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I'm here. And I need help. Step 1, right?

July 7th, 2017 at 04:30 pm

Hello everyone. I'm new here. And I feel like this is the first step to getting on track.

I'm self employed, with a side job that pays $400/ week. I used to have a nice paying job, but I am attempting my dream. Which isn't always easy. At the end of the month, I am short about $350/ month if I do not bring in business. Right now, I am $600 in the hole when I pay the bills this week. I have $0 in savings.

I am in debt, which I hate. I am determined, which makes me feel good. But I need help and guidance and support.

I have goals to get organized over the weekend. Then I will really push my business to get more income. And my side job has given me the opportunity for few extra hours. I joined Swagbucks so maybe I can do that each night. But I would love suggestions. Side note - we don't want to refinance our house or get rid of the car. But ideas are welcome. I want to get rid of this debt. I want to help my business thrive. And I want to be financially free.

Thank you for letting me join this community.
Day 1 down.

11 Responses to “I'm here. And I need help. Step 1, right?”

  1. Out of the Dark Says:

    Welcome Aboard! I too am new but am really finding great motivation and inspiration in this community. I have been treated very nicely and have truly enjoyed the conversations.

    By the looks of your sidebar, things do not seem too bad! You made a couple of comments regarding your car and home. One of the greatest advantages of home ownership is the equity we build, month over month. That equity is a form of savings. Savings that in some cases, when cashed in, can be a deductible on our taxes and offer relief of non-tax deductible debt.

    If I were you and while interest rates remain low, I'd work to determine the equity in our home. Zillow is great for this and from one banker friend of mine suggests, is becoming very accurate. Find out how much equity you have. Consider tapping into it and applying it toward ~$30K you have in debt. Remember, if you are worried about an increase in monthly mortgage payment, consider what you would no longer be paying toward the other debt which, of course, should be applied to the increased mortgage payment.

    Finally, as there are so many variable that exist in your personal life, you state "we" don't want to refinance "our" house. Assuming you have a mate/significant other, does that person generate any income? Just some things to consider. Best of luck and keep blogging. It really does motivate and the tips/tricks and best practices are awesome.

  2. James Says:

    Hey Maurine,

    Keep chewing on being self-employed, you'll get there!

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    Welcome! My main advice would be to get your monthly budget in balance before you attempt anything else. Whether that's cutting back expenses, consolidating debt into a refi as suggested, or finding a part-time job, it's the most important thing IMO. There are lots of tips and tricks to sticking to a budget once you balance it, and different things work for different people.

    You can't really pay down debt or save up money if you're going in the hole, but once it's in balance, any new money or room in the budget can go toward debt and savings. That's how I dealt with our budget when I got on track about 10 years ago, and it worked really well!

    Good luck with your dream business and I look forward to hearing more about your journey!

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    Welcome to Saving Advice! We will cheer you on, and hold you accountable when needed.

  5. crazyliblady Says:

    We need more information. I noticed you have several credit cards with balances and also a student loan.

    What are the rates on your credit cards? Would it be possible to move any balances from a high rate card to one with a lower rate or 0% card?

    Also, is it possible to refinance the mortgage or car loan?

    Also, what is your budget?

  6. PatientSaver Says:

    Hi, Maurine.

    My feeling is that I would focus on getting a better paying job. At $400 a week, you're only grossing $20,800 a year. With that kind of income, it would be tough to achieve any of the debt reduction goals you've mentioned.

    Can you tell what kind of work you do and what your side job is? Perhaps we can help you brainstorm to boost your income. Depending on your skills and background, there could be a lot of upside potential there.

    As crazyliblady said, it would be good if we had a more complete picture of your financial situation, including mortgage balance/interest and credit card debt. Everything here is completely anonymous.

  7. PatientSaver Says:

    Sorry, just noticing your sidebar with the credit card balances now. Which has the highest interest rate? Focus on paying that debt down to $0 first. And I mean, develop a laser focus to pay it down.

    At the same time, I still think that any free time and attention should be focused on higher paying work. I look forward to learning more about your situation. We're here to help.

  8. VS_ozgirl Says:

    Welcome to Savings Advice! I started blogging here at the end of 2014 with a precarious financial situation and by one year later was in a much better place, this community is so helpful with motivation to be in a better financial position . Good luck!

  9. MonkeyMama Says:


  10. ThriftoRama Says:

    Welcome. I hope we can help you on your journey!

  11. rob62521 Says:


    Not knowing a lot of details, here are some suggestions I have. None of them will pay off anything quickly, but sitting down and making out a budget would be the first step so you know exactly what you have coming in...I realize being self employed for part of it will make that a challenge, but if you can, estimate what you think you will bring home. Then write down all your bills, everything you spend. Find ways to cut back on some things. For example, if you eat out a lot, stop eating out as much and keep that money to put on your bills. Plan your meals ahead. I peruse the grocery ads and see what's in my pantry and freezer to determine what my week's menu will be. If you can cook some stuff ahead so you have it so the temptation to pick up something or eat out isn't there. I make soup from scratch for a meal, we usually have it a couple of times, then I freeze the remainder. So, if we get home later than we predicted from doing something, I can pull it out of the freezer, heat it up, and add crackers and cheese and we have a meal.

    Different experts have different suggestions on paying off credit cards. Some folks say pay off the lowest balance first so you feel successful and then put that extra money on the next one. Others say pay off the high interest rate card first and then pay on down. I'm sure either way works, but paying more than the minimum payment as well as not charging more will be helpful.

    I think you will find the folks on SA very helpful, friendly, and smart. I know I have!

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