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Fighting the Debt battle




I haven't put my debt numbers out there...not totally.  Well, quite frankly, it's freakin' embarassing.  NOW...to be fair to myself and my family's spending...we can blame it all on our toddler, Isaac.  BUT...it still doesn't make trying to swim out of this crap any easier.  I've been a little short on posts this weekend because we, as a family, have just been spending time together and talking about the future.

HOW do you get out of the debt HOLE when no one is willing to throw you a life line??

HOW do you get your mortgage company to modify your mortgage, your credit card companies to lower your rates, your husband to find a better job with better benefits, to start working nights if necessary....

I'm venturing on a journey...well, not just me...my entire family.  We are trying to find more ways to save a buck and put more money to paying off our debt.

Cable vs. Direct TV....what are your thoughts on that??  I know...there's tv on the internet.  Maybe we SHOULD just bite the bullet and cancel it all together.  (I do have a big computer monitor).  BUT, I'm stuck at home all day doing therapy with that sweet multi-million dollar toddler of ours, cleaning, and I NEED my television escape.  BUT, when I think about the $100 bucks a month that it costs....that just makes me want to throw up!  I did call Cox Cable last week and asked if there were any specials going on that we qualified for.  They offered up a "loyalty" credit, which will take off $15 each month.  (that's a start)
and...while researching the internet tonight, I came across THIS web-video that shows you how to watch television from your laptop.  We have this new big screen tv (that we bought with our amex points)...let me see if we have the right connection (hold on)....
I don't see it...ahhh!  I'll have to get hubby to look.
BUT, the idea of getting the internet tv shows to pop up on the big tv...NOW, that makes me want to consider canceling cable for SURE!
(I'll keep you posted on that).  Let me know if you try it!

THERMOSTAT...what's yours set at??  I think I'm in early menopause!  I'm always hot..but, it's good, because my kids are the same way...so, believe it or not....our thermostat is set at only 61 during the winter months.  NOW, we are in Vegas....so, it only gets down into the mid 30s.  BUT, this love of a cool house causes me greaet stress in the summer....when I can only turn the thermostat down to 70 (when most Vegas residents keep theirs in the 80s)...WHEW...I pay in the summer!   At least I'm saving money this time of year!

ELECTRICITY...I've enlisted the kids to help me go around the house and try to unplug everything that we are NOT using.  We have so many televisions, video game systems, chargers...just plugged in pulling energy!  Here's a snap shot of our electricity bill...(we also have a pool..so, that darn pump HAS to stay on and that's more money)

So, if we were at $185 last month...I'll see how low we can go next month! ( I know...stop looking at my mountain usage during the summer!)

PHONE...We're currently using Vonage.  That's about $30 a month (after taxes).  I AM going to finally hook up that darn Magic Jack and see how it works.  IF it works good, then I'm canceling Vonage and going with the Magic!

That's about as far as I've gotten in the planning stage.  I can't cancel the bug man (because I don't want bugs)...I have already canceled the pool man.  I will make a list tonight of our monthly bills...and I mean a DETAILED list and see what else we can cut back on.

You know... I like spending money FAR better than saving it:(
BUT...it must be done.

We're only in such horrible debt because of medical bills and associated costs of having a medically fragile cost (seriously, Blue Cross has already paid out over 3 million on him).  Then, if that wasn't enough, hubby lost his job of 11 years 2 years ago, and right during the middle of the recession.  We had no idea how long he would be out of work and had to pull our 401k money out and use that for living expenses.  Then, we had to pay Cobra for insurance (a whopping $1300 a month) to keep our son insured (because $1300 is much cheaper that nothing!)...all of that over the last 3 years has just snow balled to the horrible mess that it now is.  It doesn't matter that hubby has a great paying job...we have THAT much going out each month.

My wish, hope, and goal is to get caught up, everything paid off....and NOT have another credit card again (only emergency ones to be used for medical emergencies ONLY)!  No more fancy cars.  We currently have both cars paid off...and I hope they keep running for a very long time.  Once all the bills are paid off...I want to start putting away $10-20k a month in a trust for our son (he will always need to be cared for at home).  I know that those are BIG wishes...BIG goals to work towards.  BUT, we're working on a plan.  I have the most wonderful husband who already works 60-70 hours a week, but would take on side work to help out the family.  I have decided to look for an evening job to help bring in more money (I'm not exactly sure how I would find sleep...but, that's not important just yet.....)

Thanks for following me on this journey.
I have to concentrate MORE on achieving this goal.....so, if you don't see 20 posts a day about daily deals....I'm just busy doing "these" things.  BUT, I will have days where I can post 20 times a day...and days where only once.  I will just make sure that even that ONE post is full of juicy details!
SO, goodnight my friends...thanks for not judging me (you're not, are you??), and for following my family on this journey to financial freedom!


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6 comments:

Mandy on January 10, 2010 at 10:45 PM said...

Your so funny! We love you!!!

Fabulessly Frugal on January 10, 2010 at 11:32 PM said...

Good luck with it all Kathy. Slightly similar situation with husband losing his job 9 months ago, too much debt, big family and so on. We found Dave Ramsey (have you too?) and are working on building our emergency fund and next step is getting out of debt. If you haven't already, I'd recommend checkign out his webiste, finding him on your local radio station, and purchasing his book The Total Money Makeover. Seriously - it's changed me! Good luck!!

jencooper on January 11, 2010 at 7:29 AM said...

Maybe we could embark on this journey together?? And give each other some helpful hints??

You know that we face the same battles...for the same reasons.

Mysti on January 11, 2010 at 12:41 PM said...

You know I am in the same boat. Let's be each other's life vest!!!!

Blue Cross hates us too.....Bossy and Sassy cost over 1.5 million in their first 6 months of life.

Give that baby a big ole hug and kiss from Auntie Mysti. And sending some light and love your way too. Remember....special kids have special parents. ;)

Sarah Doyle on January 11, 2010 at 6:15 PM said...

I think you are among the majority of us who are thinking the same things!! How and where to cut corners and how much of an impact on saving would each of those "corners" have. We're doing the same things you are - considering what we can cut out, and what we can live without. Good luck on getting all the pieces put together and bills paid.

Sarah Doyle
http://CouponClutch.com
http://ShopperStrategy.com blog

Anonymous said...

My experience with Magic Jack is a big thumbs down!! I would NOT recommend it to anyone. We have digital cable so Cox telephone was the cheapest way to go for us. We also use calling cards or our cell phones on nights and weekends for any long distance calling. Good Luck and don't get discouraged!

 

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