Author: alladmin

We are in the process of having a lawyer involved

Using a different moniker (but this is in reference to below) — We are in the process of having a lawyer involved in this whole mess. Electrical bill was over $6000, phone bill was over $500, cable bill was over $500, not to mention the numerous credit card accounts that were opened. They even had the gall to file bankruptcy in his name and then forged my dad’s signature. What a mess!! My sister then subsequently committed suicide 2 years ago when we were getting really close to finding out the whole extent of this mess.

I’ve noticed, too, that on almost all of these “pre-approved” credit offers, there is almost always a clause somewhere on the offer which gives the toll-free number to opt out of these offers. If you really don’t want the offers, all you have to do is call.

That is so tragic! How could they have expected to go all the way with the bankruptcy? Or did they? Wouldn’t your dad eventually have had to be present with his i.d. for court? Well, best of luck in this situation. Keep us informed.

It’s a sobering look at debt and spending, and how addictive it can be for some people. What, in the end, did your sister gain from it?

You see, I don’t understand how they filed the bankruptcy in the first place. There was a court fee and they had the “forged” signature notarized by an alleged “friend” of theirs. I don’t understand the ins and outs of bankruptcy, but I would think that they would have to show proof of some sort that it was my father who was filing, which it was not. This all happened when my father was 76. My ex-slug-BIL certainly doesn’t look that old. He even forged one of my father’s checks to a methadone clinic! Man was I hot under the collar on that one, to the point where I called the methadone clinic up and asked them if that was their usual policy of accepting forged checks and before I even told him who had forged it, he said my ex-slug-BILs name, so apparently there had been prior problems with him at the clinic. What a sad mess this all turned into! They bilked my dad to the tune of over $200,000!

Sad part is, she’s gone now, and we’re still finding out what kind of damages they did to a man who didn’t deserve it!!!

I am sure everyone already knows this

I am sure everyone already knows this, but it is always worth repeating. You may decide to Opt-Out and the CC offers will eventually come to a complete halt.

There are a very few exceptions listed below, but one place to look is You can google this, but I am skeptical of a scam artist coming up on Google. You can get info at any of the 3 CRAs, Clark Howard’s website and maybe even Dave Ramsey’s.

Exceptions (keyword here is MAY):

If you apply for any credit at all, like $500 payday loan or even more, it may UN-opt you out and you may need to go through this again. I have also found that since I am the President of a local non-profit status that recently incorporated, I am getting berated again in my name and/or the incorporation’s name. I am not sure how to stop those yet.

You may still receive offers as a promotional in the name of some organization you belong to. One example, I still get them in the name of my College Alumni organization.

You may also get solicitations from companies you are already doing business with.

It has been nice not receiving those solicitations anymore. Also, learn how to improve your saving skills in order to borrow less in the future.

This was very good advice

This was very good advice. How surprising it was when my father received a call from a credit card asking him if he had just tried to pay a bill online with his CC to the tune of $1200. Well, if the credit card company had not called him, we would have never found that my sister and her husband were using his credit to their advantage and to my dad’s disadvantage.

When we started to investigate, we found out they had opened numerous accounts in his name, had put their power, phone, and internet accounts in his name (he didn’t even know what the internet was) and then stopped paying on these things. What the credit card company did by limiting this person’s credit was a benefit to him (which he probably will never understand). Anyway, just thought I would share. I’ve learned so much from this group – I’ve only one more debt to resolve and it should be done in about 2-1/2 months!!! YAHOO!!!

Wow – what a story! Your poor Dad! That’s another very good reason it would be a good thing the cc companies to monitor accounts more. What eventually happened with your Dad? Was he able to resolve all the mess your sister and her husband created? I hope so! And – congratulations on your debts being so close to paid!

Of course they are! “Mo’ Money” is right! It’s a shame when you can go over your limit by 2.00 and pay 30.00 or more for it. Pure profit for them, just like the overdraft fees by the bank.

Why do credit card companies even let you go over the limit?

Why do credit card companies even let you go over the limit anyway? Why can’t they just cut you off wehn you’ve reached it until you’re back under it? I remember once quite some time ago, I went over mine by a few dollars. I complained to the company, and they did remove the over-the-limit fee. I asked them if they could not restrict the account, to where I could not go over the limit. He fought me for some time, but finally did restrict it.

It is ironic that the credit card comapny will give you a credit limit and then punish you for trying to use it al by “rate jacking” you. I have seen credit card comapnies lower your credit limit the closer you get to you limit. I think they should rename the term “Credit Limit” to something else. It really is not your credit limit in many cases.

Maybe some of the CC co’s are trying to appear “responsible” since so much has been written about them being anything but by the way they have issued credit to so many people who they knew were high risk. Then there is the wildly popular Dave Ramsey making nasty comments about them. I am cynical .Many of these same co’s are the ones who go by different names and constantly send mail offers to those who they know are high risk. More mail from Washington Mutual-Citibank today.

More paper for the shedder which will be made into a peper pulp bowl with sharks painted on it! LOL Maybe they’re hoping the client doesn’t catch the over limit fee and
other little add ons…. “Mo’ money, mo’ money….”

The debt buying business is growing and that is no surprise to me. What the sleezebags can get away with is outrageous.

This is a good article.

I read a similar one last week and since the writer had his email at the bottom of the story I sent him an email telling him I had filed complaints against the co that kept me in the dark concerning interest fees and found out months later and $1700 less from my wallet that they were not appling any of what I had sent to reducing my debt and were in fact increasing it. I told him I didn’t think my complaints did much good, but I wanted it on the record and maybe if there were enough complaints something or someone would take action.

I received a reply from the writer of the article and he told me my story was similar to so many who had written him.

Part of any action taken against debt collectors should be that they can only charge interest on what they have

actually paid for the debt they purchased.

If they paid 50 bucks for a $1000 debt then why should they be allowed to charge interest on the whole amount? Interest is supposed to be only charged for money that was borrowed. A person whose debt has been sold to a collection agency has not borrowed any money from the sleazeballs so why should they legally be able to charge interest on the whole amount. It doesn’t make sense. So much of what is sold to a debt buyer is most or all interest anyway. It’s just another way to screw someone who is already deep in the hole!

I have gotten a call from the CC company

I hve gotten a call from the CC company (this is before is tarted getting myself out of debt ) , i hadn’t used my card in some time and i used it often within a few days. They called to verify that It was myself who was making those purchases. I was glad that they did that. Because obviously if it was someone who had used my card and i didn’t know, it would have been brought to my attention this way.

I have mixed feelings about all of it. I feel, ultimately, though, that the credit card company needs to be responsible enough when screening potential card holders and when issuing the limits, that they should be able to head this problem off at the pass.

Odds are, they did as they usually do——send out cards to those who they KNOW have less than satisfactory credit. For instance, after I filed bankruptcy, I got countless credit card offers from companies for cards. I laughed and decided to myself that thye should not offer me a card, and that they must not know my credit history. But, lo and behold, when checking my credit report for “promotional inquiries”, indeed these companies HAD checked my credit and DID know my history. If they are going to offer me a card anyway, then THEY are being IRRESPONSIBLE.

Or, if the customer with the card is a young person who has never had credit before—-start his limit off VERY LOW in the first place, to avoid this. If they get to their $200 limit too fast, there’s not as much risk and you’ve cut the overspending off before it could get started.

I understand what you’re saying, though, Karolina. As the credit/office manager here at my company, I have seen this scenario so often: A new company sets up an account, in which I intend to watch his trend and limit. Often, they run their balance up within the first month, making one purchase after another. Of course, the owner of the company over-rides my objections, seeing dollar signs, and lets them continue, without knowing what sort of payment trend they have. Then—guess what—-they suddenly stop buying and skirt off to another vendor, and do not pay me. I’ve had it happen so many times—-and all times, credit was extended inspite of their swift spending, despite my objections. There have been several like that in which we have had to “write-off” their debt—–and I’m talking about some of them in the 20,000 dollar range. I finally had to start, when opening the account, putting it in writing that the account was being approved by the owner, against my better judgement. That way, the burden falls onto the owner for the decision.

So—-I agree with you in that regard. With most of my customers, I am able to cut them off if they look “iffy”—–so the same principle would and could apply to credit cards.
I’d like to know who the blogger’s credit card company was—–because I feel like you do. If they would monitor accounts more carefully, it would help to ward off those fees for being over-the-limit.

Well, this really threw out a tissy, to say the least

Well, this really threw out a tissy, to say the least. I got scolded that I didn’t know what I was talking about. That we all might as well go back to “horse and buggy” days. How using credit cards is better for our whole consumer economy, how getting all the cash back percentages helps individuals and that people who end up in debt are basically stupid. How renting a car could not be done without a credit card. I was told I had a lot to learn and that I had no right to give out advice on something I knew nothing about. WOW.

So my final reply was this:

“I’m so sorry you feel as if I don’t know what I’m talking about. Yes, I have rented cars with my checking account debit card, yes I am able to also save money in very many other ways besides using cash back rewards from creditors. And I certainly commend all the people who use their credit line or lines responsibly, but the situation of high percentages of people who don’t outweigh those who do, unfortunately.

I have never had a problem with my checking account being wiped out by fraudulent transactions. I only transfer a minor amount of money in there to use, as I need it for spending purposes. That’s what my advice is based upon and it does work for a lot people, who don’t wish to use credit cards – whom have had a problem with them in the past- as I did. Millions of young adults are in the throws of overspending before they actually have money or the ability to earn the kind of money they want to spend. Credit lines make it far too easy and tempting for these financial problems to happen for young adults and that’s a fact.

Please don’t question my creditability based on only your opinion, just because you don’t understand my advice, nor understand my goals. Our children and young adults of this nation really do need some serious help with math skills, decent consumer skills, budgeting practices and ethics for saving money. I still really think there should be more control from the creditors, to help be a part of solving the credit card debt crisis. It really does SUCK to be in major credit card debt and have to dig yourself out of it. If you’ve never experienced that mistake, then you have no right to judge that I don’t know what I’m talking about.”

Has anyone here heard or seen anything more about certain creditors putting spending limits on people way before they have even reached their credit limit, due to patterns of too many transactions in a short time? What do you all think?

Creditors limiting overspending?

I was reading a blog the other day about a person who was extremely annoyed that his creditor started putting limits on his or her spending. Not because the credit limit was reached but because they caught a series of too many purchases in a very short time and decided that either something suspicious was going on or that he or she was “overspending”. Now realize this may just be my interpretation of it, but this is how it was written:

“People getting denied after finishing a meal.

People getting denied at check out for a hotel room.

People getting denied at car rentals.

People getting denied for airline tickets.

This would also affect business people.

Would that be embarrassing at a business dinner to be denied.

What about if you paying the Internet by credit card. That could get denied and Internet service would get canceled.

Like some people do. Have some of normal bills automatically billed to the credit card. This could get denied. Normal bills are Heat, Electric, phone, water, rent, cable and even mortgage.

Some people just like writing one check to pay everything.”

It seems that this individual got so concerned that there would be no easy way to use that credit card as freely as before. He or she’s right to use credit was being questioned by the creditor. How dare they do that. Is it unfair? Do they have a right to do that, especially to a responsible customer that pays off their balance every month? This caused many very angry comments toward the creditor. I can understand that but at the same time I also understand why creditors may start doing this. Maybe it could be for the same reason that tobacco companies now have campaigns to help people quit smoking. They want to be part of a solution to actually help the large percentage of people in credit card debt crisis.

I replied with this comment:

“There is a very good solution to this whole credit card issue. If a person uses the credit card responsibly and pays their total balance off every month, why use it? Open a free checking account for spending purposes only. Use a checking account debit card with a Visa or MC logo on it. It’s accepted everywhere all credit cards are accepted. Use it as credit, not debit to avoid the service fees.

When you allocate a budgeted amount of spending each month anyway, it can be deposited into that spending account and you will always know what you are spending… because the money is already there. No writing checks once a month to a creditor. For some-one who has outstanding credit and has wise budgeting practices this should make sense and be way easier.

Unfortunately there are way too many people in our culture today who don’t have any wisdom about overspending, correct budgeting and living within their means. And it’s only going to get worse because the younger generations are more and more programmed by commercialism, that getting what you want now (even at the pain of being in debt) is a better way to live.

I commend a creditor for actually putting extra limits if they feel a consumer is overspending. They must base this on the percentage of people who end up not being able to repay their obligation of signing a contract with them. When a person signs the aggreement for the credit card, and they break it, I’d say not only that the person is breaking a legal law, but they are also breaking a moral law to themselves and others, who have done nothing wrong. When a business person signs a contract with a vendor and then can’t pay their bill for whatever reason, the vendor can take them to court for non- payment, and at the business persons expense.

I was in major credit card debt as young adult, broke by the I was thirty. You know how many other young adults (before they can even buy a house) are in this same situation today? How many people file bankruptcy? All creditors should be a part of ending this crisis, because it will destroy our country. More people need to turn back to spending only what they HAVE, not what they might have in two weeks or a month.”

Can it get any worse?

This could be laughable if it weren’t on the heels of a very bad year!

My unemployment has been held back because I forgot to list $100 I earned in December, 2004. It happened because I earned the money on Christmas Eve and hadn’t given it a thought. Now I’m appealing this so we’ll see. Their original determination was to suspend my benefits for FIVE WEEKS for an understandable (IMO) mistake.

Then I tried to get $2000 out of my 401K to pay off a couple of bills (finally) and they’re holding that money back until I can prove I’m not married.

Sheesh. And then Mel Gibson drives drunk, makes rude remarks and is still making millions. (I only use him as one example of how life can really suck).

“Then I tried to get $2000 out of my 401K to pay off a couple of bills (finally) and they’re holding that money back until I can prove I’m not married.”

This is a legal requirement they are not trying make your life miserable. Just give them the proof and get your money. If you were married then a spouse’s signature is required since this is a community property state.

Yes it can get worse. At least you have access to $2000 to pay a couple of bills. It might take a bit more effort then pulling out from under the mattress but it is available if you choice to comply with the withdrawal rules.

My credit union says i will need a co-signer

Okay, i checked at my CU and looks like if i want the $20k loan i will need 2-4 down-payment and a co-signer. that’s got me thinking if i go with dealer financing will i still be subject to those conditions? if its like that i will never get a car, maybe i should downsize for a cheaper car but ven if i do go with something that’s about 17k i will still need about 20k for the other costs.

Since this blog is about getting out of debt, not how to go further into debt, you have opened yourself to some questions and scrutiny.

  • Why would still need $20k?
  • Do lack credit or have bad credit?
  • Is there something you are not telling us?

If you are in dire straights for transportation and can not buy one outright, buy the cheapest you can from a reputable dealer. Make payments on it for at least 4 months, then ask the CU to buy the loan or refinance it to a lower interest rate.

Do you really need to spend that much on a car? is there a special transportation need you have? i’m not suggesting a clunker, but you should be able to find a decent used vehicle for about 1/2 that amount – you may need to look more, maybe change some thought pattern of what you need the vehicle for – is it status or transporation? Since I don’t know your circumstances, I don’t know the answer – I know I bought “too much” car once, got caught up in payments that I really couldn’t afford and ended up losing the car (voluntary repo) and I still had to pay MORE than the original loan – after 3 years of payments – with various fees and penalties – an expensive lesson well learned. Now my car is paid for – it’s an older model – no bells and whistles – but it does what I need it to do – get me from A – B reliably. Just a thought!

I’m confused about your post too. Just as a way to help you with what I think you might be asking is, do you really need $20k for a car? What for? Are there other debts you already have? If not, and your goal is to own a new or newer vehicle, but you can’t get a loan on your own for it now, just go for a used car you can pay for fairly quickly. Do you need to get a co-signer to help build your credit? If so, you still may want to start with something way lower priced than $17K. Don’t let a dealership sucker you into that. There are more cost effective ways to get a decent running car.

Do you need it just to drive to work? The last vehicle my husband and I purchased was $3000.00 from a personal seller. It was a 1997 SUV in perfect running conditioning, had some dings and bangs on the body, and only needed minor maintenance, that we could do ourselves. We have no payments on it. Only insurance, fuel and maintenance costs (now and then). It’s still way cheaper than financing a car. We’ll probably keep it until we run it into the ground! It keeps us out of debt that’s for sure.

Balance transfers question

I hope someone can help advise my husband and me on this matter. We have a credit card with MBNA that was actually a debt consolidation loan. We owe $9800 on it and pay a fixed payment of $225 a month. The interest is 18%. We are trying to do a debt snowball and want to eliminate this one soon because of the large payment. We checked into one of those credit cards that offer a balance transfer with an introductory rate of 0% for so many months and then a fixed lower rate like 7or 8% after that.

We don’t plan on borrowing anymore on a credit card, but we’d like to reduce the interest rate on our current debt to pay it off faster. We were denied one of these (they let us have the credit card but not the balance transfer). Is this a bad way to go and why were we denied? Should we try any more of the 0% balance transfers or just pay it slowly with the high interest?

Most of those balance transfer loans have hidden fees. Most people are better off trying to get their current creditor to lower their interest rate rather then transferring and paying an upfront fee. Persistence pays off with getting a lower rate. There are tons of books out on the subject of negotiating with creditors. You public library is the first place to start.

Nolo Press Credit Repair would be the more technical book on the subject but there are tons of other good titles. Be careful laws change from year to year so look at the year published date and try to find one written in the last two years. I would stop pursuing a balance transfer or new credit offers and spend some time trying to negotiate with your current creditors.

I had MBNA. I bugged them for years to lower my rate from 24.9 but they would not budge. I did a balance transfer 2 months ago to a WAMU 0% for 14 months (they give you free access to your credit score, mine is 670, not too happy about that!) My transfer amount was 2,400.

The fee was 2% of the transfer which worked out to about the interest rate for 2 months on my MBNA. I was paying $100 dollars a month on MBNA and it was not moving. Now with the zero percent I have a $100 dollar payment but in 14 months the balance will be $1,000 at 3.9. So I feel I did get rid of a headache.

My question to you is…I would love to get one of the books that you recommend but I need something real simple. Something I can easily understand. I am not fully comprehending how to fix my credit report. I need a book that is going to walk me through each step. Is there such a book?

Thanks for your time.

I had a fabulous mail day today

Hey all 🙂

I had a fabulous mail day today. I got in the mail my first CC Bill that did NOT include a Return envelope!!! WOOHOO I got my statement from Sam’s Club saying ZERO balance 🙂 I hve it up on my fridge LOL I’m such a dork i know but its a huge accomplishment it feels like. Later on this month I can pay off my Home Depot card!

Today was a pretty good day. My last of my 3 days off. I went to pay my rent and did my coupon shopping. I got 3 bags of Iams tarter control treats for free. They were on sale for $4.49 and I had 3 coupons from sunday’s paper for free up to $6. Dogs got some extra treats that they normally wouldn’t have gotten:)

I got some free Rolaids soft chews free after coupon… same deal- coupon was in the sunday paper… i got 3 and since we don’t use Rolaids- I gave them to a friend that I knew does:)

I also got some really inexpensive stuff we needed… hand-soap, toothbrushes, mac & Cheese (they had it on sale in a 12 pack box and it ended up being $43 cents a box. that stuff is 60 cents a box individually….) that’s about it there…

I did get 4 new towels. Our towels had holes in em and really needed to be worked out….. JCPenny was having a sale, their $8 towels are on sale for $3.88! So i picked 2 new colors… 2 of each color. I know i could have done with the older towels but we’ve had those for 8 years and i was in some pick me up treat…. I washed them and they are so plump compared to my old ones!

That’s my day…. all in all a good day:) I came home and did housework and get ready to close tomorrow night at work. I’ll be working at my current store thru next week and then be moving to the new store. I am anxious and nervous at the same time:)

Just another spin on the CVS story

My husband works for CVS [ after they bought out eckerd , for which he had worked for over 15 years before the buyout ] …

CVS is not nice to its employees . this is what i personally know !


i have also heard/read [ don’t remember which ] , that the instigators of the company started it with the intent in mind , that employee satisfaction / happiness/ healthy relationship with employees is NOT at all of ANY concern of theirs . i wish i’d remember how it went , i only remember that i was flabbergasted by their brashness and uncaring attitude . they were taking the idea , that an employee was only a number to the next level .

as it goes , as a family ,.we could NOT make it of his paycheck alone … even if we ate beans and rice every day for breakfast , lunch and dinner ! much less buy a house , car or send kids to college ….. his paycheck is sooo small , i think we would qualify for food stamps ! and that after close to 20 years with the company !!!

There is an EASY pattern for ponchoes

There is an EASY pattern for ponchoes, we used to make as teenagers many moons ago…

you take 2 rectangles [ lets say 15 inches x 30 inches — that sounds reasonable ].

then you sew one edge [ 15 inches ] on the edge of the second rectangle 30… now you have an L shape.. now take the 15 inch edge from the second triangle and sew it on the 30 inch edge of the first. if you take 2 pieces of fabric for an experiment, and figure it out , you’ll see how easy it is.

all you have to do is sew/ crochet/ knit rectangles and sew 2 seams . you could even decorate the seams and let your imagination go wild.

the width of the rectangle is the length from your shoulder to the wrist [ or longer if you want ]. you will just have to work on the length of the rectangle [ how long on that ]

this is sooo absolutely simple. and you can knit, crochet or sew these rectangles any way you choose.

If she goes to college it will have to be with loans and grants

I’m in Michigan. My point is that last year i earned $13,000 and he made about $24,000. If she goes to college it will have to be with loans and grants. i’ve tried ebay but to really do well i have to find a way to get pictures to put in the ads. No digital camera and no regular camera, just those disposable one-use cameras, which really cost too much for only using a couple of pictures.

With the cs and being garnished for the ex’s van i’m lucky to get half what i actually earn ($600 in my paycheck a month). The cheapest place i can find to rent is $500 a month. So right now my son is using the spare bedroom in my parents house and i’m sleeping next to the washer and dryer in the back room (no privacy and by the back door 🙁 but at least its better than being homeless) and the rent isn’t much, enough to cover the extra sewage and electric bill. Oh, and my son is autistic impaired high functioning (very smart but zero common sense and no clue how to behave socially). He also doesn’t cope with change well and just me working a half hour late can mess him up for the rest of the day. I work early mornings and my folks are around for him when i work.

I think everyone or nearly everyone here is in financial trouble. that’s what i like about coming here, knowing that i’m not alone and that other people can understand things better than someone who doesn’t have any serious trouble with debts. hearing that others are slowly getting their debts paid off.

Somebody wrote: I’m not sure what state your in…but some states make the CS stay in place if the child goes to college.

Are you able to do ebay? I do it when I need extra and it’s easy.

I can’t advise much since I’m in a terrible financial predicament myself 🙁

I feel like it’s ruining my life right now.

I’d like to find another attorney but don’t have the money

The ex used Legal Aid, a free legal help agency for low income people, so i can’t ever use that agency for the rest of my life. Talk about unfair. To get an attorney I’d need to put up $500 cash then add other things like filing fees and all those other expenses. My income right now is about $550 a month. I’ve got to pay rent, utilities, car insurance, gas, and cell phone (no regular phone). At least my car does really good on gas mileage and i make sure to get oil changes every 3 months so the engine doesn’t get messed up.

I’ve never done ponchos. I’ll have to look around to find some easy patterns. Just remember, I’m still mostly a beginner at knitting. The more advanced patterns are still a bit too complicated for me. I don’t know how to sew and would like to learn how but don’t have the money for lessons right now.

For cs i’m planning to get it adjusted soon. My oldest will be 18 soon and will graduate high school next spring. Support ends when she’s 18 and graduates no matter what.

Debts, money, and survival

Hi all. I’m a divorced mom with 3 kids, two living with their dad and one with me. Reading the posts here has given me the faith that I can get myself out of debt. It won’t be easy but I will try. The state doesn’t help because they ordered me to pay child support even though my ex makes over $10 thousand more that I do.

In the divorce settlement he assumed sole responsibility and ownership of the van we bought during the marriage. He’s not paid on it since we split. The lawyer doing the collection says the divorce settlement is illegal so they keep garnishing my paycheck. He also won’t do anything about taking my name off the van title and the secretary of state office won’t let me do it myself. My biggest worry is that he’ll do something stupid like get in a wreck and I’ll get sued because my name is listed on the title. Oh, and he doesn’t like to pay bills so i doubt he’s got any insurance on the van.

The divorce was about 1 1/2 years ago. I’ve worked hard to improve my credit report. Started with a rating in the 300s and am now about 570 or 580. I pay my car insurance every month and last winter i got approved for a secured credit card. Yeah, i know, credit cards are dangerous. This one has a limit of $200 and i pay it off in full every month.

My ex believes in doing what he wants first then paying bills with any money that’s left over. During the marriage he’d take all the credit for the good stuff in our lives (big-screen tv, Cedar Point trip, etc.) and give me 100% of the blame for the problems. Problems like turn off notices for the electric and phone, struggling to get half the food our kids needed to eat. For the last year or so of the marriage he decided we’d split the costs. He would take care of the rent and electric bills. I’d handle the internet service (he insisted we needed two accounts), groceries, car insurance, gas, phone, two cell phones, satellite tv service (not much came in so far out in the country), and everything else that came up. After i moved out he got a turn-off notice from the electric company for almost $900 and the rent was 3 or 4 months behind. Never have figured out where all of his money went. He doesn’t gamble or drink and I never saw him bring home new stuff.

Wow! I’ve sure written a lot here. Okay, last bit is some of the ways I’ve found to stretch my income for things we need. Underwear and socks I buy new but clothes are bought from a local Goodwill store or the other thrift shops in the area. Thrift stores usually have good stuff for sale but lots cheaper than new. Sure you have to look for loose seams or needed repairs but i’d rather buy thrift store pants for $2.49 rather than over $20 new. Sometimes you can find brand new things bought for gifts that the receiver won’t wear or is the wrong size and can’t be returned to a store.

Two winters ago i learned to knit. Christmas gifts are now mostly lap-sized afghans, scarfs, and dishcloths and this year i’m trying for a sweater or two and maybe socks. By using simple, beginner level patterns and starting last month i hope to have everything done in time. Oh, i get the money to buy yarn by saving all the coins i bring home and drop into a jar every night. When i need yarn i cash in the coins.

Does anyone else have some ideas for ways to still do things without spending as much money? I’d like to hear your ideas.