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Old 11-17-2006, 02:23 PM   #1
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Default Any tips for managing Debt?

Ok, so not that I graduated, I have a good amount of debt. A lot of Student loans, a decent amount of Credit card, a car payment, and some bills.

Lately I have spent most of my money paying bills and getting myself back on track from when I had to pay for the entire place myself (basically an extra 1100 total for a month)

Now that I have the bills up to date for the most part, I am looking for ways to manage my debt, and am looking for suggestions and solutions that people have or have used. I'd prefer tried solutions and also from people who have experienced it (meaning if you are under the age of 20, you may not be qualified) Thanks.

And I have also started making lists of the Items I have that are not necessary to keep (read: Bonneville Parts) and have begun to sell those to pay off things.
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Old 11-17-2006, 02:34 PM   #2
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I was in the same boat as you a couple of years ago, credit card debt, car payment, bills, bills, bills. I took a second job delivering pizza for about 6 months and paid everything off, sold my car (and then got the Bonnie), then quit the job. I heard it a million times before, don't spend anything on your credit card unless you can pay it off that month, and I never listened. Now the only time I use my credit card is to buy thing online, and then I do pay it off. And since then I have not financed anything, I just save up and pay cash, sometimes it takes awhile, but I don't have to worry about another bill when money is tight. Right now I have no debt except for my mortgage, and that damn Snap On tool truck. I also totally agree on getting out of stuff you don't use, my gf has been hounding me for 2 months to get rid of my storage unit, it'* just $100 a month on stuff I don't use anyway.
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Old 11-17-2006, 02:37 PM   #3
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my fiancees method:
she got a small notebook and after every purchase she made, she wrote it down. and every month she looked at every purchase for the prior month and classified it as essential versus nonessential. that alone was enouhg for her to manage her spending, having to look back over the month and see what all she spent that she didnt need to.

my method: (not nearly as effective, but it works for me)
dont carry cash, carry one credit card with a relatively small limit [another as backup, just in case, but not carried on my person] and use that for all expenses through the month. then pay off that card every month. any cash that i acquire through the month is kept as petty cash, and is usually spent in relatively short order on something small. i consider those my "rewards" for being responsible with the credit card. it amounts to a mcchicken every two or three weeks.
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Old 11-17-2006, 02:40 PM   #4
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For your credit cards, cancel and cut up all of them right away. Maybe keep a low interest one for emergencies. Then pay the minumum amount due on the ones with the highest balances and totally pay off, or as much as you can on the ones with the smallest balances first. This will give you more money to go towards the higher balance cards as you pay off the lower ones. This worked for me.
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Old 11-17-2006, 02:51 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replys so far.

I just recently applied for a personnal loan to cover the amounts on my credit cards. This was done for two reasons: 1) Because I have 3 payments currently, all at different times so they are hard to remember when to pay and 2) the interest on the loan will be much less, and having a set amount to pay each month is much easier than a variable one. as with the credit cards.

If i get approved, then I will place all the card in my safe except for one, which will be used strictly for gas during the month and paid off each month. This will help with the credit rating and lowering the interest rates.

I like the idea of the book to keep track of spending. I might have to start that.

Any other suggestions?
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:06 PM   #6
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i really need to start doing this also...

I have like 10+K in loan/credit cards.
and im only 22 :(
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:18 PM   #7
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See this is what I do, I make a list at the beginning of every month with every pay-date on it. Then I grab my bills and whatever is due by that paydate, I write it down next to it. Then I write down how much my check is, and then write down how much is needed for each payment, and then figure out what I have left each week. It works for me, I dunno, you can try it. Here'* my example

Paydate

12/7 Check amount $500.00

Whats due...

Capital one- $40.00

Nextel- $83.56

Baby-sitter- $40.00

Car Insurance- $62.74


Total- $226.30

That leaves me- $273.70


Like I said, I do this for everyweek and put it somewhere I will look. I put mine on the fridge.
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:22 PM   #8
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Geoff,

Consolidate your student loans ASAP for starters. After that, you need to get a grasp on your monthly debt load. The biggest key towards surviving while under heavy debt is not getting freaked about by your total debt, but remaining focused on your debt load.

This is what you pay every month.

Lets say your living expenses are $1200 a month (rent, food, utilities, et cetera).

Your minimum debt load is about $800 a month. Take at least 20% of your debt load ($160) and divide it among your various debts, emphasizing the higher interest loans.

That puts your operating expenses at $2160. Take whatever you have left from whatever your monthly income is and sock away 30% of that. Put it someplace hard to get to, like an ING internet savings account. That'll be there to save your *** when you screw up or when something breaks on the car. Hopefully that leaves you a bit of money every month to either have a bit of fun, or to apply towards your debt load.

Its overly simplified, but its a basic plan. The bottom line is getting a bit of money saved, servicing your debt load, putting more money against the principle, and actually having a life. Pushing yourself too hard is the single biggest reason why people screw up and wind up going bankrupt.
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:34 PM   #9
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The only plan I've ever had was

Dig deep hole

Climb into hole

Pull dirt over head



In other words, I suck with money...
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Old 11-17-2006, 03:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Explr1
For your credit cards, cancel and cut up all of them right away. Maybe keep a low interest one for emergencies. Then pay the minumum amount due on the ones with the highest balances and totally pay off, or as much as you can on the ones with the smallest balances first. This will give you more money to go towards the higher balance cards as you pay off the lower ones. This worked for me.
wrong answer on the cancelling of the credit cards. Yes, pay them off but do not cancel them because you will do more harm than good on your credit. Other than that pay the smallest ones first and then move on to the next smallest ones. Also, always try to put a little something in the savings account each week. You need to pay yourself so you can have a little nest egg. I try to give my savings at least $20 a week - sometimes more if I have it.

Sell what you don't need on Ebay and put that money towards debts. Cut back on eating out through the week. Allow yourself once a week or so. You would be amazed at how you can cut corners and save extra money.
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