SRS I need financial/budgeting help/advice

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by Akimbo, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Akimbo

    Akimbo New Member

    Feb 15, 2005
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    Orlando, Florida
    Okay OT, I didn't want to take this to the main forum, because of obvious reasons. And I wasn't sure if I wanted to go to On Topic, but this subforum always seemed helpful and full of good natured people.

    My story is not as serious as a lot of threads I've seen, but regardless I'm in a tight spot and need sound advice.

    Basically my life is going to crap because of money. I can't seem to save money, I spend it as soon as I get it. I never finished college, and I'm working a mediocre serving job. I make enough to make ends meet but I never see the money. Being that I'm a server, I've got money in hand and I always blow it. Food and drinks after work, fast food, stupid shit I KNOW I don't need but can't resist purchasing.

    I'm 22 and my parents have helped me too much. I know they love me and they've bailed me out a few times. This month is gonna be rough, don't know if I'll make rent or not, for sure won't be able to pay the cell phone bill, etc etc. I'm about a grand in debt with a credit card that keeps calling. I avoid their phone calls because i KNOW I can't pay it back.

    Basically I need advice on how to budget/finance/save money. Also need advice on what to do about the credit card company hounding me. I'm just really scared that they're gonna do something serious to try to get me to pay, I dunno what they do, but I'm just scared.

    I'm through asking my parents to help me out, I think they'd say "too bad" anyway, they've helped me so much recently. I've contemplated asking my grandparents for money to save me too.

    What if I took out a loan to pay off the credit card and phone bill? And other bills? Is this a wise move? I'm just really in the hole right now and would take any serious advice...:hs:
  2. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

    Oct 8, 2002
    Likes Received:
    Care,for all is like a bonsai tree
    The problem is 'YOU',

    Here's what you do. Talk to your grandparents. Say grandpa i want you to do me a favour.

    - Open a new bankaccount.
    - Give pinpas and pin-number to grandpa.
    - Goto your employer and say' money has got to goto new bankaccount number.

    What you say to your grandpa is this: Grandpa you need to stop me from buying stupid stuff, i always do it. If i ever need something i want to ask your permission first before you let me go out and buy it.

    If your grandpa 'or anyone else you trust to death' has the access, it means 'you cannot easily get it'.

    Second, get a piggy bank. Seriously. Every month you 'religiously' put 100 dollar in it. Its not about the money, its about changing your attitude and becoming financial responsible. LEARN HOW TO SAVE. This is your priority. The 1000 isn't too big of a number to pay off. But financial responsibility requires 'dicipline'. You need to 'stop yourself'.

    For the rest, the best thing you can do at the moment is 'nothing' , don't spend a dime this month wait until your next paycheck comes,

    You are not allowed to buy anything, solve the debt immediatly.
  3. Toasty

    Toasty Naked people have little or no influence on societ

    Mar 4, 2005
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    Funny how sometimes you might ask for help, but you end up answering all your own questions? :) I mean, you know what it takes to get back on the right track - you say you KNOW you spend on stupid shit, you depend on family to bail you out, you say you can't save money, etc etc.

    Definition of insanity - doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    You keep taking bailouts from family & you keep running away from your debts, you'll never be able to change your own habits, because the problem is....surprise, YOU!

    You want practical solutions? OK, here's a start:

    a) $1000 is not too much debt on a card. At least nothing that you should be wrecking your credit rating over. 2 options I'd suggest:

    - find a loan with a lower interest rate to consolidate your debt and get it under control. Pay it off.

    - or suck up your pride and ask for help from family. Only this time don't ask for a free ride. Offer your grandpa 10% interest upon loaning you the money to pay this off. This way, grandpa helps you (by not chasing you down with creditors) but you own up to your own responsibility and pay grandpa back for his help.

    b) Start looking for a more rewarding job. Don't quit yet until you've found something that pays better or puts you on a career path towards earning more.

    c) Pay yourself first. As you're paying grandpa back, get into the habit of paying yourself $50 - $100/mo (something you can afford regularly). Promise yourself never to touch this.

    d) AFTER you've paid a portion off towards your debt, AFTER you've saved a little for yourself, then by all means go out an buy a little stupid shit for yourself now and again. The point being that you have a budget for your spending & you've taken care of your responsibilities first.
  4. Viper

    Viper Livin' la vida scrotum OT Supporter

    Sep 22, 2004
    Likes Received:
    In a van down by the river
    Do you realize just how many people actually do that? That reason alone was the source of 90% of my financial troubles.

    Why? Because once you pay off that credit card bill, you have all your available balance available to you again and given your wavering status with your finances, you don't want to put yourself in that position because you are going to dig yourself into a much deeper hole.

    Here is what you need to do:

    1. First and foremost (and I mean as soon as you read this post) go get your credit card(s) and cut them all up. You are not ready or mature enough to handle one right now. Perhaps in the future you will be able to handle it, but right now you are not simply because you have them "hounding" you about the payments.

    2. List ALL of your bills on a sheet of paper. From the cell phone, to the credit card minimum payment, to what you spend in gas, food, entertainment, fast food, WHATEVER you spend your money on on a regular basis. Get it all out in front of you so that you can see WHERE your money is going. Don't skip this step either, because it's the MOST IMPORTANT step. If you don't know WHERE your money is going, you'll never be able to make a decent budget.

    3. Once you have your list, go down and analyze the things that are "needs" (such as a phone, electric, food, etc.) and analyze the things that are "wants" (such as movies, CDs, fast food, credit cards, etc.).

    4. Put your "needs" in one list. Put your "wants" in another list. Total both lists.

    5. Now, figure out your net pay for the month (just find a paycheck and mulitply it by two usually, unless you are paid weekly or monthly). FYI, and I'm sure you know this, but just in case, your net pay is what you take home or what you have when you take your check to the bank and cash it.

    6. Subtract your list of needs from your net pay.

    7. The money you have left over after your needs are met, is what you have available to you to start rebuilding your financial future.

    8. Go to the bank, and open up a savings account (unless you already have one).

    9. Resolve that you are going to put $25 a month into, NO IFS, ANDS, OR BUTS. EVERYBODY has $25 to spare, so don't bullshit yourself into thinking you don't have it to spare, because at THIS point you've separated your needs from your wants and you SEE what money you have to spare. No, at this point you don't NEED to save an ungodly amount of money. At this point you are just trying to establish the habit of going to the bank each month and saving some money, no matter HOW SMALL that amount is.

    10. Now, get out your bills that have a balance on them. This means your credit card bills, any loans you have, or any one time bills incurred through either medical or school or whatever. Basically, anything that you can PAY OFF and never have to pay again fits into this category. (like your phone bill wouldn't fit because you NEVER pay that off. It's recurring every month for as long as you have the service).

    11. Put them in order from smallest to largest.

    12. Pay minimum payments on EVERYTHING except the littlest one.

    13. Take all other available money and put it towards the smallest one until it is paid off.

    14. When the smallest one is paid off, take the money you gained from THAT and roll it over to the next highest one on the list, applying all the money you had BEFORE to it plus the extra money you got from paying the smallest one off to it.

    15. Lather, rinse, repeat until ALL of those one time bills are paid off.

    16. Once you've paid them all off and have yourself reduced to just basic, recurring bills, NOW you can begin to rebuild your finances. And NOW you can begin to start putting WAY MORE money into savings. You can also look into starting some investments and being more financially responsible.

    Basically, you NEED to train yourself to be more efficient with your finances. And if you are serious about wanting to get them under control, then you will meet this plan with flying colors.

    Just remember that it's NEVER good financial advice to pay off one debt by incurring another debt. You pay off your debts by slashing costs where you can OR making more money.

    Some tips:

    1. Don't forget to budge SOME entertainment money in your budget. Don't try and cut all ALL fun or you'll go nuts. Just set aside maybe $50 per pay towards fun.

    2. Keep track of your checking account balance on a daily basis.

    3. Make sure you are writing down what you are spending your money on so that you can see where your money is going.

    Good luck.
  5. Midgetized

    Midgetized Don't mess with Douche Cat

    May 29, 2000
    Likes Received:
    San Diego, CA
    As soon as you get off work go straight to the bank and put your tips in there. Don't let yourself carry cash around because you know all you will do is spend it.
  6. daneeyah

    daneeyah Guest

    As far as organizing your money, tracking where your money goes etc... use its free.
  7. Lazy D.

    Lazy D. Well-Known Member

    Oct 10, 2000
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    i signed up, but they want my credit card numbers AND passwords... I can't trust internet site with that...
  8. 7960

    7960 New Member

    Oct 17, 2004
    Likes Received:
    New England
    resist purchasing, /problem.

    pay your bill and they'll stop hounding you without doing anything serious. /your anticipated problem.
  9. Yail Bloor

    Yail Bloor OT Supporter

    May 5, 2002
    Likes Received:
    the streets
    My wife and I both worked as servers.

    When we got married I moved in with her and she was very behind on her bills.

    First thing you need to do is get a dry erase board (or 2) and mount in on the wall in a convenient location.

    After every shift that you work, as soon as you get home you count your cash. On the dry erase board you write down the day of the week, the date, and how much money you made.

    On another part of the dry erase board, every day you count how much total cash you have and write that total with the date.

    Do this every single day. It is the only way you will ever have any idea how much money you are making. Do not put this off when you get home. Do it immediately.

    I recommend grouping the weeks together with a total. So each week you will know exactly how much you made. Over time, you will gather enough data that you will know approximately how much you will make each week and each shift, so this will help you plan ahead to pay your bills.

    Next step is to gather all your bills and make a monthly budget. You can do this on another dry erase board or a piece of paper. I like the dry erase board because I don't have to worry about losing the paper, and I can see my finances at a glance any time.

    So on the budget, start with the most necessary expenses and work your way to the least necessary. So rent will be first, then electricity, then water, and down the line.

    You can total this up so now you know what your fixed living expenses are each month. You can then even divide this number by 4 and you know how much you need to keep each week to pay the bills. You can even take it further and divide by the number of shifts each week so you know how much per shift goes to your fixed expenses.

    Continue the budget with expenses for food and other necessities. Every regular expense you can think of should be listed.

    Then commit yourself to not spending money on ANYTHING unnecessary for a few months. This will give you time to build up cash. When you get paid in cash every day its much different than getting a 2 weeks check. You really need to have a cash fund to work from so you aren't dependent on spending that days' cash on necessities.

    Over time you can analyze your cash flow (how much comes in each day, each week, each month) and also you have your budget so you know how much is going out.

    I personally wouldn't sweat the CC. Your minimum balance should be low and you can pay the minimum until you get your finances worked out.

    The main things here are:

    make the budget
    track your incoming cash every day
    stop spending unnecessarily in the short term

    then once you get shit under control you will know when and where you can spend extra money for entertainment and non-essential items and still save and pay on your CC
  10. Yail Bloor

    Yail Bloor OT Supporter

    May 5, 2002
    Likes Received:
    the streets
    my wife went from being months behind on her rent and other bills (gas bill alone was over $500) to being caught up in a short time

    of course it helped that we had two incomes, but the major thing was I was able to show her on paper that she in fact brought in enough money each month to pay her bills, but that her spending habits prevented her from paying on time each month

    once you get all the figures written down and can analyze them, it will be easy to see that you in fact bring in enough money each month to easily cover your basic expenses and if you commit yourself to setting that money aside you will not have to worry any longer

    before i was a server I only made about $200 more per month than my basic expenses and i never had any trouble paying the bills because each week when i got paid i would put the cash aside that i needed to pay the bills and refuse to touch it. so at the end of the month the cash to pay eveything was always right there, instead of me having to stress out and scramble to get everything paid
  11. Ameter

    Ameter Well-Known Member

    Mar 31, 2005
    Likes Received:
    Calgary, AB
    A loan will only help you once you stop your spending. If you cut up your credit cards and everything, then maybe it'll work.

    From the sounds of it, the only thing you really need to learn is how to say no.

    If you're invited out to drinks, say 'no thanks'.
    If you feel like fast food, say 'no, I'll go home and make dinner'

  12. Drifter87

    Drifter87 Yippi-kay-ay, Motherfucker

    Jan 5, 2005
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    What I did was make a spread sheet for my budget. It shows my income, how much I spend on rent/utilities, food, eating out, gas, fun, etc...

    It does some simple calculations to show how much I save each month and if I am under or over my budget.

    I track EVERY penny I earn and spend and because of this system I never go into debt and I saved 1/3 of my paycheck every month.
  13. daneeyah

    daneeyah Guest

    its safe.. you can Google if you want..

    up to you though :dunno:

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