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Today is The First Day

October 9th, 2006 at 12:57 pm

So what brings me to this semi-anonymous blogging site?

I have a good-paying job (above the median), a house, three kids, a hefty mortgage, too much consumer credit, and less than $100 in my checking account.

My wife works -- self-employed -- but our marriage is dissolving, so we have spent the last couple of years trying to keep our finances separate.

Neither one of us can afford to buy the other out of his/her share of the yhouse's equity, so we live together in terse, slightly tense companionship.

I am perputally short of money at the end of a pay period.

I have a 401(k) -- underfunded, but it's there. (I also have two loans from it that I am paying back, so I can't depend on it for any short-term help at the moment).

I pay for the family's health insurance through work. I have life insurance so the family is protected financially if something happens to me.

I have no savings (I have a savings account, but there's 32 cents in it) and a checking account that it down to zero every two weeks.

I have about $7,000 in consumer credit (three cards) and a brand new car payment (I just replaced a 12-year-old car that had 180,000 miles on it).

I have a fair amount of deferred maintenance around the house. The basics are OK -- the roof is solid, the furnace is just a couple of years old.

But I can't do simple things like contemplate the $300 it will take to buy a new garbage disposal and get it installed. Or fix up the basement so the kids have a space away from the main floor to hang out with friends. My eldest will start college next fall and we have zero dollars saved for this.

So, that's where I've living now. It's a beautiful long fall weekend and I couldn't even contemplate a day trip out of town because I don't have the money for gas and wouldn't have any money to spend on things like food once we got out of town.

7 Responses to “Today is The First Day”

  1. JanH Says:

    Go onto the forums and ask questions about your budget and stuff. Those guys on there know their stuff. They can give you helpful hints on how to get started on getting back on track. They are really supportive, too. If nothing else, you won't be alone in this.

  2. contrary1 Says:

    Welcome to the fold here..............none of is a finished product, we're all working towards something (and many of us are working to get ourselves OUT of something) money wise. You're in familiar territory here! And, friendly too.

    Just pick a small goal, let us know (or not) what it is..........and start chugging along! Amazingly enough, that is the essence of most of the advice here. Just start. Something. Anything. It will begin to make a difference.

    Can't help you with the spouse bit. I do understand that particular fix however. I got rid of mine 20 years or so ago & have been making positive financial strides ever since. He was a definate liability.

    Best of luck, keep blogging here...............

  3. Ima saver Says:

    We are glad you have joined us. Don't give up, maybe you will find the advice you need right here. It is a great bunch of people.

  4. baselle Says:

    You've told us that you spend. Now tell us what you spend and how much. Its important to find the leaks or at least some places where you might be able to cut back. If nothing else, you should know where the money's going.

    It sounds like you have a common problem - you see your paycheck as a limit, what you have to spend for those two weeks. The trick is to set your limit quite a bit below. Smile Its such common advice that it sounds like "well duh", but it is the way.

  5. Thrifty Ray Says:

    Welcome. You have come to a very supportive place that will provide plenty of advice and opinions!

  6. Broken Arrow Says:

    Welcome!

    Wow, you sound like me right before my ex and I separated. Between the two of us, we had close to 300k worth of debt!

    Once the loans against your 401k is paid off, I strongly recommend that you never consider it as an option. Taking out junk loans like this is bad enough, but having it levied against your future? That's... terrible.

    Don't worry though. If you want to turn your financial ship around, you're in with the right crowd.

  7. Susan Says:

    I too have the best intentions when I receive my monthly paycheck and I honestly try to adhere to the "pay myself first" theory; however, there are the "little" things that creep up (not frivolous either) that really tick me off about this whole saving money thing or else I am not facing the bleak reality that there is just not enough money for all of my expenses/indebtedness. (Whew...with that being said, my goal is just to do the proverbial "hang in there" and try to enjoy the life that I have minus my financial situation.) I'm paying the minimum on the cards plus the finance charges and my overall credit score is very good and that blows me away considering my debt. But I've been inspired by the countless stories on sites such as this one and I don't feel so alone or hopeless anymore. I ride the bus, traded in my 2004 vehicle for a 1986 vehicle, moved into a cheaper apartment, don't purchase as many things for my daughters as I am inclined and basically, question everything for which I hand over cash or write a check. Also, I will get a part-time job to speed up the payback. I don't enjoy making money the focus of my life and that is now my ultimate challenge...to enjoy everyday without dwelling 24/7 on the cash flow. Thank you for sharing your stories, it truly helps to know that I am not alone.

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