My modern day servants

Hi all, I was meditating on the Proverbs 31 woman in the Bible and how she got so much accomplished in her life. I then realized that she had help in the form of servants and that got me to thinking about the “modern day” servants that I have in my home (other than the kids that is LOL!) that help me to save money and get alot done.

Other than my washer and dryer (that I rarely use when the weather is nice) and my swamp cooler (kind of like an air conditioner and a God send to me since I do not do heat well), I have found that my kitchen is the area where most of my “servants” reside.

I bought a Oster Kitchen center about 8 years ago and love it! I use the slicer/shredder attachment to do cheese, zuchinni, potatos, carrots, etc.. I can get them all shredded and either use them right away of freeze them for future use. I also love the small food processor which allows me to make quick dips, meat spreads and minch vegies up fine. The blender is in constant use this time of year pureeing up raspberries and making slushies for the kids and frappachinnos for my husband and I (using the leftover coffee from the morning pot, some ice cubes and some homemade hot chocolate mix). I also use the mixer attachment for making cakes and small batches of cookies. For the larger batches of cookies and bread making I invested in a heavy duty KitchenAid stand mixer.

The motor on it is much more powerful and I was afraid that I would burn out the motor on the Oster with my 12 loaves of bread a week. I am able to get 2 batches of bread mixed and ready to rise (4 loaves total) in about 10 minutes with the KitchenAid. I had read a book by Jackie Wellwood called “The Busy Mom’s Guide to Simple Living” and she talked about investing in tools to help you save money and time and also live a more healthy lifestyle. It really struck home with me as she is a busy Mom of many children and homeschools all of them, so she needs to stretch her resources to the fullest (I can relate to her). I have also got the grinder attachment, but have yet to use it (I got it free as part of a Mother’s Day promotion about 3 years ago). Next on my list are my crockpots! They are true workhorses and are used constantly. I have 2 of them. One is smaller and one is huge!

The smaller one does not have a lift out pot in it, so I do not use it as much as the larger one. I start lunch or dinner in the crockpot and it is ready when we are. It is nice to know that I can have a hot meal waiting for us at almost any time with it’s help. I also simmer chicken pieces in it and sue the broth for soup and the meat in other recipes. I have other appliances that I enjoy also like the microwave and my rice cooker (I have a huge one and we use it about twice a week, we are big rice eaters, must be the oriental influence of growing up in Hawaii on me Ü), and also our air pop popcorn maker. Oh, I can’t forget the big Brita water filter either. I hate the taste of the tap water here and I find if I do not filter it, it upsets my stomach.

There are a few items that I use on a seasonal basis that also help lighten my load. They are my food dehydrator, my cherry pitter (a plung type that funnels the cherries down to be pitted) and outside for the yard, my lawnmower! LOL! Life is made much easier with thse modern day servants!

So come on now, what are your favorites?????

I started working the day after I turned 16

I interviewed before the date just so I could get a job asap. I worked in the kitchen of a hospital. I only worked 3-4 days a week and the hours were 4-7:30 on the weekdays and an 8 hour day on the weekend.

I kept that job all through college. It paid great compared to McDonalds and I had plenty of time for homework, etc. I felt it made me more responsible, I had to find the way to work, deal with my money, etc.

I worked with all kinds of people not just other kids. I don’t feel I missed out on anything. I think it is a great thing to let kids work.

I saw you got a lot of responses and good advice

I saw you got a lot of responses and good advice. Once thing I didn’t hear anyone mention is the ‘B’ word, that being Bankruptcy.

I’ve never declared bankruptcy, BUT… I know people that have, as does my fiance. One person I work with declared, and was able to get credit for a car only a year later.

My fiance knows people and heard stories of people who’ve been able to declare, and have almost NO affect on their lives. Yes, it’s a black mark and it WILL hang around for a long time. But it’s not the end of the world.

And I *think* – check with someone about this, but I *think* the Homestead Act will prevent the creditors and courts from taking your home. Anyways, it’s worth looking into, especially if you’re worried about foreclosing on your house.

take care and good luck

I have heard about doing it this way

I have heard about doing it this way and I have a question. What happens if you get a new bill, let’s say a dr.’s bill, and it’s smaller than the one you’re currently working on?

Do you stop making extra payments to the one you re currently working on and start at the bottom of the list again even though the dr. bill is a new debt and the others are old ones? I hope I’m making sense.

More ideas on lowering bills

1. List out your debts from smallest to largest.

2. Pay only the minimum on all except the smallest; apply any “extra” funds to the smallest debt until paid off.

3. Once paid off; take the money you were applying monthly to the first debt and start applying it to the next in line.

4. Keep this up until each debt is paid off.

It will take a little while and discipline but it is the quickest way to get out of debt. Good Luck.

A few months ago my husband and I

A few months ago my husband and I wrote down EVERY PENNY WE SPENT and where we spent it for 30 days. What an eye-opener! The amount of money spent on sodas, cups of coffee, bagels, lunch and snacks bought at convenience stores was staggering! We have since adjusted our spending in the areas we can control and were amazed at what we actually had to pay toward SAVINGS ( a word I remembered hearing once. long ago ) and also toward debt. We’ve also started debt-stacking in order to get out of debt quicker. The keys are discipline (a word I hate) and delayed gratification (another one). Unfortunately, our society and culture don’t teach or value either of these.

I would suggest the 30-day log of ALL your spending as a start and see where you can go from there.

When you use a debt service

Keep in mind too that when you use a debt service, though they help you pay your bills off, it will still reflect negatively on your credit as “not paying as originally agreed” type of a thing. I would just say work as hard as you can to pay them down on your own before using a debt couseling service. Not to mention the fees…

Have any of you tried the Mvelopes program to manage/monitor your spending habits? We’re managing our monthly payments, etc…but still in debt. I know there is extra money we have that isn’t going towards debt, but haven’t been able to get a handle on where exactly it IS going. Anyway, any thoughts on the program would be great. I signed up for the 30 day free trial.

You can track your spending through Quicken also. It has a pretty decent budgeting feature.

Yes I did slow down on my spending

Hi All

Thank you for your caring advice.

Yes I did slow down on my spending here and there and also cut down on my food by baking and making more things at home. It helped, I pay minimum payments. However, I from time to time go to Thrift store to buy my son cloths because he has been growing out of his cloths and shoes so quickly (every 3 months).

As the story goes I left my fiancee of 14 years and bills is under my name. He helps me pay 1 loan…child support are in the proceeding. That’s life.

Last night I went to Walmart and bought him 1 New pants , a package of Haines T-shirts and a pair of shoes. I do this so he has something new every once in a while. He has been good in accepting thrift cloths and still am a pretty happy kid.

Gonna re-finance in a 1 year. Soon my bills will be lower. I am hanging in there on a LIMB.

One thing I have learned is you can only do what you can and also do the best you can.

Everyone wants their money

Yes, everyone wants their money, however, some have leverage to get it and some don’t. I am not a lawyer, but if you are buying the house through a standard mortgage arrangement, most states will consider it off limits of unsecured creditors. (It’s your homestead.) This means that if you continue to pay the mortgage payments, the house remains yours. Other creditors may sue you and receive judgments, however they should not be able to force you to sell the house.

The best advice I have heard is to lower your lifestyle to match your income, i. e. live below your means. Then begin paying off unsecured creditors by making small payments to each one OR by saving enough to pay them off one at a time. If you use the latter method, you may be able to negotiate a settlement of less than what you owe for paying in full.

In the meantime, you will continue to get calls and letters. You may even get sued. Don’t get stressed by that. You can work yourself out of the debts if you think clearly, work hard and get your spending under control.

God bless you.

I would advise both of you

I would advise both of you to stay away from debt SETTLEMENT companies. Look in your phone book for the local branch of CCCS (Consumer Credit Counselling Services) Many times they are not for profit and can get you started in the right direction. Since I don’t know your locations, here’s a link for the CCCS of Atlanta:

I do not belong to this service or work for this service so I have no opinion on them other than to use their site as an example. I do use another CCCS and am having a good experience there. Hope that helps.

I am new here and am looking for lowering my bills too

Hi I am new here and am looking for lowering my bills too.

Almost applied for one debt counseling, but like you say…”they want my money too”.

…(15pages) and it shows that they get paid $4K and my bill are paid
the rest.

Found an Advice/Warning page on this;

Most debt settlement companies will claim to be able to settle your debt for about 1/2 of what you actually owe, so let’s use the lowest credit card debt as an example:

If you owe $4,000 on the account and the creditor agrees to accept $2,000 as payment in full, it will take you ten months at $200 per month to have accrued enough cash in your trust account to pay off just that one credit card bill.

But remember, your first three payments to the debt settlement company only paid the $750 admin fee. That means your first credit card isn’t really settled until 14 months after you started sending them money!

So what is the problem? It’s really very simple – Your creditor won’t agree to accept half of your actual debt amount in settlement unless, or until, that amount can be paid in full. Otherwise, they’ll expect you to make your normal monthly payments.

I DON’T KNOW much about this just started searching. It appears that in the interenst rate of 22, 25%plus late fee, on everything. We have to pay the fee to the Company that will negotiate the pay for us. However as the adice is given….CHECK out Companuies first.

Will write if I find more information;

I am in debt to the stars

I made a decission to move into a house that my father owned in January and it doubled the cost of mortgage. It is in my parents and my name. Me and my boyfriend are struggling very bad and need to get caught up on past due bills. Some are medical bills for me when I was out of work at the end of last year, others include old cell phone bills, bellsouth bill, credit card debt, and such.

I have tried to contact some of these companies that say they can help only to find out that they want my money too. Well, since there is no money to have, we are really stressed. Does anyone know who I can contact to get a personal loan to get all of these paid off. I have late pays on my credit and he has NO credit score as of right now. Please give me advice. Good or Bad, just help, PLEASE. I do not want to lose my house and my family has helped all they can.

It doesn’t hurt to try

But remember, any promise you make, any payment you make, extends the Statute of Limitations on the debt. As an example, NY has a 6 year Statute. So if several years have passed and you made no promise, no payments, then you make a payment, instead of having 4 years left on the statute for that debt, you now have the full 6 years again! With your debt and health situation, you really want to think hard about this before you take action, and get the advice of a competent attorney.

Employment is often reported on your credit report, either when you file for a new credit card, loan, etc.; if your employer does a background check; a landlord does a review, etc. So yes, they can find you if they want to, and if the Statute of Limitations in your state hasn’t run out.

Most court judgments would be erased in the bankruptcy. Judgment relating to fraud, criminal activity, and some student loans, business/payroll and tax related judgments may not be.

The best time is when a qualified attorney tells you it’s the only alternative.

It’s possible to keep a great deal of your personal assets in some states. Again, this is a legal question only an attorney in your state should answer. If the Court Appointed Trustee feels you are hiding something they may do an inspection. If a creditor has a lien against an asset and you didn’t list the asset, the creditor can ask for an inspection. It is in your best interests to be as honest and above board as you can and follow your attorney’s advice.

I can’t emphasize strongly enough that you need qualified legal help in your state. The information I posted is informational only and not legal advice. As you can see by my post, there are too many differences between states, and items particular to your personal financial situation, to take a “one size fits all” approach.

I will try to address some of your questions

The first thing you need to realize is that laws are not the same through all the states. Some states have a 6 year statute of limitations on debt collection, other states only have a 2 year statute. Bankruptcy laws, although Federal Statutes, are also subject to change by each state. In some states you can keep your home if you file bankruptcy, in other states you cannot. I would recommend you contact a qualified attorney and plan on a long conference. Once Consumer Credit Counseling advises you they can’t help, you are basically too far gone and need to see a lawyer.

Honestly they are likely to go through a lengthy attempt to collect the debt prior to starting a lawsuit. Lawsuits are not cheap so they will try to exhaust other remedies first. Local debt, such as local banks and merchants are more likely to start a lawsuit quickly than national companies.

They accrue interest, at the statutory rate, not necessarily the credit card rate. Judgments usually last for 10 years, but can be renewed for another 10 in some states, like New York.

Doing anything to hide assets, or misrepresent them, can cause the Courts to determine you are attempting to defraud creditors. In any court action, you need to be absolutely honest and above board. An attorney in your area, well-versed in debt collection and bankruptcy, is your best bet to guide you on what can and cannot be done, and how to do it to achieve your goals.

There are legal proceedings, where the debtor is put under oath to tell the truth. This is one way creditors find assets. See #5 above. Freezing a bank account usually occurs after a judgment is taken (you lost the lawsuit) and a garnishment of assets is filed. They are not always done at the same time, and the garnishment or levy of assets is often done later.

Here are my questions

1. What would you recommend I do?

2. How likely is it that either the credit card companies or the collection agencies would sue me? The amounts I owe range from $2500 to $31,000.

3. Is it true that court judgments go on your credit report for up to 20 years and that they accrue interest?

4. If I were sued and lost, could they take my car? (It’s paid for.)

5. If I were sued, could I prevent the creditors and the court from knowing that I have a car? It’s registered in a state other than the one I live in, although it’s insured in the state in which I live.

6. Do creditors have a way of checking DMV records in every state to see if a person owns a car anywhere?

7. If I am sued and lose, will they try to freeze my checking account? Is there any way I can open a new bank account, either before or after a lawsuit, without a creditor finding out about it? Do they have a way of finding any bank account a debtor has?

8. Given that I have little in the way of assets or income to go after, how likely is it that a collection agency would agree to take $20 a month from me and not sue me? What would I say to convince a collection agency to agree to this?

9. If I am sued and lose, and then some time from now recover my health and am able to work again, would the creditors know that I had a job? even if it’s years from now?

10. Is it true that collection agencies can only pursue someone who isn’t paying at all for a certain number of years? How long?

11. Would any court judgments against me be erased by bankruptcy?

12. If I do file for bankruptcy, when would be the best time to do it? Now? In a few months, just before the debts are turned over to external collection agencies? After the debts are turned over to collection agencies? Before any court proceedings? After any court proceedings?

13. If I file for bankruptcy, would I lose things like my computer? Would they take my word as to what property I have and its value, or would someone come to my home to do an inspection?

Thank you all for your advice.

I would really appreciate any advice

I would really appreciate any advice people can offer on the following problem.

I have $60,000 in credit card debt spread over 7 credit cards. My monthly payments total about $1000. My income places me below the poverty level, and for medical reasons I am not able to work full-time. I am supporting myself at a subsistence level through odd jobs, most of which pay in cash. My only assets are a car valued at $8000 and a house (with almost no equity in it) that is already in a foreclosure process.

I want to continue paying on my debt but cannot afford to pay more than $20 per month per card. I went to a credit counseling service (CCCS), where a counselor and I called a couple of the credit card companies. They said there was no way they would agree to take such a small amount. When I asked what would happen if I simply sent in $20 a month on my own without their agreement, they said the interest rate would go up, there would penalties and late fees, and after about 6-8 months of internal collection efforts they would either hire an external collection agency or sell the debt outright to an external collection agency.

As I see it, I have only two options: file for bankruptcy (which I don’t want to do, partly because I really do want to continue to pay what I can, and partly because I don’t want to lose my car), or send $20 a month per card on my own while the credit card companies hold the debt and then try to get the collection agenices to accept the same amount per month.

At the risk of being criticized

Well, at the risk of being criticized, I will offer my humble opinion on the matter – if the job is low stress, you enjoy it, and ONLY 2 days a month, and you do not notice it affecting your family adversely, I would go for it!!

You can do a lot with $350a month, if nothing else, invest it for your family’s future. Also, I think I recall you are a nurse (?) and I’m guessing if you don’t work your license would lapse-? Plus, there’s such a shortage of nurses right now-what an awesome service you provide. But, the bottom line should be what affect your working has on your family.

I felt very guilty when I worked full-time and my son was in daycare for 10 hours a day. I quit my high stress, high paying job in Jan of 2000.

Not working at all was not right for me either. I finally have a situation that we all are happy with. I work a few hours a day while my son attends a wonderful preschool that he loves. My wage is fairly high (I don’t think as high as yours) because I have 15 years of experience in my field. It is expensive because there are only a total of 30 children in the program (2 classes). We get to spend much more time together but he also has a classroom setting with his buddies, playground, art projects, etc.

(He is 3). Again, whatever is best for your family. I try not to criticize the choices anyone makes, although it might not be something I would do.

As for me, I enjoy bringing in some income while my son is at a good school at the same time. I look forward to continuing this schedule when he goes to Kindergarten in 2 years, maybe working a few more hours, but having the flexibility to help at school, etc.

Good luck with your decision!


New intro – nice to meet all of you

Hi all, I too am from the old blog. I was on vacation for most of the summer and then I just went on quiet mode for the last few weeks. I have enjoyed reading from this blog though.

Let me reintroduce myself. I am Carrie from Calif. I am a mom of 4 girls so yes I have to be very frugal since that means 4 weddings someday.

Oldest is already engaged. I joined this group because I like learning about ways to use what money we have wisely. We have worked really hard this last year pulling ourselves out of debt. We make fairly good money, however we were in our eyeballs in debt. Some of it was poor spending habits and some of it was things out of our control. Any ways we have paid of most of our debts and are now trying to work on keeping out of debt as well as wisely spending the money we do have. This list has been a great help!

Looking forward to learning more on this list from all your great wisdom.

Carrie in Calif.