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Oh I'm so Embarrassed!

Valued Member

Re: Oh I'm so Embarrassed!

tophat1 wrote:

Specifics, huh?  Well, FS is now 633--not horrible, but not good either.  Live in Wisconsin.  As for stuff we can sell, I've put everything from my jewelry to our boat up for sale.  I'm taking lunches to work instead of eating out, and we dont' eat out much for dinner.  Could be less though, honestly.  Cancelled the memberships to Weight Watchers, and the "Y", and cancelled the lawn service.  We are keeing the satellite TV cuz we live in the sticks and cannot get ANY tv without it.  Don't have any extra pay channels though.  Same with internet--satellite or nothing.   We don't do a lot of shopping for clothes, etc.  Most of our cc spending came from vacations, furniture, electronics, etc.  We used to spend a lot of money going out every weekend, but have stopped that almost completely.


No unusual money flow coming our way--not that I'm aware of anyway.  Oh, I also cut back on payroll tax withholdings, but don't want to do that too much and get into trouble at tax time!   I have taken another part-time job, on top of my full-time one.  Hard though, with kids at home.


Really don't want to do the BK thing--that reallyh scares me.  Although, I do know that life does go on.

Call Take Charge America. They'll negotiate the interest rates with the credit card companies and they'll close the accounts. My Chase rate went from 17% to 6% and my Discover rate went from 15% to 7%. They'll also give you a budegting software that might help you cut your spending.

Message 51 of 96
Frequent Contributor

Re: Oh I'm so Embarrassed!

All these messages seem the have the same thing in common: they give different perspectives on how to get out of this problem. Problem is, it seems most, if not all, give no prospective on how not to get into this problem. With that said, I'd venture to wager that 100k being dropped on your doorstep for free would only find you back in this forum, or another similar forum some time in the future from now with the same problem.


The problem is you. Nothing is ever going to change beyond the short stints of perceived change until you make that decision for yourself. You're like the fat person that wants to look thin but never realizes that what's in the fridge needs to change and that walking for 15 minutes with a heart rate of 110 isn't cardio exercise. Yes, you can clean out your fridge, but tomorrow you have to visit the grocery store again.


In my short life, I've had three individuals cry on my shoulder about a similar situation as yours. I'm very good with numbers, organization, making a plan, finding the right information and so forth. Individual one zeroed six credit cards, a doctor bill, several personal loans, two car loans, five years of back tax bills, were able to refinance their home dropping the interest rate by over two thirds, paid for in cash a mobile trailer for the extra kids and company to sleep in, and a host of other smaller debts. I helped with this free of charge in my spare time because they were friends. As the pain when away, the resistance to smart decisions grew to the point where I was told to leave because I was too controlling. I'm not exactly sure of the date, but around 10 years later, they filled bankruptcy. Dejavu. I left them with one credit card with a small revolving balance, a loan to their parents, half of a boat loan, and a excellent interest rate for a refinanced home, that's it. Go figure.


They say third time is a charm, and so it is. The third individual was like a recording of the first two, and when the resistance to change / smart decision began, I immediately walked out. The light turned on in my own head. I realized what is in the second paragraph is true. I can hold your hand forever, you just either gotta willingly hold back, learn to walk on your own, or let go and fall.


With all the political correctness bs and be nice crap aside, bandages are good, but not falling is even better. My best wishes are with you.

Date: 9/24/2009/10/02/2009
Message 52 of 96
Moderator Emerita

Re: Oh I'm so Embarrassed!



It's certainly reasonable to say that never getting in over your head is better than being in over your head and having to find a way to dig yourself out. But, with all due respect, it's a little late to slam the barn door after the horse is already out (or however that saying goes). Your personal experience not withstanding, plenty of people work themselves out of a ditch coming up with the resolve to never be there again. And, some even manage to do it without needing other people to hold their hands and lead them every step of the way, or to deliver their brand of 'tough love'.


I think that it's perfectly reasonable to believe that most people, when push comes to shove/if push comes to shove, can and will see what needs to be done, and how best to pursue given their specific situations. They'll react just as you or I would, and get it done. And, it appears that the OP is aiming for exactly that.

Karatz wrote:
All these messages seem the have the same thing in common: they give different perspectives on how to get out of this problem. Problem is, it seems most, if not all, give no prospective on how not to get into this problem. With that said, I'd venture to wager that 100k being dropped on your doorstep for free would only find you back in this forum, or another similar forum some time in the future from now with the same problem.

That's because the OP is now a subject-matter expert (as most of us are) on how to get into debt. The OP wanted some perspective on getting out. In my experience, that's one of the very first signs of "lesson learned" and "time for a change". Certainly, it's the sign of a friend reaching out for a hand of support, and not a little salt for their wounds.


At any rate, if you spend a little time reading the forum archives, you'll see a lot of stellar advice (much from a been there, done that & bought the t-shirt perspective) on living a debt free lifestyle, and the many schools of thought that would lead to that end.


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Message 53 of 96

Re: Oh I'm so Embarrassed!

Hey risingscore.  I read your post.  I'm in the same boat as the original poster, but your admonition to look at yourself as "poor" and not "upper middle class" really struck a nerve with me.  YOU ARE SO RIGHT!


Glad to hear from someone who works for the CCCs.  Thanks for your story and insightful posts. 


Message 54 of 96
Valued Contributor

Re: Oh I'm so Embarrassed!

This is more of a statement regarding all posts on this thread, not just the OP.


The Mechanisms for overspending and out of control debt, improper money control, poor Financial decisions and improper debt accumulation are the same as those for any substance addiction/abuse syndrome. And have many commanalities with people with diagnosed eating disorders


1- Learned or improperly learned behavior

2- Peer Pressure

3- Short term satisfaction

4- Emotional binge spending

5- Low Self worth

6- Low Self Esteem 


One of the largest problem with people who have addiction/abuse issues is that the have multiple items of addiction, some are more pronounced then others and when one goes to be controlled many people find they have shifted their loss of control to another facet.


Everyone knows how someone can get to weigh 400lbs, and many people cannot fanthom how someone let them do it, but we all know there is a problem. People's credit card debt is a much easier thing to hide.


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Message 55 of 96
Established Member

Re: Oh I'm so Embarrassed!

Like I said before, agreeing with risingscore about peoples perception that they are "upper middle class" I brought up this thread to my wife. She came back with a  story of some one she was talking to, about the time I was typing my response, that classified her family as "upper middle class". knowing this family she was thinking "how can you think that?". This family has so many problems it would seem unbelievable that they could possibly think they are of that class of people.


This particular family has recently been recently foreclosed upon, had their car repossessed, hubby has been out of work selling cars for two years now and has a gambling problem that created much of their situation, stole more money from his parents then most of you owe on your credit cards and somehow came up with a great idea that ma and pa should refi their home in order to pay the debit he charged to THEIR stolen credit cards, that were left behind when they went on vacation, pay off their car and so on. wifey is possibly going to have pay cuts because of the economic situation where she works, their daughter was arrested for shoplifting and so on.


Now I know most of you don't have nearly the problem these people have but why do we need to classify ourselves and others so much? Why do people always think so highly of themselves to over classify themselves? How can this family even think they are anything above pond scum?


Like risingscore said if you are "upper middle class" you would have a substantial savings, retirement, equity in your home etc. Your status is not determined by the size of your house, or car you drive. Americans need to get over this type of thinking if we are to get out of this mess that this thinking has caused. I know most of us read about families as described here and are furious that we have to keep bailing out people like them. I just hope people start t realize where they really stand and start living within their means and not to some illconcieved notion that they are better than everyone else. As Suze Orman said "Stop living the lie"


Our children are learning from us and I think they are learning that this is OK and it's not. We need to teach them better or they will be even worse off that we are now. We need to be good role models and the time to start being one is RIGHT NOW.

Message Edited by Chasen850 on 06-26-2009 10:57 AM
Message 56 of 96
Regular Contributor

Re: Oh I'm so Embarrassed!

A lot of excellent posts in this thread, but one missing contribution:


The OP has not been back.  It would be interesting to get TopHat's take on the great posts.


That being said, the perception issues that have been brought up (i.e., seeing oneself as upper/middle class, etc.) are right on.

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Message 57 of 96

Re: Oh I'm so Embarrassed!

Cuddles, thank you I'm glad to see I could influence someones state of mind about their finacial situation. I'm just tired of hearing all these stories on the news about these upper middle class families that are now homeless. When in all reality they were simply living paycheck to paycheck. We should be living within our means. A spouse loosing their income shouldn't mean that I have to sell my home. I should have that 8 to 12 months emergency savings. And I'm not by any means perfect. I had to take medical leave and didn't qualify for STD when I got diagnosised with breast cancer, but I had enough saved that my lifestyle didn't change drastically. And why? Because I live well under my means. I refuse to stretch myself to the point that every dollar is spent. I will not dig my own grave by " just charging" something because the kids hubby or I want it. Like I've said before charge cards are great if you use them appropreiately. I will put everything from groceries to gas on my cards and then pay them in full before they start to collect interest. I've seen customers pay over $1000 for a pack of ciggarettes because of interest rates and late fees. I think our country will be much better off once we all stop trying to pretend we are living in a class that we simply aren't. If we all thought of ourselves as "poor" maybe we
might think twice about charging that $200 at target or that lunch at subway. It all adds up.
Message 58 of 96
Moderator Emerita

Re: Oh I'm so Embarrassed!

One of the real tragedies that has occurred since I was a kid is that somehow, the currently-accepted standard of living generally requires two incomes to maintain.

The smartest thing that any couple can do is live on one income and save the other.

It was sort of refreshing to see on the news the other night that builders are starting to back away from the spec McMansions and build more reasonably-sized housing. Even then, these houses have nearly three times the square footage of any house I lived in as a girl.

At what point did we allow Madison Avenue and their clients to convince us that we should drive giant vehicles built on pickup track frames that cost twice as much as DH and I paid for our first house in 1980, and that we all need "media rooms" in our gi-normous houses, and that graduating high school seniors take class trips to the Caribbean?

It's all just Stuff. And in the long run, Stuff doesn't satisfy our real emotional needs for safety and security and acceptance and love.
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Message 59 of 96
Valued Member

Re: Oh I'm so Embarrassed!

"It's all just Stuff. And in the long run, Stuff doesn't satisfy our real emotional needs for safety and security and acceptance and love."


Amen Hauling - and when more people honestly realize this, that is when change really begins.

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Message 60 of 96