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URL:  http://boards.fool.com/imo-you-need-to-focus-on-that-big-huge-26997653.aspx

Subject:  Re: HELP – CC Debt and Desperate Date:  9/16/2008  1:11 PM
Author:  llambe Number:  278493 of 308782

IMO - you need to focus on that big huge grocery/household/misc/cash amount first before worrying about the small change. The grocery amount is so big that it's really like having another misc category.

Here's a different breakout of your spending:


Income 6,613
Housing
Mortgage 1,335
Property Taxes 449
Remaining 4,829

BILLS
Garbage 37
Oil 400
Electric 130
Cell 100
Landline 80
Home 60
Life 33
Auto 136
Internet 108
Newspaper 17
Water 56
Remaining 3,672

Debt
Car 433
BofA WP 15 16.99% $50,000.00 $79.00
BofA MC 28 16.24% $8,000.00 $1,224.15
B 131 15.99% $8,500.00 $5,771.54
Fool Visa 149 10.99% $9,600.00 $7,545.72
Amex 108 5.99 $9,000.00 $5,273.54
Chase 170 4.96% $9,000.00 $8,513.27
Citi 124 4.50% $24,500.00 $8,281.24
ATT 78 3.99% $10,000.00 $5,200.09
HSBC 92 2.99 %$7,500.00 $7,264.24
Dentist 185
Remaining 2,158

Things you must have? (don't under budget here)
Expenses AVERAGE last 3 months
Gas 500 500
Doctor 30 30
Prescriptions 90 87
House Repair 250 257
Auto Repair 20 18
Remaining 1,268 1,266

CUT HERE FIRST
Food/Household 500 1,753 <-this should be MAJOR area of focus
Personal 200 0
Restaurants 205
School Lunches 40 estimated
Clothes 372
gifts 344
Pet Care 107
Donations 53
Hair 75 74
Entertainment 78
Cash 163
Misc 77
Camp/Sports 165 165
Vacation 614
Emerg Savings 217
Remaining 328 -2,996



Obviously you (and DW) need to be the ones to decide what in the last category gets funded and for how much but I've put in some suggestions. And cutting things like cable etc that people suggested will give more money here. BUT this last section can't be MORE than the money left otherwise you're growing your CC debt not shrinking it.

And the bigger the final remaining number the bigger your snowball and the faster you get rid of your debt.

Then you need to actually control your spending. This is where the envelope method is excellent - because once it's gone it's gone.

Lael
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