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Thread: Financial Advice and Money Woes

  1. #11
    Anarchist AJane's Avatar
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    Re: Financial Advice and Money Woes

    CN, I will offer a bit of advice - if you opt to pay off the credit card, cut it up afterwards so you won't be tempted to use it. You would be better off with a separate bank account, perhaps putting $100 or so every month into it, and keeping that for emergencies. Another option would be to call your credit card company and ask that your limit be reduced to a small amount, maybe $1000. It will keep you from overspending on your card. Ask them for a lower interest rate as well. It worked very well for me - I have one card only, with a small limit, and the interest is only 8% and is guaranteed to never go above 11%.
    All my life, I have felt destiny tugging at my sleeve.~ Thursday Next
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  2. #12
    A Meat Loaf Aday... ClosetNerd's Avatar
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    Re: Financial Advice and Money Woes

    Thanks AJane but I'm not tempted. I'm not a compulsive shopper by any means. As I said (partially) we only GOT and then filled up the card because, we fell on a family hardship and literally needed it to eat and heat our home for an entire winter. It's not like it's filled with shopping sprees and whatnot. Also, I think it would be very difficult and probably wrong to put aside $100 a month while leaving several bills unpaid completely no?

    Anyway, thanks for all of your help and advice everyone. I definately have a plan of action now
    ~There is no way to Happiness. Happiness is the way.~

  3. #13
    Best Buddies Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: Financial Advice and Money Woes

    I recently had my credit card interest jump to 29% so I got a new one where you have 0% interest for a year if you transfer the balance. My advice would be to do that, give the old one a month or two to clear outstanding charges and then cancel it. Then put aside the money for taxes and put the rest as payment on the new credit card. If hubby still has a spending problem, sit him down and have a talk. Make him accountable!!! Give him a cash allowance, take away his card - whatever it takes to get his side of spending under control. It's not fair to the rest of you. I agree that you should change the amount taken out of your paycheck IF you understand that you won't be getting a bail-out in tax returns the next year. Sounds to me like you have a good system of putting it toward your taxes, so think about that. It's easy to spend the little extra you get every paycheck. Also - any extra income - stimulus check, yard sale, whatever - goes straight to paying off the card. There's my 2 cents.
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    A Meat Loaf Aday... ClosetNerd's Avatar
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    Re: Financial Advice and Money Woes

    Yikes 29% Gut! that's huge. Yeah, I definately do need to have a sit down with him. I have tried in the past to do it nicely. You know, Asking him to stop nickel and diming his paychecks away. Suggesting he consider NOT getting new fancy video games. But my downfall was that I had stay at home mom guilt. You know "He does
    "the work", He deserves to have the fun" But now I will definately be taking our whole financial situation to him on paper and saying "Look Mr, we do it MY way now"
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    Re: Financial Advice and Money Woes

    I can relate. It's really hard to get in the mindset of "our" money/paycheck as a stay-at-home-mom, but you have the right approach of doing what's best for your whole family. If you're not already doing this, you may want to try laying out your plans for each month's income at the beginning of the month so you two can agree on how each dollar will be spent. Money always seems to go a lot farther when you're in agreement about how to manage it. And remind him that you guys are working through a little crisis but it won't always be the same budget every month... once you get some breathing room in your bills vs. income situation, you'll be able to add a fun column in that budget for his games and for your sitter, etc.

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    MRD
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    Re: Financial Advice and Money Woes

    Use the tax check to pay off the card. Making the minimum payment is never going to get the card paid off and you keep having to pay interest. The interest payments can wind up being way more than what the orignal amount charged was. This way, you are actually saving money by not having to pay so much interest. And then, like you said, you have the card for emergencies only.

    Also, I agree with the above. You and hubby both can request to change your tax information with your employers so that you are not having to pay so much in income taxes each paycheck and will actually receive more money each month.
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    A Meat Loaf Aday... ClosetNerd's Avatar
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    Re: Financial Advice and Money Woes

    Well, it turns out we are not eligible to claim exempt on our taxes. The only reason we get all of it back is because of the deductions we have. BUT we sat down and had a serious talk this morning over breakfast and I have gotten him to agree to my way of management. I told him that I'm going to be really cracking down on some things for a while, and to just think of it as a challenge and not a punishment. We made a short term deadline to readjust his way of thinking pretty much.

    He will basically be handing over his pay to me and I will be divvying it up between the bills and expenses. There will be no more of him cashing his check and "just keeping a little out for himself" Also, he agreed to stop going to Capoera classes and poker games until the new year, so we will be both saving gas, and it will give me more nights each week to do my work-from-home job which I rarely get to because he's always running off here and there to have fun leaving me alone to watch the boys.

    You should have heard his laughable excuses When I told him no keeping moneys in his pocket all week he said "but what if I get thirsty at work or want a snack" I said "It's called water! You bought that fancy water bottle this summer because you just had to have a gimmic to save money. And you wouldn't need a snack before lunch if you ate the breakfast I cooked you every morning" He's so impulsive. It helps that I grew up dirt poor, so I don't get as crestfallen by it. I just become more roll of the sleeves resourcefull determines when these things happen.

    But anyway, it's a step in the right direction.
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    MRD
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    Re: Financial Advice and Money Woes

    Good for you.

    My husband used to stop and buy coffee and donuts every morning on his way to work. I showed him how much that added up to weekly and monthly and seeing the larger figure as opposed to a couple bucks a day made a HUGE difference.

    We worked out a budget and we both get an "allowance" for spending money each week. We can opt to buy lunch or a book or whatever, but once it's gone for the week, it's gone.

    We've also looked at things like his coffee and donut habit and my diet soda habit and figured out that if we cut back on those things that at the end of the year we would have saved about $400. Not a HUGE amount in teh course of the year, but $400 is $400.

    Is it a huge sacrifice? Not really amazingly enough. I still have a diet soda out of my allowance and he still has the occasional coffee and donut, so we aren't deprived, but we aren't making them a habit and we're probably healthier for it too.

    Good luck and I hope you guys get ahead.
    It's doable. I remember the first time we ever sat down to a budget and that was about 15 years ago. We actually wrote down for 2 weeks where EVERY penny went. It was eye opening! We then included in our budget things like haircuts and newspapers, stamps, all the little things that can nickel and dime you to death. Once we "planned" for them in our budget, and stuck to it, things improved a lot.


    The other thing I do is that my allowance is in cash and when it's gone, it's gone and I do NOT use the debit card.

    If I plan an outing with a friend: Lunch and say shopping, I figure out how much I can spend and I take that in cash. When it's gone, it's gone and I'm won't use my debit card to purchase anything else.

    I have one friend that keeps after me to go to lunch, go to happy hour and I have repeatedly told her: I can go occasionally, but I really can't afford to go on a weekly basis. Sometimes she wants to go twice a week and I honestly will NOT do that.
    Although, I have scoped out the best happy hours where I can go and get a deal on a couple beers and some happy hour food and it's a lot less than going out to dinner or even lunch sometimes.
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    A Meat Loaf Aday... ClosetNerd's Avatar
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    Re: Financial Advice and Money Woes

    Thanks MRD I guess I knew all along what had to be done, but I just needed to talk it out with other people to get up the incentive to put it into action. I agree that a coffee and doughnut a day doesn't seem major, but $400 a year can mean the difference between Christmas presents or not! Once I started putting things into that kind of perspective for him I saw a bit of a lightbulb moment. I just have to remind him a lot. Husband has a lot of aha moments, but they fade away rather quickly too I make jokes that I should make him sit down and rewatch "Super Size Me" every 6 months because he slips back into old habits and I find fast food reciepts crumpled up in the minivan while I'm home having tea for breakfast so we can stick to food budget.

    What is very frustraiting is those friends who constantly invite you out to bars and happy hour and whatnot because while they make less money than you, they have parents who keep dumping money into their bank accounts to keep them going. Or other such issues. Whenever I hear someone lamenting about being broke, but they are going out 3 - 3 times a week I get so frustraited I just want to shake them! Because when we say "No I'm sorry we don't have the money right now" They take it to mean "I have money, I just don't feel like spending it" so they push the issue and insist and make excuses. I want to say "NO MONEY MEANS ZERO DOLLARS!"

    Ahh well. Back to momming before the kiddies and hubby wake up I do love these quiet moments though.
    ~There is no way to Happiness. Happiness is the way.~

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    Re: Financial Advice and Money Woes

    Quote Originally Posted by ClosetNerd;3231245;

    What is very frustraiting is those friends who constantly invite you out to bars and happy hour and whatnot because while they make less money than you, they have parents who keep dumping money into their bank accounts to keep them going. Or other such issues. Whenever I hear someone lamenting about being broke, but they are going out 3 - 3 times a week I get so frustraited I just want to shake them! Because when we say "No I'm sorry we don't have the money right now" They take it to mean "I have money, I just don't feel like spending it" so they push the issue and insist and make excuses. I want to say "NO MONEY MEANS ZERO DOLLARS!"

    .
    Um, do we have the same friends??? Because I've had several just like this.

    And then I have one that will say: "We'll it'll be my treat". Which is nice, but I'm not always in a position to return the favor and she constantly INSISTS. I have to say, how about you come over to my house instead which she never wants to do. We both drink beer. A six pack is significantly cheaper than each of us having 3 beers out, even if it is happy hour.

    We're not perfect money wise by any means, and we're not at a point we should be at our ages because of overspending and some bad decisions, unexpected happenings, etc., but I do have to say, I'm a LOT more fiscally responsible than I used to be. And the entire family is a lot more aware of how we spend our money and where it's all going.
    It's not always the BIG expenditures that get you, it's the $3 here and $2 there and poof, before you know it, you've blown $100 bucks on piddly crap.
    I think that was the thing that made us all (daughter included) realize that it adds up and to be careful.
    Que me amat, amet et canem meum
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