Need advice on possibly cutting some expenses

I'm trying to cut expenses again to pay more on debt. There are two areas I am struggling with:

1. monthly donations - $10 dog rescue, $5 goat rescue; I currently have these payments taken out automatically, they are optional monthly donations, I know the rescues do a great job and need the funds, but I'm $8,875 in debt on a $17,808/year income. Should I be donating to these rescues while I'm trying to pay off my debt?

2. family wedding - $100/month, the wedding is in the Fall of 2020, it is out of state for me which means airfare, hotels for at least part of the week since I'd fly to MA to my sister's and then go to upstate NY for the wedding, meals, spending money, wedding gift. I'm looking at $1,500 to do all that. The age old debate about family event vs. paying debt. I am not a main person in the wedding. I am peripheral at best. I love my nephew and he's special to me but he and I are not close. I am incredibly close to my sister. I have no issue telling either of them that I can't afford the trip but I also don't want any hurt feelings. Do I save $100/month for the wedding and put off being debt free or go to the wedding?

If I cut out all the expenses I plan to cut, including the wedding, I'd be debt free by the winter of 2020. If I do the wedding I'd add half a year to my debt free date. I really want to get out of debt so I don't have to make these painful decisions all the time. I would have to be pretty brutal about my finances to do the $300 extra a month on debt but I do better when it's all or nothing instead of spending in moderation. What do you think? Thanks for any input!

Here's my full budget:

$1,484 - monthly income

$259 - monthly minimum debt payments

$435 - rent

$121 - Verizon

$61.50 - internet

$41.50 - auto insurance

$20 - renters insurance

$15 or $0 - donations (cut completely)

$6 or $0 - Amazon Prime (cut completely)

$1 - Apple iCloud

$120 - $160 - groceries (try to cut back)

$20 - laundry

$40 or $0 - spending money (cut completely)

$5 or $0 - pup treats/donations (cut completely)

$8 - transportation

$10 - RX & OTC meds

$44 - $0 - office supplies (cut completely)

$130 - $20 - hair cut/color (cut back to $20/month max)

$0 - household stuff (cut completely except absolute needs)

$0 - clothes & shoes (cut completely except absolute needs)

$0 - medical supplies (cut completely except absolute needs)

$6 - Microsoft Office

$10 or $0 - nail/foot care (cut completely)

$4 - life insurance

$6.50 - YNAB

$44 or $0 - Eye exam/glasses (cut completely)

$100 - wedding (cut completely, send wedding gift at time)

$1,175 - set expenses

$309  additional  available to put toward debt if I cut out:

shelter donations, Amazon Prime, spending money, pup treats/donations, office supplies, salon hair cut/color, household stuff, clothes & shoes, medical supplies, nail/foot care, eye exam/glasses sinking fund, wedding sinking fund

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  • MS Office jumps out at me - do you absolutely need it or could you do with LibreOffice/OpenOffice/etc. instead?

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      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      TechieM2 I have looked at the free options. I use Word and Excel daily and OneDrive is the deciding factor. It would cost almost the same to use it as a stand alone. I will take a look at it again though. Data backup is the biggest issue for me. Thanks for the response.

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  • There are a lot of items that you would fund if needed....how will you feel if something happened and you needed all the 300 in a particular month for medical or to replace something that broke? Also, I know from your journal that the animal charities are very important to you.

    Would it work for you to put 250 toward debt, leave 5 for one of the animal charities, 5 monthly for a gift for the wedding, and put 50 into a fund you could draw on only for those emergencies you listed?

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      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      adriana01 I do have $300 in savings for emergencies. It's not a lot but would hopefully get me through a rough spot. If I do need the $300 that I'd like to put to debt for something else then I'd be fine with that. I don't mind if it's an emergency. The less I have available the better I do with money. I don't feel deprivation when the "rule" is that there is no money for it, but if I have even just $5 then I want to spend more. I had not realized that about myself until now but it is so helpful to know how it works for me. If I give myself $5 for pet treats/donations then I want to spend it and more but if I know I have none I'm completely fine with that. Not sure why that is but I know I feel incredible relief having very little available to pilfer from or use to spend. I know that if I really "need" to spend $5 on my buddy, Woody, for a doggy treat I am more apt to just spend that $5 if my base is $0. LOL Sort of makes no sense but I can feel that it makes sense for me. I will decide what I will spend on a wedding gift and start setting that aside. It won't be a lot so I'm not too concerned about the impact on debt payment. I have to be brutal, militant, and unwavering with my finances. I know it sounds like I'm being mean to myself but it honestly is freeing and a relief to handle it this way right now. I obviously will access the situation along the way and make any adjustments necessary. That's the funny thing. I can be quite contained with the line items in the budget but know that overall rolling with the punches makes the most sense.

      Thank you for the response though because it makes me think about how I feel about this. I do need to be intellectual about it but I also have to know that I will feel good about it. If I don't feel good, I will fail. Being strict will make me feel good. LOL 

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      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 1 yr ago
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      internettie I'm glad you have a plan for if those emergencies happen. I think that's the most important thing when cutting back expenses so much, as it is easy for an emergency or unexpected expenses to end up causing more debt.

      I can understand about it being easier to have a strict no than some leeway. I am learning that I need that kind of limit for food, but not for my budget.

      Like 1
      • internettie
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      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      adriana01 thanks. I am trying to be logical but also pay attention to the emotional too. I would be anxious if I had no savings so $300 is the compromise for now. I would also feel anxious if I give myself all kinds of spending money vs just saying $0, nada, zilch. I know that if I feel bad I will spend more money. Having $300 in savings makes me feel good. Allowing $0 for spending money makes me feel good.

      I am trying to figure out if I am the same way with food. I don't think it's the food itself. I can have stuff her for weeks (ice cream, candy) and it doesn't bother me. It's the spending on the food that gives me the high. There are certain foods that I will overeat or impulse eat so I don't get those. I know that if I limit myself to $30/week ($40/week max) that I won't get all that impulse stuff. I will get the necessities and I'll be fine. I certainly won't starve. I don't mind eating the same things day in and day out. When I get bored I switch to something else. Making different things every day would stress me out. LOL If is funny to be an abstainer and allow myself nothing in some areas (money) but not in others (most food). Good info to know though. I am learning!

      Like 1
  • Cutting spending money completely is a sure way to make yourself so miserable that you just give up on debt payoff.

    Do you have diabetes or other condition that may cause circulation issues? If so I would not cut foot care.

    Can you shop around on your phone? $121/month seems expensive (or does that include paying for a phone as well as the monthly service? - I bought my phone outright and pay $60.XX/month for unlimited calls and texts, 2GB 4G data and unlimited slower data after that, plus free texts and data in 120+ countries (I travel internationally for work a lot). Cricket, Google Fi, etc have much cheaper plans.

    I would cut back to the $20/month max on hair (I'm getting my hair cut on Saturday. According to YNAB, last time I got it cut (including full baylayage color) was April 21, 2018. I normally cut 3 times/year and color 1 or 2 times. But right now I'm protesting the fact that my sister won't set a date for  her wedding and I need to make plans about when to color and get a defrizz treatment around that date and she's been engaged since June. I'm only giving in on the cut because the split ends are a mess).

    Like 2
      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      jenmas I know it sounds counter intuitive but the less money I budget the better I am at not spending and the happier I am. I know it doesn't make sense to everyone but if I budget $40 a month for spending I will feel compelled to spend that $40 and want to spend more. Whereas if I say I have $0 to spend I will know that's the rule and I will comply. It has been likened to being an alcoholic who cannot drink. Just one ruins the whole thing. It's kind of the same for me. Just spending $1 makes me want to spend $100.

      I do not have diabetes. I have Small Fiber Neuropathy that causes nerve issues, not circulation issues. It would have been a luxury to have someone else do it but I can do it myself. I always think I deserve the best things in life whether I can afford them or not or whether it is appropriate or not. I can access this going forward and if I need the care I have someone to go to that is affordable. I won't do anything to make my medical situation worse.

      The Verizon bill is high because I am paying monthly for the iPhone & iPad, $28. I also pay $10 each for line fees for the iPad (contract until August) and $10 for my Apple Watch. I will stop the iPad line fee in August and the $28 for the device payment will terminate. $40 plan fee, $20 iPhone line fee, $10 Apple Watch line fee, $7 iPhone insurance (which I may cancel in August too), plus the taxes and fees will bring me to about $80/month in August. In August I can look at other plans too.

      I will cut back to $20 max/month on hair cut/color. I will take advantage of my friend's kindness and generosity and have her cut and color my hair. Again, I think I deserve the best, which means salon care, but I don't really need that. I deserve to be debt free.

      Thanks for the responses. They are very helpful and get me thinking.

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  • Agree with @jenmas that cutting spending money is actually setting yourself up for failure. I just paid off $7,500 in 16 months, could have been a lot quicker had I restricted my spending money or even shopping for things or very small, inexpensive trips that I saved cash for. I was just telling my fiance, I have spent the last year paying off debt with what could have been an amazing vacation fund, and now the debt is gone so lots of vacation money to be saved! An emergency fund is important, too, if you don't already have that. While paying off the $7,500 in debt I acquired an additional $1,500 because I didn't have any emergency fund saved yet. yikes.

     

    Also, as someone who is getting married in 2020, I will not be offended if my aunts & uncles that I'm not close with from out of state don't come. I am already expecting them not to travel. Just be honest with your situation with your sister as she probably has a stronger opinion than your nephew.

    Like 1
      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      Purple Admiral I posted this before but it's important so I'll copy it here too. I know it sounds counter intuitive but the less money I budget the better I am at not spending and the happier I am. I know it doesn't make sense to everyone but if I budget $40 a month for spending I will feel compelled to spend that $40 and want to spend more. Whereas if I say I have $0 to spend I will know that's the rule and I will comply. It has been likened to being an alcoholic who cannot drink. Just one ruins the whole thing. It's kind of the same for me. Just spending $1 makes me want to spend $100. I do have $300 in savings for an emergency. It's not a lot but it's something. I want to pay off this debt more than anything. I have an amazing life and get to do a lot of things that cost little or nothing. I'm going to a play for free on the 24th. Last July I had a week at Disney at Disney Resorts, parks, meals, airfare, hotels, and it all cost me $100. Yes, $100. Spending time with my friends and my dog buddy, Woody, means more to me and makes me happier than spending money on a movie and popcorn. I can watch a movie with a friend and cuddle with Woody and eat popcorn for free. I have learned how to be happy with very little money. My happiness was always rooted in money and stuff which was wrong. Now I know where true happiness comes from - family, friends, dogs, and an occasional meal out. I have so much more than I need. And where I live has a gym, lunch available every day (if needed), Friday morning coffees, book club, movie club, garden club, art club, holiday parties, birthday parties, and so much more that I can't even remember. I do not really lack for anything. My spending is only to fill the voids that it really cannot fill anyway and I am learning new ways to fill those voids.

      Thank you for telling me that about the wedding. That makes me feel a little better. I know that my sister and nephew will understand. I'd actually rather have them come out here sometime since they both love Colorado. If I could afford to be there I would but setting myself back half a year does not make sense to me at this point.

      Thanks for your helpful responses. Lots to think about.

      Like 1
    • internettie That's good to know yourself and spending habits and what can make you successful! It certainly is different for every person! You have access to tons of activities which is awesome! 

       

      Seriously, don't stress about the wedding. Having them come visit you is a good idea and in the meantime a gift you can afford would be more than plenty. Plus, if they came to visit you, or you visited them at a later date, you would get to spend much more time with them than at at the wedding weekend itself.

      Like 2
      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      Purple Admiral thanks for supporting my plan and my decisions. It's nice to get the feedback. I am getting to know how I"m wired and it's been such a help. Fighting against the grain does me no good. I am not going to stress about the wedding now. Thinking about seeing them at other times when we can be together makes me happier. A nice gift will do! Thanks!

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    • internettie Do they have a honeymoon fund or "house projects" fund set up as a gift option? I have seen more and more couples do that lately. Traditional wedding gifts can be pricey and I know I'd rather give someone $ for an activity or towards a home improvement project than for some new coffee mugs. It's more thoughtful than just cash (although cash is always appreciated!) and you know what it will go towards. Activity based type of gifts also lend themselves better to "any amount giving" vs what might be available on a registry. Plus, since you personally are learning to value experiences over things, it would go along with that nicely. 

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      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      Purple Admiral I don't know if they do but I will ask. Great idea! They already have a flat in NYC (Brooklyn) so I'm sure they are set up with the household stuff. They both travel a lot (she is a fashion designer who goes to Paris a lot, and he is an engineer on big ships that travel the world on secret missions, seriously, lol) so aren't home all the time and they both make really good money. I planned on asking them if they will have an Amazon wish list or some such somewhere or something specific they want that I can contribute toward. I don't like nick-nacks or purely decorate stuff so I would not even think of buying things like that. I would definitely want it to be something they need or want. I also have thought about the experience thing. Since they are in NYC there are tons of option. Thanks for the suggestions.

      Like 2
  • is this for TV: $121 - Verizon

    If so, I'd cut this and pay for Netflix or Hulu only. I know it sucks, I had to do this after a divorce. But, it really only took a couple weeks to get over it and get accustomed to only having Netflix. Nowadays Hulu has almost every show you'd be missing on cable anyway.

    And yes, I'd cut the wedding. You have too many expenses for that right now. Especially if you're not close to your nephew. There are things you have to do to care of you that should come first - your health, eyes, 

    Also, you're living so bare bones as it is. I feel like having no money to do ANYTHING FUN EVER will wear you down, and it would be better to have that $100/mo from the wedding budget to give you a buffer so that every now and then you can treat yourself.

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      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      xgirlmama the $121 for Verizon is for my iPhone, iPad (contract), Apple Watch, device monthly payment until August, iPhone insurance. It will go down to about $80 in August.

      I have Netflix, Hulu, and Xfinity for TV/movies. My family pays for all of that. I pay for my internet and my Apple devices. I've cut the internet and Verizon as much as I can at this point. I have contracts for both.

      I will cut the wedding. That just seems to make sense.

      I know it sounds bare bones and it is money wise, but I am so happy and have so much fun and get to do so many things that cost little to nothing that I think I can afford to gut the expenses like I am planning. Also, because I do better when I have none vs having some it is easier for me to say $0 spending money than to have $40 for spending money. I get more anxious when I have the $40. I feel relieved when I have $0. I go to plays, out for lunch, watch movies with friends, spend time with my dog buddy Woody, do as many activities in my community as I want (movies, art, book, garden clubs, gym on site, etc.), so I have way more fun stuff available to me than I can take advantage of. I am an all or nothing, black or white person. I am happier spending nothing on myself and figuring out things to do that cost little to nothing, than allowing myself $100 that I will feel compelled to spend and know that it will cause me to spiral into spending even more. I'm like an alcoholic, but with money. Just one dollar (drink) will do me in. I know it doesn't make sense to everyone but I know that I honestly feel relieved knowing I won't have money to spend willy-nilly. I do treat myself with a movie at the dollar theater or a coffee with a friend or a sandwich at Arby's. I'm good with very little. The more I allow myself the worse it gets.

      Thanks for the responses. It is helpful and it does make me think.

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  • there should be a way to edit. I haven't had my coffee yet. I don't know why I thought Verizon would be TV, LOL! I'd find a way to bring the phone bill down. Talk to them about a different plan or switch to T-Mobile or a cheaper carrier. $121 is nearly 10% of your monthly income!

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      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      xgirlmama LOL yeah, it's phone/iPad/Apple Watch. I'm in a contract until August. Then I can look at other options. Part of it is device payment too (Yikes!). I have lowered it as much as I can until I'm out of the contract. I do "splurge" on $10 a month line fee for my Apple Watch. I left my phone at a friend's house once and couldn't get it for 2 days. That was not fun. It's worth the $10 to have cellular on the Watch.

      Like
  • First, as others have said...  Do NOT cut your spending money to nothing.  that will make you feel too restricted, and make you want to stop altogether.  Maybe reduce it, but don't eliminate it.

    Things that instantly stick out to me is phone, and internet.  Those both look pretty high, and should be able to be reduced.  somebody has already commented about a couple phone alternatives.  I'm actually on Cricket, with 2 lines for $70.00/month, with unlimited text, minutes, and 5 GB of data (which I very rarely if ever go over 2GB).  And I'm actually looking at  shopping around and reducing that further.  You can get very nice plans for $25-$30 per line on cell phone.

    Is your internet just plain old broadband? or does it include cable?  are you able to shop around for a better price there?  or are you in an area where there's not much competition among cable companies?

    Like 1
      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      Bruce as opposite as it might sound, cutting the spending money to $0 actually makes me feel more free and relieved. The less money I have to squander the easier life is for me. Not sure why it works that way for me but I know it does. Give me a $1 and I'll need $100. If I have $0, I'm content and will find all kinds of things to do that cost little to nothing. I have so much available to me that costs nothing that I cant' do it all.

      I am in contracts right now with phone and internet. I have but both as much as I can. In August at can look at both again. When I'm ready to look I will ask for suggestions. It is frustrating to pay so much but I at least reduce them both as much as I reasonably can.

      My internet is just internet/wifi. I am online ALL. THE. TIME. Since I'm not out spending money the internet is one of the ways I have fun - movies, TV, books, social media, etc. My family pays for Netflix, Hulu, and Xfinity movies for me. I pay for internet and my phone. We don't have much available for internet in my area but again, in August I will check again and see if there is a better deal.

      Thanks for the suggestions. It's helpful.

      Like
  • I switched to a prepaid plan on Verizon Wireless - was paying $112 per month, now pay around $40. Don't know what plans are available in your area, but I bet you can cut that expense. I still have more data than I can use. 

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      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      Olive Branch I screwed myself with Verizon. I used to have prepaid too. Then I convinced myself that I deserved a new iPhone, a new iPad, and a new Apple Watch. Sigh. I am in a contract until August. I will research then what I can do to lower my costs for my iPhone & Apple Watch. I will cancel the line for the iPad which I don't need but can't get rid of until August. I rarely use much of the 5GB of data I have since I use wifi most of the time. I will definitely shop around in July so when August comes I'll be ready! Thanks for the response!

      Like
  • One thing no one has commented on yet (or I missed it?) is the $15 in donations to dog/goat rescues. I think that stopping them for now is the best thing to do financially. It will be hard emotionally because I feel like I need to make amends for some things but I don't want to hurt myself by doing this for the wrong reasons. I did not commit to more than just a month to month decision to donate but I feel committed emotionally. This is a hard one for me. I really want to get out of debt though and I can nickle and dime myself into hundreds of dollars before I know it. That's why I have to be so strict and unforgiving. It really does make me feel relieved to have less available. As weird as that sounds. LOL

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      • bevocat
      • Sometimes, It Just Sucks to Be You
      • bevocat
      • 1 yr ago
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      internettie I'll bite. You have to put on your own oxygen mask before you help others.

      internettie said:
      I think that stopping them for now is the best thing to do financially.

      You already have your answer; you're just looking for other people to validate your decision. You can start contributing again when you are on a more solid footing.

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      • internettie
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      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      bevocat thank you for that. Funny thing is that I actually use oxygen at home and I wouldn't give it to someone else if I need it. LOL That actually helps me to put this in perspective. It is an emotional thing for me which kind of tells me that I stopping would be right, but hard. Doing the right thing often is hard but it's still the right thing. Thank you! I know that I give in a lot of ways but financially can't be one of them right now. I am considering helping out at the Humane Society since it's not too far and on the bus route. Maybe once a week? I'll think about it. Again, thanks!

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      • adriana01
      • adriana01
      • 1 yr ago
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      internettie I had mentioned whether it would be possible to continue with only 5 a month in donations, but it was in the middle of a sentence :)

      Cutting out some of my regular donations a few years ago was really hard, but that was what made my budget balance at the time. I've only just been able to add them back in.

      Are you able to donate time to a shelter? Volunteering might mean more in transportation costs than you would otherwise donate, but it might be something to look into.

       

      (I had hit submit on this before I saw you were considering volunteering at the humane society. I hope you are able to do that!)

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      • internettie
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      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      adriana01 I can see that the donations need to stop for now and that looking into helping at the shelter is a way I can give back, but only if it does not make me want to spend money. When I'm out in the world I want to stop to eat or at the convenience store to get snacks, or at the store to buy things. LOL The world is a dangerous place for a SPENDY like me! LOL I will look into it though. I miss taking care of a dog. Cats would work too. Even small animals. I just love them all. I wouldn't rule out snakes, lizards, or turtles either! The Humane Society is on the bus route so it is doable. I'll look into it.

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    • internettie When I read your post, that was the first thing that stood out to me! Instead of sending donations, I think volunteering is a great alternative! Time is usually more appreciated than funds in giving situations. They may even offer snacks to help curb any spending, or possible pup treats (I saw that was another spending item you were thinking about cutting). :)

      Like 1
      • Khaki Storm
      • YNAB book topics online: https://support.youneedabudget.com/r/q5w48j
      • Khaki_Storm.1
      • 1 yr ago
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      internettie I struggle with how much to give to people and organizations I like also. Here are somethings I'm doing in place of giving or alongside giving:

      Telling others. I had to stop giving to a missionary friend. She has a website explaining what she does and how to support her. I post a link to the page every so many months to my social networks and tell others about her good work. 

      Giving thru regular purchases with the Amazon smile program. Same prices, same Amazon shipping, same things I needed to buy anyway, but a small % goes to an organization I select. 

      Giving thru time and talent. I created and keep the church website running on weebly. I learned weebly's tool in a weekend, created the site in another week, and post updates weekly. I can do most of this from home (unless I need a picture of some event or something). The church pays for the website and all fees, I just provide the time and talent. "Talent" is a bit of a stretch, because I think weebly is super easy with drag and drop functionality to build a page, but many at the church "don't do" computers, so it's a huge help to them. 

      Another at home volunteering activity is to make calls. My brother does this for an organization he supports. They give him a call list to ask people to sign up for a mailing list or something like that. He calls them from home. 

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      • internettie
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      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      Faness I know that my love of dog is like a beacon. LOL I would feel better about volunteering than I do about spending money on dogs. It's selfish though because they give me way more than I can give them. I stayed in Maine for a year longer than I planned to for a dog. It was the most rewarding year of my life. I'm glad to be back in Colorado but my year with that pup changed everything for the better for me. I want to pay that forward to other dogs. As for the snacks for me, I can be good at packing my snacks so I don't spend money. Just being around dogs would be so wonderful. I have a passion for the senior, hospice, medically complicated, and the unwanted dogs. I know I can give them something no one else can. Thanks for your post. It means a lot to me.

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      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      Ben Khaki Storm I do a lot of sharing so that dogs in need can get out there. I have used Amazon Smile for years now. The benefactor is of course a dog rescue (the one I am thinking of pausing donations for). My time and talent (taking care of dogs) is given to my best friend's pup, my buddy, Woody. Whenever she needs me to watch him I do. She and her husband will be going to Ireland this summer and I'll stay at their house to take care of Woody. They don't have to worry about him with me there. I am family to him. He's 13 and I've known him his whole life. He and I really bonded when I lived there when I came back to Colorado in august 2017. I was there for 6 months. I see him whenever I can. If I had a car I'd see him even more. He means the world to me. I know I can share some of that love with other dogs that really need someone. Woody is loved and taken care of like the little prince that he is. Dogs at the shelter need someone to let them know they are loved. I can do that. I have waited because I have been so heartbroken without my foster dog. It's been almost 2 years since I last saw her in person. I still miss her every day. I think I am ready to open my heart up just a little bit again for other dogs. I'll know when I go to the Humane Society. If I'm ready, I will know.

      Thanks for all the great suggestions. It's so helpful. It can be overwhelming dealing with finances and emotions at the same time. I appreciate the help.

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  • I too think that for now donations must be on pause. That $15 could fund any of those "when needed" categories. When one of those categories isn't funded and something comes up, you will be less likely to reach for a credit card.

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      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
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      xgirlmama yes, I agree, donations on pause! Thanks!

      Like
  • What are peoples thoughts on closing accounts but still paying off the debt on credit cards? Or asking for credit limits to be reduced so there is little to no credit line (it would have to be done periodically)? I know it would hit my credit score negatively but my credit score is low anyway and I have a place to live and I have my non-owner car insurance (no car, just insurance for rental s or borrowed cars, and so I don't get whacked with much higher rates for insurance lapse). I'd be okay with the credit hit because I know I can't be trusted with an available credit line! Hard to admit but true. I would keep my credit union credit card which has a low limit ($600) and 0% interest until next February. I'd close/reduce limit on Discover & Amazon Prime Visa.

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      • jenmas
      • jenmas
      • 1 yr ago
      • 2
      • Reported - view

      internettie a less drastic option would be to destroy the cards but keep the account open. And then when you are out of debt you contact the credit card company and say you lost the card and ask for a replacement.

      Like 2
      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
      • 1
      • Reported - view

      jenmas I have destroyed the cards. I've done that at least three times in the past 18 months. I almost never use the actual card. It's the online spending. I have done all I can do to make it harder for me to access them:

      they are no longer in my password manager so I have no idea what the account numbers are or what the expiration dates are are the PIN #s

      I have deleted them from Amazon, PayPal, and any other sites I had them on

      I have taken the bookmarks off my web browser

      I have unsubscribed to emails from stores or other sites I buy stuff from

      I will be unsubscribing from the dog rescue site emails until I am out of debt

      I tell myself that since I destroyed the cards (AGAIN!) and have taken all the info out of my web browser and off sites, that I can keep them, pay them off, and not make my credit score worse, but I don't know that I trust myself to not use them to spend online. I know it's drastic, but it may be what I need to do. I can see if these measures work but I want to have options if they do not.

      Thanks for the response. It's helpful and it gives me something to think about. 

      Like 1
    • internettie You may be able to call them and ask them to freeze spending privileges. I just got a new Capital One card (I was added to my finaces which has better rewards), and I already have a Capital One card I'm not using anymore and since they can't combine the accounts they told me I can put a spending freeze on it but leave the account open for credit purposes. I still have a handful of auto-pays I'll have to transfer over before I do that, but it seems like a good option. 

      Like 2
      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      Purple Admiral I will look into doing that! That would be great. I don't want to ruin my credit but I also don't want to keep getting myself into trouble with credit purchases. Thanks!

      Like
      • xgirlmama
      • Purple_Griffin
      • 1 yr ago
      • 3
      • Reported - view

      internettie I think you can tell the CC companies that you lost your card and when they send you replacements, just cut them up and DO NOT MEMORIZE/LOOK AT THE numbers. Then you really can do no online damage

      Like 3
      • internettie
      • Writer
      • internettie
      • 1 yr ago
      • Reported - view

      xgirlmama They are cut up and disposed of safely. I will not get any replacements. I will keep the accounts open to keep my credit score in the pathetic place it currently is in and as I pay off debt watch it rise. If in the interim I can't control myself, even though I currently do not have my account numbers, expiration dates, or that 3 digit code on the back, then I will consider freezing/closing accounts. I hope I can be smart about this but probably not. LOL Right now the card info is not stored anywhere that I can look it up. I do not and will not look at my statements for that info. It's not all on there anyway. Thanks.

      Like
  •  After seeing everyone's responses here and on another part of the forum I have decided to stop the $10 monthly donation to the dog rescue but to continue the $5 monthly donation to the goat rescue. I feel that I did commit to my donation with them and will continue that donation. Compromise.

    I have also decided to not go to the wedding next year. I love my sister and nephew but I will spend zero time with them. I'd rather pay off my debt, by the time the wedding would happen, and then start saving to visit them when I can actually spend time with them. I will also invite my nephew and his finace/wife out here to visit. My sister knows she has an open invitation to visit.

    I'm also going to cut all the stuff in bold to zero or cut back as much as I can (as in the case of the groceries). I want to put at least $250 - $300 a month toward my debt in addition to the minimum payments of $259. I know I can do this. I won't be perfect and I'll stumble along the way, but I'm willing to get up and dust myself off and keep moving forward.

    Like 5
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