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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308363  
Subject: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 3:59 AM
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Sunday, January 1, 2006

Dear Motley Fools,

Back in November I found your wonderful board by chance (I was just about living online – this time for the purpose of researching all things related to credit card debt). Your collective posts have been filled with such good advice and encouragement that I decided to delurk and purchase a one year membership (I know firsthand the importance of encouragement, because I run an online support group for folks with a rare disease).

Here's my story!

I've been a chronic overspender my entire life. I got my first credit card (Macy*s) in the mid-70s and abused it from day one! By 1987 my credit card debt was so overwhelming that with great reluctance and shame I filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I made a promise to myself that I'd never rack up my credit card bills again. By 1993 when I got laid off from my job my debt was higher than it had been in 1987! I cashed in my 401(k) and paid off my cards. Again I made myself the same promise but didn't change my behaviour! Fool! In September 2005 I forced myself to sit down and add up my credit card debt again. This time the total was higher than the sum of the previous two times! September 2005 total: $44,123.10! *thud* I realized that if I didn't change my ways I will not be able to afford to retire when I reach my late sixties (I will turn 50 next year and I am a single wage earner). I immediately started changing my ruinous ways that very day. I would say without a doubt that my motivation for change was fear for my future!

From the advice I've gleaned from your posts I am living on a budget (the dreaded “B” word!) and have my expenses and everything related to my credit card accounts detailed on Excel spreadsheets. I've been very lucky in that five out of the nine banks that I owe money to have lowered my APR rates (I've called every month). I will no longer be putting my vacations on my credit cards (in fact instead of travelling next August I will be having an operation the following month and will be hanging around home for a week or two in order to recover). I've stopped spending thousands of dollars on eBay (I am addicted to collecting Lord of the Rings films memorabilia and J.R.R. Tolkien's mythology related books. My 2002-05 trips to Hollywood, San Diego, Pasadena, Michigan, New Zealand, Germany, and England all tied into this. Now I shall be an armchair traveller until my credit cards are paid off. And I do have lots of books to read!

I live in one of the cheapest apartment complexes in Sonoma County (in the very expensive San Francisco Bay Area) and I have a roommate in order to split the cost of rent and utilities. I switched from doing 99% of my shopping at Whole Foods Market (AKA “Whole Paycheck”) to Trader Joe's and Safeway. Word of advice: Know thyself! Whole Foods is a very dangerous place for me. I don't even need to use a credit card (cash works just as well) in order to do major damage to my budget. *wry grin* I'm bringing lunches to the office instead of eating out. I now look for sales at grocery stores (and everywhere else I shop). Instead of buying books I now use the library.

My current monthly expenses:

731.46 misc.
(food, prescriptions, doctor visits, hygiene & household products, birthday & Christmas gifts, matinee movies, etc.)
672.00 cc payments
(min. payments; total is actually higher; I snowball1 1 acct at a time)
412.50 rent
126.40 bus (20% discount for buying tickets)
47.00 cell phone (average)
30.00 land line (estimate. was $47.00)
30.00 gas & electric (no heat/wear sweaters; rates go up this month)
30.00 hairdresser (was $95.00 a month)
23.90 Internet
0.00 NetFlix (was $19.43; on a three month hold)
14.00 gym
9.30 cable TV (was $24.82)
6.34 PO Box
2.38 Tolkien Society
_________

$2,135.28 monthly net income

On Christmas Eve I had the latest discussion with my father (a retired banker who has always been wise in the ways of handling the family finances) about my ongoing progress (slow, but steady) of paying down my cards (because I am finally living below my means – which is not an easy task when you are a former resident of a county whose motto is “I want it all now!”). He was so impressed with my determination that on the day after Christmas he gave me an additional (and much larger) birthday windfall with instructions that I also apply it to my credit card accounts. This will knock at least two years off my plan of getting out of debt. The bank that is getting most of this blessed windfall is Juniper. I hate that bank! *snarl* Their CS reps have been so rude! I can't wait for January 4 to get here so I can make my final online payment to them! Slay that bastard Orc!

I will be getting a 4.1% cost of living raise later this month but at the same time my employer will be severely limiting overtime this year (if I could do it over again, last year's overtime money would have gone toward paying down my credit card debt).

Regarding retirement savings, I have a pretaxed amount of $50.00 taken out of my paychecks for my 401(k) account. Unfortunately my employer doesn't match employee contributions. I have $28k in my 401(k) and will be getting an unknown amount from my employer's profit sharing program later this month. When my credit cards are paid off I will raise my contribution amounts.

Any further advice you can throw my way would be greatly appreciated! I am all ears!

Cheers,
hobbit

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Author: yeilBagheera Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216965 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 4:44 AM
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Welcome.

first, I want to say that your weather is making headlines here in Alaska, so I hope your hobbit hole is staying dry!

fear of the future is an adequate motivation, though you might try moving to hope for the future (saving up for what you want, then paying cash; or endowing yourself: saving and investing so that you can spend the profit on what you want)

About figures -
You listed expenses individually, then gave a lump sum for net income
Does that mean you are paying $2000 towards your debt every month?

Some find it motivating to note the interest and fees charged every month and watch that expense melt as the debt is reduced.

You mention some excellent cost cutting moves (netFlix suspension, switching grocery stores, reducing hairdressing, using the public library). How about stopping the gym? Do you own a car?

YeilB

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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216967 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 8:05 AM
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Hi shirehobbit, welcome to the board.

It sounds as though you've already taken most of the giant steps that are needed to break out of debt, and now all you need is support and encouragement, with occasional suggestions.

For example, once you havat the first card paid off, you might want to have ten dollars per paycheck go into an emergency fund for future emergencies. You mentioned that you would be home after surgery; are you using your vacation time for that? I discovered the hard way that short term disability (or at least the std I was on at the time) only pays half your paycheck. Having that little bit of extra money gave me some breathing space for paying the rent. And you can also put a little money away from time to time for something you really, really want.

Several people over the years have mentioned that as they got closer to the payoff they began to relax and lose interest, so if you find that is happening to you, please post; we can help spur your motivation.

I think you're off to a good start; how long is your payment plan?

Nancy

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Author: DizChick Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216969 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 9:31 AM
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Welcome, hobbit!

My current monthly expenses:

...

$2,135.28 monthly net income


Does your list of budgeted expenses exactly equal your monthly income? Is there some difference that you have carved out to snowball to the cards?

Also, do you get paid every week, every other week, or twice a month? I ask because if you get paid weekly or every other week, there will be a few months where you will get one extra paycheck. If you plan those months in advance, your living expenses shouldn't increase greatly (rent is stable, but food might go up slightly), so you should be able to put almost the entire amount into your snowball.

Good luck with the payoffs. It sounds like this time, being debt free will stick.

DizChick

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Author: Lubbockdave Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216970 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 10:25 AM
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Sounds like you are off to a good start. I like the sack lunches and using the library. I do have some questions you might think over...

1. Why do you NEED both a land phone line and a cell phone? This is something my wife and I struggled with when we first started to buckle down-I wanted one or the other-she wanted both as a cell phone gave her an added sense of security for when she is out with our duaghters. So we still have both-

2. Christmas/Birthday funds-I have found a homemade card stuffed with "coupons" for 1 free hug, a free massage, or some other token of affection goes a LOOOONGG way, much more personal than a store bought gift. If you explain to the reciever that you are trying to dig yourself out of a hole, they are usually VERY understanding and supportive.

3. Why do you need Cable? At least until you get your stuff paid off, maybe cancel it all together-it will give you more time to read your library books.

4. $30 at the hair dresser? I am assuming you are female since men generally don't go to the hair dresser and probably have never spent $95/month, but I may be wrong-if I am I do apologize-but $30 a month is quite a chunk when there are probably many places that will cut and style your hair for 1/2 that. You could probably go even cheaper if there is a local beauty school-most schools offer full hair style services at deep discounts so the students have someone to practice on-might be worth looking into-for a LITTLE WHILE!! ;)

5. PO box? why? my mail is delievered to my door and is free...

6. Gym membership? It is free to run around the block, up and down stairs/step and a set of dumb bells and ankle weights probably cost less than $10 ( a one time expense) at any walmart-

OK, so if we get rid of the cell phone ($47), do home made Christmas/birthday gifts (??-I don't know how much you spend, let us assume $20/month), cable is canceled ($9.30), get $10 hair do's from a cheaper place or a beauty college ($20), close the PO box ($6.34)loose the gym membership ($14)we end up with an extra...$116.64 per month to add to the debt snowball!! WHEEEEEEE!!!!that is an extra $1399.68/year!

If you add the $116.64 to the $672 you are already paying in CC debt that comes to----$788.64/month!!!

What that means is instead of it takeing you 66 months, or 5.5 years to pay off $44,123.10, it will take ONLY (drum roll please......)56 months, or 4 years and 8 months!! and I will bet the farm that if you keep doing smart things with your money, you will have it all paid off in less than 2 years!! MAX! Because when you start to do smart things with your income, you find "new money" or you get that extra part time job or your employer starts to recognize you making better decisions at work and you get promoted or a raise-take ALL EXTRA $$ and put it towards debt-once the debt is gone you have some catching up to do for retirement, but you can loosen up a bit--you might decide you have a better quality life without cable, but spending $50/month on hair is much more paletable.

The only other thing I can think of is clipping coupons for the grocery store-find cheap /free entertainment where ever possible and hang in there! Most of our problems with money is a behavioral issue and you have recognized that, which for most is the hardest part to do. Come back to the boards when you get bummed or need a little support-there are some really good folks here. Also, a previous poster mentioned an emergency fund-which is a very god idea! Have at least $1000 set aside "just in case" and no, a bad hair cut from the local beauty school does NOT constitute an emergency! If someting does come up and you don't have the cash to cover it, what will you do? Probably charge it, no?

Well, good luck to you and I hope none of the above is offensive or taken the wrong way...

Dave

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Author: OldSwede Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216971 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 10:35 AM
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PO box? why? my mail is delievered to my door and is free...

I don't know about the OP, but some towns don't deliver, except to the PO Box, and while in my rural area, they do deliver, they deliver to a box on the side of a very sparsely populated area and thieves and vandals are a very significant problem when they steal or destroy an important piece of mail. Some people have privacy concerns too.

OS

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216972 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 10:41 AM
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Good morning, YeilB. :)

Thanks for the welcome.

>> so I hope your hobbit hole is staying dry!

Yes, it is! I found out that our storage shed leaks (fortunately I no longer keep anything of value in it -- not after it was broken into last year!), but no leaks in the roof and I'm not situated by a river, creek or hillside (though I have fears for the office building where I work. The levee north of it broke five years ago and the first floor got water damage. Yeterday morning another levee a couple of miles south of it broke).

>> You listed expenses individually, then gave a lump sum for net income
Does that mean you are paying $2000 towards your debt every month?

I wish! I only bring home a little over 2k a month. I'm trying to pay at least $800 towards my debt every month. Which brings up another question: I have zilch in my e-fund (I read a zillion posts before I realized that e-fund meant emergency fund! I thought it was some type of fund that one could only purchase online! *grin*). Should I only make minimum credit card payments until I have at least 1k in my e-fund?

>> Some find it motivating to note the interest and fees charged every month and watch that expense melt as the debt is reduced.

I do find this very motivating (I wrote this in the first draft of my intro post, which was in danger of turning into a novel! LOL!).


>> How about stopping the gym?

Unfortunately I have degenerative disks, arthritis, sciatica, and tendonitis (and this isn't even related to my rare disease), so going to the gym actually helps my poor body (I don't have a whirlpool or a lap pool at my apartment complex). If I'm in too much pain to make it into the office I can't make my cc payments (and other bills). But thanks for the suggestion. *hugs*

>> Do you own a car?

Nope. Part of the reason I don't is because my credit card bills have always been too high.

hobbit




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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216974 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 10:58 AM
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Good morning, Nancy.

Thanks for the welcome. :)

Admitting that I have a huge problem with money (for most of life I haven't shown it the respect it deserves) to friends, family and now the group helps me stay the course.

>> For example, once you have that first card paid off, you might want to have ten dollars per paycheck go into an emergency fund for future emergencies.

Yes, I agree with you that it is vital that I start funding it with each paycheck.

>> You mentioned that you would be home after surgery; are you using your vacation time for that?

We get five days of sick leave per year; I will use whatever is left of it by September, and some of my vacation days.

>> Several people over the years have mentioned that as they got closer to the payoff they began to relax and lose interest, so if you find that is happening to you, please post; we can help spur your motivation.

It is going to be many years before the payoff of all my cards. When I get closer to that date, I agree that it will be a good idea for me post to the board asking for encouragement. But don't worry, you will be hearing a lot from me in the meanwhile! *smile* And by my final happy dance living below my means will have become second nature so I won't want to mess up a good thing!


>> how long is your payment plan?

January 2012. This is based on no overtime and no windfalls. So it might be before then.

Cheers,
hobbit


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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216975 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 11:09 AM
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Good morning, DizChick.

It is strange to finally be carrying on discussions with everyone after just reading their posts for the past two months!

>> $2,135.28 monthly net income

Does your list of budgeted expenses exactly equal your monthly income?

No they don't.

>> Is there some difference that you have carved out to snowball to the cards?

Yes, I'm trying to pay at least an extra $130 per month towards my cards (snowballing one account at a time).

>> I get paid every two weeks so there are a couple of extra paychecks in the year. In the past I have spent every last penny (instead of using them for cc payments or my e-fund). I didn't waste the one that occurred last month; I used part of it buying Christmas presents and Christmas Day birthday of relatives in cash (and I spent less than last year)and the rest I kept in my checking account so that I now have enough leeway to make sure all my bills are paid on time (sometimes I'd be a couple of days late with the non-credit card payments). I hope the latter explaination makes sense (as you have gathered, I live paycheck to paycheck).

>> It sounds like this time, being debt free will stick.

I think so too! *bounce*

Cheers,
hobbit



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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216976 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 11:22 AM
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Regarding retirement savings, I have a pretaxed amount of $50.00 taken out of my paychecks for my 401(k) account. Unfortunately my employer doesn't match employee contributions. I have $28k in my 401(k) and will be getting an unknown amount from my employer's profit sharing program later this month. When my credit cards are paid off I will raise my contribution amounts.

Since your employer does not match your contributions have you considered a ROTH IRA?

Debra


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Author: Polywilliams Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216977 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 11:29 AM
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""I've stopped spending thousands of dollars on eBay (I am addicted to collecting Lord of the Rings films memorabilia and J.R.R. Tolkien's mythology related books.""

Hobbit, are you as skilled in the art of *selling on ebay as you are on buying? I have an idea...


Polywilliams



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Author: joycets Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216978 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 11:44 AM
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but some towns don't deliver, except to the PO Box, and while in my rural area, they do deliver, they deliver to a box on the side of a very sparsely populated area and thieves and vandals are a very significant problem when they steal or destroy an important piece of mail. Some people have privacy concerns too.
----------------

same with me. We got the po box because the rural box was originally about 2 miles from the house. Now its only a matter of yards, but is VERY insecure.

joyce

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216979 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 11:47 AM
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Good morning, Dave. :)


>> 1. Why do you NEED both a land phone line and a cell phone?

I knew someone was going to ask this question! LOL!

I have dialup Internet (cheaper than DSL) so I need the land line. The cell phone gives my family, my friends and myself an added sense of security when I am out and about because I don't have a car. I have a very long commute between two counties and I have been on busses that have broken down. Also the cell phone gives my family a way to reach me in an emergency when I'm online (my dad doesn't do e-mails). I first got the cell phone when my mom was terminally ill.


2. Christmas/Birthday funds-I have found a homemade card stuffed with "coupons" for 1 free hug, a free massage, or some other token of affection goes a LOOOONGG way, much more personal than a store bought gift. If you explain to the reciever that you are trying to dig yourself out of a hole, they are usually VERY understanding and supportive.

My adult friends understand that I am digging myself out of a hole -- why is why I won't be making any trips to Europe to visit them for a long, long time! (and they didn't get any gifts from me this year). The only Christmas/Birthday gifts I bought in December were for my young nieces and nephews who would turn their little noses up at the above suggestions. I did spend less on them this year though.

>> 3. Why do you need Cable? At least until you get your stuff paid off, maybe cancel it all together-it will give you more time to read your library books.

TV reception is almost non-existent without basic Cable and I enjoy public t.v. Have you ever tried to rent an apartment and tell the interviewee that you don't have cable? *snort* Bad enough when you tell them you don't turn on the heat. *grin* By the way, I will be interviewing for a new roommate next month (mine is moving to a cheaper state!).


>> 4. $30 at the hair dresser? I am assuming you are female since men generally don't go to the hair dresser and probably have never spent $95/month, but I may be wrong-if I am I do apologize-but $30 a month is quite a chunk when there are probably many places that will cut and style your hair for 1/2 that. You could probably go even cheaper if there is a local beauty school-most schools offer full hair style services at deep discounts so the students have someone to practice on-might be worth looking into-for a LITTLE WHILE!! ;)

Okay, I have my fists cocked and am ready for a fight over this one! *grin* I knew a man would object to this! LOL! Yes, I am female. And the reason it was $95 was because I was getting it cut and coloured by a very good hairdresser (and I wasn't a Motley Fool yet). When I told a friend that I will no longer be paying to have my grey hair coloured she offered to colour it for me with those boxed kits that one buys from the drugstore. I went to a really cheap place last month and they butchered my hair! So now I've found a hairdresser who is not as expensive as the old one but doesn't make me want to put a sack over my head for a month! And I'm willing to go two months inbetween cuts so that brings this expense down to $15.00 a month. My friend doesn't cut hair.


>> 5. PO box? why? my mail is delievered to my door and is free...

The mail box at this ancient apartment complex is too tiny for two residents to fit their mail in (and the owner refuses to replace them with normal sized mailboxes), mail has been stolen from here, and I run a support group which includes my snail mail address and I don't want any of that mail stolen.

>> 6. Gym membership? It is free to run around the block, up and down stairs/step and a set of dumb bells and ankle weights probably cost less than $10 ( a one time expense) at any walmart-

See my response to another post as to why I am keeping my gym membership.


I have thought about a part-time job. What is holding me back is that I have a two hour commute home (*if* traffic is good on Hwy 101) in the evenings. By the time I get home I am starving and the last thing I want is to go out and work another job (which would have to be on bus route). I get up before the sun comes up and because of my immune system my body requires at least eight hours of sleep a night. Believe, I have been thinking about this. But if I could find something I could do from home...

>> Well, good luck to you and I hope none of the above is offensive or taken the wrong way...

Thank you, Dave! I appreciate your suggestions (and none of it was offensive). *hugs*

Cheers,
hobbit



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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216980 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 11:54 AM
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Good morning, Polywilliams.

>> Hobbit, are you as skilled in the art of *selling on ebay as you are on buying? I have an idea...

Yes, I've been thinking about that too! :) And checking out how to sell items on Craig's List. And selling some of CDs that I haven't listed to in years to the used record and CD store down the street...

OT: Noodles, it is really pouring outside! Yesterday they said the new storm wasn't due in until tonight! I hope my friends from San Francisco can make it up today for a long-expected pot luck party.

Cheers,
shirehobbit





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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216981 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 11:59 AM
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Good morning, Debra.

>> Regarding retirement savings, I have a pretaxed amount of $50.00 taken out of my paychecks for my 401(k) account. Unfortunately my employer doesn't match employee contributions. I have $28k in my 401(k) and will be getting an unknown amount from my employer's profit sharing program later this month. When my credit cards are paid off I will raise my contribution amounts.

Since your employer does not match your contributions have you considered a ROTH IRA?

Would you mind explaining why a ROTH IRA would be helpful? Should I do this in addition to the 401(k)? Of course I wouldn't open one until until after my e-fund is healthy. And should I wait until my credit card debt is lower?

Thanks,
shirehobbit


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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216982 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 12:01 PM
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Greetings, hobbit, love your can-do spirit! Just a couple of thoughts sparked by your last post:

1) Embrace your gray hair! I used to color mine, then I went to medical school, starting at age 38, and continuing to color my hair became essentially nonexistent on the priority list - so I was my own "lab experiment" for a time. Lo and behold, within a year I went from mahogany to about 50% gray, and I was actually AMAZED at how pretty it was on its own. Never would have believed this since my mom had continued to color her hair well into her 70s, so she was dark-locked while her daughter (25 years her junior) was mainly gray. What took me by surprise is that my gray pattern turned out to be something I could not have achieved artificially no matter how much money I spent on it - I have a big white streak down the front that is 100% natural and I would not DREAM of coloring my hair at all any more. And yes, I still look young at age 49 even in spite of the gray hair, so it is something of my own signature style now, and it is FREE. At the very worst, if you hate your own gray, you could revert to coloring it, but since it costs nothing to try it out, give it a thought! (If you were curious to see this gray effect, check me out at the Get Organized! board on the link www.frappr.com/gofools )

2) As far as working from home, what about commissioned jobs that involve your computer skills - is there a college or university nearby to you? Could you type/edit people's essays or resumes, for instance?

That's what I've come up with so far. Best to you!

xraymd

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Author: saintjoan Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216983 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 12:24 PM
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You may want to look around and read about IRAs, and ask on the Tax Strategies board about IRAs. Currently you can get a tax CREDIT (not just a deduction, but an actual amount of your taxes credited) if you contribute to an IRA and your income is below a certain level. This holiday weekend might be a good time to run some numbers on your tax situation and see if an IRA would be be better than a 401K with no match.

A ROTH IRA is generally considered to be a better product, but for people who don't have high incomes through their lives and expect their retirement to be similar, a traditional IRA may be a better choice. The IRA situation is very individual.

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216985 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 1:16 PM
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Contributions to a 401K are tax deferred. All withdrawls are taxed as regular income. Most withdrawls before 59 1/2 are subject to a federal penalty or 10% and a Calfornia state penalty of 2.5%.

Contributions to a ROTH IRA are taxed, but qualified withdrawls are not taxed. Also, contributions can be withdrawn at any time without penalty or taxes. Contributions to a ROTH IRA is restricted by income. Preventing those who would most benefit from making contributions.

When contributions to a 401K are matched, it is an easy decision that 401K contributions should be made to at least the amount to obtain the employer match.

The trade-off is to pay taxes now or later. In general for those who will be in a low tax bracket after retirement, 401Ks are considered to be better than a ROTH. It is very difficult without a crystal ball to be absolutely certain about the future. Since contributions to a ROTH can be withdrawn at any time without taxes or penalties, contributions to a ROTH IRA can be used as a backup e-fund.

Debra


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Author: BklynBorn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216987 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 1:39 PM
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731.46 misc.
(food, prescriptions, doctor visits, hygiene & household products, birthday & Christmas gifts, matinee movies, etc.)


Hi hobbit and welcome aboard!

misc. ??

I'm surprised no one else mentioned this - unless I missed it. This is a big number to lump under "misc." and I know a lot of us have found ways to cut back by dissecting the kind of stuff you list. For example, I see what you're getting at with *matinee* movies -- but I'll bet you have one zillion Tolkein-etc. movies that you really wouldn't mind watching again and again.

Over to you, xtn.

Keep us posted!

BklynBorn
(ditched cable and doesn't miss it *one bit*)

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Author: MikePSD Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216988 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 1:45 PM
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Hi,
Good job sofar. My only advice is that you break that Misc category down to smaller items so you can pinpoint where your money is going every month.
Misc 731.00 is your biggest line item. That is not good. Misc should be near the smaller amount items instead of at the top.

Good Luck and Happy New Year.


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Author: MikePSD Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216989 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 1:57 PM
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Bklyn Born,
We think alike. must be a Brooklyn thing. Born and raised in Bklyn.


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Author: BklynBorn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216990 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 1:58 PM
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Great minds think alike -- simultaneously! Happy new year, fellow Einstein.

BB

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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216993 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 3:12 PM
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Greetings, again, hobbit, on closer reading I wanted to respond to two more statements you made in your initial post:

The bank that is getting most of this blessed windfall is Juniper. I hate that bank! *snarl* Their CS reps have been so rude! I can't wait for January 4 to get here so I can make my final online payment to them!

I suspect that Juniper has two-cycle billing - so that even if you pay off the card in its entirety, there will still be one last bill the month after payoff which reflects the accrued interest on the balance from the start of the cycle until the day the full payoff is applied. Very annoying but there is no interest tacked on to this residual interest, so the true final bill after payoff ought to be the true final bill - you won't face the "hall of mirrors" effect but you probably cannot escape that last smaller bill in January/February.

I am addicted to collecting Lord of the Rings films memorabilia and J.R.R. Tolkien's mythology related books. My 2002-05 trips to Hollywood, San Diego, Pasadena, Michigan, New Zealand, Germany, and England all tied into this. Now I shall be an armchair traveller until my credit cards are paid off. And I do have lots of books to read!

It's beginning to sound like the forces fueling the addiction may be giving way to a new goal - being debt-free and able to retire comfortably. It sounds like the addiction had a good run but may be not only increasingly spent but could in fact be actively holding you back unless you decide to redefine your inclinations now that it is 2006. I was in your shoes, but in my case it was a powerful drive towards collecting objets d'art of the 1950s to decorate my home with. What a great collection I'd amassed! The talk of the neighborhood! The hours I poured into hunting down the "just right" next item: furniture, pottery, lighting, design books of the era, you name it. I loved, Loved, LOVED doing this: it was a passion nearly unmatched in my life, and my small house, built in the 1950s, was a perfect showpiece for all I'd collected.

But then I uprooted my life, sold my house, moved to Canada to medical school and later stored the bulk of what I'd acquired in my brother's basement when I went off to Arizona for residency. And there my treasures lay slumbering for many years while I was paying attention to other things, by choice and of necessity. I never lost my love of the items of this era, but pursuing collecting them to the degree that I had ceased to be at the forefront of how I spent my energies (and my money!). Then I was put to the test in 2002: the storage space in my brother's basement needed to be freed up for my parents to use when they'd planned to sell their house and move out of state. I had to be honest with myself: I never thought I could assemble a like collection again but I was not using what I'd collected any longer and it was losing the right to live where it had been tucked away all those years since 1998. Given my titanic student debt load, I had to take a deep breath and admit that it could be put to better use if sold and used to retire a portion of what I owed. So I spent Thanksgiving 2002 back in Michigan, classifying and cost-estimating all the wonderful things I'd collected in the preceding decade, snapped a photo of some of my favorites, said a warm goodbye and arranged for the sale with a local dealer from whom I'd bought most of it from in the 1980s. It was actually a great day - I got a good price for the bulk of it and I took him to lunch to say thanks for having been so accommodating. Then I swatted the heck out of my student loan with the proceeds and left my folks and brother with a liberated basement. Do I still wish I had some of the things I'd parted with? Of course! Would I have been willing to pay for their transport to, and storage in, Arizona (this was 2 years before buying a home here and the tiny townhouse I was living in could not have shouldered the load)? NO WAY. That era had drawn to a close and trying too hard to hang onto it would have been an expense I could not have borne. Better to be left with great memories than to be saddled with the end-results of a pursuit that could not be sustained in my present (and perhaps future) circumstances. So even in spite of having nostalgia for letting it all go, I have no recriminations. Especially since I am now free to pursue my future from a fiscal standpoint of the true freedom of not being enslaved by my (prior) hobbies or habits. Life is fresher now. It was truly a great run and I truly, deeply and even madly enjoyed the collecting and owning phase, but it's over now and I have moved on. Just something for you to consider further - what do you envision your own life becoming if collecting Tolkein is no longer central to it?

xraymd


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Author: DeltaOne81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216994 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 3:33 PM
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I agree with the comments that the misc really needs to be broken down. There's a big difference between matinee movies and food.


matinee movies

With NetFlix (see below), do you really need to? I mean, an occassional - monthly or less - treat is okay - that's less than $8/month (P.S. Don't buy drinks or food!). You don't want to feel deprived or else it'll be that much harder. But with a Netflix subscription, this should be very very little. Part of the reason you really need to break it out. Are you spending $10/month on matinees or $50/month? And why don't you want us to know :-P


126.40 bus (20% discount for buying tickets)

I assume you live in a city and this is your primary transportation? You don't have anything car related (gas, maintanence, insurance, etc).


47.00 cell phone (average)
30.00 land line (estimate. was $47.00)


Ever consider dropping the landline? Or reducing it to a per-call charge? If you really just have it as a backup to your cell phone it may be an option. Or maybe even trying VoIP.


30.00 hairdresser (was $95.00 a month)

Definitely an improvement. But I'd bet you can do even better. Could you make this once every other month, and use some cheap self-care products on the alternating time? After that, perhaps you can get it down to every third month or something ;)


23.90 Internet

Not too bad, is this dial up? If so, you can do better. There are plenty $10/month ISPs which, as the NetZero commecials say, get you to the same internet as the more expensive services.

If this is high speed, even better for you. Does your local phone company offer a $15/month slightly slower DSL option (768Kbps if plenty fast for most people and most uses and you get the always-on you've become accustomed to).


0.00 NetFlix (was $19.43; on a three month hold)

Good again on you for the hold. When it ends, NetFlix should be a pretty good way to cut down on your movie theater costs. But how about the $9.99 or $11.99. One at a time/no limit, or two at a time/four per month, should be pretty good and a lot cheaper. If not, the $14.99 two at a time/unlimited should be plenty, no??


9.30 cable TV (was $24.82)

Again, good for you. Depends on your personal tastes, but, think you could live with just over the air for free? You can get a good antenna for less than $25 at Best Buy or similar stores. See if you're close enogh to get decent reception. With a $10 cable package (or is it $20 before you split it?) there's a decent chance you're not getting more than the networks anyway.


6.34 PO Box

It's a minor thing, but is this really necessary for you? Only you can answer that.


2.38 Tolkien Society

Just to show you we're not entirely cruel ;-) : keep this. It's very little in the scheme of things and you don't want to feel deprived. If this is your joy, it's important for you to have it. Just don't let it lead to other costs.

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Author: yeilBagheera Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216995 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 4:28 PM
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highlighting
in my checking account so that I now have enough leeway to make sure all my bills are paid on time

This is a great step towards financial security.

Do you have recurring (but not every month bills) such as property insurance? It's great to set aside funds for those too. (one way is to list a monthly portion in your budget).
Wait a minute, I don't think that's clear. What I mean is I pay property tax every September and while it's not excessive (it's about one months takehome pay, after deductions and direct deposit savings), so I can't just pay it out of August's income. I need to save 1/12th every month, so there the money ready in September.


Oh, and about entertainment, check out TMF. There are boards and characters enough to supplant any number of network drama shows or situation comedies (I can say that I've been here a while....
Owen Wister "smile when you say that"

YeilB

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Author: yeilBagheera Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216996 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 4:33 PM
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By the time I get home I am starving<i/>

Can you bake yourself a hearty muffin to eat at the bus stop?

YeilB
who has close family member who turn into ogres when they go hungry
(not naming any names you understand)

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Author: yeilBagheera Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216997 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 4:39 PM
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sorry for missing the tag

shirehobbit said she was really hungry when she got home from work.

YeilB suggests shifting some calories from at home dinner to homemade snack.

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Author: bmillz Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 216998 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 5:28 PM
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I'm excited to hear a story that's at least similar to mine. I also make just a little over 2k a month and am slowly but surely getting my debt down. I'm actually suprised how much even a small decrease excites me from month to month and I hope that as you start you begin to feel the same. The key, really, is just sticking with your plan.

My only specific suggestion would be to look into whether or not your company offers a commuter reimbursement plan. When I used to work in the Bay Area, my employer did. It would have allowed me to use pre-tax money to pay for bus passes or even carpools. It's worth at least asking the benefits person(s) at your work.

Good luck!

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Author: Cromely Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217005 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 8:49 PM
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Okay, I have my fists cocked and am ready for a fight over this one! *grin* I knew a man would object to this! LOL! Yes, I am female. And the reason it was $95 was because I was getting it cut and coloured by a very good hairdresser (and I wasn't a Motley Fool yet). When I told a friend that I will no longer be paying to have my grey hair coloured she offered to colour it for me with those boxed kits that one buys from the drugstore. I went to a really cheap place last month and they butchered my hair! So now I've found a hairdresser who is not as expensive as the old one but doesn't make me want to put a sack over my head for a month! And I'm willing to go two months inbetween cuts so that brings this expense down to $15.00 a month. My friend doesn't cut hair.


Obviously a very personal decsion, and take this in the tongue in cheek way it is intended, but...

As I recall, the only thing keeping Bilbo's hair from going grey at the opening of FOTR, was the power of the ring. Once he was able to give up the power of the ring and be released form its evil power, nature took it course. Of course the temptation and desire to posses it never completely went away, but became more managable with time.

Perhaps you can find additional strength for your motivation to be debtfree by drawing analogies to the story of the ring. Those lessons are part of what myth telling is all about.

Cromely.

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Author: HomerBufflekill Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217006 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 8:49 PM
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47.00 cell phone (average)

You could switch to a pre-paid plan with $0/month. Works well if you only use cell phone for emergencies.

23.90 Internet

Netscape, NetZero, Juno are all $9.95, I think. Change your email id to a free service (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail) and the ISP is just a commodity. (I am using Netscape right now)

14.00 gym

Great investment. Great price.

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Author: DeltaOne81 Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217030 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 11:11 PM
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I've been very lucky in that five out of the nine banks that I owe money to have lowered my APR rates (I've called every month).

Would you mind explaining why a ROTH IRA would be helpful? Should I do this in addition to the 401(k)?

The reason an IRA (Roth or Traditional) may be better than a non-matched 401K is that you have more freedom to chose your investment options and you're not limited to just what your company provides. Of course, if your company provides excellent options, that may not be an issue, or may even be a disadvantage.

You may or may not be eligible for a Traditional IRA to be tax deductible, depending on income. If not, the non-tax-deductibility of an Roth may not be your favorite choice right now - but it's still a good one.


However, I'm gonna go another way, which is why I quoted that first thing. As backwards as it may sound, you may be better off not contributing to a retirement plan at this point - at least one without a match. If you have any debt much higher then 10% (and you probably do), then you money could probably be much better spent paying off that debt than earning likely less on it in an investment account.

Think of it this way: money paid to your debt is a fixed return at the rate you're paying. Would you rather do that then put it in the market right now?

Also, as you pay off your debt quicker, you'll have some cards at $0 and your credit score will begin to rise. This is a combination that can lead you to get, either with or without asking, some good balance transfer offers at low rates. You can take that back to the original company and ask them to beat it, or else you'll transfer your debt. If they don't, do a BT. This is a bit of a ways off, but I just want to get you looking forwards a little.

Then, when all your debt gets down to single-digit rates for 6-month, 12-month, or life periods, not only will you pay off accelerate, but at that point it'd make a lot more sense to start putting into retirement accounts again. If you keep on finding ways to save and keep on finding better rates, you pay off date will be a lot closer than 2012.


After reading more of this thread:
1) Definitely go for a lower cost internet.
2) The pre-paid cell phone option may be a great idea depending on your usage.
3) Keep going and keep updating us!

And I know you've read the board a decent amount but just to remind you you can take of leave the advice as you decide, it's your life and only you can pick how it will go. If you don't like something or flat out disagree, it's okay... but do yourself a favor and give everything serious consideration.

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Author: kahunacfa Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217034 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/1/2006 11:38 PM
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Sounds like you are off to a good start. I like the sack lunches and using the library. I do have some questions you might think over...

1. Why do you NEED both a land phone line and a cell phone? This is something my wife and I struggled with when we first started to buckle down-I wanted one or the other-she wanted both as a cell phone gave her an added sense of security for when she is out with our duaghters. So we still have both- ...
- Lubbockdave | Date: 1/1/06 10:25 AM | Number: 216970

I retired very young (age 51) a decade ago. When I was working as an investment manager, I made a very large income. I am now a full time volunteer. One of my volunteer jobs at a Medical Center provides a lunch in the hospital cafeteria. When I wanted to read a book before, I would just buy it. Either at Rainy Day Books (http://www.rainydaybooks.com), Barnes & Noble or Amazon.com. In my retirement, I have discovered the Library.

Kahuna,CFA


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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217051 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 9:38 AM
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Good morning, xraymd!

>> Greetings, hobbit, love your can-do spirit!

Thank you for the compliment! :)

>> 1) Embrace your gray hair!

Funny that you should say this because when I looked at cutting expenses this was something I decided to do (it was my friend who offered to colour it for me). By the way, you look great in your photo!

I have a mixture of light brown and silver (not grey) hair, so it is kind of cool looking. The other reason I'm thinking of giving up the hair colour is that I have an incurable (yet benign) disease (one stage below a true cutaneous t-cell lymphoma) in which lesions develop on the skin (anywhere on the body), and continuing to use a product that has toxins in it probably isn't a good idea in the long run (just my own personal opinion).

2) As far as working from home, what about commissioned jobs that involve your computer skills...

Good idea! I've signed up for an MS Access class at the local JC so I will have better job skills (perhaps a different job with higher pay one day).

Cheers,
shirehobbit

Post Script Does Motley Fool have a spellchecker available to aid us in editing our posts?

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217053 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 9:57 AM
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Good morning, BklynBorn.

>> misc. ??

I'm surprised no one else mentioned this - unless I missed it. This is a big number to lump under "misc." and I know a lot of us have found ways to cut back by dissecting the kind of stuff you list. For example, I see what you're getting at with *matinee* movies -- but I'll bet you have one zillion Tolkein-etc. movies that you really wouldn't mind watching again and again.

I listed my categories in order of total dollars (just to be able to see them from highest to lowest. My goal of course is for the cc debt category to make its way down to the bottom of list, ultimately ending up at "0.00.").

I agree with you that I need to break down my misc. category. I don't see matinee movies very often -- usually once a quarter (that's why I have NetFlix). Every once in awhile there will be one that I feel I really want to see on the big screen as opposed to on my 19 inch TV. Thinking about what is in this category I would say that food, and medical prescriptions and supplements (I need to keep my liver going strong because I'm taking two meds that are really hard on it) take up the largest portion.

Cheers,
shirehobbit

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217054 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 10:10 AM
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Hullo, again!


>> I suspect that Juniper has two-cycle billing - so that even if you pay off the card in its entirety, there will still be one last bill the month after payoff which reflects the accrued interest on the balance from the start of the cycle until the day the full payoff is applied.

Thanks for the warning!

>> It's beginning to sound like the forces fueling the addiction may be giving way to a new goal - being debt-free and able to retire comfortably.

You hit the nail on the head! :)

>> I was in your shoes, but in my case it was a powerful drive towards collecting objets d'art of the 1950s to decorate my home with.

Thank you very much for sharing your own story.

>> Just something for you to consider further - what do you envision your own life becoming if collecting Tolkein is no longer central to it?

Spending more time on a life-long love -- creative writing. :)

Cheers,
shirehobbit



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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217055 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 10:31 AM
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Good morning, DeltaOne81.


>> Are you spending $10/month on matinees or $50/month? And why don't you want us to know :-P

Not because I was hiding anything, but I hadn't gotten to the point of breaking down my misc. category yet. I see a matinee about once a quarter.

>> 126.40 bus (20% discount for buying tickets)

I assume you live in a city and this is your primary transportation? You don't have anything car related (gas, maintanence, insurance, etc).

I live in a city and I don't own a car.


>> Ever consider dropping the landline?

The landline is for Internet access.

>> Or reducing it to a per-call charge?

I dropped the long distance portion of my land line service (because I use my cell phone for long distance calls); after I get my first bill which will show my new monthly charges (including tax)I will shop around to see if I can find a less expensive phone company. I am now buying the occasional prepaid phone card for when I want to talk to my friends in Europe (this is the cheapest way to go phone-wise oh).

>> Could you make this once every other month, and use some cheap self-care products on the alternating time?

I have decided to go once every other month.

>> 23.90 Internet

Not too bad, is this dial up?

I know I can do better, but I am very happy AOL and I am keeping it. I will have to make cuts in other areas to make up for this.

>> You can get a good antenna for less than $25 at Best Buy or similar stores. See if you're close enogh to get decent reception. With a $10 cable package (or is it $20 before you split it?) there's a decent chance you're not getting more than the networks anyway.

My roommate won't agree to this. I have a roommate in order to share expensives.

>> 6.34 PO Box
It's a minor thing, but is this really necessary for you? Only you can answer that.

Yes it is, and I explained why in a previous post. *smile*

>> 2.38 Tolkien Society

Just to show you we're not entirely cruel ;-) : keep this. It's very little in the scheme of things and you don't want to feel deprived. If this is your joy, it's important for you to have it. Just don't let it lead to other costs.

Thank you! *grin* I agree with your warning. I'm very proud of myself for not giving into temptation and buying airline tickets to fly to Canada to see the LOTR musical this spring.

shirehobbit


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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217057 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 10:46 AM
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Good morning, YeilB


>> Do you have recurring (but not every month bills) such as property insurance? It's great to set aside funds for those too. (one way is to list a monthly portion in your budget).

Yes, I do, and I have broken them down into what the cost is every month. Now I will have to add my Motley Fool membership to my monthly portions. :)

One thing I still need to figure out is the total amount I'm going to donate to a lymphoma foundation this year so I can break it down into monthlies (my donations will make a long-needed tool a reality on behalf of my fellow patients, so I am not dropping this item from my expenses for this year). Yikes! I just remembered that I'm going to a related medical meeting in March, so I need to figure out how much that long weekend is going to cost me. The good news is that this year's meeting is being held in San Francisco so I can take Golden Gate Transit. Sometimes the cost of the airporter bus is as much as the airline tickets for short flights. Go figure!

>> Oh, and about entertainment, check out TMF. There are boards and characters enough to supplant any number of network drama shows or situation comedies

I have been accused of being quite a character myself. *grin*

shirehobbit


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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217058 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 10:54 AM
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Good morning, Cromley.

>> As I recall, the only thing keeping Bilbo's hair from going grey at the opening of FOTR, was the power of the ring. Once he was able to give up the power of the ring and be released form its evil power, nature took it course. Of course the temptation and desire to posses it never completely went away, but became more managable with time.

Perhaps you can find additional strength for your motivation to be debtfree by drawing analogies to the story of the ring. Those lessons are part of what myth telling is all about.

Thank you, Cromley. I have found it helpful to compare it to the power of the one Ring. And BTW, I've decided to let my hair go silver. :)

shirehobbit


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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217059 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 10:58 AM
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Good morning, bmillz.

>> I'm excited to hear a story that's at least similar to mine. I also make just a little over 2k a month and am slowly but surely getting my debt down. I'm actually suprised how much even a small decrease excites me from month to month

It is a wonderful feeling, isn't it? *smile*

>> My only specific suggestion would be to look into whether or not your company offers a commuter reimbursement plan.

They don't -- I already asked. :(

shirehobbit


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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217061 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 11:04 AM
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lymphoma foundation

Greetings, shirehobbit, you are reminding me of something I was more familiar with in medical school on my radiation oncology and dermatology rotations: mycosis fungoides. It may or may not be relevant to you but there are a couple of possibly-relevant boards on the Fool - one in particular which was started by Windowseat which is an EXCELLENT local resource for support and discussion. That is Surviving Cancer and even if you don't have a malignant form yourself, it is a very pleasant and heartwarming place to have a look-see. I post this here to demonstrate that the Fool is so much more than a simple get-yer-financial-house-in-order site!

xraymd

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217063 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 11:16 AM
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Greetings, xraymd.

>> Greetings, shirehobbit, you are reminding me of something I was more familiar with in medical school on my radiation oncology and dermatology rotations: mycosis fungoides. It may or may not be relevant to you but there are a couple of possibly-relevant boards on the Fool - one in particular which was started by Windowseat which is an EXCELLENT local resource for support and discussion. That is Surviving Cancer and even if you don't have a malignant form yourself, it is a very pleasant and heartwarming place to have a look-see. I post this here to demonstrate that the Fool is so much more than a simple get-yer-financial-house-in-order site!

What a small world! The Internet is certainly turning us into a global village -- and in this respect it is a very good thing! :)

The foundation that I am donating to was formerly called the Mycosis Fungoides Foundation (they recently changed their name to the Cutaneous Lymphoma Foudation). Some of my list members (we have a disease called lymphomatoid papulosis (LyP)have gone on to develop MF.

shirehobbit




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Author: DizChick Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217064 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 11:19 AM
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I listed my categories in order of total dollars (just to be able to see them from highest to lowest. My goal of course is for the cc debt category to make its way down to the bottom of list, ultimately ending up at "0.00.").


My first goal would be to get CC payments to the top because you are able to snowball so much monthly. Then of course, it will drop to last and $0.00 all that much faster.* :-)

As you pay down debt and the minimums decrease, be sure to NOT decrease the amount that you are paying total. Keep up at least the same total, so your balances can drop.

* It's all in how you look at it, this is the snort term goal (big snowball) vs long term goal of paying $0.00 to debt.

DizChick

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Author: 500PSI Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217088 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 3:27 PM
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<<>> Ever consider dropping the landline?

The landline is for Internet access.>>

Your internet access is costing you $53 a month (landline + dialup cost).

I think that you are probably being serviced by comcast. Comcast has a cable modem special for 19.95/month for high speed internet. This would let you cancel your local phone service and your dialup and get a highspeed connection while saving $30/month.



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Author: Windowseat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217093 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 4:14 PM
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It may or may not be relevant to you but there are a couple of possibly-relevant boards on the Fool - one in particular which was started by Windowseat which is an EXCELLENT local resource for support and discussion. That is Surviving Cancer and even if you don't have a malignant form yourself, it is a very pleasant and heartwarming place to have a look-see

Thank you.

A lot of people post there not because they themselves have cancer, but because someone they care about does. And sometimes people post who have a difficult disease, such as MS, and there's nowhere else to post.

I wouldn't exactly say we're glad to welcome everyone, because there's always a sad reason for being there, but certainly everyone is welcome.

Link:

http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=23498662&bid=114540

Nancy

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Author: yeilBagheera Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217100 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 5:09 PM
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For figuring out how to spend the least, I suggest writing down all food costs for a month.

Also, categories within food can help you see where cuts can be made
Snacks
Produce
Prepared Foods
Protein sources (I have been able to find good deals on bumble bee canned salmon at discount groceries - KMart when one was open here)
Restaurant
Breakfast

whatever works, so that you can see what you're spending and then figure out an acceptable way to pay less

YeilB

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Author: Lubbockdave Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217101 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 5:13 PM
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And BTW, I've decided to let my hair go silver. :)

another example of your conviction to sacrafice today so life can be better later!! I applaud you for this. Also, I was wondering if there are any jobs closer to where you live? Didn't I read you have quite a commute to work? Another COOL idea I read in this thread was that you could do some "work" for the college kids locally?? Maybe editing papers on that 2 hour commute would pay off, of course unless you are doing the driving! Also, another FANTASTIC point was to sell, sell, sell!! Sell some of that stuff you bought off E-bay!! It is only STUFF! and when you get out of debt and get your financial life straightened out you can always buy more stuff, but this time on a budget and in C-O-N-T-R-O-L!! and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER get back into this position again!

Good luck to ya!

Dave

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217129 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 11:03 PM
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>> My first goal would be to get CC payments to the top because you are able to snowball so much monthly. Then of course, it will drop to last and $0.00 all that much faster.* :-)

As you pay down debt and the minimums decrease, be sure to NOT decrease the amount that you are paying total. Keep up at least the same total, so your balances can drop.

Very good points! Thanks you, DizChick.

shirehobbit


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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217131 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 11:07 PM
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>> For figuring out how to spend the least, I suggest writing down all food costs for a month.

Thank you for this suggestion, because I have no idea how much I spend on food each month.

shirehobbit


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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217132 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 11:10 PM
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>> Also, I was wondering if there are any jobs closer to where you live?

I've worked for my company for almost 13 years and I'd feel guilty leaving (even though I have a feeling I could make more elsewhere).


>> Didn't I read you have quite a commute to work? Another COOL idea I read in this thread was that you could do some "work" for the college kids locally?? Maybe editing papers on that 2 hour commute would pay off, of course unless you are doing the driving!

This would work because I take the bus.

>> Also, another FANTASTIC point was to sell, sell, sell!! Sell some of that stuff you bought off E-bay!! It is only STUFF! and when you get out of debt and get your financial life straightened out you can always buy more stuff, but this time on a budget and in C-O-N-T-R-O-L!! and NEVER, NEVER, NEVER get back into this position again!

Agreed!!!

shirehobbit




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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217133 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/2/2006 11:20 PM
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>> It may or may not be relevant to you but there are a couple of possibly-relevant boards on the Fool - one in particular which was started by Windowseat which is an EXCELLENT local resource for support and discussion.

Nancy, thank you for starting your cancer board! *hugs*

It is so important for patients with cancer (and their families and friends)to have the support of other people who know what they are going through. I belonged to an online group when my mom was battling lung cancer (I would not have made it through those hellish two years without the group).

Sincerely,
shirehobbit


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Author: fredinseoul Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217146 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/3/2006 4:31 AM
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I've worked for my company for almost 13 years and I'd feel guilty leaving (even though I have a feeling I could make more elsewhere).

Would they feel guilty if they had to let you go? Would they pay for your house? For your food?

Shirehobbit, you have to take care of you and yours. Unless that company is going to give you a raise, you should start looking for a higher paying job, closer to your home. IMNSHO

fredinseoul

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Author: Lubbockdave Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217155 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/3/2006 7:38 AM
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I've worked for my company for almost 13 years and I'd feel guilty leaving (even though I have a feeling I could make more elsewhere). <b/>

OH MY GOSH!!!! First off, you should feel NO guilt in doing what is best for YOU! Do you think the bosses would think twice about laying you off if it meant saving their own jobs? And you have a 2hr commute to get there and back and admitedly you state you believe you can make more elsewhere?!!!? Now, 13 years is a long time and your sense of loyalty is commendable, but after 13 years shouldn't you be getting paid more-at least enough to have a nice apartment and not HAVE to have a room mate to share expenses with?

I know the thought of a new job is a little scary, and being in the same place for 13 years is very comfortable...if it weren't you probably would have left by now...but the the 2 biggest factors in you getting where you want to be is 1. to cut out-flow or spending and 2. INCREASE INCOME! You are doing well to address the out flow with your budgeting and all, BUT do not ignore the income part of the equation! This is why many are suggesting selling some of your stuff and working a second job...etc. If you can change jobs, work closer to home, increase your income and free up more TIME to work a second job or get to e-baying some of your stuff, then look at how much faster you will pay down your debt!!

I do believe the best thing you will ever do to get this stuff straightened out is to increase your income-income is your best weapon in attacking the debt and building wealth. And if you already believe you could make more elsewhere, which suggests you feel like you might be under-paid, then do yourself a favor and at least look into it-You might even go talk to the current bosses and tell them how you feel and ask them for a raise...worse they could say is no. Of course that also might give you a little insight into how they feel about you as an employee-friendships are nice but business is business...

whew, I hope this was not too harsh-

Dave

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Author: Lubbockdave Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217156 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/3/2006 7:44 AM
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sorry about the all bold face stuff-did not mean for my commentary to be so loud...

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Author: xtn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217171 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/3/2006 10:52 AM
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I have dialup Internet (cheaper than DSL) so I need the land line. *snip* TV reception is almost non-existent without basic Cable and I enjoy public t.v.

Consider cable interntet. For forty dollars extra on your cable bill (less than you are paying for dialup and land line combined) you can have broadband internet. Of course for this to make financial sense you have to cancel the land line and the dialup ISP.

Just an idea.

xtn

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Author: xtn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217172 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/3/2006 10:55 AM
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Over to you, xtn.

In fact, BB, you have become quite the participant yourself! It has been wonderful to watch you transform from when you first came here. Sometimes I get to a thread and find that you've already handled it for me.

How's the income situation by the way. Havn't seen an actual update from you in some time. Have I missed one?

xtn

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Author: xtn Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217173 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/3/2006 11:03 AM
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By the way....

Credit Card debt = Sauron

xtn

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Author: reikiman Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217178 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/3/2006 12:11 PM
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2) As far as working from home, what about commissioned jobs that involve your computer skills...

Good idea! I've signed up for an MS Access class at the local JC so I will have better job skills (perhaps a different job with higher pay one day).


An alternate to a "job" is ... there are ways to write web sites and earn money from them.

e.g. you mention this rare disease, and that you're facilitating an online support group. You could on the side write about the disease and carry advertising on the site where you're writing. The writing could serve as a draw for new members to the support group.

(Google's Adsense program does an excellent job of matching advertising with content. Generally the ads will be complementary to whatever topic you have.)

And it doesn't have to be about the disease. Now that the movies are come and gone (excellent movies at that), someone has to keep the Hobbiton dream alive. Maybe you could play a role in that. All that stuff you collected could become grist for reviews and thought provoking essays. For example people who just watched the movies or just read the trilogy might not appreciate fully the depth of background story Tolkein developed.

These are both niche writing projects. I have my own niche I wrote about, and the site earns in the neighborhood of $400 per month in Adsense revenues. But, then, that site is also the number 1 search engine result in its field.

If you follow this writing route, I suggest focusing on the writing and your passion/excitement for the topic, and less on manipulating your site with search engine marketing techniques. There's a lot of resources giving advice on how to twist the mind of Google and bend it to your will. But the ones I've looked at are pretty slimy and get in the way of naturally telling the story you have to present to the world. I believe the way my site became number 1 in its field is (besides being a niche field) that I let my passion/excitement show through the writing. The people who email me really appreciate that part of the site.

- David

P.S. Frodo lives!


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Author: TMF2Aruba Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217208 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/3/2006 6:38 PM
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Welcome, hobbit!

I'm a few days late, and you've received many replies so far, but I just wanted to offer my welcome to you to this forum and to this board.

I'm certain that you're going to find many soulmates here as you contunue your quest (albeit from your hobbithole for the time being while you work on the debt), but fortunately all of our hobbit holes are connected through cyberspace, so there's little reason to need to verture out anyway.

There are many Gandolf-like Wizards here on this board and throughout Fooldom who you'll no doubt befriend and garner useful ideas while sharing some of your own. We're glad to have you with us, and I wish you the best as you battle your personal Smaug on your way to debt-freedom.

Again, welcome, and don't hesitate to give a shout if you need help navigating or run into an evil troll or two.

Tony
...but I still am...

Off2Aruba

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Author: foolazis Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217215 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/3/2006 7:32 PM
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I'm certain that you're going to find many soulmates here as you contunue your quest (albeit from your hobbithole for the time being while you work on the debt), but fortunately all of our hobbit holes are connected through cyberspace, so there's little reason to need to verture out anyway.

Nothing like having our own palantirs, eh?

foolazis

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217229 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/3/2006 9:58 PM
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>> sorry about the all bold face stuff-did not mean for my commentary to be so loud...

No worries! Your boldness didn't startle me (a bad pun of course). Now if you had typed your post in all caps, *that* would have certainly made me lean back from my laptop in surprise. *smile*

shirehobbit


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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217233 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/3/2006 10:21 PM
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David, thank you for thought-provoking advice regarding getting paid for writing about what one loves or knows.

>> P.S. Frodo lives!

He does indeed, and Sam is with him. (So it took 60 years, better later than never. *grin*)





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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217240 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/3/2006 10:41 PM
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>> Welcome, hobbit!

I'm a few days late,

"A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins. Nor is he early. He arrives
precisely when he means to." *smile*

Thank you for your warm and delightful welcome, Tony.

>> There are many Gandalf-like Wizards here on this board

I am indeed blessed that this board is filled with so many kindly wizards to are willing to help out a poor hobbit (poor not just in money, but in common sense! *wink*).

shirehobbit


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Author: exoticatom One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217504 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/5/2006 2:52 PM
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uh, shire hobbit?!? you don't mention your age, but sounds like it's waaaay past time to bail on this whole middle earth deal, and get back to planet e! i.e maybe a bit less fantasy, a bit more reality in the overall worldview would prove useful -

bill

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217544 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/5/2006 10:42 PM
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>> uh, shire hobbit?!? you don't mention your age, but sounds like it's waaaay past time to bail on this whole middle earth deal, and get back to planet e! i.e maybe a bit less fantasy, a bit more reality in the overall worldview would prove useful -


Uh, Bill?

If you had read my post carefully you would noticed that I mentioned my age.

If there was a button to click for posts one would *not* recommend, I might have considered pushing it after reading your reply. You say that I should get back to "planet earth." Yet I see nothing in your post that reality-based concrete methods in which to live within one's means or pay off one's debt quicker.

Thus far I have kept a roof over my head, food on the table, and clothes on my back. I contribute to society (did you miss the part about my running a support group for patients?), and I have a very rich (in friendships, Bill, not money) and rewarding life. I *am* very much grounded in reality.

shirehobbit






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Author: saintjoan Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217557 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/6/2006 1:21 AM
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Well, Middle Earth, the Motley Fool. They both have trolls.

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Author: Fuskie Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Ticker Guide SC1 Red Winner of the 2010 Rule Breakers Challenge Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217685 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/7/2006 11:11 AM
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This would let you cancel your local phone service and your dialup and get a highspeed connection while saving $30/month.

Just a caution. Not all cell phones have reliable 411 service. Also, if you lose power, you lose the ability to recharge your phone and subsequently your ability to communicate.

Fuskie
Who agrees cutting out landline service can save money but warns that there are risks that should also be considered...

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Author: Fuskie Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Ticker Guide SC1 Red Winner of the 2010 Rule Breakers Challenge Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217686 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/7/2006 11:15 AM
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Let me also invite you to our own little LotR party:

http://boards.fool.com/Messages.asp?mid=22924228&bid=116150

Fuskie
Who did not know if you had found this outlet here in Fooldom...

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217694 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/7/2006 12:36 PM
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Greetings, Fuskie.

>> Who agrees cutting out landline service can save money but warns that there are risks that should also be considered...

I've been thinking about this also. I notice that once in a while something happens to the satalites (ignore bad spelling -- where is the spell checker for this thing?), and folks are without cell phone service for periods of time. I've yet to lose service with my land line.

shirehobbit


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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217696 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/7/2006 12:38 PM
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Hullo, again!

Thanks for the link, Fuskie. :) Is there anything that TMF doesn't have a discussion board for? *LOL*

shirehobbit


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Author: saintjoan Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 217701 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 1/7/2006 12:47 PM
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Yeah, here in earthquake country I consider the cell combined with landline to be emergency preparedness.



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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 220262 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 2/4/2006 3:56 PM
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Hullo again, xraymd. :)

>> Embrace your gray hair!

I haven't had my hair coloured since October (yes, this is akin to Regetta giving up her mochas). But the more it grows out the stranger it looks ( a mixture of grey hair, natural light brown hair and coloured dark brown hair). You weren't kidding when you referred to yours as a lab experiment! *laughing* My friends and coworkers have been very polite (they haven't said a word). But I know when I see my family again they are going to say something. *dreading it*

Do you have any good comeback lines?

shirehobbit


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Author: xraymd Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 220265 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 2/4/2006 4:09 PM
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But I know when I see my family again they are going to say something. *dreading it*

Do you have any good comeback lines?


Greetings, shirehobbit, wow, that's a tall order - I don't specifically remember having to have any good comeback lines because it actually shone the spotlight on my MOTHER whose (dyed) dark brown hair suddenly seemed, well, artificial given her daughter - me, of course - 25 years her junior now having half gray hair. So, shock of shocks, my mother this year has let her own hair go gray. Vive la revolution!

I do remember a cousin of mine who hadn't seen me in awhile exclaiming that I'd had my hair streaked blonde. I replied, "um, look again!" Guess the gray really is a lot lighter than was my ordinarily light brown hair with blonde/red undertones. So long ago that I can't even remember now. I suppose that your family's remarks are only going to happen once, so if you can endure it the first time, it oughta be the last time, too.


What got me mostly through it at one point is that I went for a fairly short haircut, solving most of the "problem" with three large snips (and some subsequent shaping). At the moment, I have perversely let my hair grow long again, now back to a length it has not been at since my 20s, and pretty evenly half-gray and half-brown (with a big, 100% natural white streak at one side of my part). For awhile I was getting compliments but now it seems like it's probably just getting too long, so it may be coming time to hack it back again - maybe not all the way to short, but somewhere north of my clavicles. I'm holding out for a coupon from Supercuts since the one I was hanging on to just expired a week ago. But I've now been 2 years without a haircut, so some neatening could not hurt, no matter its natural color(lessness).

xraymd

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Author: shirehobbit Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 220268 of 308363
Subject: Re: Intro from a Fool of a Took! Date: 2/4/2006 4:17 PM
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>> I suppose that your family's remarks are only going to happen once, so if you can endure it the first time, it oughta be the last time, too.

Good point!


>> What got me mostly through it at one point is that I went for a fairly short haircut, solving most of the "problem" with three large snips (and some subsequent shaping).

That's an excellent idea!

>> At the moment, I have perversely let my hair grow long again

Peversely? Hey, if having it long again makes you happy, there's nothing wrong with that.

I can picture the guys on this board rolling their eyes! Women and their hair! You rarely hear quips about men "having a bad hair day." *smile*

shirehobbit



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