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Dentist

September 26th, 2007 at 11:20 am

I finally went to the dentist today after putting it off for too long. I hadn't been in over a year. Luckily I only had one tooth that needed a filling. I was so relieved. I was imagining that I'd need like six fillings (which has actually happened before). They did tell me I need to wear a night guard because the grinding on my teeth is wearing down some of my molars, and they said I'm likely to fracture a molar if I don't wear a night guard. That would be VERY expensive, because to fix it you have to have a root canal and then a crown. So I'm going to start wearing the night guard.

I heard somewhere that things like going to the dentist and car repairs, big things that are expensive but not regular expenses, are what get people as far as debt. I think it's partially true. I know that much of my credit card debt is from not only small things that I should have budgeted for, but larger purchases and expenses that came up that I hadn't planned for either.

Got my refund check from my second job that was for my CPR class. Had to pay for the class out of pocket and wait to be reimbursed. The check is tiding me over till I get paid on Friday.

update

September 25th, 2007 at 12:43 pm

So I've decided not to do Debtor's Anonymous. The premise to DA is much like AA or NA. I disagree with the whole idea that I am powerless over my debt because I feel like I am actually in control of it now that I am doing a debt management plan. Plus I was so anxious during the meetings because I didn't know anyone and no one really talked to me. But mainly my decision is based on the fact that I want to be more pro-active. I think that DA could be helpful to many people but it just doesn't seem to be right for me.

My spending on food has gone down some this month due in part to one of my good friends cooking dinner at her home almost weekly instead of us going out. She is an excellent cook and it's just as much fun as going out.

I need to develop a plan to pay down my one card that is not in the DMP. I am going to make that a goal.

broke again

September 18th, 2007 at 10:07 am

So it's only four days after pay day and I'm broke already. Mainly it's due to poor budgeting, but I had to pay my mid-year taxes and I bought a plane ticket to Denver for October. I'm so mad at myself. Sometimes things seem really out of control. I paid all of my bills first though. I bought groceries last night and went to eat and that was a mistake, the eating out part. Don't know how to get better at the budgeting thing. Guess I will just keep trying.

DA

September 13th, 2007 at 12:52 pm

Went to my first DA meeting last night. I was very inspired and found it to be a really positive experience.

I am feeling much more comfortable about my finances this past week. I feel like maybe I can really pay down my debt and spend within a set plan. Don't mean to sound all Pollyanna, but I am just very excited that things feel like they are coming together.

I wrote my counselor at CCCS and she suggested I limit my food spending by buying gift cards for the amounts I want to spend so I want to go over. Not sure if I will do it but I might. Thought it was a good idea.

Now I just need to come up with a plan to pay down the card that is not part of the DMP.

breaking bad habits

September 7th, 2007 at 07:03 am

I haven't posted in a while, but today I felt like I should. I have been keeping track of my food spending and it is still too high. This past month (August) I spent about $500 on food, including groceries and eating out. Most of the eating out includes fast food and coffee shop purchases that add up quickly. I've really got to get this under control if I want to maintain my DMP.

The first of the month is when most of my money goes toward bills and the DMP. During the later part of the month I have more money because I only have to pay student loan payment, electric and phone bill and insurance. No credit cards because that's taken care of with the DMP. But I am having trouble budgeting well enough so that I have enough money left between the first of the month and the next time I get paid.

I know there is a connection between my food spending and my weight. I'm working to try and get both under control.

DMP

August 9th, 2007 at 12:55 pm

I sent in my first debt management plan payment last week. I'm really excited that I am doing this. I'm still spending too much on food and am working on that. I'm trying to lose weight too so it seems to go hand in hand with that. I bring my lunch and breakfast to work but my weakness is the coffee shop. I spend about $5 a day there on average. I eat out at a nice restaurant probably once a week. So combined that adds up.

Doing the Debt Managment Plan

July 4th, 2007 at 11:08 am

I did it. I closed all my credit card accounts but one and am entering a DMP. I've completed all the paperwork and am sending it in tomorrow. My payments are going down by $200 and my interest rates are being drastically reduced. I feel so good about this. Plus, the program is through my credit union, so it's free. It says it will take me a little over 4 years to get rid of my debt. I can however make it go away faster by making larger payments. So I am excited that I am making some progress. I left off one card (as allowed) and chose my American Express because supposedly if you put them in a DMP they show it as a charge off and it messes up your credit rating. The only big concern I have is if this plan will hurt my chances of renting an apartment if I move since it will show up on my credit report. I figure I will just go for it and hope for the best.

Debt Management Plan

June 15th, 2007 at 10:27 am

I just joined the State Employee Credit Union where I live and they over a free debt management plan. I'm thinking of doing it but am concerned about it affecting my ability to rent an apartment since I am moving soon. Has anyone else had any experience with this?

loan part two

May 21st, 2007 at 10:47 am

After the comments I've gotten on my last post, and feedback I've gotten from others, I've decided to not do the Citibank loan. However, I'm going to possibly attempt to get a bank loan to consolidate my credit card debt. I have a family trust at a bank where I think this might be possible. Also, I am working two jobs. My income is about 50,000 including income from my trust. And my credit score is between 675-701, depending on which agency you use to view it. I am thinking of waiting till I get my raises in July to apply though so I will have more income to show. I have $50,000 (approximately) in cc debt so I know I may not be able to get enough to pay all of it but I figure I can wipe out the high interest rate cards first. Does anyone have any feedback about this?

loan

May 18th, 2007 at 10:41 am

I recently saw an offer for a loan from citibank, where I have a credit card. The interest rate would be 16%, and I would use it to pay off some credit cards with high interest rates (29%). The only thing is that if I get an amount over so much (up to 10,000) I'd have to give them the title of my car as collateral. My car is paid for. I'd like to know what other people think. I'm thinking of maybe just getting an amount under what I'd have to give them the title for. I'd appreciate any advice.

off track

April 19th, 2007 at 01:32 pm

I am officially off track with my credit cards. Maybe two days after I was paid on the 13th I had used almost all of my check already on groceries, gas, and bills. I feel ridiculous. I can tell by my tracking sheets that my food spending is down but I'm still not doing well. I had to pay $65.00 in federal taxes and then paid $130.00 of my state taxes by credit card. Plus I had to pay my accountant $130.00 out of my check.

I'm thinking of signing up for some financial counseling sessions at the local Women's Center. They are on a sliding scale and they are also having a sale where you can get a 20% discount if you purchase three or more sessions. I think that might help some if I got an objective person to help me get on track. My therapist has tried but I don't really like talking about money stuff with her.

I'm also irritated that everytime I go to the grocery store I end up spending like $100.00 on food. It doesn't matter if it's Food Lion, Kroger, or Target. I think last week I got two items that weren't food (personal care items) and the rest was food. I think I'm going to try coupons next time. But, the $100 worth of food usually lasts about two weeks, except for Diet Coke and yogurt, which I have to buy more of.

the Vet

April 2nd, 2007 at 12:49 pm

I took my cat to the vet Friday because she's been throwing up. $270.00 later I was told she might possibly have pancreatitis and that I should just switch her food to a sensitive stomach formula. I also had to purchase a flea&tick/heartworm/earmite preventative combo that is $15 a dose but with six doses you get one free. It seems like there is no end lately to the little financial crises that keep cropping up. Hopefully this will be over soon and I can get back on track.

taxes yuck!

March 27th, 2007 at 10:39 am

Just found out today that I owe about $500 in taxes which everyone knows are due in about two weeks. I've heard that doing a payment plan is more expensive than paying with a credit card so it looks like I may have to pay a portion of it with my cc. I had no idea I was going to have to pay any in as I usually get a bit of a refund. I even tried to estimate what I would get back or owe using a tax estimator. Guess that was wrong! I guess it could be worse.

damn it

March 15th, 2007 at 06:47 am

Well, a big emergency happened. I took my car in and got an estimate for work that needed to be done. I requested the exact amount from my trust fund and got the money the next day. I rented a car to get to work that day using my debit card, something I've never done. You have to fill out some extra paperwork and show two bills and proof of insurance. So I did all that so I wouldn't have to use my credit cards. So I'm at work and Firestone calls me and says when they took the radiator hoses off to replace them they saw that the radiator was eaten through and would have to be replaced. This would be an extra $400. I'd just gotten paid and knew that if I paid the extra 400 I would not have money left for my bills. So I split about $230 of it between two credit cards and paid for the rest. I feel really bad about it but didn't know what else to do. I didn't want to ask for anymore money from my trust fund since I'd already gotten out about $800. And I didn't want to get behind on my other credit card payments and bills.

so far so good

March 5th, 2007 at 10:59 am

It's been a while since I've written on here. I've had some ups and downs since then. I've managed to finally stop using my credit cards, even though it's only been about a week and a half. I have $112 in a savings account linked to my checking for small emergencies. It's thanks to Keep the Change, the program that Bank of America does. After a year you get so much of the money that you've saved back. It's pretty cool. All of this probably sounds kind of pathetic to some people, but for me it's a big deal. I sat down with my therapist and came up with a plan to pay down my credit cards. I admit I haven't started that yet because I wanted to build up a small cushion in my checking and/or savings account so that I won't start using my credit cards again. But I've figured out that with just $300 a month extra paid on my cards I could be out of debt in 3 years. That's without getting the interest rates down on some of my cards that are at 29%. I plan to do that soon. Also if I pay more I will get out of debt sooner. I also got a deferment on my student loans until July so that I could get caught up. The only major extra expenses on the horizon are taxes, a vet bill for one of my cats in APril, and a plane ticket home for Memorial Day weekend. I think I'll still be able to start my plan in spite of all that. I'm hopeful that this is all going to work out.

food food food

December 15th, 2006 at 12:08 pm

So today I totaled up my expenses for food during the month of November and my expenses for food alone/eating out were like $127 for November. That was only fast food and coffee. I couldn't believe it! That didn't even include groceries. No wonder I'm in debt. I have cut down on the coffee shop but I still sometimes forget my lunch and end up going to Wendy's or McDonalds. Not the best plan. So for the new year I'm going to try and make sure I have my fridge at work stocked with enough food for a week of lunches. Then i won't have an excuse to eat out. Does anyone else have this problem?

I really appreciate the notes I have received so far in response to my blog. It has made me feel hopeful.

debt nightmare

December 11th, 2006 at 11:54 am

I am in trouble. I have eight credit cards and about half of them are maxed out. I have a total of $56,147.34 in credit card debt. I also have about 35,000 in student loan debt. I am current on all payments and my credit score is actually okay (701). But I am drowning in these credit card bills. My average interest rate is %17.31. It ranges from 29.9% to 1.9. I approached a consumer credit counseling agency (the good kind) and they said that debt consolidation would not work for me because I already had good interest rates (this was before they were raised to 29.9%). I have taken on a second job with the hope of paying down my credit card debt, but it seems the more money I make the worse it gets. My income is $31880 gross from my main job, plus $1,100 per month from a trust fund and another $500 a month from my second job. I also have no assets--I rent an apartment.
I haven't seen anyone out there with no assets and this much debt who was trying to pay it down. The highest I've seen is like $30,000. Are there any other people like me out there? If so, please write and let me know if you have any advice.