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Old 09-18-2007, 10:14 AM   #11
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A tip for the credit cards: Organize them by interest rate and balance, find a new card that has low interest for the term of all balance transfers (American Express is good for this). Transfer your highest interest rate card balance over, then cancel that card. If there'* room left on the low % balance transfer card, take as much off of your highest balance card as you can. pay minimum payments on your other cards, put all the extra into the low % card, whenever you get $100-$500 paid off on it, transfer more onto it from your higher-interest cards. Not only do you reduce the interest on what you just transferred, but you don't have to make your minimum payment on the card you transferred from that month, which is more money you can put onto the balance-taking card. In addition, if you want to buy something, (assuming it'* not, say, groceries, or something absolutely needed), don't buy it when you see it. Go home, think about it, research whatever it is you want, see if you can find it cheaper somewhere else, give it at least a day, and chances are, if it'* not something you'll need, you won't get it. Also, if you have student loans... Consolidate. It'll usually give you better interest rates and lower payments. (Even more $ a month to put towards that balance-sponge credit card).
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:25 AM   #12
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I make a decent amount annually (I want more), but due to my bills, my ridiculous rent (since my brother got divorced and now he wants more), and the fact that I live so far from work, I barely have much leftover. I guess I'm in a "better" situation though because I don't really HAVE money to buy mods for the car or other things. It mostly goes towards bills and food.

I write down EVERYTHING I spend money on every month, down to a $3 pack of razors. I use my check card for everything and know in my head at all times how much is in my bank account.

Andrew, I cut my own hair.

I spent almost $30/pop w/ tip back when I lived in NY. I've learned to cut it myself.
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Old 09-18-2007, 10:36 AM   #13
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One of first rule of thumb in helping to become finacially independant is to live below your means. I could go on but that'* not what this thread is about.



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Old 09-18-2007, 10:59 AM   #14
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At one point I was within a few years of having my house paid off.

Then I got divorced.

Once again I was within a few years of having my house paid off.

Then I bought and airplane.


Last year, I was within a few years of having my house paid off.

Then I found out that my wife (second one) had managed to max out 5 credit cards without me knowing it.

I now owe more on my house than I did when I bought it 30 years ago. :(
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Old 09-18-2007, 11:17 AM   #15
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Dan didn't have to "worry" about Northstar troubles, because his Aurora was a 3.5V6.

Anyway, I was pretty floored when you traded in that Aurora for the CTS Dan, I mean, there was no good reason to get rid of it, but hey, whats done is done, and you have to be happy with the decision as it goes.

I to am in the same boat financially, two people are living of one income, I'm supporting my girlfriend as she goes through Interior Design, I pay a mortgage, condo fees, insurance, cable, phone, internet, line of credit, $300 a month in groceries and supplies (at least) and still have enough to sock away $200 a month for retirement. Due to some accumlated consumer/retail debt, I've had to up my line of credit to consolidate and do what I can to lower interest payments. Its never easy, and there is never enough money, but hey, you do what you can.

Put it this way. If you make sure your monthly income is higher then your monthly expenses, you're ok.

I live by this simple formula

More money in then out = wealthy
Money In = Money out = Average
More money out, then in = Poverty

This is how the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and how the average working stiff just gets by. If you find you are in the lower 2/3s 6 months out of the year, you need to work another job to supplement your income or sell off some assets.
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMH1950
Then I found out that my wife (second one) had managed to max out 5 credit cards without me knowing it.

I now owe more on my house than I did when I bought it 30 years ago. :(
shouldn't you be questioning your marriage at that point?
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:39 PM   #17
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Quote:
shouldn't you be questioning your marriage at that point?

Yes.


However, the cost of a divorce these days outweighs the expense of re-morgaging the house and burning all credit cards.

And I really don't want to get rid of the plane, which I'd have to do in a divorce settlement.
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:41 PM   #18
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Hell, I've never been married but I'm paying for a divorce. Because if brother never chose to get divorced I'd be paying less rent and would actually have money.
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:04 PM   #19
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Don't worry so much about the CTS. If you plan to drive it 10 years or more, it'll balance out.

Don't worry so much about the $24 / month for a healthy hobby like working out. Many people spend much more than that on destructive, addictive hobbies like smoking, drinking, meth, auto modding, etc.

You did mention credit debt...stop dating, drop cable, drink tap water, eat ramen, and get a bicycle before you slide into that pit, buddy. "Poor" is 10 times worse than "well off." But "in debt" is 100 times worse than "poor."

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and speculate that you're maybe mid-to-late-20'* or so. Sounds to me kinda like you're at a crossroads, where you've accomplished some things (associate'* degree, decent job, living on your own), but you're wondering, "what'* next?"

Maybe you need a concrete, short-term financial goal...saving for a house or for more education are excellent options. Measure all unnecessary expenditures against that goal, and see how unimportant they become.
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Old 09-18-2007, 01:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agrazela
Don't worry so much about the CTS. If you plan to drive it 10 years or more, it'll balance out.

Don't worry so much about the $24 / month for a healthy hobby like working out. Many people spend much more than that on destructive, addictive hobbies like smoking, drinking, meth, auto modding, etc.

You did mention credit debt...stop dating, drop cable, drink tap water, eat ramen, and get a bicycle before you slide into that pit, buddy. "Poor" is 10 times worse than "well off." But "in debt" is 100 times worse than "poor."

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and speculate that you're maybe mid-to-late-20'* or so. Sounds to me kinda like you're at a crossroads, where you've accomplished some things (associate'* degree, decent job, living on your own), but you're wondering, "what'* next?"

Maybe you need a concrete, short-term financial goal...saving for a house or for more education are excellent options. Measure all unnecessary expenditures against that goal, and see how unimportant they become.
You've done well in figuring me out. The age is slightly off though, I'm 22.

I thank everyone for their replies. It really does help, just to even hear that others have been there too. It'* just one of those "how did I let this happen" feelings and the posts are reassuring that it'll eventually work itself out with some effort on my part.
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