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Money (not having it)

redfenixredfenix Aka'd as rfixRegistered User regular
edited November 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
So, I'm really, really broke.

My (and my wife's) debt: ~30k student loans, currently deferred, as I'm in grad school + another ~10k of financial aid I used to eliminate CC debt (woo less APR).

~15k CC debt. Getting married, buying a house and all that's involved costs a lot.

If i remember right, I think we need to make about 4k a month to stay afloat.
~900/mo house payment, car payment, insurance, groceries, stepdaughter's tuition, utils, CC payments.

We're not stupid/frivolous with money. I rarely buy games, and ebay most of the ones I buy, we stick to netflix, and go out to eat only occasionally. We don't buy the stupid little stuff like a latte @ starbucks, etc, etc that racks up extra cost.

I'm sick of living this close to the wire. I want to pay down the debt, make a bit more to surmount it, or somehow consolidate it. So, how?

I'm not a financial wizard, but we handle the money at least moderatly well.


So, what do I not know that could help me?
Any help would be deeply appreciated.

(Xposted from SE, woops)

redfenix on
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    meekermeeker Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    You missed one important point: How much to you currently take in per month in income?

    With that grad degree, will you be getting a job where you will be making much more in the next few years?

    meeker on
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    Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Well, first of all, you're in grad school, chances are you don't have time for both a full time job and studying. At least not the kind of job which is going to provide a great income. If you can work a part-time job then that will help.

    There's the classic "cut-back" on things. Eat out even less, try to conserve power. Drink more water etc.

    Beyond that you can always sell things or make things to sell, if you're crafty.

    What are you good at? Is there anyway you can use the skills you have to supplement your income? I used to be a yo-yo professional and, even though I didn't have regular work, I did get a show every now and then and made about $100/hour at corporate parties and $50/hour at school assemblies.

    Hell, you could always offer a handyman service or computer repair if you're inclined in either of those directions. You could also tutor for your subject if you're a grad student. It's probably not going to be a lot of money but it will help.

    Uncle Long on
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    Brodo FagginsBrodo Faggins Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Do you have any specialized skills? Over the summer I'd look for people requesting computer repairs on craigslist, and make a little extra cash that way.

    Brodo Faggins on
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    SaddlerSaddler Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    When you graduate and start paying off those loans, you can request a graduated payment schedule, which will make them much lower and more manageable at first.

    Saddler on
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    starmanbrandstarmanbrand Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    My (and my wife's) debt: ~30k student loans, currently deferred, as I'm in grad school + another ~10k of financial aid I used to eliminate CC debt (woo less APR).

    ~15k CC debt. Getting married, buying a house and all that's involved costs a lot.
    So is the fin-aid included into the debt? It is either 55 or 45 thousand in debt. That is a shit load. If you did not have the money, why did you get married and buy a house? You obviously could not afford it. This move was a mistake, but there is nothing you can do about it now.

    If i remember right, I think we need to make about 4k a month to stay afloat.
    ~900/mo house payment, car payment, insurance, groceries, stepdaughter's tuition, utils, CC payments.
    Not a lot can be skimmed off in this area, as most seem locked in. Stop buying shit on your credit card, now. NOW. No matter what the fuck it is. Buy cheaper groceries. Live off rice and chicken and whatever produce is on sale. If you buy from a chain, most places have Manager Specials at about 1/2 price on perishables or damaged goods. Take advantage. And as for utilities, conserve. Turn off lights, try not to use AC or heating no matter how hard it is. Wear big ass jackets all the time if you have to. And drive less. Gas is a killer.

    We're not stupid/frivolous with money. I rarely buy games, and ebay most of the ones I buy, we stick to netflix, and go out to eat only occasionally. We don't buy the stupid little stuff like a latte @ starbucks, etc, etc that racks up extra cost.
    Getting married and buying a house when you could not afford it is not very smart. Hopefully you at least bought very recently so you took advantage of the buyers market. You should not buy games anymore. At all. You should cancel netflix. You should not eat out, ever. YOU ARE IN DEBT. This isn't a game. It could fuck your life up. Your Meals and Entertainment budget is no longer. It is to be converting into an account for paying debts.

    I'm sick of living this close to the wire. I want to pay down the debt, make a bit more to surmount it, or somehow consolidate it. So, how?
    Stop spending on anything you do not need. The stuff you do need, buy at discounts. If your wife is not in grad school, she may need to take up another job or work overtime. Sorry she has to suffer, but you already go to school and can probably not afford the time to work more.

    I'm not a financial wizard, but we handle the money at least moderatly well

    So, what do I not know that could help me?
    Any help would be deeply appreciated.

    Basically. You just need to get your shit wired. Apparently you've realized that being in debt is not fun. Well, you have two roads. You can take an extremely conservative approach and cut out anything excess and pay your debts off fast and effectively, or you can continue spending on non-survival items and let your debt linger and grow.

    starmanbrand on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    What are your student loans? Private or government? Subsidized or unsubsidized? And what are the interest rates on them? What's the short-term interest rate on your credit card debt? Is it an intro rate, or a permanent rate?

    Getting married in that sort of financial situation isn't smart. You should've just gone to a Justice of the Peace or something, gotten the paperwork, and worried about the ceremony later, but there's no use crying over spilt milk.

    In any case, cancel the cable, cancel the netflix, and stop buying games.

    Thanatos on
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    CrashtardCrashtard Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    You should not buy games anymore. At all. You should cancel netflix. You should not eat out, ever. YOU ARE IN DEBT. This isn't a game. It could fuck your life up. Your Meals and Entertainment budget is no longer. It is to be converting into an account for paying debts.[/QUOTE]

    Truth. Even if you only go out to week every other week, it's probably costing you 20-25 bucks conservatively each time. Add monthly netflix to that and, depending on your flix plan, there's another 50-60 bucks that can go on a credit card. That much extra payment can seriously cut down your interest, plus over a year's time that's 600-720 bucks extra off, which will probably save you that much interest the next year. Like starman said, eat as cheaply as you can. In college I lived off rice for about 6 months once. It got old quick, but I ate enough to get by. Plus, you can do a lot of different things with rice.

    Crashtard on
    I pinky swear that we will not screw you.

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    redfenixredfenix Aka'd as rfix Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    meeker wrote: »
    You missed one important point: How much to you currently take in per month in income?

    With that grad degree, will you be getting a job where you will be making much more in the next few years?

    With all the various income sources:
    my GA stipend
    child support
    wife's (main) job
    wife's side ebay-sales
    my side tech-job

    we make like $4k a month. (i think) i know that sounds like a lot of money, but almost all of it goes to non-flexible payments.

    And yes, I'll have a Master's in Public Administration in 1.5 years, and will be moving up in Higher ed, which comes with a nice pay raise, and an even nicer ability for much upward mobility.
    Do you have any specialized skills? Over the summer I'd look for people requesting computer repairs on craigslist, and make a little extra cash that way.

    Yes, I'm well versed in tech-support stuff, build my own computer, etc etc. I can probably expand this some, as I'm doing that now, here and there.
    Your Meals and Entertainment budget is no longer.

    See, this is a tough one. We dont spend much, and i'd rather not hate life.
    I need to wind down, enjoy my free time, etc etc. I live minimalistically, but i'd rather not live like a monk.
    I guess I back this with the surety of short to mid-term pay raises.

    I sold 90% of my games on ebay in the past several months, and have learned to only get games that I'm reallly going to like, and basically never brand new. $50 for a game? can't do it. (smash will be the one exception).

    redfenix on
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    redfenixredfenix Aka'd as rfix Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    We did go the justice of the peace, and our honeymoon wasn't exactly expensive. i have a mix of sub and unsub school loans, and the apr on the cards varies from 7% to 20%. I actually just transferred almost 10k of high interest (15+%) from bal transfer 8.99% deal, so that will help a little bit too.

    I mean, I have not bad credit (~650)

    redfenix on
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    Steve BennettSteve Bennett Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    It sounds like you already know the things to be done, I'd mostly just say - keep doing them (and do them more). I'll still go into detail for posterity & the benefit of others.

    Absolute #1 thing to do is pay off the $15k in credit card debt.. that's insane. Look at your interest rate, and figure out how much you're handing to the banks every month - you'll see why this is needed. Many are about 18.5%. That amounts to a montly cost of $231.25 you're just handing to the bank... every month. Plus, paying back at the minimum payment schedule is NOT a repayment schedule, by any stretch of the imagination.

    Talk to your bank about taking out a line of credit. You want the exact amount of your Credit Card debt - not a penny more (cuz its very tempting to use). Use that to immediately pay off your credit cards - and don't use them (cut them up, throw them away). Credit Cards are great tools for convenience, but should never EVER be used if you don't have the same amount of money being spent waiting in the bank. I acknowledge that sometimes "stuff" happens, but always look elsewhere (like lower interest loans) before putting it on credit cards that wont be paid off immediately. Once you've built up savings, THEN you can have a credit card.

    With personal lines of credit, you can get very low interest rates, especially if you get one secured against your home. BE CAREFUL. If you get in a very tough spot, you can't just default on the loan/line of credit - they get to take their money from your house (or the house itself). That said, if you do opt for that, you can get interest rates around mortgage rate. Which means under 6% likely. $15k @ 6% = $75/month, so savings would be $231.25 - $75 = $156.25, which can be re-applied to paying back the loans that much faster (which is quite a bit, actually).

    Avoiding frivelous spending should be done, regardless of debt. $3 coffees add up, like you've said, and restaurant trips should be kept special events (read: once a month-ish). In this department, it sounds like you've got things well under control. Cutting everything out 100% isn't necessarily a good idea.. it can lead to binge spending ("I deserve it", etc), and can lead to resentment and relationship problems. BTW, I'm just mentioning all this to recommend to you so that - in your future, when you've got plenty of cash - you keep doing it just the way you are :).

    Most of your costs would be considered "fixed" and therefor can't be reduced. Your car payments MIGHT be an area you could, depending. Is it a lease? Is it a lease on a VERY new car? Some new car lease payments are several hundred dollars a month, and certainly not a good choice for someone wanting to get out of debt.

    Making more money is much harder than tightening purse strings in order to balance a budget. There's no magic formula or secret solution. You can examine your income, the average income in your industry, the skillset you have, and the incomes possible in other industries you qualify for. Make a decision on if changing jobs/industries is worthwhile. Since you're a grad student, however, I'd imagine you are in the industry you're studying for, in which case changing wouldn't make sense.

    An aggressive debt repayment schedule, coupled with periodic raises (increases in revenue) will rapidly loosen the debt noose, and will make you feel very good about yourself. Everyone should try it!

    Steve Bennett on
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    starmanbrandstarmanbrand Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Dude, living like a monk is the only way you're going to get out of debt. And I can tell you there is not going to be some get out of debt free card.

    Getting into debt is easy. Getting out is hard fucking work.

    If you aren't going to commit to getting out of it, you might as well accept you are going to be in debt until you start making about 5k a month, and you use that extra grand to pay it off. And even then it will still be slow.

    Why don't you wait for your raises before you start living like you have extra cash, instead of living like you have it now?

    No idea where you live, but there is no doubt things you can do for free to relax out of the house, and in the house you and your wife can do married stuff, talk, card games, free stuff on the PC, whatever.

    Although the best things in life are not free, you can sure as hell make due.

    Edit: Consider you eat out, once a month, at an average chain. Your ticket is going to be 20 for your meal, 15-20 for hers, 3 each for drinks if you do not drink alcohol, and tip. Chances are you are realistically looking at sixty dollars a month you do not need to spend for a one time use item.

    Edit2: And binge spending, while a factor, should not be a concern. You and your wife, and her kid, if I recall correctly, are in financial trouble. If you value a video game or some other trivial purchase above putting them in a better situation, you need to evaluate your situation and reconsider.

    starmanbrand on
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    holycrapawalrusholycrapawalrus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I don't think you fully understand the severity of the situation. You are in a massive amount of debt and in way over your head.

    Don't buy Smash Bros. Don't buy anything you don't need. Buy generic products, not name brands. Eat alot of chicken and rice. You can live for 1.5 years without any of that extra stuff.

    Stepdaughter's tuition? How old is this girl? If she's not college aged and this is tuition for private school, send her to public school. It builds character.

    holycrapawalrus on
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    redfenixredfenix Aka'd as rfix Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    well, thanks to the asshole ex-husband of hers, halfish of the money is from child support, since he's a gynocologist.

    and i dont' think he'd appreciate his daughter not going to the Montessori school, or eating ramen, when the whole point of that is to maintain a certain standard of living, etc etc.

    point is, in some ways the money comes with expectations, which i understand.

    redfenix on
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    starmanbrandstarmanbrand Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    The money is to continue the "best interests of the child."

    Unfortunately, if the pop catches any wind of massive debt, he might be able to contest custody, if he was interested.

    starmanbrand on
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    redfenixredfenix Aka'd as rfix Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    naw, he knows we're not flush w/ cash. He also knows that his child very much needs her mom in her life.

    redfenix on
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    CrowskieCrowskie Registered User new member
    edited November 2007
    You could try to get a part time job at a video store. Just apply and be persistent. My Wife works at a video store, so we get free rentals. This means we watch all the movies we want and I can rent games and keep them until I beat them. That would provide a little extra income and knock off however much you are paying for net flix and games.

    Crowskie on
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    meekermeeker Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Wait.

    So you pull in $2k a month and get another $2k in child support? So at 40 hours a week, that is ~$12.50 an hour.

    Is this right?

    meeker on
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    urahonkyurahonky Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I wish I could help ya redfenix. I'm almost in the same boat as you, but not quite as severe. I just hope for the best for you and your wife and daughter.

    urahonky on
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    BlochWaveBlochWave Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    So you pull in $2k a month and get another $2k in child support? So at 40 hours a week, that is ~$12.50 an hour.

    Is this right?

    So 4000 dollars a month corresponds to $12.50 an hour if you're working 40 hours a week? So I was making like 50,000 dollars a year at P.F. Chang's while I was in college(I averaged around 13 dollars an hour in tips)?

    It's 25 dollars an hour >_> 4000/4/40, or 4000/20/8 if you wanna go by days

    Edit: Obviously you were talking about the 2000, not the 4000, but I'll leave it in there because for just a moment I felt smart and this will be a shining example that I'm stupid :(

    It's not insubstantial, the physics major in me begged to correct your math mistake immediately so I skimmed a bit, but I didn't see him mention how much his wife makes. I mean, you're rolling about 50k a year gross right now which is how much I make, but I live alone in a 650 dollar a month apartment, no car payment, etc. The reason you see stay at home moms and the like is because the dad is making like 80-100k or more, and probably not buried in debt, everybody else, my family included, needs the dual incomes

    BlochWave on
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    xThanatoSxxThanatoSx Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    You are in a massive amount of debt and in way over your head.

    There isn't enough lime in the world for how true this is.

    And the reality is your debt situation is even worse because you've got your mortgage debt on top of it all.

    Yes, monkish living sucks. But 55k in consumer/student debt sucks even more.

    Thrift shops, $2 shops, coupons, and grocery specials should be your best friends for the next 1.5 years.

    Insurance wise - what types of insurance, and what are your deductibles? If you've got a nil, see how much you could save per month by increasing it to $150 or $300.

    Cable/Satellite TV - if you have it, get rid of it. It's a luxury.

    Internet - Change to the cheapest possible plan you can find, and possibly look at cancelling it as well. While the net has its hooks into almost every portion of daily life, it IS possible to live without it.

    Cell phones - if you have them, and they're on account, also worth looking at cancelling. Yes, they're nice to have, but it's also another drain to the monthly finances. A compromise on this might be to look into pre-paid options - I'm on pre-pay in NZ, and $20 credit lasts me 2-3 months, YMMV.

    xThanatoSx on
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    powersspowerss Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Easiest way to live frugally - and take that money and pay off your damn debt:

    - Cancel Cable TV
    - Cancel Cell Phones
    - Turn down your water heater
    - Take shorter showers
    - Consolidate Laundry
    - HANG TO DRY YOUR LAUNDRY (even indoors!)
    - Don't eat out at all
    - Dollar stores are the SHIT, even "rich" people shop at them in the Bay Area
    - Price Club (costco) anything big
    - SELL extra shit on Craigslist. Anything, everything.
    - Re-shop car insurance, get basic coverage, get a high-deductible (try Esurance)
    - Drive frugally. Very light on the gas, etc etc etc
    - Turn down your water heater temperature

    Etc etc. Be creative. The more you sacrifice now, the faster you're out of debt and back to normal.

    That said, I don't blame you. 15k is a LOT of credit card debt, but in this modern age it's really easy to accumulate that much.

    powerss on
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    powersspowerss Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    By the way, RE: Internet access, downsize/downgrade to a cheap plan. I used to game on Xbox Live on what I only described as "MexicoDSL" because it was so shitty. You'd be surprised what you really need.

    Try cancelling your home phone service and using Skype or something as well.

    Sell off your games. Keep two or three. Seriously.

    powerss on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Okay, guys, saying that $55k in debt is somehow unmanageable is pretty fucking ridiculous.

    $55k in credit card debt, yeah, absolutely, it's probably bankruptcy time. However, that's not what the OP has; he has $40k in student loans, and $15k of credit card debt. Student loan debt (especially subsidized student loan debt) is good debt, and the payments are deferred while he's in grad school. So, for our purposes, the student loan debt doesn't exist for the next 1.5 years. It's off the table, doesn't matter.

    What you're really looking to do is pay down that $15k in credit card debt. That's what we call "bad debt." How long have you owned your home? What's your interest rate on your home loan currently? Is it variable or fixed? What about the car? Do you own it? Is it necessary? Are you or your wife a member of a credit union? Have you talked to your bank/credit union about getting some sort of secured or unsecured loan to pay down the credit card?

    Thanatos on
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    redfenixredfenix Aka'd as rfix Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I have nearly no equity in my home, it's maybe 6 months new to me.

    I do have a bank account in a credit union, which i've had since... high school. I think the first thing I'm going to try is to get a bank loan and get one lump payment, at hopefully a lower interest rate.

    also,
    Own 1 car, about 8 months left on my wife's car,
    by the way, i don't have cable, i don't have a land line, we have a family plan for cell phones
    um, and i have the cheapest non-dialup net access.

    redfenix on
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    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    If you are short on money don't waste money.

    Do you know what you are doing that is going to waste alot of money?

    Getting married

    You can either not get married now. Or just go down to your city hall.

    Really your entire post screams, I want more money! But I refuse to compromise at all!

    Seriously, Public school isn't that bad it's not like there's hookers and crackheads on the street corner. Why isn't your fiance working? She could get a job at a video store like someone suggested, this would be a good job as it's often quiet enough to stay at the front counter and study.

    You really have two choices to pay off debt faster. Get a better Job that pays more or stop spending as much money. Both of these involve sacrifices, welcome to life.

    Also, cancel your mobile phones get a single landline.

    If your stepdaughter wants a mobile phone she can get a job and buy her own.

    Sell one of those cars, preferably the one worth the most.

    Blake T on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    redfenix wrote: »
    I have nearly no equity in my home, it's maybe 6 months new to me.

    I do have a bank account in a credit union, which i've had since... high school. I think the first thing I'm going to try is to get a bank loan and get one lump payment, at hopefully a lower interest rate.

    also,
    Own 1 car, about 8 months left on my wife's car,
    by the way, i don't have cable, i don't have a land line, we have a family plan for cell phones
    um, and i have the cheapest non-dialup net access.
    Definitely talk to your credit union about a loan.

    Any way you could get by with just 1 car?

    Thanatos on
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    JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    One thing I might recommend is to check out some personal finance advice/support communities. getrichslowly.org is run by a guy who is (or was, at least) in a similar situation to you: tons of crushing debt and no immediate opportunity for substantial income growth. There's a blog there that updates with daily tips on saving small ammounts of money daily without crushing your spirit, tips on how to tackle overwhelming debt problems (including practical and social as opposed to simply economical tips), and a small but supportive community of people to talk through issues with.

    Above all: stop spending on credit. Period, all of it. Every extra penny you make needs to go to driving down that debt. Beating that trap will depend on both decreasing spending AND increasing income. It sounds like you'll have a significant increase in earning potential within the next few years, but in the meantime you need to do what you can and that will almost completely revolve around cutting spending.

    JihadJesus on
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    The Black HunterThe Black Hunter The key is a minimum of compromise, and a simple, unimpeachable reason to existRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Did you buy your cars brand new?

    If so, I think you really should have talked to your parents about "life and how people want your money" more.

    I will impart one great gift unto you.
    When your toilet clogs, instead of paying $80 for a plumber, fill a bucket with water and pour it in when you flush.

    Other than that, you will need to make sacrifices, ones that you don't want to make.

    The Black Hunter on
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    TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Blaket wrote: »
    If you are short on money don't waste money.

    Do you know what you are doing that is going to waste alot of money?

    Getting married

    You can either not get married now. Or just go down to your city hall.

    Really your entire post screams, I want more money! But I refuse to compromise at all!

    Seriously, Public school isn't that bad it's not like there's hookers and crackheads on the street corner. Why isn't your fiance working? She could get a job at a video store like someone suggested, this would be a good job as it's often quiet enough to stay at the front counter and study.

    You really have two choices to pay off debt faster. Get a better Job that pays more or stop spending as much money. Both of these involve sacrifices, welcome to life.

    Also, cancel your mobile phones get a single landline.

    If your stepdaughter wants a mobile phone she can get a job and buy her own.

    Sell one of those cars, preferably the one worth the most.

    I want to piggyback on some of this.

    If you live in an area that has good public schools (hopefully when you bought the house you looked at the schools), they are worth considering. Especially if you enroll the kid in the honors courses. Higher level courses at a good public school is one area that can help.

    Also, there are tons of seasonal jobs now. A friend is getting decent pay for working at FedEx as a part time job just diverting boxes and loading trucks.

    You have 8 months left on a car. How much per month? Once it's paid keep putting that payment towards the credit cards. Don't think it's now money to help with the extras like dinners and other wants.

    And this may be the last resort kind of thing but worth mentioning. And I don't know if the father is a real dick or if it's just the usual dissolving of a marriage with divided sides, but is it possible to let him have custody for a year or two, to help out? If the guy is a doctor, he more than has the means to take care of the kid. You would lose less in child support (and you would have to pay him, although not nearly as much as he's giving), and you won't have another mouth to feed/clothe (because if you do go bare minimum, the kid shouldn't have to do so if there is another option).

    TexiKen on
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    themightypuckthemightypuck MontanaRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I'm broke as well and it sucks but for perspectives sake, 55k debt to a person in a western democracy with a good education and prospects is not the OMFG catastrophe that some have been painting. If you lose everything you still have more than almost everyone alive in the world today. You need to ride out a rough patch while you finish school and get a job. Don't panic.

    themightypuck on
    “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius

    Path of Exile: themightypuck
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    redfenixredfenix Aka'd as rfix Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I appreciate the genuine attempts at help, and some of it is very good, and I'll be looking into.

    Christ no, I didn't buy my car new, my wife's car was, but her ex bought it, and she took over payments when they split.

    And married = a waste of money? No, buying alcohol or comic books or fucking lattes is a waste of money. Being married is fine. Jesus. Also, having the dad take custody? You're not a parent, obviously. Maybe if this was the Sims or something, treating people like chattel would make sense. But Christ, even if my wife were ok with that, which she would NEVER do (she'd kick me to the curb ages before her own children, which I understand), I couldn't possibly even think to do that, and hadn't until you brought it up.
    No way.

    Also, I am married. Have been for a year and some change. And she does work, doing bookkeeping at a place she doesn't like working at, for more hours than she wants to, to help us stay afloat.

    Like I said, we did get married at the courthouse; and our honeymoon was pretty damned frugal.

    This debt is through no sense of ridiculous entitlement, much of the CC debt was paying for food and gas, etc during the roughest patches over the past year.

    Again, let me reiterate, that we're not adding to our CC debt right now, we just need to pay the fucker down.

    Again, I think what I'm going to do is try to get some kind of bank/credit union consolidation loan, and hopefully drastically reduce the amount that we're throwing away on interest.

    I wouldn't really call this topic 'solved', but it the mods feel it's straying too much, i get it.

    redfenix on
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    Brodo FagginsBrodo Faggins Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I don't suppose your parents are willing to help? I know pride and shit like that can get in the way, but honestly, sometimes you gotta choke it down and ask for a little aid.

    Brodo Faggins on
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    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2007
    Like Thinatos said (I giggle a little every time I call him that), for all practical purposes you only have 15k worth of debt that you need to worry about right now.

    Others have asked, but you haven't really answered: do you really need two cars? Like, really really need? I don't know what kind of arrangement your wife has with her ex-husband as far as her car payments go, but if you don't need two cars you should get rid of one ASAP. If you can, i.e. you live somewhere with good public transport, you should get rid of both. Hell, you'll be saving at least 150 bucks a month from insurance alone, which is significant.

    As for student debt, like I said, don't worry about that for now. You'll be able to pay it within several years once you get your masters degree in public administration.

    ege02 on
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    The Black HunterThe Black Hunter The key is a minimum of compromise, and a simple, unimpeachable reason to existRegistered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I don't suppose your parents are willing to help? I know pride and shit like that can get in the way, but honestly, sometimes you gotta choke it down and ask for a little aid.

    This is actually good advice, even if you only get a few grand, or a few hundred, you're better off.

    Your parents, more often than not, want to help.

    The Black Hunter on
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    GoodOmensGoodOmens Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    I don't suppose your parents are willing to help? I know pride and shit like that can get in the way, but honestly, sometimes you gotta choke it down and ask for a little aid.

    Yeah, this is a good bet (Depending on your family situation, of course). If you're not willing to accept money from them, or they're not willing to give it to you, you might ask instead if they can co-sign on some sort of consolidation loan. You might be able to swing a lower interest rate that way.

    GoodOmens on
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    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited November 2007
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    One thing I might recommend is to check out some personal finance advice/support communities. getrichslowly.org is run by a guy who is (or was, at least) in a similar situation to you: tons of crushing debt and no immediate opportunity for substantial income growth. There's a blog there that updates with daily tips on saving small ammounts of money daily without crushing your spirit, tips on how to tackle overwhelming debt problems (including practical and social as opposed to simply economical tips), and a small but supportive community of people to talk through issues with.

    www.thesimpledollar.com is a good resource as well. It's a blog that is stuffed full of ways to save money and manage your finances. I think that's your main issue here, is managing your finances. Controlling every single penny the comes in or out of your account like a financial nazi running a monetary concentration camp is how you'll drag yourself out of debt.

    Szechuanosaurus on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited November 2007
    Dude, you are in grad school.

    Presumably your income will go up when you finish.

    Just put up with the situation until you are done. Don't listen to these guys - living like a monk isn't going to transform your situation. It sounds like you are only spending maybe $100 a month on fun anyway. Giving that up is going to make you miserable without changing a damn thing. If anything you should take more loans so you can work less, do more classes and finish school earlier.

    The fact is that you are not, in fact, in a ridiculous amount of debt for someone in Grad school and starting out in life and you haven't done anything particularly wrong.

    If you really can't stand it, it might be possible for you to move in with family or rent a cheaper apartment while renting out your house. This allows you to keep it and continue to build equity while relieving yourself of all or a portion of the house payment. Often times local real estate agencies will recruit tenants, draft leases and deal with issues for a $50 or $100 per month fee.

    Shinto on
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    Idx86Idx86 Long days and pleasant nights.Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Everyone has had some good suggestions, but I don't think anyone suggested creating a budget. This has been helpful for my wife and I in managing our debt. You are putting hard numbers in place and can see what can be reduced/eliminated and then leveraged toward paying down your debt.

    A book that I recommend to everyone is Dave Ramsey's "Total Money Makeover." It provides a GREAT framework for paying down your debt and managing your money wisely. While I agree that 15k isn't horrible for cc debt, you will want to make sure you have the proper financial knowledge to manage your assets and debts when it comes time to pay those loans.

    Good luck! It's a very rewarding experience to become financially fit.

    Idx86 on
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    wunderbarwunderbar What Have I Done? Registered User regular
    edited November 2007
    Honestly, it does sound like you're generally doing it right.

    I would consider selling one of your cars if you can get buy with just one. You'll get instant income which you must put into the CC debt. after that, it's probably $2-300/month savings on insurnance/gas.

    Look into the Bank loan, and use that to pay off as much of the CC debt as you can. the interest rates are a lot lower on bank loans.

    If you can pay off the CC debt within the 1.5 years, or at least transfer it to a lower interest loan, you'll be in pretty good shape.

    Dont' cut yourself down to monk living 100%. yes, you do have to cut down, a lot. But honestly, if you cut it all out 100% you'll make yourself feel worse. If you want to buy one $20 game a month, do it. But make sure you have firm limits. I would make a deal with the wife, where say you both get $40 a month for "fun money". You don't get any more than that. that money has to last you any meals/games/coffee/books for the whole month. $40 is a small amount over the month, and won't break the bank, but also means that if you want to buy something once a month, you can.

    wunderbar on
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    DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited November 2007
    Semi-related to the topic... I got a credit card when I first started college, and it has terrible APR on it. Since I'm now gainfully employed, can I cancel the card without effecting my credit rating?

    It's a citi card, and I wanted to switch over to a different citi card that offered more suitable rewards and had a much lower APR.

    Unknown User on
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