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Author: beeleaf One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 308688  
Subject: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/4/2003 1:23 AM
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Hi everybody!

I am new here - found out about Fool.com through some links on how to manage your debt. Which led me to register, and to these boards. :) I wanted to start out by saying that I have definitely appreciated all of the advice I've read on these boards about managing and getting out of credit card debt (and I love the success stories). I usually see the recommendation to post your numbers - so here goes!

First, I'm 28 and my husband is 35. We got married last year - coming up on our 1 year anniv. in Oct. We realized last year, after getting a joint checking account and combining all our debits and credits in Quicken, that we had really screwed ourselves up by getting into whopping credit card debt. Besides already carrying balances on several credit cards we charged like mad for our wedding and honeymoon (of course we didn't save money for these expenses, like smart people would!) We've paid about 12,000 to our CC debt since our wedding but still have about 18,000 to go. Our goals are to a) get out of credit card debt, b) buy a house or townhome that is within our means in the fall of 2004 and c) hopefully start a family in early 2005 if we meet these goals. For financial perspective, we live in the Chicago suburbs.

CC debt

Victoria's Secret = 208 (paying off this week)
BofA = 1205. (want to pay this off by end of October. threw 3000 at this card last week, from savings, to snowball.)
Citibank = 18,000. we recently transferred this high balance from my MBNA card so we have a 3.9 APR for this entire balance, for the life of the balance transfer.
finance charges YTD = 1260.15 (sickening)

We have about 43,000 in unused credit.

Salary and other assets

We make 4340 a month after taxes.
Savings acct. = 3200
my 401K = 8110 (I presume from other posts that I should not touch, but rather stop or lessen contributing perhaps...I contribute about 100 per paycheck)
hubby's retirement fund = 8850 (about 115 per paycheck)
my car, if I were to sell it (paid off, 1990 Toyota Camry) would probably be worth about 2000

Monthly expenses

rent = 675, 2 bedroom apt
groceries = about 400 a month. we are trying to use our sam's membership to be wiser about this. we also cut and use coupons. we could be better by driving 20 mintues to meijer instead of jewel...any other suggestions are welcome
electric = 50
train pass = 90 per month, for me to get to work
hubby's auto fuel = 60-70 month
my car's fuel = negligible. 10 every two months?
my car insurance = 150 every three months
hubby's car insurance = 380 every six months
hubby's car payment = 339.52 each month until Feb 05
dry cleaning = 40 to 50 a month
basic cable, HBO and cable internet (cable internet portion, about 50, necessary for hubby - he does freelance work from home) = 100
phone (land line) = 38
long distance with sprint = 10-40, usually around 20, depending on how much we talk. are the phone cards you buy at sam's helpful here, if we cancel long distance?
hubby's cell phone = 35 (signed 2 year contract in summer)
my cell = 25 (contract expires Dec., thinking of new phone and family talk plan to save cash)
haircut = 22 for hubby when he decides to go; 42 for me every 6-8 weeks. tack on another 15 when I decide to get eyebrows waxed.
magazine, newspaper, online subscriptions = allocate about 10 a month

The good - YTD

Over the past year, we've eaten out less (but still definitely need to curb - see below), saved money (this helped us greatly with $4000 in dental bills, $500 in prescriptions, and $1000 in doctor's bills. we do have medical insurance but we maxed out in some areas this year. I will be electing a better insurance plan this year. the savings also helped us with $600 in state and fed taxes, from hubby's freelance work), put both paychecks into one checking account and put all of our credit cards into Quicken to have a complete picture of our financial situation. Like I said above, we have paid a great deal toward those cards already and we don't use them unless we're on vacation and we want the convenience. If this happens we pay off the recently incurred debt within 2-3 weeks.

The bad and the ugly - YTD

I wish Quicken wasn't so honest. I admit up front that although much of this is both of our faults, like the dining out, I do more splurging than my husband.

"bath and beauty" (meaning the body shop, aveda, makeup etc.) = 329
membership dues = 278 (art institute, wttw, sam's club, farm bureau (I belong primarily for the car insurance), chicago public radio)
charity = 227
random cash withdrawls not categorized - who knows where this money went = 2270
clothing - me = 1258
dining out - 1/3 lunches, mostly dinner = 1546
entertainment = 261 (for YTD I guess this isn't too bad - this is buying music, books, going to movies and a few bars)
gifts given = 1157 (birthdays, graduations, weddings, new babies, etc.)
vacation this year = 1000 (and we are going to spend another 1000 at least in a couple of weeks because we already booked a trip to Salt Lake City to visit hubby's sister. even though this will be a nice trip it was probably not wise to schedule this...)

The main reason for this post is to seek any advice you all might have on how to pay these credit cards down as quickly as possible. Maybe the answer is obvious - we have been paying well beyond the minimum on our credit cards this year and we need to trim the fat (a lot) so we can pay more. But your creative suggestions would be very helpful. We need a good swift kick to make our goals achievable.

Another question - I rarely drive my car, and it is paid off. My company may relocate next summer (strong possibility), and I would need to drive to that location, so I'm wondering if I should keep the car for that purpose. Right now I'm wasting money on car insurance, but I guess I'd be wasting even more if I sold the car this year and then had to shell out money for another car next year?

I am looking forward to comments and suggestions!

beeleaf

P.S. long-term question, but should we try to pay off hubby's car after paying off the credit card debt, or make our monthly payments and focus on saving all extra money for the house instead?
P.P.S. any suggestions on acronyms that I could use in this board, or just generally, would be helpful...I'm not savvy on that sort of thing. :)
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Author: Pumagrrl Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169016 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/4/2003 2:46 AM
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Most of the tips I used when cutting down my own debt ($15,000 +) on credit cards revolved around cutting my monthly expenditures.
1. I stopped my subscriptions to all magazines, and don't have cable TV, and I get my hair cut every 12-16 weeks
2. I use my cell phone for long-distance (it's included with the plan), and no longer have caller-id or a long distance carrier for my land line
3. I shopped around for the best car insurance (sometimes I think a car can be insured as a secondary car for cheaper rates... which might be good for your car, since it's not driven very often)
4. I stopped spending money on all of those "necessary" items like lotions and candles (a weakness of mine).
5. I set myself on a budget for gifts ($25/person), and embellished them with cookies during the holiday season.
6. Try taking less expensive vacations... I do short roadtrips for a long weekend off.
7. Stop going to the mall... It's too tempting to buy new things.
8. Stop using your credit cards. Or in the least... slow down.
9. Try not to carry cash, or use the ATM... use your debit card instead to track where your money goes, and its hard to spend $ if you don't have it on you.
10. I owe $3,500 on my car, and make additional payments every paycheck as well as the minimum monthly payment required on the loan. By making smaller additional payments I am lowering the overall interest amount I will pay on the car loan, and I am spending the money on the car loan before I get to waste it somewhere else. When I had high credit card debt, I also sent them small extra payments each paycheck.

I also got a second part-time job a couple nights a month for extra cash, and to keep myself from doing other things that cost money.

Toyota's have a good reputation for being reliable, and if your car is in good shape, you're better off keeping it. If you would only gain $2,000- $3,000 by selling it, it would probably be better to keep it to avoid having to take out another car loan in the near future. (And your insurance might go up if you have to buy a different car.)

Good luck
~ Puma grrl




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Author: dsemmler Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169017 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/4/2003 4:25 AM
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beeleaf,

Welcome to the Fool and congrats for making the first step of coming to this board and posting your information. I know that is a big step to take and remember when I did it myself. With that said, let's dive into your post a little bit:

Savings acct. = 3200

I am very happy to see that you have an eFund of some proportion. In my opinion, your eFund is probably at a sufficient point for the time being and your money may be better served going towards debt. However, if you are uncomfortable with the level of the eFund, by all means keep contributing but just be aware of the tradeoff.

my 401K = 8110 (I presume from other posts that I should not touch, but rather stop or lessen contributing perhaps...I contribute about 100 per paycheck)
hubby's retirement fund = 8850 (about 115 per paycheck)


I am not sure if either of your employers offer matching contributions. If they do, you may want to consider reducing your contributions to the level required to receive the full employer match. However, I do not think the levels you are currently contributing are a problem and if it were me, I would most likely leave the contributions as they are.

Okay, you mentioned your take-home pay is $4340 per month. From the monthly expenses that you listed, they total roughly $2100 per month. Therefore, you should have a surplus in the neighborhood of $2200 per month. Do you know where that money is going? If not, I would highly recommend you and your DH (Dear Husband) get a little notepad and track ALL of your expenses for a month or so. You will be amazed at all of the little holes in your budget.

I think you alluded to some of those holes in the description of your "splurging". I assume the numbers you listed are what you have spent YTD but these items should really be a part of the budget. You might want to sit down and really evaluate your budget to include the areas that you spend money. Once you have done that, you can evaluate what areas you can trim excess from to free more cash for your debt payments.

long distance with sprint = 10-40, usually around 20, depending on how much we talk. are the phone cards you buy at sam's helpful here, if we cancel long distance?

Yes, calling cards could help you out here. Another option would be to use your cell phones for all LD calls. Typically cell phone plans include LD at no additional charge. Another alternative to the calling cards is to look into OneSuite.com. I personally do not use them but other Fools have had some success with them.

Over the past year, we've eaten out less (but still definitely need to curb - see below), saved money (this helped us greatly with $4000 in dental bills, $500 in prescriptions, and $1000 in doctor's bills. we do have medical insurance but we maxed out in some areas this year. I will be electing a better insurance plan this year. the savings also helped us with $600 in state and fed taxes, from hubby's freelance work), put both paychecks into one checking account and put all of our credit cards into Quicken to have a complete picture of our financial situation. Like I said above, we have paid a great deal toward those cards already and we don't use them unless we're on vacation and we want the convenience. If this happens we pay off the recently incurred debt within 2-3 weeks.

It appears as if you guys are making great progress and working well to prepare yourselves for the unexpected while also making tremendous progress on your debt. You should both be proud of how far you have already come in a short period of time.

my car, if I were to sell it (paid off, 1990 Toyota Camry) would probably be worth about 2000

I am not advocating the sale of a car but if you do decide to sell a car, why would you necessarily sell your car as opposed to your DH's car? If you were to sell his car, you would free a significant amount of money per month by not having that car payment and higher insurance. My DW (Dear Wife) has owned two Toyota cars in the past and they were both very solid cars. I would expect your Camry to provide you many years of dependable service.

But given the job uncertainty of relocating, I would hold onto the car because as you mentioned, it would most likely cost you more in the long run if your job does relocate.

The main reason for this post is to seek any advice you all might have on how to pay these credit cards down as quickly as possible. Maybe the answer is obvious - we have been paying well beyond the minimum on our credit cards this year and we need to trim the fat (a lot) so we can pay more. But your creative suggestions would be very helpful. We need a good swift kick to make our goals achievable.

In a nutshell, you need to track your expenditures to see where any holes exist in your budget and where you can reduce expenses. You listed a pretty "healthy" list of splurges that could go a long way towards eliminating your debt. I don't really think you need to increase your income because it appears as if you should have a significant surplus on a monthly basis.

P.S. long-term question, but should we try to pay off hubby's car after paying off the credit card debt, or make our monthly payments and focus on saving all extra money for the house instead?

In my opinion, this would depend on the interest rate of the car loan. If it is relatively low, you might be okay to continue with the payments and focus on your savings. Personally, that is an approach I have taken since eliminating my CC debt. I currently have student loans and a loan for a Harley but the interest rates are low enough where I decided to focus my efforts on increasing my savings as opposed to aggressively paying the debt. However, over the last four months I have begun making double payments to the Harley loan because I am getting the itch to just eliminate it once and for all even though the interest rate is low.

P.P.S. any suggestions on acronyms that I could use in this board, or just generally, would be helpful...I'm not savvy on that sort of thing. :)

Well, I have already used a few in this response. Here are a few of the more common acronyms:

DW = Dear Wife
DH = Dear Husband
IMHO = In My Humble Opinion
YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary
LBYM = Living Below Your Means

I know there are many others but my mind is drawing a blank as I need to get to bed! If you encounter any that you don't know what they mean, just ask and someone will surely help you out.

As a final note, I would just like to say hello to another fellow resident of the Chicago suburbs! Are you in the western burbs? Or north or south?

I hope you can find something I said to be useful and if you have additional questions, fire away. The people here are great and you will be amazed at all of the valuable advice people here will offer!

dt

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Author: numbrel Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169025 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/4/2003 9:36 AM
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Welcome beeleaf,

First of all, congratulate yourself on realizing that you have to change your ways before you spent all $61,000! of your available credit and had no other choice. Your problems seem to be on controlled spending of a minor sort (major would be maxing out your cards).

Cars - your husband and you seem to have 2 different insurance companies. Check into using one or the other and check other companies also while you're at it. Most companies have multiple car discounts. Also, if your farm bureau membership is for the car insurance, count that toward your insurance cost, not misc. Also, make sure you tell the insurance company that your car is seldom used, that might give you a break. Instead of selling your car, can you just park it? and let the registration and insurance lapse on it until you know if you will need it again? Since you live in an apartment, there might be rules about this. You could just move the car around the lot once a week or so, so it doesn't look abandoned.

Dry cleaning - try stretching out the time between cleanings. Hang clothing out in the open for about 12 hours before putting them back in the closet and they won't smell so musty. Unless they are stained, clothes can be worn three maybe four times between cleanings. Get a little steamer to steam out wrinkles. Not cleaning them so often will also help them last longer.

Eyebrow waxing - There's little kits in the drugstores that will do this for you for under $10 for three or four times.

Clothing - STOP - you probably have enough to last you the rest of the year. When you do buy something, ask yourself "how long will this be in fashion?" Put it back if it is trendy and will look dated next summer. There is still a lot of good stuff out there that will last from year to year. Also, next spring when you start shopping again, try consignment stores and even thrifts or used clothes stores. Look and see if Savers has any stores in the Chicago area. They are wonderful!!!

And finally, record EVERYTHING you spend for a month, so that you know where that uncatagorized cash is going.

Barbara



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Author: beeleaf One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169034 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/4/2003 12:56 PM
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Thank you all for your great suggestions and comments.

Puma grrl -
I like all of your suggestions to cut monthly expenditures. We may be putting a lot of money to CC debt but it would be more helpful if we cut expenditures too. I am letting three of my magazine subscriptions lapse and DH is doing the same with one of his so that will save about 112 a year. That leaves me with Budget Living and Real Simple, and the Fool Community (which of course I will keep). I may want to keep these mag subscriptions since they help me be more money conscious. I think we will keep the Chicago Tribune subscription - that's 13 every three months but also includes the Sunday paper (coupons). And I must stop buying random mags at the grocery store.

Cutting cable would be hard - it's a major vice of mine - but I will seriously consider it. I also like the ideas of cutting my hair less often and using DH's cell phone for long distance. I also agree that there's gotta be a better solution for the car insurance - either a cheaper rate, having both cars insured by one co., or just parking the car and not driving it. I'm going to investigate. I share your weakness for lotions and candles. There's no need for a girl to have dozens of lotions and candles. Fun but not necessary! I will avoid the mall and get less expensive gifts. We used to have a moratorium on using the cards but have been a little flaky lately, so we have to go back to being strict.

dt -
I like your ideas about keeping the efund handy and maintaining 401k/retirement contributions. I also understand the constant struggle of building savings vs. paying off the CCs. My plan is to never go below 3200 (this was the amount of our wedding gifts from our wedding guests - I wanted these gifts to go toward a new home and that's still our plan. We're only going to go below this if it's a true emergency). I have 200 diverted from each of my paychecks into savings automatically (but not DH's). Once I build my savings up again I think I will put some toward paying the CCs quicker.

2200 is a pretty hefty surplus. We put about 1000 or more toward the CCs each month - at least that's what we've tried to do in the past. We definitely need to look at the holes in our budget. I know a lot of it goes to food - I work in the Loop and eat out too much so as you can imagine that gets expensive. Plus, we do like to eat dinner out occassionally. We are going to have to be much stricter in this area. (If you can imagine this we used to eat out *even more* - dinner twice a week and breakfast twice a week.) Time to re-do the budget! This summer in particular was bad because of unforseen expenses - 600 at least to the dentist and a large bill for prescriptions, 500. DH's computer also totally broke down and he needed a new one - another 1500. He could theoretically have gotten a cheaper comp but he needs a lot of programs on his comp to do tech editing and writing, and a lot of memory (needs dreamweaver program and access to dreamweaver newsgroups, websites, etc.). Anyway, 2200 is too much of a surplus to not know exactly where all that cash is going.

As a side note our medical situation should be better next year. I signed us up for a plan that was much cheaper than the PPO but bombed for us. Basically the plan covers up to 1600 in medical expenses (you don't pay copays) but that includes everything - doctor visits *and* medication. When you have two people who take various prescription allergy medicine regularly, an EpiPen for allergic emergencies (215 a pop!), and the pill - poof - there goes all your money. Now we're paying out of pocket until we meet the max. This fall I'm going to elect for the PPO, which is a higher premium per paycheck but will still be gentler on the wallet because we won't be hit with huge bills all at once. Oh, and DH's major dental work, which included root canals and the like, is done...should be just maintenance now.

I really appreciate your encouraging thoughts and the explanation of the acronyms, too. And oh yes - I live in the western suburbs. :) Nice to hear from a fellow Chicagoan!

Barbara -
I appreciate the encouraging thought that at least we haven't maxed out the cards! This is very true. A little background - we had a totally backwards approach to the CCs before marriage. DH's citibank (drivers edge card) gave us points for spending on the card toward his new car (800 toward a newish Subaru wagon). Ah, those dreaded points. You think you're doing something good when you're really spending more than you can afford, and sinking into debt. For us this points system did not work. After we returned from the wedding and honeymoon and got a bit of a shock as to how in debt we were, we stopped using the CCs and used our OWN money instead (:) wow - what a concept), balanced our accounts scrupulously and used our debit cards instead of credit cards.

The dry cleaning and buying of new clothes is a little embarrassing too. Specifically because my company changed to a more casual environment in the summer. Meaning - we can wear jeans. I have plenty of clothes to wear to work, so I don't need to be dry cleaning or buying any more. I am horrible about laundry (DH does his own because he doesn't understand my complicated system of drying some items only part-way ;)) so I dip into my dry clean only stuff. Dumb! Dumb! And yes, I can do my own eyebrows too and only leave the waxing for a rare treat.

You and dt had the same suggestion about recording everything. I think this will be essential.

I have another question for you all. Any ideas on managing vacation expenses? We've been a lot better this year - tons better - about planning in advance - meaning, we get inexpensive hotel rooms or the cheapest airfare we can find. Then we seem to screw up when we get to whatever destination by spending too much money on dining/gifts/stuff for us (okay, again, a lot of stuff for me. DH is better than I am here). I don't want to carry around *too* much money on vacation because I feel that would be dangerous, but don't want to spend too much on the CCs either...

Thank you all very much!!

beeleaf

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Author: dsemmler Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169036 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/4/2003 1:39 PM
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My plan is to never go below 3200 (this was the amount of our wedding gifts from our wedding guests - I wanted these gifts to go toward a new home and that's still our plan. We're only going to go below this if it's a true emergency). I have 200 diverted from each of my paychecks into savings automatically (but not DH's). Once I build my savings up again I think I will put some toward paying the CCs quicker.

That is a very good plan to maintain the eFund and it sounds like you have the motivation to keep it at that level unless there is a true emergency. Do you and your DH have separate savings? You mention that $200 is going into your savings but not DH's. Unless you mean nothing is taken from his paycheck for savings. If you do have separate savings, is the savings for the same goals? Or do you each save for independent goals?

We put about 1000 or more toward the CCs each month - at least that's what we've tried to do in the past.

That is outstanding! If you are able to continue that plan, you should have your CC debt eliminated in a little under two years. However, I can fully appreciate the desire to eliminate the debt faster. But it is important to remember that you did not create this debt overnight so it will not disappear overnight.

We definitely need to look at the holes in our budget. I know a lot of it goes to food - I work in the Loop and eat out too much so as you can imagine that gets expensive. Plus, we do like to eat dinner out occassionally. We are going to have to be much stricter in this area.

Yes, I know that scenario well with respect to working in the Loop. I worked downtown for awhile and fell into the same tendencies. There was a group at work that pretty much went out for lunch everyday and we also usually grabbed a few beers on Fridays before heading home. That habit can become very expensive. You might want to consider doing something where you can eat out once or twice a week for lunch during the week. Sometimes it is hard to brownbag every day and miss out on the comraderie (sp?) of going out with the group. You don't appear to be in dire straits so it is important to enjoy life while you pay down debt. It is up to you to determine what aspects you enjoy more than others to get the most value out of your dollar.

This summer in particular was bad because of unforseen expenses - 600 at least to the dentist and a large bill for prescriptions, 500. DH's computer also totally broke down and he needed a new one - another 1500.

I know how that can be with the unexpected expenses. My DW has had some dental work as well that resulted in us tapping into our eFund. The important thing is that we did not have to add any debt to do so. An eFund will go a long way towards helping your debt reduction and you appear to be covered there.

As a side note our medical situation should be better next year. I signed us up for a plan that was much cheaper than the PPO but bombed for us. Basically the plan covers up to 1600 in medical expenses (you don't pay copays) but that includes everything - doctor visits *and* medication.

Again I can understand this. I took a job as an independent contractor that offered no benefits. Because my one son has some pre-existing conditions, he would not be covered under individual healthplans. Therefore we were required to carry COBRA insurance at the cost of $1100 per month! Doh! Talk about frustrating and we contemplated dropping it and paying any expenses out of pocket. I am glad we did not because our son required two surgeries and a few hospital stays! Sometimes it pays in the long run to pay a higher premium for better coverage. It sounds as if you have realized that given your medical expenses.

I really appreciate your encouraging thoughts and the explanation of the acronyms, too. And oh yes - I live in the western suburbs. :) Nice to hear from a fellow Chicagoan!

No problem! I've come across quite a few people on the boards lately from the Chicago area. I am also in the western suburbs, or maybe I should say the FAR western suburbs! :-)

dt

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Author: Wingenit Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169039 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/4/2003 4:00 PM
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First, you've paid off $18k in under a year? WOW!



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Author: blackmare Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169053 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/4/2003 6:36 PM
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Instead of selling your car, can you just park it? and let the registration and insurance lapse on it until you know if you will need it again?

This sounds like a good idea, but probably isn't, really.

First of all, there are legal liabilities. I know it's nuts, but if someone steals the parked car and causes any kind of damage to the car or to anyone else's property, you could be out all the repair expenses AND in trouble with the law for not having insurance. Ridiculous, but true; a case of this was recently in the news. Someone else steals and crashes your car, and YOU get arrested for lack of insurance and registration.

Then there is the advantage of having a second vehicle on hand in case of emergencies--repairs to the other vehicle, or whatever. If you let the insurance and registration lapse, it's asking for trouble if you suddenly find yourself needing to use the car.

Congrats on how well you're doing so far! You'll get this debt kicked in no time. :-)


Mare



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Author: beeleaf One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169057 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/4/2003 8:16 PM
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dt,

I should clarify my earlier statement on savings - I meant that 200 is deducted from each of my paychecks automatically, but not from my husband's. He doesn't have any savings deductions coming out. At first we were attempting to take 200-300 out of each of his paychecks too - but this just wasn't working. We wanted to focus more on getting the CCs paid off. We only have one savings account for the same goals. Any accounts that we have, I entered into Quicken over the past year so we have the "whole story." Not having the whole story is what got us into trouble in the first place! I was already using Quicken to pay some of the bills but I use it more efficiently now.

I understand what you mean about lunch out. I would have a much easier time with this is we had a nice break room or something to bring our lunches. If I eat my lunch at work now, I eat at my desk, and sometimes that's a little boring (and lonely! I'm a people lover!). My group was bought by another co. late last year and we're working in lesser conditions than we would like - they plan to move us next year - there is a teeny table in the kitchen but no one eats in the kitchen. It's so...nasty. :) And I'm basically a project manager so people interrupt me sometimes during lunch with work questions (of course never in a true emergency - annoying!) But I'm just going to have to make do most days eating at my desk. Pursuit of higher goals!

Your health expenses have been filled with more headache and heartache than mine - more expensive and, of course, more nerve-racking. I do not have children yet but imagine that this put you and your family through the ringer. I hope your health coverage has since improved and I hope your son is doing okay.

I like my living situation right now in the western burbs. My co. may be absorbed into our sister company next year, which is in Riverwoods...which is near Great America...what a drive. Then again we hope to move next fall, and I guess we could move to wherever it made sense to move. Cross your fingers for us on that one!

beeleaf :o)

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Author: Wingenit Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169071 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/4/2003 9:53 PM
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but if someone steals the parked car and causes any kind of damage to the car or to anyone else's property, you could be out all the repair expenses AND in trouble with the law for not having insurance.

I didn't post the post that blackmare responded to (somehow it came to me) -- but I was going to agree with her.

In CA for example I have been told that it is not legal to own a car that is not registered (I have not looked this up; I have only been told), but you can register a car for about $10 with a special tag that says you don't intend to drive it. Unless it is going to be sitting in your garage, it isn't a good idea to let insurance lapse, either. Even then -- you will still pay the out-of-sight rates when you go back to being insured for letting it lapse.

If you don't need it, maybe you can sell it?

Wingenit

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Author: beeleaf One star, 50 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169073 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/4/2003 10:08 PM
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Wingenit -

You give DH and myself far too much credit! We've paid about 12,000 so far to our credit cards (since last Oct/Nov) - we still have 18,000 *to go*. Unfortunately I'm sure that some of the 12,000 went to merely pay finance charges. :( Also, I'm including money we've paid toward the cards that wasn't "old debt" so maybe this isn't the most accurate picture. I would consider "old debt" to be pre-Nov. of last year. In other words, when we went on vacation last month (trip itself was cheap but we spent too much when we were there), we put some money on credit cards for convenience. But we've since paid that amount off (and I'm including that money in the 12,000). So we'll be doing much better by stopping the credit card usage altogether. We must take two steps forward without taking a step back. But we're getting there...

Mare (and Wingenit - just saw your second post!)-

Thanks for the encouragement and advice! I do think that not paying the car insurance and registration is a risky step for me. In the meantime, I don't think it would be a bad idea to shop around on insurance - to call up my provider and ask about getting a better deal, and to compare that info with DH's provider. Seems that we pay too much on insurance for a car that just sits 95% of the time. I also agree about keeping this car - if I sold it and had to get a car next year, I'd be very tempted to get a nice one. Not that the older Toyota Camrys aren't nice, but you know what I mean. A nice new car with all the fixins. Too tempting!

beeleaf

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Author: dsemmler Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169080 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/5/2003 12:51 AM
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beeleaf,

Your health expenses have been filled with more headache and heartache than mine - more expensive and, of course, more nerve-racking. I do not have children yet but imagine that this put you and your family through the ringer. I hope your health coverage has since improved and I hope your son is doing okay.

He is doing better and actually had some additional tests done today just as a follow-up. Let me tell you, nothing breaks your heart more than when you tell your 2 year old that he has to go to the doctor and he hugs you and murmurs "no daddy, doctor hurt me". I feel terrible for the little guy as he has been through a lot but he is a fighter!

I like my living situation right now in the western burbs. My co. may be absorbed into our sister company next year, which is in Riverwoods...which is near Great America...what a drive. Then again we hope to move next fall, and I guess we could move to wherever it made sense to move. Cross your fingers for us on that one!

I am living that right now as we live out west and I work up in Lake Forest! Ugh! My commute is about 165 miles roundtrip but my client is flexible and I only work 4 days per week so it works out well.

dt

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Author: MusicFish Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169085 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/5/2003 7:09 AM
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beeleaf,

I asked a similar question about terms and acronyms. Check out TMFKaren's answer to me question:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=19494003

HTH,
MusicFish.

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Author: Catleen Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169092 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/5/2003 10:06 AM
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And another thing. If they decide they want to use the car they pay horrendous rates for insurance and it is up to the insurance company to decide when you have paid enough.

Simply don't drive it, but don't let your insurance and registration lapse.


Catleen

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Author: Fallout2Queen Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169094 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/5/2003 10:13 AM
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He is doing better and actually had some additional tests done today just as a follow-up. Let me tell you, nothing breaks your heart more than when you tell your 2 year old that he has to go to the doctor and he hugs you and murmurs "no daddy, doctor hurt me". I feel terrible for the little guy as he has been through a lot but he is a fighter!


Glad to hear he's doing better and I hope today's tests come back with good results.


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Author: dsemmler Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169100 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/5/2003 12:27 PM
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Glad to hear he's doing better and I hope today's tests come back with good results.

Thank you! We should know the results in a few days. He was not feeling too well yesterday as the nurse did not seem to be too proficient in putting in a catheter.

dt

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Author: Booa Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 169121 of 308688
Subject: Re: my CC situation (long) Date: 9/5/2003 7:09 PM
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He is doing better and actually had some additional tests done today just as a follow-up. Let me tell you, nothing breaks your heart more than when you tell your 2 year old that he has to go to the doctor and he hugs you and murmurs "no daddy, doctor hurt me". I feel terrible for the little guy as he has been through a lot but he is a fighter!


Oh, that is heartbreaking. How hard it must be, to ask a two-year old to be so brave, and his parents, too.

{{{{{dsemmler and family}}}}}


--Booa

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