New Member Introduction

Hello everyone! My name is Ben and I am a new member so I thought I’d introduce myself.

I’m a 33yr old WAHM in Oklahoma and I love to spend time with my family, learn about new things and get to know new people. I personally feel that we all have many choices; we just need to educate ourselves in order to make the right ones for us, individually.

We just recently consolidated debt by going to Consumer Credit Counseling Service. I’m hoping I can find some good information here so I can learn how to stay out of debt. I’d also like to meet some like-minded individuals.

Hope everyone is doing well and I look forward to getting to know you all!

I think I am doing the right thing by going to CCCS. My friend used to work for them-the one in Richmond Virginia that is. He told me that they had helped a lot of people, and I was not alone in your fight with debt. I hope things will work out for me!

More useful books

Please allow me to add David Bachs books ( ) He wrote automatic millionaire and Start late finish rich and other books that are for women. See his website.

He tells you how to set up to save automatically and to watch Latte factors, such as what do you buy on the way to work? During your lunch break? And going home from work?

A lot of people buy coffee donuts & cigarettes just to start the day. Add a $6 lunch and stop & get soda & candy bar on the way home form work. There you go $10-15 easily spent in just one day! Times that by just 3 times a week and you have $40-45 you could have saved. Ok so read his books, they are enlightening! Blessings Dee

Suggested reading

Sam’s suggestions are sound; once you know about money, finances, and the small print a lot of banks have; then you can learn how to get out of debt and start creating wealth. Not to say it isn’t hard work, it is… none has the easy answer to wealth; it’s a work in progress always 😉

Other books I would also suggest for reading is Suzie Orman’s (link)…

there is a wealth of info there (pun intended) to help you… if you can’t afford to buy the books recommended, be sure and check out your local library…

Suze’s books on finance opened my eyes to things I never realized about how I think of money and how it affects my relationships; and how that affects my ability to create wealth.

Counteracting Financial Ignorance


I’ve been a member of this blog for quite a while now.

It seems to me that we struggle because we don’t get ‘money’ or ‘finances’ as a subject in schools.

Why do you think that is?

The banks keep paying out 2 and 4 per cent on your savings, while the international shares indexes keep generating 10 to 12 per cent to their investors.

Here’s some interesting facts I found out recently …

Did you know that a one-time contribution of $10,000 doubles in value three more times at 8% than at 2%? With 2% interest, it would take 36 years to double in value. At 8% it doubles in only 9 years.

The banks make huge profits while we remain financially ignorant. I am not saying that you and I are foolish or stupid. We just dont have the financial intelligence that a banker would have because, like mushrooms, we are kept in the dark and fed … well let’s call it manure, shall we? 😉

So, in order to counteract that in my own small way, I thought I’d poast a list of some of the books the banks don’t want you to read. Becoming financially lilterate is THE way to go. Make your life easier. This is NOT rocket science!

“Rich Dad, Poor Dad” Robert Kiyosaki

“Rich Dad’s Guide To Investment” Robert Kiyosaki

“Think & Grow Rich” Napoleon Hill (bit dated now but concepts are fairly sound)

“The One Minute Millionaire” Mark Victor Hanson & Robert Allen

“Striking It” Jaclyn Easton

“From Rags To Riches (Through Real Estate)” Russ Whitney

“Synchronicity” Joseph Jaworski

“Money and the Meaning of Life” by Jacob Needleman

“Beyond the Chains of Illusion” by Eric Fromm

“The Power of Intention” By Dr Wayne Dyer

and last but not least

“The ABCs of Making Money” by Denis Cauvier and Alan Lysaght.

You don’t have to read all of them. Indeed, you don’t have to read ANY of them! But I suggest that at the very least, you read Rich Dad Poor Dad. Then, if your interests have been stoked, take your pick of what seems most up your street.

Best wishes

from Sam

PS We avoid things because we fear that they make us feel uncomfortable. So, as you dip into this, know that you will have some feelings in your body that you maybe won’t want to feel. But that is ALL it is – feelings in your body. Feelings cannot kill you. Get used to feeling those feelings and you are truly on your way!

Your questions are a little open ended

without knowing what you are bringing home and what your debts are we can only give you general help.

First off, are you in the CCCS debt management program? If so, make sure you pay them ASAP as they can get the creditors to stop calling. If you aren’t, then you need to talk with the creditors and explain the situation.

You don’t say what state you are in so I don’t know if your paycheck can be garnished or for how much… you would want to check into this; CCCS could answer this for you as well.

The first thing you need to do is list everything you pay out; track your spending, even the little stuff… little stuff (you think anyway) adds up to big stuff very very quickly… there are a lot of ways you can cut expenses if you have the determination.

This lists a series of articles on money management, including tracking expenses, and cutting waste;

If you haven’t downloaded the free Money Management Planner, please do, they may help you understand your finances a little better as well.

Feel free to ask away about any questions or concerns you have.

Also, CCCS should be able to give you a template for a Cease and Desist Letter to send (Certified and Return Receipt) to the collectors to get them to stop calling you.

Solution to every problem

You see a few weeks ago I couldn’t imagine that there would be a solution to my debt problem but after a few set back from lenders to consolidate I finally found a mortgage broker that help me, and now I think I have the solution.

So I just wanted to tell you guys thank you for letting me know that I wasn’t alone in this mess!

Tuesday I’m going to call to find out

Tuesday I’m going to call to find out… but… this is our situation…

Hubby downloaded caught and we gotta pay $3000 fine by March 21. (happy birthday to me huh , March 23 is my birthday) anywho…. i have $1000 saved up- taken out of checking account and tomorrow going to get a cashiers check and mail it off to the people we gotta pay…

out of our hands and into theres ya know?? I Sat down today and figured that between hubbys june 15th paycheck and july 15th paycheck I can save $1100… plus other extra funds we had to bring it to about $1230.. i’ll be getting some survey checks and rebates in the mail so that’ll help us with pocket money ya know?? SOooo i gotta come up wth $770… i have $1330 in my roth ira … i dont want to and i’m trying everything possible not to but last month our jeep needed work on so we had to take some money from the money i had saved to fix it….

otherwise this wouldn’t even be an issue and I DON”T want to ask family… does anyone know the fees involved with withdrawing some $$ out of a roth ira early?? I”m sure theres some fees involved but i just don’t know what else to do?? Thanks so much for any info and help.

Lenders look

Lenders look at manufactured homes differently than traditional homes, i.e., not as likely to maintain value and greater deterioration of their collateral. If at some point in the future, you would ever with to sell the home or property, a mfg home is never as marketable as a trad home.

If you have to make a decision based on cost vs. amenities, you will be better served to build a smaller traditional home with fewer amenities than to have an upscale manufactured home put on the lot/land.

“Settling” with a creditor is *tantamount*

“Settling” with a creditor is *tantamount* to not paying the debt and having the creditor write the debt off. A friend, who received poor advice, settled with a creditor (she paid off others and is now totally debt free) and was told when she went to look for an apartment (after selling her home) that her credit was very poor – due the settlement.

It is viewed as by potential creditors, landlords, employers, etc. as worse than a bankruptcy. Their viewpoint is that you were extended credit and reneged. Most bankruptcies are usually because of catastrophic situations, and are viewed much more benignly (relatively speaking) than settlements. Sometimes your last resort is to to opt for online payday loans (no credit check) and pay the most urgent bill.

Please be sure to get good advice – perhaps calling a loan officer or branch manager – or even a credit reporting agency to educate yourself on the ramifications of your financial decisions. Of course, Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman and Clark Howard all have books, websites and radio shows that can be a resource for you.

Best of luck.

Debt settlement can work – sometimes

Think about this from the perspective of the creditor for a moment.

You have lent money, they are making their payments. They approach you saying “we owe $100, but we’ll pay $50”. What would you do as the creditor?

Many credit counselors (some reputable, some not) say that you will have a better chance of settling if you have late payments and other signs of financial difficulty.

I do not recommend debt settlement because it will reflect on you worse than bankruptcy, stays on your credit history just as long, and still costs you 50%+ of the owed amount. If you really can not pay your debts, seek help from an advisor or counselor to put yourself on a spending plan. Then you can create a debt repayment plan and pay off your debts.

If you cannot possibly pay off your debts, even after creating an absolutely minimum, bare bones spending plan then consider bankruptcy.

instead of debt settlement. Like I tell my clients, I do not advocate bankruptcy, but sometimes there really is no other choice.

We too are considering debt settlement

We too are considering debt settlement, sounds better than bankruptcy. Still deciding on alternatives.

trying to figure out what we can afford. Haven’t heard anything terribly bad about it, nor anything really good. As far as a creditor sueing, they have that right, I think it depends on who you have negotiating for you. Don’t have any real answer yet. I want to hear from someone who has successfully done this. Know of someone who has done this…something. signed, Totally in over my head.

Whatever depth you are in, do not panic. Just make sure each company is aware of your situation and give a percentage of what you can afford in proportion to what you owe. I have done this over 5 years (owed £36 000) and finish in 5 months..

I have recently learnt that if you get a discount to clear a sum you owe don’t do it.. it will be held against you.

See it through and there is an end. Just make sure you are open, honest and communicative highly communicative and you will be fine. My highest repayment was £106 and my smallest was £4.03 but they all got paid and all expire at the same time.

Consolidated Credit Counseling – Collections?


I’m new to the blog as of today. I’m a young 25 and I’m in financial trouble. It all started when I took the risks of starting my own business. I was lucky enough to have the support of my Mother and allow me to stay at home and pay $200 a month for rent. Credit Card bills racked up and I’ve struggled with some loans.

In May of 2014, I moved to Florida along with my girlfriend. We have all the dreams of marriage, kids, nice home and all the good stuff. However, she threw me for a loop when she said she wanted to go to school. So she went to school for 8 months for Dental Assisting and now has a job in the Dental Field. While she was in school for that time, I gave up my struggling business and found a 40hr a week job and averaged about 12 hrs of overtime every week just to pay the rent and utilities. During that time I got way behind on all my credit cards and loans.

In Jan 2015 I started a part time job to try and pay off these bills. I’ve managed to knock off a few and make some progress on others. I’m working between 63 and 70 hrs a week. It puts a strain on the relationship, which I’m sure some of you have been there. The phone rings off the hook from creditors.

I am absolutely trying my best right now. A lot of my bills are 6 months over due or right on the brink of them. Most are in the hands of Collections.

I’ve looked around on Consolidated Credit Counseling and was wondering if any of you know if they will still work with you if your debt is in the hands of collections and no longer with the creditor.

Any help is greatly appreciated as I want to get back to a better life. It is odd that I’m even in this situation as you can ask anyone in my family how tight I was with my money, loved to sit there and count it, save it and put into 401ks and Mutual Funds. I guess it can happen to anyone.

Thanks for listening to me babble and again, any help is much appreciated.

Yes, this absolutely true

Slowly but surely they are all raising the minimum payments. In fact, I was one of the people quoted in the article.

People who are struggling right now are really going to feel it, but if you can make the payments, at least now some of the money you are sending to the credit card companies will go to pay some of the principal.

Question regarding minimum payments on credit cards being raised

Has anyone else heard about credit card companies raising the minimum payments from 2% to 4%? Here are a couple articles:

I wonder how much truth there is to this and if the credit cards will do this gradually. I’m freaking out over this. If this happens on all of our credit cards – we will have to somehow come up with another $600 a month! We are not incurring any more debt right now and are trying to pay off our cards, but this will not help! Any thoughts?


It has been interesting reading the last few days of posts. It is nice  to see that there are churches out there that are making the effort to  help its flock.

Our church, like Peggi’s, is also leading a FINANCIAL FREEDOM class, It is really great. My husband and I are really learning alot and  everyone that has taken this class is really optimistic about it to.  It is sponsored by Larry Burkett (who is now deceased) but his ministry  Christian Financial Concepts merged a few years ago to form Crown Ministries. It also has a lot of great information.

You can find them at, if you are interested.

I appreciate the people, I also listen to their radio program every day. The only issue I have with them is that it seems as though nearly every caller is earning $75000 a year or more and I know most people don’t earn that much. Their teaching is very sound, though.

I’ve never really done a budget before

I’ve never really done a budget before, and don’t really know where to  start. I keep my bank ledger in excel. So, I went through and assigned  categoriesto everything for the past 4 months. Trying to see where my money goes. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far….

Hopefully you can read this. Each category has the Category name, 4 month total, monthly average. A few categories have some further explanation out next to them.

Auto Gas

Auto Insurance

ATM Fees

(I’m bad about using the ATM for cash, then not tracking where the cash goes)


Credit Cards
(I don’t think a single cent of this went towards the actual balances, it was interest, late fee, or over limit)

(I desperately need to use this membership, and I love going..but I can’t seem to stay healthy enough to go very often)

Eat Out


(includes nights out with friends, which doesn’t happen often, also books bought)

(two nieces & one nephew – birthday parties)

(ok..this catagory is a jumble of groceries, household items, pet supplies, gardening stuff, books, office supplies, etc…anything that didn’t fit somewhere else. I really need to break this out and see what the heck I’m spending so much on. No more trips to Wal-Mart!)



(prescriptions eat me alive. I’m going to check into our mail order program through work, and see if it would save me any money)

(a lot of the pet stuff is under the groceries/household catagory)

(I’m thinking of getting rid of my land line, and just going with a decent cellular plan)


(this includes sewer and trash)

Auto Upkeep
(oil changes, registration sticker)

Bank Svc Chg
(had 1 overdraft fee)

Loan Payment

Taxes/Credit Report

My debt problems


I’m new to the group. I’m single, 28, and live in Texas. My debt problems began about 6 years ago. I lost my fiance and father within a year of each other. I dropped out of college, left my job, and moved back to my hometown to be with my mother and sister. I spent several years working a low paying job, while dealing with depression and family issues.

During this time I also had some major medical problems. I had to be off work for multiple hospital stays, two surgeries, and recovery time. Over about two years I was out of work for about 5 months total. During that time I used my credit cards to try and make ends meet. I also racked up about $10,000 in medical bills.

Things are finally a little better (family and health wise). However, although I have a decent job now, and try to watch my spending, my credit is bad, and I can’t seem to get anywhere. I have about $1,800 left in credit card debt, and about $8,000 in medical bills. Unfortunately during the time I was having problems and trying to just survive everything that was going on, I got in trouble with the medical bills. I couldn’t afford living expenses, the credit card bills, and the medical bills. I ended up just ignoring the medical bills.

Yes, I know it was a stupid decision, but that’s what happened. So, on my credit report now, I’ve got several of them that are in collections, and a couple that were written off, and still others that are still sending me collection notices and bills. I have no savings, and am living paycheck to paycheck. Anytime an expense comes up that I’m not expecting, I’m panicking trying to figure out what can wait and what I can do.

Although I know compared to many others, my debt amount isn’t huge…it is huge to me. I feel like I’m drowning, and don’t know what to do. Any advice or suggestions on where to start would be greatly appreciated.

Knowing your budget

The first thing you have to realize is that cash withdrawals are killing you not the prescriptions. But I do agree if you can get things cheaper through a work plan it’s a great way to go.

You have to track where that ATM money goes; you have a large portion of your income going for entertainment, over $250 a month … that’s over 13% of your monthly income … keep in mind that includes those cash withdrawals you can’t account for spending 😉 as well as eating out, gifts, Curves, Fun and Internet expenses.

The Money Management budgeting spreadsheet can be downloaded from the “Files” section…

When you first start keeping good track of spending habits (which is essential to setting a budget you can live with) it can be a pain, but soon becomes a habit you will do automatically. I keep receipts for everything and a small notepad in my purse to jot down things I don’t get a receipt for (rare but it still happens). I can balance to the dollar (I do round up the change on cash spending) each day in just a matter of minutes in my spreadsheet.

Some of your categories are too defined; I would keep all Auto related expenditures in one category for instance instead of having several unless you need them defined later for income tax purposes. Your “credit cards” category; is that debt repayment? Or things you charged? If it is things you charged you need to add that to the appropriate category for those items… for instance, clothes, gas, etc. If it is debt repayment; are you tracking your credit card expenditures as well as cash expenditures? If not, you should otherwise you don’t know how much you are spending beyond your income each month.

The first thing you need to understand is exactly where all your money is going … not to the penny but close 😉 Based on your monthly income of $1,886, you should know where at least $1,850 is going each and every month.

Once you know where the money is going; you can take the necessary steps to reduce the waste and get the debt under control.