No. of Recommendations: 100
Everyone hold on! That thread is too chaotic. There's a whole lot of ideas floating around with no focus. We need to focus - Mom4boys4 needs to focus. Lets get straight to the point. And, Mom4, lets give you a homework assignment... actually two.

This is key I think. Right now it sounds as if you're still partially in denial. You're bleeding $2000+ a month in spiraling CC debt and the response to many suggestions (not all which is GREAT) has been "it would kill me" or "it would kill him". You are considering some cuts, it's just that you're going to have to make a lot bigger cuts.

Amen, amen, amen.

Mom4boys4, you need to listen to this. Read it, and read it again.

You keep saying how this or that will 'kill you', or him, or you'll die without it. Guess what, darling, you're already bleeding to death. Your finances are on life support and you won't take the medicine because it tastes icky. Get past it, please. For you own sake < / tough love, mostly >

As you have been shown, you are spending $1500+/month more than you're bringing in. Period. You need to cut, and/or make, $1500+/month. Period.

I have a homework assignment for you. Balance your budget. Preferably do it with your husband, but do it. I'm not saying you need to enact these changes yet, but you need to submit a proposal. Pretend we're your bosses and you have an assignment. You need to submit a proposal to balance the budget. You can submit multiple if you have alternatives. But you need to sit down with the numbers and start to slash.

Nothing is of the table. If it takes living in a two bedroom apartment and eating rice and beans, and sending the kids to be day laborers in Texas, then propose it.

Think outside the box. Don't forget that you kids can get jobs. And you. Perhaps talk to them honestly and tell them that you cannot afford private school, and that they can have the choice between going to public school, or getting a full time summer job to help pay for it. Think of alternatives to everything. Art classes via a community center instead of a private teacher. Basic cable instead of the full package (that should really be your *absolute* max right now). Pay per use cells phones for the kids for *emergencies only*, and a much reduced package for you. Whatever.

Here's AJ's nicely formatted list as your starting point:

Get at it. And don't stop until you have at least one balanced budget proposal. I want them on the CC/CD board desk by 5 PM on Friday ;)

Homework #2 - you also need to sit down with your husband and say, listen, we're both to blame. We've both run up debt and we've both caused problems, but we need to get in this together now. We need to solve the problems together. The problems won't go away by ignoring them, and they sure as heck won't go away by casting blame. Yes, I've made mistakes, been too shortsighted. We both have. But now is the time to work together to fix this, for us, and for our children.

I think the suggestion before to take all the blame wasn't because it was the truth, but was because it is far more important to get him on board, even if you need to lose the argument to do it. Lie, if you have to. Take (most of) the blame, even if you don't believe it. If it gets him on board, it will be far far more valuable than your pride.

If you can't get it to work, you need marital counseling.

One final thought: you may have some situations here where some debt shifting (HEL(OC) ) may make sense - particularly based on your huge equity. But NONE OF IT MATTERS, until your expenses are less than your income. Period. Loans can be tools, but they are not a solution. They are debt *shifting* not disappearing. Its like thinking that a better helmet will make you a better football player, or sneakers will make you a faster runner. No debt changing will do you a darn bit of good until you balance your budget.

Get at it.
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