually costs me about 7.50 and I toss the extra in the tip jar to round to $10. If I used that $10 to pay off my car loan (I get punches in my own case study) then I would save $10 plus the 3 years worth of interest on that $10. Say that works out to $12.
My hourly wage minus commuting, taxes, etc means that I would work roughly a half hour for that coffee. Every time I want one. Do I want that coffee more than I want to leave at 4:30? On a Friday?

For me, $10 = 1/2hour is a powerful deterrent, but scale up to your tolerance.

That doesn't even get into potential stock market returns because that math is too hard for someone without coffee. Keep a couple of these calculations in your head and you start getting angry at the coffee shop for stealing your life. I won't get into the TV here, but I'm guessing it is "worth" more than a few hours of work considering your snowballing.

In the meantime, congratulations on the most recent loan payoff! I love getting to see the successes on these. People often take the advice and run with it without progress notes. You sparked a lot of interest and we're all invested now :)

dashh

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #248 on: March 10, 2017, 11:48:54 AM »

Thanks for this it was very helpful!

Ok, I just called and paid off the remaining balance of Loan #3.

Loan #3   $882   20.00%   $284

I am running out to the bank and lunch to pay off the Frontier and I am listing it on CL tomorrow.

Also, last night instead of just sitting on the couch and wasting time on my tablet I decided to clean all of the bathrooms in the house.  It felt good to actually do something productive around the house during the week.   

This is AWESOME!

Thanks for the support!

Ok, truck is now paid off.

Auto loan #2   $1,172   3.84%   $525   Nissan Frontier

It feels pretty good since I have NEVER owned a car outright before.  But it will feel even better to sell it, get something more fuel efficient and be able to pay off a few high interest loans!

I am actually thinking about getting a manual car since I have never learned to drive stick.  I read MMM’s post about that and it really inspired me.  I have always wanted to learn but as I got older just let it go.  I think learning a new skill (my wife can drive stick) is just what I need right now and someday I can teach my sons. 

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #249 on: March 10, 2017, 11:57:47 AM »

Thanks for this it was very helpful!

Ok, I just called and paid off the remaining balance of Loan #3.

Loan #3   $882   20.00%   $284

I am running out to the bank and lunch to pay off the Frontier and I am listing it on CL tomorrow.

Also, last night instead of just sitting on the couch and wasting time on my tablet I decided to clean all of the bathrooms in the house.  It felt good to actually do something productive around the house during the week.   

This is AWESOME! 

Thanks for the support!

Ok, truck is now paid off.

Auto loan #2   $1,172   3.84%   $525   Nissan Frontier

It feels pretty good since I have NEVER owned a car outright before.  But it will feel even better to sell it, get something more fuel efficient and be able to pay off a few high interest loans!

I am actually thinking about getting a manual car since I have never learned to drive stick.  I read MMM’s post about that and it really inspired me.  I have always wanted to learn but as I got older just let it go.  I think learning a new skill (my wife can drive stick) is just what I need right now and someday I can teach my sons. 

I am unreasonably and excessively pleased about a complete stranger on the internet having two less debts to pay on every month.  You are inspiring! 

While you still need to see how much you can get for the truck, and how much of the proceeds you'll need to spend on your next car, I'm wondering...

Have you done the cash flow math yet? 

Do you know, that's $809 you've freed up from your monthly debt payments?

Please, tell us, which debt is that going to next?  How long, at that rate, will it take to pay off the next one? 

Inquiring minds need to know...
'To be human you must bear witness to justice. Justice is what love looks like in public." 
Dr. Cornel West