Track all your spending to see where it goes.

My wife and I are in a similar situation. And I will be the first to admit that I don’t save as well as her. I purchase things that I want / need as well, and I do purchase things that I need for my computer consulting business. But that said, I do make good money but I’ve found out that our living expenses are fairly high.

After we got married I bought her a 2 year old Ford Explorer. The payments would be $380 a month. Didn’t seem like a big deal. She would have a safe vehicle to drive in the winter (We live in Canada where there is 500 feet of snow Eh!) and we would have a nice vehicle to drive on trips. I have a full size pickup and I don’t drive anything where my ass drags on the road.

The $380 I was okay with. The problem arose when I went to get insurance on it. My insurance jumped from $80 per month for her Cavalier and my F150 to $390 a month for my F150 and the Explorer. This was because of 1 at fault accident and 2 speeding tickets over 5 years.

It is costing me more to drive the Explorer than it is to buy it. I’m very aggravated about this, as the whole insurance business (in Canada anyways) is a complete farce.

Anyhoo, my suggestions are to use a debit card to buy everything. I get out $20 at the beginning of the week for coffee’s all week, and I pay debit for everything else. Lunch, movie rentals, all that crap.

I recommend sitting down every month and doing a written budget TOGETHER. decide Together where every dime is going before you spend it. Any extra MUST go to paying off debt.This is also a good time to stop using credit cards.Try it for 3 months and you will be amazed at how much less you spend.Tracking with Quicken is also a good idea. If you do this TOGETHER, he will never have to worry about where the money went. He will already know and also see that you have more than before.

My advice: purchase Quicken or MS Money (I only know about Quicken) and set up your accounts so you can track you spending by Categories. Then you can see exactly where your money is going, esp in the “Dining Out” and “Entertainment” categories. Do it for 3-6 months, you’ll be surprised how much money goes for non-essentials. And don’t forget to track cash ATM withdrawals! Good luck, you will find a lot of good advice at this group.

Other software is discussed in this video:

i have researched and found out even if i am sued they cannot garnish my wages in Pennsylvania.

i also know that they cannot put a lein on my house because in my state they cannot do that if both the husband and the wife own the house and the card was only in one name. thank goodness none of them were in both our names.

so in a way i feel safe but an still nervous some will sue before we settle because some are high amounts. did you go to court? i figured i will use you legal advice on line that you suggested but wait until they actually proceed, right now they are just threatening. any advice you have i would appreciate.

thanks, Alice

I am a single Mom of one great little boy…but what comes with that great little boy, are great expenses. I understand exactly where you are coming from. I sometimes ask myself the same things your husband asks you. I finally sat down and put it all on paper in black and white. I took 2 months and wrote down every single expense I had/have. Down to a pack of gum, just to see where it all goes.

It is amazing! You get tired of writing it all down, but a couple of things happened for me. I started paying a lot closer attention to the outgo and realized it would exceed my income before the 17th or 18th.

By month two, I made it to the 27th. Yeah for me!!! That little experiment helped me a great deal. Maybe you could make a list for your husband and you BOTH try this for 2 or 3 months. This might open his eyes a little bit. Im sorry you sound so frustrated. Like I said, I know where you are coming from 100%. You will be fine.

HI everyone, new here to the blog – so far so good. I am a wife, mother of 2, and working full time. Christmas just passed, and took quite a chunk of the finances, and a bunch of rainy day money had to also be spent on unforeseen expenses, like car repairs, etc. Not to mention the kid’s baptism and birthday parties. I was wondering if others also experience the husband asking them “I don’t understand how we got to this point, why the money isn’t stretching, and why we are such in the hole. I just don’t see where the money goes.”

I was wondering how other ladies/men handle this situation when your spouse says this.

I don’t know how else to explain that there is mortgage, car, utilities, water, garbage, old credit card debt from the past, everyday essentials, daycare, other kid’s birthday parties, etc. How do you explain it – it’s all in front of you? I am tempted to just let him handle all of the bills from this point on.

Is that a smart move? btw, should i remind him of the $3000 42″ widescreen that’s on finance, or the long lunches he goes to with friends, or the fantasy football money he spends, or all the toys that he purchases for our girls? I just don’t know!

A couple of my cards have aprox. 3 Interests Rates (Standard Purchase/Cash Adv./ Special). How do I have my payment applied to the highest interest balance? How do they determine where my payment goes?

Have had simular circumstances and by saving and comparing my most recent statements, I couldn’t help but notice my card applied the payment to the lowest interest rate first, therefore making more revenue for them.

Most of the time payments are applied to the earliest charges made on the account. This is the big reason credit card companies offer those super low rates on balance transfers since those are the balances that are first entered on the account. They are banking on you using that account for your regular credit purchases so they can collect the higher rate on those. They only way around this is to transfer the balance and then not use the account until the balance is paid off.

Hello:-) My name is Alice. I’m 26 yrs old, SAHM (2 yr old daughter). My hubby and I have a lot of credit card debt and some school loans. It’s tough to pay off. We’re doing okay though.

It just sometimes seems like it will take forever. Our hope is to have it paid off, have lots of savings, and never use a credit card again! We already don’t use them at all – we’re just trying to pay them off.

Just a week ago we were able to transfer all our credit cards over to one with a very low interest rate. It’s so exciting that we were able to do that!

Anyway, hope to meet you all and learn lots of new things.

It’s called “The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke”. It also explains why bankruptcy helps, and not hurts, the family (assuming your debt isn’t from overspending on luxuries or blowing it all on nonsense, compulsive debting etc, which statistically speaking is extremely rare). That is just a small part of it though.

All I have to say is PLEASE read it and do yourself a favor (heard about it from the Dr. Phil show, which I do not watch but someone told me about it). Right now it is a BARGAIN bok at amazon in hardcover for $6.99 (less than paperback!!), which is how I bought it. The link is below to read about it, at the bargain price.

I am new to the list, and thus far my mail bounced because of account probs at yahoo…but glad to be here. Have filed BR in the past.

I’m new to this blog, but having been trying to pay down debt for some time. It’s a slow process, but it works if you stick with it.

Deciding whether to do a 0% transfer or a fixed low rate transfer depends on how much debt you have and how long the low rate transfer is for. Some low rate transfers will charge a fee (say $50), but will keep that rate until the entire debt is paid off. For this type of transfer, make sure you DO NOT add more debt to the card. The company may also have a no fee transfer with a slightly higher rate. You’d have to decide which works best for you. As far as the 0% transfers go, find out how much the rate is after the promotion and see if you can negotiate that down as well. The 0% may be best if after 6-9 months, you can transfer back to your original card at a 0% rate.

Everything’s negotiable. Even if your old card doesn’t have a current promotion going, call them to see if they’ll give you one if you transfer the money back. It never hurts to ask. Good luck. Hope some of this helps.

Adam (hopefully credit card free in 1 year)