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December 02, 2008


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Living below your means is THE golden rule to personal finance and I'm not sure why intelligent folks don't get this principle. It really doesn't matter how much you make or earn, but rather how much of it you don't spend!

Not spending requires discipline and I think that may be why intelligent people are in debt.


The scary part is, their debt to income ratio isn't as bad as I've seen elsewhere.

The problem here lies simply in the fact that they don't want to get onboard and on the same page.

So, what is there to do? All the numbers, all the plans, all the budgets, and all the facts are not going to make a bit of difference until they've drill themselves straight into the ground far enough to realize what a mess they're in.

This is advice that I've seen elsewhere, from women to women, is for them to start squirreling money away, as much as they can.

This may or may not lead to divorce or tough times, but either way, extra money will come in handy. I am ambivalent about such an advice on paper, but out there in the real world, I can't blame anyone for hiding money from their spouse.

We have mentioned this phenomena in our blogs many times, since we also experienced it ourselves. Expenses tend to rise with income. Having a higher income always seems to be the solution, when in reality we have to learn how to live within our means no matter what our means or incomes are.

Closing the cc accounts may make it worse- some cc companies raise the interest rates on accounts that are closed with a balance remaining.

"He refuses to make a budget ...." This couple needs marriage counseling first and foremost. The money issues are symptomatic of a larger problem.

If they were willing to make a budget and stick to wt they could pay this off before the 7 years it would take for bankruptcy to be off their credit report.

Even if you don't stick to the budget at first, it is still a step in the right direction. When you fall off the wagon, brush yourself off, pick yourself up, figure out why you fell off, and then try again. I agree that his refusal to make a budget is a deeper sign of trouble.

Their situation should be manageable. They make a lot of money. Their credit card debt is high but they should be able to afford it. They just have to cut back on their spending. Its sad that people making $100k would be considering bankruptcy.

They have to make more than the minimum payments to get out of that CC debt. If they paid $2500 a month they'd be paid off in about 4 years. But if their minimum payment is $2000 and thats all they make then it will take like 50 years. (exact #'s depend on the interest rate, I used 18%)

Apparently the guy is conscious that he's bad with money since he knows he can't (won't) stick to a budget. I'd still push them to some form of budget. But if worst came to worse I'd put the husband on an allowance and take away control of any money. That way he gets like $100 a month to spend and no access to other money. With that kind of setup he doesn't need to worry about a budget.


I think not trying to budget because you know you will fail is ridiculous. I have no sympathy for people that don't even try.

Let the husband file the bankruptcy if he is still not listening.

Well if they're unwilling to stick to a budget they'll never fix their finances. You have to live way beyond your means to rack up that big a CC debt. Bankruptcy won't help them, even if their debts were dissolved they'll be back in the same place soon enough. Their mortgage is cheap compared to their income, they should be able to dig themselves out without much trouble if they just tried.

Another option is to get a better job than 20K, that shouldn't be hard. It's just a Band-Aid, but it's a better Band-Aid than bankruptcy.

dogatemyfinances said:

Another option is to get a better job than 20K, that shouldn't be hard. It's just a Band-Aid, but it's a better Band-Aid than bankruptcy.

As someone who has NEVER had a $20K job in 30 years of working, I dispute the notion that getting a better than $20K job is easy.


Unfortunately not everyone is in the position to make more than $10/hr, which sucks... but that's the way the cookie crumbles per se.

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