First, I want you to know that most

(if not all) of us started off in much the same condition as you’re in now. If you’ve been lurking for awhile, you’ll know that we come from a variety of circumstances but “dead broke and scared stiff” is a very common starting point. That’s certainly where we were when we first got started. Slightly different bills, slightly different work/home/personal situations, but we ended up deep in the hole all the same.
Second, I would encourage you to consider that you’ve already taken a HUGE first step, by posting the circumstances of your situation. It was only about this time last year that I started opening statements again, and you may or may not have seen that we only recently (November!) came clean with the IRS for two years’ worth of back taxes. We all have various weights around our proverbial necks, so you’re in good company. The question isn’t what size weight that is dragging us down. The question is what option(s) do we have to get rid of it? That’s where a lot of folks on the list will have a lot of different suggestions. Some of which maybe you won’t want to hear, but some of which may be easier than you expect. And a lot in between.
So, I would hazard a guss (taking a cue from other help-me intro emails I’ve seen in the past) that the next step would be to see some more specifics on your financial situation, on a monthly basis:
costs for your Four Walls of basic life (Housing (including utilities), Transportation, Food, Clothing)
additional gotta-pay expenses
and yes, your “not-dealing-with-them-but-know-they’re-out-there” debts.
Be as exact as you can be, but estimate if you have to, and let’s start with looking through the budget to see what can be done and how. You’ve taken a big step, and that took courage. When you’re ready, I encourage you to take another big step and post the above info, so we can help you start to sort things out. Hang in there. You’re not alone in this.

Yea. don’t really know exactly the amount as I stopped opening up statements..

yea it’s that bad.. But I think it’s about $10K – $12k somewhere in that vicinity.. just in cc debt.. different dept stores.. yada yada..
Most of the comments I read here seems to be of someone in the midwest.. Hello anyone on the east coast who could relate??
Own a coop. Cause it’s just better to own something than to pay some ridiculous rent to someone and then not own it down the line.
So yea.. I have a Mortgage and a maintenance fee which includes heat but not electricity. Oh and I have to have coop insurance.. i think the bill just came in for that..
Have decent job. Accounting field. $55K annually. No raise in 4 years.
I commute to work.. taking a bus and 2 trains to get into the city. Takes about 50 minutes. Same going back home. I stopped buying breakfast and lunch. Whatever leftovers i have is what i take to work. They day i don’t bring something = no lunch.
Office offers coffee, tea, soda, milk daily.. bagels on Friday’s. I don’t come to the office on Fridays so don’t care about that.
Am able to work 2 days of the week at home.. could probably do more.. but i don’t rock the boat unless i really need to.
Don’t have to pay for afterschool care for the 2 younger ones as the father picks them up. It’s the least he can do. I drop the 2 off at school. The older one is in HS so gets free metrocard from school. He takes 2 buses to get there.
I’m the one who provides health insurance for the boys and myself.
Ex does pay child support but not enough in my eyes.. but isn’t that always the case.. seriously he should be paying more. So company changed health insurance plans this year.. somehow it worked to my benefit cause the monthly rater is now lower by about $50.. but then that got taken away with the new sociail security tax increase and i also reduced my 401 retirement contribution from 6% to 3%. Company used to match the 6% about 5 years ago so that’s why i had it at that rate. but i need more money in pay 2x a month paycheck. So with all the changes i only get about $2.50 more a paycheck. Really??
Yes I have a car payment.
Totalled my paid for Toyota Corolla 2004 about 2 years ago in an accident..God was so with me that day.. it’s a miracle i walked away with bruises. I was by myself driving to Virginia to attend my first marine corp ball with BF. I so did not want to drive back home.. was terrified but i had no choice. So took the money and bought myself a Toyota Highlander 2008, but now i have a car payment that i didn’t before. ugg.. yea yea.. i know you guys give up the “nice car” and trade it in for a hoopty (something that sounds like that) for a cheaper car.. but i can’t bring myself to do that. Depend on the car alot for everything. take the boys to school. attend PTA meetings.
So going back to bills.. yea.. i get statements which i don’t open. What’s the point if i can’t pay them. I used to. Just the minimum but then you get the i just have to have item, after item, after item. Things add up. Bill Collectors are calling. At work, cell, job. I don’t answer calls i do not recognize the number from or if the caller ID at home says Unavailable. Also I think one of the collectors is offering some deal.. you know.. we will work with you.. and pay x instead of z. one might be in the hands of some esq firm .. just took a glance and closed the envelope.. so can’t say for sure..
Can you tell i’m in denial. Ugg..
I don’t have any medical bills or student payment loans to worry about. Blessings i guess. I have my health. Kids are good. They have the basics of what they need and what I can provide. Of course they like fastfood mostly McD’s so.. that is no longer a 2x a week thing anymore. They are lucky if they get it 2x a month now. And only on Tuesday’s cause my local Mc’ds offers Tuesday specials of $1.99 for a happy meal. So i can deal with that.
I don’t buy anything (basics) without a coupon, this includes food, clothing, shoes. I’m attempting for the first time to go food shopping every other week. This is my off week. So if I have to get something it will be milk and bread maybe fruit..but that’s it. I sort of been stockpiling.. so I will only use what I have at home to make meals from.
Not sure what other info I should be giving u guys.
So i’m basically at point zero.
Where do I even begin to get my financial health in order is the ultimate question for you all.
Scared to click send..