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Darth Cruel
06-18-2006, 12:13 AM
I hate credit cards. In fact, I hate all credit. I think it is stupid to buy a house on credit and pay interest on a loan for it. Borrowing money (except in an emergency, and even then...only a dire life and death emergency) seems so damned foolish to me. It seems foolish to buy something that sometimes a person feels is overpriced only to add interest to it by purchasing it on a credit card.

Now, don't get me wrong...I have and use credit cards. But I hate it.

2-1B
06-18-2006, 12:20 AM
Agreed, except on the issue of a house as long as it's not too heavy of a debt...aside from home mortgages, I am also very opposed to taking on debt.

Have I lived that philosophy in the past? No. :D Do I now regret not living that philosophy in the past which means I'm paying for it now? :cry: Yes. lol

jjreason
06-18-2006, 12:40 AM
But how else can you have everything you ever wanted RIGHT NOW??? :D

Credit, sadly, makes the world economy go 'round. Apparently everyone in North America (okay - "the average North American") spends %10 more than we earn EVERY YEAR.

Can I buy stocks in Visa?

The key to credit is doing the best you can. Interest rates on most store credit cards hammer you way worse than your average Visa/MC which hammers you more than their "low interest" cards will. If you have the means, getting a line of credit from you bank will net you an even lower rate, as will borrowing money against the equity you have in your home (if you're a home owner).

The key is doing the best you can, and knowing when you have to pass up that particular deal of the century.

That being said - I talk a great game, but I've been paycheque to paycheque for as long as I can remember.

Ji'dai
06-18-2006, 12:40 AM
I use credit cards all the time and for nearly all purchases except for gas & restaurants. But I always pay the entire balance due (and thus avoid interest charges) when I get my statement each month.

Buying major items like appliances, vehicles, or a home on credit is nice since you don't have wipe out your savings just to avoid borrowing money. Even though you're carrying debt, it's nice to keep some cash on hand for possible emergencies.

pbarnard
06-18-2006, 12:46 AM
Can I buy stocks in Visa?

Not yet, but Mastercard just went public...(or is it the otherway around).

Phantom-like Menace
06-18-2006, 05:37 AM
I'm not the biggest fan of credit, but jjreason and ji'dai have pretty much illuminated the two best pieces of advice I could think of to make it work for us.

What I really hate, though, is cash. I hate the way it looks, the way it feels. I hate its smell. I loathe it fairly strongly. More importantly, I have a deep, dark, consuming, scar in my soul that radiates my overwhelming hatred of $100 bills. And of course popular culture has a hard-on for showing how super awesome they are because they have $100 bills.

I think the greatest invention mankind has created is the check card. I love my check card almost as much as very small people love their smelly Benjamins.

bobafrett
06-18-2006, 09:50 PM
I probably shouldn't say this here, but last October I made the decision to file for bankruptcy. Am I proud? No. Do I feel like a large burden has been lifted off of my shoulders? YES. I have learned to live without credit, and those things that I cannot afford I either just don't get, or if possible I put them on lay away, but not many places offer that option.

It is now mid June and it took me almost 6 months to get my attorney paid so he could file my paperwork. I just got notice that I finally have a meeting with my creditors in August. This is where I have to go and answer questions, and they make a determination. I don't know much more than that. I have kept my phone ringer off because of the never ending calls. I was finally able to turn my ringer back on last Thursday as now all my creditors have been notified of my filing.

It wasn't just my Star Wars collecting that built such a mountain of debt, but I also got my son back in my life about three years ago. Kids grow, they need clothes and shoes, and Christmas gifts and schooling, and trips to visit their mother in Florida, plus driving the many times I did between where I live and where my son used to live, hotel stays, and such.

Banthaholic
06-19-2006, 07:55 PM
I am a huge fan of credit cards. It's all I use. If I have more than $10 in my wallet it's because I'm going to a bar that doesn't take plastic. Everything else gets charged. Though I pay in full my bill each and every month.

I also accumulate points from my CC, and use those for special purchases a few times a year. Though I've never caught myself buying something I didn't intend to for the points,& since I pay in full every month in my case they work as a positive though for others it could easily have a negative role if they spend what they don't have then pay more ion interest charges than what they accumulate inr ewards.

Mad Slanted Powers
06-22-2006, 12:31 AM
For years, I had a Visa card, but it was actually a debit card, so I couldn't spend more than I had. Since it came directly out of my account, there were no credit card bills to pay. I got lots of offers for credit cards, but was turned down when I applied. I finally got a Sears card, and it eventually became a Master Card.

I always pay off my credit cards each month. The only time I didn't was when I bought a TV from Circuit City. I received a Circuit City Visa (which recently switched to Master Card), and had 18 months to pay it off before the accrued interest kicked in. I paid $100 a month and paid it off in time so I didn't have to pay any interest. The only debt I have is my home loan. It's almost a bit too much for me, but if I had waited, the rates would have been higher and the houses much more expensive.

I like the convenience of credit cards. I rarely pay more cash for anything over $20. Gas would be the exception, but I used to be able to fill up for under $20. I count money everyday at work, so I don't like how filthy it is. Still, it is handy since there are lots of places where you can't use checks or credit cards.

Kidhuman
06-22-2006, 12:55 AM
I hate credit cards as well. I use my check card for everything and it is nice. Like stated before, it comes from your account and you can not overspend. ITs like plastic cash.

decadentdave
06-22-2006, 12:56 AM
I have about $30,000 of credit card debt that I have accumulated over the last 15 years. I am working 2 jobs just to keep up with minimum payments. I wish that I had filed bankruptcy before they changed the laws last October but I could not bring myself to because I fear that they will take all of my possessions (namely my beloved Star Wars collection) away to auction off to pay my creditors. I am not sure how the process works (my state has exemptions to personal property up to $2000) and how much attorney fees are but I am sure I could not afford to pay it. I feel absolutely helpless. With increased gas prices and minimum credit card payments I am flat broke every payday plus working 2 jobs is taking its toll on me. It is only a matter of time before I cannot even afford to make my payments any longer. Not sure what to do. I'm doing the best I can just to get by and have cut back my spending/collecting considerably. Advice?

Kidhuman
06-22-2006, 01:25 AM
The only advice for this would be to cut back. Write out a budget. I dont know if you are married or live on your own. With collecting figures and such, use lay-a-way. Paying 5-10 bucks a week is alot better than 50-60 in one shot. It does help. Also, check out Dave Ramseys website, he is a financial advisor and has steps you can take for getting out of debt. His advice helped me alot paying off debt. ME and Angela paid off about 3 grand in a matter of 4 months. He skimped on everything, going on a beans and rice diet so to speak. Cheap foods that are filling and healthy. If you have any possessions you dont need(DVDS, VHS Tapes, etc...) take them to a pawn shop, have a yard sale, raise some extra cash with junk lying around.

2-1B
06-22-2006, 01:37 AM
Listen to KH ! Dave Ramsey is a good man. :) I should have been using his philosophy years ago. :D

decadentdave
06-22-2006, 03:35 AM
Seems like he's just another motivational speaker preaching common sense and making money off his books at the expense of indebted consumers. I know that my collecting is part of my problem but I am also single and live paycheck to paycheck, drive a piece of junk car that needs serious work that I cannot afford, have a college degree that can't get me a job paying more than $14/hour. I've been poor since I was out on my own and it has been a downward spiral years in the making and now it is finally catching up. I have started to learn to discipline my impulse collecting buys and it is a start but unfortunately it's not enough. I could sell some stuff on ebay if I had the time but working 2 jobs I have no time to spare.

I know several people who have had a bankruptcy and it seems as though they can keep going on with life as usual... purchasing new cars and homes within a few years. Frankly, I'm terrified at the thought of going through the process because I'm completely on my own and don't want to lose the things that I have cherished since childhood. I'm not exactly sure how it works. I have heard stories that possessions are confiscated to pay creditors and I have also heard of people keeping everything they own. I guess it varies state to state. Truth is, I'm scared. If I were to follow Dave Ramsey's advice I'd be living on Top Roman and living like a caged animal never to leave the house or go live on an Amish farm away from modern civilization.

scruffziller
06-22-2006, 09:43 AM
I think it is stupid to buy a house on credit and pay interest on a loan for it.

I agree, I think people should just give me money so I can buy a house and not have to pay it back.:D ;)

2-1B
06-22-2006, 10:54 AM
Seems like he's just another motivational speaker preaching common sense and making money off his books at the expense of indebted consumers.

I strongly disagree with that. I haven't given him a cent but still took some valuable advice from his radio show and it didn't cost me anything. :)
They moved his show around on my local radio station so I haven't listened in a long time but any money he made off of me was from the advertising they sold based on their ratings. :)


I know that my collecting is part of my problem but I am also single and live paycheck to paycheck, drive a piece of junk car that needs serious work that I cannot afford, have a college degree that can't get me a job paying more than $14/hour. I've been poor since I was out on my own and it has been a downward spiral years in the making and now it is finally catching up. I have started to learn to discipline my impulse collecting buys and it is a start but unfortunately it's not enough. I could sell some stuff on ebay if I had the time but working 2 jobs I have no time to spare.

I know several people who have had a bankruptcy and it seems as though they can keep going on with life as usual... purchasing new cars and homes within a few years. Frankly, I'm terrified at the thought of going through the process because I'm completely on my own and don't want to lose the things that I have cherished since childhood. I'm not exactly sure how it works. I have heard stories that possessions are confiscated to pay creditors and I have also heard of people keeping everything they own. I guess it varies state to state. Truth is, I'm scared. If I were to follow Dave Ramsey's advice I'd be living on Top Roman and living like a caged animal never to leave the house or go live on an Amish farm away from modern civilization.

Maybe, but the life you described in the post before that doesn't sound that great either in terms of always running behind and chasing just to not fall FURTHER behind. With all due respect, if things are as bad as you are illustrating, I don't understand why you would spend a dime on any kind of toy or collectible in the first place? :confused:

Good luck with whatever you decide though, but I don't think you should hold on too tightly to your collection. :( Personally I think peace of mind is more important than material stuff. I have definitely errored that way in my life *many* times but no more ! :D Now, I'm not saying that you should sell your collection that you have now but I wouldn't buy any more and if you do think more about bankruptcy, I wouldn't let the fear of losing your possessions be a deciding factor. I'm not saying you should or shouldn't declare bankruptcy, that's a big decision to make. Good luck.

Kidhuman
06-22-2006, 12:56 PM
I strongly disagree with that. I haven't given him a cent but still took some valuable advice from his radio show and it didn't cost me anything. :)
They moved his show around on my local radio station so I haven't listened in a long time but any money he made off of me was from the advertising they sold based on their ratings. :)



I will second that statement there. I never gave him a dime. If you can get his radio station, call him, the advise his free and he gives stuff away to people from time to time like tickets to his seminars and his books.

scruffziller
06-22-2006, 04:01 PM
Personally I think peace of mind is more important than material stuff. I have definitely errored that way in my life *many* times but no more !

Amen to that!!! It took me feeling like the toys were controlling me to stop my collecting addiction. Once I said "NO!" to it. It was like a ton of bricks that came off of my shoulders.

decadentdave
06-22-2006, 06:42 PM
They can take my Star Wars collection when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

Mad Slanted Powers
06-22-2006, 07:10 PM
I strongly disagree with that. I haven't given him a cent but still took some valuable advice from his radio show and it didn't cost me anything. :)
They moved his show around on my local radio station so I haven't listened in a long time but any money he made off of me was from the advertising they sold based on their ratings. :)

Maybe, but the life you described in the post before that doesn't sound that great either in terms of always running behind and chasing just to not fall FURTHER behind. With all due respect, if things are as bad as you are illustrating, I don't understand why you would spend a dime on any kind of toy or collectible in the first place? :confused:I agree. I am doing okay right now, though I have trouble gaining in my savings. However, if I really needed to cut spending, I could stop collecting, cancel all my subscriptions, drop my cable TV and make every effort to cut my energy bills and grocery spending.

One of the radio stations here has the Clark Howard show. He always has all sorts of good consumer and money advice. There is also Money Talk with Bob Brinker, which is more about investing and what to do once you have some money.

Banthaholic
06-22-2006, 09:10 PM
One of the radio stations here has the Clark Howard show. He always has all sorts of good consumer and money advice. There is also Money Talk with Bob Brinker, which is more about investing and what to do once you have some money.
I used to listen to Clark Howard when I had to take a late lunch break. He always had some good consumer advice.

When I was in college I did everything I could to stay out of debt and it worked out but wasn't easy. As KH stated I altered my diet to eating canned beans, $1 frozen dinners, and cutting out items I deamed as luxuray such as Soda, name brands, etc and drastically cut back on my alcohol related expenses. You'd be surpried with how much you save in just cutting soda out and drinking water. $5-10 over the coarse of a week with can easile be $250-500 a year. I also didn't have cable tv, dropped my normal phone line and just lived off a cell (limiting my minutes to cheapest possible plan and didn't go over). Uesed public transprt or biked instead of driving.

Anyways point being little things add up.

Kidhuman
06-23-2006, 02:40 AM
I used to listen to Clark Howard as well. They stoped his show and put Dave Ramsey on instead

seanmcfripp
06-24-2006, 02:23 PM
If I were to follow Dave Ramsey's advice I'd be living on Top Roman and living like a caged animal never to leave the house or go live on an Amish farm away from modern civilization.

If that's what it takes, so be it. You made a financial choice, now you have to live with it. Make good on the promises you made to repay your loans.


I have about $30,000 of credit card debt that I have accumulated over the last 15 years. I am working 2 jobs just to keep up with minimum payments. I wish that I had filed bankruptcy before they changed the laws last October but I could not bring myself to because I fear that they will take all of my possessions (namely my beloved Star Wars collection) away to auction off to pay my creditors. I am not sure how the process works (my state has exemptions to personal property up to $2000) and how much attorney fees are but I am sure I could not afford to pay it. I feel absolutely helpless. With increased gas prices and minimum credit card payments I am flat broke every payday plus working 2 jobs is taking its toll on me. It is only a matter of time before I cannot even afford to make my payments any longer. Not sure what to do. I'm doing the best I can just to get by and have cut back my spending/collecting considerably. Advice?

I don't want to pass judgment on what caused you to be $30,000 in debt, because quite frankly, your reasons for being in debt are irrelevant. Whether you transferred a $10K balance from one card to another, paid for a grandmother's hip replacement surgery, donated a few thousand to a Katrina relief fund or blew it all on Star Wars toys, the bottom line is that you had an agreement to borrow $30K, then repay it under the terms and conditions of a particular contract. If you have assets that you choose not to liquidate (and I emphasize the word "choose") to help make payments, then I have no problem saying that you're not entirely serious about getting out of debt.

Now this is purely speculation on my part, but I'm guessing that you're the kind of person who believes something like a Star Wars hobby is important for your mental health and/or general well being, right? Or to put it another way, not being able to collect or enjoy Star Wars would diminish the overall happiness of your life, and not being happy might lead to all sorts of problems with your ability to be a productive member of society, or something like that. Assuming my speculation is correct, let me preemptively argue against that: Where do you get off thinking that you're entitled to having a Star Wars collection, as though collecting Star Wars is some kind of inalienable right? I'll even take it a step further...where do you get off thinking you have the right to be happy? I'm not trying to start anything here, I'm asking a serious question, and not just to you, but to anyone who's reading this. Where was the happiness clause in the terms and conditions documentation for your credit cards?

Bobafrett, sorry man, but you're in the same boat. I apologize in advance for sounding cold hearted, but...


I probably shouldn't say this here, but last October I made the decision to file for bankruptcy. Am I proud? No. Do I feel like a large burden has been lifted off of my shoulders? YES. I have learned to live without credit, and those things that I cannot afford I either just don't get, or if possible I put them on lay away, but not many places offer that option.

It is now mid June and it took me almost 6 months to get my attorney paid so he could file my paperwork. I just got notice that I finally have a meeting with my creditors in August. This is where I have to go and answer questions, and they make a determination. I don't know much more than that. I have kept my phone ringer off because of the never ending calls. I was finally able to turn my ringer back on last Thursday as now all my creditors have been notified of my filing.

You have an obligation to keep your creditors informed of your financial situation. I don't care if they call you twice a week for six months straight, you should pick up the phone every single time for every single creditor and go through the same song and dance "No, I can't make a payment. No, I don't see a change in my financial situation, blah, blah, blah." Keeping in touch with the folks you borrowed money from is the very least you can do if you're not going to pay them back.


It wasn't just my Star Wars collecting that built such a mountain of debt, but I also got my son back in my life about three years ago.

Just to clarify, your Star Wars collecting and the financial burden of having your son live with you are what go you into debt? This discussion will probably go the route of needs vs. wants, and without too much debate, I think we know which one of these things is a "need" and which is a "want" in your situation.


Kids grow, they need clothes and shoes, and Christmas gifts and schooling, and trips to visit their mother in Florida, plus driving the many times I did between where I live and where my son used to live, hotel stays, and such.

And there are an unlimited number of choices by which you could have financially satisfied all of those things, maybe not to the degree that wanted, but there are plenty of alternatives. You chose to use a credit card. And then you chose not to pay them by filing Chapter 7. How is that right? Because "everyone else" does it? Give me a break.

Tell me, did you encounter any problems when you were using the credit card? When you bought your son a Christmas present with the card, did the sales associate give you a hard time, only to hand you the phone with the credit card company on the other end, "Oh yeah, Mr. Frett, we can't pay for that transaction right now. Times are tough , you know. We might be able to pay for that purchase in a few months, but we have to pay some other customers' transactions this week. Oh, and we're going to turn off the ringer here at our call center. All these calls are driving us crazy. I know, I know, when you signed our contract we agreed to cover all your purchases, but like I said, times are tough, and we don't like re-explaining this to everyone who calls in." I'm sure they were right there for you every time you wanted to make a purchase. I'm not saying they did it out of any great love for you (and we could debate the lender's responsibility and assumption of risk in all of this as a totally separate topic, and I gots plenty to say about credit card companies' incompetent marketing tactics), but in the end, they held up their end of the bargain. You wanted X. They payed for X. They now reasonably expect you to repay X plus a small % of X. Time for you to take care of your end of the deal.

Let me put it this way: If I borrowed money from a family member and was having trouble paying it back, but I knew I could make some headway on it if I sold my Star Wars collection, you don't think I'd sell it at a moment's notice? You're danged straight I would, and I'd be a lot less of a person if I didn't. Now how is borrowing money from a credit card company any different? Because credit card companies are evil and corrupt? Doesn't matter, and again, it's not really relevant to the situation. They weren't so evil and corrupt when you were carrying their card into the store at midnight madness.

I'm just asking folks to personally responsible. It's sort of a tired old generalized way of putting it, but here goes: No one put a gun to your head to make you use a credit card and get into debt. No one forced you to take out a student loan, and no one forced you to finance a new car. And certainly no one out there can prove that "owning" a Star Wars collection on credit is going to make you any happier that not having one at all, and I'd in fact probably argue very much the other way.

Mad Slanted Powers
06-24-2006, 04:16 PM
Sean may have been a bit harsh there, but essentially he is right. When people talk about any sort of homeless and poverty problems in this country, it is kind of ridiculous when you compare to what sort of conditions in which people live in other parts of the world. In some ways, we are the victims of our own success here in the USA and other modern industrial nations. We become accustomed to having certain things, so it becomes hard to imagine living without them. I am guilty of this as well. I would have trouble giving up cable, internet, my Star Wars collection and many other modern conveniences. I just try and keep track of my finances and hope it never comes to that.

Of course, if I were to lose my job, I would be in a world of hurt with house payments to make. I probably have enough to survive a few months being out of work and not making any changes to my lifestyle, but I'd have to start making some decisions to cut stuff out or sell some things to make the money last longer. I may have to settle for minimum wage just to get some cash flow coming in. Hopefully I'd find work before being forced to sell the house. Luckily, my parents might be able to help some, even if it is just a place to stay should I be forced to sell. All the more reason to be glad I have a good job and to make sure the employer has no reason to let me go.

If all else fails and I have to sell my Star Wars collection, I'm sure there are plenty of people here who would be willing to buy.

2-1B
06-24-2006, 07:19 PM
then I have no problem saying that you're not entirely serious about getting out of debt.

That was the impression I had, as well.

decadentdave
06-24-2006, 09:06 PM
Excuse the hell out of me but where do you get off making assumptions and passing judgement?

Yes, I'm in debt and just about every person I know is for one reason or another. Yes, I collect Star Wars figures. So what? Did I make a choice to collect it? Sure. Did somebody put a gun to my head? No. Am I responsible for the choices I make. Yes. Am I entitled to live my life a little instead of being a working class drone slaving away with nothing to show for it? Absolutely.

I don't live lavishly. I drive a piece of junk car, live in a tiny one-bedroom condo and I am single with no intention, nor desire to ever get married. Ever. I am pretty much fed up with the whole damn human race. Those are choices I make and by God I am entitled to make them. Do I like living in debt? No. Have I tried to make good on my end of the bargain. Yes. I work two jobs for little pay and it sucks but I do everything I can just to get by and if I need a new figure or two every week just to make it all worth living for, friggin-A right I am entitled to it. Is selling my collection going to get me out of debt? Not likely. I don't live in a quarter million dollar luxury home or drive a lexus or an SUV and live the posh life the spoiled Baby Boomers like my parents lived. I'm on my own. If I lived the way you are decribing (no material possessions, being frugal, eating beans etc.) I might as well join a monastery and live the life of a monk.

A merely added my 2 cents regarding financial frustrations because somebody else started this thread expressing their frustrations as well. You bet I'm frustrated. And President Bush is not helping matters for millions of indebted Americans either by inflating gas prices and the cost of goods and making it almost financially incumbersome for people who really are in dire financial straits to declare bankruptcy. Now, you have to pay for financial managements courses AND attorney fees that are now in excess of $1000. I thought the point of bankruptcy was to legally declare you are broke, but it costs more money. Used to be $300 for filing fees but that is on top of attorney fees. Is there abuse of the system? Yes. Does the system need serious reform. You bet. There must be a more equitable way of economic commerce but the beaureaucrats in Washington don't care as long as the system works for their benefit and the benefit of elitists. I hate Capitalism. It promotes a system entirely based on greed and it promotes the worst of human nature. If I could learn to speak Dutch I'd move to Switzerland. I've had it with this country. Thanks for making my day worse than it already is. It's hard to be optimistic and see the glass half full when it keeps getting knocked over by everyone else.

2-1B
06-24-2006, 09:19 PM
Sorry Dave, I didn't mean to upset you...desperate times, desperate measures is all I meant.

Personally if I added up my student loans and my car loan (a reasonable note, nothing luxurious) plus a few grand I took out a loan on to pay off a credit card that I foolishly abused in my past, I owe a pretty penny myself. I just roll with it though, trying to pay things off as fast as I can.

Do I always succeed in making extra payments? No, I don't. But whatever I borrowed is mine to pay back and that's how I see it. I've learned some good lessons for the future though, that's for sure! Not the easiest lessons at times, but lessons learned nonetheless. :D

Good luck.

Slicker
06-24-2006, 09:24 PM
I can sense this getting a bit personal here. None of my business so I'm not gonna talk about anyone. I'll just give my story.

I don't know if it's rubbing it in or what but I have MAYBE $2,000 in CC debt. That may sound like alot but with all of the financial classes that the Navy offers they've all pretty much said to keep some debt. I haven't paid a service fee in years because I keep transfering my balances over to the 0% cards when one is up. I then cancel the other one so that it's not an open line of credit on my credit reports. I make more than my monthly payments and know for a fact that if I wanted to really completely pay the cards off I could easily do it in 4-5 months without really putting me in any dire money needs whatsoever.

I live paycheck to paycheck and I could care less. All of my bills are always paid for and if an extra cost comes up (like right now I've gotta worry about paying my insurance deductible because I may have totalled out my baby (http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2078226) last night) I have the means to pay for it.

I don't have a savings account as of right now but I have several hundred a month going into retirement and when I start making a bit more money I'm gonna start investing it more heavily. I've come to realize that money is not hard to manage if you actually think for a second before spending it. I used to just buy, buy, buy when it came to SW. I still do but I stop and think if I can afford it now or later and it's usually later. I'll budget toys into my money and when I get paid next I'll get what I want. I've only got about $1,000 extra per month to play with and that's before gas and food so that would leave me with about $600 or so. I make wise choices and have fun with that little bit of money.

Right now in my life I feel I'm still young so I have fun to the fullest and if that means taking my account to almost zero then so be it. I'm young and I want to have fun so I do. Several years down the road I know for a fact that I'll settle down and "grow up" (I'm 24 now) but for now I'm happy being a kid (I may be 24 but I still feel very young).

2-1B
06-24-2006, 09:28 PM
Jeez Slick, were you in a car wreck? :(
I hope you and anyone else involved are okay? :(

decadentdave
06-24-2006, 09:42 PM
No problem Caesar. I was more angered by what Sean had wrote. That got my blood pressure rising.

I guess I shouldn't have been so forthcoming about my personal financial affairs but I came to this thread to vent my frustrations. It was just today at work that I had a similar conversation with a co-worker who is a single mother raising her son and is $23,000 in debt. Does that stop her from buying new clothes and shoes for her son and taking him to McDonald's for a Happy Meal? No. She is a responsible mother just trying to raise her child the only way she knows how. To each their own. We all have our responsibilities, unfortunately the deck is unfairly stacked and those that get dealt the bad hand have to live life more difficultly than the fortunate "Haves."

Slicker
06-24-2006, 09:55 PM
We all have our responsibilities, unfortunately the deck is unfairly stacked and those that get dealt the bad hand have to live life more difficultly than the fortunate "Haves."Yes, but once you get out of debt (it WILL happen) you'll be all that much better for it and you can guide your children based on experience to not take the same path as you.

2-1B
06-24-2006, 10:00 PM
No problem Caesar. I was more angered by what Sean had wrote. That got my blood pressure rising.

Wait til he compares you to a Rush fan. :D (the band, not the political pundit.) (and it's an inside joke, a jab at Sean - so pay it no mind here. :D )

I just saw Slicker's post and I agree, if you can find a way to grind it out a few years longer and even if you just get a good chunk taken out of this debt, maybe you'll see some progress and then it won't feel so hopeless? I think you can do it, keep working at it ! ! ! :)

decadentdave
06-24-2006, 10:45 PM
Yes, but once you get out of debt (it WILL happen) you'll be all that much better for it and you can guide your children based on experience to not take the same path as you.

Not MY children, Slick, because I won't be having any.

I'll probably end up making a living teaching seminars like this Dave Ramsey.

bobafrett
06-25-2006, 12:17 AM
This is in response to Seanmcfripp's post. I had every intention of paying off my credit card debt. If you would have posted this thread three years ago, I would have never replied because I was living by myself in a one bedroom apartment, after paying my bills, I had extra money. I work three jobs. I was staying ahead on everything, but during that next three years I lost my job at Wal-Mart, had my son's mom call me to come pick up my son, and basically turned my life over. Would I pass up the oppurtunity to have my son live with me had I foreseen the amount of debt I would have come into? Hell no. Would I have tried to plan things a little better? Yes. As it was, I could no longer live in a one bedroom apartment, so I moved into a 2 bedroom house that came with more expenses that started eating into the extra money I had, and I started using my credit cards to buy clothes and items for my son.

I'm sure you have heard not to pass judgement on a man untill you've walked in his shoes, well I would hope that you would do that before passing judgement on people like me until you have walked in my shoes.

BTW, my son's mother still gets child support from my check. She, after three years of keeping the mony with my son living with me, has finally started putting the money into an account that my son has access to. This is how we/he pays for clothes and other expenses. Should I have gone to court to have the child support stopped, Yes. My bad, sorry I can't live up to everyone elses standards.

Kidhuman
06-25-2006, 02:36 AM
Well, I am glad to see that things have worked themselves out. Posting personal info can get a bit hairy, but from here on out lets try to keep it on the right track.

Debt sucks and we all mostly have it. There are things we have done in the past that have taught us all lessons to go by in the future.

Dave, I am sure you will be alright. Possibly credit counciling can help. Might be worht a shot to lower your debt and consolidat e it into one monthly payment. And by all means, if you can get Dave Ramsey on your local station, please listen to him. It is free advice and he was once in our shoes with debt. It helped me get straight with alot of debt.

Mad Slanted Powers
06-25-2006, 02:46 AM
I certainly don't mean to make light of your situation. In the case of bobafrett, having your son with you certainly provides an explanation for your difficulties. In decadentdave's case, the debt was gradually accumulated over time. However, I guess the question I have is how does a single person with no children, living in a small place and driving a junk car accumulate that much debt?

Yes. I work two jobs for little pay and it sucks but I do everything I can just to get by and if I need a new figure or two every week just to make it all worth living for, friggin-A right I am entitled to it. I think a figure or two a week wouldn't be a big deal. The thing is, it is the little things that add up. It may not seem like much to save a little bit by using a coupon or buying on sale, especially if something doesn't cost much to begin with. However, 50 cents here, a dollar there can really add up when you consider how many transactions like that you have in a year.


I don't live in a quarter million dollar luxury home or drive a lexus or an SUV and live the posh life the spoiled Baby Boomers like my parents lived. I'm on my own.A quarter million dollars is hardly a luxury home these days, some locations more so than others. That's nearly what mine cost. It's nice, it's new, but it is hardly luxurious. Also, if you are saying your parents had it good, how is it they were unable to help you out?
I hate Capitalism. It promotes a system entirely based on greed and it promotes the worst of human nature.I'll not say too much on this, as that might be crossing the line into Rancor Pit territory. The problem is that while it may be the worst of human nature, it is part of human nature. That is why systems which rely heavily on redistribution of wealth are doomed to fail unless human nature changes.

Your original post asked for advice. I guess the guy in the IKEA commercial said it best - "You don't have to be rich, just smart." You don't have to live like a monk. You can still afford to have a little fun and treat yourself to a Star Wars figure from time to time. However, you have to make sure all your bills are paid first. You have to pay close attention to how much things cost, and clip those coupons. Maybe it will require a little more sacrifice on your part for a little while until you can get your minimum payments down to a more manageable level. Not having been in your situation, that's about the only advice I have to offer. Best of luck to you.

seanmcfripp
06-26-2006, 12:55 PM
Sean may have been a bit harsh there, but essentially he is right. When people talk about any sort of homeless and poverty problems in this country, it is kind of ridiculous when you compare to what sort of conditions in which people live in other parts of the world. In some ways, we are the victims of our own success here in the USA and other modern industrial nations. We become accustomed to having certain things, so it becomes hard to imagine living without them. I am guilty of this as well. I would have trouble giving up cable, internet, my Star Wars collection and many other modern conveniences. I just try and keep track of my finances and hope it never comes to that.

Of course, if I were to lose my job, I would be in a world of hurt with house payments to make. I probably have enough to survive a few months being out of work and not making any changes to my lifestyle, but I'd have to start making some decisions to cut stuff out or sell some things to make the money last longer. I may have to settle for minimum wage just to get some cash flow coming in. Hopefully I'd find work before being forced to sell the house. Luckily, my parents might be able to help some, even if it is just a place to stay should I be forced to sell. All the more reason to be glad I have a good job and to make sure the employer has no reason to let me go.

If all else fails and I have to sell my Star Wars collection, I'm sure there are plenty of people here who would be willing to buy.

I wish my original post echoed some of these ideas. Thanks MSP.


Excuse the hell out of me but where do you get off making assumptions and passing judgement?

Well, making assumptions and passing judgements usually make for more interesting threads. I like to think I speak up for the people who are afraid to say some of the things that need to be said. Surprisingly, I'm much less passionate in 'real life' about the things I say on forums like these, it's just that the medium doesn't allow for any of the subtleties of actually having a real conversation with someone. The written word, at least in my incapable hands, comes across as a bit black and white sometimes.

From your response though, I don't think I missed the mark too much with my assumptions...


Yes, I'm in debt and just about every person I know is for one reason or another. Yes, I collect Star Wars figures. So what? Did I make a choice to collect it? Sure. Did somebody put a gun to my head? No. Am I responsible for the choices I make. Yes.

Great, you're a lot further along than most people in financial straights. Some folks really are incapable of wrapping their brain around the concept of lending, so you've got an advantage.


Am I entitled to live my life a little instead of being a working class drone slaving away with nothing to show for it? Absolutely

Whoa, whoa, whoa, hit the brakes...THIS is where I start to have problems. First and foremost, "slaving" is not an accurate way of describing your employment situation. If you were really a slave, trust me, you'd know it. I'm sure I don't have to explain the meaning of slavery to you, as we had a pretty long tradition of it here in this country for a long time. And please don't use some lofty metaphor about capitalistic or corporate slavery, because that's an entirely different, Rancor Pit worthy topic. Be thankful every morning you have a choice of what you'd like to do with your day. Slaves don't have that choice.

If you don't mind, elaborate a little on what you mean by "live my life a little," since the phrase is fairly subjective and I know we strive for clarity around here. You've already shared that your Star Wars hobby falls into the "live my life" category, so I'll speak to that for now. I'll go out on a limb here and just say it bluntly: Your Star Wars hobby does NOT make you happy, and in fact is a symptom of what's making you so miserable. You're paying for little plastic trinkets that you can't afford in a vain attempt to fill a void where real happiness should be. Don't feel bad, I'm just as guilty, but the difference is that I didn't and don't buy them on credit, and I'm not avoiding lenders so I can keep up the hobby.


I work two jobs for little pay and it sucks but I do everything I can just to get by and if I need a new figure or two every week just to make it all worth living for, friggin-A right I am entitled to it.

I can understand getting joy out of the simple pleasures in life...finding an elusive action figure at a store, stopping to smell a rose, enjoying the taste of a cold beer on a hot day, seeing a good movie, whatever floats your boat. But when a simple pleasure becomes one of the only things in your life that can "make it all worth living for," then you have way bigger problems to worry about. I think if you have to choose between honorably repaying a debt and having any of those simple pleasures, there's really no choice at all. Sorry, but the little fleeting moments of joy have to wait.

My wife and I were in a bind a few years ago. Not really a bind, but a financial situation we weren't comfortable with. We bought a house a couple of years ago just after my wife became pregnant (our first). We bought the house in October, and the baby was due in early May, just after my wife was supposed to finish graduate school. Even if she delivered early, her professors had a back-up plan in place where she could take off a few weeks, then finish out the semester. She already had a job lined up at a Montessori school for the following fall, which would have allowed her to take the baby to school with her (infant toddlar program classes). A great plan, since we'd never have to put our child in day care (something we felt and still feel very strongly about) and she'd be only be missing about 3 months of work over the summer.

But everything changed when we found out in November that we were having twins. Her due date was changed to some time in mid April, and the doctors projected that she'd have to stop going to school in Feb at the latest, preventing her from graduating. We had some big decisions to make: How is she going to finish school? How can we afford to pay for this new house if we both aren't working? In the end, we decided day care was not an option, and that my wife would just stay home until the following spring semester, at which point she'd finish out her masters. Somehow, we'd just have to get by on my salary alone for the next year and a half. So we did really what we should have been doing through our entire marriage: we cut frivalous expenses and set up a budget. We cancelled cable, we cancelled internet service, we stopped going out to eat, we stopped buying new clothes, and most painfully of all, I stopped buying toys. The first few weeks were hard, sometimes we'd just sit around looking at each other bored out of our minds. But slowly, we got to enjoy the new lifestyle. We started reading books again, and I really got back into playing music. If I wanted to watch a Redskins game or something, I could just go to my parents' or bother's house. I fell in love with the Nats listening to them on the radio every night. I found I could do all the goofing off on the internet I wanted at work or at someone else's house. I also really learned to enjoy what I have, instead of always chasing the excitement of getting something new. Cutting expenses actually became a fun challenge after a while, clipping coupons, finding bargains, brainstorming with my wife "What can we cut out now?!" It was an incredibly liberating time for us.

As far as toy collecting, I took the approach that I did when I was a kid. For some reason, even at my advanced age, I still end up with a nice little chunk of cash every Christmas and birthday. Suprising to me, I was able to spread that out over the course of 18 months. I had to give up the completist attitude I'd taken up to that point, but I still managed to get most everything that I REALLY wanted. I went back to older parts of my collection and realized how outdated most of it had become. Why have a '95 Stormtrooper stand in a collection with a VOTC Stormie? They don't even look like they're from the same line. I turned to ebay for the first time and sold off all kinds of things. The first round was a bit painful, but after a second round, I actually got hooked on "cleaning house." I made a killing off some early POTF era and some GI Joe army building lots I'd accumulated over the years. After it was all said and done, I'd pulled in a few grand over 4 months, much to my wife's delight, "Oh, so you weren't kidding when you said people will big bucks for this stuff." I have a much better perspective on the hobby now. I used to have that "get 'em all" attitude, but now, I just buy what I want. It's great!

My wife's been back to work for about a year now, and that first paycheck of hers may as well have been a check from Publishers Clearing House. After 18 months of living off one paycheck, a second income was like winning the lottery. And guess what? Once a frugal tight wad, always a frugal tight wad. We are done with cable forever, we still do not go out shopping for clothes or go out to dinner without treating it like a huge financial decision, and I'm still buying Star Wars toys from my birthday score last March. We'll never go back to wasting money again.

There are two major points to all of this discussion:

1. You can do almost anything (within reason) when it comes to finances. If you want to pay off your debt, you can do it, if you remain disciplined and put your mind to it. You'd be surprised at what you can live without, but you don't know util you try.

2. Star Wars collecting isn't going to provide long lasting happiness. The only real way to be happy is give something of yourself back to the world (a partner, a child, a greater cause, etc.). More of a Rancor Pit idea, but worth mentioning here.

Oh, and there's a third point too.

3. Debtors are like casual Brewers fans who are like Rush fans. Eat it, Ceasar! :D

2-1B
06-26-2006, 01:14 PM
Wow, there's someone here named Ceasar ? :eek: That's so close to my name of Caesar ! :crazed:

decadentdave
06-26-2006, 01:38 PM
Be thankful every morning you have a choice of what you'd like to do with your day. Slaves don't have that choice.

More precisely, it is the "illusion" of choice. Can I chose not to go to work today? Yes. Will I lose my job if I make that choice? Yes. Will I lose my home because I made a choice not to go to work. Yes. Come on. Our "Free Will" is rather restricted. No, we are not slaves in the historical context of being beaten and whipped to perform laborous human tasks but rather an economic enslavement of bondage. I think Morpheus summed it all up nicely in the first Matrix film. "You are a slave Neo, you have been born into bondage." That was a great allegory for the world we live in today. It is not as overt as Roman slavery but it is undeniably oppressive to those who do not have the means to liberate themselves from their financial situation. I am educated and have a college degree that isn't worth the paper it is printed on. Fortunately I have no student loans. However, I cannot get a job that pays enough to satisfy my basic cost of living and that is not entirely due to my collecting. Like I said, you make too many assumptions because you haven't walked in our shoes. I have to pay for things like medical bills, dental bills, car bills, rising heating bills (I didn't even turn on the furnace over winter and literally froze my *** off), gas, insurance, etc. etc. etc. My collecting is only a fraction of that debt. Point is, there are no guarantees in life for success and those that unfortunately don't succeed it is not entirely because they did not try and apply themselves but that they are in a situation they simply cannot get out of. If I could get a better paying job (and I am always submitting my resume to no avail) then of course I could improve my situation a little better. Your advice regarding financial discipline is a sound one and you are preaching common sense that any reasonably intelligent person knows better but there is a difference between what sounds practical and its real-life application. Even if I regimented myself to buy only basic human essentials and lived obsessively frugal, I am constantly bombarded with unexpected costs. My car breaks down. Bam, another $500 or more. Some people can afford to budget their savings for unexexpected and unforeseen bills but for some of us living paycheck to paycheck just trying to swim, we do not have that luxury. Therefore, instead of judging and blaming whose fault it is, the focus needs to be what can be done about the situation. Should I and am I capable of working a second job and sacrificing my free time in order to take responsibility for my financial obligations? Yes. Have I cut back on spending? Yes. Have I filed bankruptcy yet? No. I am doing my part to live up to my end of the bargain. Give me a break.

seanmcfripp
06-26-2006, 03:27 PM
More precisely, it is the "illusion" of choice. Can I chose not to go to work today? Yes. Will I lose my job if I make that choice? Yes. Will I lose my home because I made a choice not to go to work. Yes. Come on. Our "Free Will" is rather restricted. No, we are not slaves in the historical context of being beaten and whipped to perform laborous human tasks but rather an economic enslavement of bondage. I think Morpheus summed it all up nicely in the first Matrix film. "You are a slave Neo, you have been born into bondage." That was a great allegory for the world we live in today. It is not as overt as Roman slavery but it is undeniably oppressive to those who do not have the means to liberate themselves from their financial situation.

Were you born into that financial situation? Were you born with $30K in debt?

Oh, and the Wachowski bros still owe me $8.50 for Revolutions. Deadbeats.


I am educated and have a college degree that isn't worth the paper it is printed on.

Were you born with that college degree? Were you born into some agreement that forced you to major in a non-lucrative field? Are you starting to see my point?

I was actully hoping you'd stay away from the whole economic bondage thing, because it goes into religious and political territory, something we can't really talk about freely here. Giving a basic version of my opinion, I think we have choice in almost everything we do. If you have a standard of living that requires you to have two jobs, then I say you choose to be in that situation because it's easier than doing what it takes not to be in that situation. If you're trying to find a higher paying job, then it sounds like you've only done enough not to find one so far. You can always do more. I'm not trying to be a jerk, or anything, I'm just trying to get you to think in a different way. After working your tail off at two jobs all week, what do you do? Work on sending resumes and hitting the pavement or take a few hours for yourself to relax? Nine out of ten people (me included) are going to relax, so they can face another gruelling work week. But guess what? There's another guy out there who chooses to put in that extra effort in finding a job. Between you and him, who gets that job?

How many people claim to be "stuck" in bad marriages? Nope, you choose to be in that marriage. No matter how painful the relationship is, you choose to stay in it because something else is more important to you, whether it be children, avoiding the embarassment of divorce, or just the security of having a relationship vs. no relationship at all.

I hate the victim mentality.


Fortunately I have no student loans. However, I cannot get a job that pays enough to satisfy my basic cost of living and that is not entirely due to my collecting.

Wait, do you consider collecting to be a cost of living? I'm just confused by the wording. If you can't meet the demands of your cost of living, then perhaps you need to lower the standard. If you live in a condo, then maybe it's time to sell it and find a roomate, or move in with a family member. Or if you can't find a decent paying job, heck, move to Frederick, MD, we have all kinds of jobs around here that pay well.


Like I said, you make too many assumptions because you haven't walked in our shoes.

Not really sure what you mean by "our shoes." Trust me, I've walked in those shoes too. I've been single. I've been in big credit card debt. I've worked 3 or 4 jobs at once. I've lived with people I hated to keep housing costs down. I haven't had the worst of financial times in life, but I can assure you I certainly haven't had the best, if that's what you meant. Looking back, I think I made choices (emphasis on choice) that put me in the best possible position to be where I am today, which again, is NOT a money lover's paradise, but I'm very happy.


I have to pay for things like medical bills, dental bills, car bills, rising heating bills (I didn't even turn on the furnace over winter and literally froze my *** off), gas, insurance, etc. etc. etc. My collecting is only a fraction of that debt.

Technically, utilities, insurance and the like aren't debts, those would fall under living costs. I really hope you're not paying for gas and insurance on credit. But medical and dental bills? I dunno, if you've had medical issues without insurance, then yeah, those kinds of debts can be very, very difficult to pay off, usually because they cause work stoppage. If you have $30k in medical bills, you're probably having a difficult time. Not too get to nosey, but is that your situation? Hospitals and medical care providers are usually pretty good about working out repayment plans, and there are a few social services that assist in coverage that most people aren't aware of.


Point is, there are no guarantees in life for success and those that unfortunately don't succeed it is not entirely because they did not try and apply themselves but that they are in a situation they simply cannot get out of.

Right, getting out from under debt can be next to impossible, but I'm more concerned with how people get into these situations in the first place? And after they file Chapter 7, then rack up debt all over again, what are we supposed to think? When does it end? When does someone finally say, "YOU got into this. YOU need to find a way out of it."


Therefore, instead of judging and blaming whose fault it is, the focus needs to be what can be done about the situation.

You can't learn from a mistake unless you understand the mistake. Getting into debt is like any other life altering problem. It starts out as a harmless pattern of particular habits, only to snowball into a giant mess before you even know what hits you. If you're really going to fix the problem today, you have to make sure you're not on the same road to failure tomorrow.


Should I and am I capable of working a second job and sacrificing my free time in order to take responsibility for my financial obligations? Yes. Have I cut back on spending? Yes. Have I filed bankruptcy yet? No. I am doing my part to live up to my end of the bargain. Give me a break.

Sounds like you're doing everything you can. I hope it works out ok in the end. More importantly, though, I hope you get to a place where you don't feel quite so fed up with the human race.


Wow, there's someone here named Ceasar ? :eek: That's so close to my name of Caesar ! :crazed:

Oh yeah? Well, you can both eat it then! :dev:

So how long were you going to let me keep flipping the 'e' and the 'a,' because I'm sure I've done it more than a few times. Now that I think about it, I've been spelling my own name wrong all these years. S-A-E-N. Wait, or is it S-E-A-N. Dangit, now they both look wrong. I'm so confused.

2-1B
06-26-2006, 11:43 PM
Dave, in what field is your degree? :)

Saen, "we" forgive you. Regards, Caesar and Ceaser. lol

Mad Slanted Powers
06-27-2006, 12:06 AM
Dave, in what field is your degree? :)A field is an odd place to put a degree. Mine's in a box somewhere, I think.


Saen, "we" forgive you. Regards, Caesar and Ceaser. lolThis is getting out of hand. Now there are TWO of him!