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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:44 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:11 pm
Posts: 49
[quote="babysteps"]As someone who has semi-recently been through bankruptcy, I would vote for 'gut it out' in your situation.

***OK. Thank you for the encouragement. Is going through a bankruptcy a total nightmare?

Imo, if you are "just" spending 10% more each month than net income (with half of that covered by income tax refund), I'm guessing you can find some short-term spending cuts and/or sources of income to balance. Make a plan & then act on it.

***I used to spend between 100 -400 bucks for books. I have not bought a SINGLE book in 5 weeks and desire to buy no more.

***The wife is making about 500 bucks more per month then when I first started this thread.

I'm not saying the cuts/finding income will be easy or fun. But if I understand, you haven't missed any payments yet.

***That is correct.

Am I understanding that you will miss payments very soon unless you change something?

***That was my fear. But it is lessened somewhat by my wife's newly found income via her self-employment cleaning business.


You may want to get a grip on current spending & cash flow before a full-blown forward budget.

+Do you have anything that you could sell to bridge the budget gap this month (collectibles, jewelry, furniture, electronics, even a car)?

***Via Amazon, I sold 300 bucks worth of some of my old books last month.

+Anything you can cut out (cable, internet, most/all cell phone plans esp. if not prepaid, any not-at-home entertainment including meals, memberships/subscriptions)?

***We still got the net, but did put it at a slower speed and we did cut cable TV completely -- TODAY.

+Not a good long-term idea *but* for this month are there any payments that can be
-switched to a minimum payment (credit cards)

***That is what we are currently paying on 98% of them. But they are the ticking time bomb type . . . your promo rate of O % interests ends in X amount of months . . . then we play the 'transfer the balance to another ZERO interest card' game . . .

+The local library is your new best friend - internet, movies, magazines, lectures, etc all for no incremental cost

****For years . . . libraries have been my FAVORITE PLACE in the world!

Thank you for your help, wisdom and encouragement.

One last question - my wife think 500 bucks is what we should allot for groceries. That seems high to me . . . but I don't buy the stuff so I don't have room to talk. I know we tend to buy name brands (her excuse? She had coupons) and convenience foods, and neatly packaged foods (again . . . on sale according to her). I think by it NEVER. Don't even get in the habit of buying it. Acquiring a taste for it.


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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:50 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:42 pm
Posts: 3
My schedule since some think I just sit on my butt all day

6:30 alarm goes off
Get up get kids up make coffee and kids food and make sure their morning meds are taken. Get showered/dressed/clothes out for kids and comb/style their hair.
8:10 drop off kids at school
8:15-12:15 Mon-Thurs work cleaning jobs
12:30 Part time childcare child gets here
Entertain him and also do dishes, laundry, pet care, etc
3:00 head to get girls play ball for 30 min with part timer on school grounds
4:00 help kids with homework start dinner
5:00 part time childcare gets picked up we eat dinner
then each night varies
Mon oldest dance Tues others girls dance Wed girls choir mom bells Thurs and Saturdays or Sundays bath night for all
7pm start bedtime routines – Pj’s, teeth, meds, stories
Mon 8-9 work cleaning job Tues 8-10 work and then grocery shop home by 11 pm Wed 8-11:30pm work cleaning jobs
Fridays clean our own home, apts, errands, and entertain part timer all day. Plus run over to help my mother who last month had a mastectomy due to breast cancer. And yes due to our finances she is paying for the gas mileage for me to help her out.
Sat relax weeks can and have family time 1pm oldest gymnastics
Sun- s/s and church and do 2 cleaning jobs 2-5

Next 2 weekends is one of my big job weekends
Friday work 8pm-1am cleaning job sleep 1:30-9 am spend a hour with family clean 10 am-3 pm take break make dinner and eat with family then bathes and kids to bed. Then clean again 8pm-1am sleep 1:30-8am church 9-12 do regular cleaning jobs 2-5 dinner and spend some time with family and kids to bed and then clean again 8pm-1am
Then start regular days again on Monday.

And I have worked hard to get these jobs I do not expect them to just fall in my lap. I have already went to every local business personally and handed out business cards and given cards to lots of people through contacts- school, dance, church, etc plus friends. Oh and just being out and about. I had passed out over 200 business cards before he even started this post.

I have made a budget numerous times before also but he wanted to control our finances. Said pretty much that I was dumb and he was smart with finances he did not turn them all over to me. So I saw full account of everything until 2 weeks ago. So yes I was stupid to not know or realize that it was not being managed well. But he did not trust me with them he calls me a control freak but in this matter he has been the control freak until now.

Oh and here is the budget I made 2 weeks ago when it was all handed over to me.


Budget Then Budget Now

Mortgage 938 938
HEL (2nd mort) 246 246
Utility 93 93
Home gas 53 53
Electric 276 276
Windows 120 120
Phone 92 65
Life insurance 21.60 21.60
Cox cable/internet 82 37.99
ING 10 10
CCdebt payments 440 440
Medical bills 196.38 196.38
Medicines 160 160
Food/toiletries/gas 500 500

In Nov van and car registration 152.06


Total 3380.04 counting Nov registrations $3156.97


Husbands Pay 2482.55

Then I have to come up with at least $897.49 each month which I CAN do and will be trying to actually come up with more then that each month. And now 674.42 so since plan is to be my bringing in
MORE can go to debt and random sick or check up dr apt's also.


Oh and the things changed is because I changed it TODAY not his doing My doing I never said I was not willing it was his thing not mine.


I probably won't get on here much because I think this is WRONG but he thinks it's some magic pill getting strangers views on how to fix things.


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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:54 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:11 pm
Posts: 49
Does everyone agree that I need to quit pondering my 401 and my pension plan as it relates to my current debt/spending problem?

Thank you very much.


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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 4:22 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:11 pm
Posts: 49
I probably won't get on here much because I think this is WRONG but he thinks it's some magic pill getting strangers views on how to fix things.[/quote]

DDW, the husband here. Wow. She is a busy lady. Maybe too busy? A person has to rest . . .

Anyway . . . I know 'no magic pill' exists. However, I do know that the wise seek counsel and that there are some wise folks on forums.

Obviously (for reasons unknown to me) she is more private than me. Like I said before, I don't care if everyone knows ALL MY BUSINESS . . . because my business is not that exciting . . . . I go to work. I take naps. I do my laundry. I do yoga. I exercise. I go for walks. Sometimes I ride my stationary bike down in our basement. I read. I read a BUNCH. I make my meals (Yes, sometimes she cooks for all of us), I do things with my daughters almost nightly, try to read some marriage material with my wife . . . but that ALWAYS backfires into a silly, immature shouting match. Yeah, my business is not all that exciting so you are all welcome to take a look at it. I have nothing to hide. No meth lab in my basement. No guns under my bed. If you are ever in the middle of Kansas . . . let me know, and we can get together for a drink of coffee or something . . .


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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:11 pm 

Joined: Sun May 29, 2011 4:50 am
Posts: 171
the wife wrote:
Budget Then Budget Now

Mortgage 938 938
HEL (2nd mort) 246 246
Utility 93 93
Home gas 53 53
Electric 276 276
Windows 120 120
Phone 92 65
Life insurance 21.60 21.60
Cox cable/internet 82 37.99
ING 10 10
CCdebt payments 440 440
Medical bills 196.38 196.38
Medicines 160 160
Food/toiletries/gas 500 500

In Nov van and car registration 152.06


Total 3380.04 counting Nov registrations $3156.97


Husbands Pay 2482.55


What is the $120/mo for "Windows"?
$160/mo for medicine seems really expensive. Have you talked to your pharmacist and doctor about possibly switching to meds that are cheaper?

$500 seems quite reasonable for groceries for a family and I've found that it's really no cheaper to buy off-brand or store-brand groceries compared to shopping sales and coupons. You can get good deals by buying whatever loss-leader on the meats/fish the grocery store is promoting & stocking up/freezing.


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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:25 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:42 pm
Posts: 3
That is meds for all 5 of us. We all are on 1 to 5 meds and we are getting the generic forms of them.


And $500 is not just food, it's toilet paper, shampoo, lotion, female products etc and gas for our vehicles to.


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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:27 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 3:42 pm
Posts: 3
The windows are a credit payment for the windows that were replaced in our home. It's a set payment until paid off and no adjusting it our home is the lean on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:11 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 9:44 pm
Posts: 308
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
tdcgd0507 wrote:
One last question - my wife think 500 bucks is what we should allot for groceries. That seems high to me . . . but I don't buy the stuff so I don't have room to talk. I know we tend to buy name brands (her excuse? She had coupons) and convenience foods, and neatly packaged foods (again . . . on sale according to her). I think by it NEVER. Don't even get in the habit of buying it. Acquiring a taste for it.

If I recall correctly your family includes three daughters. If that's the case, then I think $500 per month for groceries is totally reasonable. I've seen couples budget that much, though admittedly many, including myself, would counsel that $500 for two people is two high. I often see it recommended that a couple (two people) target $200 to $250 per month. Especially since the $500 includes "toilet paper, shampoo, lotion, female products etc and gas for our vehicles," I would say that you/your wife are already doing very well in that category.


Last edited by LeRainDrop on Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:19 pm 

Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 11:56 am
Posts: 134
A few comments after reading this thread...

Your situation doesn't seem dire enough to warrant bankruptcy, and it might do more harm than good.

I would stay away from any 401k/pension loans. As you already mentioned the fees would be high and if you can't get your situation sorted out and have to declare bankruptcy your retirement accounts should be protected.

Stop the blame game. Yes, you can probably find instances where one person was clearly irresponsible with money but the past is the past. Instead of saying "He/she did that and now we're in this mess", say "We have a problem and this is what we're doing to solve it". While figuring out your plan don't say (and as much as you can, don't think) "You have to stop spending so much on X", maybe try "Can we cut back on X?" It's not just your words that have to change, your attitude does as well.

I agree with a previous poster who said that you should budget based on what your wife has made, not what's expected to come in.

$500/month groceries for 5 people doesn't sound too excessive, depending on where you live it could be quite cheap. Nitpicking your wife for buying name brands - which really are often cheaper than store brands with coupons and sales - really isn't going to help your situation. If you truly believe you can do better then maybe you should do the shopping, but be prepared to take over food prep as well. The best solution would be to work together but from the tone of both of your posts it doesn't sound like that would work too well right now.

I don't think your wife's desire for privacy is unreasonable at all and you're showing very little empathy for her point of view. I'm not saying that her way is better, or yours, I'm saying that you're part of a team but you aren't acting like it. Regardless of what's actually the "best" thing to do you both need to agree on your course of action.

It's probably be worth looking into refinancing your mortgage but I wouldn't make it a priority right now. It'll take a few months to close, you'll probably have to pay up front for the appraisal, and there are other things you can do now that could have a greater impact.

Your wife made some pretty harsh accusations about name calling and other insults. I don't know if they're true and I won't ask you to defend yourself on the forum, but you should at least ask yourself why she would make those accusations. For example, even if you didn't literally call her stupid, could any of your words or actions have conveyed that message?

Financially, I think your primary focus right now should be on what YOU do. You can't control your wife, neither should you even try, and despite comments you made early in this thread it does sound like she's on board with getting things straightened out. Unfortunately, until you can both agree on a set of priorities and a plan to carry them out you're just going to fight on what you should be doing.

Your second focus should be on working with your wife to create that plan. I put it second because the tension between the two of you is a major roadblock and if you try to hammer a it at full speed I suspect the marriage will break first. I know you're feeling the pressure now, but which would you prefer - keeping your marriage or your good credit score?


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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:21 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:34 pm
Posts: 531
LeRainDrop wrote:
tdcgd0507 wrote:
One last question - my wife think 500 bucks is what we should allot for groceries. That seems high to me . . . but I don't buy the stuff so I don't have room to talk. I know we tend to buy name brands (her excuse? She had coupons) and convenience foods, and neatly packaged foods (again . . . on sale according to her). I think by it NEVER. Don't even get in the habit of buying it. Acquiring a taste for it.

If I recall correctly your family includes three daughters. If that's the case, then I think $500 per month for groceries is totally reasonable. I've seen couples budget that much, though admittedly many, including myself, would counsel that $500 for two people is two high. I often see it recommended that a couple (two people) target $200 to $250 per month. Especially since the $500 includes toilet paper, cleaning supplies, etc., I would say that you/your wife are already doing well in that category.


I absolutely agree that $500/month for a family of 5 is reasonable. My hubby and I spend that much a month on groceries for just the two of us (though we live in a very expensive area). Also, the lingering drought has increased food prices pretty substantially (again, at least, where I live).


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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 6:53 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:11 pm
Posts: 49
the wife wrote:
The windows are a credit payment for the windows that were replaced in our home. It's a set payment until paid off and no adjusting it our home is the lean on it.


The windows are for about 5 more years. Fixed price. fixed interest rate. The rate of ZERO. But, we paid way too much for the windows to begin with. Choke up another one for stupidity.


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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 7:12 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:11 pm
Posts: 49
CatchingUp asked:

For example, even if you didn't literally call her stupid, could any of your words or actions have conveyed that message?

DDW - I have NEVER called her a name. I think she is over-sensitive for reasons that I will not go into on this forum because then she'll just hate on me even worse then she currently does. Any opinion that is counter to hers is BAD and AGAINST HER. "Dissing" her is one of her favorite sayings. I will not totally kill my personality in an attempt to do the impossible (namely, please her).

I have told her that unless I am like "Vanilla Man" always keeping my opinions to myself, never talking about anything 'important', or for heaven sake's in a way that she does not agree with . . . .then it is drama, drama, drama.

The way she speaks of me, you would think that I am Adolph Hitler, Charles Manson and Jeffrey Dalhmer all mixed into one...

She is most black and white, passive/aggressive person that I have ever meet in my entire life. Now she'll even hate on me more. Whatever. I cannot control her hatred and rages . . .only she can.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow to hear more of her unproven drama that is spoken with loaded words, as she will viciously rip into this post to defend herself.

I readily admit my faults. She does not. The Pastor that we are seeing for marriage counseling told her, "Tammy, you have to quit bringing up the past ALL THE TIME. That will END this relationship." She can pull stuff out of her hat that is five years old . . . to 'use' against me. I feel like I am dating one of my first girlfriend's in JR HS.

I have had one friend for over 30 years. Another for over 20 years. I have dated many women through-out my 48 years of life. And NONE, have ever had the drama and UN-pleasability of this one.

I have been a school teacher for 24 straight years. I have never been fired from a job. I have never been in jail . . . I'm really a pretty OK guy as hundreds could attest to.

Any how, when she comes back on her tomorrow with her big defense about what a rotten liar I am, it will fall on death ears and blind eyes. I WILL NOT RESPOND TO IT. Of that I promise.

She said something on one forum that she would not be back . . . but I think she broke that promise already.

I will not break mine.

I will not waste my time trying to counter her insane and usually untrue strawmen and loaded language.


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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:14 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:34 pm
Posts: 531
Seriously, why? Why do you post this stuff? What are you hoping to accomplish?


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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:18 pm 

Joined: Mon Oct 29, 2012 3:11 pm
Posts: 49
alohabear wrote:
Seriously, why? Why do you post this stuff? What are you hoping to accomplish?


For her to quit blaming me for 99% of our financial problems and for many other reasons that I am not going to mention.

"What am I hoping to accomplish?" The impossible. For her to say (as many of you has mentioned), "Yep. I am just as at fault as him for our debt. Now, lets solve this problem TOGETHER." That is what I am trying to accomplish.


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 Post subject: Re: Bankrupt or try to 'gut' it out?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:24 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:34 pm
Posts: 531
Then I have no desire to continue with this thread. Good luck to both of you, 'cause you're gonna need it.


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