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I'm submitting my financial future to the community here. My goal is to get out of debt as quickly as I can but without sacrificing everything that I find fun in my life.

This is what I feel is the important stats

I work 35 hours a week for a state agency. My pay right now is around 47K a year.

I have no car payment but my car is acting up and it may be time to replace it.
I share a house with family and pay $360 a month
My Car insurance is 160 a month.

I do not know what I spend on food
My cell phone plan is 122/month for a phone and a tablet

Phone plan is 450 minutes a month, with unlimited data, text, Mobile to Mobile , nights & weekends I use between 6 and 10 GIGABYTES a month on my phone. The contract will expire in July of 2013

Tablet Plan is 39.99 a month including insurance and 2 Gigabytes of data. I have never gone over the data allotment, The contract will end on this device in August 2015.


Out of my paycheck I pay the following pre-tax besides state, federal, fica, unemployment, family leave and disability taxes

122 a pay period into my pension.
8.90 a pay period for dental coverage
27.53 a pay period towards my health insurance
85.66 a pay period to a deferred compensation plan

The following are post tax charges each pay period

9.18 Insurance (not sure what it goes to but is mandatory)
21.12 Union Dues (mandatory)
8.00 United Way Donation (will end in 4 weeks)


My job does not offer an IRA or 401K but a Guaranteed Pension based on age and time of service. I am eligible to take a loan against my pension with a 5% interest rate. I believe the most I can borrow at this time is 5,000. Payments would be by payroll deduction.

I have about 1,400 in a rainy day fund, 16K in a self directed IRA that I had rolled over from a 401K at a prior job.

My fixed debts are as follows

Personal Loan for 10,126 at 10.99 % a month. Monthly payment is $250 a month

Here are my credit cards in owe/limit/rate

Card 1 1075/3000/12.24
Card 2 255/1000/0 until March
Card 3 469/2900/16.20
Card 4 958/3000/19.8
Card 5 1315/2200/22.99
Card 6 200/1000/21.99
Card 7 3955/5000/5.99
Card 8 2914/4000/5.99
Card 9 1185/15000/15.65
Card 10 3364/10000/9.99

It is difficult for me to find a second job because anything I apply for has to be approved my the state to see if there is a conflict of interest before I can start working. My car has 110k on it. Private value according to KBB is 7000. The car is starting to have problems again and if my mechanic believes it will be an expensive repair I am going to try to sell it and buy a new car.

My credit scores are between 680 and 720 depending on which scoring module is used. My mother will co-sign so I would get the best rate. I am considering a Rav4 which I know Toyota was offering 0% on. I don't know if they still are.

I rarely go to the movies, I do go to a comedy club often, Tickets vary between 20 and 35 for the show plus a two item minimum. My bill for the two items is normally around 9.00. If the bill is under 15 I will tip 80-100% on it. I do get some "perks" at the club which are important to me. I believe that the tips I give are one of the reason I get the perks I have.

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
Also has "family" that's not blood. Can you describe how not-quite-uncle got into this family? This thread should be i... (more)

naas (Nov. 30, 2012 @ 2:38p) |

Did you figure out where your money is going yet? Have you gone further in or out of debt since you started this thread?... (more)

Rewdog (Dec. 10, 2012 @ 8:25p) |

He won't go further into debt, cause mommy and daddy will take care of it.

suezyque (Dec. 10, 2012 @ 9:21p) |

OP has $15,690 in Credit Card debt, seemingly distributed to keep most cards under 30% of limit, but a few approach 80% usage. Of the credit card debt, about 2,500 is in cards with interest rates >19%
Has a personal loan of 10,126 outstanding with nearly 11% interest rate.

Between rent, car insurance, various contracts with phone/tablet, and various employment benefits charges the OP spends $916/month. Utilities, food, unknown.
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what the hell is a tablet plan? why don't you just tether to your phone?

A personal loan and 10cc all with balances on them is classic living beyond your means

You need to cut down expenses to the bone - here you are thinking about getting a new car and more debt !! The ibjanky thread involved selling the car to pay down debts . Are you willing to sacrifice ?

There are two strategies to the actual pay down of the loans - paying off the highest interest rate cards first saves the most money , but it is easier to pay off the small balance cards first which may give you psychological motivation to continue ...but before you starting paying anything down you need to stop spending

SIS beat me to it! You spend way too much money (and probably don't know on what). Your car may need 1 expensive repair so you want to avoid paying for it by spending $30k on a new car. You sign contracts for ridiculously long periods of time - was it three years with the tablet?

You need to start tracking your spending. You can't afford your current lifestyle regardless of how you feel about that fact.

10 cards with balances and you have a fancy cell phone plan with tablet?

You are living way above your means. Also your insurance at $160/month seems high. The last thing you need is a new car payment. You need to cut spending drastically and knock out your debt ASAP.

Verizon does not allow tethering if you have an unlimited data plan. If I tethered and was caught I would risk having my plan canceled and be charged an ETF.

MannyL08753 said:   Verizon does not allow tethering if you have an unlimited data plan. If I tethered and was caught I would risk having my plan canceled and be charged an ETF.
Stop justifying and start cutting spending . You're not going to accomplish your goals by defending your spending .

You had no business buying a cell and tablet with cell access you couldn't afford in the first place .

MannyL08753 said:   Verizon does not allow tethering if you have an unlimited data plan. If I tethered and was caught I would risk having my plan canceled and be charged an ETF.

Your about 5 months late to the party...

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57484000-38/verizon-to-pay-$1.25m-fcc-fine-forced-to-allow-tethering-apps/

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   A personal loan and 10cc all with balances on them is classic living beyond your means

You need to cut down expenses to the bone - here you are thinking about getting a new car and more debt !! The ibjanky thread involved selling the car to pay down debts . Are you willing to sacrifice ?

There are two strategies to the actual pay down of the loans - paying off the highest interest rate cards first saves the most money , but it is easier to pay off the small balance cards first which may give you psychological motivation to continue ...but before you starting paying anything down you need to stop spending


Yes I agree I have been living beyond my means. that is why I'm asking for help here because I know the community won't sugar coat anything and won't tell me what I want to hear versus what I need to hear.

I am willing to make some sacrifices but I will not sell my car and I will not give up comedy shows entirely. I would cut back to one show a month instead three to five that I've been going to in the past.

I know I need to stop spending and increase my income. As a state employee I can not negotiate for more money so to increase my income I would have to find a job that is not considered a conflict of interest. Something I could do from home would be best. If I could make an extra 500 a month that would have a huge impact.

Quikboy4 said:   SIS beat me to it! You spend way too much money (and probably don't know on what). Your car may need 1 expensive repair so you want to avoid paying for it by spending $30k on a new car. You sign contracts for ridiculously long periods of time - was it three years with the tablet?

You need to start tracking your spending. You can't afford your current lifestyle regardless of how you feel about that fact.


No it's a two year contract on the tablet. I was not going to spend 30K on a car. I'm looking at 23K before anything for my trade in.

My rationalization is it is better to trade in the car now and get 7K so I would have a total down-payment of 8K on the car than to risk the car only being worth scrap. It's a 2009 Pontiac Vibe which is the same as the Matrix.
SUCKISSTAPLES said:   MannyL08753 said:   Verizon does not allow tethering if you have an unlimited data plan. If I tethered and was caught I would risk having my plan canceled and be charged an ETF.
Stop justifying and start cutting spending . You're not going to accomplish your goals by defending your spending .

You had no business buying a cell and tablet with cell access you couldn't afford in the first place .


SUCKISSTAPLES you are right I had no business buying the tablet when I had outstanding credit card debt. I admit that. It may make more financial sense to pay the ETF on the tablet and not have the 39.99 a month expense on it

It's 2012 now, right? How does the tablet contract end in 2015? Or was that a mistake?

Your rationalization is a HUGE part of your problem. There's always a reason to spend money, if you look for it.

rlaw said:   MannyL08753 said:   Verizon does not allow tethering if you have an unlimited data plan. If I tethered and was caught I would risk having my plan canceled and be charged an ETF.

Your about 5 months late to the party...

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57484000-38/verizon-to-pay-$1.25m-fcc-fine-forced-to-allow-tethering-apps/


From the link you provided (bolding mine)

Under the agreement, a Verizon representative said that the company will allow all customers with a tiered data plan, whether they have a 3G smartphone or a 4G smartphone, to subscribe to a third party app that enables free tethering. The company said customers may also still choose to subscribe to Verizon's Mobile Broadband Connect service if they still have an older plan and they want a separate bucket of data for their smartphone and the devices that they tether to the service. But if they do not want to subscribe to the Mobile Broadband Connect service, they are not required to do so. And if they are already subscribed they may cancel their service with no penalty.
But the situation is different for customers with grandfathered unlimited data plans. According to the consent decree "customers on unlimited usage plans must continue to pay an additional fee to tether their devices."
New customers won't have to worry about this at all. Verizon recently changed its service plan pricing to include the tethering capability at no additional charge. So for new customers, this should not be an issue. But existing customers can still choose from older service plans, and therefore now existing customers can keep those old plans and still download an app that will allow them to tether their device without being charged a fee to do so.

MannyL08753 said:   Verizon does not allow tethering if you have an unlimited data plan. If I tethered and was caught I would risk having my plan canceled and be charged an ETF.

I was referring to this part about cancelling a contract and being charged an ETF, the most they can do is charge you a tethering fee. (Although even this fee is unlikely)

Wouldn't you rather pay the tethering fee than have a separate contract?

More to the point, my initial post was just making fun of your extravagant lifestyle. I can't believe your actually defending the need for 2 separate data plans.

What is so important that you need data on your tablet? Cancel it, pay the ETF and sell it on eBay offset the fee. The ETF is way cheaper than paying $1,300+ over the next few years.

Download Mint to your smartphone and track all purchases for a month. Keep on top of it and classify all the transactions so you can figure out what you are spending thousands a month on. Then create a budget to stop spending beyond your means and get rid of that crazy debt. Also build a savings amount into your debt payoff for when you car breaks. Spending $30k on a new car to avoid $1500 in repairs is crazy.

Also, ready the IBJANKY thread for someone else who took control of their money instead of letting money control them. On the upside, you aren't posting a sob story about being underwater in a $600,000 house while making $50k/yr and sending 4 kids to private school. You just have some sloppy spending habits and manageable debt. If you follow the advice of FWF you will have this cleaned up in no time and setup some goals to buy stuff without payments.

Quikboy4 said:   It's 2012 now, right? How does the tablet contract end in 2015? Or was that a mistake?

Your rationalization is a HUGE part of your problem. There's always a reason to spend money, if you look for it.


That was a mistake on my typing.

I just called my wireless carrier and was told that the contract on the phone ends on 06/30/201 and the tablet contract ends 05/28/2014. The ETF of the tablet is 300.00 So I could cancel the tablet now and pay the equivalent of 7 months of service on the tablet. If I then sell the tablet I could get back part of the ETF. It's a Galaxy Tab 10.1

you have 15,690 owed on credit cards, a total debt of a little over 25K. You have very little saved for retirement, and when you consider your debt, you essentially have nothing saved for retirement.How old are you, and how do you expect to retire?

Given these circumstances, you should *not* buy a new car - either keep the car or sell it and get a cheaper used car.

rlaw said:   MannyL08753 said:   Verizon does not allow tethering if you have an unlimited data plan. If I tethered and was caught I would risk having my plan canceled and be charged an ETF.

I was referring to this part about cancelling a contract and being charged an ETF, the most they can do is charge you a tethering fee. (Although even this fee is unlikely)

Wouldn't you rather pay the tethering fee than have a separate contract?

More to the point, my initial post was just making fun of your extravagant lifestyle. I can't believe your actually defending the need for 2 separate data plans.


I can't defend the need for two data plans. The Verizon rep told me flat out that with the unlimited data plan there is no option to add tethering to it even with a fee. If I could have done that my friend would have given me a using IPAD then I could have turned my phone into an access point.

soundtechie said:   you have 15,690 owed on credit cards, a total debt of a little over 25K. You have very little saved for retirement, and when you consider your debt, you essentially have nothing saved for retirement.How old are you, and how do you expect to retire?

Given these circumstances, you should *not* buy a new car - either keep the car or sell it and get a cheaper used car.


I'm 38 and unless the state changes it's regulations I can retire at 58 and have a pension. The pension I believe is based on the highest three of the last five years. I expect to work until I'm 70 and I don't expect to go back to the private sector.

MannyL08753 said:   I can't defend the need for two data plans. The Verizon rep told me flat out that with the unlimited data plan there is no option to add tethering to it even with a fee. If I could have done that my friend would have given me a using IPAD then I could have turned my phone into an access point.

I think this is getting off topic, so this will be my last post with regard to the tablet.

You don't ask for the capability to tether, not to the people who have incentive to sell you a separate plan anyways.

You just do it. Its already in most phones. You just buy a phone that has the capability. If they later on catch you, you pay the tethering fee.

How do you go about tethering? Well that is a question for a different message board more related to your phone.

Nummerkins said:   What is so important that you need data on your tablet? Cancel it, pay the ETF and sell it on eBay offset the fee. The ETF is way cheaper than paying $1,300+ over the next few years.

Download Mint to your smartphone and track all purchases for a month. Keep on top of it and classify all the transactions so you can figure out what you are spending thousands a month on. Then create a budget to stop spending beyond your means and get rid of that crazy debt. Also build a savings amount into your debt payoff for when you car breaks. Spending $30k on a new car to avoid $1500 in repairs is crazy.

Also, ready the IBJANKY thread for someone else who took control of their money instead of letting money control them. On the upside, you aren't posting a sob story about being underwater in a $600,000 house while making $50k/yr and sending 4 kids to private school. You just have some sloppy spending habits and manageable debt. If you follow the advice of FWF you will have this cleaned up in no time and setup some goals to buy stuff without payments.


I will read the IBJANKY thread. I know my spending has gotten me where I am and I know by controlling my spending I can get out. I will install Mint and use it. If I could find an honest work from home job I would take it.

rlaw said:   MannyL08753 said:   I can't defend the need for two data plans. The Verizon rep told me flat out that with the unlimited data plan there is no option to add tethering to it even with a fee. If I could have done that my friend would have given me a using IPAD then I could have turned my phone into an access point.

I think this is getting off topic, so this will be my last post with regard to the tablet.

You don't ask for the capability to tether, not to the people who have incentive to sell you a separate plan anyways.

You just do it. Its already in most phones. You just buy a phone that has the capability. If they later on catch you, you pay the tethering fee.

How do you go about tethering? Well that is a question for a different message board more related to your phone.


Because Tethering is really not the issue here, if I try to turn on tethering my phone says I have to call my carrier. I know there are apps I can install to allow me to use my phone as a hot-spot and supposedly my carrier will not know.

I have to get the mindset that closing the line and paying the $300.00 ETF in one payment will allow me to get out of debt quicker in the long run.

This is obviously someone who just wants to hear what he wants to hear. He came her to get justification and approval not real advice. Happens all the time. I suggest not feeding him.

MannyL08753 said:   

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   A personal loan and 10cc all with balances on them is classic living beyond your means

You need to cut down expenses to the bone - here you are thinking about getting a new car and more debt !! The ibjanky thread involved selling the car to pay down debts . Are you willing to sacrifice ?

There are two strategies to the actual pay down of the loans - paying off the highest interest rate cards first saves the most money , but it is easier to pay off the small balance cards first which may give you psychological motivation to continue ...but before you starting paying anything down you need to stop spending


Yes I agree I have been living beyond my means. that is why I'm asking for help here because I know the community won't sugar coat anything and won't tell me what I want to hear versus what I need to hear.
I am willing to make some sacrifices but I will not sell my car and I will not give up comedy shows entirely. I would cut back to one show a month instead three to five that I've been going to in the past.

I know I need to stop spending and increase my income.

You already have $25k in debt and you are rationalizing taking out $15-20k for a new car.

We can't help you because you aren't helping yourself

Currently working 35 hours a week - Are you a salary or hourly employee? Is there any possibility of increasing your hours to 40/week to gross an additional $6k+ per year? If not, have you considered working a part time job somewhere in the 133 hours per week that you're not at your primary one?

Paying $1,920 per year for car insurance...but your car is "acting up", so I'm assuming it's not a fancy, brand new import. Where do you live (rhetorical question)? I used to live in NJ (typically some of the highest car insurance in the country) and never paid nearly that much for liability only. Are you sure that you're not over-insured relative to the vehicle that you own?

Time to show us your budget where we can see where you're sending all your money.

dbond79 said:   Currently working 35 hours a week - Are you a salary or hourly employee? Is there any possibility of increasing your hours to 40/week to gross an additional $6k+ per year? If not, have you considered working a part time job somewhere in the 133 hours per week that you're not at your primary one?

Paying $1,920 per year for car insurance...but your car is "acting up", so I'm assuming it's not a fancy, brand new import. Where do you live (rhetorical question)? I used to live in NJ (typically some of the highest car insurance in the country) and never paid nearly that much for liability only. Are you sure that you're not over-insured relative to the vehicle that you own?


Salary. If there is overtime I do work it. Part time jobs are difficult because they have to be "approved" by someone in Trenton because of the potential for conflict of interest. This has prevented me from taking some part time jobs that needed me to start immediately. My car insurance is paid over 9 months not 12. I now realize I didn't include that information. I have liability & comprehensive on my car. It's a 2009 Vibe with 110K miles on it.

Do you have a lot of tickets and/or accidents? $1920/yr seems awfully high, I insure 3 vehicles for little over half that (albeit I own them outright and don't carry collision). I would definitely shop around.

You also said you don't know what you spend on food, and you likely don't know what you spend on a lot of miscellaneous items either. You need to track your expenses for at least a month, and record every single thing. Then you can take a look at everything as a whole as to where your money is going, and I'll be there will be some surprises. Food will likely be a major one, but luckily it is one of the easiest to get a hold on if you're willing to be serious about all of this. You're not going to get out of this by only trimming your fixed expenses a little, the math points to the problem being in the expenses not listed in the OP.

Also, do not buy a new car. You can not afford it and will get knocked further down the hole. If you want to sell your current one then you need to buy a cheaper one.

kamalktk said:   Time to show us your budget where we can see where you're sending all your money.

I don't have a budget but I will go over my online bill payments for the last 3 months and see if I can compile something for the outgo of money.

1. Your car insurance is way too expensive. The first thing you need to do is go get at least 10 quotes for auto insurance, you should be able to save at least half of that.

2. I would take the personal loan against the pension and pay off the highest interest debt you can. As a bonus, you will be "paying yourself first" in that you'll never see the money that comes out via payroll deduction.

3. You need to do some math and accept some things. The comedy shows that you have been going to are costing you at least $150 a month (if not twice that). You could have paid off most of the small amount debts above if you gave those up. I also am guessing that you are fooling yourself when you say you only spend $9-15 on food/tip. Here's your new comedy show plan. Every time you mark a debt off above, pay for a major car repair *in cash*, cut a major spending item (selling the tablet, whatever), you go to a comedy show. That's the only time you do. Get Netflix and get your comedy fix there.

4. You say your credit is great, any chance you can get some cars with 0% BT offers and get the interest you're paying down?

5. The car is an issue, find out what the "expensive fix" is and determine if it is worth it or not. $600 might be an "expensive fix" which will also be a month and a half of Rav4 payments.

6. You say that you can't get a job, so try and get a hobby that makes money. For example, selling eBay items from garage sales, Amazon mechanical turk, mowing lawns. The first $250/month of money you're able to make elsewhere goes against debt. Anything after that, take to the comedy club if you feel so led.

umcsom said:   This is obviously someone who just wants to hear what he wants to hear. He came her to get justification and approval not real advice. Happens all the time. I suggest not feeding him.

I disagree with this - and I think this is an important distinction. You are seeing residual defensiveness of someone who knows they need to change, but they don't want to give up anything - and remember - for every one person who posts with this story who works up the courage to do so (especially anyone not using an Alt-ID) - there are 8-10 more in the same boat - but afraid to post. This serves an educational purpose.

I think something you could agree to - and this would be the test if you want to change or not - would be your comedy clubs. Someone gave you the advice of finding ways to make extra money - and putting that to the Comedy Club. That is exactly what you should do.

I love to travel - and we are working our way out of debt - and we've pretty much climbed the mountain and we're rolling downhill. We don't use money out of our budget to travel - not 1 cent - I have to work extra for traveling money. Therefore, I sell sports tickets, I do book reviews, I do mystery shopping, I write test keys for publishers - and on the back end - I look for travel deals - try to use networking (had a friend of a friend who works at Disney who could get us in free for a day) - to do what we want to do until which time we are debt free and can throw down 8k on airplane tickets and not care.

If you don't let yourself go to comedy clubs unless you can earn the extra money somehow - donating plasma, having a garage sale, selling stuff on E-Bay, buying Boo Berry cereal for fun or profit - it might fix this "I can't because I'm handcuffed" attitude and start figuring out ways you can. If going to comedy clubs are important to you - and you have the self-determination to only allow yourself that trip with money above and beyond your salary - you might find yourself very motivated to get that $25 dollars for the comedy club that week.

There will be colleagues of mine on here who will tell you that you shouldn't do it at all until you're out of debt - I disagree with that - because in essence, by working above and beyond your 35 hour budget - you have earned some benefits. But I don't think you've earned the benefits anymore with your government paycheck until you've balanced the budget, in essence.

You owe a lot and it is no laughing matter...
Still you go to comedy club and it is a laughing matter...

MannyL08753 said:   rlaw said:   MannyL08753 said:   Verizon does not allow tethering if you have an unlimited data plan. If I tethered and was caught I would risk having my plan canceled and be charged an ETF.

I was referring to this part about cancelling a contract and being charged an ETF, the most they can do is charge you a tethering fee. (Although even this fee is unlikely)

Wouldn't you rather pay the tethering fee than have a separate contract?

More to the point, my initial post was just making fun of your extravagant lifestyle. I can't believe your actually defending the need for 2 separate data plans.


I can't defend the need for two data plans. The Verizon rep told me flat out that with the unlimited data plan there is no option to add tethering to it even with a fee. If I could have done that my friend would have given me a using IPAD then I could have turned my phone into an access point.


Since when do reps know what they are talking about?

MannyL08753 said:   Nummerkins said:   What is so important that you need data on your tablet? Cancel it, pay the ETF and sell it on eBay offset the fee. The ETF is way cheaper than paying $1,300+ over the next few years.

Download Mint to your smartphone and track all purchases for a month. Keep on top of it and classify all the transactions so you can figure out what you are spending thousands a month on. Then create a budget to stop spending beyond your means and get rid of that crazy debt. Also build a savings amount into your debt payoff for when you car breaks. Spending $30k on a new car to avoid $1500 in repairs is crazy.

Also, ready the IBJANKY thread for someone else who took control of their money instead of letting money control them. On the upside, you aren't posting a sob story about being underwater in a $600,000 house while making $50k/yr and sending 4 kids to private school. You just have some sloppy spending habits and manageable debt. If you follow the advice of FWF you will have this cleaned up in no time and setup some goals to buy stuff without payments.


I will read the IBJANKY thread. I know my spending has gotten me where I am and I know by controlling my spending I can get out. I will install Mint and use it. If I could find an honest work from home job I would take it.


You are looking for ways to increase income when you can easily cut back on expenses to accomplish the same less for less work.

MannyL08753 said:   dbond79 said:   Currently working 35 hours a week - Are you a salary or hourly employee? Is there any possibility of increasing your hours to 40/week to gross an additional $6k+ per year? If not, have you considered working a part time job somewhere in the 133 hours per week that you're not at your primary one?

Paying $1,920 per year for car insurance...but your car is "acting up", so I'm assuming it's not a fancy, brand new import. Where do you live (rhetorical question)? I used to live in NJ (typically some of the highest car insurance in the country) and never paid nearly that much for liability only. Are you sure that you're not over-insured relative to the vehicle that you own?


Salary. If there is overtime I do work it. Part time jobs are difficult because they have to be "approved" by someone in Trenton because of the potential for conflict of interest. This has prevented me from taking some part time jobs that needed me to start immediately. My car insurance is paid over 9 months not 12. I now realize I didn't include that information. I have liability & comprehensive on my car. It's a 2009 Vibe with 110K miles on it.

Ok, that's starting to make sense. The fact that you're in NJ and the car insurance is actually $1,440 per year sounds closer to reasonable, relatively speaking, for liability and comprehensive, but it couldn't hurt to get some competitive quotes just to be sure. Also, the car's only 3 - 4 years old. I think you need to recognize that your finances preclude you from being the type of person that gets a new car every 3 - 4 years. Make friends with a trustworthy, reliable mechanic. And I say that with all seriousness. I still don't splurge much on vehicles, but I used to drive straight up beaters and having a good mechanic saved my butt more than a few times.

On the part time job situation, are you saying that these prospective employers told you they were not willing to wait until Trenton responded to your request, or did you decide on your own that it wasn't worth the effort to find out? If you really want to dig out of this hole, you need to stop taking the path of least resistance. If the state is only giving you 35 hours per week, typically, I can't imagine that they would deny any reasonable request to work a second job. Hell, I knew cops in Jersey that worked part time at bars. I can't think of many situations that could lend themselves to conflicts of interest more than that.

He probably gets booty from girls at the comedy club "aka perks" so my advice is not to cut down at all on that

There is no need or reason for the car though

He should sell his current car for $7000 and get a $2000 beater with cheap liability only insurance . That's what ibjanky did

A new car is simply not in the budget

I'm horrible with math, but by my calculations you are using over 30% of your available credit, just in your CC debt. That's high, too high. Getting a new car when you already owe so much isn't a good idea and using Mom as a co-signer is an even worse idea. Pay down your debt and stand on your own too feet. Fix the car and work on the debt by NOT spending money you can't afford to spend.
You drive a lot. 110K on a 3 year old car is A LOT of miles. That's over 36K/yr......Why so many?

mwa423 said:   1. Your car insurance is way too expensive. The first thing you need to do is go get at least 10 quotes for auto insurance, you should be able to save at least half of that.

2. I would take the personal loan against the pension and pay off the highest interest debt you can. As a bonus, you will be "paying yourself first" in that you'll never see the money that comes out via payroll deduction.

3. You need to do some math and accept some things. The comedy shows that you have been going to are costing you at least $150 a month (if not twice that). You could have paid off most of the small amount debts above if you gave those up. I also am guessing that you are fooling yourself when you say you only spend $9-15 on food/tip. Here's your new comedy show plan. Every time you mark a debt off above, pay for a major car repair *in cash*, cut a major spending item (selling the tablet, whatever), you go to a comedy show. That's the only time you do. Get Netflix and get your comedy fix there.

4. You say your credit is great, any chance you can get some cars with 0% BT offers and get the interest you're paying down?

5. The car is an issue, find out what the "expensive fix" is and determine if it is worth it or not. $600 might be an "expensive fix" which will also be a month and a half of Rav4 payments.

6. You say that you can't get a job, so try and get a hobby that makes money. For example, selling eBay items from garage sales, Amazon mechanical turk, mowing lawns. The first $250/month of money you're able to make elsewhere goes against debt. Anything after that, take to the comedy club if you feel so led.


1) I just went to NJM to view my policy my yearly total is 1,306 I pay from April to December and then for three months I don't pay anything. Depending on how much money the insurance company earns I get a dividend check back.
Policy Coverages
Liability Limit $300,000
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Limit (UM/UIM) $300,000
Lawsuit Option Limitation on Lawsuit
Primary Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Provider Health Insurance Provider
PIP Medical Limit $250,000
PIP Deductible $250
PIP Option Extra PIP
Increased Non-Medical Option (PIP Higher Limits) 07: $600/week ($62,400 Max) | $20/day ($14,600 Max)
Extended Medical Expense Coverage (Medical Payments) $10,000

My deductible for Comphrensive and Collission are 500 each

2) That is something that I've been considering but many people have talked me out of it. I do feel that if I'm already seeing the money go out of my bank to pay the bill it's the same as if it never went into my bank. I am going to talk to HR about the loan.

3) I usually get a coffee and a bottle of water. I had gastric surgery earlier in the year so I don't generally eat food when I'm out because I'm limited in my portions. Water is $3.00 for a bottle and coffee is $2.50 I did forget to take into account parting which runs $4.00 to $8.00 depending on how long I'm at the club for. I can skip your suggestion of Netflix because I have Amazon Prime.

4) I never said my credit weas grat. I said it's 680-719 depending on the report. That's considered good. I've tried to apply for some new lines to balance transfer my existing accounts to but I've been turned down due to both utilization and inquiries. I'm not going to apply for new credit cards for three to four months.

5)If the fix is $600 it's not an expensive fix. If it's more than 1200 then to me it will be an expensive fix and the question becomes what will the next fix cost? Other than oil changes and normal maintenance I've put in less than 1300 in repairs.

6) I will look into mechanical turk and I know this is going to sound like an excuse but the garage sales are few now due to the weather. I could look on Craigs List for free items that may be worth selling then put them on eBay.

Horseymen said:   umcsom said:   This is obviously someone who just wants to hear what he wants to hear. He came her to get justification and approval not real advice. Happens all the time. I suggest not feeding him.

I disagree with this - and I think this is an important distinction. You are seeing residual defensiveness of someone who knows they need to change, but they don't want to give up anything - and remember - for every one person who posts with this story who works up the courage to do so (especially anyone not using an Alt-ID) - there are 8-10 more in the same boat - but afraid to post. This serves an educational purpose.

I think something you could agree to - and this would be the test if you want to change or not - would be your comedy clubs. Someone gave you the advice of finding ways to make extra money - and putting that to the Comedy Club. That is exactly what you should do.

I love to travel - and we are working our way out of debt - and we've pretty much climbed the mountain and we're rolling downhill. We don't use money out of our budget to travel - not 1 cent - I have to work extra for traveling money. Therefore, I sell sports tickets, I do book reviews, I do mystery shopping, I write test keys for publishers - and on the back end - I look for travel deals - try to use networking (had a friend of a friend who works at Disney who could get us in free for a day) - to do what we want to do until which time we are debt free and can throw down 8k on airplane tickets and not care.

If you don't let yourself go to comedy clubs unless you can earn the extra money somehow - donating plasma, having a garage sale, selling stuff on E-Bay, buying Boo Berry cereal for fun or profit - it might fix this "I can't because I'm handcuffed" attitude and start figuring out ways you can. If going to comedy clubs are important to you - and you have the self-determination to only allow yourself that trip with money above and beyond your salary - you might find yourself very motivated to get that $25 dollars for the comedy club that week.

There will be colleagues of mine on here who will tell you that you shouldn't do it at all until you're out of debt - I disagree with that - because in essence, by working above and beyond your 35 hour budget - you have earned some benefits. But I don't think you've earned the benefits anymore with your government paycheck until you've balanced the budget, in essence.


If I wanted people to tell me what I wanted to hear I never would have posted here. What I want and am getting are hard and direct answers to help me realize my situation. I know that some people have advised me to go back to school to get a degree so I can have more options for advancement. I don't want to do that because I don't want to take on the additional debt for something that I can't guarantee won't make me more money.

dbond79 said:   MannyL08753 said:   dbond79 said:   Currently working 35 hours a week - Are you a salary or hourly employee? Is there any possibility of increasing your hours to 40/week to gross an additional $6k+ per year? If not, have you considered working a part time job somewhere in the 133 hours per week that you're not at your primary one?

Paying $1,920 per year for car insurance...but your car is "acting up", so I'm assuming it's not a fancy, brand new import. Where do you live (rhetorical question)? I used to live in NJ (typically some of the highest car insurance in the country) and never paid nearly that much for liability only. Are you sure that you're not over-insured relative to the vehicle that you own?


Salary. If there is overtime I do work it. Part time jobs are difficult because they have to be "approved" by someone in Trenton because of the potential for conflict of interest. This has prevented me from taking some part time jobs that needed me to start immediately. My car insurance is paid over 9 months not 12. I now realize I didn't include that information. I have liability & comprehensive on my car. It's a 2009 Vibe with 110K miles on it.

Ok, that's starting to make sense. The fact that you're in NJ and the car insurance is actually $1,440 per year sounds closer to reasonable, relatively speaking, for liability and comprehensive, but it couldn't hurt to get some competitive quotes just to be sure. Also, the car's only 3 - 4 years old. I think you need to recognize that your finances preclude you from being the type of person that gets a new car every 3 - 4 years. Make friends with a trustworthy, reliable mechanic. And I say that with all seriousness. I still don't splurge much on vehicles, but I used to drive straight up beaters and having a good mechanic saved my butt more than a few times.

On the part time job situation, are you saying that these prospective employers told you they were not willing to wait until Trenton responded to your request, or did you decide on your own that it wasn't worth the effort to find out? If you really want to dig out of this hole, you need to stop taking the path of least resistance. If the state is only giving you 35 hours per week, typically, I can't imagine that they would deny any reasonable request to work a second job. Hell, I knew cops in Jersey that worked part time at bars. I can't think of many situations that could lend themselves to conflicts of interest more than that.


I've applied at a few seasonal jobs and have been told they need me to start by date X and I'd told them that I can't guarantee that I will be able to because I need to get clearance. I work for the Department Of Labor and have seen co-workers not been given the approval because of conflicts. In the past I worked a seasonal job for a holiday store in the mall but had to leave due to a personal conflict between me and another employee who is a family member of the regional manager so that job will not hire me back this year.

I normally run my cars into the ground. My last car was destroyed in an accident (not my fault) and I had to purchase a new car before I was "ready". I do have a good mechanic and his advise is that if the computer fails again to replace the car. My symptoms are just like they were a few months before the computer failed the last time.

MannyL08753 said:   mwa423 said:   1. Your car insurance is way too expensive. The first thing you need to do is go get at least 10 quotes for auto insurance, you should be able to save at least half of that.

2. I would take the personal loan against the pension and pay off the highest interest debt you can. As a bonus, you will be "paying yourself first" in that you'll never see the money that comes out via payroll deduction.

3. You need to do some math and accept some things. The comedy shows that you have been going to are costing you at least $150 a month (if not twice that). You could have paid off most of the small amount debts above if you gave those up. I also am guessing that you are fooling yourself when you say you only spend $9-15 on food/tip. Here's your new comedy show plan. Every time you mark a debt off above, pay for a major car repair *in cash*, cut a major spending item (selling the tablet, whatever), you go to a comedy show. That's the only time you do. Get Netflix and get your comedy fix there.

4. You say your credit is great, any chance you can get some cars with 0% BT offers and get the interest you're paying down?

5. The car is an issue, find out what the "expensive fix" is and determine if it is worth it or not. $600 might be an "expensive fix" which will also be a month and a half of Rav4 payments.

6. You say that you can't get a job, so try and get a hobby that makes money. For example, selling eBay items from garage sales, Amazon mechanical turk, mowing lawns. The first $250/month of money you're able to make elsewhere goes against debt. Anything after that, take to the comedy club if you feel so led.


1) I just went to NJM to view my policy my yearly total is 1,306 I pay from April to December and then for three months I don't pay anything. Depending on how much money the insurance company earns I get a dividend check back.
Policy Coverages
Liability Limit $300,000
Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists Limit (UM/UIM) $300,000
Lawsuit Option Limitation on Lawsuit
Primary Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Provider Health Insurance Provider
PIP Medical Limit $250,000
PIP Deductible $250
PIP Option Extra PIP
Increased Non-Medical Option (PIP Higher Limits) 07: $600/week ($62,400 Max) | $20/day ($14,600 Max)
Extended Medical Expense Coverage (Medical Payments) $10,000

My deductible for Comphrensive and Collission are 500 each

2) That is something that I've been considering but many people have talked me out of it. I do feel that if I'm already seeing the money go out of my bank to pay the bill it's the same as if it never went into my bank. I am going to talk to HR about the loan.

3) I usually get a coffee and a bottle of water. I had gastric surgery earlier in the year so I don't generally eat food when I'm out because I'm limited in my portions. Water is $3.00 for a bottle and coffee is $2.50 I did forget to take into account parting which runs $4.00 to $8.00 depending on how long I'm at the club for. I can skip your suggestion of Netflix because I have Amazon Prime.

4) I never said my credit weas grat. I said it's 680-719 depending on the report. That's considered good. I've tried to apply for some new lines to balance transfer my existing accounts to but I've been turned down due to both utilization and inquiries. I'm not going to apply for new credit cards for three to four months.

5)If the fix is $600 it's not an expensive fix. If it's more than 1200 then to me it will be an expensive fix and the question becomes what will the next fix cost? Other than oil changes and normal maintenance I've put in less than 1300 in repairs.

6) I will look into mechanical turk and I know this is going to sound like an excuse but the garage sales are few now due to the weather. I could look on Craigs List for free items that may be worth selling then put them on eBay.


1. So, where are the 10 quotes I suggested you get. Let me give you some links: www.progressive.com www.geico.com www.esurance.com www.allstate.com, I'm sure you can figure out the rest. I'm not familiar enough with insurers in NJ to go further, but in my own personal experience, I literally cut my car insurance 40% this year for the exact same coverage going from Allstate to Geico.

2. What are the downsides of the pension loan? if you can give me a downside of 5% interest vs. 21% interest, I would love to hear it. It sounds like you're listening to the wrong people. It's possible there are other fees and issues, but you haven't told us about that. Using your math, you will be able to overnight wipe out Cards 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9 (give or take $200). If you think it's easier to balance 6 more cards at varying interest rates versus one at 5%, be our guest.

4. Your credit (depending on report) is "average" to "above average/decent". Sure, it's not great but it will improve as you start paying these off. It isn't a bad idea to apply for a chase slate or something to see if you can move debt onto that card at 0% with 0% fee and stop paying higher interest elsewhere. This costs you nothing, no risk, potential reward.

5. You have a 2009 car with 110k miles...you drive at least 30k miles per year? In NJ? Is there any way to cut this down? This will help with the gas budget. If you've only put $1,300 into the vehicle and is otherwise mechanically sound another $1,200 is a good investment. That will be 3-4 months of payments on a new Rav4.

6. See if you know anybody who you can work for under the table for $10/hour in cash, take advantage of bank account opening bonuses, get a job at the comedy club checking IDs or carrying trays (I can't imagine how this would be a conflict of interest with your state job), become a phone sex operator, get entrepreneurial. You'll have to figure this one out for yourself since we don't know much about you.

Skipping 130 Messages...
Rewdog said:   Did you figure out where your money is going yet? Have you gone further in or out of debt since you started this thread?

He won't go further into debt, cause mommy and daddy will take care of it.



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