Get an idea on your finances

Welcome to the group.

The first bit of advice that I can suggest is to get an idea on your finances. Whether it be with spreadsheets or a program like Quicken or Microsoft Money. You need to list out all your debts, and then make a plan on getting things paid off.

The typical rule of thumb on paying off credit cards and debts is to list them out with the interest rate beside them. Then if you are able to, make the minimums on all your payments. If you can spare extra money, you apply the extra to the highest interest debt you have. After a couple of months, you will see a significant decrease in the debt that you had been making the extra payments on. When that debt reaches 0, you apply the previous minimum payment, plus the extra payment you were paying to that debt to the next one in the list.

Here is an example.

Debt Payment Interest Rate


CC1 $150 27% $1400

CC2 $90 18% $1000

So say the first month you make you minimums, plus you had $200 extra. Pay the $150 like you normally do, and also pay $200 to the top card. You will have made a $350 payment that month, and your balance is now down to around $1100. Next month it will be around $900, then $600, then 300, and bingo, it’s paid off.

Then you take the $150 you were paying on the first card, and apply it to the second. Now you may have $250 extra at the end of the month, so you apply that to the second card as well. So your $90 payment becomes $90 + $150 + $250 = $490 and it only takes two more months to have that paid off.

I know this is an extremely simplified version, but that is the principle on how you do it.

The other thing you may want to consider is to track your spending. Everything from a cup of coffee on the way to work to a can of Coke on the way home. You don’t need to change your habits the first two weeks you are tracking, but then at the end of the two weeks add everything up and see where your money goes. You’d be surprised. Then you can get an idea on how to reign in your spending to save more.

About the motor for your car.

I’ve been there and done that. I put a new motor into my truck one time, and it cost me about $4500 after tax and everything. I had the money at the time, but now I’m forced to keep an antiquated truck because it’s not worth it to me to sell it and after I spent the money I can’t not drive it. I would really suggest getting a used car from somewhere rather than fixing your old one. Even if you got some sort of beater car for $500 and it only lasted you a year, that is cheaper than fixing your car and only having it last you for 3 years. Just something to think about.

Hope a bit of this was helpful, and can get you pointed in the right direction.