Author Topic: I need help...  (Read 14164 times)

NoJustNo

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I need help...
« on: February 14, 2017, 11:46:16 PM »
For the love of God just delete this thread I can't stand the snarky attitude.   Lots of good advice and I'm following it.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 01:11:32 PM by NoJustNo »

marty998

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2017, 12:08:59 AM »
Ok wow this is intense!

You are going to get calls here to post up full income details, how much you earn per gig, what your wife earns etc, as well as your credit card balances, current loans, current debts and all interest rates and repayment terms. All of it.

It is also good if you can get your wife here to put her perspective and thoughts. No good us recommending something she is not on board with totally. And best this doesn't degenerate into another Beatles debacle.

One thing you said... you bought plane tickets so your (step?)kids could go see their dad.... does your wife's ex contribute child support or costs towards these things?

Back to basics - cutting costs and boosting income.

4 phones - when do the contracts end? How much are they costing?

Broadband - do you need super fast for your job. Kids needing it for gaming and for you to download movies is not a valid reason.

What is holding up your business promo? Dumb question can you start the business now and do the promo marketing later? Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

Get in touch with the IRS through your tax agent/accountant and work out payment terms.

Start drawing up a plan (in whatever format) to organise your life into something coherent. This is a war and you need to have strategies for every battle. Anything you mentioned above has the potential to bring the whole house of cards crashing down so you need to be on top of it all.


mustachepungoeshere

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2017, 12:32:51 AM »
Echoing the request for a comprehensive case study.

You can find a template here: http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/case-studies/how-to-write-a-'case-study'-topic/

In the meantime, just take a breath.

Unlike some other recent case studies, you appear to know exactly how bad the situation is and seem willing to make the necessary changes.

This community will respond to that. There will be a truckload of information and advice heading your way very soon. Just hang in there.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2017, 12:53:31 AM by mustachepungoeshere »

NoJustNo

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2017, 12:51:29 AM »
..
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 01:15:42 PM by NoJustNo »

PJ

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2017, 01:14:22 AM »
I'm heading to bed now too, but just saw this thread. 

Do come back tomorrow, and fill in the full case study.  You will absolutely get lots of suggestions for where you can trim, slice, swap, and deal to try to get some traction to climb out of this situation.  You'll get help to find a few "quick wins" to save enough in the short term to try to catch up on some of the day to day expenditures, and some more hard hitting advice about big changes you can make if you really want to turn this ship around. 

And as mustachepungoeshere said, your willingness to hear and act will make all the difference.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2017, 07:48:34 AM »
One thing jumps out: you're running hard and making $5000 a month in 1099 income between the two of you? If you each had $10/hr W2 jobs with insurance you'd be better off.

notactiveanymore

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2017, 08:52:27 AM »
Ditto above asking for more info. At the very least, we need know how much guaranteed income you have each month (it seems like your wife works?) and the range of what you bring in during a month. Next we need to know how much you owe to whom (total debt, interest rate, monthly payment). Then we need to know how much you owe monthly for rent, utilities (not including internet/phone), and how much you can get by on for groceries. That is where your money has to go first. The credit card companies get paid last.

Before considering bankruptcy and the whole mess that would bring with the business stuff, I'd want to consider all available options. What is your wife's current employment situation and could she move to a different job which provides health insurance?

 

swick

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2017, 09:51:54 AM »
MOD NOTE: Moving to Case Study. OP - Please update your first post in the thread with numbers when you have them.

PJ

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2017, 10:09:46 AM »
shreddage, I know it will take some time to put together a proper case study, so I wanted to give you some ideas to immediately try to eke out a little bit of extra money, so that you can start trying to catch up.  None of these are going to give you the thousands of dollars you need for the big picture, but they may help you get one bill or another up to date, or help you make the next rent payment on time, etc.

1.  Food - often a huge budget item for a family.  Resolve right now, no eating out.  Now, go through your freezer and your cupboards and make a list of what meals you can make with just the food you have on hand.  Stretch the expensive stuff out, and make something inexpensive the base of as many meals as you can.  If you're like most of us, you have more food stashed away than you realize, and could probably go quite a long stretch without grocery shopping.  Set aside a few dollars for staples like milk, bread and fresh fruit over the next 30 days, but otherwise, eat from your current stock and go to the grocery store only with those few dollars to spend.  If you need to replenish anything, go to the cheapest store that price matches, and take the flyers from all the other local grocery stores.  Find the cheapest prices on the largest sizes of the most basic staple foods.  Oatmeal for breakfast.  Big bag of potatoes.  Dried lentils - easier and faster to cook than other kinds of dry beans.  Rice.  That kind of thing - healthy but cheap.  Join us in the "Eat All the Food in Your House" thread in the Gauntlet section for help, ideas, and encouragement.

2.  Phones and internet and ipad - do you have phones and internet at both your office and your home?  Cancel accordingly, so that you only have them in one place.  Your cell phone can be your business phone.  You can use the internet at the office (and so can your family, if they need to).  Or, if you spend very little time in the office, keep the internet at home and use mobile data at the office only when necessary.  Move your data on your cell phone to the cheapest possible level, and keep your mobile data turned off except for the moment that you need to use it.  I did that, and between wifi at work, and wifi at home, I use very little mobile data.  Most providers will make you keep "a" data plan but will not hold you to it being the highest level plan.  Better yet, you need to eliminate a good chunk of the monthly budget going to phones and ipad.  This part might hurt - find out if you can give the ipad and some of the phones away, to someone who takes over the contract.  I did that, a few years back, with a Samsung tablet I'd gotten.  I didn't need it, or the $20 a month data plan, though it did hurt to just give it away!  But it was no problem to have the rest of the plan transferred over to someone else, and they were happy to take the tablet (which was already partially paid for by that point) in exchange for shouldering that commitment.  The service provider didn't care, as long as someone paid the bill!  If you can stomach it, do the same with the kids' phones.  Hard, I know, but so is getting evicted :-(

3.  Insurance, gas, and tolls - I have no good suggestions about your car payments, or about selling the vehicles, and will leave that to others.  But do a round of calls about your insurance and see if you can't find a better plan.  Check if there are group discounts based on being an alumni of a certain institution, or member of a particular guild, etc.  Raise your deductible, or lower your coverage, or ...?  Ask them what you can do, to get the bill down.  Many places have a multi-policy discount.  I added (cheap!) contents insurance to my package, because I'm a renter too, and the small cost was more than compensated for by giving me a significant discount on my (expensive "new driver") car insurance!  Also, just don't go anywhere, and if you must go somewhere, take the cheaper vehicle to drive - probably not the truck.  Can your wife car pool, even part way?  Do absolutely no unnecessary driving for the next several months, with a specific goal of cutting out X # of tanks of gas per month.  Tolls should naturally go down as you cut back on your driving.

4.  Look for a 0% interest balance transfer for your credit cards, if your credit hasn't gotten too bad to do so yet.  That will let whatever payments you can afford to make, go toward the principle rather than interest.  Or sit down with your bank to talk about a debt consolidation loan.  Or, yes, talk to someone about bankruptcy, though again, other people on the forums will be able to tell you more about the pros and cons of that and whether it's something you should consider, once you share your other details with us.  But you could still find out now what the bank would offer in terms of loan terms, which would be a helpful comparison point.

5.  Utilities - you're renting, so maybe you don't pay any, but if you do (i.e. renting a house) then cut everything way back.  Unplug anything that's not actively in use and keep lights out in any room you're not actually in.  Turn down the thermostat - way down!  (Not enough for the pipes to freeze!)  Set a timer for your showers, and turn down the temp setting on your hot water heater.  All of this will only move the needle a tick on your utility bills, but you need every penny you can get.  $60 from a saved tank of gas, plus $10 less in utilities, plus $40 from cutting back data on your cell phones - that might be the minimum payment on one of your CC bills, right?

6.  Office space - figure out if you could sublet it or share it, even if it doesn't completely cover your cost.  There are some social work/psychology professionals in private practice who might love to rent space from you once a week.  Same with lawyers just starting out, who need a safe place to meet with clients, but not a place to work from every day.  I've known people in exactly those situations (a criminal defense attorney, a psychologist doing insurance-funded assessments and therapy, a social worker moving into a private counselling practice).  You can charge them a small fee to have their mail come to you as well, and if this works out, could even set up phone lines for them, as long as you can recover the equipment and service costs.  Look for message boards or local associations to get the word out that you're looking for renters. 

Again, these are just a few budget trimming ideas to get you started.  They won't get you all the way, but if you do all of them, you might free up enough money to inch toward climbing out of this mess.  More ideas will come, but do something, right now, to get started.  You can't let yourself stay frozen.

Gimesalot

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2017, 10:14:40 AM »
Since there are no specifics, I'll give you some very general advice.

The first thing you need to do is sit with your wife and fill out the case study spreadsheet.  This way you will both be on the same page about your current spending and debt.  Post it on here to get advice. 

Next, figure out a schedule for both you and your wife.  This way you will both know when you can get additional jobs.  At this point, it is certain that you need additional income and the only way is to work more.  This means that your children will probably need to take up the slack and help around the house more.

Third, get additional work.  There will be lots of suggestions from people on the forums.

Fourth, have a family meeting to get the 4 of you on the same page.  Some may argue that you shouldn't involve your children as it isn't their mess and that you don't want to worry them.  I am of the opinion that they are probably old enough to know that you messed up and seeing you dig out will provide a valuable lesson for them.

Good luck!  Remember that we are here to help and provide support.  You can do this!

Vindicated

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2017, 01:31:34 PM »
Posting to follow.  Good luck righting your course!

swick

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2017, 02:13:43 PM »
I'm going to challenge you on the belief that your boys can't handle being home alone at the ages of 11 and 14. Naturally, you know your children best, but at least here, you are allowed to leave children home starting at 10 and Children are allowed to babysit other children at 13. We do have "Babysitting Courses and an "At Home Alone" Training courses kids can take.
There is some more specific US info here:https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/homealone.pdf

Basically, you are going to need the whole family to be on board to dig yourselves out of this. That might mean kids staying home alone and getting involved in the household upkeep while you are working more.

marty998

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2017, 02:14:35 PM »
Oh dear god, turn the air conditioner off ($200 a month???). Florida is not excessively hot - you can learn to tolerate mild discomfort and don't need climate controlled room temp coolness all the time.

NoJustNo

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2017, 02:22:30 PM »
...
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 01:12:16 PM by NoJustNo »

NoJustNo

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2017, 02:23:45 PM »
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« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 01:16:02 PM by NoJustNo »

TheStachery

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2017, 02:32:12 PM »
you have 48k in car loans and make 72k.  This is the main reason you are broke.  Sell the cars and buy cheap used ones.

NoJustNo

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2017, 02:35:43 PM »
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« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 01:16:16 PM by NoJustNo »

TheStachery

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2017, 02:41:47 PM »
you have 48k in car loans and make 72k.  This is the main reason you are broke.  Sell the cars and buy cheap used ones.

 I would in a heartbeat but if you read my case study you would see that I'm about $20,000 negative. I don't have the $20,000 to pay the loans off to be able to sell the cars.

how is that 20k split between the two cars?  is all the neg equity mostly in one of the cars?

NoJustNo

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2017, 03:01:02 PM »
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« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 01:16:28 PM by NoJustNo »

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2017, 03:02:42 PM »
Thanks for the extra info.

I'm going to let other posters attack the cars.

Rent: $1295. 3 bedroom house

You could probably lower your rent by moving somewhere smaller and having the boys share a room for a year or two while you dig out of this mess.

Electric: $200 (It's FL and you run AC all year)
You no longer have that luxury. And you say below that you are out of the house a lot working.

Cell Phones:  $240-5 Devices financed (stupidly) plus 6gig date on 4 phones. T-Mobile is cheap if you own your phones. Can't sell my phones for enough to cover what's owed. Stuck. Can cancel kids phones, will lower bill by only $30 and wife INSISTS on a way to contact them as we are out of the house a lot working.
Don't fall into the trap of saying only x amount. People around here celebrate saving a dollar. And financing phones is not the only way to contact your kids. Buy a cheap pre-paid phone.

Food: We average $1000 a month.
I'm sure you realise you need to cut this. Many people on here live on half of that to feed the same number of people, but even cutting it back to $800 a month would be a huge improvement.

I eat a lot of Caprese Salad. Fresh Mozzarella, tomato, Basil, Olive Oil.
Fresh herbs are expensive. Buy a basil plant.

We go through a lot of water in the house and we are picky about the kind we drink. Spring Water, no added Fluoride etc. I wish I could afford a reverse osmosis machine but we probably go through about 4-5 cases a week at $4 a case. I'm sure theres a way to cut them down but it's all we drink besides coffee.
You're paying $80 a month for expensive pee.

Spotify: $14 family account.
You cannot afford this.

Starbucks: $100 I get coffee a lot while I'm out and about, working etc. Looks like this costs a LOT.
Buy a thermos.

XBOX Live for the boys: I think it's currently $30 for 3 months, so $10 a month.
...
I use it for work and it's used for Netflix and Xbox Live for the boys. I can't kill the ONE thing they are most passionate about. If you are a parent you'd understand. They are good boys who get good grades. I upload large audio/video files to a server and my son shoots, edits and uploads videos for his youtube gaming channel.
At 11 and 14 they can start making their own money if they want Xbox Live. If your son has a YouTube channel, this is a good opportunity for him to learn about monetising that. Otherwise, they can mow lawns or wash cars.

And don't imply that buying Xbox Live represents how much you love your children. Your kids are learning about values and money from you. There is a poster on here whose daughter asked for a watermelon for her birthday. Kids actually don't need a lot to be happy.

I have work expenses as well:
Dropbox Pro. $10 a month to host and move large files back and forth from anywhere.
ADOBE CC. $32 a month For audio, video and photo editing.
Are you claiming these on tax?

There are some small cuts I know we can make but any way I work it, it's not meaningful to catch up with the 2 weeks of bills I'm currently behind...

If you cut:
$30 phones
$200 groceries
$80 bottled water
$100 coffee
$14 Spotify
$10 Xbox Live (by either cancelling it or getting the kids to pay for it)
= $434 to throw at bills and ultimately debt.

I know the situation seems hopeless but there is actually a lot of fat to trim in this budget, and some obvious changes you can make very quickly.

I think your boys are old enough for you to be honest with them about why you are making these changes. You no longer have the luxury of keeping up appearances in front of them. Reassure them that they will have food and a roof over their head, help them feel secure, but be honest with them.

PJ

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2017, 03:13:44 PM »
Thanks for the extra info.

I'm going to let other posters attack the cars.

Rent: $1295. 3 bedroom house

You could probably lower your rent by moving somewhere smaller and having the boys share a room for a year or two while you dig out of this mess.

Electric: $200 (It's FL and you run AC all year)
You no longer have that luxury. And you say below that you are out of the house a lot working.

Cell Phones:  $240-5 Devices financed (stupidly) plus 6gig date on 4 phones. T-Mobile is cheap if you own your phones. Can't sell my phones for enough to cover what's owed. Stuck. Can cancel kids phones, will lower bill by only $30 and wife INSISTS on a way to contact them as we are out of the house a lot working.
Don't fall into the trap of saying only x amount. People around here celebrate saving a dollar. And financing phones is not the only way to contact your kids. Buy a cheap pre-paid phone.

Food: We average $1000 a month.
I'm sure you realise you need to cut this. Many people on here live on half of that to feed the same number of people, but even cutting it back to $800 a month would be a huge improvement.

I eat a lot of Caprese Salad. Fresh Mozzarella, tomato, Basil, Olive Oil.
Fresh herbs are expensive. Buy a basil plant.

We go through a lot of water in the house and we are picky about the kind we drink. Spring Water, no added Fluoride etc. I wish I could afford a reverse osmosis machine but we probably go through about 4-5 cases a week at $4 a case. I'm sure theres a way to cut them down but it's all we drink besides coffee.
You're paying $80 a month for expensive pee.

Spotify: $14 family account.
You cannot afford this.

Starbucks: $100 I get coffee a lot while I'm out and about, working etc. Looks like this costs a LOT.
Buy a thermos.

XBOX Live for the boys: I think it's currently $30 for 3 months, so $10 a month.
...
I use it for work and it's used for Netflix and Xbox Live for the boys. I can't kill the ONE thing they are most passionate about. If you are a parent you'd understand. They are good boys who get good grades. I upload large audio/video files to a server and my son shoots, edits and uploads videos for his youtube gaming channel.
At 11 and 14 they can start making their own money if they want Xbox Live. If your son has a YouTube channel, this is a good opportunity for him to learn about monetising that. Otherwise, they can mow lawns or wash cars.

And don't imply that buying Xbox Live represents how much you love your children. Your kids are learning about values and money from you. There is a poster on here whose daughter asked for a watermelon for her birthday. Kids actually don't need a lot to be happy.

I have work expenses as well:
Dropbox Pro. $10 a month to host and move large files back and forth from anywhere.
ADOBE CC. $32 a month For audio, video and photo editing.
Are you claiming these on tax?

There are some small cuts I know we can make but any way I work it, it's not meaningful to catch up with the 2 weeks of bills I'm currently behind...

If you cut:
$30 phones
$200 groceries
$80 bottled water
$100 coffee
$14 Spotify
$10 Xbox Live (by either cancelling it or getting the kids to pay for it)
= $434 to throw at bills and ultimately debt.

I know the situation seems hopeless but there is actually a lot of fat to trim in this budget, and some obvious changes you can make very quickly.

I think your boys are old enough for you to be honest with them about why you are making these changes. You no longer have the luxury of keeping up appearances in front of them. Reassure them that they will have food and a roof over their head, help them feel secure, but be honest with them.

This is a huge post to quote in its entirety, but I'm doing it anyway.  That was a lot of work for mustachepungoeshere to put together.  Do him/her the justice of reading it through, then read it again, and really look at the total numbers at the end.  These are what would be considered the "easy" cuts by most people on the forum, not even taking into account possibly moving, selling cars, or changing your thermostat settings.  Yes, small changes can add up!

Again, as I said in my earlier post:  Pick something, do something.  Do it now.  Make one change today, and one change tomorrow, and another the day after, and you CAN start climbing out of this mess.  Other people have done it before.  We've seen it happen.

notactiveanymore

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2017, 03:26:24 PM »
Alright, so I took 28,000 + 44,000 = 72,000 - 8160 (health insurance pre tax?) + 8160 (child support) =72,000 *.75 (25% taxes to estimate) = 54,000 / 12 = 4500 estimated monthly takehome. I didn't feel like doing more work than that, but OP if you could figure out your monthly takehome, please let us know.

ESTIMATED TAKEHOME INCOME
4500

MONTHLY EXPENSES
Rent: $1295
Car payments: $1083
Car Insurance: $240
Electric: $200
Water/Garbage: $100
Cell Phones:  $240
Gas/Tolls:  $400
Food: $1000 - Cut this asap bc you are broke - NEW: $500
Credit Cards: PAYMENT???
Credit Care: PAYMENT???
Student Loans: DEFERRED
Internet: $108 call and reduce speed and tell them if they can't you'll have to leave - NEW: $70
Neflix: $8
Spotify: $14 you are broke, cancel it - NEW $0
Starbucks: $100 No no stop - NEW: $0

Current: $4788 (over by 288 without any debt payments)
Potential 1st step reductions: $4136 ($364 for debt payments)


DEBT:
Credit Cards/Loans: $7K at high interest
Credit Care: $4K @ 26% interest
Student loans: $57K consolidated and in Deferment (How much longer do you have to defer?)
Business Debt to partner: Approximately $60K (Not currently paying back?)

1ST STEP REDUCTIONS
So what I've put in red is what I think you should do this week. You know you are broke and you don't have many options right now, so the number one thing you need to do is to stop the bleeding. If your high interest credit card debt is 28%, then that $100/month you spend on Starbucks is actually $128. Even more because you're not paying for it in cash!

Things you need to do next:

1. Call your internet provider and downgrade your internet speed. Tell them you are worried you won't be able to pay your bill anymore and what can they do to move you into a bare bones plan for the next year while you sort this out.

2. Cancel Spotify immediately. The free version is just fine when you're broke.

3. Accept that for the time being you cannot afford to eat how you would prefer to eat. You are in an emergency situation. You could be evicted if you keep paying rent late and you already have debt going to collections. A bankruptcy would not fix this, you have to do the work. If you must, buy a brita filter for the sink and refill water bottles. There is nothing harmful about fluoride in the water, but if you can't get over it, then at least find a better way than paying $12 week on bottled freaking water.

4. Check the Kelly blue book value of each vehicle for a private sale deal. Know exactly how underwater you are and when you could get out of these payments. Unfortunately I don't see you being able to do the dave ramsey plan for cars and get a small credit union loan for the difference. I seriously doubt you could get an unsecured loan right now. But at least if you know the real numbers you will know when you can sell without having to bring money to the table.

5. Call the cell phone company and explain that you are worried you won't be able to pay your next month's bill. Ask what your options are. Can you downgrade the phones or change the plan or get rid of the iPad. When you call there are options they have that you may not know about.

6. Have a family business meeting, first with your wife, then with the kids. With your wife, you need to both be aware of all of the hard numbers and you need to decide together that you don't want to live like this anymore. You have to agree to get on a plan and a budget and stop spending money you don't have. You need to agree that you will at least temporarily change your spending and your diet. Then bring the kids in and let them know that you're all going to have to make some sacrifices for awhile so that you can be in a better place financially. It's going to take a team effort. I'd even go so far as to put your debts up on the wall as a thermometer and celebrate each payoff together.

7. Stop complaining and look at other ways to bring in income. Is the $28k what you make from the gigs? If so, what kind of hours do you have available to work? Could you do substitute teaching? Could you go deliver pizzas or pick up some hours doing lawn mowing or roofing or something?

I think that's about enough for a first steps. I was initially really optimistic based on how you sounded in the original post, but I hope the information you put in your follow-up case study making excuses for all your spending doesn't mean you're not willing to face this head on and tackle it. You really can do this, you just have to take control.

NoJustNo

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2017, 03:28:03 PM »
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« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 01:16:52 PM by NoJustNo »

Cwadda

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2017, 03:41:12 PM »
As a fellow gamer I can assure you, you don't need 300 mbps. You need at most 25 mbps, even lower if you use an ethernet cable. Cut your internet bill in half.

mustachepungoeshere

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2017, 03:50:11 PM »

Food: We average $1000 a month.
I'm sure you realise you need to cut this. Many people on here live on half of that to feed the same number of people, but even cutting it back to $800 a month would be a huge improvement.

I'D LIKE TO SEE A PICTURE OF THOSE PEOPLE AND SAMPLE GROCERY LISTS. I KNOW I CAN CUT IT DOWN TO $6-800 AND I WILL. THIS WILL INVOLVE DIFFERENT STORES, SEARCHING FOR CHEAPER OPTIONS AND OTHER COST CUTTING MEASURES. I WILL NOT HOWEVER FEED MY FAMILY SHIT, UNHEALTHY FOOD.

Lucky MMM wrote a post just for you.

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03/29/killing-your-1000-grocery-bill/

Forum resources:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/rein-in-the-grocery-spend-2017/?topicseen

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/throw-down-the-gauntlet/eat-all-the-food-in-your-house-take-2/

And a budget recipe site that is very popular on the forum.

https://www.budgetbytes.com/



MY CATS EAT EVERY PLANT WE BRING HOME.

What is the cat costing you? It is possible to be frugal with pets, but you should be able to put a number on it.

Every payday my wife has to payback the $500 payday loan from 2 weeks before and get another one the next day. I forgot to add this as an expense as it adds $100 a month extra we have to outlay.

You should amend your original post to include this, but getting out of the payday loan cycle needs to be your number one priority.

ysette9

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2017, 04:45:30 PM »
Quote
IT SMELLS DISGUSTING AND IS FULL OF FLUORIDE POISON.

An important part of getting yourself out of this hole that you have dug is keeping an open mind, a learning mindset, and being willing to apply logic and data to improve your situation. I have to call this comment out because it is blatantly wrong. If you don't like the taste of your water, then buy yourself a Brita water filter pitcher at Target. However, fluoride is a safe, well-understood supplement with a long history of benefits. By bypassing tap water and buying bottled water you are costing yourself $80 a month and saving yourself the benefit of reduced cavities. $80 a month in the grand scheme of things may not be as big as the massive hemorrhaging going on right now due to your cars, but as an engineer it is important for me to call out bad information when I see it. Our lives are demonstrably better due to science, facts, research, and the widespread application of that learning. The trend of anti-intellectualism and anti-science is doing us all real harm and it needs to be stopped in its tracks.


http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/labelingnutrition/ucm073602.htm
http://www.snopes.com/water-fluoridation-reduces-iq/

Quote
Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General (2000):
"Community water fluoridation is safe and effective in preventing dental caries in both children and adults. Water fluoridation benefits all residents served by community water supplies regardless of their social or economic status. Professional and individual measures, including the use of fluoride mouth rinses, gels, dentifrices, and dietary supplements and the application of dental sealants, are additional means of preventing dental caries." (Executive summary)

Quote
Review of Fluoride: Benefits and Risks (Public Health Service, 1991):
"Extensive studies over the past 50 years have established that individuals whose drinking water is fluoridated show a reduction in dental caries. Although the comparative degree of measurable benefit has been reduced recently as other fluoride sources have become available in non-fluoride areas, the benefits of water fluoridation are still clearly evident." (Conclusions section, page 87)

Another Reader

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2017, 05:18:19 PM »
You could try the Dave Ramsey approach.  Start with food, utilities, and rent.  Everything else is prioritized and some things just don't get paid until you dig your way out.

I know someone who successfully danced around bankruptcy for several years.  He retained a shrewd bankruptcy attorney.  Every time a creditor would call, my friend would tell them the name and number of the bankruptcy attorney and "my attorney has instructed me to tell you to call him."  Eventually the creditors stopped calling and much of the debt was written off, including all of the credit card debt  Once you have a bankruptcy attorney, the unsecured creditors know you will file if they get a judgement, so they stop bothering.

The cars are tougher.  You are probably going to have to give one or both back, and buy beaters for cash.  You need some kind of phones for communication, so you may be stuck with those.  Again, if they come after you, give them the same speech.

You may end up filing, or you may get out of it.  No bankruptcy judge will listen to you whine about high quality food and bottled water, I can tell you that.

Lski'stash

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2017, 06:09:54 PM »
There's a lot here. I put my answers (and some questions) in italicize.

EDIT: UPDATED CASE STUDY INFO BELOW ORIGINAL POST.

Bottom line we got behind and can't catch up. Now the bill collectors are calling and I can't pay them. We have been paying rent even 2 weeks late the last few months as my $$ tends to trickle in as I get paid by agents (I'm an entertainer) Our cars are both newer and payments are HUGE. We're negative on both of them to the tune of at least $13K on one and $5K or more on the other....Wife is a restaurant manager and needs wheels for work, I need my truck for work gear as well. Most of my work is 60-100 miles round trip. Central FL is spread out. We are bringing home $4400-5400 a month and can't catch up. The vehicles, insurance, gas and tolls cost us $2K a month. I would work with a car dealership to get two cars that will cost you the least amount per mile while still fulfilling your needs. You might not necessarily need a truck for your things (think like, a hatchback or a Subaru) for entertaining. I entertain as well, although I don't always get paid for it:) My amps, guitar, and mic stand fit nicely in my Fiesta when the back seat is down. I'm always surprised by what I can get in there. Car dealerships are an evil necessity, but they should be able to work with you to get a better deal while taking down your loan. At least, give it some thought. It's the biggest consumer of your total monthly income.

We have no cable TV but we do have internet which is $108 a month for fast broadband. Our cell bill is a killer and we are stupidly financing 4 phones an iPad. Even if I gave them all back and I'd still owe a fortune! This is a lot for internet, even really fast cable internet. Do some shopping around. The phone situation can definitely get better. Go to https://fi.google.com or republic wireless, get phones. Sell your others, even if it's back to the carrier. The only reason to not do this would be the cost to get out of the plan, and even then, with the money that you could save, it still might be worth it.



EDIT: CASE STUDY INFO:


TITLE: See Above.
LIFE STATUS: Married, 2 step children 11, 14. Orlando, FL area.
GROSS SALARAY/WAGES: Wife-$44K, Me-$28K
PRE-TAX DEDUCTIONS: Health Insurance. $680 a month. WifeWhy is health insurance so much? Is there a cheaper option for you guys?
OTHER INCOME: Child Support. $680
ADJUSTED GROSS INCOME: I don't have the information as it's at my accountant but last year we owed $6700. This year it may be a bit less. I work for myself and we haven't paid any in from my income as we need the $$ to survive. I know..HENCE i'm here.
TAXES: See above. She pays standard SS and FL has no state or local tax.

CURRENT EXPENSES:

Rent: $1295. 3 bedroom house
Car payments: $1083
Car Insurance: USAA $240
Electric: $200 (It's FL and you run AC all year) Start setting your thermostat higher, at least. Figure out what you can handle, and go with it. When you are comfortable there, increase it some more.
Water/Garbage: $100 This looks like a lot for a month? I spend 30 total for both in Michigan.
Cell Phones:  $240-5 Devices financed (stupidly) plus 6gig date on 4 phones. T-Mobile is cheap if you own your phones. Can't sell my phones for enough to cover what's owed. Stuck. Can cancel kids phones, will lower bill by only $30 and wife INSISTS on a way to contact them as we are out of the house a lot working.
Gas/Tolls:  All major roads I use to get to work and back are toll Rds in Orlando and it's outrageous what it costs. We averaged $400 a month on gas for 2 vehicles last year. Had I known that I may have chosen somewhere else to live as I live in a NICE family oriented burb outside of Orlando with one of the best school systems in the state. Tolls were $250-$400 a month on top of that insanely enough.
Food: We average $1000 a month. I do the shopping. I eat a mostly Keto diet which means I don't do much bread, Pasta, white food, sugar. Eggs, veggies, salad, Cheese, lunch meat for the boys' lunch, Bread, PBJ, yogurt for breakfast, cereal for one of the boys and milk. (he's 14, huge and that's all he will eat for breakfast:() We do Taco's once a week (costs about $10), Dollar slice night at the PIZZA place on the corner ($8). I eat a lot of Caprese Salad. Fresh Mozzarella, tomato, Basil, Olive Oil. Pistachios, whole bean coffee ($20 a month), coffee cream. Usually at least a meal chicken and veggies a week. The other days the boys fend for themselves. Grilled cheese and tomato soup, I might buy them subs at Publix or WAWA If I'm in a hurry (Which I can cut out and just have them eat sandwiches at home, PBJ, cereal, etc. We go through a lot of water in the house and we are picky about the kind we drink. Spring Water, no added Fluoride etc. I wish I could afford a reverse osmosis machine but we probably go through about 4-5 cases a week at $4 a case. I'm sure theres a way to cut them down but it's all we drink besides coffee. This is a lot. Do you have an ALDI available? Or a Costco? That will cut down on food cost.
Credit Cards/Loans: CCs. I have 5 cards all high interest maxed. Total approx. $6K They are all late so the interest is spiked to the max. There are two ways to pay this down, by interest rate (mathematically better) or by amount of debt (feels better). I would call each card, ask for a lower rate, and see what comes of it. I did this once (Pre-MMM days) and they were more than willing to work with me. The creditors don't want you to go to bankruptcy, they want you to pay them.
Wife has 1 Capital One card and one JC Penny. Total owed approx. $1000
Credit Care. (Dental) Approx $4K @ 26% interest
Student loans: $57K consolidated and in Deferment. Currently not paying.
Business Debt to partner: Approximately $60K
Internet: The boys play games, I need internet work work and everyone is on it. We tried the cheaper speed but it wasn't cutting it. We have 300mbs Brighthouse/Spectrum unlimited and it's $108 a month. Cheapest for fastest in the area.
Neflix: $8 No cable and the boys watch shows. I occasionally do as does my wife.
Spotify: $14 family account.
Starbucks: $100 I get coffee a lot while I'm out and about, working etc. Looks like this costs a LOT. yep, cut this
XBOX Live for the boys: I think it's currently $30 for 3 months, so $10 a month.

I have work expenses as well:
Dropbox Pro. $10 a month to host and move large files back and forth from anywhere. You can do this with Google Drive and Evernote for free. I would drop it.
ADOBE CC. $32 a month For audio, video and photo editing.


ASSETS: Personal assets? I can't think of any. Zero investments, zero savings.
LIABILITIES:
Car Loans as stated above:
2015 Hyundai Elantra 11.9% interest (We had shit credit). $20,800 payoff. $533 a month for 60 more months.
2015 RAM 1500 5.9% interest, Payoff about $28K. $550 a month, 60 more months
Credit Cards: have 5 cards all high interest maxed. Total approx. $6K They are all late so the interest is spiked to the max.
Wife has 1 Capital One card and one JC Penny. Total owed approx. $1000
Credit Care. (Dental) Approx $4K @ 26% interest
Student loans: $57K consolidated and in Deferrement. Currently not paying.
Business Debt to partner: Approximately $60K

Extra Jobs:

I have applied to several hundred jobs that I could qualify for and the only one I can get is driving a motor coach or a large company that does the tourism/parks stuff. However this amounts to a $10 an hour job, no set schedules and would basically wipe out my entertainment work which is 5X more $$. As I stated above.

I got a job, went through the training, paid for the licenses to be a professional luxury chauffeur at the same company. Servicing the high end resorts and corporate clients around Orlando. It's an independent contractor deal where you basically rent the car for the day go out, pay for gas, tolls and keep what you make after. You have curbs that the company has available at the hotels, do airport runs etc. I tried it for 4 days. Lost money. Apparently Uber is killing them in Orlando.

Uber: I tried them but they pay so little per mile in this market that with a 5.7 litre engine you lose money driving around. Even people with cars that get great milage lose $$ in this town. They best you can do is make $5-6 an hour after gas, tolls and expenses. It's a real bad deal. Anyone who may doubt me can go here and read. https://uberpeople.net/forums/Orlando/
Uber Eats is even worse. I did the Uber thing during the summer, and found it enjoyable. You have to work nights and weekends though, and I'm willing to bet that's when your gigs are. Could you try Lyft? I hear they are much better to their employees and pay them more.


braje

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2017, 06:12:24 PM »


Summer of 2015 my partner and I started our own entertainment business here but it has not even launched yet due to promo not being finished. Technical issues have basically caused us to miss the entire corporate season here in FL thus untold amounts of $$..We have $100K invested, a facility/office that is costing us $2K a month that I'm going in debt to pay for and I owe about $60K to my partner for financing the upstart. To make matters worse, he's also my oldest friend of 30 years..We both signed a 4 year lease personally guaranteed with 3 years left. This business will not see any income until the end of this year or early next year I'd say.
I don't understand this, at all. If it has not even launched why did you need office space, what was the 100K for?
My Dad lives in So FLA and keeps his thermostat at 79, but I have no idea on his electric cost.
Someone suggested looking into 0% balance transfer, I don't believe that is a option for someone who is months behind on the bills.
Why are you not doing the truck driving, which  you said would pay about double of what you are making now?
You need to figure out how to increase your earnings, in addition to lower your expenses.

Laura33

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #29 on: February 15, 2017, 06:20:53 PM »
First:  breathe.  It took you a long time to dig this hole (usurious interest rates = poor credit score = history of iffy financial decisions); it will take you time and patience to dig out.  Don't blow off what seems like little stuff because it seems insignificant; it all counts.  There is no magic bullet; no one here can magically make $1K in vehicle loans go away.

You have some very good specific suggestions here that you can implement today.  I am going to focus on the bigger picture: the mental attitude.  You got to where you are because of all of the "shoulds" in your head, all of the things that you think you deserve.  You needed a vehicle, so you got a big, new truck, because you thought you should be able to have it; when your wife needed a new vehicle, repeat the process (does she deserve less that you?  Of course not!); you need a place to live, so you should have a nice 3br home in a great neighborhood with great schools, because the boys deserve it; etc etc etc.  This seems to be coupled with the sense that you are in your current position because of forces out of your control - the promo that somehow didn't get done, the usurious interest the dealer foisted on you, the horrible gas and tolls that you are stuck with, the lack of better-paying jobs where you currently live, etc.

I say this not to beat you up over past choices -- everyone screws up, and you want to fix it, huzzah!  The problem is that I see that same attitude in your responses above -- and the attitude that got you into this pickle is what is going to keep you there if you don't change your mindset.  The reality is that you guys make well above the national median income, and in fact earn significantly more than many Mustachians.  Yet you have dismissed many suggestions for how you can live closer to your means because they don't live up to your expectations of the kind of life you and your family deserve.  A smaller place is angrily dismissed because your kids shouldn't have to live in a worse neighborhood; only spring water is good enough; your boys love gaming and shouldn't be deprived; cheaper groceries must mean eating crap; etc.  And you feel helpless, trapped, because all of those outside forces are preventing you from finding an easy way out (inflating your income to support your lifestyle), so you are considering other easy ways out (bankruptcy, defaulting on your partner/leaving him stuck with the lease).

So I would argue that the first step towards success is starting from the firm belief that you, and you alone, put you where you are now.  Yes, the dealer gave you a crappy deal -- but you took him up on it instead of walking away and spending that $7K on a used car you could have bought for cash.  You are stuck with ridiculous gas and toll costs because you chose to buy a big truck and live in a neighborhood that requires you to commute long distances.  Etc.  No one is entitled to a certain neighborhood, or two new vehicles, or spring water, or a data plan on their iPad (wtf? I don't even have that).  You guys need a budget based on what you actually earn, now, today, not what someone will lend you, or what you think you should have. 

I know that sounds depressing, but it is empowering:  if you are the ones who put you where you are now, that also means you have the power to dig yourselves out.  You have four extremely capable people who can jump in on this.  When I was a kid, my mom had me bring a calculator to the grocery store so we didn't exceed our Food Stamps - she made a game of it.  How about challenging those boys to use some of those internet skills to come up with meals that will feed the four of you for $X -- and then use some of that downtime to learn to cook them for you?  Or to come up with games and activities you guys can do for free in your area?  How about challenging yourself to see how much you can increase your gas mileage by changing your driving style?  Or a family challenge to see who can go the longest without spending money, or who can learn the best new DIY skill, or how little power you can use in a month (I note that it is winter, so it is not like I am asking you to swelter in 103 heat).  What can you do, today, to get that promo done, or find someone to sublease the space?  Etc.

All of these will help you cut costs immediately.  But they will also develop skills and mindsets that will keep you from going back to your speedy ways as soon as you get your head above water again.

snacky

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #30 on: February 15, 2017, 06:35:54 PM »
Do you think that Starbucks uses bottled water? I promise you they don't, and you seem fine with drinking things from there.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #31 on: February 15, 2017, 07:20:39 PM »
I have multiple doctors in my family and when they are thirsty they fill a glass from the tap. I promise you you'll be fine with tap water.

Your takehome is fine if it's $4500 - that's about the takehome pay I support my family of five on, with room for savings - and if you can just make your payments you can get there. But you can't fall behind too many more months! No more Starbucks, save the meat for the boys, learn to like beans and tap water.

If you don't do this now while you have a tiny bit of control, everything will come crashing down and you'll be drinking tap water anyways.

GetSmart

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #32 on: February 15, 2017, 07:26:37 PM »
Who the heck is doing your taxes ?
 
Quote
Me-$28K
- Is this net business income or gross ?
I would think (if I'm reading this correctly) that a good portion of your phone / gas / tolls / truck payment (or mileage depending on which way you go) is a business expense tax deduction plus the dropbox and adobe.  Or are you already taking these into consideration ?
Quote
=72,000 *.75 (25% taxes to estimate) = 54,000 / 12 = 4500 estimated monthly take home
- this isn't right - you are probably in the 15% bracket.  And in that case I don't see how you owed $6700 in taxes unless your gross bus. inc. was much higher.

Is there some reason you can't increase the amount you work even without the completed marketing end?  How do you get gigs now ?

Call the phone co. and tell them you want voice only - no data - you don't need data on your phones and high speed internet at home.  How many months until the contract is up ?

notactiveanymore

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #33 on: February 15, 2017, 08:15:13 PM »
Who the heck is doing your taxes ?
 
Quote
Me-$28K
- Is this net business income or gross ?
I would think (if I'm reading this correctly) that a good portion of your phone / gas / tolls / truck payment (or mileage depending on which way you go) is a business expense tax deduction plus the dropbox and adobe.  Or are you already taking these into consideration ?
Quote
=72,000 *.75 (25% taxes to estimate) = 54,000 / 12 = 4500 estimated monthly take home
- this isn't right - you are probably in the 15% bracket.  And in that case I don't see how you owed $6700 in taxes unless your gross bus. inc. was much higher.

Is there some reason you can't increase the amount you work even without the completed marketing end?  How do you get gigs now ?

Call the phone co. and tell them you want voice only - no data - you don't need data on your phones and high speed internet at home.  How many months until the contract is up ?

That estimate was mine just to try and have a starting place. I asked OP to let us know what his take home income was, but I do not think he read my response. It's Florida too, right? So no state income taxes. They're probably taking home more, but OP still hasn't let us know.

PJ

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #34 on: February 15, 2017, 09:55:54 PM »
Starbucks, Spotify, Xbox live and at least one phone are gone.

Good!  Great news!  That's more than one thing, in just one day.  What's on the list for tomorrow?

Seriously.  I don't want to sound flippant.  And I am really glad that you got "unstuck" and took action on more than one thing.  Yes, your cars are a huge part of the problem, and you can work on that, but that will take more time.  There are still lots of things you can do right away - tomorrow, in fact!  Your goal right now is to find enough money this very month, to pay off the payday loans.  That saves you the enormous interest payment. 

How can you do that? 

We've given you ideas:  Call the phone company.  Skip a grocery shop and eat out of your cupboards.  Turn up your air cond temperature by 2 degrees today, and in a week's time, do it again.  Drink tap water and skip the bottled stuff.  How about instead of buying yourself a thermos (But if you have to, is there a thrift store near you?  Or a Buy Nothing Group operating in your area?) you make yourself some iced coffee that you can carry around in those water bottles you've probably got lying around.  Call your creditors and ask for a lower rate.  Cancel even one of the boys phones and lower your data on the others.  If you don't like our ideas, or find some of the other suggestions "easier" to ease into this new lifestyle that you're going to adopt, then choose something else from the long list of suggestions that's already been generated.

This is the right attitude: 

First:  breathe.  It took you a long time to dig this hole (usurious interest rates = poor credit score = history of iffy financial decisions); it will take you time and patience to dig out.  Don't blow off what seems like little stuff because it seems insignificant; it all counts. 

It all counts.  Really.  Make enough of these small cuts, or one big one, and that payday loan is getting paid.  That's February's goal met.  Then figure out what's on the agenda for March. 

Look, here's the thing.  You can make those cuts now, big or small, or they'll be made for you.  You'll get evicted - yay, no rent this month!  Or you'll come out in the morning to head to a gig and surprise!  Your truck has been repossessed.  Guess you can stop worrying about putting gas in it, though I guess you can also stop expecting to get paid for a gig you're not going to be able to get to.  And don't fool yourself that bankruptcy will make everything ok.  It will make some things better, and other things really really hard - not just right now, but for 7 years.  It might still be the right choice - only you and a bankruptcy professional can figure that out - but it's not a magic wand.

If you don't want that, you have to do things differently than you've been doing, you have to think about things differently than you've been doing.   

So good for you, you took action today.  You cut about $150 from your budget today, if you stick to what you've resolved.

Now get a good night's sleep, and do it again tomorrow.  And we'll be here to cheer you on.

RunningintoFI

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #35 on: February 15, 2017, 10:07:39 PM »
Please take the advice given so far to heart, everyone is trying to find any way to help start that snowball towards being debt free. 

I agree with others that the tap water complaints are total BS that you can ill afford to hold onto.  Get a filter and add some cheap frozen fruit if you desperately want to disguise the flavor.

Your $28K per year is not working out greatly in your favor if I have read through this post correctly.  Assuming a 40 Hour work week, you are earning roughly $14/hour with that annual income.  Given that you say you are working 50-60 hours/week and doing all of that driving, that doesn't make good financial sense from an income/hour ratio given your current costs of driving alone.  Are there absolutely no jobs (even $10/hour without any drive would improve your situation) closer to where you call home? 


bugbaby

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #36 on: February 15, 2017, 10:25:40 PM »
 Even a second job netting $6/hr say 12 hrs a week is $250 more a month. Just this and cutting grocery by $250 gets you out of the payday loan jail.

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marty998

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #37 on: February 16, 2017, 12:15:16 AM »

You have some very good specific suggestions here that you can implement today.  I am going to focus on the bigger picture: the mental attitude.  You got to where you are because of all of the "shoulds" in your head, all of the things that you think you deserve.  You needed a vehicle, so you got a big, new truck, because you thought you should be able to have it; when your wife needed a new vehicle, repeat the process (does she deserve less that you?  Of course not!); you need a place to live, so you should have a nice 3br home in a great neighborhood with great schools, because the boys deserve it; etc etc etc.  This seems to be coupled with the sense that you are in your current position because of forces out of your control - the promo that somehow didn't get done, the usurious interest the dealer foisted on you, the horrible gas and tolls that you are stuck with, the lack of better-paying jobs where you currently live, etc.



I love this paragraph. Encapsulates everything about "why" people get into difficulty.


Attitude is half the battle.

IndyPendent

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #38 on: February 16, 2017, 05:36:34 AM »

You have some very good specific suggestions here that you can implement today.  I am going to focus on the bigger picture: the mental attitude. 

[...]

So I would argue that the first step towards success is starting from the firm belief that you, and you alone, put you where you are now. 

Epic.

Original Poster, read this 10 times and recognize that this, above everything else said here, is what you need to hear.


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NoJustNo

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #39 on: February 16, 2017, 08:51:55 AM »
..
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 01:17:22 PM by NoJustNo »

Gimesalot

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #40 on: February 16, 2017, 09:06:56 AM »
Here's the thing... you are probably a few months out from getting evicted.  When that happens, you will be lucky to land somewhere that has walls, much less different rooms for family members.  There will be no xbox, no internet, and the water will have fluoride.  You can make these changes for yourself, under your control, for a short amount of time, or they can be forced upon you.

You seem to think that bankruptcy will be a magical bullet that will wipe everything clean and into a tidy package.  However, that's not really how it works.  If I understand correctly, you will probably still have to pay back some portion of your debt.  Your credit will be trashed, which means it will be more difficult to find a nice place to live, get insurance, cell phones, or even a good job. 

At this point anything besides a living space with a roof, sufficient calories for the day, and water to keep you hydrated is a luxury. 
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 09:32:03 AM by Gimesalot »

vivophoenix

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #41 on: February 16, 2017, 09:07:27 AM »
the food costs throw me,  aside from you whiny refusal to feed you family 'bad food'.


you say you eat: pizza( $8/week), chicken, veggies, lunch meat, cereal, PBJ, yogurt, nuts, eggs  and tacos($10/week)

if you literally only purchased only these things for five people,  you are saying that each person in one month eats $200 worth of very basic food items.

I think you aren't being honest, about the purchases you make.


For example:

Where do you get your chicken, what cuts? Are you one of those people who can only purchase meat from certain stores, and only chicken breasts? If each person ate a pound of chicken for each meal all month, at $1.39 a pound ( which is Boston prices ) you would be at $600 a month.   add in your special water and that brings you up to $16 dollars. so if you factor in eggs, and pizza which sounds like for a meal they are cheaper, something isn't adding up.


that $14 year old who will only eat cereal for breakfast(sounds like a brat-in-training to me) what type of cereal are we talking: off brand cheerios or on brand sugar delight?

buy everyone oatmeal that is like 10cent a bowl.


What type of yogurt is for breakfast: fancy flavored greek, in individual containers? you cant afford that shit. get a huge tub of unflavored or vanilla


you love salad, great!:   do you buy the pre-washed baby leaf, or do you grab that ugly head of lettuce that you have to pull apart, dirty adult carrots and hard boiled eggs?


you came to this forum for help, and it sounds like you have your hair on fire, house on fire and your life on fire.



but you are too good for tap water. too good for no internet. too good for 'bad schools'.  too good for you kids to move away from their friends and too good for a different house.

you do not always lose your deposit if you break your lease, in fact, if you get new tenants,  some states force your landlord to let you off the hook. have you talked to your landlord, cause you're gonna be out of your deposit anyway when you're evicted?



« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 09:15:53 AM by vivophoenix »

notactiveanymore

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #42 on: February 16, 2017, 09:58:00 AM »
OP, I think we could use a bit more info because right now we don't know how far you are from being able to make ends meet and we especially need more info on the payday loan to help with that. I never recommend borrowing money from friends/family, but payday loans are the scourge of the earth and if that's what it takes to get out of the payday loan cycle, you should do it. But first you have to demonstrate to yourselves and the loan giver that you're going to get a handle on this situation. I'm reposting my previous post which I've updated based on additional info you've provided. I've also bolded questions in my next steps at the bottom. My husband and I paid off 55k of debt in 21 months and it felt amazing. I'd love to help you get there too, but we need a bit more info to really help.

Monthly TAKEHOME INCOME: ________

MONTHLY EXPENSES

Rent: $1295
Car payments: $1083
Car Insurance: $240
Electric: $200
Water/Garbage: $100
Cell Phones:  $240 new amount: _________
Gas/Tolls:  $400
Food: $1000
Credit Cards: ________ (minimum payment)
Credit Care: ________ (minimum payment)
Pay Day Loan: ________ (total due to wipe it out) due: ______ (next due date)
Student Loans: DEFERRED
Internet: $108
Neflix: $8
Spotify: $14
Starbucks: $100

Expenses: 4674 MINUS whatever is saved from phones PLUS whatever minimum debt obligations are



DEBT:
Credit Cards/Loans: $7K at high interest
Credit Care: $4K @ 26% interest
Student loans: $57K consolidated and in Deferment (How much longer do you have to defer?)
Business Debt to partner: Approximately $60K (Not currently paying back?)
Payday Loan: __________ due on _________

Things you need to do next:

1. Call your internet provider and downgrade your internet speed. Tell them you are worried you won't be able to pay your bill anymore and what can they do to move you into a bare bones plan for the next year while you sort this out.

3. Accept that for the time being you cannot afford to eat how you would prefer to eat. If the water thing is the real hangup for you and you absolutely won't change that, then figure out a better solution. Can you buy larger jugs of bottled water? Check the per ounce price and see if it's less to get jugs and pour into your water bottles.

4. Check the Kelly blue book value of each vehicle for a private sale deal. Know exactly how underwater you are and what the payoff amount is on the loans. Update this every month.

5. Call the cell phone company and explain that you are worried you won't be able to pay your next month's bill. Ask what your options are. Can you downgrade the phones or change the plan or get rid of the iPad. When you call there are options they have that you may not know about.

6. Have a family business meeting, first with your wife, then with the kids. With your wife, you need to both be aware of all of the hard numbers and you need to decide together that you don't want to live like this anymore. You have to agree to get on a plan and a budget and stop spending money you don't have. You need to agree that you will at least temporarily change your spending and your diet. Then bring the kids in and let them know that you're all going to have to make some sacrifices for awhile so that you can be in a better place financially. It's going to take a team effort. I'd even go so far as to put your debts up on the wall as a thermometer and celebrate each payoff together.

7. Stop complaining and look at other ways to bring in income. Is the $28k what you make from the gigs? If so, what kind of hours do you have available to work? Could you do substitute teaching? Could you go deliver pizzas or pick up some hours doing lawn mowing or roofing or something?

NoJustNo

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #43 on: February 16, 2017, 10:24:41 AM »
..
« Last Edit: February 16, 2017, 01:17:37 PM by NoJustNo »

notactiveanymore

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #44 on: February 16, 2017, 10:59:01 AM »
OP has apparently abandoned the post and erased his original post. I'm frustrated because I spent quite a bit of time putting together thoughtful responses that were not too heavy-handed on the face punches and provided a lot of suggestions and questions for follow-up information.

OP, you ignored both of my thoughtful responses and suggestions. I simply asked for more information about your minimum payments, a real number for your takehome income, and more information on what your hours were so we could help suggest possibilities for additional income.

When you post on the internet with such a dire life circumstance (on the verge of eviction, owing large sums to a friend, unable to pay bills) you can expect some criticism that you seem unwilling to consider more drastic changes to your current spending. But you also received a lot of suggestions and questions that you completely ignored (like mine) in favor of just getting upset.

I wish you good luck dealing with this problem. I hope that although you ignored my thoughtful responses that you at least read them and that they give you some additional ideas for taking charge of your financial life.

MMM can be about making your finances work for your priorities, even if those priorities are about travel or a nice house or whatever and not early retirement. But sometimes when you are in such a dire circumstance, you have to set aside your priorities (high speed internet, special diet, fancy water) for a time until you get a handle on the really troublesome issues. It will take some sacrifice, at least for a time, for you to get in a more secure place. I encourage you to examine what you can sacrifice in the short term in order to pay off your payday loan, get current with your bills, and figure out a way to bring in more money or bring down your expenses.

Vindicated

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #45 on: February 16, 2017, 11:10:00 AM »
This place is NOT for me.

Bummer.  I really hope he gets things figured out.  I don't know what else he was expecting.  I think everyone offered some very good ideas for cutting the spending, and taking some positive steps.  I hope he returns when he cools down and gives it another shot.

Hargrove

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #46 on: February 16, 2017, 11:13:25 AM »
I'm disappointed when the response to a wave of anonymous internet users (showing up to spend 10-30 minutes or more) helping a stranger is "ugh, they didn't help me the right way."

You can ignore what everyone here is saying very easily. But if the decision is your family's home or tough-love on the internet (and there is an AWFUL lot more "love" than "tough" in this thread), wouldn't you pick tough-love every time?

vivophoenix

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #47 on: February 16, 2017, 11:17:10 AM »
the food costs throw me,  aside from you whiny refusal to feed you family 'bad food'.


you say you eat: pizza( $8/week), chicken, veggies, lunch meat, cereal, PBJ, yogurt, nuts, eggs  and tacos($10/week)

if you literally only purchased only these things for five people,  you are saying that each person in one month eats $200 worth of very basic food items.

I think you aren't being honest, about the purchases you make.


For example:

Where do you get your chicken, what cuts? Are you one of those people who can only purchase meat from certain stores, and only chicken breasts? If each person ate a pound of chicken for each meal all month, at $1.39 a pound ( which is Boston prices ) you would be at $600 a month.   add in your special water and that brings you up to $16 dollars. so if you factor in eggs, and pizza which sounds like for a meal they are cheaper, something isn't adding up.


that $14 year old who will only eat cereal for breakfast(sounds like a brat-in-training to me) what type of cereal are we talking: off brand cheerios or on brand sugar delight?

buy everyone oatmeal that is like 10cent a bowl.


What type of yogurt is for breakfast: fancy flavored greek, in individual containers? you cant afford that shit. get a huge tub of unflavored or vanilla


you love salad, great!:   do you buy the pre-washed baby leaf, or do you grab that ugly head of lettuce that you have to pull apart, dirty adult carrots and hard boiled eggs?


you came to this forum for help, and it sounds like you have your hair on fire, house on fire and your life on fire.



but you are too good for tap water. too good for no internet. too good for 'bad schools'.  too good for you kids to move away from their friends and too good for a different house.

you do not always lose your deposit if you break your lease, in fact, if you get new tenants,  some states force your landlord to let you off the hook. have you talked to your landlord, cause you're gonna be out of your deposit anyway when you're evicted?

Wow.....Just wow. IS there an ignore button?

I am sorry if my post pushed him over the edge.

however, i feel nothing I said was untrue. i myself had to do some sacrifices to get to where i am , and i am not giving advice i myself wouldn't take.

ysette9

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #48 on: February 16, 2017, 11:18:53 AM »
This is the kind of case study (along with the Beatles) where I am intensely curious to see how things out down the line. Will they take our advice? Will their situation reach a crisis where the are forced to do somethhhg drastic like bankruptcy, eviction, sell property, etc.?

I wish the OP the best and really hope that he can come back later with a calm head and implement the good advice that has been thoughtful provided. We do want everyone here to succeed.

Another Reader

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Re: I need help...
« Reply #49 on: February 16, 2017, 12:11:46 PM »
You have had the 7 year sentence before?  Guess you did not learn from the first BK.  Not really sympathetic to people addicted to their lifestyle and the debt to support it that are unwilling to take good advice and prefer to wallow in denial and self pity.  You are no different than a stubborn alcoholic that has to hit bottom multiple times to change.  Maybe try Debtors' Anonymous or whatever is the place for spending addicts if and when you are finally ready to change.  Perhaps that moment will come when you are sleeping in your car after being evicted and no one will rent to you or lend you a penny, because that's where you are headed.