Have you heard of the FlyLady system?

It mainly deals with organizing your home, but she also deals with organizing meals and bills, saving you money. I’ve been doing that program for awhile now and it’s great. www.flylady.net – Every Wednesday we do our weekly menu planning so that when you go to the store, you aren’t buying things you don’t need, or duplicating what you already have. There is also a menu mailer you can get (or you can buy the book). It’s done by a nutritionist and saves money also as well as time.

Also, limit errands to no more than twice a week if needed and never go to the grocery store hungry or with small children if possible.

Another thing that helps me is having a phone/address book so that if someone has to call information, they MUST write it down in that book. That way we don’t call info. again for the same number. You can also try looking up some numbers on the net first. A lot of them are there.

I drink a lot of water also and used to buy the bottles but now I buy the 2 5 gallon containers. You can always put the water in a tip-safe cup. It’s cheaper that way, but once you find one you like, you should only stick to that type and brand because it’s not good on your body…I won’t go into detail here, but anyone who’s tested this knows what I’m talking about, lol! There are some things I don’t skimp on if I don’t absolutely have to, such as ground beef. The cheaper ones are made up of more fat, gristle and water so they shrink anyway plus it’s not as good for you.

We also downsized to an economy car saving us gasoline costs. It’s still a 4-door, but small. We have 3 teens, so it can get cramped, but it sure saves at the gas station.

This year we have set our thermostat down 2 degrees lower than we usually do in the winter to save on propane costs.

Let’s see…I suppose storm windows, insulation and even plastic on your windows if need to be.

You might even go through your storage area and see if those things are really needed. Maybe you could downgrade to a smaller one for cheaper and even arrange it better making it fit better too. (Don’t know if they have one that’s smaller than a 5’x5′ though)

I’ve heard of a book awhile back about not buying certain things and calcualte the savings all year long…forget what it’s called, but it was something about for example if you spend a lot of money a year on potato chips, then not to buy them or something to that effect and it will save you ‘x’ amount of dollars each year, etc. I just wonder would one be replacing the chips with something else anyway?

I buy cappuchino at the gas station about 4 times a week. It’s $1.15, but I m worth at least that much. 😉 I tried Starbucks once and I thought they were very overpriced for the quality, so I don’t go there thankfully.

Another thing that saves money and helps you and others is freecycling. www.freecycle.org.

You post things you don’t want anymore and give them away for free and you can post wants of things you need for free. No money is ever allowed to exchange hands.

If you do long form taxes, donations are always a great help.

Whatever type of taxes you do, try doing them all yourself. I always do and save a ton of money.

Car maintenance – goes a long way in gas usage and prevents some high cost repairs later.

I have nothing to give them

I have nothing to give them. I could start making payments, but they wouldn t be much, no more then a $100/month at the very most. Even that would be really hard to for us right now. If I could pay them, I would. But, living expenses come first and right now we are barely doing that. I guess I just figured I would have more time to pull something together. I hear how a lot of people don’t end up with judgements for a few years after you stop paying and here it is only 5-6 months for us and our state has a 6 year sol. So, I figured we would have some time to pull the money together.

One of my former creditors started court proceedings against me for less that $10k. That’s when I decided to do a chapter 7. So, some of these collectors WILL go after you no matter what. As Herlean said below, some are just to mean to work with!!

It is entirely up to the creditor and/or collection agency they hire & instruct. A lot of creditors have gotten much more agressive at collecting the money owed and a lot less “understanding”. Keep us updated. All they can do is sue you and get a judgment. Then they have to go through other things to try to garnish etc. They may put a lien on a home but that just means if you sell it they get their money. One of my former creditors started court proceedings against me for less that $10k. That’s when I decided to do a chapter 7. So, some of these collectors WILL go after you no matter what. As was said below, some are just to mean to work with!!

Is that how they would go about vehicles too? We have two vehicles not paid off and far from it. So, if they took them, by the time the money went to those we have the loans with, their would be nothing left in money except maybe a couple hundred, if that. Also, I don’t work, but my husband does and the credit card company threatening us the card is only in my name. When you say garnishing, can they garnish bank accounts? We don’t have much in our bank accounts, but my husband does have direct deposit(required for his job) into accounts that are in both of our names since I write our bills and need access to signing checks.

If you don’t pay your payments, they repossess your cars. At lest you may try to get a payday loan from one of established websites and pay your bills. If you file chapter 13, they are included in the plan – and the balance you owe is reduced to actual blue book.

What payments? If you are referring to the car payments themselves, those are up to current and have always been. The payments not being made are credit card payments solely. Home and everything else as far as cars and living expense like utilities, etc… are all up to current.

I got a letter from US Bank the other day

I got a letter from US Bank the other day, this is the same company who called my inlaws looking for us. Anyhow, our account is 5-6 months delinquent and I got a letter the other day stating they are currently in the process of searching and verifying any property that is owned by me.

The search may include, but not limited to, automobiles, business assets, home, and land. They say the information will be compiled and retained to aid in future collections procedures against the account. They go on to say that when this search is complete and all property is verified, they will consider forwarding this account to their legal department for disposition.

Has anyone had dealings with US Bank and being delinquent with payment? I’m a bit freaked here. I don’t have the money to pay them and we do have a home and two vehicles, all of which we are making payments on and none of which are even remotely paid off. Other than that, we have nothing. Anyone have any advice on what I should do concerning this? I’m hoping they are just trying to scare me, but I’m also scared that they are close to sueing me.

How much do you owe them? If it is not much, it may be a scare tactic. Most (not all) won’t sue for smaller amounts, due to the cost of court.

It’s a little over $10,000

They may actually take you to court for that amount. The main thing they want is an actual JUDGMENT AGAINST YOU. It is more than a little agreement. If a judge rules against you, on your credit report for the next 7-10 years, maybe more, it will state under this debt that a judgment was made against you in a court of law.

I don’t know what to suggest other than trying to get them to take a lesser amount. Would that help at this point? Some creditors are just plain mean, stubborn and malicious. They refuse to work with you.

Re: What can we do?

A little more information about the car, please. What is the Kelly Blue Book value? You can find it at www.kbb.com. Not the trade in value, but the seller’s private party value.

1. If the car is worth the same or more than Kelly Blue Book, I’d stick a sign on it and park in a high traffic area and sell it FAST!

2. But….if the car is worth a LOT less than the payoff, I’d try to get an unsecured loan for the difference and then sell the car. For example: if the car is worth $10,000 and she owes $12,000, she would get an unsecured loan for $2,000 or borrow it from someone. A $2,000 debt is a lot less stressful than a $12,000 one with insurance. Then for 3 months I’d walk, take the bus, or hitch rides from friends until I’d put the $500 a month in savings and buy a $1,500 car outright cash, then use the $500 for 4 months to payoff the unsecured loan and be done with the whole thing. I’d recommend a 1994 Honda or Toyota. They are very reliable and usually last 250,000++ miles!

The biggest thing to remember is to NOT bury your head in the sand and ignore the problem. Don’t trade it in and get upside down on another car. You can get out from under this debt fast if you continue to put the money toward the unsecured loan and a savings account for only 7 more months or so. That’s a lot less time than 4 or 5 more years that you had left on the car loan. What a relief it would be not to have that big car payment. After you save up for the used car, then start a car fund and put $100 a month or whatever you can afford into a money market account getting 5% and when you save up enough money again, PAY CASH!!! In 5 years, you will have saved up $7,000. If you can put more than $100 a month it will go faster or you will have more saved. Get your money to work for you by using the bank’s interest to pay you instead of borrowing money and having to pay it back with interest.

I strongly recommend you borrow the book Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey from the library. You will learn that if you flash cash you can get a great bargain on a good used car too. Take $100 crisp clean bills with you when you go to look at good used cars.

He changed my way of thinking about money, credit cards, borrowing, and car payments forever! You are young and can change your family’s future by saving, investing, and living within your means now. You have a little one on the way and you need to think about your family’s future and not just the here and now.

It sounds like you are on the right track getting out from under this car you and your fiancé can’t afford. It will free you so that you can concentrate on the wonderful experience of being pregnant!! I have three beautiful children and they are such a blessing. Right now my dh and I are digging our way out of $70,000 worth of debt. When we are debt free, we will truly be free forever!

Good luck and let me know if you have any more questions. I’d be happy to answer or clarify anything!

What can we do?

good afternoon frugal friends…

i have a question:

oldest dd [ today 22 ] bought a brandnew chevrolet cobalt last year. father in law went with her and co-signed. she only had a part time job, was going to college and still living at home. she had car payments of 280$ and insurance of 175.

i would have loved to knock some sense into her noggin… but FIL went with her. and we had no idea until she came home with the car.

in the meantime shortly thereafter she got pregnant. quit college and is now living with BF + his parents.

today is her birthday and she came over and asked how she could get out from under the car payment. i think that is a smart move, since between the 2 of them they have nothing. and they do not need such a big expense to the tune of 500$ a months.

anybody having any good suggestions how to do this, without messing with my inlaws superior credit rating?? she does want a car, just not all the expense. had she spoken about 6 weeks ago, we would have taken over payments and bought the car, but husband went and bought a different car

i will print out all answers and give them to her . she can then choose what to do.


Thank you so much for the quick response!

Thank you so much for the quick response! To answer:

I am worried about being late because of compounding the interest. I mean, one of the cards is charging me over 300 amonth due to the rate! I am so blown away by that amount! However, yes, I will skip the payment if I have to.

As for the 0% interest rate, I explored that already. No go, due to this debt to income thing. I can get it, but for way too low an amount. I even tried through my bank, who I have a relationship with, as I have banked with them for 15 years. Nope.

Definitely on the mortgage. I will NOT let my mortgage get behind under any circumstances. I have a 6 year old son. His father lives here too. That is also why I can’t move out of state with him. Unfortunately, his father is in school and therefore does not make any money. this = no child support. And the way our shared parenting is written, I can’t take him to court, as he is not obligated in his current situation. I wouldn’t anyway, we are friendly. He is a law student and will take over the finances for our son as soon as he is graduated and making “lawyer bucks”. This does not help me now.

I have considered just trying to focus on one CC at a time, paying the smallest one first and then moving on to the next one.. I could get several of them paid off that way, but it would ignore the biggies for several months and I am afraid of what I would be looking at by the time I got to those!

Yeah, Ohio passed this issue one several years ago and really messed things up for all people who are not married, not just Gay/Lesbian couples.

I don’t know how they get away with the arbitrary interest rates. Or why they won’t budge.

I have already sold a lot. My next step is to see about OT at work, but this is difficult due to child care. Still, you gotta do what you gotta do, so I will see what I can get, and then see who can watch my son. Thank you so much for the input!!!

I have worked with CCCS in the past

I have worked with CCCS in the past, and their program seemed too expensive for us too, however that was because we already had too much debt. I ended up having to get a part-time job to supplement our income for a little while.

You might want to try something like http://www.prosper.com/ I read about it in the November issue of Reader’s Digest. Don’t give up hope! I’ve been in touch with people who have had debt above $100,000.00 and with a well designed commitment to reducing their debt, have moved forward. Bankruptcy would be a very last option and debt consolidation is right above that. Check out Dave Ramsey on the web. His teachings really helped me get my finances under control.

Thank you for all of the replys. I am searching the archives, it almost seems the more I read and research the more confused I get! LOL A couple of weeks ago I thought our only options were bk or cccs and now I see there are many more. I do believe I have decided not to use a debt settlement plan or CCCS though.

It is a long and I am sure boring story to how we got here but we have nothing to sell. We already sold our house a couple of years ago (at a loss) and have no assets at this time. I would rather not file bk if we can at all avoid it but I may consult with an attorney anyway. This is not new debt its the same balances we have been carrying around for several years makng minimum payments and not getting anywhere. I decided to try CCCS a couple of months ago and stopped making payments on my credit cards then. Now I have decided not to use CCCS and am 2-3 months behind on all of them and am sorry I quit making the payments.

I am working a full time and a part time job. My husband is supposed to be getting transferred to a different dept in the next couple of weeks which SHOULD give him a decent raise.

I guess my original problem was that I was never able to pay enough to get the principals down and now I am behind. So I am trying to figure out if I should call them now and try to make an agreement to get back on track or wait a few months and save all of my money to try to make a settlement. I can just barely afford to make the minimum payments there is no way to pay extra. Ideally I would love to settle half (to make it more managable) and then pay the rest off but not sure if that would work. The cards I have are MBNA, Chase, Capital One, Household and Providian (now washington mutual). Thanks!

If credit card debtor makes minimum payments

If credit card debtor makes minimum payments of $250 on a $10,000 balance with 24.9% interest rates, it will take seven years to get it out of debt. With CCCS, if one can afford payments, it takes about 5 years to get out of debt and the consumer pays 100% of your balance and sometimes a small amount of interest. Short of winning the lottery or inheriting money, and no desire to declare bankruptcy, I’m not sure how one would get out of debt without settlement. Typically with a reputable settlement attorney a debtor can get out of debt paying 50-60% of the total debt (which includes all fees) over three years. Sometimes it is less, but that is a conservative number. One recent settlement that I saw was a 35 cents on the dollar settlement on a $25,000 debt payable over three years in monthly installments.

The downside of these types of programs is that your credit gets worse (but ultimately improves as debts are settled and your recent payment history becomes consistent again). If you are barely making minimums it is unlikely that you would be granted additional credit. If you were granted additional credit it would be at a very high interest rate and if you were unable to repay it (as it is already difficult) your credit score would suffer.

If you go the debt settlement route, I would strongly suggest NOT to use any firm besides a law firm or an attorney that represents YOU with regard to your debt issues. A non-licensed debt settlement firm will tell you that they have an attorney on staff (which represents their interests not yours) or that they have IADPA Certified Arbitrators. These ‘certified’ arbitrators were certified by an industry group that these debt settlement companies own and control.

What state are you located in?

Re: Hoping maybe someone can give me some advice

Okay, I read the whole story.

1st – don’t worry about the credit card bills for the time being. If they are late, it is not the end of the world. After all, they are not as important as the roof over your head and they are already screwing you on the rate. It is because of some arbitrary ratio on your credit report.

2nd – you can try to get a new credit card before the next month – one that lets you transfer to a low “teaser rate”, even 0% is possible, since you have never been late. I am no fan of credit cards, but you need to find a way out. If you can move the debt to the new account with the low rate, do it. It will be in your name alone, but don’t worry about that right now.

3rd – pay your mortgage. The company will come after you for foreclosure if you don’t pay. Ohio is known for that.

4th – Is it possible for you to move to where your partner is living?

5th – I agree – don’t spend a settlement that is not yours yet. Bad move. If you can manage to tread water until the suit is settled, great. If not, prioritize your debts and pay what you can, cut back where you can. Credit cards, pain in the ass that they can be, sending you to collections, reporting you late on your credit report (and they definitely will), can wait. Don’t let them scare you. You need to keep your home, keep up with the student loans (federal debts) and eat first. Also, pay for any medications you need.

You are living in the wrong state. In California, unmarried people buying property together is not an issue if you otherwise qualify. Credit card companies are the worst. How they get away with those interest rates is unbelievable. These kind of rates ought to be illegal. There’s a good political issue to write your congressperson about. You need more income. Is there anything you could sell? What about a temporary part-time job until you pay down some bills?  What about taking on a roommate since your partner is gone 5 days anyway? Maybe someone else will have another idea.

Hoping maybe someone can give me some advice

Hi I am new, and am hoping maybe someone can give me some advice. This is confusing! I will try to make it as easy to follow as I can!

Ok, first of all, I am a lesbian in a committed relationship living in Ohio. This means we have a double income that is not recognized by many banks or by the government (ie on tax forms). It also means that when we bought our house, we were NOT allowed to buy it together, as Ohio does not let unmarried couples own property together. We could have gotten the loan together but A) her credit was poor due to delinquent medical bills and B) why put your name on a note for property that you cannot own? Bad idea.

Ok, when we were starting out, due to the aformentioned medical problems, she was in and out of work and we did a lot of living on credit cards. Long story short, we are paying for that now. Currently, We both have very good, secure jobs, but her’s has placed her 2 and a half hours in another STATE, meaning she has to maintain a seperate household during the week. We were involved in a serious car accident in September of 06 which required her to have surgery in September, puting her out of work for another 2 months. She has been back full force though since then.

Ok, are you still with me? On to the debt part: We have a house, a home equity loan, a student loan, a car payment, and credit cards, over 40k. Becasue of the nature of the relationship and the way we have to do things financially, everything except the car is in my name. The checking and savings accounts are in my name also and her pay check is direct deposited into my account. I pay all the bills.

When she was transfered to her new job, they gave her 5,000. We paid all of her rent etc from that. As of last month, it’s gone. So, today, here is the situation. Everything is current. But when I went to get a new car loan, after our accident, for the first time in my life, I was not approved. They said my score was fine, but my debt to income was too high because her income didn’t count, even when I listed her as a “renter”. Also, my CC interest rates have leaped to 30% even though I have never missed a payment or been late. I called and they refuse to lower them. Why? They pulled my credit report. Score fine. Debt to income too high! This jump in interest has put the minimum up past what we can pay on them.

I don’t know what to do. We are facing the real possiblity of not being able to pay these bills. I don’t understand why these CC compaines will not work with me when I have never been late or missed a payment. I can’t ask my partner to quit her job and come home. Then we are REALLY screwed. The amount we would save in her rent would not compensate for her loss of income.

Should I consider bankrupcy? I don’t know if I can, becasue my income is slightly higher than what I have read is the allowed income. On the other hand, I feel like for once, the fact that this state won’t cut my relationship a break would work for us, as my partners income can’t be touched. Can it? She has no legal tie to me. We have no savings to speak of. My other option is the credit counseling, I suppose, but unless they use my partners income, there is no way to manage any of the debt on my income alone.

The final kicker to all of this is that there is a lawyer involved on our behalf as a result of the car accident we were involved in and there is a real possiblity that we may get a significant settlement. However, I am not the type to count on $$ that does not exist. BUt part of me feels like I should just try to hang on until that case is settled once and for all, because if we do get a settlement, we can pay all this off and be done with it. I just don’t know if it is possible. I am already no knowing how I am going to pay the minimum on my cards this month. I’ve never missed a payment.

I am sorry this is so long. I hope it wan’t too confusing. I just feel so stuck and trapped. I don’t want to ruin my credit completely, but I feel like it already is ruined anyway. I want to be responsible, but I don’t feel I deserve a 30% interest rate and I can’t manage the payments with that rate. I really don’t know what to do. By this time next month, I will be behind on the cards. So I need to make a decision. I will NOT let my house, home equity, student loan or car get behind.

Thank for listening and in advance for any advice!

P. S. Oh, and one more thing (as if all that wasn’t enough!) IF and it’s a big IF, this settlement comes through, it is my partners, not mine. So it is my assumption that it would be therefore protected from the bankrupcy if I were to go that route.

Bankruptcy terms help please

I received a letter from my attorney stating that: It is ordered that the abandonment of property and report of no distribution are approved, the trustee is discharged from and relieved of his/her trust, the sureties on the trustees bond are released from further liability in the case, and the case is closed. Anyways, I was wondering what this meant?

Can you tell me if you filed for 13 or 7? Discharged as a bankrupt – in Canada it means the ordeal of bankruptcy proceedings are at an official end. It sounds like you filed a Chapter 7. The term abandonment of property and report of no distribution is approved means that you have no assets to have distributed to your creditors. The trustee is requesting the he/she be released from your case and it be closed. Have you already received your discharge notice? Your case isn’t discharged until you receive that.

YAY… Have the payoff letter!

I hold the letter from the collector acknowledging the debt being paid off entirely. Now to go report this to the credit bureaus. Very happy to see this in writing and holding it here. I guess I’ll go to the Equifax, Experian and other credit boards to tell them, as the debt collector is not a ‘reporting agency.

This may seem like an asinine question, but…If they are not a reporting agency, then why is it in your credit report. They must have reported it before. Unless, they just don’t report the pay off terms. Just curious.

The original debt reported it. The collector doesn’t report payoffs. Somehow, U think they would have if I’d not paid them.