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Old 07-23-2012, 03:21 PM   #21
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Welcome back to the forum. It seems to me that debt owns you. Debt will keep you from ever reaching FI. You had and still have great intentions to get out of debt based on projected future income but the reality is that life throws us all curves. Instead of focusing on what you are going to make in income to get out of debt you need to focus on not spending money until you actually are out of debt. Thanks for your service.

CW4, USA-(ret)
RN, BSN-(ret)
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Old 07-23-2012, 08:07 PM   #22
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Thanks for the welcome back.

Yes, I guess my overall debt is still around the same. I did pay off two of my accounts, $6000 on one and $3000 on another, but we ended up getting a new car last year due to some issues with the old one. They paid off what we owed plus some, and then we got a newer car. Hated spending more on a car that what we owed, but this car is a lot nicer and fit our needs. * edit* Also, the two accounts I paid off were at 20%+ interest rate and the new car is only 6% rate, so did lower that down

Also, the student loans went up because of this summer semester and will go up another $8k for fall semester. I should get that back in the better paying position I am looking at in Jan/Feb if all works as planned.

I could go overseas right now making $125k a year or so, but with the 6 months I am attending school, I should be able to get a job making at least $175k, but more likely $200k-$250k, hence why I am here in school.

Also, RISP, I didn't get injured per say, but I have some lasting effects from my time in the Army, so I will be compensated for those changes (not PTSD).

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Old 07-24-2012, 01:05 AM   #23
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some lasting effects from my time in the Army [...] (not PTSD).
As I said, I really hope you'll be alright.

Please consider carefully what jclarksnakes said. I'll be blunt: You did not manage to change your spending patterns over the last two years. Your debt is still at the original 208k, and you are still getting car loans. Start living below your means TODAY, or you will never get out of debt, not to mention ER. A chance for a really high income is nice, but there's two sides to this coin: Income and spending. So far, you spent every penny you earned, and then some. What makes you think this will change in the future?

the two accounts I paid off were at 20%+ interest rate and the new car is only 6% rate, so did lower that down
I guess that's somewhat good, but seriously - more than 20% interest? Sweet baby Jesus, is this legal? I'm not even going to calculate what you paid to the bank in the last two years, because that'd be bad for my blood pressure.

BTW, did your wife manage to find a better-paying job in the meantime?
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Old 07-26-2012, 06:09 AM   #24
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I will echo the above have to drop your spending. You can rationalize the "good deal" on that new car all you want, but it was a decision contrary to your goals you've posted...period. If you can't live within your income today...and I mean paying cash for everything and still have $$ leftover at the end of the month, then you're going to struggle to not spend your increased income as a contractor.

I know what it's like as you are "looking at" a successful client of Consumer Credit Counseling (no endorsement intended) who dug himself too far into a hole and couldn't get out. Been where you are, done that. I, too, had "plans" for how I would get out from under, but like you now 2 yrs later, that didn't work out.

Gotta stop spending. Get Dave Ramsey's book.
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Track spending
Old 08-01-2012, 11:11 AM   #25
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Track spending

Thank you for your service to our country and welcome back.

You have gotten some good advice already. Change is hard, but doing things differently is the only way to get different results. Track your spending, every penny. Put it all in writing, a notebook helps or a big chart on the refrigerator. Look for places to reduce spending and direct that $$ to debt. Eliminating the debt and then move on to other goals.

Is your wife on board? Talk about your plans for the family and the future. Together set up a mutual plan to get there. Put a timeline in place. Read the Dave Ramsey book together.

I am a teacher and work with many military families and former military. I have seen some very industrious families tackle debt and some spend and dig a deeper hole. One military wife started a house cleaning business while the kids were in school. Another started a before and after school daycare.
Another ran daytime childcare from her home and is now a successful teacher. One did holiday crafts and word got around and she started selling them. Be creative. One got a job at school to pay off debt, when she left two
years later she told me that they actually owed more than when she started. Good luck and keep us updated.
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Old 08-01-2012, 06:46 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by delsolkm14 View Post
. . . and the new car is only 6% rate . . .
Wow! That's pretty steep. With whom did you finance? Most banks are lower than that for all but the worst credit scores (If you have excellent credit, USAA is currently at 3.29% for a 5 year loan) and dealers are substantially better than that. We bought a MINI last summer, financed through the dealer at 0.9% for 5 years. Could have paid cash, but 0.9% money is pretty attractive.

That said, it's too late now to do anything about it. I would second the advice to track every penny you and your wife spend. I still do, and I'm a lot older and more financially secure. Every time I update my spreadsheet, I'm forced to think "Do I really need that? Could I get it cheaper" You will be amazed at all the ways money leaks out of your pocket.

You also really need to cut out the credit card balances before you will ever be able to get ahead financially. First, stop using them; pay cash or write checks for what you need. Then, direct every spare dime to paying them off. It's a corny solution, but try this -- take an empty 1/2 gallon milk carton, fill it halfway with water and put it in the freezer. When it is solid, lay your credit cards on top and then fill it the rest of the way with water. Put it back in the freezer. You will still have your cards for emergencies, but you will be forced to wait for the ice to melt before you can use them. That might give you some time to think about whether the debt you are about to incur is truly for an emergency need.

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