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No. of Recommendations: 6
Yew wrote: (For example, why do you want to pay off cc debt? "Just because" is not as motivating as "So I can retire at 66 instead of 72"...

Fair enough. CC debt has been an enormous source of stress in our day to day lives for years. We live pretty much paycheck to paycheck and paying for anything is stressful. I NEED to slay this. It is a "want" but it is also a "need."

Yew wrote: I think we're moving toward "please just give us the whole picture." If you were to visit a good financial planner, the first thing they'd do is ask: What are your
1. Goals (short term and long term)
2. Cash flow (money in, money out)
3. Assets and liabilities (house, car,...; mortgage, cc debt)

I touched on the in/out a little in my last post. The bigger picture is that we held on and revolved debt for years while raising kids on a low income. We made stupid big decisions but kept every day food/household expenditures at rice-and-beans levels. We are finally at a point where I can take my head out of the sand and have a look around to see what can be done. Income has increased modestly and big ticket expenses are lessening. Kids were a huge expense with a lot of unpredictability. Some are out and paying their own way now. I'm looking around and see cars that we no longer need, which will lessen insurance/maintenance outlays etc. I see possibilities and hope that we simply didn't have before, despite playing the best defense that we could at the time. Looking back, there is no amount of "you need to spend less" advice that could have changed where we were. We played awesome defense. It didn't/couldn't change our situation at the time, but it kept us out of bankruptcy and DID help in the long term. (The long term being now.) I agree that we need to continue to spend like paupers if we are to come out of this.

I feel stupid for laying this all out here, but in a way it is cathartic. Depressing; but motivating.

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