HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Economy & Education » Poverty (Group) » I would like suggestions ...

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 09:13 AM

I would like suggestions on how to get out of debt

Hello!
We are struggling to make ends meet.
Our biggest costs are eating out and ordering in food.
So I guess we just got to cook for ourselves.

Any other advice would be appreciated.

35 replies, 3209 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 35 replies Author Time Post
Reply I would like suggestions on how to get out of debt (Original post)
otherone Nov 2015 OP
Scuba Nov 2015 #1
otherone Nov 2015 #3
amerikat Nov 2015 #2
otherone Nov 2015 #4
dixiegrrrrl Nov 2015 #5
otherone Nov 2015 #12
Freddie Nov 2015 #6
otherone Nov 2015 #13
Freddie Nov 2015 #7
packman Nov 2015 #10
zalinda May 2016 #32
otherone Nov 2015 #15
openheart Dec 2015 #29
NCjack Nov 2015 #8
otherone Nov 2015 #16
packman Nov 2015 #9
otherone Nov 2015 #17
Kilgore Nov 2015 #11
otherone Nov 2015 #18
6chars Nov 2015 #14
otherone Nov 2015 #19
discntnt_irny_srcsm Nov 2015 #20
otherone Nov 2015 #21
discntnt_irny_srcsm Nov 2015 #22
w0nderer Nov 2015 #23
otherone Nov 2015 #24
w0nderer Nov 2015 #25
Turbineguy Nov 2015 #26
jeff47 Nov 2015 #27
SusanCalvin Nov 2015 #28
Cartoonist Feb 2016 #30
zalinda May 2016 #31
shadowrider Jun 2016 #33
PoindexterOglethorpe Aug 2016 #34
Goose3 Aug 2017 #35

Response to otherone (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 09:24 AM

1. You're eating the most expensive way possible. Here, try this ...

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 09:39 AM

3. thanks for the reply and the link Scuba

peace and low stress to you

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 09:27 AM

2. By all means cook at home.

Join a coupon club to get groceries more cheaply and sometimes free.
Also join the DU forum Frugal and Energy Efficient Living (Group).
Plant a garden if you have any place to do so. Du Gardening group could help you out with that.

Plenty of other resources here at DU and around the web.

Good luck, you can do it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to amerikat (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 09:40 AM

4. thanks for the ideas amerikat

peace and low stress

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 09:53 AM

5. the getting out of debt part...

if it is credit card debt, on more than one card, pay off the highest interest rate card first, and make just over minimum payments on the rest of the cards. When you have one card paid off, do it again on the rest.
Then, never use the cards if you cannot pay the monthly balance.

Also....there are, online, plenty of sites that tell how people got of debt, even student loan debt.
They might be helpful.
Try Google.

Best help with food, for me, was re-discovering teh crock pot, so food could cook overnight, or while I was at work.
lots of good recipes on the web also.

Good luck...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 10:49 AM

12. thank you dixiegrrrrl

it is always nice to hear from you

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 09:59 AM

6. Car insurance

Asked my agent to put us on the most bare-bones plan possible, saved hundreds. Same with homeowners.
Make coffee at home, you can now buy thd cups with lids or use a thermos. Even the pods are much cheaper than takeout coffee.
Buy clothes at consignment shops, you'd be surprised at the nice stuff you find there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Freddie (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 10:51 AM

13. thanks for checking in Freddie

I have my insurance bundled with my home owners insurance.
We have old cars and bare bones coverage ..
Thanks for the advice

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 10:04 AM

7. Store brands

I ALWAYS buy store brand groceries. At Giant just as good. Except cat food (my Freddie only likes Friskies pâté) and ketchup must be Heinz.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Freddie (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 10:32 AM

10. Yes, amazing what you can save on store brand groceries

Agree with you on Heinz, Mayo has got to be Hellman's - little luxuries in life. Damn cat does eat better than us.

[URL=.html][IMG][/IMG][/URL]

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to packman (Reply #10)

Thu May 12, 2016, 09:50 AM

32. I worked in a fruit juice plant

as the cans of juice rolled off the line, labels would be slapped on. They would count how many would get this label on it and how many would that label on it and so on. Many, many products are the same except for label.

I was always a Hellman's user, but I found Aldi's mayo was a good substitution if I couldn't find Hellman's (also called Best Foods) on sale. They may even be the same product with different labels.

Z

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Freddie (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 10:51 AM

15. I'm a Heinz fan too

peace

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Freddie (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 17, 2015, 05:55 PM

29. How can poor people afford that?

how can poor people afford that? I often buy things on sale.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 10:20 AM

8. Here is a collection of ideas from a bottom-feeder

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to NCjack (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 10:53 AM

16. thanks for the link NCjack

peace and low stress

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 10:21 AM

9. I may not be the eating out that's doing it - but boredom

and just wanting to get out of the house. Poverty restricts you, closes doors, shuts out avenues of interaction. Get out, walk around the block, go to a party , get a bike - then, come back to that crockpot meal you have cooking at home . Often, too often it seems, my wife and I go out to eat just to experience the experience.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to packman (Reply #9)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 10:54 AM

17. you are so correct

"All the kids want something to do . All the kids wanna sniff some glue"
We eat out due to boredom and laziness a great deal.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 10:46 AM

11. Budget Budget Budget

We were 23, married, working good jobs, and had no money.

Her parents sat us down and taught us how budget and save. A year later we had built up savings, and the best part was that the anxiety was gone.

In the beginning we budgeted with a pencil and paper. That was 29 years ago. We still budget and regularly sit down and discuss how we are doing. Gone is the paper budget. Have tried various spreadsheets and websites, but by far the best we have ever used is,

https://www.everydollar.com

Once every dollar is assigned, you can make rational decisions how to spend them. Right off, you need to knock off eating out except for special occasions. It's the most expensive way to feed yourself.

Good luck and pm me if you want any advice from someone who has been there.

Kilgore

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Kilgore (Reply #11)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 11:00 AM

18. thanks for the link and the offer to talk

peace and low stress

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 10:51 AM

14. A very useful book from the 1990s

Your Money or Your Life.

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Money-Life-Transforming-Relationship/dp/0140167153/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1447602572&sr=1-3

https://ymoyl.wordpress.com/summary-of-your-money-or-your-life/

You might be able to find a pdf online.

In addition to tips, and short term improvements, it provides a system. Totally eye opening.


The author has recently put up a workbook based on this approach.
http://www.financialintegrity.org/images/0/04/FI_Program_Guide_20090421.pdf

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to 6chars (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 11:07 AM

19. thanks so much for the links 6chars

Peace and low stress

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 02:23 PM

20. Some helpful thoughts (I hope)

We have always found it tough to balance keeping money in savings versus buying when a fantastic deal presents itself.

I've taken what Sheryl Crow says and tried to adjust myself:
It's not having what you want
It's wanting what you've got


Seriously, when I'm hand to mouth only and need to treat myself to keep from being insane, I make sure to find a treat that's a dollar or less.

My goal is to have 6 months of bare bone survival expenses saved. To make progress I look for deals that will save me money. For example, if I have one month of expenses saved now and I see tuna on sale for half price, I buy one month's worth of tuna. Money saved on a consumable by buying at a bargain price doesn't actually hit your savings until you've used it up. At the end of that month assure that those dollars have actually gone into savings.

Learn how to fix things yourself. Change your own oil.

Shop ahead for predictable expenditures. Holiday and birthday presents, clothes, shoes, etc.

I travel a lot for work. I use skiplagged.com to find cheap flights and frequently orbitz.com and hotels.com to find places to stay.

If things are getting serious and you're behind in rent or mortgage, consider bankruptcy. Talk to a lawyer and/or a financial consultant you trust. I've read that the average millionaire has gone bankrupt a few times before making it.

If you must buy food at restaurant prices, at least try to pay with a credit card that earns you points (that you can use) or cash back. But most all, minimize what you spend. Consider cooking in volume for the week ahead. Make a pot of soup that you add to a sandwich to round it out. Have some chopped vegetables on hand to make a salad and have a decent meal. Try to get away from drinking soda. I use bottled water at $3 a case and augment that water from a Brita pitcher that I keep in the refrigerator.

Check the internet. Facebook has number of pages dedicated to frugality and saving.
Enter contests. My wife twice won coupons for chicken for a year.

Write down every dollar you spend. If you don't know where it goes and why, your money will harder to hold on to.
Try to barter for things. Often it costs you money to make money. If you have children in daycare, and both work, consider having the partner who makes less stay home. At minimum wage, job that has you working 35 hours a week will net maybe $200 but then subtract what you pay for in lunches, gas/bus fare and any tolls or parking fees. Lunches at $5/day and an extra $20/week for gas or the bus leaves you with about $155. If daycare is more than $30/day, you're losing money by working.

Getting a $500 tax refund check is nice but, if you've got debt that charges interest at credit card rates of 20% or more, having your withholding adjusted to net you an extra $10 a week may net you more than $50 saved by year's end.

Best of luck.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to discntnt_irny_srcsm (Reply #20)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 03:48 PM

21. Thanks for the reply

peace and low stress

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Reply #21)

Sun Nov 15, 2015, 05:30 PM

22. thanks for the good wishes

same to you

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Tue Nov 17, 2015, 06:44 PM

23. you may also want to visit

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=forum&id=1284


the first thing i'd recommend is 'ixnay' the eating out..i understand how it's a 'bread and circus' to keep morale up

try old video games (download emulators and games if needed) they worked for my stepkids


and the number two..just for starters
boring....Keep ALL __ALL__ receipts!!!

then at the end of the month run them through a spreadsheet or a paper (i'd recommend a spreadsheet) (libreoffice)
see where you loose the most money, and that's where you need to save



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to w0nderer (Reply #23)

Wed Nov 18, 2015, 06:29 AM

24. I love that group

subscribed.
thank you for the advice
peace and low stress

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Reply #24)

Wed Nov 18, 2015, 07:12 PM

25. Glad to have you, welcome and thanks

we all try

hope you also subscribed to poverty, unhappycamper is doing a great job here



the sticky threads in working poor, if you haven't already checked, get updated
got some advice on growing food (even windows boxes), cheap entertainment/free online ebooks and so on
recepies

it's a young group but we are working at it

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Wed Nov 18, 2015, 07:34 PM

26. Cook at home

and treat yourself to breakfast out on weekends.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Wed Nov 18, 2015, 07:35 PM

27. If it's credit card debt, and you have good enough credit

play games with the offers from the credit card companies. Many will offer 0% interest on balance transfers for some period of time.

So get new card with this. Transfer debt from old card. Close old card. Repeat this process every time the 0% interest window is about to expire.

This requires having good enough credit that you can reliably get a new credit card every 6-12 months. And beware an enormous interest rate at the end of the 0% period. You might get "stuck" with it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Wed Nov 18, 2015, 07:52 PM

28. Even if you don't actually budget,

Set up a spreadsheet and keep track of every penny you spend and where it goes. You will at least be informed, and can make decisions from there.

Get a part-time job if possible - every little bit helps.

Don't eat out. At all. Unless you find a fantastic deal. (I know, I hate it too.)

Call the credit card companies directly to ask for lower rates and/or take advantage of introductory offers. Don't deal with any credit "repair" outfit that proposes you skip payments. Probably don't deal with any at all, especially if your credit rating doesn't *need* repair (yet).

Using just the above, as far as I can remember (well, and a decent base income), I dug out from $40K (don't ask, don't ask) in a two and a half years.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Fri Feb 5, 2016, 01:51 AM

30. Kitchen privileges

I am so poor that I can only afford to rent a small room in a house. I share a bathroom with another renter. Neither of us has kitchen privileges. My refrigerator is just a little bigger than my TV. I don't like microwaved food. So now what am I supposed to do?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cartoonist (Reply #30)

Thu May 12, 2016, 09:43 AM

31. Crock pot and electric frying pan

For about 3 years, I used only these 2 'appliances' besides the microwave for cooking. You will also be surprised on what you can make in a microwave that doesn't taste like microwave food.

If you don't like frying, a steamer is a good replacement.

Z

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Cartoonist (Reply #30)

Tue Jun 21, 2016, 05:58 PM

33. If you're allowed, a small two burner camping stove works wonders

I used one when I was down, way down, on my luck. I could make anything on it.

A decent one will run about $30 and the refill propane bottles are about $2 each. Excellent for soup, coffee (need a perculator one (hint: put a pinch of salt in the grounds, it does away with the bitter taste) - camping stores have them) - sandwiches (grilled cheese) and so on.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Fri Aug 12, 2016, 03:46 AM

34. It is not that hard to make your own food.

Several years back, after a divorce, I was in very tight financial straights. I did a lot of PB&J sandwiches. While boring, they are not the worst thing in the world.

Making soups and stews are likewise not difficult, and it's easy to freeze up individual portions. My goal is that each meal cost no more than three dollars, and it's not that hard to get that to two dollars a meal.

For breakfast, bacon, eggs, and toast is quite inexpensive. I also like sausage and bacon (no toast here). That's a very cheap meal. Salads. Don't buy the packaged salad mixes. They are hideously expensive. Instead, buy lettuce, and whatever veggies you like. I'll do the red lettuce, green lettuce, and romaine. Then I toss in cucumber, zucchini, a bit of red onion, maybe some radishes. You might add other veggies like carrot or tomato. In any case, create a large salad, and serve it to yourself in individual servings that you then add salad dressing to. You can keep the undressed salad in some sort of container, and it will last a week, honest. I also like to toss in some croutons. Which you could probably make yourself, but I buy them. You can grill some boneless chicken breast to put on top of the salad and you have a complete meal. For maybe two bucks. See what I mean about cooking at home saves a ton of money?

Many years ago, a coworker, a single man who had not yet learned to cook for himself, complained about how the cost of food was killing him. So I said I'd make him a sandwich for work, for which I charged him 50 cents (this was in the mid 1970s), and he was happy because it was so cheap and I made a small profit. Fortunately, that man has since learned to cook for himself, and while he does eat out reasonably often, isn't dependent on restaurants for all his meals.

Probably the biggest problem about being poor and trying to cook for yourself is if you don't have access to a decent kitchen, or if you can't afford to buy the basics in the first place. It can be very hard, as well I know.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to otherone (Original post)

Sun Aug 27, 2017, 06:25 PM

35. Best way to get out of debt while improving your credit score

Definitely stop eating out and ordering in. It will save you money and save on calories.

I'm 56, retired when my grand kids were born 7 years ago so I could stay home and daycare them for free to help my daughter and her husband.

If you have children and have a parent or grandparent at home, willing to do the same, or to do it for less than you're paying, ask.

Keep a spreadsheet of every penny you spend for one month, every dime. At the end of the month, you will see holes where the money is flying through without you realizing it.

Set up all credit card, mortgage or rent, utilities, everything you have to pay monthly on auto pay. If you know they're being paid on a specific date, you won't buy something knowing you could overdraw. Set Minimum payments for the credit cards on your auto pays. You'll never be late and you credit score will increase. If you have extra money, pay more on the credit card with the highest interest so you can pay it off first.

In my case, I had different checking accounts set up for my paycheck to split and be deposited into. Some employers won't do this, so you can check with your financial institution to see if you can have money from your account taken out and put into a a separate checking or savings account.

I used my deposits to my credit union to cover my mortgage and credit union payments.

My bank checking account for all my other auto pay bills. Then another checking account for what was left over for essentials and anything else. I found the separate accounts easier to quickly manage at a glance to ensure there was always enough money.

Don't buy anything you don't absolutely need. Find nearly new items on Craigslist or FB sale sites, sales apps, to purchase items you need, if you can.

Stop purchasing on credit. If you don't have the money to buy it, don't buy it until you do.

Look for coupons and use them regularly. Most places have online coupons. If there's a couponing class in your area, take it, it will be worth the cost of the class.

Is you have children, search online things to do for free in your area.

Check Groupon regularly for deals on outings and activities.

Get rid of cable and buy a digital antennae. Get one with a high frequency to pick up more channel options.

Rent Redbox instead of going to a movie.

Get Netflix, your viewing options are endless.
Buy a Roku if you want to watch it on your Tv, otherwise if you're techy there's a way to link it to your cell phone so you can watch on the tv.

Find the best internet service and keep that, linking your home internet with you cell phone so you're not using your cell phone data at home.

Buy the prepaid phone services at Walmart. Their phones are basic to smartphones. Less than any other carrier. If your phone is paid off and unlocked, use it and simply buy the unlimited services card each month from Walmart.

Disconnect your home phone if you still have one.

Make things instead of buying them. If you have kids, shop garage sales for toys instead of buying new except for special occasions. Don't worry about germs, you can sanitize them.

Sell your unwanted things online using various sale sights.

Check your local recycling center for paints, stains, and cleaning supplies. You'd be surprised what you can get there for free.

If you color your hair, consider returning to your natural color or dye it yourself.

Put in a garden.

Shop Aldi's if you have one. Great prices on everything!

Watch your big box membership stores. You can over pay if you don't know the other stores prices.

Unplug everything you have plugged in that you can. Not a freezer, refrigerator, stove, washing machine or dryer, etc. anything not in use, not turned on, will use electricity even if it's not on.

Keep your heat on 68-70 and your air on 73-75.

Open a savings account for holidays. Try to use just what you've been able to save, in order to buy presents. Goodwill offers new items after thanksgiving for a fraction of the cost in the stores it originated from. Buy items for gifts when on clearance and store in an area for future gifts. I did this all the time when I was working and it was so nice having everything before the holidays.

Check out libraries up see if they have free passes to local museums.

Recycle, reuse, upcycle and make it what you need it to be. Look outside the box and see what an object could turn in to.

Hope that helps. I've been living like this for 7 yrs. I cut out my lawn service, kept my van for 13 yrs until it died, bought a one yr newer Nissan for $4,500. My husband bought a Civic for $4,000. Both had 150,000 miles but we didn't want $600-$700 payments for either of us. We were able to pay cash to have no car payment and when we are completely out of debt come January, we will donate my car to my son and trade the other in on a new used car. Very rarely does it pay to buy a brand new one. Though my Daughter was able to buy a new Kia for the price of a used one last year.

Look for the best car insurance and home owners or renters. Be smart. Lowering your coverages means if something happens, you might not have the coverage to fix it.

Some states base your costs on your credit rating, as do employers now look at your credit rating for possible employment. So keep in mind, don't buy an insurance policy that's cheating you on getting your home or your auto fixed. I always go with the lowest deductible, because it would be a stretch to make that amount up. If I had money in the bank, I'd go with a higher deductible. I found out the hard way, liability coverage only sucks if you are at fault. Your car is gone and you get nothing for it either. Remember, you must have full coverage on an vehicle that you're still making payments on.

You'll make it. It all depends on the choices you make. What you want. You can get yourself out, but it's up to you.

Best way to consider buying something or not? Think how many hours do I need to work, less state and federal taxes, to buy the item, figure in taxes on it too.

Example: Someone making 7.25 per hour needs to buy cough medicine. It's 13.99, plus tax. How many hours does that person need to work to buy that cough medicine? Not 2 hours, taxes, remember? Closer to 3 hours. If you start looking at things this way, I guarantee you will stop buying things you don't truly need. 😉 Good Luck!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread