Sometimes a second job is not a feasible idea

I know this is not to me, BUT sometimes a second job is not a feasible idea.

It would cost me more in fuel than I would make, I think I figured it up, and I would clear approx. $50 / month while running myself ragged.

I do feel there are other ways to make money without a second job, and I am lucky in my job that if I work harder at it, I make more money, and can increase my income that way.

One thing that everyone seems to forget is the grocery bill.

I spend $20 every 2-3 months for www.grocerygame.com I use her lists, and what coupons she says to use, and I save AT least 50-60% every week, on the bill that I buy. I cut my grocery bill by 2/3.

As I stated in another post, I am moving, I didn’t realize how much stuff I had that I had stockpiled.

I did the grocerygame for approx. 3 months, I lived off what I had stockpiled for 5 months, other than milk, soda, and a bit of meat. I would say 95% of my dinners came from my stockpile.

I haven’t bought shampoo or body wash in a YEAR.

I buy 6 Sunday newspapers for the coupons, spend an hour or two organizing them, and if say, BBQ sauce is on sale, BOGO – regularly $1.99 per bottle, and I have 6 $1 off coupons – I just got 6 bottles of BBQ sauce for FREE. I have done this. I have paid 10 cents a package for Lenders Bagels, etc, etc, etc.

I am not stockpiling right now, due to the move, why bring more in to move it. BUT I went from spending $100-200 per week to feed my family of 3 – that includes paper products, toiletries, and pet food – to approx. $50-80 per week for the same stuff.

CVS is YOUR FRIEND. I don’t know how much shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shaving products, that they PAID me to take. Combine their sales, easy care bucks, and coupons and you can make a KILLING.

You do have to be disciplined, and follow the lead, you can do it without the website, I just find it’s much easier for me, to know what the true loss leaders are. I figure that I would spend 4-6 hours doing what she does. And that 4-6 hours, I could be working my job, and making money.

I have done the same as well.

I forgot a couple of the free items from Safeway yesterday and went back to get them – handed over the coupons and the checker announced “Score!!” LOL – I save a lot of money that way and probably could live on our stockpile for a few months. I go a week or two without buying groceries just as Thomas does (I have a large family though) and that saves hundreds.

I also got the “Tightwad Gazette” from the library and have tried several of her things to save money. Make your own laundry soap and dishwashing soap (I used to do that) – wash your Ziploc baggies instead of throwing away – don’t buy anything without thinking about how to make it first.

You can’t cut rent necessarily, and the car payments are “sell the car or just keep paying” – daycare is what it is. But utilities, food, and “stuff” are totally under your control. That is where I cut our budget amazingly – and we are still alive to tell the tale!!!!

I would say work on your budget first to get a little more than “squeak” room. Then, start working on modest payments with these collection people. It will all come together if you just start reaching in the right direction and keep trying.

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Debt Consolidation Help Needed

Ok. I’m new to the blog and have joined in an effort to seek advice. So, here goes. I am in the process of trying to pay-off debt that dates back to early as 2001, all due to a boyfriend, but that’s another story and I take full responsibility for everything!!!

Long story short, I would, at all cost, love to avoid bankruptcy. I have called several lawyers in my area (South-Central PA), but they have all veered away from the debt negotiation process and are doing solely bankruptcy at this time. I have contacted two debt negotiation companies, but still feel that I would be better off with an attorney handling this. I have a family member willing to help me out to start over and he is able to help me pay off the debt entirely. I do not want to be put on a payment plan but am in need of someone to negotiate for me and make sure the debts are settled on my report. Thing is, my credit reports from the three agencies vary and it looks as if some of the debts are coming off this year and next due to the length of time passing.

Any help/advice you could give would be greatly appreciated. I just don’t know where to start!!!!

It is not as hard as you think to do it for yourself. I grabbed a Google Spreadsheeet (for portability) and entered everything from each credit report – one by one. If things look like they match up across the three, I matched them up.

Then I sorted smallest debt to largest. I sent registered, certified letters to each, asking for some explanation of the bill and proof that I owed it and that it was not beyond the statute of limitations. Just one at a time – keep copies of your letters and the green cards attached, all in their own file folders. As each comes back, then I pay it, along with a letter that says this is paid in full if you accept payment. Keep copies of the canceled checks, all correspondence. Check your credit report regularly and if they don’t come off, write to the credit agency, certified mail, including your proof. This is pretty much what the agencies you pay do, anyway. You can do it too!!!

And if you are planning to live debt free, that “magic credit score” does not mean a lot anyway – as long as you are paid off, then don’t fret it. You do not need to spend money paying a debt negotiator or an attorney to fix these things. Getting advise from someone is probably a good thing, but that can be done for much less money that what an attorney or dmp will cost you. I spent many years in the collection industry, I have gone round and round with those guys, all they do is eat up a clients money. You can really do it yourself. It involves contacting all of your creditors and simply offering them X amount of money to resolve the debt at settled in full. At this point they will probably be willing to cooperate.

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I’ve been using a company called Greenpath

debt settlementI’ve been using a company called Greenpath for almost a year now. Their website is www.greenpath.com. They are great. It costs me $50 a month for their service but they were able to make agreements with my creditors, lower my interest rates and payments. I make 1 payment to them a month and they distribute it to my creditors. Since October of last year, I have paid off almost $5000 of my cc debt. You should check them out.

This sounds like a typical scenario of debt out of control. But, the best part is you can get it under control. So, Robert, have you looked at every little line item expense and found everything that you can possibly cut out that you don’t need? Any extra ten dollars saved in one place can be applied to a credit card with the largest balance. That’s what I have done in the past.

Slowly you can whittle down the credit cards one by one. Another thing that comes to mind, have you done a balance transfers to buy you time? I can’t think of anything else at the moment. Do you pack a lunch or eat out all the time? You won’t believe how much you can save by making your own meals to take with you or eat at home. You were able to run up these credit cards without any thought about the purchases I presume but now you have to think hard about how to pay them off. It’s not easy, it just takes time and a lot of willpower. All involved have to be on the same page too in order for this to work. Slaying debt has to be the number one priority now.

There is an alternative for you if you don’t care about your credit rating for the time being. It is called debt settlement and this is how it works.

If you decide to stop paying your Credit Cards, they will sell your debt to a collection agency normally within 60-90 days from the first missed payment.

They sell your debt to a collection agency for 2 reasons:

  1. They get .20 cents on the dollar from the collection agency.
  2. They get an additional .50 cents on the dollar from the government in the form of a tax break.

Once your debt has been sold to a collection agency for .20 cents on the dollar, debt settlement companies go to work on your behalf and send them a “Cease and Desist letter”. By law, the collection agencies are no longer be allowed to contact you, and the phone calls stop.

The debt settlement company informs the collection agency (on your behalf) that you intend to pay them .40 cents on the dollar, giving them a 100% profit, in exchange, they will to report to the credit bureaus that your debt was paid or settled. End result, you get rid of the credit card debt in a much shorter amount of time.

You take a hit on your credit rating for a bit, but you will do that anyway.

I did this exact thing I am doing myself. My only regret – I didn’t know about it sooner.

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Advice on inheritance etc

You wrote about getting an inheritance. As a financial coach (different than a financial planner), I concur with some of my colleagues. Look at the percentages on your debts and pay off the highest percentage rates first, at the very least. Since you will have some money left over, I can see where you would want to invest it. It would make sense, though, to park it somewhere, like a money market account or a 3-9 month CD while you look at your choices. Both of where you want to invest, and who you might like to invest with.

My colleague is right, it’s not a whole lot of money (in the big picture). But it is a substantial sum, and in this economy, people will want their hands on it to “help” you figure it out. There are so many kinds of investments that the regular person doesn’t think about. There’s way more than stocks and bonds. Right now the volatility of the market is at an historic high. While prices to buy stocks are low (and thus a bargain), don’t necessarily think that you would want to run out and buy. We are likely to be in for quite a ride in the short term and getting some guaranteed income back rather than losing your shirt makes more sense, particularly for someone not used to investing.

There’s nothing worse than putting your money into an account and then watch it slip away like folks have been doing for the past several weeks. So, park it, interview at least 5 financial advisors, and also find a realtor or mortgage broker than works with investors to find out about real estate investing. Though that market is depressed as well, there are some interesting things happening.

There are a number of places to find real estate investing information (if you are interested – if you’re not, skip this part), but beware – these people want your money too! Before you invest in anything, talk to folks in the know, who also know you and care about YOU. Find the folks in the family who have money (I assume the person who left some to you is not the only person in there with money) and ask their advice. Hope this helps.

Dont do anything. One, is because you really dont know what you want to do. Two, because 75k is not a whole lot of money. Three, it is bad when money change you or your life 180 degree. Just deposit it somewhere until you know how the money can make your current life better or lighter.

You may also want to consult a financial planner. I found these links for financial planning networks in an article by Liz Pulliam Weston, who is one of my favorite writers on finance topics:

http://www.napfa.org/

http://www.garrettplanningnetwork.com/

It’s possible that a small investment in getting some help with planning how to use that money will really pay off.

Paying off debt is a great idea.  I would wait and take time before doing much with the remainder.  You could park it in a Roth IRA perhaps. Or even in bank account, they are insured up to $ 100,000 until you decide how long you want to tie it up. If you tie it up long term (retirement plans), it is less accessible than using it for living expenses. The poster who said it is not much is right.  $75,000 is not near enough to live on “forever”.

As a banker, and putting myself in your shoes, I would personally pay off all my debt. Put the rest in a few different CD’s at different terms, so a few times a year you have penalty-free access to some funds should you need them. (Like maybe half in a 6 month CD and half in a 12 month, so every six months you can get at cash if needed.) Then once you feel comfortable about locking it up, decide what else to do with the money.

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