Financial Hole

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
mpsz
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by mpsz » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:45 am

How big is your shortfall each month? Are you behind by $10... $100... $1,000? Nobody is demanding you post your bank statement, but a few more specifics about your situation will lead to higher quality answers.

Re: cell phone - It's possible that if you're on a discount plan like LifeLine you've already slashed this expense to the bone. But in case you're on a more expensive plan, re-consider looking into other carriers. The smallest carriers do NOT operate their own networks -- they resell access to the larger networks. See https://www.whistleout.com/CellPhones/G ... ur-mvno-on for a list. Basically, these small carriers (MVNOs) buy services in bulk from a behemoth carrier like AT&T for a discount, and pass some of that discount along to the user -- you are getting the same service for less money in most cases. In most cases, you can transfer ("port") your number to the new carrier. Again, it sounds like you have tried to optimize this, but if you're paying more than ~$20/mo for a phone, you should seriously look into a carrier like Ting, MintSim, or Consumer Cellular.

When you say pets -- do you mean a cat, dog... goldfish?

Does your wife work? Is $100/mo for groceries for one or two people?

inbox788
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by inbox788 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:16 am

It's not clear to me what the specific problems are or how we can help, so it's just shooting in the dark. So far I haven't seen any mention of assistance programs, but if OP qualifies, there may be help available.

https://www.benefits.gov/benefits/brows ... ategory/28
https://eligibility.com/food-stamps

https://www.safelinkwireless.com/Enroll ... index.html
https://www.lifewireless.com

Some out of the box solutions might be needed. Besides investigating bankruptcy, is moving an option?

Can you drive? https://www.indeed.com/q-Paid-CDL-Training-jobs.html
Do you have a high speed internet connection? https://join.liveops.com/work-from-home ... nter-jobs/
Do you have land to grow food? Cash crops?

https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/save-ti ... ey-veggies
https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-10 ... tate-guide (too risky, but some folks are doing it)
https://youshouldgrow.com/make-money-gardening/

bluejello
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by bluejello » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:45 am

Hi Joe,

Congrats on taking the first step and sharing with us your story. That's a brave thing to do.

As many people have said, you do need to share more specifics about your situation in order to get more specific advice. Otherwise the best anyone can give you is generic cliches like "live within your budget" or "get a side job", which I know is not actually very helpful.

Based on my own experience and from what I've observed with close family / friends, I can tell you that if you want to dramatically change your financial situation you need to start doing something very differently. It's not just a matter of trimming down your phone bill from $50 to $40 a month, or cutting out a daily coffee.

So here are some dramatic ideas for you. They may be extreme, they may be deeply unpleasant, they may require you to swallow hard and put away your pride, but they will make a BIG difference. They are also not long-term solutions, more meant to give you some breathing room in the short term so you can make a long-term plan.

1) move in with family for a period of time (say, 1 year) while you save and pay off debt

2) move out of your apartment and live out of your car for a period of time, save and pay off debt

3) move to another city where there are more jobs and where you have family / friends you can stay with for free for a period of time

4) if 1-3 above are not possible because of your pets, give your pets to a family member or friend or neighbor to take care of for a year or two until you get back on your feet. Or re-home them permanently. I have pets too and love them dearly, but if it came down to my survival vs. giving up pets it wouldn't be a hard choice.

5) do gig work: drive for Uber, work for TaskRabbit or Fiverr, deliver packages for Amazon Flex, sell stuff on Etsy. Get on craigslist and look for gigs like cleaning houses, lawn work, pet sitting, babysitting, moving, running random errands, etc. Both you and your wife can do this. This might also be easier if you move to a bigger city, from your earlier posts it sounds like you are currently in a very remote place without much work available.

6) sell your furniture, electronics, sports gear, jewelry, anything you own beyond the absolute bare necessities


These links may also help inspire you:

https://nomoreharvarddebt.com/ — a very detailed blog about how someone paid off $90k of debt in seven months

https://zenhabits.net/the-10-key-action ... -solution/ — Leo Babuta's story of getting out of debt

Best of luck!

GCD
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by GCD » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:14 am

JoeSo wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:29 pm
we've had our phones for years,plus my number is out there on my resumes etc
JoeSo wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:43 pm
finite_difference wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:07 pm
If you post your general occupation, salary and expenses you may get some advice on how to make things work and/or how to improve your situation.
I'm basically a janitor at this point,nothing fancy. Currently I'm looking for other work but I'm now stuck in a remote area with not many options.
Janitor with a resume? Could you post your resume so we know what your skills are?

By the way, have you lived in Forks your whole life? From what I see on the internet it seems like you might have limited opportunities there. Aramak has a bunch of jobs an hour away in Port Angeles. I think you are going to have to accept some big changes, maybe a move, like suggested above.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by LiterallyIronic » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:28 am

JoeSo wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:54 pm
Eat out very rarely,unless you consider fast food dollar menu.
I do count the fast food dollar menu as eating out, especially in a financial situation like this. Unless your lunch is one item off the dollar menu, it's too expensive.
JoeSo wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:22 pm
My grocery bill is maybe $100 a week
That seems really high for two people. We keep ours to under $200/month for two adults and a one-year-old.

We want to help you, we really do. Please, please, please post more details so we can.

dbr
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Financial Hole

Post by dbr » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:31 am

I'll pile on that in a case like this the devil is in the details and finding help solving the problem can't be done without digging into specifics.

For one thing I don't think I have noticed yet whether or not your wife is employed and in what way. Did I miss that?

Dottie57
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:49 am

thewizzer wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:46 pm
If you just post rambling replies about payday loans, you're not going to get any help. I'm going to assume you're just trolling until you provide more info.
I have to agree. I've asked very explicit easy to answer questions, but nothing yet from OP.

alfaspider
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by alfaspider » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:56 am

JoeSo wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:29 pm
catdude wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:58 pm
JoeSo wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:54 pm
I need my phone for work contact,plus I commute alot so definitely need phone. Eat out very rarely,unless you consider fast food dollar menu. As far as credit cards,I have around 7 now and pay the minimum on each...
OK, which company do you use for phone service? There are low-cost options out there (e.g., Consumer Cellular). As others have said, if you give us more info we can help you.
Already got that figured out...wife has a discount plan with AT&T and we've had our phones for years,plus my number is out there on my resumes etc so I'd have to change all that because I'd have to get a new number with another carrier. The area I'm in is pretty remote so the only towers around are ATT or Verizon...and Verizon is more expensive.
Consumer cellular uses the ATT network.

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teen persuasion
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by teen persuasion » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:19 am

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:28 am
JoeSo wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:54 pm
Eat out very rarely,unless you consider fast food dollar menu.
I do count the fast food dollar menu as eating out, especially in a financial situation like this. Unless your lunch is one item off the dollar menu, it's too expensive.
JoeSo wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:22 pm
My grocery bill is maybe $100 a week
That seems really high for two people. We keep ours to under $200/month for two adults and a one-year-old.

We want to help you, we really do. Please, please, please post more details so we can.
Agree with all of this. We currently spend about $50 per week for 2 adults + a boy in Jr HS. My bills were closer to $100/week only when all 5 kids were living at home, so feeding 7. Don't buy processed convenience foods, buy basic ingredients and cook: meat, fruits, veggies, rice, pasta, eggs, milk, flour, etc. Shop at Aldi, buy on sale and loss leaders. Pack lunches at home, use up leftovers, cook in volume and eat it more than one day, etc. Working lots of hours you may not seem to have time, but what about your spouse? Is she working, even part time?

racy
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by racy » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:36 am

JoeSo wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:22 pm
GCD wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:08 am
Ok, so here's an article about how to kill your $1000 grocery bill. https://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/03 ... cery-bill/
My grocery bill is maybe $100 a week...I'll get to that worksheet the next chance I get. Right now I'm working 8 days straight,so maybe an hour or 2 after getting home to bedtime do I have time to eat dinner,check email etc.
I volunteer at our local food pantry. I'm sure you can get free food occasionally from one in your area.

Liberty1100
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by Liberty1100 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:37 am

I don't want to be the bad guy, but if your pets are cats or dogs, I would suggest giving them up to adoption. They are another financial burden that you can't provide for any long. You have to provide them with food, vet visits, toys, beds, litter, and time too! Best case, maybe you can give it over to a friend or family member so that you can still get to see them every time you are over. Maybe after you get back on your feet, you can take them back.

EDIT: In addition, your landlord may be charging you more to have a pet. By passing off the pets, you could move to a smaller apartment or find another cheaper place due to them not allowing pets. This could save you a good amount of money per month.

forgeblast
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by forgeblast » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:48 am

Get a free library card and you can get the Total Money Make Over there. That is what i did. I just took notes on what I should be doing.

sailaway
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by sailaway » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:01 pm

If your budget is too complicated to post, there are definitely cuts to be made to it.

Why does commuting make the phone necessary?

$100/wk in groceries for a couple shouldn't be necessary outside of a food desert, which are usually urban, rather than rural.

Fast food does add up. You should be able to make yourself a sandwich for less than a dollar.

The kind of hole you are in can mess with your mind, leading to decisions that may be penny wise, but pound foolish. There are habits you have to change. As an obese individual, I know how hard that can be, but the only way out is to keep getting up and trying again.

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djpeteski
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by djpeteski » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:35 pm

forgeblast wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:48 am
Get a free library card and you can get the Total Money Make Over there. That is what i did. I just took notes on what I should be doing.
If he was in the Orlando area, I would give him a copy and buy him a cup of coffee.

To me the OP doesn't want help, just complain. Having coordinated several Financial Peace University (FPU) classes, I've seen this. "I can't win, the man is keeping me down". The reality is the only man keeping a person down is the one they seen in the mirror. It is possible to find a way to win, and I am thankful for the generous souls on this board (and many more like them) that would be willing to lend a hand. You guys and gals are awesome.

Easy Rhino
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by Easy Rhino » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:38 pm

if you're working 5-6 days a week and 12 hours a day at the same job, then you should be entitled to overtime. So if you're not getting your time and a half, then it may be something to consider reporting to a state labor board.

if you want some brainstorming from the group, you could start with the basic of the budget:

1) how much comes in a month (take home pay) from your job(s)
2) your biggest five expenses a month. Rent, card, gas, food... whatever they are.

The Wizard
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by The Wizard » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:52 pm

This appears to be a different case to solve.

Step 1 would be education and fact finding, to determine the OP's true situation and devise a decent plan going forward.

Step 2, sadly, is to declare bankruptcy to clear the burden of CC and payday loans, which likely exceed one year's gross income for the OP.

Step 3 is to implement the plan going forward, without use of CCs or short term loans.

It's not clear to me if the OP is on board with this...
Attempted new signature...

JoeSo
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:27 pm

CFM300 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:28 am
Does your wife work?
She gets SSDI...which already figures into our expenses.

JoeSo
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:32 pm

mpsz wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:45 am
How big is your shortfall each month? Are you behind by $10... $100... $1,000? Nobody is demanding you post your bank statement, but a few more specifics about your situation will lead to higher quality answers.

When you say pets -- do you mean a cat, dog... goldfish?

Does your wife work? Is $100/mo for groceries for one or two people?
Behind a couple hundred bi-weekly,which amounts to about $400 or $500 a month now.

We have a couple dogs and cats but feeding them is factored into the budget and it's not that much.

$100 a week for 2 people + pets.

JoeSo
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:38 pm

inbox788 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:16 am
So far I haven't seen any mention of assistance programs, but if OP qualifies, there may be help available.

Besides investigating bankruptcy, is moving an option?

Do you have a high speed internet connection? https://join.liveops.com/work-from-home ... nter-jobs/
Do you have land to grow food? Cash crops?

https://www.leafly.com/news/cannabis-10 ... tate-guide (too risky, but some folks are doing it)
https://youshouldgrow.com/make-money-gardening/
I've tried numerous times for assistance,but of course we earn just over the limit to even qualify...

As far as internet,we're also on our last option which is satellite internet because our last DSL company was too expensive to maintain.

We have a yard,but around here it's kind of off the grid anyway so many people grow things themselves. Not sure if they sell them though. This is a strange little town,the locals can and have blocked people from selling food unless it went through some process...

JoeSo
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:43 pm

bluejello wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:45 am

So here are some dramatic ideas for you. They may be extreme, they may be deeply unpleasant, they may require you to swallow hard and put away your pride, but they will make a BIG difference. They are also not long-term solutions, more meant to give you some breathing room in the short term so you can make a long-term plan.

1) move in with family for a period of time (say, 1 year) while you save and pay off debt

2) move out of your apartment and live out of your car for a period of time, save and pay off debt

3) move to another city where there are more jobs and where you have family / friends you can stay with for free for a period of time

4) if 1-3 above are not possible because of your pets, give your pets to a family member or friend or neighbor to take care of for a year or two until you get back on your feet. Or re-home them permanently. I have pets too and love them dearly, but if it came down to my survival vs. giving up pets it wouldn't be a hard choice.

5) do gig work: drive for Uber, work for TaskRabbit or Fiverr, deliver packages for Amazon Flex, sell stuff on Etsy. Get on craigslist and look for gigs like cleaning houses, lawn work, pet sitting, babysitting, moving, running random errands, etc. Both you and your wife can do this. This might also be easier if you move to a bigger city, from your earlier posts it sounds like you are currently in a very remote place without much work available.

6) sell your furniture, electronics, sports gear, jewelry, anything you own beyond the absolute bare necessities
No one to move in with...family is back across the country.

Not living in car sorry.

I've already been looking for places to move for a long time,but this is a highly competetive area for rentals and have gotten no bites yet.

Not giving away pets,we raised them and they're like family. They pose no burden.

Tried looking for gigs,but again this is a pretty remote area. Wife is on disability and cannot work.

And nothing left to sell.

JoeSo
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:47 pm

GCD wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:14 am

Janitor with a resume? Could you post your resume so we know what your skills are?

By the way, have you lived in Forks your whole life? From what I see on the internet it seems like you might have limited opportunities there. Aramak has a bunch of jobs an hour away in Port Angeles. I think you are going to have to accept some big changes, maybe a move, like suggested above.
Yes janitor with a resume,like you saw things are tough out here and no I haven't lived here my whole life. We moved out here a couple years ago then became stuck. I've worked with Aramark before but they're only seasonal,which is what alot of jobs here are. If I could move I would have awhile ago.

JoeSo
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:50 pm

Dottie57 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:49 am
thewizzer wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:46 pm
If you just post rambling replies about payday loans, you're not going to get any help. I'm going to assume you're just trolling until you provide more info.
I have to agree. I've asked very explicit easy to answer questions, but nothing yet from OP.
Apparently you missed the post where I mentioned I'm working an 8 day week this week and have about an hour spare time when I get home each night,I'll get to it. It's nothing that can't wait until my day off to tend to.

JoeSo
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:53 pm

teen persuasion wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:19 am
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:28 am
We currently spend about $50 per week for 2 adults + a boy in Jr HS. My bills were closer to $100/week only when all 5 kids were living at home, so feeding 7. Don't buy processed convenience foods, buy basic ingredients and cook: meat, fruits, veggies, rice, pasta, eggs, milk, flour, etc. Shop at Aldi, buy on sale and loss leaders. Pack lunches at home, use up leftovers, cook in volume and eat it more than one day, etc.
No Aldi here,just Safeway and Walmart basically and Costco. We'll have to look at more bulk recipes.

JoeSo
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:56 pm

sailaway wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:01 pm
Why does commuting make the phone necessary?
Beecause I commute 140 miles round trip to work through mostly remote area so if there are ever any emergencies...plus I communicate constantly with work through my phone.

JoeSo
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:01 pm

djpeteski wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:35 pm
forgeblast wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:48 am
Get a free library card and you can get the Total Money Make Over there. That is what i did. I just took notes on what I should be doing.
To me the OP doesn't want help, just complain. Having coordinated several Financial Peace University (FPU) classes, I've seen this. "I can't win, the man is keeping me down". The reality is the only man keeping a person down is the one they seen in the mirror.
I've heard these type of replies before. In my experience when one doesn't see their particular advice used then it's either a hit to their ego or they've quickly run out of patience. I am taking notes from this thread and will try the various things that I have not yet tried.

Traveller
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by Traveller » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:20 pm

JoeSo wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:01 pm
djpeteski wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:35 pm
forgeblast wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:48 am
Get a free library card and you can get the Total Money Make Over there. That is what i did. I just took notes on what I should be doing.
To me the OP doesn't want help, just complain. Having coordinated several Financial Peace University (FPU) classes, I've seen this. "I can't win, the man is keeping me down". The reality is the only man keeping a person down is the one they seen in the mirror.
I've heard these type of replies before. In my experience when one doesn't see their particular advice used then it's either a hit to their ego or they've quickly run out of patience. I am taking notes from this thread and will try the various things that I have not yet tried.
That's not it. You have a lot of people here who want to help you, but cannot do so without detailed information. You have NOT provided detailed information. You've said that you're a janitor, that you work alot, that you have a wife, and that you've already tried most of the things suggested here. If you want help, you will need to share the details. How much do you make? How much SSDI does your wife receive? What are all your expenses by category (food, clothing, housing, cell, insurance, utilities, clothing, car, gas, debt, etc)? Why cant you move closer to your job? Etc. Generic answers won't get you the help you need.

GCD
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by GCD » Wed Feb 07, 2018 12:03 am

I'm out. Have a nice day. :beer

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djpeteski
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by djpeteski » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:03 am

JoeSo wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:01 pm
I am taking notes from this thread and will try the various things that I have not yet tried.
Good for you Joe, I really hope that you can change your situation. I see that you are in Forks, WA. I used to live in the Fidalgo Island area of Washington, which is far away, but of a similar economic structure. The bottom line is that I had to move in order to pull myself and family up from "the hole" economically.

I wish you the best, and you may want to checkout Financial Peace University offerings in your area.

vested1
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by vested1 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:12 am

Forks Washington has an average of 119.73 inches of rain annually, which may be at the root of your problem. In my uninformed opinion I think you may be suffering from depression, something a move to sunnier climes may alleviate. A more populous area should improve opportunities and cut down on your commute.

I would consider putting your resume out in more distant locations where prospects may improve, and joining free sites, like Linkedin to get more visibility for whatever talents you possess.

Paying minimums on 7 credit cards is as much of a trap as taking out payday loans and paying 15% interest. Staying where you are and not making a change will only exacerbate your problems. An anonymous wise man once said "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".

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teen persuasion
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by teen persuasion » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:52 am

OP, if you truly want help digging out of your financial hole, you will get much better advice by providing as much concrete info as possible. A complete picture of all of your income sources and expenses gives us something to consider and make suggestions on, rather than randomly throwing out broad stabs in the dark based on a few vague bits like "pets".

Don't look at the suggestions as judgements on you, posters are just trying to offer as many options as possible in the hopes that some of it might be useful, or an idea you'd never considered. Don't look for what won't work, look for those paradigm shifting ideas that just might work and get you moving in a new direction. Examine every preconceived notion you have - every expense should be reevaluated, no sacred cows escape scrutiny.

Your responses to suggestions and requests for more/useful info may mirror you financial thinking: focused vaguely on disparate pieces and not the total picture.

Mr.BB
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by Mr.BB » Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:54 am

JoeSo wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:18 pm
Mr.BB wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:45 am
Get new training education your intake a loan off for anything let it be for education/ training and a new job.
Consolidate all your credit cards into a low pain credit card. You also need to look at what your credit score is so you have some idea of what you need to improve, and overtime that will also help you pay less for a credit.
If I do educational training wouldn't that eat into my work hours? Time is money at this point. I'll look into the consolidation thing,if they'll even consider me. But can I still use credit while doing that? At this point I pay the minimums so I don't get the late fees,but then end up needing to use the cards anyway so they're usually back down soon enough. I think my credit score is around 570 now at best...
My biggest concern for you right now you seem to be running in place. Your are doing the actions needed maintain your situation, not change it. Getting the credit cards paid down will help increase your score. And please do not go to one of those credit consolidation firms, go to Bankrate.com and start reviewing (and learning) which card you can get to consolidate your credit debt, and look for one with a longer zero interest payment time. As for changing jobs, depending on what field of work you are interested in, there may be online courses you can start taking to get you to a better place.

Take the time to do your homework first! Review, learn, have a plan of action laid out before you start doing anything.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

BostonButterfly
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Re: Financial Hole

Post by BostonButterfly » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:03 am

Joe,
You are correct: you ARE in a financial hole. And you're digging it deeper every day. In my opinion though, the universe has provided you with a lifeline in the form of Bogleheads.org. The people on this forum are incredibly knowledgeable, and are here to help. They are here because they WANT to be here. Do yourself a favor and hold onto that lifeline as if your life depended on it. Your financial life most certainly does.

As everyone has already said, you must provide details. No one can help you otherwise. Don't delay another day - make the time. If you have time to sleep every day, then you have time to work through the details. I believe I read that your wife is not working? If so, have her list out where your money is spent, and then the two of you go over it together to make sure you've captured everything. Most people have no real sense of where their money goes (they THINK they do, but they don't). Taking the time to account for every dime that you spend is very eye opening, and a great step towards formulating a plan to get out of the hole for good.

In my opinion, you found Bogleheads for a reason. Now - just DON'T LEAVE! Do your part and let these people help you. Keep an open mind with all suggestions, because as another poster already pointed out, its likely you'll have to take some extreme measures to right the ship. I wish you all the best, and I hope that you do not ignore the lifeline that has been thrown to you.

To all the Bogleheads, is there anyone even remotely close to where the OP lives? Perhaps meeting in person would be hugely beneficial for Joe.

Dottie57
Posts: 4269
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 5:43 pm

Re: Financial Hole

Post by Dottie57 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:12 pm

JoeSo wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:50 pm
Dottie57 wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:49 am
thewizzer wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:46 pm
If you just post rambling replies about payday loans, you're not going to get any help. I'm going to assume you're just trolling until you provide more info.
I have to agree. I've asked very explicit easy to answer questions, but nothing yet from OP.
Apparently you missed the post where I mentioned I'm working an 8 day week this week and have about an hour spare time when I get home each night,I'll get to it. It's nothing that can't wait until my day off to tend to.
You have provided very little info.

BuckyBadger
Posts: 849
Joined: Tue Nov 01, 2011 11:28 am

Re: Financial Hole

Post by BuckyBadger » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:28 pm

Without detailed information (like an actual budget, or at least a list of what your bills are) it is impossible to help you. In the time it took you to individually reply to ten people saying how you couldn't do what they suggested you could have posted some useful information.

If you're unwilling to give helpful details no one can assist you.

Jags4186
Posts: 2369
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Financial Hole

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:35 pm

OP I agree with everyone above about your lack of details. That said, stop borrowing more money. Take out no more payday loans. Stop charging to your credit card. Since your credit score is already awful I see no reason for you to continue paying your unsecured debts at this time. That means stop paying credit cards, stop paying payday lenders. This will at least give you some cash so you don’t feel so strapped before going to file bankruptcy.

MDfive21
Posts: 269
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2010 9:16 am

Re: Financial Hole

Post by MDfive21 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:49 pm

this is very un-boglehead, BUT in your shoes i would default on everything except housing, power, internet/phone, vehicle and food. i don't see how you can dig out of this one so stop paying on your unsecured debt and chop up the cards, stop racking up more debt. save every penny you can for 6 months and move somewhere else where you can find a decent paying full time job. at 140 miles/day, the commuting costs alone must be enough to sink you from barely making it to needing credit and loans.

if you can't find a decent job, you have to move.

as much as i love the BH forum, OP you should start checking out other resources that are more closely aligned with your position:
listen to dave ramsey every day. doing that will begin to reprogram your thinking about money and debt.
read mister money mustache blogs from start to finish. starting at the bottom of this page: http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/all-the- ... g-of-time/
mmm forums at https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/
read and post at ficoforums.com
read and post at creditboards.com
if you want to sue collection agencies read up on debtorboards.com

soccerrules
Posts: 803
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2016 4:01 pm

Re: Financial Hole

Post by soccerrules » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:13 pm

djpeteski wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:03 am
JoeSo wrote:
Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:01 pm
I am taking notes from this thread and will try the various things that I have not yet tried.
Good for you Joe, I really hope that you can change your situation. I see that you are in Forks, WA. I used to live in the Fidalgo Island area of Washington, which is far away, but of a similar economic structure. The bottom line is that I had to move in order to pull myself and family up from "the hole" economically.

I wish you the best, and you may want to checkout Financial Peace University offerings in your area.
Joe-

As I read through some of these posts, THIS is what came to mind. It sounds like for where you live you are doing your best. Yes, you could reduce a few expenses here and there. It seems like a BIG move to a LCOL area with better employment options might be best. Also if you could live with a relative for 6-12 months to get back on track financially -- that would even be better.
Wishing the best for you and your family.
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.

BostonButterfly
Posts: 107
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 11:49 am
Location: Boston

Re: Financial Hole

Post by BostonButterfly » Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:09 pm

soccerrules wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:13 pm
Joe-

As I read through some of these posts, THIS is what came to mind. It sounds like for where you live you are doing your best. Yes, you could reduce a few expenses here and there. It seems like a BIG move to a LCOL area with better employment options might be best. Also if you could live with a relative for 6-12 months to get back on track financially -- that would even be better.
Wishing the best for you and your family.
Joe - you mentioned family "across the country". Where do they live? Is it possible to live with them temporarily?

TheDDC
Posts: 179
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:11 am

Re: Financial Hole

Post by TheDDC » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:46 pm

Advising a guy to sell a house and live in a car for a while with a wife and kid? Really? That's not advice... unless the guy was like 20 years old and single.

Joe- Bottom line is give us a good idea of dollar amounts. I think we're spinning our wheels here.

What is your estimated monthly income (including SSDI)?

Your income-

Wife SSDI income-

Medical insurance-

Mortgage-

Utilities-

Cell phone-

Internet/phone/TV-

Groceries-

Medical-

Auto fuel-

Credit card debt payment-

Pay day loan debt payment-

Anything else-

The more info the more helpful info we can give you other than living out of a car, really.

-TheDDC

ColoRetiredGirl
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:40 pm
Location: Colorado

Re: Financial Hole

Post by ColoRetiredGirl » Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:51 pm

Mr. Joe

After reading the tread you may want to file chapter 7 bankruptcy. I believe you can file bankruptcy every 7 years. It would give you a fresh start and an opportunity to learn how to stay out of debt going forward. We can assist you in developing a reasonable budget and how to save money for emergencies and retirement. Truly, we would like to help you.

vested1
Posts: 1549
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:20 pm

Re: Financial Hole

Post by vested1 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:47 pm

TheDDC wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:46 pm
Advising a guy to sell a house and live in a car for a while with a wife and kid?


-TheDDC
The OP rents, per this post on the 1st page referring to his landlord. This simplifies the process of moving to an area with greater employment opportunities.
JoeSo wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:25 pm
fposte wrote:
Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:25 am
People are talking about grocery expenses, but honestly, if you can cut down your housing that's going to make the biggest difference. If you're living on your own, roommating may be the way to go.
Been looking into that,but as my luck has it this has become an exceptionally competetive area for even rentals. Though if I keep getting hit with these late fees from the landlord maybe they'll come up with a cheaper place,they've mentioned it before. I live with a wife and pets is about it so roommates is out...

JoeSo
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:14 pm
Location: Forks,WA
Contact:

Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:11 pm

vested1 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:12 am
Forks Washington has an average of 119.73 inches of rain annually, which may be at the root of your problem. In my uninformed opinion I think you may be suffering from depression, something a move to sunnier climes may alleviate. A more populous area should improve opportunities and cut down on your commute.

I would consider putting your resume out in more distant locations where prospects may improve, and joining free sites, like Linkedin to get more visibility for whatever talents you possess.

Paying minimums on 7 credit cards is as much of a trap as taking out payday loans and paying 15% interest. Staying where you are and not making a change will only exacerbate your problems. An anonymous wise man once said "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".
Yes well if I could I would. How could you change things with zero dollars? Easier said than done.

JoeSo
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:14 pm
Location: Forks,WA
Contact:

Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:16 pm

BostonButterfly wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:03 am
If you have time to sleep every day, then you have time to work through the details. I believe I read that your wife is not working? If so, have her list out where your money is spent, and then the two of you go over it together to make sure you've captured everything. Most people have no real sense of where their money goes (they THINK they do, but they don't). Taking the time to account for every dime that you spend is very eye opening, and a great step towards formulating a plan to get out of the hole for good.
I'm barely sleeping,mostly waking up in the middle of the night worrying(or working through)these difficulties...

To everyone who wants my budget...I'm perfectly capable of listing and analyzing where we need to make cuts. I was just throwing a line out to see what kinds of various answers I could get that I've not yet tried...

JoeSo
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:14 pm
Location: Forks,WA
Contact:

Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:22 pm

Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:35 pm
OP I agree with everyone above about your lack of details. That said, stop borrowing more money. Take out no more payday loans. Stop charging to your credit card. Since your credit score is already awful I see no reason for you to continue paying your unsecured debts at this time. That means stop paying credit cards, stop paying payday lenders. This will at least give you some cash so you don’t feel so strapped before going to file bankruptcy.
But I need the loans etc just to stay afloat week to week...if I claim bankruptcy where will I get that extra money? In the meantime I'm looking for extra work but I think that won't get me far.

gmc4h232
Posts: 172
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 8:11 am

Re: Financial Hole

Post by gmc4h232 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:30 pm

Any unnecessary habits to cut?

Smoking, drinking, lottery, etc?

Can you adjust withholding on your paycheck to get a little more in your pocket on payday?

If you've cut all the fluff out of your budget, time to start cutting the meat.
There are still cuts you can make, you know there are, they just arent as easy as the ones you've already made.
Last edited by gmc4h232 on Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JoeSo
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:14 pm
Location: Forks,WA
Contact:

Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:33 pm

MDfive21 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:49 pm
this is very un-boglehead, BUT in your shoes i would default on everything except housing, power, internet/phone, vehicle and food. i don't see how you can dig out of this one so stop paying on your unsecured debt and chop up the cards, stop racking up more debt. save every penny you can for 6 months and move somewhere else where you can find a decent paying full time job. at 140 miles/day, the commuting costs alone must be enough to sink you from barely making it to needing credit and loans.

if you can't find a decent job, you have to move.
That just frustrates me because I've been trying to move...but every time I start to make plans I get blasted financially and end up barely getting by much less saving up.

My cards only have probably $300 limits on them anyway,and my minimum payments only add up to probably $150 monthly...it's the things you first mentioned that make up the bulk of the expenses. Our electric bill in winter here is up to $170 a month,for 800 sq feet house! It's electric forced air...but the unit is malfunctioning. It's a catch-22 because the landlord doesn't want to spring the thousands of dollars for a new unit so they gave us space heaters...plus they're tacking on another $80 'late charge' every month(which I can't really afford either) because my wife's check comes on the 15th of the month and our rent is due on the first. It's like they're intentionally trying to mess with us.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg...my life is way complicated.

Jags4186
Posts: 2369
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:12 pm

Re: Financial Hole

Post by Jags4186 » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:35 pm

JoeSo wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:22 pm
Jags4186 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:35 pm
OP I agree with everyone above about your lack of details. That said, stop borrowing more money. Take out no more payday loans. Stop charging to your credit card. Since your credit score is already awful I see no reason for you to continue paying your unsecured debts at this time. That means stop paying credit cards, stop paying payday lenders. This will at least give you some cash so you don’t feel so strapped before going to file bankruptcy.
But I need the loans etc just to stay afloat week to week...if I claim bankruptcy where will I get that extra money? In the meantime I'm looking for extra work but I think that won't get me far.
You’ll have money because you’ll stop paying back the loans you’ve taken out. This is why you need to post your monthly income, gross and take home, and you monthly expenditures. If you stopped servicing all of your loans it will free up your cash flow.

JoeSo
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:14 pm
Location: Forks,WA
Contact:

Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:38 pm

BostonButterfly wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 3:09 pm
soccerrules wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:13 pm
Joe-

As I read through some of these posts, THIS is what came to mind. It sounds like for where you live you are doing your best. Yes, you could reduce a few expenses here and there. It seems like a BIG move to a LCOL area with better employment options might be best. Also if you could live with a relative for 6-12 months to get back on track financially -- that would even be better.
Wishing the best for you and your family.
Joe - you mentioned family "across the country". Where do they live? Is it possible to live with them temporarily?
We're in WA,they're in NJ&PA...about 2900 miles away. The move alone originally cost us around $6000. In the meantime I've been trying funding campaigns and everything else out of desperation to get back out that way. Though I'd settle for just living near my job here for once. But as I mentioned numerous times,the housing/rental market here is exploding now and there's incredible competition for housing...so 'just moving' is not that easy.

JoeSo
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:14 pm
Location: Forks,WA
Contact:

Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:47 pm

TheDDC wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 5:46 pm
Advising a guy to sell a house and live in a car for a while with a wife and kid? Really? That's not advice... unless the guy was like 20 years old and single.

Joe- Bottom line is give us a good idea of dollar amounts. I think we're spinning our wheels here.

What is your estimated monthly income (including SSDI)?

Your income- $1600 monthly net.

Wife SSDI income-$1200 monthly.

Medical insurance- None.

Mortgage- Rent $880(including the $80 late charges monthly)

Utilities-Electric $170 in winter,$30 water,$15 trash.

Cell phone-$165(wife pays,3 phones including her son's back east)

Internet/phone/TV- Internet $70,cable $98,no home phone.

Groceries- Avg $80/wk.

Medical-None. I owe $800 on a hospital bill which I've been trying without success to squeeze into budget.

Auto fuel-$75 weekly.

Credit card debt payment-Approx $210 monthly between 7 cards.

Pay day loan debt payment- Pay as I go...if I borrow $200 I pay it back next payday.

Anything else-Current traffic tickets totalling $250(wrong place at wrong time snagged by johnny on the spot thirsty cops for going a bit over the limit...bound to happen driving 140 round trip.)

The more info the more helpful info we can give you other than living out of a car, really.

-TheDDC

JoeSo
Posts: 42
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:14 pm
Location: Forks,WA
Contact:

Re: Financial Hole

Post by JoeSo » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:53 pm

gmc4h232 wrote:
Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:30 pm
Any unnecessary habits to cut?

Smoking, drinking, lottery, etc?

Can you adjust withholding on your paycheck to get a little more in your pocket on payday?

If you've cut all the fluff out of your budget, time to start cutting the meat.
There are still cuts you can make, you know there are, they just arent as easy as the ones you've already made.
Yes wife is addicted to cigarettes,so much so that she'd rather smoke than eat...therefore a pack a day x 7 = almost $50 a week! Been with her for years and if you've ever tried to force someone to quit,by logic or otherwise you know the near impossibility.

Other than that I'm cutting where I can. I'll try the withholding thing,but I already claim 2.

Locked