Getting started!

Getting started!

I know how to Average my bills and divide them by the amount of pay periods in a year to come up with a weekly amount to put away strictly for home finance but I just cant figure out how to get it started. how to get out of this tornado where a bill comes in the mail and THEN I raise the money to pay it, or where most my utilities are a month behind, etc. I know how to make a budget on paper but how do I get it rolling when I’m behind to begin with. How do I get an entire months worth of bill money saved up so that putting a weekly amount away for bills will give me the next months bill money at the BEGINNING of the month, So that when a bill comes in the mail I can just simply walk over to my desk…. Write the check…. seal the envelope…. and put it out in my mailbox for pick up???????????

I am new to the CZ blog, and have already found reading the posts helpful.

Five years ago I moved from an area where I was earning a good income, to an area that has a much lower pay scale, so could be near my parents, siblings, and other family.

I worked my way to a better income again, and two years ago bought a house on my own.

I was doing ok till that point, but suddenly every bank came out of the woodwork to offer me a credit line. I decided to make a lot of repairs (some, not all, necessary right away) and improvements to the house. Bottom line, I took on too much debt, including charging up new credit cards.

Then the inevitable happened (I think inevitable, anyway) – the house then needed repairs I hadn’t anticipated (flooded basement, leaking siding in winter), and so did my car. Insurance took care of some, but I did pay out of pocket as well.

In Spring of this year, I started falling behind. I considered going to Consumer Credit Counseling Services, but just didn’t want them to close all my accounts. Also, I’m not looking to necessarily settle my debts – I just want to keep up and pay things off.

So I got on the phone and started talking to creditors. I’ve been doing that since this past summer.

My biggest problem right now is high interest and late fees. I’ve been bleeding money in late fees, overlimit fees, and high interest.

I’ve set up my spreadsheet with all my debts, and all the info I need to track them and pay them down. I encourage myself by putting a strikeout line through something when I pay it off, so I can see it and get that feeling of accomplishment, and also by seeing the “amount owed” column go down.

I try my best to meet due dates, but can’t always. It’s a vicious circle – I incur late fees and overlimit fees, have to pay a larger chunk, and then something else gets behind.

I’ve culled every resource I have available – small loan from parents, 401k, refunds, etc. I have very little left at the end of the month for extras (Christmas is particularly difficult this year). I would be happy to work overtime at my job, or get a second job, but haven’t been able to find either opportunity so far.

I guess mostly I need to be informed about what options are available for paying down debt and working with creditors.

For example: I have a $2000 credit card (now closed) that I’ve been paying on for a long time, but can’t get down, because the interest rate is high. This company I do want to call and work out some sort of settlement with, because I think I’ve now paid that original $2000 twice.

Sometimes I feel completely overwhelmed. Then I go back to my spreadsheet and remind myself of what I’ve accomplished so far.

I’ve found that, when you really are in a spot where it’s hard to pay on time, companies will work with you. Even small businesses, like your plummer, will work with you. They would rather have at least small payments coming, and know you will make good on the debt, even if it’s slow and late.

One thing I never knew is that you can write creditors to stop harassing phone calls. It’s things like that I need to learn – strategies having to do with working with creditors, negotiating interest rates … things that will help mitigate my circumstances so I can get my debt down faster.

I guess I just need a place where I can talk about all this, and learn from others’ information and experiences.

Thanks for listening!