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Yet another budgeting idea

Ref budgeting:

First, I guess I am not too qualified to make and suggestions since we are in a tight (to put it nicely) spot ourselves. But, something simple and pretty cheap… In the office section of your local Wal-Mart, they sell financial folders. I have used these for years and Love them. It is spiral bound and has a page with a pocket for each month. You put your bills in the front and then when you have paid them you move them to the pocket of the folder for that month. I think that is how they want you to use it.

Also, there is a graph for each month on that month’s page where you write all your bills- what it is, when it is due, the amount due, the amount you paid and any comments/ conf. numbers, etc. It is simple and all hard copy so no worries about computer crashes, etc either. I save mine for three years so that if there were ever any questions I have all my records. I think they are about 7 or 10 dollars. I can see at a quick glance at what I have and have not paid. Just a thought.

That is such a good suggestion I cant believe I forgot to mention it!! lol. I did this about 2 years ago because I kept forgetting things. I have all of our household/car and living expenses due at the beginning of the month and then the 3rd week of the month I pay all loans, credit cards and money(what little if any is left) into savings. It took me a couple of months to get it all squared away but it made things much easier. I know just by the date if I need to be taking care of bills or anticipating paying things. It helps if you are disorganized like I tend to be.

Maybe you haven’t given it enough time? Not knowing your complete scenario of income and expenses it’s hard to suggest anything specific. I know I’ve been using Quicken ever since it came out and before that a simple check balancing program. It helped me see where I was spending so that I soon became in the habit of not buying on compulsion. I now only buy what is needed. I have a throwaway account where I budget about $10 a week to blow but I rarely use it.

Habit, it takes getting in the habit to quit spending and start paying off the debt. Once you are debt-free then the extra money each month goes into savings. Then, you buy with cash only there on out. Quit giving the banks your money as interest and late fees. I can’t dwell on this last statement enough. It makes me angry, get angry about it. It works.

Budgeting tips?

I’m a mess financially and am trying to budget but I can’t get it done. Has any tried Mvelopes or John Cummuta’s budgeting programs? Or has anyone used a budgeting program that helped? Thanks.

I love Mvelopes…. But there is a learning curve – it took me a while to learn how to do it. I also use a Google Spreadsheet.

I have a question, I have tried for years to get my finances under control. I handle them now for both hubby and me. I am not that great at it. I have a hard time deciding what we have, how much we will have in 5 months, etc. What to pay, how much to pay other than the absolute amount, planning for emergencies.. etc.. As you can see I am horrible at it. My hubby is in med school and our first child is on the way. I am hoping that someone has ideas. I have tried Microsoft money for tracking but I fall down on it. I even have the matching program on my palm. I can’t figure out why I fall down on it… Any ideas….Help please

It’s rather expensive for someone who is really strapped for money? It’s a good program and all, but I wouldn’t be able to afford it.

I also take care of the finances at my house, and I’ve discovered that all that tracking software doesn’t work for me at all, so these are totally low tech suggestions:

  • I called every bill I had (credit cards, utilities, whatever) and asked them all if I could change the due date of the bill to the 1st of the month. This was convenient based on my paycheck schedule, so just choose a date that works for you and see if anyone can be flexible.
  • Gather everything together about a week before that bill due date and list what you have, and then what you owe to bills, and what you’ll need for food, gas, etc. (and hopefully what you can put towards savings).
  • The only thing I do online is checking my checking account to see which checks have gone through, so I know the bank and I agree.
  • I also balance my checkbook immediately, and subtract every check right away, to avoid the possibility of bouncing checks.
  • If your employer does direct deposit, see if you can put a certain amount automatically towards savings every month.

See if any of that works! Good luck!

It runs me about $2 or $3 per paycheck. So, I didn’t think it was too horrid – I just set aside that much each payday. I suppose it is all in how much convenience it offers as opposed to the cost.

Cost Cutting Idea

Wow, this discussion has gotten intense! I think we can all agree that we’ve run into some creditors that are really difficult to deal with. Everyone’s situation is different and we’ve all had to handle those situations in different ways. The important thing is, we’re all trying to *deal* with our debt now, which is good–but it’s hard.

Okay, so, deep breath, new subject: our cable tv bill – and we only have basic cable – has increased and increased to the point where we realized it’s ridiculous. I looked closely at my bill a couple of months ago and found out that there’s even a *more* basic plan, called “Broadcast Basic”. It’s only $18 per month!

With that and a decent Netflix account, we’ll save $25 on our monthly expenses.

So if you have cable and you don’t want to cut it completely, see if there’s a super-no-frills plan and it might save you money. Which you can put towards debt. Or food. Or gas. You get the idea.

If anyone is struggling with paying their student loan

I don’t know if you SAID it was their fault or not. you IMPLIED it in a few of your posts.. go back and read! They don’t have to follow any rules as they are the Government!! It says that or something to that effect in your contractual agreement! Of course, they are different! Credit card companies vs. Government – TWO different things. You were wronged by them, we know – you need to get over it.

Before you start telling me to get over myself maybe you should take your own advice! I’m not insulting anyone. I initially was trying to help, but you continually repeat that THEY have WRONGED you and so on. Maybe you should take some ownership and get over it! I’ve talked to several people over the years who’ve had trouble paying on their student loans and not once has anyone mentioned the things you have talked about and suggested. I think your “warnings” are not well-founded. The “ridiculous voluntary payments” you mention I have never seen myself nor have I heard of others encountering them so what makes me so wrong for questioning you and where you base this?

As far as them using a “collection agency” I’ve not seen that either. Maybe when you are seriously into default they use that but they’ve worked with us and others I know so before you start telling me to get over myself maybe you should think and realize that others may not have gone thru the experience you have and that doesn’t make them wrong nor does it make you an authority, expert, or right! There are two sides to everything but you would have everyone believe that only your side is the real side or the correct side.

If anyone on this list is struggling with paying their student loan I urge them to immediately call and make arrangements and work with whoever you have to. They will work with you!! They will go through a lot BEFORE they ever get to the point of just garnishing your wages etc. There are ample warnings and opportunities to resolve things it never even needs to get to this. Stop trying to ‘scare’ or ‘warn’ everyone. There is nothing to be scared of or warned about. Just pay your loan and if you cant call and make arrangements and go from there. They are not ridiculous and unreasonable like you are trying to make them out to be.. maybe they are when you continually default.. but if you cant make payment and need help they can help and have a lot of options and if anyone doesn’t believe me then just research your bill… call them up, go online, etc. And next time consider applying for an installment loan up to $5k from 5000LoanHelp – their repayment plan is steady and consistent.

My spouse went to income-sensitive payments all by going online and using fax. It is that easy so stop trying to try to tell people its not and be all gloom and doom. If anyone is in a bad situation credit and payment wise burying your head in the sand will not ever solve the problem nor will laying blame elsewhere. Just get up, pick up the phone, go online or do something and start making arrangements and plans. Some of them may not be to your liking and some may not even be doable according to your budget but ignoring it won’t get you anywhere and that’s all I’ve been saying through this whole pointless conversation.

Now, I was wronged by them, but that’s another story, I was outright lied to by their collection agency.

I did all that, I’m telling you IT DOESN’T matter

I did all that, I’m telling you IT DOESN’T matter.

I filled out all their paperwork, with legit figures that I could prove. I had my friend who is a very good attorney, help me with everything.

End of the story is, they can do what they want when they want, they changed the laws to make it so they can garnish your wages anytime they want, and you can’t do anything about it. They don’t have to go to court, they don’t have to file any legal paperwork, they can just do it.

um YES – THAT IS what I just tried to tell you. They can and will do what they want so it’s in your best interest to work with them! I’m not going to argue this with you.. you clearly think you’ve been wronged but with some of your comments, I think you may have done some of the wrongdoing yourself. You still have the attitude that it’s “them” and not you. You took out the loan did you not? You do have some culpability in this. Stop laying blame on them.

No, they are not nice about things.. get over it. You need to pay your bill or work something out with them.. which it seems you did neither. It does matter and they will work with people. Maybe not people who are continually delinquent or refuse to pay etc. People who are willing to work it out will find there are a lot of options. I speak from experience.

ummm, I never said they were at fault, I was simply saying that they do not have to follow the rules that other creditors have to. Now, I was wronged by them, but that’s another story, I was outright lied to by their collection agency.

I took my medicine on this a long time ago. There are extenuating circumstances that I don’t care to go into here, BUT I have had a terrible 5 years or so financially, and the money wasn’t there to pay them, but I’m dealing with it.

You really need to get over yourself, and your insulting of other people. We all do things we regret, and we all do things that maybe we should have handled differently. I really would, however, like to know where I said that it was their fault and not mine?

It’s my debt, and it will be paid off in the next couple of months, and I will be very glad when it is paid off.

I was simply trying to warn others that they can and will garnish your paychecks and do not have to go to court to do so. And they can do it with you making their ridiculous “voluntary” payments. Been there done that.

What you are saying does’nt make sense.

Sorry, but what you are saying doesn’t make sense. If they are so unwilling to reason then they must have a reason. If they’ve done what they are going to do as you say then I guess its a non-issue? So why bring it up? If your loan(s) aren’t much that may be the reason why. Why they would want 1000 a month on a loan of 4600 makes no sense at all so there must be something you aren’t telling.

You say it was a whopping 4600 at the beginning of the year.. what was it originally? Something doesn’t add up because my spouse has been dealing with them for 16 years!!! What you are saying doesn’t make sense unless you are leaving out some things.

I never said it was a $1000 per month.

My loan was in default, but I never got any notifications from them. I have had a bad 5-6 years. They sent me a letter back in January, FIRST letter I had rec’d in about 3 years, and said that they were garnishing my checks unless I could prove to them that I didn’t have the money.

They said my current loans didn’t matter. that my rent was too high, that my electric was too high, and several other bills that I had they did not consider. And I had to pay them $253.09, I managed that for 7 months, and couldn’t do it anymore, I was running about $200 a month short before they demanded their money.

So now they are taking 15% of my check. I am about to be evicted because that money has to come from somewhere.

Anytime in that time frame they could have contacted me, but they never did, and yes, I probably should have contacted them, but sometimes we don’t make the right decisions. And when you don’t have $25 extra a month, you don’t see any point in contacting a very past-due debt, why wake up the sleeping beast.

I still can’t understand. They’ve sent my spouse numerous notices that he was in danger of “defaulting”.. they gave him what few options he had left which were few. I can’t understand why you haven’t had these options available to you or maybe you did and you exhausted them as my spouse did? I’m speaking of deferment, graduated payments, income-sensitive payments and more. Ignoring these people will not make them go away. You can ignore a credit card or some other bill but you cannot ignore the gov’t or the IRS. They will come to get what they feel they are entitled too no matter what your situation is and if you force them to that point they will be less then sympathetic.

If it’s your debt and you can’t pay they can come after your spouse and garnish their wages instead, take your tax returns and more. This is all written in the student loan contracts first off. It’s easy to ignore the fine print until you cant make the payment. I’m sure they did try to contact you many times I cant see why they wouldn’t. I wouldn’t wake up a sleeping beast either if it was some other bill but in the case of a debt of this nature its foolish to think you are flying under the radar and will get out of it. You won’t.

The fact that they are only taking 15% of your wages is something to be grateful for I think. I’ve heard they can take up to 35% if they want. What you are saying still does not make sense to me. My spouse has received threatening letters regarding garnishment etc. Nothing you are saying even sounds like what we’ve been thru. I’m not saying you didn’t encounter this I’m just saying it’s just not sounding like what we’ve gone thru. They’ve given us every opportunity to make things right and they’ve given us as many alternatives and options as they could that were not already exhausted.

I will say that talking to one rep doesn’t mean much. You can call back and get someone else who will tell you something completely different or who will be more than helpful in contrast to the first one kwim? But in all the dealings with them for 17 years now or whatever it been, we’ve never once had them make comments, suggestions or question our other living expenses like you are saying. Your living expenses are none of their business. If you try to get income sensitive payments they want to see your income. that’s it. Maybe you should seek help from an outside source, maybe an attorney or someone to make sure you are being treated fairly. Even when we filed Chapter 7 we didn’t have to explain our utility bills etc.

We had to list our living expenses but they were never questioned. Everyone is entitled to living expenses. Everyone has utility bills and living expenses etc. Is it possible that the person you spoke with made an out of line comment about your living expenses.. maybe you were trying to get them to consider or factor them in terms of your ability to make repayment and the person you spoke to said things that were inappropriate? It just doesn’t sound right to me.

We got blast from the past – school loan

I have a friend that has a school loan that appeared on his credit report. This was his but it has been 20 years since he graduated.

They have had 20 years to find him – why now? Is there anything he can do with it?


Sure, he can pay it. he went to school, took the loan, and signed his name to pay it, did he not? He knew he had it and could have stepped up and done the right thing over the past 20 years.

But It should not be there if it’s negative. Unless its a bankruptcy after 7 years it should fall off, BK takes 10. Contact the credit reporting agency that he obtained this report under and dispute it. It should be removed if it’s negative. If it’s positive it can stay on indefinitely.. and why not?.. it’s positive after all! You said, “school loan” which I take to be different from “Student Loan” because “Student Loans” are through the Federal Gov’t and trust me. they won’t wait 20 years to come after someone.

You can’t default on a Federal Student Loan- you cant include them in BK or anything you must pay them back no matter what and no matter how long it takes. That is money that is loaned and you will pay it back or die. Truly, you have to die to get out of paying it. I know. My spouse still owes nearly 20,000 on their student loans. A ‘School’ loan, however, maybe something else from some private institution, etc.

Rather than take the demeaning attitude of this author, I believe I have read on many occasions that the two things one cannot get out of our taxes and student loans. Someone more knowledgeable on the subject may know better.

It really is not any surprise your friend could not be found for twenty years. Look at the billions being spent to find Obama and they still can’t.

BUT they will give you ample warning before resorting to this and they have a lot of repayment options, income-sensitive plans, etc. They only die if the borrower does sadly to say. That’s the only way you will get out of paying one is if you die.

You obviously haven’t dealt with them lately. I have, they aren’t very sensitive to your bills, and what current costs are. I am barely making it week to week. And they say my rent is too high, my other bills don’t matter, my elec is too high.

So I should have $1000 per month to pay on their bill, but in reality there are bills that have to be paid whether they say it’s legit or not. Guess I could have gone to my landlord and say, student loan people said your rent was too high, so you have to decrease it. I’m SURE that would work.

Actually, we have just dealt with them as of last month to be exact. My spouse is out of options- no more deferments, etc. So we do know. You have to talk to the right people and in our case, we found that talking to a few different people you will get a few different answers. If you didn’t get anywhere then you need to try again. My spouse is now on an income-sensitive repayment plan for the next year. something that was never offered to us in the past. It reduced our monthly payment by 60.00. that may not be much to you but to us, it is when our payment is about 260.00 a month- that extra 60.00 now goes in the gas tank for the time being and hopefully will be able to pay it to the loan in a few months regularly to get ahead again.

They have several repayment options..none of which my spouse qualifies for any longer as we’ve exhausted them all in order to pay other bills and legal expenses as a result of our son getting into trouble. As a matter of fact, for the income-sensitive repayment, we only needed to provide proof of our income.. not of anything else which includes rent or mortgage, etc. I’m guessing you have a staggering amount in loans maybe? if they want 1000.00 a month. I suggest you work something out with them asap because they will garnish your wages, seize your bank account and take anything else you may have coming to you like tax refunds, etc. This is one place you can’t win or get out of paying.

Re: Creditor calling co-workers

I don’t know if this will help anyone but I had to send some things back in May and June that I normally would send certified with a return receipt but I was strapped for cash so while at the post office I discussed it with them. They said it really isn’t as necessary any longer to get a return receipt because you can go online to and track it there and when it’s delivered you can print out that page for your records which shows the date and time of delivery to the address etc.

They told me they feel that it would be enough to satisfy the courts so I took them at their word lol and only sent my mail certified and saved myself over 2.00 per letter then I went on to their website and set it up to be notified when my letters were delivered(one of them was for a refund check but the other two involved credit and debt issues)and when I was notified and I printed those pages out.

It seemed to work fine. We didn’t discuss PO boxes tho, all items I sent EXCEPT for the refund were going to physical addresses. The refund check was going to a PO Box and I couldn’t detect anything different. I guess it would depend on if whoever you are dealing with would want to challenge the USPS with regards to their delivery kwim?

Creditor calling co-workers

There is a woman who is calling me from “account services”. I am unclear whether she is from a credit card company or collection agency. I spoke with her a couple of times, and she said that she is not trying to collect, she was calling to find out my intentions. I’ve explained that there is NO MONEY to pay anything right now, and actually, I have reached the point where bankruptcy is a reality for me.

If she can’t reach me at my work number, she starts calling my co-works by changing the variation of my work number slightly. She leaves messages for me on their voicemail. Is this legal?

I have returned her calls, left her messages. I left her another message today, strong asking that she no longer call my co-workers, as it is jeopardizing my job, and to call me only at home from now on. I requested this under FTC rights. I also requested that she leave me an address if she calls, so I can make this request in writing, but I don’t know if she will.

Is she required to stop calling me at work, or at least call my co-workers, if I make the request verbally?

Nope. You must do so in writing and you must have proof they received, it. So get a real address, not a PO, and send them a letter, return receipt requested, stating they are no longer allowed to contact you at work.

Once you have proof that they received the letter and she calls, gets her full name, then uses it when you tell them that they are in violation of federal law and she will personally be named a co-defendant. Then demand to speak to her supervisor, which you probably will not really do, she will just pass the phone to one of her co-workers sitting next to her. Get their full name also, and repeat the same message.

At this point, keep a log of every phone call, what number was dialed, date and time of the call. If you get them back on the phone, tell them you are contacting a lawyer about suing them.

The woman that is calling you from account services is a collector with the 3rd party collection agency called Account Services. Their staff is known for being complete morons and for failing to follow the FDCPA. When she asks you for your intentions, she is calling to collect on whatever debt obligation it is. IF you have told her there is no money, that doesn’t really mean anything to the collector, everybody says that. If you would like to stop the calls, do this: write a letter that requests that they cease and desist all communication with you, both in writing and by phone.

You can fax the letter to them or email them. The law says it must be sent via certified mail with return receipt confirmation. As long as they get it, that is what is important. Collectors calling coworkers by changing the last digits of a # is a very common tactic.

Verbal requests, as stated in the FDCPA are allowable and usually adhered to, but the collectors at Account Services do not always follow the strictest interpretation of the law. You do not need to file bankruptcy yet, what state do you live in, there might be other options.