Author Topic: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!  (Read 63720 times)

Poundwise

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #250 on: March 21, 2017, 08:17:16 AM »
Quick questions, dashh--
1. any bites on the truck sale?

2. What about the house flipping did you like? Was it working with your hands (if you did work yourself)? Was it the gambling aspect of sales? Was it having complete control over a project? Was the satisfaction of turning something old to something new? Can you bring any of these aspects to your current line of work, at least temporarily until house flipping becomes profitable again?

Paul der Krake

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #251 on: March 21, 2017, 02:27:18 PM »
Unfortunately, your truck is worth too much to attract many buyers in Raleigh. Most vehicles being sold are in the 2-7k range, simply because there are few buyers who can pony up much more than that.

When I was in the used car market in that area, I would constantly see reposts of people who wanted too much for their new-ish vehicles, and they would repost a few weeks later and you could tell from the ad that they were mad that no serious offers were made.

ToTheMoon

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #252 on: March 21, 2017, 09:23:13 PM »
Excellent! 

Interest rates like that are very difficult to overcome.  Glad you were able to use her bonus to clear yourselves of that burden!

kuchihige

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #253 on: March 21, 2017, 10:06:04 PM »
I also took it by the local Auction Direct (like Carmax) and they offered $11,500 to buy it.  It is very tempting to just sell to them or a dealer and be done with it.  I have another dealer that wants to look at and said they will can offer $12,800 contingent upon inspection.  I have a feeling they will lower the final offer to around what Auction Direct offered but we will see.  I can probably get around $13k private party but have to factor in the time to deal with people, look out for scams, confirm funds, etc.  So I am tempted to go with the quick sale and move on especially if the dealer comes in close to $13k. 

These last two sentences feel to me like you are mentally working you way towards selling the car for the dealer offer.  Because it's easier.  That 1 or 2 k difference between private party and trade-in is huge though - it would wipe out another 1/150th or so of your debt.  These little decisions, like putting in the extra effort to sell the car yourself, and returning that new $500 TV, add up big time.  It's the difference between moving at the pace you need to succeed in your goal to wipe out debt, which will feel amazing, or slipping in to old patterns and spending the next decades under the same burden.

sparkytheop

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #254 on: March 21, 2017, 10:34:37 PM »
Amazing progress!

One other thing to consider with dealer vs private sale and how long it may take...  How much owed-in-interest are you piling up in the extra (days? weeks? months?) it takes to find a private buyer? 

You may lose $1k or so in income by selling to a dealer, but how much money will you save paying off one or two of the debts a month early?  Two months early?

The longer it takes to sell the car privately, the more money you will shell out in interest.  It may be that taking a lower dollar amount on the truck will end up being the better deal.  Just something to consider.   As someone said earlier, I've often seen the same cars listed over and over again for a long time.  I'd give myself a deadline to sell privately, and then take the offer from the dealer if they aren't low-balling you. 

wintertell

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #255 on: March 22, 2017, 07:29:54 AM »
FIRST - Congrats on paying off that loan with that awful, awful rate! That alone has to feel amazing!!

Maybe re-post all the debts in a list with a progress update so you can see how much you have cleared/what you have gotten rid of?

I'd give myself a deadline to sell privately, and then take the offer from the dealer if they aren't low-balling you.

Living in NC, I think these two folks are right: That is a higher price for a used car in NC.

Try giving it two weeks or three weeks, and if it still isn't sold, I would just take the dealer price. You would have to drop the price anyway, and then it would very close the Auction Direct or other dealer price.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #256 on: March 22, 2017, 07:40:54 AM »
Following. Keep it up OP! Life's too short to be stressed by money. The sooner you get out of these holes, the better off you'll be!

thatluckydog

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #257 on: March 22, 2017, 10:02:15 AM »
I am looking to follow the thread. I have to say that it is the tough stories (often made to look simple) on this site that I find the most enjoyment out of reading. You are really making some profound shifts that are setting a great example. While it is hard work, you are making results happen so quickly it looks more effortless from my side. The is one of the signs of mastery. Keep up the great work!

Buckminster1985

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #258 on: March 22, 2017, 10:20:30 AM »
Have you considered Debtors Anonymous?  I have seen miracles happen.  A friend eliminated $250K in debt without bankruptcy.  I believe in this situation one must assess the root cause of the debt accumulation.  Why is it that you've lived beyond your means for so long?  This will help you with the pressure and guilt as well.

In terms of practical solutions, I'd suggest the following:

1) Sell the cars and buy used.
2) Take in a renter or rent a room on Airbnb.
3) Cut up all credit cards and only use cash or debit.
4) Consoliate all credit card debt using the Ramsey approach already mentioned.
5) Insist your children go to state schools and apply for all of the financial aid possible.
6) Focus on the free or low-cost pleasures of life, such as walking, biking and hiking that provide far more joy than shopping and spending.
7) Consider selling your house and moving into a much cheaper one.  You'll probably do this eventually once your kids graduate.

I hope this is helpful.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to understand the impetus of the debt spending in the first place.


benjaminbutton

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #259 on: March 22, 2017, 01:33:32 PM »
Have you considered Debtors Anonymous?  I have seen miracles happen.  A friend eliminated $250K in debt without bankruptcy.  I believe in this situation one must assess the root cause of the debt accumulation.  Why is it that you've lived beyond your means for so long?  This will help you with the pressure and guilt as well.

In terms of practical solutions, I'd suggest the following:

1) Sell the cars and buy used.
2) Take in a renter or rent a room on Airbnb.
3) Cut up all credit cards and only use cash or debit.
4) Consoliate all credit card debt using the Ramsey approach already mentioned.
5) Insist your children go to state schools and apply for all of the financial aid possible.
6) Focus on the free or low-cost pleasures of life, such as walking, biking and hiking that provide far more joy than shopping and spending.
7) Consider selling your house and moving into a much cheaper one.  You'll probably do this eventually once your kids graduate.

I hope this is helpful.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to understand the impetus of the debt spending in the first place.

I think the OP is well on their way. The original post is from January and based on their updates making awesome progress.

Zoot

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #260 on: March 22, 2017, 07:08:55 PM »
We got my wife's bonus this week and it was more than expected.

Happy to report that the "mafia" loan is now paid off - good riddance!

Loan #1   $4,676   35.90%   $177

AWESOME work!  :)  What account are you going to snowball the $177 payment into next? 

Can't wait to see more $0 balances!  Keep it up!

DanishMM

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #261 on: March 22, 2017, 11:20:23 PM »
Awesome work!
 In one post you wrote about trying to get in financial shape and then losing motivation. I read the MMM post om Stoicism and then one really dark thought crept up on me. What if something happened to me and my husband would end up alone with our kids. Not only would he have to deal with the emotional aspect of raising the kids but then ALSO messy finances? That really kept me motivated and were well on our way to FI now. Just a creepy dark thought from an internet stranger.

SweetLife

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #262 on: March 26, 2017, 06:25:59 AM »

Thanks for this.  We are not using the credit cards as they are all pretty much maxed out.  So all cash.

I will have to really watch it as we pay them off though to make sure we don't try to use them when something unexpected comes up like a car repair, etc.

DON"T WATCH IT ... CUT THEM UP!!!! GET RID OF THEM ALLLL OF THEM ... save ONE and only one for DIRE EMERGENCY. :)

YOU are doing AWESOME! But if you think that you MAY use your CC's its time to not have them for awhile.

Tough love...
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Rewdoalb

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #263 on: March 26, 2017, 11:58:28 AM »

Thanks for this.  We are not using the credit cards as they are all pretty much maxed out.  So all cash.

I will have to really watch it as we pay them off though to make sure we don't try to use them when something unexpected comes up like a car repair, etc.

DON"T WATCH IT ... CUT THEM UP!!!! GET RID OF THEM ALLLL OF THEM ... save ONE and only one for DIRE EMERGENCY. :)

YOU are doing AWESOME! But if you think that you MAY use your CC's its time to not have them for awhile.

Tough love...

Agree with this. Think about it...You just financed a new TV at essentially 35.9% interest because "something unexpected [came] up".  Need to keep building the frugality muscles without giving yourself an easy path to the consumer couch.

RidetheRain

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #264 on: March 28, 2017, 01:21:57 PM »

Thanks for this.  We are not using the credit cards as they are all pretty much maxed out.  So all cash.

I will have to really watch it as we pay them off though to make sure we don't try to use them when something unexpected comes up like a car repair, etc.

DON"T WATCH IT ... CUT THEM UP!!!! GET RID OF THEM ALLLL OF THEM ... save ONE and only one for DIRE EMERGENCY. :)

YOU are doing AWESOME! But if you think that you MAY use your CC's its time to not have them for awhile.

Tough love...

Agree with this. Think about it...You just financed a new TV at essentially 35.9% interest because "something unexpected [came] up".  Need to keep building the frugality muscles without giving yourself an easy path to the consumer couch.

If you can handle it (ie self-control). I would not recommend cutting up all your cards. Instead, you should re-educate yourself on what a credit card is for as an MMM reader. Credit cards are to be PAID in FULL every month. Or every week if you're paranoid like me. Credit cards are only bad for those without self-control. You know yourself best, but I would stretch those control muscles if at all possible.

Just a reminder to the doubters. Credit cards protect from identity theft. A small amount, but if someone steals your debt card number then it's WAAAAY worse than if they steal your credit card number. You can refuse to pay a bill but there's no response to a drained account. Additionally, cards can offer some pretty awesome rewards. I run a lot of money through my cards and pay them all in full every month. This means that I get cash-back and free amazon money to use on groceries, clothing, and housewares. I wouldn't recommend a travel card (reward miles) personally because vacations are extra and you don't want to feel the need to spend miles if you aren't already planning a vacation, but other cards are often well worth using.
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marty998

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #265 on: March 28, 2017, 02:28:41 PM »
Well done Dashh. Nice to hear that 36% loan is gone.

craiglepaige

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #266 on: March 28, 2017, 07:36:55 PM »
Can you please post an updated financial statement regarding your current debt? It's hard to read through 7 pages to try and offer help.
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farfromfire

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #267 on: March 29, 2017, 03:17:34 AM »

Thanks for this.  We are not using the credit cards as they are all pretty much maxed out.  So all cash.

I will have to really watch it as we pay them off though to make sure we don't try to use them when something unexpected comes up like a car repair, etc.

DON"T WATCH IT ... CUT THEM UP!!!! GET RID OF THEM ALLLL OF THEM ... save ONE and only one for DIRE EMERGENCY. :)

YOU are doing AWESOME! But if you think that you MAY use your CC's its time to not have them for awhile.

Tough love...

Agree with this. Think about it...You just financed a new TV at essentially 35.9% interest because "something unexpected [came] up".  Need to keep building the frugality muscles without giving yourself an easy path to the consumer couch.

If you can handle it (ie self-control). I would not recommend cutting up all your cards. Instead, you should re-educate yourself on what a credit card is for as an MMM reader. Credit cards are to be PAID in FULL every month. Or every week if you're paranoid like me. Credit cards are only bad for those without self-control. You know yourself best, but I would stretch those control muscles if at all possible.

Just a reminder to the doubters. Credit cards protect from identity theft. A small amount, but if someone steals your debt card number then it's WAAAAY worse than if they steal your credit card number. You can refuse to pay a bill but there's no response to a drained account. Additionally, cards can offer some pretty awesome rewards. I run a lot of money through my cards and pay them all in full every month. This means that I get cash-back and free amazon money to use on groceries, clothing, and housewares. I wouldn't recommend a travel card (reward miles) personally because vacations are extra and you don't want to feel the need to spend miles if you aren't already planning a vacation, but other cards are often well worth using.
Everything in this post is correct, assuming self-control. However, many don't have that self-control and succumb to mindless spending. Just the other day someone wrote in a thread here that they signed up for a credit card for the rewards and ended up incurring thousands $ of debt with 20% interest. For these people, having a credit card does not exercise their "control muscles", it's akin to giving alcohol to an alcoholic.

tldr if you cannot stop yourself from spending, cut up the cards

10dollarsatatime

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #268 on: March 29, 2017, 10:13:39 AM »
Chiming in with my congratulations on your progress.

I also had a Frontier when I found MMM.  It took me around 5 months to sell the beast for similar reasons that it's been hard for you.  It was a bittersweet relief when I finally got rid of it and replaced it with a 15 year old Honda.
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cyndre4

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #269 on: March 29, 2017, 03:24:42 PM »
Posting to follow!
It's great watching you start to make real, concrete changes. I'm using your progress to inspire my own, I really appreciate your honesty!
A question for you: It seems like a lot of folks are suggesting you return the TV. You've been amazing with introspection so far, so how about a small assignment? Can you let us know more facets about why returning the TV isn't happening? Are you worried about the kids' reaction? Is it a subtle way to feed your consumerism by buying the thing, then just kind of never returning it? As a way we can help, you mentioned feeling difficulties around having the conversation with your wife. Maybe we can help give you some conversation starters in that area? As you learn and continue to grow, you'll of course hit bumps in the road! Being able to work with your wife and effectively say 'I made a mistake, I'd like to make a different choice' will be incredibly powerful!

KDubs

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #270 on: March 29, 2017, 04:34:26 PM »
You can do it!!! Sometimes after you rip off the Band-Aid you realize it hurt less than you anticipated, and was a better way than that slow, one-armhair-at-a-time process. Following along...

Prodigal Daughter

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #271 on: March 31, 2017, 10:18:34 AM »
posting to follow

RidetheRain

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #272 on: March 31, 2017, 04:18:04 PM »
Hello all,

As always a big thanks to everyone on the forum for your support and posts!

I just wanted to throw out an update on some things:

1)    Budget/expenses:  We have been tracking all expenses for three months now!  In the past, we would get around one month in and just fall apart and go back to our old spending pattern.  I think this time it is finally going to stick.  I need to update some expenses this weekend and will post our Jan – Mar actuals and updated debt totals.  We have made some good progress on some things like eating out/shopping (except the TV), but really need to do better on groceries/café charges.  We just need to start better meal planning and I need to cut the junk food and soft drinks. 

2)   Health/diet:  My goal is to start a new diet this weekend which is supposed to help with reflux (LPR or silent reflux to be specific).  It will mean no soft drinks for two weeks and it is pretty restricted (low acid/fat).  I tried it once before and made it about a week and saw some improvement in my coughing, so I really want to stick with it this time.  I need to figure out exercise as well as I want to start working out again.  I use to weight train and do cardio several days a week until I lost my job two years ago.  Since then my exercise has been non-existent and even though I am still relatively thin, I have definitely traded a lot of muscle for fat (not to mention my health has probably suffered).  I also am finally realizing that I eat snack/junk food like a teenager.  I am talking Mountain Dew, candy bars, Oreos and Doritos before bed.  It is such a bad habit and I have to kick it.  I have been putting so much junk in my bottom I am surprised I don’t feel worse than I do.  I also think the habit is very related to being worn out when I get home.  After we get home (after that 1-hour commute), eat dinner, get the kids ready for bed and finally sit down we are worn out.  We usually watch a little TV and that is when I have my junk snack and then bed.  My new diet will cut that out since I am not supposed to eat within a few hours of bedtime. 

3)   Truck:  No serious buyers on the truck.  I lowered the price a little so we will see over the weekend.  I am taking it to a dealer tomorrow that is supposed to pay more than CarMax so I will see what they offer.  I am ready to just sell it and get started learning to drive a manual Honda. 

4)   TV:  Yes, the TV is still on the wall.  My wife and I actually talked about it briefly in a another discussion.  She was contemplating tagging along with a friend that had to travel for business.  She was only going to have to pay for airfare as the room would be covered.  We discussed it and in the past I would have said “go for it, that’s a good deal!”  But this time I said I do not think that is a wise financial decision given our situation and what we are trying to do.  She was a little surprised at first but agreed.  In the process of discussing the trip I mentioned that we had to work on changing our mindset when it comes to spending.  The old mindset is what got us into this situation and we cannot continue to make decisions that way if we want to get out of it.  I mentioned the TV and how we should have never bought it and I was thinking about taking it back.   She said we shouldn’t really bother with it since it is already mounted, etc.  I just left it at that for now since I was more focused on the trip in the moment but we need to discuss it again.   


Maybe I'm odd, but based on that conversation I would NOT take back the TV. Yes, you shouldn't have bought it in the first place. Easing the SO into this lifestyle is hard and you asked her not to take a trip - 100% her fun. That's a win that deserves a reward. The loss of something she is already enjoying on top of not taking a trip would easily make this process to the fugal world feel stifling and horrible. Keep that progress fun (for both of you)!
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englishteacheralex

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #273 on: March 31, 2017, 07:42:42 PM »
^ yes to this. The tv is up on the wall. Leave it be. Wife agreed to not going on a trip. That's a big win. Maybe she'll come around, sounds like she's on the right track. Let selling the tv be her idea in six months or just stick with it and concentrate on other wins.

Also, getting rid of the car sounds like a good idea to me; I generally like to cut my losses and move on ASAP for the psychological boost as well as the money boost. Cars that are $10k + are usually harder to sell on craigslist. Get the momentum going, I say, and don't worry about plus or minus a grand or two that you're losing by not fully optimizing. Wife may see the tremendous change and start getting more and more on board--that's worth the 1-2k right there.

Well done! Oh, so feel you on the health stuff. I'm working on it, too, as are a lot of people here, I bet. Doritos and Oreos are so darn delicious.
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CmFtns

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #274 on: April 01, 2017, 09:35:49 AM »
^ yes to this. The tv is up on the wall. Leave it be. Wife agreed to not going on a trip. That's a big win. Maybe she'll come around, sounds like she's on the right track. Let selling the tv be her idea in six months or just stick with it and concentrate on other wins.

Also, getting rid of the car sounds like a good idea to me; I generally like to cut my losses and move on ASAP for the psychological boost as well as the money boost. Cars that are $10k + are usually harder to sell on craigslist. Get the momentum going, I say, and don't worry about plus or minus a grand or two that you're losing by not fully optimizing. Wife may see the tremendous change and start getting more and more on board--that's worth the 1-2k right there.

Well done! Oh, so feel you on the health stuff. I'm working on it, too, as are a lot of people here, I bet. Doritos and Oreos are so darn delicious.

I agree i love Doritos, Oreos, & junk food I can't not eat them if they are around... However, for me it is easy for me to not buy them at the store especially with the side motivation of not spending money but it is next to impossible for me not to eat them all in a couple days once I have them in my home.

I just keep almost zero convenience food in my house. Even though I know there is no food I still can't help but go around the kitchen opening all my cabinets looking for stuff and the only thing I ever find is ingredients that I need to actually do work to prepare into a meal so I end up just cooking and eating my 3 meals and not really snacking much if at all besides for maybe a handful of peanuts every once and a while.

I actually do keep some soda as something to use for mixed drinks or for when people come over but I find that if I keep them out in the garage or laundry room non-refrigerated and not in the fridge ready to drink then I have to decide to drink them an hour before I actually want it so it can cool down in the fridge so I can't just drink one out of convenience.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2017, 09:38:18 AM by CmFtns »
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Bee21

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #275 on: April 01, 2017, 03:48:11 PM »
If you are doing the shopping, don't buy crap. Definitely wean yourself off the after dinner snack. Expensive and unhealthy. Reduce it first if you can't go  cold turkey. Buy the snack package, the minis. Have only one not the bag.

englishteacheralex

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #276 on: April 01, 2017, 05:00:57 PM »
Man I just can't even keep the stuff in the house. I go bonkers and eat all of it. Girl Scout cookies are the worst. I'll tell myself I have to eat the whole box because that way there won't be any in the house anymore and I won't have to torture myself with wanting infinity of cookies.

Yeah, I just buy staples anymore at the market and that way there's nothing to eat that doesn't take a bunch of prep time. We even got an ice cream maker and sometimes will keep heavy cream around, but that's two hours of waiting for a pint of ice cream and we only make it for guests.

We do keep trail mix but it isn't crack to me like most junk food and I keep a 1/4 cup measuring cup in the bag so I know how much I'm eating.
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freya

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #277 on: April 07, 2017, 06:40:16 AM »
tldr if you cannot stop yourself from spending, cut up the cards

I agree with this sentiment, but given that you're contemplating new jobs, moving etc, you need to protect your credit rating zealously.   You absolutely have too many credit cards but you will need to keep most of the accounts alive.  Pick a few that you're going to hang onto for regular use, based on the following criteria:

- do they pay cash-back rewards?
- have you held them for longer than your average account age?  (You can get this info from Creditkarma)

Put the rest away deep in a drawer.  It goes without saying that the instant you've paid off a card, you either cancel the account or set it to autopay in full each month.

So have you sold the truck yet?  I'd take a dealer offer as low as $12K, because as another poster pointed out, with debts in the 20% interest range, time is SERIOUS money.  20% interest on $12,000 is $200/month, so that's how much you're paying in opportunity cost.  Plus the extra expense of driving the truck in the meantime.  And I am once again getting the impression that you are in need of some motivation in the form of concrete progress.  (ps - yes learn to drive a stick shift!!!)

Also, can we see that list of debts again??  The progress is great and we are all in need of an update!






Feivel2000

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #278 on: April 17, 2017, 11:17:14 PM »
Hello all,

As always a big thanks to everyone on the forum for your support and posts!

I just wanted to throw out an update on some things:

1) Budget/expenses:  We have been tracking all expenses for three months now!  In the past, we would get around one month in and just fall apart and go back to our old spending pattern.  I think this time it is finally going to stick.  I need to update some expenses this weekend and will post our Jan – Mar actuals and updated debt totals.  We have made some good progress on some things like eating out/shopping (except the TV), but really need to do better on groceries/café charges.  We just need to start better meal planning and I need to cut the junk food and soft drinks. 

2)Health/diet:  My goal is to start a new diet this weekend which is supposed to help with reflux (LPR or silent reflux to be specific).  It will mean no soft drinks for two weeks and it is pretty restricted (low acid/fat).  I tried it once before and made it about a week and saw some improvement in my coughing, so I really want to stick with it this time.  I need to figure out exercise as well as I want to start working out again.  I use to weight train and do cardio several days a week until I lost my job two years ago.  Since then my exercise has been non-existent and even though I am still relatively thin, I have definitely traded a lot of muscle for fat (not to mention my health has probably suffered).  I also am finally realizing that I eat snack/junk food like a teenager.  I am talking Mountain Dew, candy bars, Oreos and Doritos before bed.  It is such a bad habit and I have to kick it.  I have been putting so much junk in my bottom I am surprised I don’t feel worse than I do.  I also think the habit is very related to being worn out when I get home.  After we get home (after that 1-hour commute), eat dinner, get the kids ready for bed and finally sit down we are worn out.  We usually watch a little TV and that is when I have my junk snack and then bed.  My new diet will cut that out since I am not supposed to eat within a few hours of bedtime. 

3)Truck:  No serious buyers on the truck.  I lowered the price a little so we will see over the weekend.  I am taking it to a dealer tomorrow that is supposed to pay more than CarMax so I will see what they offer.  I am ready to just sell it and get started learning to drive a manual Honda. 

4)TV:  Yes, the TV is still on the wall.  My wife and I actually talked about it briefly in a another discussion.  She was contemplating tagging along with a friend that had to travel for business.  She was only going to have to pay for airfare as the room would be covered.  We discussed it and in the past I would have said “go for it, that’s a good deal!”  But this time I said I do not think that is a wise financial decision given our situation and what we are trying to do.  She was a little surprised at first but agreed.  In the process of discussing the trip I mentioned that we had to work on changing our mindset when it comes to spending.  The old mindset is what got us into this situation and we cannot continue to make decisions that way if we want to get out of it.  I mentioned the TV and how we should have never bought it and I was thinking about taking it back.   She said we shouldn’t really bother with it since it is already mounted, etc.  I just left it at that for now since I was more focused on the trip in the moment but we need to discuss it again.   
Should we be worried about the promised but missing update?


albireo13

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #279 on: April 18, 2017, 04:49:17 AM »
Cut up most of your CC cards and keep one or two for emergency.  Keep them in a file, not in your wallet.
Do NOT carry around a CC anymore.



ubermom4

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #280 on: April 19, 2017, 06:02:34 AM »
OP -- good job getting started, staying focussed and motivated. I wanted to comment on your day-to-day spending. Please consider converting to cash only-- always. At the beginning of the month, put cash ($$$) in envelopes (I use paperclips in my wallet) for spending categories -- groceries, clothing, personal, etc. for the entire month. This needs to be done for both of you. Using cash activates the pain sensors in your brain. It is not rational but emotional.  As the month progresses and the cash visibly dwindles, behavior is changed for both of you.

Each of you needs funds that they can spend as they wish -- no questions asked. You can agree on this amount -- it might be $25 each month for each of you or more. You can start with one figure and then lower it as you get used to it. If your wife wants to travel with her work friend for a fun trip -- Yay!! Her funding comes out of her spending money. She doesn't need to ask you for permission. She is responsible and independent.  If she really wants the trip, she will use her personal spending money.

This exceptionally simple cash system has been DEATH to our impulse purchases and all purchasing while allowing us each to feel freedom. We don't feel like we are giving up things -- each of us makes our own choices to support our family's goal. Hope this helps you. Great job so far.

babybug

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #281 on: April 23, 2017, 07:31:11 AM »
Ummm, is dashh still on the wagon?

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nouveauRiche

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #282 on: April 24, 2017, 09:32:49 PM »
Ummm, is dashh still on the wagon?

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I was wondering the same thing.  Hope we hear from him soon.

Optimiser

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #283 on: April 28, 2017, 11:50:35 AM »
Dashh come back. We need updates.

dreadmoose

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #284 on: April 28, 2017, 04:08:55 PM »
Posting to follow, this is an awesome story that I hope isn't over right when it was getting great.

Great work so far, I especially like the self-aware discussion on why you're having trouble. Hopefully the forums can help you through some of it.
Just starting on my FIRE journey, hopefully posting here creates accountability and eventually lowers my very anti-mustachian life habits.

Vaulter

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #285 on: April 30, 2017, 02:28:35 PM »
Okay, Dashh, it has been a month since your last post. Let us know how awesome you are doing and/or what else you would like help with. You've got this!

CmFtns

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #286 on: May 25, 2017, 11:26:09 AM »
Dammit Dash why did you quit on us? =(
"the only efficient way to get there is on the front of the wave" -MMM

Vindicated

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #287 on: May 25, 2017, 11:36:46 AM »
His profile says he was last active yesterday, so he's still around.  Give him time, and don't give up on him.  :)
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lampstache2

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #288 on: July 07, 2017, 08:31:59 AM »
Hey Dash! Would love to hear how things are going!

SugarMountain

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #289 on: July 07, 2017, 03:07:12 PM »
Damn, this was like a great movie where the theater lost power with 5 minutes to go!

Hopefully dashh is just keeping his successes to himself and is still making the great progress he was earlier in the year.

GoConfidently

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #290 on: July 08, 2017, 08:58:32 AM »
Hey Dashh. I love the progress you made. Feels good to take those first concrete steps forward, and we all get a little boost remembering how we felt when we did the same. Hope you're hanging in there. You were tackling a lot of huge life changes at once, so if some things fell to the wayside don't be discouraged! One foot in front of the other.

baburu

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #291 on: August 25, 2017, 02:50:34 PM »
Congratulations on the work-from-home job! I'll bet those 2 hours a day you won't have to commute will increase your happiness significantly.

Too bad about the Bad and the Ugly. Even more reason to rejoice on the Good.

lisa_mustache

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #292 on: August 25, 2017, 02:56:23 PM »
Yay, welcome back!

For your budget "fail," did you try to do too much too fast?  Maybe there's a way to find a happy medium between spending every penny and not spending any pennies, that feels empowering and responsible without feeling like your life is over.  Good luck!  This whole thread is still rooting you on!

Bee21

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #293 on: August 25, 2017, 03:19:03 PM »
Glad you are back and glad you didn't give up after a setback. If you fell off the wagon, you can climb back on. Analyse what went wrong, why you couldn't be consistent and work on that.

Why don't you move over the journals and start posting regularly? It will keep you accountable.

Pick one thing and fix that. I suggest the car now that you are working from home. Once you cross that off your list you can move onto the next target.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #294 on: August 25, 2017, 03:33:34 PM »
Glad you're back! Sometimes the best way forward is to just keep trying, failing, and trying again. It might not be the most linear approach, but it moves you forward!

COngrats on the job.
My journal: Hiding in the Ferns
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Optimiser

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #295 on: August 25, 2017, 03:37:45 PM »
Glad to see you back.

Regarding the ugly, the awesome thing is that you had savings available that could take a hit. Not long ago you would have put it on a CC or taken out some sort of emergency loan for that. That's progress!

galliver

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #296 on: August 25, 2017, 05:02:46 PM »
2)  The Bad:  We have completely fallen off our budget for months now.  We did great for about 3 months and gradually let things go and it has not been good.  No new debt thankfully but also no extra to paydown debt either.  I am currently revising our budget and we have both committed to getting back on track in September.  Also, I decided to not sell my truck but recently have been thinking about selling it again.

Something I've found in trying to change my own habits and patterns is that while there is usually a strong initial commitment, most people eventually slip up. As such, it's been almost more important to learn to start the habit again, than to just continue it. Every single month you're making a whole new budget plan. Every single week, every *day* actually, you have a chance to look at your expenditures so far and say "ok, obviously we've already overspent our grocery budget by $20 and we're only halfway through and we're not going to make it for 2 weeks with *no* groceries as a family with kids. But how much do we really need, what can we make from the pantry, how can we keep from going in the red here?"

RidetheRain

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #297 on: August 28, 2017, 04:02:40 PM »
Looks like we fell off the wagon at the same time! Not a great club to be in, but if it helps, I climbed back up onto a slightly shorter wagon. It's easier to get on and doesn't hurt as much falling off.

I'm sorry to hear about your house. It cost you money and probably stole a lot of your time too. At least you have your commute hours back! Reducing my commute was a huge turnaround point for me so I hope you remember to enjoy and be thankful for that change even as you work on your budget which will go up and down a lot as you exercise your money muscles.
See my journal

Finances_With_Purpose

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #298 on: August 30, 2017, 12:18:05 AM »
Hello all - long time no see :)

It has been a while and I will post more details soon but just wanted to give a quick good, bad and ugly update:

1)  The Good:  I found a new job where I can work from home!  No more 2 hour daily commute.  I am so happy about this even though I am not doing work that I love to do I can do it at home!

2)  The Bad:  We have completely fallen off our budget for months now.  We did great for about 3 months and gradually let things go and it has not been good.  No new debt thankfully but also no extra to paydown debt either.  I am currently revising our budget and we have both committed to getting back on track in September.  Also, I decided to not sell my truck but recently have been thinking about selling it again.

3)  The Ugly:  Our house was hit by lightening and it did around $2,500 in damage which oddly enough is the exact amount of our homeowners deductible.  So our savings took a hit.

I will post more about our situation soon but wanted to get this out there.  I have been avoiding posting for various reasons but it feels good to type this now.

Welcome back!  I read your first posts, had an impression, skimmed the rest, then read the past page or two entirely.  My impression rings even more powerfully in light of your developments.

The good: it's excellent that you avoided taking on any new debts so far.  Also, you're already pro at taking finance tips on here, and finding the info you need.  You don't have an info problem or a following-simple-steps problem.  You're a smart, competent guy, clearly. 

The tough, which is some hard truth: it's the self-control issues that are stopping you.  I don't know you well enough - you haven't given enough info here, I think - to know why/what it is that's driving it.  But you need accountability, wisdom, and very likely some in-person coaching to get through those things.  People on an internet forum can't cut it. 

Some recommended Dave Ramsey's course, and I agree, it's great.  You may also need someone personally who has a window and a voice into you and your spouse's life - a trusted mentor couple, perhaps - who has their life together and can assist.  You're making progress, though you'll continue struggling with relapses until you address the underlying spending issues.  And those tend to be emotional. 

Another tip: be careful who you and especially your wife compare yourselves to.  (Read: Millionaire Next Door on that.  Auctioneers are millionaires far more than lawyers: they don't try to keep up high-spending lifestyles like their colleagues.) 

Please understand I hope it doesn't come across harsh, as all of this is meant for your benefit, and in hopes you'll move on to have an even more awesome, amazing, and fulfilling future with your wife. 

Willpower, motivation, and commitments will fail.  You've tried them already - probably dozens of times.  And they will continue failing. 

If you want real change, it's time to bring out the big guns and deal with the underlying emotional/spending issues.  They're what's killing you.  This forum can't help you much on that.

ATR

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Re: Reader Case Study - $231k in debt and need help!
« Reply #299 on: August 30, 2017, 03:01:33 PM »
just made it though 8 pages of postings..what a read! very impressed by the changes you have made already and +1 to everyone else who has already said that they are rooting for you. me too! good luck getting back on track.

did you end up hanging up a list of the debts on the fridge so that you can track your progress? i am a huge fan of visual aids and maybe it will be the reminder you and the wife need to get yourselves back in debt-crushing mode.