No. of Recommendations: 1
Does everyone agree that I need to quit pondering my 401 and my pension plan as it relates to my current debt/spending problem?

Until you solve the spending problem, trying to borrow money from your future is a mistake. There have been people who used this method,and what generally happens is that they pay off the credit cards, then start repaying the 401(k) loan, but at the same time the old spending habits creep back, and before long they are back in debt to the credit cards, but still owe a bundle on the 401(k).

People who have established a different kind of life, who have made changes in their spending habits, who follow a budget and don't spend carelessly can sometimes use this method. But they have already made the changes, and those changes are now a habit. They aren't going to go crazy with a credit card.

You need to establish the discipline of cutting your spending first. I know Joel mentioned the mortgage refinance, and he's right when he says a new mortgage might help with the cash flow problem, but you need to save up for the cost of the refi (unless you want to roll the charges into your mortgage, which only adds to your overall debt).

It's going to take discipline, and time, and more discipline. One suggestion: if you don't already have some board games you can all play together, check the Salvation Army or Goodwill or even used bookstores. With the television off the family will be spending time playing together.

Hang in there. You can do this.

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