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Old 05-19-2009, 12:36 PM
 
133 posts, read 450,111 times
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Well, that will be my plan to get out of debt then, slack off on the 401k and get rid of that 0% credit card and HELOC.

Sorry, $325 a check times 26 paychecks.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:40 PM
 
413 posts, read 1,192,468 times
Reputation: 296
I got off the instant gratification ride. Here is what I did and am doing to get out of debt.

1. Wait to buy something to see if you really want it. Nine times out of ten it was an impulse buy.
2. Cook your own food and skip the restaurants and fast food. Pack your own lunch also saves money.
3. Get rid of smaller bills first. Send more than minimum on your credit cards even if it is just a couple of dollars.
4. If you can get rid of your car. I was in a car wreck and might not get another one. When I figured out what it cost monthly with payment, insurance, gas, etc it was insane. I can take that money and put it away for a trip somewhere. If I need a car I can rent one once in a while for the big shopping otherwise I will walk, ride a bicycle, or take public transportation.
5.Make do with what I have. My tv, dvd player etc are a few years old and they work great. I don't understand why people in America will toss out good things just because they aren't the latest. I know people who waste money on cell phones because they aren't the latest. Waste of money. Who cares if your clothes are a year or two old. It is time we get rid of this thinking that what other people think of you is so important. In Europe people keep things and seem to be very happy.
6. Instead of buying dvds, magazines, and books go to the library, Netflix and check for the magazines online. It is cheaper and you can use the money saved to pay a bill.
7. If possible, put money aside in a savings account. It is nice to have a cushion. I started out with $5 a month. It isn't much but it is a start.

The most important thing is to no be down on yourself for being in debt. Getting out is like being on a diet. It didn't pile on overnight and it won't disappear that fast either. Just take one step at a time and you will succeed. Being in debt doesn't mean you are a failure. You just fell into how this society has become. Rather than working and waiting to buy something, we have to have it now.
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:11 PM
 
133 posts, read 450,111 times
Reputation: 87
Default debt

...and I am on a diet as well...how appropriate!
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Old 05-19-2009, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
13,435 posts, read 42,908,992 times
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Sam, I doubt you will notice much effect to your paycheck by nixing your 401K contributions. If you have a match available, it's crazy to not contribute at least enough to max out the match.

I know you see the sum on your pay stub that's going into the 401K, but if you divert that to the check, Uncle Sugar gets a considerable share of it.

Backing my 401K contribution down to just what they will match would be my 2nd to last move in trying to raise cash. I would only nix the 401K entirely if things got unimaginably tight.

Just IMHO.

The 0% credit cards are great, I love to take advantage of these offers - *however* realize that, like fire, they are a dangerous servant and (potentially) a terrible master. That said I agree with Bevis that "Fire is coool, heh, heh!" Seriously you just have to stay on top of them, make at least the minimum payment immediately on receiving the bill, don't ever forget to pay...
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Old 05-19-2009, 06:02 PM
 
1,072 posts, read 1,645,251 times
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You should only contribute to your 401K up to the match. Once you do that, you can open a ROTH IRA that will give you a lot more diversification. Yes you have debt, but you should still think about your future. Do not make decisions based on the stock market condition of the day. That's going to put a lot of people in trouble. It's still important you think about your retirement.

The CC companies could raise your 0% interest rate at any time, so I would focus on paying that first. Make yourself a longterm plan to pay it off. Pay the minimum on all cards and pay extra on the card with the highest rate first, until you pay off the lowest rate.

This will take time and there's no magic pill to avoid debt. But you are young and are capable of this!! Congrats on saving on groceries and stopping eating out!
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:34 PM
 
133 posts, read 450,111 times
Reputation: 87
Default right now...

well, right I am so fed up with myself, I am tempted to ditch my cable and internet and slug it out with $17 basic cable and just go on the internet at work!

The 0% credit cards are nice, but when you miss a payment or get something mixed up, they nail ya!
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:18 PM
 
413 posts, read 1,192,468 times
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I am lucky that my apartment complex pays for basic cable which is fine with me. I don't know where you live SamNC but the cable company in my area Bright House has an internet service called Road Runner and it only costs $14.97 a month. I don't need a fancy internet provider. This gets me on and it has been working great.

I think the 0% credit cards are just a gimmick to suck people in. Make one late payment or go over your limit and bam your rate goes up. You have to read the small print. Now because of the economy, they are closing accounts of people who pay their bills on time or pay them off monthly. They want the people who are deeply in debt instead. I have one of those credit/debit card and that is fine with me. It keeps me from overspending.
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Old 05-19-2009, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,221 posts, read 4,660,620 times
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I highly recommend that you peruse Dave Ramsey's website (www.daveramsey.com) and if you get Fox Business news, watch his TV show. You can (and should, for a few weeks, anyway) stream his radio show from the site (also free).

He sells some books and seminars, but the advice he gives for free on his shows will give you 90% of the idea. His structured approach to digging out of debt is very good, especially gven how it pays important attention to the psychology involved in getting out of debt and then avoiding falling right back into the same bear trap.

I live a completely debt-free life, and I believe that nobody can be truly free when they wake up each day having to worry about how to serve their banksters masters.
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Old 05-24-2009, 06:59 PM
 
Location: In America's Heartland
929 posts, read 1,828,981 times
Reputation: 1173
I would temporarily suspend putting anything into your 401K until you can pay off all the unsecured debt. Then start putting money back into your 401K. It won't take long to get this cleaned up.
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:06 PM
 
1,956 posts, read 4,687,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debtmonger View Post
I would temporarily suspend putting anything into your 401K until you can pay off all the unsecured debt. Then start putting money back into your 401K. It won't take long to get this cleaned up.
I have to agree. Getting rid of the stress about the debt is probably worth far more than the potential tax increase (temporary) of diverting money from 401K contributions. I know pretty much all of my excess money is going into paying off unsecured debt right now.
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