It’s a little imperfect, given the way I do things.

for example, I take out cash for groceries and gas/fuel in 1 transaction, but there is no way to separate it into 2 transactions….so next month I guess I will be taking out 2 transactions.

I hate seeing how much money we are still wasting. I have GOT to get rid of that debit card.

one trick i’ve figured out is to set a budget to 0 (zero) for things that I really shouldn’t be spending money on (like fast food) or anything else where I really want to track my spending. It then preassigns things based on key words, so for example, I set a budget of 0 for fast food, and voila, I am showing up ‘in the red’ to the tune of (grouse grouse grouse) $173 “over budget.”

Takes a little manipulating, but i need the sticker shock. Oh, and i created a category called ‘wasted expense’ for stuff I have no clue what i bought but clearly (a la debit card) spent money on. that’s an ugly dollar amount…

When ds was working at restaurants,

Toys R us and movie theaters we stressed this to him as well. We also stressed he should know where to “exit stage left” so to speak if things ever got hinky. As we told him there was not a thing in those locations worth him getting hurt. He laughed then, but with all that is going on in the nation now I’d stress having a quick exit to safety strategy to her as well.

Already happened here in NC.

we are textile and tobacco territory. textiles have long since moved to Mexico and the county where we have our business there are 65% receiving some type of government assistance.. The tobacco industry is only staying alive because Japan has developed a smoking craz… I am not a smoker but I do see generations of farmers having to scramble to grow some type of crop to feed their families…. Why don’t they grow something useful? Because our soil really only supports perhaps 3 good basic crops… possibly 4 since the largest grower a mile up the road from us went to chili peppers last year.

These types of things trickle down to our business.. and then affects the local businesses we support ….

Within two days of the election

the employees at a family member’s office were called in to a meeting with several of their clients (oil, natural gas, refinery type companies—notice natural gas is in there). The clients—whom I’m not allowed to name—told the company that they were sorry, but due to Obama being re-elected, Obamacare, the fiscal cliff AND the out of control EPA they will NOT be building any new pipelines or refineries any time soon, so there would be no work from them for any firm that they normally hire for these type jobs and they thought it only fair to let the people they normally hire know before they make plans for their companies for 2013 and beyond. The hiring companies even stated that some of them are closing their doors rather than mess with the hassle they see before them. Some of these companies have been the bread and butter of the family member’s employer and this combined with the financial hit the company is about to take itself may be the death of that company as well.

Furthermore, the domino falls further, the oil/gas companies will also be capping a lot of their existing wells instead of continuing to pump them due to the EPA. So those of us with little mineral interest checks will cease to receive those checks. (This is part of the reason we were told about this) Three of the companies in that meeting were three of the checks I get on a monthly basis. Luckily I do not include them in my budget because they are so variable in size and have been using them for gazelle feed, but it will slow down my gazelle considerably if my wells are the ones they cap.

The domino of this will also affect all our fuel and heating costs, because of the US companies are forced to cap wells and not do any more exploration…nuff said.

We received this news about 2 days before db’s company gave him his pink slip. The life blood of Oklahoma is the oil and gas industry.
Oh db has a question and I wasn’t sure of the answer. We know that companies pay in so much unemployment tax as a matter on monthly business, but what if the company leaves the US, will there be money for db and the other 499 employees to draw?
Many of the big restaurant chain owners (Darden comes to mind) have already said they will not be hiring anyone new and that everyone will be forced into “part time status” because of Obamacare.

I have business owning family members.

They have over 30 employees (mostly min. wage or there abouts) – if they take the fine hit of a mere $2K per employee per year for Obamacare it will be very close, if not over, total of their take home pay for the two families. I do not know what they will do. They can’t pass the cost to customer – it will be too high and everyone will freak out w/ cost increases. It’s to the point of why bother. BUT, they have millions in their business and how can they even sell it now?

They are going to have to consider cutting their employee hours to 28 per week to stay under the 30 hr. “full time” mark. People will have to get two ½ time jobs instead of one. This next year sets a “benchmark” for the 2014 year, so employers have to be VERY careful or they will set themselves up for having to pay the $2k fine per employee which will sink many of them.

I just called Wells Fargo to get the payoff amount for our second mortgage

We are paying it off Christmas Eve, how cool is that?
Even neater, when the gentleman on the other end asked if I would like to consider a line of credit and I told him know that this would make us debt free he responded “Dave Ramsey would be proud!”
How great is that? I was stunned he brought DR up and told him so, he said he and his wife were trying to walk the walk but her employer had just shut down and they weren’t certain they could do it now. So I told him I need a loan and our story about how much we owed, dh being unemployed for 18 months, our age and how long it took us.
He responded that I was exactly what he needed to hear today because they were really struggling right now and I had inspired him to carry on.
He has urged me to call DR and shout. Not quite ready for that, but it felt good to encourage him and his wife to hang in there.

One of the things I’d add to this conversation

is to use the letter format which Bobby has already provided, rather than talking to them on the phone. When you submit written notification, it goes into your permanent record with that particular entity. Anyone who wants to see what your most recent statements have been, will refer to that letter. On the other hand, any phone calls you make may or may not be logged, and your statements/intentions will be transcribed by whoever takes the call. That transcription can be inaccurate at best, and twisted beyond recognition at worst. More than one person on this list (us included) have had conversations which we thought went really well, but which were transcribed in a way which made us sound like selfish, ungrateful, dishonest deadbeats who have no intention of paying anyone back.

Another suggestion is to NOT answer the phone if they call you. Get caller ID if you don’t already have it, and let any unknown calls go to voicemail. The employees who call are TRAINED in ways to intimidate, threaten, dominate and otherwise control the conversation. They’ll have you thinking you’re going to have to sell your favorite family member (or pet, whichever is higher in your priorities) before you’ll be able to make things right. By working with them in writing, all that pressure goes away. We didn’t answer the phone for three years because of that; we had our bill repayment on schedule and under control, and we didn’t need any additional pressure or stress in our lives.

I wholeheartedly second Bobby’s statement that you have more power in these conversations than you realize. Use that to your advantage, by leveraging that power with methods which guarantee your intentions and statements are preserved and honored. Don’t play in their preferred sandbox. Demand that they deal with you in ways and forms which accurately record and preserve your statements.

Finally, hang in there. Many (most?) of us have been where you are. Right now it looks like you’ll never dig out; stick with the DR program and you’ll get there. We did, and so did a lot of other folks here. You’re in a lot of good company.

Money

You do NOT need to work with any external credit counseling entity. In fact, some of them can screw you up pretty badly. You can do the same thing by talking to your creditors directly. If they won’t work with you, they move to the bottom of the list. Remember, you have what they want – money. That means you have more power in this negotiation than you realize…

Wait – just your debt payments ALONE are more than your income?!?

Not even counting food, housing, transportation? As you’ve likely already figured out, you’ll NEVER get out of debt that way… So, stop paying them. Yeah, they’ll yell, foam at the mouth, and flop on the floor like a 2-year old. But all that won’t get you to give them money you DON’T HAVE…

Send this letter(customized for your situation, of course) to all your creditors. It basically says that you’re in financial straits(true), your expenses are more than your income(true), ans asks if they have any hardship programs that can help you avoid bankruptcy. The ones who are smart and work with you will eventually get their money. The ones who are stupid get put to the bottom of the list.

Do you have a written budget? If not, do that TODAY. List all your incom on one side of the page, and your expenses on the other side of the page. Food should be top of the expense list – if you don’t eat, you won’t live long enough to pay off your debt. 🙂 You need to pay your ‘4 walls’ first – food, shelter, transportation, utilities. If you can cover THOSE with your income, you can work on the rest. If you canNOT cover those, you’ll need to make serious changes so you can. You may have to get a second job, or move to a cheaper place to live, or downsize your transportation. If you’re making payments on an SUV, sell it!
If you feel comfortable posting your income and expenses, someone here should be able to give more concrete suggestions.

That is how my insurance is

They pay nothing until the deductible. Even better is that it is a family deductible so we have to reach $6,000 before they pay anything. That $6,000 can be from just one person, or the total medical bills for the family. My copays don’t kick in until we reach the deductible. So if I go to the dr for a sick visit then I pay the whole dr bill myself (well visits like yearly checkups and the kids vaccinations are covered 100% by insurance). We then have an Out of Pocket Max of like $7,000. The copays that we pay after reaching the deductible count toward that $7,000. The copays apply to ER visits, dr visits, and medication, But not to tests, or hospital stays, ect. So we pay the first $6,000 of medical bills, then we pay and additional $1,000 in copays to reach the $7,000 out of pocket max. So that is not a strange or crazy insurance. On the “plus” side – with a deductible like that, you should be eligible to open an HSA (Health Savings Account). The money you put into an HSA is pre-tax and then you can use the HSA funds for medical bills including dental and vision.