SparkPeople Debt Haven Team Messageboard Are you struggling with debt along with weight? This is a place to be free of those struggles, to connect with others experiencing similar issues with money and together achieve a debt free life. SparkPeople Debt Haven Team Messageboard 101 Why You Should Track Your Spending 101 Why You Should Track Your Spending <BR> <BR> This article shows tracking for a whole month. I have chosen to track just for one week initially as per the printable tracking sheet I shared earlier. But this article will give you food for thought about tracking your spending if nothing else. I am not using this weekly tracking as a budget or substitute for a budget this is just to track my discretionary spending. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ment-101-why-yo... Wed, 13 Apr 2016 07:39:19 EST The Cost Of Clutter! The Cost Of Clutter! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>family/high-cost-clutter/?utm_source=E<BR>veryday+Cheapskate&amp;utm_campaign=b1<BR>2495082a-&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm<BR>_term=0_3eccb93339-b12495082a-67633245 </link> Wed, 13 Apr 2016 07:33:35 EST Weekly Expense Tracker Just thought I would share with you all a Weekly Expense Tracker I found on Google that I have printed out for myself. i'll be using this starting today and going through till next Wednesday our next pay day and getting a bit of a wake up call perhaps as to where lots of fiddly amounts of money might be going to unnecessarily. <BR> <BR> I sort of already know lol but having it written down will be powerful for me. I thought some others in the team might find it useful as well. I'll be g... Tue, 12 Apr 2016 18:46:11 EST How To Create A Simple Household Budget Here's another link from a blog I created on my website. Might be helpful for some. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2014/05/25/how-to-create-a-simple-hous<BR>ehold-budget-and-get-yourself-out-of-d<BR>ebt/#more-679 </link> <BR> <BR> I just have to get better at sticking with my budget! Easy for the main bills but the discretionary ones like emergency fund, savings, money for household appliances, repairs etc... not so easy for me. Mon, 11 Apr 2016 21:17:06 EST Ways To Save Money On Grocery Shopping Here's a link to a blog I wrote on my website that I have. All or some of you may find useful when doing your grocery shopping / menu planning etc... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>2014/05/10/ways-to-save-money-on-groce<BR>ry-shopping/#more-471 </link> Mon, 11 Apr 2016 21:10:02 EST Debt Reduction I recently took out a high interest loan to cover my debts. It fell short but it was enough to make enough of a difference, to go forward with it. What angers me is that I had to do this rather than go through my bank for a decent interest rate. I've been with this bank for over 20 years and it's frustrating that despite my good credit the past many years, I am denied loans simply for having no collateral. I think 24 years in one job is a pretty good sign that i'm reliable. Ah well, I fe... Fri, 31 Jul 2015 18:44:49 EST Holiday Shopping Hi everyone, <BR> <BR> I have a budget this year and need to stick too. I haven't use a credit card in over 2 years. I can't wait to be debt free. I made a list and amounts to spend. If I can't find the item for that price I am just not buying it. <BR> <BR> What are other peoples plans? <BR> <BR> Any good crafts or foods to make to give as gifts? Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:14:27 EST 52 Week Challenge <link><BR>easiest-way-to-save-money-over-1370-a-<BR>year-52-week-challenge/ </link> <BR> <BR> 52 week Challenge is as follows: <BR> <BR> $1 on the first week <BR> $2 on the 2nd week <BR> Total = $3 saved <BR> <BR> $3 on week 3 <BR> $4 on week 4 <BR> Total = $10 saved <BR> <BR> Increase every week by one dollar and at the end of the year you will have saved $1378!! <BR> <BR> Many folks also do this in reverse and start with $52 on the first week, $51... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 21:32:08 EST New Year! Time to set the new budget! New to this Sparkteam! I've set myself some lofty goals not only in fitness but my debt as well. I want my house to be the only thing I owe on by December 31st of this year. My new goals for this year: <BR> 1. Menu Plan- planning meals better to keep from throwing money in the trash! <BR> 2. Stick to the Budget- Every pay period is planned with a "Zero" budget in mind, even "fun" has a special account where money is allotted to. <BR> 3. Double the size of my garden this year, not only for wea... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 08:34:40 EST Before I'm 50.. management weight and money I think it's a great thing to have a central place to track both my weight and my money. Both of which need some SERIOUS babysitting!! <BR> I've been on Sparkpeople for weight and when I show up and work the site, it works for me. And I've just read Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. <BR> Lots in my life changing so I really need to watch every penny and make them work to the best. And get healthy!! Sat, 28 Dec 2013 21:35:28 EST Building Credit Please feel free to add your tips and information on building credit. I also plan to update this section periodically through the year. Fri, 26 Jul 2013 13:35:22 EST Hi All, Here is a little bit about me. I am 23 years old - I got my first credit card when I was 18 and second at 19. I never went overboard, I never made extravagant purchases...but here I am at 23, with $6500 of debt on the card. It happened gradually. The biggest time period that it increased was when I was in my Masters Degree program, because I had to stop working while I did my unpaid internships for a year and a half. During that time, I lived off of student loans. I also lived with my p... Wed, 27 Feb 2013 09:19:09 EST Does Owning a Car Make Financial Sense <link><BR>does-owning-car-financial-sense-195402<BR>636.html </link> <BR> <BR> After a decade of owning a car, Peter Marbry is calling it quits. The Vancouver resident has crunched the numbers and come to this conclusion: it doesn’t make any sense, financially. <BR> <BR> “I can save about $400 a month by getting rid of it, and that’s not including things like repairs and tune-ups,” Marbry says of his 2005 Toyota Echo. “I’ve started biking to work, whi... Thu, 21 Feb 2013 14:47:17 EST Meals - Make Them Fun We have a team goal of eating breakfast every morning. I thought we'd expand this board to include all meals - share your creative ways of making meal time fun and interesting. For example, I struggle with breakfast. I wake up too late, I forget to eat when I get to work even if I bring breakfast with me and breakfast is a chore. One way I've learned to get around this is to make fruit smoothies. I blend up berries, plain yogurt and a bit of milk, with ice. I pour it into my travel mug ... Tue, 15 Jan 2013 17:14:17 EST Fitness Minutes We have a team goal of 500 fitness minutes per month. I set the goal because anything less, the team was going over and above the limit. It is wonderful to see that as a team, we were able to go beyond our goal line. Keep up the great work! <BR> <BR> Let's use this board to share our personal truimphs, barriers, frustrations and joy with working towards this monthly goal. Share what works and doesn't work. Do you work out in a gym or at home? Do you have a set routine or is it random... Tue, 15 Jan 2013 17:00:45 EST Avoid Holiday Debt article Did anyone else read this Spark blog? <BR> <BR> I admit that I only skimmed it. There seemed to be good ideas there but I would have liked to see a little plainer talk and spell it out a bit clearer...avoid debt by only paying cash...if you don't have it (the $$$) then don't spend it. <BR> <BR> The article also talked about having a Christmas budget but I don't think it covered where to get the money for the budget. I have a Christmas account with my credit union that automatically takes ... Wed, 5 Dec 2012 01:39:44 EST New found hope With my car needing immediate repairs due to emissions, me feeling as though how is this going to work because I don't have the funds for this I'm already living pay check to pay check and feeling quite stressed. I had to take out a loan and doing so gave me some hope because with it I paid off two credit cards, I will be paying off a loan I took to fix my starter and still fix my car, some hope. I have a ways to go for true financial freedom but I'm making progress Tue, 30 Oct 2012 08:48:44 EST work from home? Does anyone know any legit work from home business that someone could do part time? I currently work full time but I'm looking for a part time job as well. With working 40+ hrs a week and getting up at 4:45am for bootcamp it's difficult to find something that fits into my schedule. Thanks :) Mon, 1 Oct 2012 16:18:22 EST Progress. ..finally In 2011 my budget & debt repayment plan got derailed by several very large & immediate unexpected expenses...which actually caused me to take on more debt. I didn't back slide on my payments but for a good part of the year I was not doing much more than the minimum. <BR> <BR> This year I've dug my way back to the top of the pile and have paid off 4 small debts so far and will have at least 2 more gone by the end of the year. OK, these were all small cards or loans, with less than $1000 on ... Sun, 23 Sep 2012 02:50:45 EST had to tell someone who will understand!! as of 8 aug 12 we are totally debt free- it took two years, a bankrupcy filing, paying off the one credit card we were able to keep, paying back the parents-paying back the KIDS- and my best friend. we are not spendy or frivolous, it was my husband got laid off and out of work for two YEARS before we gave in and filed, my check just wasn't enough to live on. i have been lurking for a couple of years and would like to say how much support this group has been. things are better now-hubby has a ... Sun, 12 Aug 2012 13:08:23 EST Budgeting? I've created a budget and I more or less stick with it. But I would love to take some kind of class to help me. Is there an online class that anyone knows of or maybe a program that I can buy that's helped someone create a workable budget? Thanks! Mon, 25 Jun 2012 13:11:07 EST Im passing this video on Here is a money saving to make tie dye tshirts with a spiral of different colors in them. It is cool. watch it, I learned something new... <BR> <BR><BR>e-Spirals.htm Fri, 22 Jun 2012 20:23:04 EST Hi. I'm new :) <em>213</em> <BR> Hi. My name is Angela and I'm from NC. My husband and I are filing Chapter 13 next week. Which will save us some money in the long run. He was unemployed for six months and even though we tried very hard to keep things current, we failed. And so, this is the only option we have if we want to save our vehicles and home. <BR> <BR> I am still bad with money, even after going through this learning experience. I mean, I've gotten better with managing what little I have.... Wed, 20 Jun 2012 12:26:02 EST Filed Bakruptcy Has anyone here ever filed bankruptcy?? I just need to know things will be ok. :( A few weeks ago, my husband and I filed chapter 13. Due to the economy, his. hours at work were drastically cut, and now he is bring home only half of what he was making. We tried for 6 months to make it work, but there just wasn't any other choice. <BR> <BR> I should feel better about things, and in some ways I do (no harrassing phone calls, mail, etc), but I am just really stressed because I just don'... Wed, 13 Jun 2012 13:08:58 EST Hello~ Anyone eat because there stressed!? ;) Boy oh boy the stressors of life aren't they FUN!? <BR> We'll just like a lot of people I eating because I'm stressed and I'm stressed because I'm eating ah oh and I can't forget I have all this insane debit over my head! Its older debit, but it's still debit and I'm sure I will accumulate more once I get married. To top it off I next Friday I will be officially laid off. To be perfectly honest with all this INSANITY going on around me I feel actually O.K. for some strange reason (I guess I ... Thu, 29 Mar 2012 15:53:08 EST Cornerstone Debt Consolidation Have any of you used this company?? <BR> What is your experience?? Tue, 20 Mar 2012 15:02:16 EST Hello Hi everyone! My name is Andrea! I won't bore you all on how I am in debt but that I am and I am looking for a way out. I know that it will not happen overnight but I am looking for financial support and someone to hold me accountable. I am currently about $20,000 in debt not including mortgage, car and student loans. I live paycheck to paycheck and I hate it. My husband and I have separate finances and it works for us. I want to be debt free or close to it by 2014. <BR> <BR> I am proud to s... Wed, 15 Feb 2012 09:19:55 EST February will be 5 years February will be 5 years that I have been on-time with all my payments. For 1-2 years prior I was chronically late, 30 / 60 / 90 months on most bills. Even with being on-time for 5 years my credit rating still is pretty bad because of the amount of debt I have, and the distribution. I have a hone equity line of credit so it shows as revolving credit, like a 5 digit credit card balance that is maxed out. <BR> <BR> Because my worst history is in those years 6 & 7 though I'm thinking that ... Mon, 23 Jan 2012 23:27:58 EST OMG OMG OMG!!!! On Friday, I am paying off my second credit card! WOOHOOOO! I'm so excited that I want to do another hour of dancing around the apartment....but I already did my cardio for the day. <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> Anyhow, I'm so excited that I had to share. Hope all of yas are doing well at getting fiscally as well as physically fit! :) Mon, 23 Jan 2012 22:26:51 EST Swimming is a ocean of debt, HELP!!! I am swimming in so much debt that I doubt I'll ever be able to make it out alive. When I graduated, I owed $124,000 in student debt. Once I found a well paying job, I was paying $900 a month on this debt. When I was laid off my debt was $126,000. I called and said I wouldn't be able to make payments anymore. They said they couldn't help me until it defaulted. I called the next day and they said they couldn't help me. I've met my 2 year grace period of forbearance and deferment. Currently, I ... Sat, 7 Jan 2012 21:05:06 EST Not Dead Yet from Diabetes and Heart Failure But doing well after a rough year. Dr.'s improved me with Rx and a pacemaker or sorts. <BR> I'm 70#s overweight.... just turned 60 and now ready to face the truth. <BR> Since I'm on Injectable insulin, my Dr says it will be very hard to loose weight... which is very true. <BR> I got a bike for Christmas and live in a riding friendly neighborhood. So excited about that... but if feels like starting over. <BR> I eat a healthy diet... but not good enough to loose the weight. One of the problems ... Fri, 6 Jan 2012 11:07:19 EST Newbie Here I just started taking a look at SparkSavings in addition to SparkPeople and I figured it might be a good idea to join a team to make sure I try and keep with it! ^_^ I just wanted to introduce myself and say hi to everyone! Fri, 6 Jan 2012 01:25:36 EST Finally there with the $, now on to the food! Hey, everyone! <BR> <BR> I used to live in various places of the country, now settling into Memphis, TN. After years of overspending and multiple bailouts from my parents, I have now taken control of my finances, with some help from LearnVest (a free service that provides lots of financial advice and budget tools). I am now on track to be credit card & car payment-free by the end of 2013, as well as have my emergency fund fully funded (I figure $25,000 is a good number to have in an emerge... Wed, 4 Jan 2012 15:15:49 EST End of the tunnel Hi folks. <BR> <BR> Like so many others I'm sinking on the Titanic of debt. I'm very glad that SparkPeople has this page! I want to at least see the light at the end of tunnel by the end of the year. I'm committed to tracking my weight goals as well as my debt goals this year. <BR> <em>213</em> Wed, 4 Jan 2012 13:25:18 EST Debt Consollidation, credit counseling service adv Hello! <BR> I am 27, separated and soon to be getting divorced. <BR> We have no kids, no house that we purchased.. but I have a good bit of debt and money going in many different directions. My problem is that I am living with my sister at the moment, and am miserable. I won't go into specifics, but it's pretty dire for me to find a way out. She is letting me live there rent free. I cannot afford rent on my own with my current expenses.. I have two credit cards, a bill from my last car that n... Wed, 4 Jan 2012 12:35:19 EST New Year New Me I joined SparkPeople a year ago but did not take it seriously. A lot has happened over the course of 2011 and I have decided to make some changes. Managing my health with conviction is one of them. I never post on anything so I thought I would try something different. <BR> <BR> Happy New Yearbto all, and Happy New You in 2012! Sun, 1 Jan 2012 08:16:29 EST Out of Debt, Woo hoo! Saturday was my final payment on my debt consolidation that I did through a credit counsellor. I have one outstanding issue – one credit company was provided with over-payment, which shows on the credit card statement as a credit to me. I do not have an open card with the company, so I have to call to request that it is paid out to me by cheque. My brother informed me there is a process to have this done, so that I do not have to get a new card simply to have the money returned. <BR> <BR>... Tue, 13 Dec 2011 18:12:32 EST really ugly financial Ok well its a long story but the short story is part of my divorce was to quick claim deed the house to the ex who had 2 years to take my name off the mortgage. He had till Dec and then suddenly died Nov. He did not have mortgage protection so the mortgage will not be paid off. The bank now is wanting me to pay the payments but I can't do anything legally with the house (can't even turn it back to the bank)...I have my own place and can't afford to pay the close to $1000 a month they want...a... Mon, 12 Dec 2011 20:49:50 EST Money, Donations, Gifts - Must be Christmas This time of year is particularly tough on people - single or family. It's the time that charities do their big push for money, the time food banks call on "one and all" to dig deep and give lots of food, the time that you are bombarded with messages to "buy this" and "buy that." <BR> <BR> Many folks through their social and work circles will be asked (and expected) to attend Christmas functions. Often one is asked to bring a plate of food and a "small gift for a gift exchange." There i... Mon, 28 Nov 2011 14:16:31 EST Be Social on a Budget <link><BR>nvestors/08/friends-budget.asp#axzz1c0<BR>jdOhah </link> <BR> <BR> This is a great article. It talks about living on a budget when your friends seem to "have it all." Fri, 28 Oct 2011 00:55:15 EST update on snowball effect and hardship program Just trying here to save someone grief. <BR> <BR> I posted i got on hardship plan to lower monthly on three bills and was ,key word ,enrolled. <BR> <BR> This is a real plan and if your very careful you can get monthly bills lower for one year . <BR> <BR> <BR> What happened to me was this: One bill said give me a routing number we take money out <BR> <BR> on 3rd your on program do not send check. <BR> <BR> Other two said ok your on it and pay on 3rd lower amount. <BR> <BR> I got my s... Thu, 27 Oct 2011 17:37:56 EST Don't Be a Victim of These Investments <link><BR>ictim-Of-These-investopedia-3084996614<BR>.html?&mod=pf-sp14c </link> <BR> <BR> Article outlining the most common investement scams. Thu, 6 Oct 2011 13:19:30 EST Scam Victim Upset over Inattention by Credit Union <link><BR>-inattention-credit-union-133404230.html </link> <BR> <BR> Scam victim upset over inattention by credit union <BR> <BR> A young B.C. woman says an oversight by tellers at Canada's largest credit union helped scammers steal $5,000 from her. <BR> <BR> Amanda Peacock, 20, was fresh out of college this summer and looking for a job when she fell victim to a widespread hoax, known as the "secret shopper scam." <BR> <BR> "I lost all of my money …... Thu, 6 Oct 2011 13:18:46 EST Every time I try to get out they keep dragging me back in! (The Godfather Part 3) <BR> <BR> Which is exactly what it feels like. I was on track to pay off 1, possibly 2 loans by the end of the year. Then my car motor blew and I now have a $3k repair bill. And because of my debt I have virtually no savings yet so that means another loan payment. <BR> <BR> I'm just venting right now. I know it will all be gone eventually. It is just so frustrating because everytime I feel like I am finally making progress something... Mon, 26 Sep 2011 12:24:19 EST I need HELP! I recently switched jobs and am in school and am having money troubles. I do have credit card debt and it seems to be harder and harder to pay my monthly payments. I have been cutting back on expenses drastically but it still seems like im never going to get out of this rut. I have heard of Credit Advisors and i have heard good and bad things so i don't know if it is the best solution to my problems. I was wondering if any of you had any advice for me?? thank you! :0) <BR> <BR> Emily Mon, 26 Sep 2011 11:42:21 EST HELP TO PAY BILLS HERE I HAVE OVER TIME GOT MYSELF INTO DEBT. FOR AWHILE I WAS DOING OK TILL <BR> <BR> LIFE STEPS IN TO REMIND YOU THERE IS NO SANTA CLAUSE. <BR> <BR> <BR> I HOPE THIS HELPS ONE PERSON IF SO WORTH THE POST. <BR> <BR> TRY THIS FIRST IT WILL HELP . NO FREE WAY OUT BUT IT WILL HELP <BR> <BR> I WAS ABOUT TO GIVE UP AND SAY LET THEM COME GET ME I CAN NOT PAY THEM <BR> <BR> ALL NO MORE ALTHO I ALWAYS HAVE BEEN CURRENT ON ALL MY DEBTS. <BR> <BR> I READ ABOUT A WAY TO HELP SO I DID IT TOD... Thu, 15 Sep 2011 01:01:28 EST Hello Hello my name is Jennifer. I am back at Sparkpeople, <BR> and I am verry happy in doing so. I may have nots of <BR> questions, if that is all right with everyone. <BR> Jen Tue, 30 Aug 2011 09:22:39 EST Swagbucks or Superpoints Does anyone do Swagbucks to earn extra income? I just joined and haven't really figured out how to earn enough Swagbucks yet. I've read of a number of people on SP and on Facebook that earn enough money for birthday and Christmas presents. If you do SB, what are your tips? <BR> <BR> I was invited to join a similiar site, Superpoints, a few weeks ago and have already earned enough points through surveys to get a $10 paypal gift card. It's not a ton of money, but every little bit helps. I... Mon, 15 Aug 2011 10:02:17 EST new and looking for budget tips Hi. I'm new to this group and graduated from nursing school in 2008 after a divorce that left me with a little bit of retirement money but not much else. I have hefty student loan debt along with credit card debt that I accumulated while trying to get through school and take care of 2 teenagers, despite working full time while going to school full time. Now I'm trying to get on my feet, but the interest on the credit cards and loans is killing me. I'm now 52 and feel like I will struggle t... Tue, 9 Aug 2011 11:14:59 EST New so saying hi from bea thinking i can pick up some points to lose a few debts faster. Get some tips and maybe share <BR> <BR> some that work for me along the way. <BR> <BR> Main one for me was cutting up all my cards saying clean sweep. Lived most all my life with <BR> <BR> no cards and once i got some i fell into the trap they make. <BR> <BR> I recently paid off one bill and have not thought to reuse it card gone no way. <BR> <BR> Today i paid off a second one so i feel so happy knowing there is a t... Thu, 4 Aug 2011 01:05:15 EST Hi I am Andee Hi, I am Andee, I love finance, especially personal finance. <BR> I am a huge Dave Ramsey fan! I also love Suze Orman. <BR> It is nice to be a part of your group! <BR> Mon, 18 Jul 2011 11:51:33 EST Scary Usually I track & pay my Visa bill online, but they also send me a paper statement, which I just file & never look at. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I actually looked at it. There is this box at the top that says if I only make the minimum payment and never put anything else on the card it will take me 14 YEARS to pay it off! <BR> <BR> That's certainly putting debt into perspective! <BR> <BR> I am fortunate enough to be able to make double the minimum so based on the info in the other box should ha... Sun, 12 Jun 2011 07:38:58 EST Next step to take...HELP please! I am due finish paying off my car in September 2011. But, I am been under a lot of debate as far as what to do next. <BR> <BR> I have a lot of medical bills and other bills that need to be paid off, but I also have a car (the one is due to be paid off in September) that have a lot of mechanical issues - such as a bad calaystic converter $1500 to repair and my car is a 2004 Hyundai Sonata with over 204,500 miles on it. <BR> <BR> At the time when I got the car I didn't know all about keeping... Tue, 31 May 2011 13:07:59 EST It is so hard to save money when others don't help We live with my husbands grandparents because we fell onto some financial difficulties and lost our house some time ago. We buy our own groceries and things and both have full time jobs. While we don't mind buying for four people ( my husbands grandparents, my husband and me ) it stretches our money quite a lot when other people come over and consume our things. My husbands mother has her own place but stays here all the time (even overnight) and seems to think it is perfectly okay to eat and... Sat, 21 May 2011 13:40:14 EST Joint Funds Huz and I are approaching our 1 year anniversary and are taking the plunge! We are going to get a joint checking and savings account! <BR> <BR> We've been just keeping things separate but having really open lines of communication about how much $ we have and what bills are due, etc. but it's starting to look like it would make sense just to have a joint to pay all our household things. Now only one person (me) is going to be in charge of managing all of our bills and money and budget instea... Wed, 18 May 2011 11:29:58 EST resume <link><BR>er-letters/resume-writing-tips/what-to<BR>-leave-off-your-resume-canada/article.<BR>aspx?WT.mc_n=Ycanada_YToday </link> <BR> <BR> From - large online looking for job site. This is a great short article on what to include and not include on job resumes. Tue, 17 May 2011 14:51:19 EST Tough decision...but a relief none the less.... I've been sitting on my tax refund for a couple months now, to buy a professional grade camera, being as that I am studying photography. Well. It's been taking a while to get the go ahead for an employee discount to get the camera. So I did something almost on a whim today. I took out enough money from my savings *twitch* and paid off one credit card. I had a realization today looking at the statement. They wanted me to pay 30 bucks a month minium. Ok. I've been paying 50-60. Well, I... Wed, 4 May 2011 19:54:53 EST I made it! For the first time in forever I made it through a month without using a credit card a single time. Usually I make a more than the minimum payment at the beginning of the month on 2 of them & by the end I've charged them up again so I never pay down the balances and my cards stay maxed. And so my FICO score went up 30 points to "Fair". <BR> <BR> If I can make it through May without using them I will have 1 paid off completely and can add that $20 payment to the next one in line. I should c... Tue, 3 May 2011 22:29:09 EST Debt & Divorce I probably need to talk to an attorney about this, but I can't really afford one seeing as how I just lost my job. <BR> <BR> If I do the "honorable" thing, in a divorce, I would be left with about $40,000 in debt. <BR> <BR> If I split it 50/50 and force him to pay some of my debts, I will still be left with $25,000-$30,000 in debt. <BR> <BR> There is a chance I will end up in bankruptcy. <BR> <BR> How does bankruptcy work in a divorce? If I agree to pay my debts, or my share, and then I ... Wed, 20 Apr 2011 14:03:48 EST Is debt counseling ever a good idea? I have NEVER been late on a payment in my life. Ever. But I have a mountain of debt and I can barely keep up with it. <BR> <BR> Would any sort of debt relief company even help me, since I'm not actually behind on payments? <BR> <BR> What could they do for me? <BR> <BR> Would it ruin my credit score? Thu, 14 Apr 2011 16:29:33 EST Budget help This is somewhat of a hypothetical budget, but I'd like some help filling in the pieces and figuring out if this could even work. <BR> <BR> Income: $1,500/month net <BR> <BR> No, I can't get a better job, yes, I've tried. <BR> <BR> Debt: <BR> Student Loans, $25,000, 4.13%, $165/month (currently in deferral until February 2012) <BR> Line of Credit #1: $5,800, 7.75%, $200/month <BR> Line of Credit #2, $2,500, 7.25%, $75/month <BR> Credit Card: $6,500, 9.99%, $105/month <BR> <BR> Expenses: <... Thu, 14 Apr 2011 16:02:36 EST as i say not as i do do you ever find yourself telling someone else what to do and realize you have to take your own advice? <BR> The coffee fix question spurred this thought. I buy my sodas like crazy but will lecture my mom for hours on how her smoking is killing not only her but her budget. Crazy! I justify it because my soda habit is probably a quarter of her smoking but it is the same thing. Does anyone else catch themselves doing this? Or am I the only crazy one? lol Wed, 13 Apr 2011 12:41:55 EST how did you cut out fast food? There are only 2 of us and I was raised cooking for 5+ people!!! How do I cook at home and avoid eating leftovers all week long?? It is so much easier to run up the street and get food then to try to figure out what to eat and make it. I got in the habit when I was working 13 hour days but since I'm not working now I have time to cook just cant seem to get it together. I have managed to make bread and not helping!!LOL Wed, 13 Apr 2011 12:28:32 EST lost income so in the middle of my little mess called life i have lost my job. any tips to get us by until i find a new one? lots of appls out already as I was schedule to quit for family reasons in a week but no repsonses yet Fri, 8 Apr 2011 12:58:20 EST Help! I'm really struggling We have gotten into such a rut and I am not sure what else to do? We are in so much debt that we have 3 payday loans out and are barely making living expenses. We make too much to qualify for any assistance. I'm not even sure where to start with this mess.... <BR> <BR> I feel so overwhelmed, I am having trouble breathing... <BR> <BR> Any suggestions? Thu, 7 Apr 2011 23:14:24 EST Preparing for a Divorce/s eparation I am planning to leave my hubby of 5 years and just doesn't seem to get it. I really would prefer at this stage not to hire an attorney to draw up a separation agreement What steps should I take financially to prepare for? BTW We have very little assets and unfortunately are getting ready to sign another year's lease which I WON'T <BR> Thanks <BR> Louise Wed, 23 Mar 2011 08:24:20 EST Rising Food Costs Here are a couple articles regarding the rising costs of food. How are you managing with the increased costs of food? Do you have a garden or involved in community gardens? Do you have Farmer Markets in your area and is it cheaper to purchase from them? Are you eating unhealthy choices because the healthy choices are beyond your budget? What tips do you have to eat healthy on a limited budget? <BR> <BR> Rising Cost of Food In Canada <BR> <BR> <link> Tue, 22 Mar 2011 14:30:51 EST Keeping a positive attitude Hello. I am working on my weight loss, but my debt is just as overwhelming as the weight loss. I feel like I've always lived in debt and I don't want to. I have a BS degree and my MBA which has helped me get the job I have-it pays well and it's somewhat rewarding, I just can't seem to get out! I have student loan debt, a car loan, credit cards and just day to day bills. I feel like I budget appropriately and I never miss any of my payments-I usually overpay on credit cards but it just feels l... Tue, 22 Mar 2011 13:07:12 EST Budget Buffer So I'm sort of outlining a budget for us - right now, all we have budgeted is food. But here's my hang-up. It seems like every month, something comes up. Whether its taxes, or the vet, or a car repair, or going to the doctor, or a trip, how much of a buffer do you build in to your budget? 10% of your income? 15%? I have no idea what we should have for the unexpected I don't want us to have to always rely on pulling out of our savings for those kinds of things or having to put it on credit. Tue, 15 Mar 2011 13:47:57 EST Ouch. First use of credit card in a year. Yuck. We took our furbaby to the vet this morning and she has a severe ear infection. The bill came out to nearly $600! OUCH! I had $140 set aside thinking it would just be the standard check up and vaccines and was NOT expecting this! We ended up putting the difference on credit and once we are doing paying the bills for this pay period, we can move some money around and pay it off but it is still a pretty crummy feeling. I hate that money is so tight that it's a struggle for us to take care... Sat, 12 Mar 2011 21:33:48 EST bills,bills, bills, savings .. feed back please! so i was thinking about this and i want some feed back. <BR> <BR> these are my bills. ( aside from food and gas) <BR> <BR> $25 gym <BR> $50 phone <BR> $60 electric <BR> $230 rent ( my half of the rent) <BR> $85 silver leaf (last payment is in april) <BR> $161 famsa ( bedroomset payment) <BR> <BR> this comes to a total of $611 a month. i take home $1500 to $1600 a month. <BR> <BR> i have $1400 in my savings account, the IRS messed up on my taxes and is sending me the rest of my tax return ... Sat, 12 Mar 2011 09:59:13 EST to buy or not to buy Ugh decisions decisions! I found a trailer I can buy cash out right w/my tax return and still have extra. Its a great deal and I would end up saving $400/month just by not having to pay rent or childcare that doesn't include savings of not being able to just pop over to the store b/c i ran out of something or want a cheeseburger or what have you. On paper it works out great I just cant wrap my head around it because I had everything already figured out! I have to say this is one of the areas ... Sun, 6 Mar 2011 17:57:29 EST How do you make a good latte at home? One of my expensive indulgences is the local coffee shop. I have gone there so much that the owner knows me well. I feel like they are friends. They have a kid's room so I can bring my daughter and let her play and have a cookie while I enjoy a non-fat mocha. They also have a drive-thru which I go through a lot on my work days. <BR> <BR> But a large mocha is $4.10! Yikes! <BR> <BR> I rarely go anymore because I only get $10 a week spending money and I don't want to blow it all on cof... Mon, 28 Feb 2011 18:34:00 EST My Long-Term Goal Friday was our 6th wedding anniversary, and I got to thinking. <BR> <BR> By our 7th anniversary, I should be to goal weight and hopefully keeping it off. <BR> <BR> That makes it 3 more years until our 10th anniversary. <BR> <BR> Here's my goals: <BR> <BR> In the next 4 years, I want to pay off ALL of our debt, and rebuild our savings, AND lose all the weight and keep it off the entire time. <BR> <BR> My reward? A 10th anniversary second honeymoon vacation to somewhere with a beach like ... Mon, 28 Feb 2011 13:45:47 EST interest question This is probably a dumb question but can anyone tell me how to do the math to figure out how much interest I pay on monthly/yearly? I'm trying to figure out how long it will take me to pay off some bills but I dont know how to figure in the interest. Mon, 28 Feb 2011 01:44:12 EST Borrowing money from family? I know that it can be a sticky ground but we are thinking about taking a loan from my dad to pay off our credit card debt. We are hoping to present him with this proposal: <BR> <BR> $25k borrowed, payments of $1,000 p/mo for 30 months in to an investment account in his name. <BR> <BR> So the compounded interest would be about 8% plus he could earn up to 15% in the investment account. <BR> <BR> Our credit card debt ranges from 13%-29% so this is obviously a really good deal for him and f... Mon, 21 Feb 2011 22:31:25 EST biggest change you made What is the biggest change you have made that made the biggest difference in your budget? <BR> I am still working on it! lol Mon, 21 Feb 2011 20:02:49 EST Speaking of Tax Season..should I start a business? My husband and I have a substantial amount of debt, and most of it is due to the fact that I had a great paying job until life happened and I now have a poorly paying job. It's a job, and I'm happy to be employed, but it doesn't pay well. <BR> <BR> I got my CPA license in 2009, but I don't really use it at this job. <BR> <BR> Several people have suggested that I start up my own CPA business from home. <BR> <BR> If I did, I wouldn't start until after tax season is over, and I'd take a fe... Mon, 21 Feb 2011 16:35:11 EST How is your life? well when the fed X truck pulled into driveway today I expected a team of creditors jumping out and kidnapping me. I prayed all the way to the proch to see what he left and it was just some changes in our insurance. <BR> Oct 15th was my wakeup call. I really don't know what opened my eyes I guess the fact that I wanted to end my life. Debt was eveywhere and my hubby did not know the extent. I stopped charging, gave him our financial outlook and headed to a lawyer. Now waiting for the end and ... Fri, 18 Feb 2011 18:18:01 EST Something encouraging to think about I'll be in debt for a few more years if nothing changes. So it gets rather discouraging at times. <BR> <BR> I was playing around in Excel with future values and such, and I figured that if we get out of debt in 5 years or less (totally do-able) and then put half of what we were paying on debt into our 401(k)'s and the other half to my daughter's college savings... <BR> <BR> We will have $100,000 for our daughter when she graduates from high school! <BR> <BR> Something to work for. My hop... Fri, 18 Feb 2011 14:43:01 EST Here's a laugh...... I received a basically unmarked envelope in the mail yesterday, but it said "credit update" on it. When I opened it up, it was a offer for a CapitalOne MasterCard. I had to laugh when I read the offer. ..... <BR> <BR> "As of 02/10/11, you're eligible for this offer with our LOWEST intro rate so you can save money and strengthen your credit".....reading further down the page...... <BR> <BR> 0% intro APR until November 2011 on purchases...22.99% variable APR after that. <BR> <BR> 22.99% ... Fri, 18 Feb 2011 09:36:36 EST Eat Your Veggies - Tough Sell at Any Price in U.S. Excerpted from journalist Daniel Akst: <BR> <BR> Everyone likes a bargain So as part of a laudable five-year initiative to make foods it sells healthier, Wal-Mart stores plans to cut the price of its fruits and vegetables. The hope is that people will then buy more of them. <BR> ... <BR> There is a story going around out there that many Americans aren't eating healthy foods because they can't afford it. .. <BR> But the great majority of Americans - not just the poor - aren't eating healt... Tue, 15 Feb 2011 20:15:43 EST Should I buy this? I'm broke. EDIT to add: can we please let this thread die and not comment? I think we've all said enough. Thank you for all of your input. <BR> <BR> ________________________________________<BR>______________________________ <BR> <BR> I have....."issues".....and they're very seasonal so it's been suggested that I try light therapy. But one of my major issues was waking up on time in the morning, so I thought the light wouldn't work because you have to look at it for 15-30 minutes first thing in the... Mon, 14 Feb 2011 13:39:09 EST One weight loss perk to being broke It's Valentine's Day. But we are so broke, we didn't get each other gifts other than a homemade card. And we're not going out to dinner. <BR> <BR> By not going out to dinner, I'm saving myself from overdoing it at a restaurant! <BR> <BR> So see, there are some advantages to having no money. Mon, 14 Feb 2011 13:24:00 EST Tell me if this is the stupidest idea in the world So, I have spending "issues." Big time. Well, much better now than in the past, but often I will go and withdraw $10 or $15 out of the bank that really wasn't intended for me. It's not a lot at one time, but it does add up. And it's really wearing on my husband because he can't control my spending. <BR> <BR> We have considered various ways of putting restrictions on the bank accounts. But I still need a backup plan if anything ever happens to my husband. <BR> <BR> Here's my latest pl... Sat, 12 Feb 2011 00:34:15 EST Trip to see family - should we? I moved away from all my family 3-1/2 years ago. I haven't seen any of them since Thanksgiving 2008. My husband and daughter went to see them last September, but I had just got a new job and didn't want to take time off, so I didn't go. <BR> <BR> I have an aging father who is turning 84 this month, he has diabetes, Alzheimer's, high blood pressure, he had a stroke 13 years ago...he's not doing so hot. I want my daughter to have at least a faint glimmer of a memory of her grandpa, and I ... Fri, 11 Feb 2011 14:35:03 EST Extra side jobs - where should it go? My husband and I are limited in our budget to $10 a week for spending money - and this includes a wide variety of categories so the money doesn't last. <BR> <BR> He started working under the table for a merchandiser at the store he works at. He gets paid $10 an hour. It's usually only 2 or 3 hours, maybe once a week. <BR> <BR> So I told him he can keep the extra money as spending money if he wants to, or do whatever he wants with it. <BR> <BR> I also occasionally earn some extra mone... Fri, 11 Feb 2011 13:02:26 EST dave ramsey lots of people seem to be talking about dave ramsey. i looked at the website but dont see anything new that doesn't have to be paid for. I dont know if its just me but paying to be told what to do with my money would take up a payment on one of my debts. Does any of his info actually provide useful, new information and not just the same tried and true techniques? Thu, 10 Feb 2011 21:09:17 EST autopayemnt debates My truck has 15 more payments until it is paid off. <BR> The down side is I now drive 45 miles round trip to work. which is roughly $100/wk in gas making my truck cost $600/month. <BR> Does it make more sense to: <BR> A) pay it off completely w/my tax return <BR> B) sell it for what I can pay it off and buy a used car w/better gas mileage <BR> C) cope until it is paid off <BR> I'm not sure what to do. It is currently the only thing reporting to my credit report so I kind of want to keep getti... Thu, 10 Feb 2011 20:40:37 EST student loan clearinghouse does anyone know a way to find out if my tax refund will be held for student loan repayment? I know the holders of 2 of my loans, I still have 1 out there some where but cant find any paper trail to tell me who has it. <BR> Is there any kind of clearinghouse for this info? <BR> I dont want any surprises when I have plans to pay down debt w/that money. Granted it wouldn't be a huge issue if it went to paying of my student loans but I would rather pay off my visa and 1 student loan then have i... Thu, 10 Feb 2011 20:32:59 EST He sold it! So, my husband had a leased truck that the lease expired in 2008. He had purchased a tonneau cover for the truck. Those things are expensive. The dealership wouldn't give him any extra money on the lease turn-in for the tonneau cover. <BR> <BR> We have been trying to sell it ever since. Craigslist, newspaper, flyers on windshields, the works. <BR> <BR> 2-1/2 years later.....he sold it! <BR> <BR> For $300! <BR> <BR> That makes a car payment! <BR> <BR> Woo hoo! Thu, 10 Feb 2011 19:55:21 EST Anyone doing Netflix ONLY? I have a Wii so I know I can stream live internet feeds through my TV through Netflix. But what kind of shows do they have? Is it mostly movies, or are there any shorter shows? Sometimes I don't have 2 hours to sit and watch TV, if you know what I mean. <BR> <BR> Anyone with kids - what's the selection like for 30 minute or less kid's shows on the on-demand section of Netflix? <BR> <BR> I guess I could just try it out and find out but I'm curious. <BR> <BR> We currently pay $30 a ... Wed, 9 Feb 2011 19:38:34 EST scary thought I just realized that it would take a year and half of income to pay off my debt.that makes my debt sound HUGE but keep in mind I only made 10000 last year! And that is an estimation on one of my student loans b/c since they keep selling them off to this place and that place I have lost track of how many I have still. Am I the only one scared by a realization like that?? Wed, 9 Feb 2011 16:10:53 EST Student Loans I already made this decision but I'm wondering if it was the right one. <BR> <BR> We have $58,000 in debt, but the major portion of that - $25,000 - is my student loans. <BR> <BR> They are at the lowest interest rate of all of our debt, except for a $1,300 hospital bill at 0%. <BR> <BR> I was able to get another 12 month deferral where I don't have to make payments on the student loans. Based on the fact that my income stinks. <BR> <BR> Should we pay nothing on the student loans, and... Tue, 8 Feb 2011 20:34:46 EST New to team but in the middle of this struggle I've been off & on Sparkpeople since 2007 but just jumping back in to really get some good support out of it. <BR> <BR> I have already lost 50 pounds by mostly following Weight Watchers and just eating a healthier diet in general with less fast food and junk food and cutting the binge eating. I have added exercise and recently found an exercise buddy Tuesdays & Thursdays. <BR> <BR> I am also struggling to get out of debt. Due to a major medical problem in 2008 and a lengthy unemployment... Tue, 8 Feb 2011 17:27:34 EST HELO Stressing over money flow issues. Started a new job this week first payday is supposed to be next week but they haven't found a local payroll company so I am worried. Rent is late, truck payment will be late, low on gas, loan payment will be late , phone is out of minutes tonight and I have all of $100 in my pocket. I know I have to get gas in the truck and my phone refilled b/c we are having crazy weather and I have to be reachable for work/family and I have to have gas to get to work. <BR>... Sat, 5 Feb 2011 17:09:05 EST The university ball and chain... Hi! I'm new to this spark team and am excited to start reading the message boards. I'm sure like many other people in their mid 20s, I am still very connected to my university days.... sure sure, all the great experiences, education, and memories will be with me forever, but there are two rather large elements that I am eager to forget; the student loans that are eating away half my salary every month, and the 60 pounds I gained while I was there. <BR> <BR> Looking forward to the great jour... Thu, 3 Feb 2011 18:59:54 EST Monthly Goals This month we'll shake things up a little bit and really get our minds/bodies moving in a new positive direction. <BR> <BR> The standard monthly goals will remain the same (and can be tracked through your own nutritional and fitness tracker): <BR> 1. Drink 8 glasses of water per day. <BR> 2. 500 minutes of exercise/activity over the month. <BR> <BR> The third and fourth goals are standard for our team (and can be tracked on the team page): <BR> 3. Eat a healthy breakfast <BR> 4. Save $1... Tue, 1 Feb 2011 14:51:32 EST This is the start! This is day 1 of my weight loss journey. I want to be serious about it. I honestly need to lose over 100 pounds, but i am going to take it 1 day at a time and celebrate all of the small successes. I love this website so far and it seems like it will be just what i need to keep motivated. Tue, 1 Feb 2011 10:38:31 EST Thought of the Day "How you spend your time is more important than how you spend your money. Money mistakes can be corrected, but time is gone forever." - David Norris <BR> <BR> Mon, 31 Jan 2011 17:44:44 EST Property Taxes I talked to a man from my church that told me I could go onto my county's website and pull some forms to request that my property taxes be lowered, if they haven't properly been over the years. He did this last year and got $260 back from the county. <BR> <BR> According to the county my house is worth less than what I owe on it...way lower!! I know the housing market is down, but I couldn't believe the difference. I don't plan on selling my house any time soon, I just want to keep it an... Mon, 31 Jan 2011 17:43:04 EST Just joined today Hi! I have decided that 2011 will be the year that I finally get serious about my finances. I currently have some serious credit card debt along with two mortgages and of course, living day-to-day life! Hoping to stick to the new budget I created and make this a great year! <BR> <em>52</em> Mon, 31 Jan 2011 14:19:36 EST Wants vs Needs Found this article on Yahoo. This person wrote about what she did for her 2011 budget. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>How-We-Spending-ac-3925268592.html?x=0 </link> Thu, 27 Jan 2011 17:26:22 EST Hey... an introduction Hi Everyone, <BR> <BR> I joined SparkPeople about 2 weeks ago and have put off posting a message until now. (I'm a little shy and self-conscious - even online.) My friend told me about SparkPeople and I'm really glad that she did. I have found it to be an invaluable tool in managing nutrition and fitness records; it's the most comprehensive and user-friendly site that I've ever found. Anyway, just stopped by to say 'hi' - FINALLY. =) <BR> <BR> <BR> -Amy Tue, 25 Jan 2011 14:33:02 EST Hello! Hello everyone! My name is Lynn and I live in Front Royal, Virginia. I am the mother of four boys and the grandmother of 3 and 1/4 ( new baby due in August). Along with my weight, my money management skills have always been a challenge. I need to get every over indulgance in my life under control. I look forward to meeting all of you! Tue, 25 Jan 2011 09:04:42 EST New habits What new habits are you trying to establish this year to save money? <BR> I am trying to get into the habit of carrying at least 2 water bottles in the truck w/me at all times b/c my biggest pitfall is stopping at the drive thru for drinks Sun, 23 Jan 2011 19:38:28 EST blowing the budget Does anyone else blow their budget by buying food(unneeded) just to justify spending? i don't shop I do not like shopping and never have but when I get stressed out I go grocery shopping or hit a fast food joint. I dont need the food I buy, dont want it when I get it but in my head its okay to spend money on food because its a neccesity not a want. Anyone else have this screwy thinking and how did you overcome or are you working on it? Sun, 23 Jan 2011 19:27:19 EST For the record, I did NOT buy The Spark My little icon says "I bought The Spark!" but it's not true! In keeping with my Debt Haven team members and goals, naturally I borrowed the book from my library instead of spending the money on it! LOL! Sat, 22 Jan 2011 22:00:50 EST New and Need loads of Help Hi everyone <BR> <BR> I am new to all this and don't even know where to help. <BR> <BR> thanks Sat, 22 Jan 2011 02:03:38 EST New and drowning! Hi all! New(ish) to SP and brand new to the team! My husband and I are drowning in OLD debt. We haven't been accumulating any new debt (other than interest, obvs) and are really good about spending money... there just isn't enough of it to make a dent on our debt from college! (Student loans and credit cards) <BR> <BR> The main problem is that I'm underpaid (I think) and I also found out today that one of the women in my office that paid me to do additional work for her quit so there goes a... Tue, 18 Jan 2011 17:49:26 EST Another newbie here Hello fellow Sparkers! Debt Haven came up today as one of my suggested teams, so I joined. One of my New Year's resolutions was to whip my finances into shape this year - and I'm staying true to the resolution, making lots of good progress. I'm looking forward to this team to read and learn tips and tricks that others have used. <BR> <BR> So far this year I've accomplished: <BR> 1) Got hubby on board. This will make a HUGE difference. <BR> 2) Resolved differences with hubby in a positive, lo... Mon, 17 Jan 2011 14:53:31 EST New Here Here's my debt story. <BR> <BR> We moved from a horrible apartment costing 705$ a month + utilities to a gorgeous quiet place costing 750$ + utilities. A week later my husband was fired for the unknown. Since then we've struggled. Selling anything we could and receiving help from the state. It still wasn't enough. I decided to go back to school and was lucky enough to get a couple student loans and a grant. But when I'm done I'm out an extra 200$ a month. I don't drive so finding a better j... Sun, 16 Jan 2011 09:21:33 EST Coupon Addicts Unite! Hi! I am new to this team, but I wanted to share my coupon knowledge. I am addicted to coupons! I have recently started a blog about couponing, how to save money, and I give examples each week of my shopping trips. Feel free to "follow me" on my blog if you are interested. If you leave me posts about certain tips or ideas that you need, my next post will be dedicated to that! <BR> <BR> Fri, 14 Jan 2011 14:42:02 EST Newbie I'm Billie, I'm a 30yr old single mom of 1 who up until this week was working 2 jobs at least 16hrs a day and still drowning in debt. I quit one job and am searching for a better job while working the remaining job. Our big money pits are fast food, extras(seriously did we need the new crab I just had to buy yesterday? it was only $6 but hey that was $6),and late fees. I have roughly $14000 in debt mostly student loans, truck payment and 1 creditcard. none of it is more than $3000 a piece. I ... Fri, 14 Jan 2011 13:55:47 EST HELP! I keep a ledger in my purse to write down all my expenditures and income. I use red for out and black for in. Its a great ledger i got at walmart for less that $6, very simple with date, description and then 2 money columns. The only problem is that while i know i have spending issues they are brought to full light!!! I just totaled all my spending since the 1st and have spend 103.04 on wants and fast food! 7.36 a day. Any ideas to curb this? I do not use cash only debit card and never a cred... Fri, 14 Jan 2011 13:44:48 EST New and lost I am very new at all of this and am having trouble moving through the site. There is so much to go through I don't know where to start. I am tired of all these fad diets as none can be changed to suite my likes and dislikes. My main thing is I need support as I don't have any here. How is the support in Spark? Wed, 12 Jan 2011 14:58:40 EST 20 weeks to get into my wedding dress Hi everyone, just joined the site, and have been busily reading all your great posts, you are all so inspirational. 'well Im getting married in Gretna Green on the 2nd June, and I have just ordered my wedding dress. Iv just had a baby, and I really didn;t know what size dress to order. Im currently 17 and a half stone, I want to lose at least 3 and a half stone, and need to lose 10 inches from my waist, by my wedding day, then I should fit into my dress. Do you think this is possible, or shou... Wed, 12 Jan 2011 13:10:31 EST New to the block Hello everyone. My name is Jennifer and I am both new to the site and new to this group. I've been working on paying off my debt for just under 3 years now, and while I am doing good with it, I love being able to share my story, process, and goals with others. I am using the Dave Ramsey Total Money Makeover ideas to help me get out of debt. I started with too much in debt, acquired a bit more since I started (in the way of a house and second vehicle), but am proud to say since I started in Ma... Tue, 11 Jan 2011 22:41:54 EST Time to Change my Life Hi Everyone <BR> Well, The first day of the rest of my life is finally here !!! <BR> Having turned fifty I seem to have finally had "that moment", where something inside snapped and I decided that I just don`t want to do this anymore. I no longer want to not like myself or be embarrased about how I look. More importantly, I have realized that I have this one life and I owe it to myself to be the best that I can be. <BR> So I am hoping that the support of this site will help me to finally suc... Sun, 9 Jan 2011 20:43:08 EST Brand new again Hello Everyone, <BR> <BR> I am back again, I have to admit that I never gave this site a chance, all the info overwhelmed and I bolted. But when you take the time to read and understand that you don't have to do it all in one day and do it perfectly ( I learned that from the reading here) it is okay. So I am taking the time to get to know Spark and all of its benefits. Hope to be around a long time. I am 52, have been overweight since the age of 15, when my doctor gave me my fir... Sat, 8 Jan 2011 12:29:46 EST Trying one more time - Loan Modification!! I sent my paperwork in to the mortgage company today to have them review for a "traditional" loan modification rather than the government one as I don't qualify for that one. The govt says I make to much money and should be able to pay all my bills...that is because they use the gross pay and not the take home pay from my understanding. They don't take into consideration all the withholdings, household expenses and debt you have...what a crock. The mortgage company told me to try for a "t... Fri, 7 Jan 2011 14:08:51 EST Hello all My name is Jihane, I'm 26 and getting married this summer. I'm at 195lbs today and want to be at 145lbs by July 2011. I'm just tired of being overweight, tired, depressed, lazy and ugly all the time. I need to save for this wedding so I can splurge on fancy salads at work anymore. I need help. I want to achieve this. Fri, 7 Jan 2011 12:04:39 EST Hello My name is Kathleen and I am excited to finally be taking care of ME! Thu, 6 Jan 2011 17:01:30 EST New Spark! Hello everyone! Names Ashley, I joined spark to help me get on track and stay on track! I have a 2 year old daughter, gained 60lbs while pregnant and have been battling the bulge ever since! Newly married, dont want to be looked at as "heavy" anymore! I also tend to over spend on things i dont need when I get upset with my image! Good luck to everyone with their goals! Wed, 5 Jan 2011 14:38:20 EST New Here Hi, everyone. I don't normally like to talk about our financial issues, but this is good. I love SP, so this might be really good for me. I have some major financial goals, but right now they just don't seem possible to attain. We are at the bottom of the barrel, so to speak, and it all seems overwhelming. Plus the fact that my husband just thinks that we'll make it through everything well. <BR> <BR> Anyway, I'll share more later of my concerns and hopefully be able to get some ideas ... Wed, 5 Jan 2011 07:07:26 EST Restless QuzieSue I want to lose weight but have always found it hard as I work 2 jobs and eat at odd times on weekends. I work days during the week and evenings or nights on weekends. I could use tipps on managing foods and sleep with this situation. I'm a nurse which is a stressful job with little thanks. Also I get sabataged by a significant partner who is also overweight and loves meat and potatoes, with alot of butter and fattening sauces. So I can sleep he does alot of the cooking on weekends...not good ... Wed, 5 Jan 2011 05:06:38 EST Tax Season is here!! Please take the time to organize your stuff and get the best return possible. If you are not doing them yourself, take more than you think you need. Sometimes the extras are write offs you wouldn't have known about. You can't blame us tax pros if we don't know!! Tue, 4 Jan 2011 14:17:41 EST Team Goal - Saving $10 per week <link><BR>sageboard_thread.asp?board=2087x14658x<BR>37907423 </link> <BR> <BR> This is the link to the previous goal of saving $5 per week. There are money saving tips in there shared by members that may help out with increasing the amount to $10 per week. <BR> <BR> I challenge all members to save $10 per week for a total of $40 per month. Many members have shared they are saving even more than this per month, so let's all work together to make it ha... Tue, 4 Jan 2011 13:14:42 EST Hi everyone! Im new here :) My name is Amira and I am new to Sparkpeople. I am a stay at home mom with two children (ages almost 11 and almost 13, Jamila (a girl) and Musa (a boy), respectively) and my husband works full time an hour away from where we live...which is obviously no fun for anyone. least of all him. Both kids have special needs (Jamila has severe ADHD and Musa has ADHD/Asperger's Syndrome) and are on special diets, which makes everything a challenge! We are working on our finances with the help of Dave Ra... Tue, 4 Jan 2011 10:53:49 EST How much is your coffee Fix? I was just working on my budget for 2011 and noticed that in 2010 I spent $555 on starbucks for personal use, this means I went allot more for work when I could expense it but for personal consumption was 555. How much is worth to you? Mon, 3 Jan 2011 21:35:33 EST Budget Fun Fitness for a Frugal 2011 Getting into Debt on Fitness is No Fun ... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>pskates </link> <BR> <BR> As the title says, you could even be just a Cheapskate ... not broke, poor or in debt ... Mon, 3 Jan 2011 16:37:16 EST Newbie here Any idea when I'll be able to track my nutrition? I saw that there is an issue... Mon, 3 Jan 2011 14:38:15 EST Hello All Hello All, <BR> <BR> Saw the name of the team and was curious, took a look and decided to join. New year and once again trying to meet the same goals. Better health, weight loss and better control of my spending. Mon, 3 Jan 2011 09:07:39 EST Hi all! I am Lori and am ready to start my weight loss tomorrow! No not putting it off...just find that if I actually start on 1/1 I never seem to make it, so set a different date!! I am in IL, a WAHM of 3 girls ages 13 - 2. I am an accountant and debt consultant, so glad to be here to help anyway I can. I know the stress of money causes a lot of emotional issues and sometimes leads to overeating and unhealthy habits. Sun, 2 Jan 2011 16:00:38 EST Hello! Hi! I'm trying to live a healthier life and I'm hoping to be able to not only reach my goals but maintain them. Thank you for allowing me to join your group. Sun, 2 Jan 2011 12:54:55 EST Woo hoo! First Dent Made As I am I working on following the Dave Ramsey Total Money Make over I just knocked off my three low hanging fruit Retail credit cards! I can say I actually own our wedding bands now. :) I just did a worksheet last night and I am forecasting 11 months to get clear of our bad debt! Sat, 1 Jan 2011 13:52:30 EST 2011 - Getting out of Debt! I am starting off 2011 with getting out of debt. Yesterday, Dec 31th, I paid some bills that are due this month, January. Some small doctor bills were paid off and one store credit card was paid off. The rest of the money I had was spent catching up on my utilities and also a mortgage. <BR> <BR> Of course, this money I got was from an IRA so I know I will have to pay taxes and penalties on it, so is it really getting out of debt? I felt I had I no choice but to take the money out. I a... Sat, 1 Jan 2011 11:57:46 EST Rewards Credit Cards Tempt you into Greater Debt <link><BR>970204467204576047510769890054.html?mo<BR>d=googlenews_wsj </link> <BR> <BR> It ain't easy; I use my cards for my groceries, not luxuries. My rewards translate to gift card premiums ... of course, to max out the gift card, more times than not it results in an upsale and I buy stuff (including food) I may not need. <BR> <BR> Likewise, when certain months/quarters of the year a rewards promotion (on certain categories) is run, I would rush in ... Wed, 29 Dec 2010 10:28:27 EST Counseling Agency: Did I make a good decision? Hello all, <BR> <BR> I am still fairly new here, so I don't know if anyone knows me, however instead of going into ALL the details of my situation I will try and "briefly" summarize. <BR> <BR> I have a large amount of student loan debt, and being in the military and then unemployed and off on medical leave for awhile my situations have gone out of control over the past 2 years. I have credit card companies (only 2 cards, but still hard) threatening to take me to court, I can barely make my... Tue, 28 Dec 2010 18:51:02 EST Vintage lover.wants to wear the clothes she sells Im 22 and 220 lbs. ugk that sucks to say but im starting of on the right track and its my goal to lose 50 lbs before 7.1.2011. and im not giving my self the option of failing. its gonna happen. Tue, 28 Dec 2010 17:40:50 EST Positive thinking, positive attitude. Hi; <BR> I am so happy with this site, I can not stop reading. <BR> I must be sincere though, there is so much info it gets overwelming. <BR> But I am handeling it very well, one step at a time. <BR> Like my debt management, same way it took me to gain weight,same way I'll be able to get rid of it......little by little. <BR> My motto is positive thinking, positive in every aspect of my life. <BR> Always, <BR> Margaret. Tue, 28 Dec 2010 11:37:24 EST hi im amber my name is amber. i live in florida, i have two children ages 4 and 3. i work as a 911 dispatcher and i sit at a desk for 8 hours a day. My husband and I are also trying to have another child, but i want to get into shape and starting living healthy before we even start trying. Mon, 27 Dec 2010 19:13:55 EST New to Spark People, excited for the possibility Hi everyone. I am a 49 year old single parent of 2, a 6 year old daughter, and 17 year old son from Cambridge, MA. Life has overwhelmed me in 2010, and am looking for a better 2011. I am setting some goals for my journey which involve losing weight, enjoying greater financial stability, becoming more organized in my home and in my life, and becoming an even better parent. I believe that all of these goals are interconnected and will do my best without beating myself up. I look forward to j... Mon, 27 Dec 2010 17:29:18 EST The Story of Stuff <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Click on the video, it's about 10 minutes. <BR> <BR> <BR> About The Project <BR> <BR> <BR> The Story of Stuff Project was created by Annie Leonard to leverage and extend the film’s impact. We amplify public discourse on a series of environmental, social and economic concerns and facilitate the growing Story of Stuff community’s involvement in strategic efforts to build a more sustainable and just world. Our on-line community includes over 1... Mon, 27 Dec 2010 13:32:42 EST The Dad with the Family Load.... Well hello everyone! I am about to turn 38 a father of two and married. I am about 150lbs over weight in my book but in my doctors book he wants me down 100. But we will see. In turn i am well over my debt to income ratio and do not like that. I would honeslty like to have no debt. But we racked up some MAJOR Major medical and legal bills over the last 3 years that maxed out our credit cards beyond belive. And guess what same story as most, once they are maxed they companies start playing gam... Thu, 23 Dec 2010 11:54:53 EST new kid on the block hello, just joined and feeling my way around here. love people and making new friends. look forward to the support in my walk to lose 20-25 pounds. Tue, 21 Dec 2010 21:00:40 EST Are You Living Beyond Your Means? It's natural to want a nice place to live, nice clothes, nice things but at what cost? If you are running around working 80hrs per week, trying to fit everything into a day, freeze when the phone rings as you fear it's the collection agency demanding payments, is all that nice stuff worth the cost? <BR> <BR> Here are some articles regarding this issue about living beyond your means. Strike up conversation around this, hash it out, rant and rave and share ideas how to live within the one's ... Tue, 21 Dec 2010 17:48:20 EST Being sued....need advice My husband and I have both worked two jobs each for many years. We both ended up losing our second jobs, had a baby, and well things went downhill from there. couldn't afford formula, ended up charging groceries, etc just to make ends meet. We went to a bankruptcy lawyer to discuss our options. He told me to just pay what we needed to. well needless to say that was last year and we haven't paid a single credit card bill since. Just can not afford it. Well just two months ago, my husban... Tue, 21 Dec 2010 13:45:12 EST Looking Forward to 2011 I have put off working on my budget the last couple of months, mainly because of depression and not wanting to deal with it! I felt my budget and debt have gotten out of hand. I need to get out of this viscous cycle of being depressed and wanting to spend money. I did this when I was younger. I have tried to control myself, but it hasn't worked to well for me. I am back on medication and seeing a therapist, so that has increased my debt for medical expenses. I am not happy about it, but... Mon, 20 Dec 2010 10:31:28 EST Christmas Spending I find this has got to be the worst time for money management I try to buy gifts throughout the year but sometimes I actually lose them or they just don't seem right <BR> The worst thing though is when I get the feeling I have to give a gift especially when I'm going to a family member's house and their extended family will be there And then there is being in the store and seeeing something I know will be perfect for someone even though I may have bought them a little something <BR> How many ... Sun, 19 Dec 2010 03:52:06 EST New to this site Hello everyone my name is Lisa and i am a mother of 4 ages 12, 8, 5, 2... Sat, 18 Dec 2010 11:23:33 EST New to this site Hello everyone my name is Lisa and i am a mother of 4 ages 12, 8, 5, 2... Sat, 18 Dec 2010 09:09:17 EST Do not see an end in sight... I was just in a car accident yesterday, I now have a $500 deductible, the merge sign that I crashed into (due to snowy black ice by the way) saved my life, but I was cited for reasonable control and damage to government property! *cries* I haven't been to work in over 6 weeks because I ruptured my achilles tendon, I have been going through a lot of mental stress and obviously physical now... <BR> <BR> I don't know how to survive this... Tue, 14 Dec 2010 09:59:42 EST Dave Ramsey anyone? I joined SP yesterday and I'm just looking around. Wanted to join this group since we are DR devotees. We went thru FPU the first time in 2007 and have since sat thru it 3 more times as small group facilitators. <BR> <BR> In the first year after FPU, we paid down nearly $17K in debt but then life Murphy'd us big time. Lost pregnancies, medical bills, house problems, hubby went back to school (on a full ride scholarship), then hubby laid off. <BR> <BR> We've been on unemployment since Feb 20... Mon, 13 Dec 2010 07:34:29 EST Hi...Brand new to the SPARK community Hi....I am looking to lose the weight. I have tried everything and would like to be healthy and I really have found that I need structure. I am also competitive so any challeges will be a boost for me. <BR> <BR> My interests are spending time with my family, reading good books and I have 3 dogs and a cat my house is full.... <BR> <BR> I joined Spark when a friend told me about sounded interesting and I started browsing....then BAM....found myself signed up. <BR> <BR> Look ... Sun, 12 Dec 2010 16:30:24 EST Hello everyone I am new to the spark team. I am like everyone on the team struggling with debt and weight loss. I am slowly getting rid of my debt and i am still struggling with my weight. I enjoy walking and have set a personal goal of jogging at least 15 minutes by x-mas. <em>33</em> Fri, 10 Dec 2010 13:33:19 EST Hi Everyone! I'm new here and I just thought I'd introduce myself! I have 20 pounds to lose 3 times. :) I have a 14 month old son, Pierce. I am a stay at home mom to him. Want to know anything else, just ask! :) <BR> Thu, 9 Dec 2010 10:37:19 EST I guess this takes times, huh? So, I'm starting to get my finances back in order. I checked out Here's the thing: I put in my monthly income. Then I add my expense: rent, cell phone, credit cards, student loans, etc., etc. And then the darn thing tells me there's still hundreds of dollars to left at the end of the month. <BR> <BR> WHAAAAA? <BR> <BR> This is untrue. I'm lucky if I skate by with even $50 leftover at the end of the month. And that's without saving anything or having an emergency fund... Fri, 3 Dec 2010 11:04:04 EST Anyone had a Total Money Makeover? I recently picked up Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and am trying to work my way into starting it. I know I need to make some major changes, but I guess I'm somewhat fearful. Of what, I'm not sure. I mean, a major financial overhaul would lead me to a place of solvency, eventually no debt (dang student loans!), and train me to not worry so much about money. What is there to be afraid of? <BR> <BR> Anyone had a TMM? Thoughts? Opinions? Reviews? Tue, 30 Nov 2010 15:25:14 EST Confused about long term savings Hey all, <BR> <BR> So money, savings accounts, investments, all this junk just confuses the hell out of me to the point that I don't want to deal with it...but I do. <BR> <BR> I'm in a point right now where one of the main priorities in life is to get my financial health back in order. I've created a spreadsheet to divide my expenses and budget my spending. I have a checking account just for my bills and those are deducted every month, I am working with a consumer credit agency to get m... Tue, 30 Nov 2010 12:27:45 EST It's me Hi All, I'm kind of psyched to be apart of this group because it's finally a place I can share my frustrations with money. I have always struggled with low-wage jobs but yet still spending like crazy with little to zero cash flow. Now I am working steadily and trying to learn how to live on a budget and actually try to save for a home and for vacations (time away is crucial for me and my mental well being!) <BR> <BR> I'm glad to be here and read what everyone has to say and learn you tips... Tue, 30 Nov 2010 12:16:09 EST Just joined Hi! My name is Denise. I have worked really hard to try to get my husband and I out of debt the last couple years, but in July he lost his unemployment benefits and my hours were reduced at work. The last few months we have required assistance just to keep our heads above water. We've cut almost every luxury out of our lives. My husband recently got into the Voc Rehab system, but it's a slow process. I keep looking for full time work but haven't found any yet. It's getting really disco... Mon, 29 Nov 2010 14:51:18 EST Just Me! Anna Lea I am joining this to find out if any one has suggestions on how to deal with Plantar Fasciitis and getting active with this??? Mon, 29 Nov 2010 14:06:23 EST Hi All, I'm new Hi there, <BR> <BR> I've only been on Spark a couple weeks, though I've been struggling with weight issues, well, all my life? (I distinctly remember going on my first diet at age 10...something I found in Teen, or was it Seventeen?, magazine...I even remember the beautiful and trim blonde-haired, blue-eyed triplets on the cover.) <BR> Weight's not my only are finances. I'm a finance professional, so you'd think I'd be able to handle my own money. This point brings me a lot ... Mon, 29 Nov 2010 11:25:55 EST Desperately Seeking Losin'. Hello. Happily married father of 2, with 150lbs to lose. I have an average IQ and am net savvy but haven't found THE PROGRAM that works for me yet. Type 2 diabetic who has troubles staying on a constant med regimen. Haven't been to the doc this year because I keep delaying my next A1C test. Want to show up with good numbers but--am certain they're not, so I promise myself to eat right and exercise and I'll go for the test after I get my numbers down but keep losing focus on this goal. I'... Sun, 28 Nov 2010 10:47:57 EST Do you pay for a gym membership? Hi, everyone! I'm just wondering if any of you have gym memberships. I live in the Chicago area, where it's getting cold now. I'm trying to run (C25K), but it is SO NOT FUN to run outside in the cold! I would love to join a gym, but don't think I can justify the expense since I don't have a permanent job and am bordering on bankruptcy. Just curious how everyone else handles this. Sat, 27 Nov 2010 19:44:46 EST Found out I CAN COOK and it's cheaper! Ok.. my sodium has been over everyday for the last week. MY FAVORITE crock pot recipe is the chicken taco soup. But man it's Na is HIGH. <BR> <BR> SO... I soaked beans overnight and boiled them this morning. Not only is the Na down but it is soooooooo much cheaper!! <BR> <BR> I did use Chef Megs Taco Seasonings.. I don't this is going to pack the flavor punch I am used to... but we'll see! <BR> <BR> Sat, 27 Nov 2010 14:00:48 EST New in Va I've been searching for the right program so I can reach my goal and hoping this is the one that will stick! I don't have a lot to loose but I am stuck at my weight and I can't get it off. My extra pounds are in my middle which is hard to loose. I go to the gym and I've worked with trainers. I've slacked a bit in the past couple of weeks with that. My biggest problem is my food. I know what I should be doing but don't do it or stick to it. Then I tend to get mad at myself. I love my ... Tue, 23 Nov 2010 12:41:51 EST I need all the help I can get to stay motivated... Hello to all! I'm new to message boards... I need all the help I can get to stay motivated and stay focused. I have 100+ to lose and I started on 5 days ago (...... again......). I am my own worst enemy.... but I know if I work at this I can be (and have been) successful! <BR> This time I want to stay focused, finally reach my goal weight range and get healthy once and for all. Mon, 22 Nov 2010 12:50:40 EST My Story Good morning! I just joined the team today. <BR> <BR> To begin with my story, I am working my way back to 4 years ago being the victim of Identity Theft and near-homelessness. It has been a constant struggle to clear my name and get my credit reports corrected. <BR> <BR> My ex-husband, I found out in our 5th or 6th year of marriage, had a severe gambling and shopping addiction. This caused our home to go into foreclosure, hence the near-homelessness. He diverted money set aside for mortgage... Sun, 21 Nov 2010 12:30:15 EST Hi my name is Irene Hi I am new to this site, I heard about it on Facebook. I joined WW over a year ago and reached my goal. I read that if you still have weight around your middle, and I have a lot, that you should lose more. I work a lot and have had to go to random meeting/weigh in's. I haven't had the motivation to exercise. This time of year is very difficult for me, with less day light. I also started smoking again recently and am trying to give it up. I put out a cigarette and say that is it, no mo... Sun, 21 Nov 2010 09:07:02 EST Hello Everyone!!! Hello again, <BR> <BR> My name is April and I'm here to take my life back. I was so fortunte, I just stumbled upon this website, But. I have such a freat feeling about it. I have been so scared of some of the other weight loss tools. But that is done and over with. I am determined to meet my goal. And I would love even more to exceed it. And I hope I will be communicating with some people who are doing the same thing I am. I am alsways here to suppourt anyone in anyway. Please feel free to ... Sat, 20 Nov 2010 04:49:45 EST Good Morning! I'm new.... A friend of mine told me about this site and I'm really enjoying it. My nutritionist wanted me to keep a food log, but I kept leaving it at work, forgetting it at home, etc. Now I've got it on my Droid phone and I can access it anywhere! It does the reports for me! It's so easy! <BR> <BR> I'm a mom, a full-time auditor, and I try to run a side business selling Scentsy. Lately, things have been a little hectic, but I made sure to re-arrange my priorities and I've been able t... Fri, 19 Nov 2010 10:21:00 EST i'm new to the team but not to debt! hello! my name is angela and i'm in debt. i'm doing this weight loss journey to get healthy, to prevent the diabetes that runs in my family, and to feel better. <BR> i'm in a ton of debt too. i owe student loans, credit cards, and on a personal loan. i just got a new job last week (i haven't been able to work in 2 years due to medical reasons) so hopefully this will help me get back on track. <BR> please feel free to leave tips/advice on weight loss or getting out of debt! Mon, 15 Nov 2010 05:49:30 EST new to the team, not to spark people for me and my family,( including my extended family), debt and obesity seem to go hand in hand. I been working hard to break the cycle, and i have been doing much better on improving the debt ratio in the last few months (and am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel WHOOHOO) than I have been on the weight ratio. I logged into spark today to try and get refocused here as well. <BR> <BR> Glad I found this team and am looking forward to getting to know you all. Sun, 14 Nov 2010 14:14:44 EST Educational Articles of Interest! <link><BR>s_articles.asp?id=1142 </link> Sun, 14 Nov 2010 10:16:22 EST Voice Your Opinion! Will you be preparing a low-cal recipe this Thanksgiving? <BR> <BR> 1. Yes, for the first time. <BR> <BR> 2. Yes, as usual. <BR> <BR> 3. No, I use my traditional recipes. <BR> <BR> 4. No, I don't cook for Thanksgiving. <BR> <BR> 5. Not applicable. <BR> <BR> I voted for #3 as I use traditional recipes but try to limit the portions. What about you? <BR> Sun, 14 Nov 2010 10:08:26 EST Greater Happiness Tips! Be Optimistic. A positive outlook is associated with better health, a longer life, and greater joy. When you look to the bright side and believe people are good, you directly increase your own happiness. Sun, 14 Nov 2010 10:03:16 EST Savings Goal: $5 per week Discuss here ways you save $5 per week. Do you put money in a savings account? Do you put coins in a jar? Do you trade in cans and bottles? Did you cut your budget down $5? Are you stuck and don't have any idea how to save $5 per week? Discuss it all here. Sat, 13 Nov 2010 15:47:05 EST Women Are the Best Personal Finance Managers Even if circumstances or a past mistake got the best of us .... <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ont-suck-at-money-management </link> <BR> <BR> First off, I do not (and have never) tried to keep up with the Joneses, who can kiss my assets ... <BR> <BR> Women really are the best, and SparkSavings knows this ... Sat, 13 Nov 2010 13:12:50 EST Bugkyky New to the site. I am having a very hard time keeping myself motivated. Thanks to an amazing friend , she pointed me to this site. I have been struggling with mu weight since high school , a very long ti e ago. I always refer to myself as the fat girl, li,e fat girls loves to eat, or what do you expect from big girls, I think I do this to always having an excuse for always failing. The failing needs to stop and success needs to start, tired of being the fat girl and shopping in the big girl s... Thu, 11 Nov 2010 22:52:03 EST NO bounce fees... I made it from one paycheck to the next without bouncing anything! <BR> <BR> I hate those fees! <BR> <BR> I only had about $10 in my account when my pay went in... but that's all that matters!!! Thu, 11 Nov 2010 10:00:21 EST Great Gift Idea -for those who have everything. With the Holiday's coming and people starting to shop for gifts I wanted to put this idea out there. It is great for those who are hard to shop for and have everything. This is free and not a gimick or anything. <BR> <BR> <BR> Even if you don't need this maybe this is something you can do for you family. Give the Gift of yourself. <BR> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>oject/ </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Also if anyone else has idea's out there that they ... Wed, 10 Nov 2010 18:41:10 EST I have to make a change !!! I just joined Sparkpeople yesterday and I have to make a change. I am tired of being overweight, tired and depressed all the time. I sure hope I can do this. Wed, 10 Nov 2010 08:51:49 EST So glad to be here! Hello eveyone, My name is Priscilla and I am a two week old Sparkperson :) I love this place so much aleady! Sparkpeople is exactly what i needed to get on track with my health and weight loss goals. Although I have a long way to go with a 100lb weight loss goal, I have gotten off to a great start with a loss of 10lbs in the first two weeks!! I am excited to meet new people in the same fight that I am in and would love to hear from anyone who might have some encouragement, advice, inspirati... Sun, 7 Nov 2010 11:04:55 EST Hi everyone! Hi there, I'm new to this - just signed up today so I thought I'd join a couple of teams to see if this helps to keep me motivated :) Fri, 5 Nov 2010 19:11:07 EST hey My name is Elizabeth i am 21 recently married. I am hoping to shed the weight i gained after graduation.(hopefully a little more). I just mainly want to get back to a healthy weight to be healthy so I can start a healthy family. I am hoping I can get some support off this website, n hope i can encourage others. Fri, 5 Nov 2010 00:50:51 EST new and in debt and struggling I have taken the first step towards getting out of debt. cutting all credit cards and hope with a lawyers help to figure out how I can get out of this mess I have driven into with open eyes and drug my husband is like a drug for me spend no matter how much charge it then suffer why am I doing this. Sun, 31 Oct 2010 14:39:46 EST Looking for coupons Any other coupons out there besides <BR> <BR> I love Bush Beans - Black, chilli, etc. But they are higher than the generic brand. But the generic is mushy and I cook a ton with beans lately. <BR> <BR> Any suggestions? Wed, 27 Oct 2010 08:31:07 EST I'm new Hi, my name is Virginia and I certainly am having a hard time dealing with my debt. <BR> The main problem? I am stuck in the pay-day loan cycle. I ran into a bad financial time and wasn't able to pay off the loans I had out and now that I'm trying to pay them off, I'm going to have to keep in the cycle just so that I can pay the debt I owe, pay the rent and bills as well as being able to afford food and necessary personal and household items (like toothpaste, etc.). To make matters worse, I h... Tue, 26 Oct 2010 17:37:27 EST New to Spark People Hi. My name is Cynthia and am new to this site. Am trying very hard to lose weight. I have tried everything possilbe form Atkins to the 3 day Detrox diet. I have done pills and b 12 shots. But no success. Am hoping this will be my turn around. Tue, 26 Oct 2010 12:54:52 EST Well this is Me I am struggling since I quit my 2nd job - which was keeping my head above water. I just couldn't do it anymore. <BR> <BR> So now here I am trying to eat veggies and fruit - and can barely afford groceries in the house. <BR> <BR> Hoping to get some good support here and learn how to manage my money better. <BR> <BR> I am from the St. Louis area - with two daughters (ages 16 and 18). The 18 yo is working but I hate taking all her money. /sigh <BR> <BR> I have been on and off spark for 4... Mon, 25 Oct 2010 07:56:50 EST Hello Everyone! I'm new to Just trying to figure the site out, learning how to track my nutrition. Today is the first day that I did the daily total, and I realize that I didn't eat enough (go figure!) which might be why I had such a bad headache towards the end of the day. <BR> Anyway, I'm glad to be taking the first steps towards a healthier life, and look forward to getting to know some of you out there! <BR> Fondly, <BR> Mimi Sun, 24 Oct 2010 19:27:30 EST I know it's early....but... anyone else thinking about the holidays?? We're almost to November, and I keep seeing the weeks ticking away until Thanksgiving...and the official start of the shopping rush...and all the sale ads coming in with pictures of all those items that the stores are pushing as a "Must have!". Family, friends, co-workers to give to, and it's already getting overwhelming. <BR> <BR> We don't have a ton of storage space in our home, so I can't shop throughout the year, but I'm really think... Sat, 23 Oct 2010 22:39:26 EST Joined Today, YES!!! Hi Everyone! Just heard about Sparkpeople on the local TV News today, and had to join! Wow...who new that such a great community of people existed! I can't wait to dive into this full throttle and lose some weight! If any of you have any suggestions, groups, and tips for this newbie...I would LOVE them!! Thanks bunches!! :) Sat, 23 Oct 2010 15:51:04 EST New Member from Washington Greetings! <BR> <BR> I am a new member from Washington state. I have decided to join Spark People to help me focus on becoming a healthier, more disiplined, and all around better person. <BR> <BR> My main goal is to loose about 75 lbs total, but if I can loose 50 in the next year I will be a happy camper. I know this will be a long term goal that wont be easy but I really want to succeed. Fri, 22 Oct 2010 15:26:50 EST hi hi, my name is amanda. and i am new to this site., would love to met new people with same goals as mine. someone to talk about our progress and push one another to get up every morning and eat right, and kick our butts at the gym... would love to meet some new and postive people... have a great night Fri, 22 Oct 2010 01:36:59 EST New to Team Hi, my name is Wanda and I will be celebrating my 1 yr of marriage on November 25. My husband and I are saving for a house and hoping by the end of August 2011 we will be able to take my daughter and our 3 cats and dog and be homeowners. <BR> <BR> Saving I found is hard. There always seems to be an emergency coming up but since I have gotten married he has helped me manage my money better and prioritize a lot. <BR> <BR> I look forward to this team and learning. <BR> Thu, 21 Oct 2010 20:46:48 EST hello Hi, my name is Jo Ann. I have been following the spark plan for about 6 weeks now. I have been hanging around and reading many different spark team pages. I didn't realize how many people there are with similar issues. This program has been great. Tue, 19 Oct 2010 21:34:57 EST Hi! Hello! My name is Jeanette and I have no willpower!!!! This is why I have joined Spark People. So far my biggest support system has been my children (ages 6 and 11) and my husband. Kinda hard to lose weight when you're watching your kids eat whatever they want! My huband is an enabler! We enjoy eating together and he can't say no to me. But he's a hockey player and that keeps HIM from getting overweight! Unfortunately I don't lose anything watching him play! Hope to hear from someone who can ... Tue, 19 Oct 2010 08:36:00 EST Hello Hi. I'm from Florida and although I have already lost weight, I am hoping to lose more. Over the last 2 years I have gone from a size 12/14 to a size 8. I control what I eat and try to exercise 5 days a week. <BR> <BR> I've been on Spark for a little while now but am looking at all the different groups. I chose this one to belong to because I have some student loan debt that is just unbelieveable. It's terrible. <BR> <BR> Anyhow, I am happy to be around others who understand. Mon, 18 Oct 2010 15:18:36 EST Hello there My name is Suzy and I desire a lifestyle change that will lead to weight loss. I am giving myself 1 year to lose 80lbs. In the past, I tended to start the process and quit prematurely when I don't see instant results! Thank you in advance for your encouragement and support. Sun, 17 Oct 2010 15:32:03 EST hi i must join this team, a group of people struggling with the same issues and concerns i have. we're all in the same boat and it's getting very crowded. after 44 years of steady employment, 20+ years with the same company i was laid off halloween 2009. since then i have been trying to survive on unemployemnt, considerably less than i was making when i lost my job. things i am experiencing for the first time include food banks, paymnet plans with my credit cards, no extra money for anything and... Sat, 16 Oct 2010 17:03:17 EST NEWBIE!! Hello everyone....Im New here...just thought I would post a message to say HI!! I love meeting new people so feel free to check out my page and leave me a comment or send me a message. Wed, 13 Oct 2010 17:48:04 EST GODSSON 57 I chose this name because of two reasons i will be 57 years old on the 14th of oct and i know that im a child of god and i want to see my grand children graduate from high school and the only way i can do that is to get healthy so i need all the help i can get i have high bloodpressure asthma and atrial fib im on so much medication i feel like a drug store so if anyboby thinks that they can help me in any way have at it and thankyou in advance Wed, 13 Oct 2010 00:51:01 EST Article - High Interest Credit Cards I hope no one has either of these cards in their hands. Ouch!!!!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>article/110946/worst-credit-card?mod=b<BR>b-creditcards </link> Mon, 11 Oct 2010 18:36:26 EST Retired & Ready! Hello everyone! I am newly retired, lost 50lbs, ready to lose 50 more and be debt free. Let's encourage each other because the best is yet to come!!! <BR> <BR> <em>306</em> Mon, 11 Oct 2010 17:05:29 EST New to the Team Hi I am Casey. Looking for ways to eat healthy and save money. Sun, 10 Oct 2010 17:56:19 EST Bank of America - in the News Lately Okay. I am not in the mortgage market. But I do wonder if their halting of mortgage foreclosures is bad news for debtors to Bank of America. <BR> <BR> I am almost positive their halting of the foreclosures (due to shoddy procedures) was hardly done out of altruism. Not for nothing, they did not get to be America's largest bank on their generosity ... <BR> <BR> <BR> Tina Sun, 10 Oct 2010 15:45:10 EST Just Joined Hey - I was perusing the teams and thought this one sounded great! My husband and I are really trying hard to get all of our debt paid off. We have a plan and although it is taking time - it is working! My name is Julie. I have two boys - 8 and 2 - who are one of my motivations for getting in shape. LOL! I am 44 so I need to be in shape for my boys. I am a SAHM and homeschool my oldest and you might as well say the other one too. He often sits at the table and says he is ready for mat... Sun, 10 Oct 2010 14:14:44 EST Hi my name is Rose Hello! I am just beginning to get back into the groove of better fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Although I have always firmly believed in both, life has managed to sneak in and put these beliefs on the back-burner. I find that now, in my late forties, it is more difficult to get back into moving around, eating properly and sleeping better. AHA! But I know it is do-able! For me, do-able means losing 35 pounds, being able to walk upstairs without losing my breath (I have extreme asthma... Sun, 10 Oct 2010 11:32:31 EST Needing support Hello! I'm new to this site and enjoying it so far. <BR> I'm 37 and a mother of two boys..ages 9 and 4. I've struggled with my weight most of my life. I'm not getting any younger and would like to make some serious changes. <BR> I look forward to working together to reach our goals <BR> <BR> Wed, 6 Oct 2010 15:38:52 EST Taking the first step... Hello Everyone!!! Hope that all has had a good day. I'm 31 and happily married. We do not have any kids yet but hope to one day. I saw the Sparkpeople on my aol webpage and thought I would check it out and so here I am. <BR> I'm wanting to loose weight because I am tired of feeling sorry for myself, making excuses also for health purposes. I have heart problems, blood pressure, etc... on both sides of my family. I plan on being around a long time if God will allow me to be. So this is my firs... Tue, 5 Oct 2010 18:22:17 EST wanna feel 36!!! ;) In actuality I am 36 lol.....but I feel more like a 70 year old at times. Tried everything!!!! Not sure if joining this is going to help, but I am willing to give it a try. At the end of this journey, I hope to look and feel the best I have ever been........So, here goes :) Fri, 1 Oct 2010 13:55:51 EST October - Let's Outsmart Temptations! Temptation is luring everywhere we turn. Doughnuts in the break room at the office. Pizza in the fridge when you arrive home. A warm bed in the morning when it's time to head to the gym. On your quest for a healthy life, you'll frequently encounter the beast called temptation. Slay him once and he returns stronger and smarter. Slay him again and he rises from the ashes to lure you away from your good habits. But fear not! You will win the battle and the war with these 30 tactics to outsmart t... Fri, 1 Oct 2010 10:14:39 EST First day of the rest of my better life I heard about this website through another message board. The topic was "what diet / exercise plan do you use?" Many people suggested the usual, weight watchers, curves etc. I came here out of curiosity and here I am ready to go. I know I need to add this site to my daily routine in order for it to work. What times of the day works for you? Morning, lunch and dinner? Only once a day? Before bed? Write everything down on paper and then enter at end of each day? <BR> <BR> Thanks Tue, 28 Sep 2010 18:12:36 EST Here's to Life Changes Hello Everyone, <BR> <BR> My mother introduced me to this website last week, after her friend introduced her to it (after she lost 25inches using SparkPeople). So far, I'm finding it pretty helpful. I used to compete in figure skating and was in very good shape, but after I quit I started gaining weight (nobody tells you that you need to make nutritional changes and keep up with exercising and at 17, I didn't know better). Then came University, and living with my ex where I started to eat th... Mon, 27 Sep 2010 18:56:14 EST Hello I am a Newbie!! Good Evening, <BR> <BR> I am Kimberly and I joined Spark in 2008, however I have just recently returned. I thought this forum might help me with my stress eating, by helping me with the financial issues that everyone faces. <BR> <BR> Thanks and I look forward to "talking" with all of you. <BR> <BR> Thu, 23 Sep 2010 20:59:12 EST My goal is to maintain an healthy lifestyle Hi Everyone <BR> My name is Marva, I am 33 years, married and I have 1 daughter. I am really interested achieving an healthy weight an maintaining a fun filled lifestyle. Thu, 23 Sep 2010 12:15:11 EST Debt Elimination I just recently enrolled my debt into a program than knocks 60% off of my debt. What a relief!!! Wed, 22 Sep 2010 13:42:24 EST hello New Albany ohio 275 pounds....want to lose 100pounds by July1, 2011. Wed, 22 Sep 2010 10:53:09 EST Newbie Hello! I'm Patty. I've been on SP since the end of May, but just now found this group! I'm excited to see it! Tue, 21 Sep 2010 16:47:04 EST New to the program. I am new here and excited about the opportunites. Mon, 20 Sep 2010 14:40:03 EST New to board Hi, I'm new to this board. I have already lost 60 lbs, and am now trying to take off those last few pounds. I had abdominoplasty a year ago to remove the lose skin from my weight loss. Mon, 20 Sep 2010 11:20:46 EST Hey there Hi, I'm new to the site as well to posting online and thus have not embraced posting as well as I have the site! But after exploring the site for a couple of weeks - and becoming both excited and addicted - I repeatedly encounter people saying how important it is to post and join the community! So... here I am, ready to try again and succeed this time!! Fri, 17 Sep 2010 10:15:31 EST Newbie who wants to be debt free! Hi everyone! I'm Erin, a special education teacher in south TX. I've been in debt forever and I feel like I'm drowning in money trouble. I'm able to pay bills, but never have anything extra to put toward paying things down/off. I recently read Dave Ramsey's book and I want to start doing whatever I can to pay down my debt. I think this team will be a great resource and hopefully I can help some others along the way. Hope to get to know you all soon! <em>252</em> Fri, 17 Sep 2010 06:28:17 EST Need a HCG push buddy Hello All! <BR> <BR> I am looking for a push partner for the HCG diet. I have done research but would love to have the guidance on how to get started. I have done well with other ways of life but was in a car accident and put the weight back on. Thank you for considered me to be your prodigy. I look forward to slimming down. Take care all! Jenn Fri, 17 Sep 2010 00:38:39 EST What won't you give up? We are not in a position right now where we are drowning (although we are also by no means not in a position where we can or should be spending freely), so I don't feel it is necessary to cut things that I happen to really enjoy. I have been in way, way over my head in the past, though, and heard the suggestion many times to give up my gym membership. I refused. I bought it in 1986 and it is only $60 a year. On top of that, I really lucked out by choosing not to give it up because 24 Hour... Thu, 16 Sep 2010 13:33:03 EST just getting started today I have committed to getting serious about losing weight. I have a middle school aged girl and toddler boy that I am just starting to potty train. I hope to stay on track better then I have in the past. Thu, 16 Sep 2010 09:03:07 EST New to site & adding a step to self improvement Hello, I am a new member of this site having joined on 9/11/2010. I have recently started making changes to my life one of the big ones being weight loss. I have already loss approx. 25 lbs since May just by drinking water and being more active (less sedentary.) Part of this had to do with getting a part time job after being laid off for over a year. <BR> Now that I have proven to myself that I can take the small steps into a natural change of habits I decided to join SparkPeople. I felt tha... Tue, 14 Sep 2010 19:59:52 EST hello hi every one im new to program trying to loose 50 lbs Tue, 14 Sep 2010 15:55:43 EST Maintaining healthy lifestyle on a budget? Out of curiosity, how do you all maintain a healthy lifestyle and still stay on budget? I find that it's extremely difficult to do, especially in NYC. For now, I cancelled my gym membership ($75/month) and although I still buy organic, I limit myself to eating out a couple times a month. <BR> <BR> Would love to hear some other tips on living a healthy life style and still save money. Sun, 12 Sep 2010 12:24:40 EST Hi My name is Diane and I live near San Diego. Over the past couple of years, I've taken the combined approach of earning more money (with some autism tutoring) and cutting back spending (hard to do this past year with a son graduating from high school and starting college... lots and lots of expenses!) I am happy to say that I am in a good place. I've taken advantage of programs that Chase and Citibank instituted to make it easier for people whose accounts on in good standing to pay down the... Sat, 11 Sep 2010 14:11:38 EST Anyone else really dislike Capital One? Fortunately, I am very close to having them paid off, after which, never, and I do mean never ever, will I consider using them again. We actually had a consolidation loan with them years ago which we paid off in 3 years with no problem. I made the mistake of getting a credit card with them. They are so sneaky with extra charges for this, that and the other. I didn't activate the last renewal they sent me, so they called and asked me if I wanted to do that. I said no, I was just concentr... Sat, 11 Sep 2010 14:08:27 EST hi I thought I'd give this a peek and see if it will help me. I'd love to pay up my debt and make my husband happy! Wed, 8 Sep 2010 18:46:33 EST Greetings Fellow Strivers Wow - what an awesome idea. I hope I can keep it up! My goal is to be an encouraging presence here and hope for the same. <BR> <BR> I have a 14 year old daughter. I'm counting on using the daily recipes to get us into better nutrition, especially for work/school lunches. <BR> <BR> We have two miniature pincers and would love to get a cat to play with them. They're pretty much couch potatoes too. We do get out to walk them every day, but not long enough, I'm thinking. <BR> <BR> I love ... Wed, 1 Sep 2010 20:45:43 EST September - 30 Days to More Fruit & Veggies! As summer winds to an end, fall is a time for harvest. September is many things to many people, including 5-a-Day month. Fruit and Vegetable month, and even Organic Harvest month! Since most people struggle to get the recommended five to nine servings of produce each day, these 30 tips will help you add more fruits and vegetables to your diet - and enjoy every bite! <BR> <BR> September 1, 2010: <BR> <BR> Dip it. Instead of dipping your chips and veggies into creamy dressings, make a healt... Wed, 1 Sep 2010 16:23:22 EST SheSparks says howdy! Hey Y'all, I'm officially in the game to lose the weight, get in shape and great health, and keep it that way. If there's anyone who's been doing this a while, I need your help. I have events coming up in a couple of weeks that have " a whole lotta food " written all over the occasion. I understand portion control, at least I think I do. How do I avoid overeating? Any tips? Mon, 30 Aug 2010 14:59:11 EST Rewards with no money I know the importance of rewarding yourself when losing weight but I am broke. I obviously can't give myself food rewards, and I don't have money to reward myself with clothes or anything monetary. I need ideas on what to do for myself when I reach a goal. Any ideas???? Fri, 27 Aug 2010 11:21:08 EST Another newbie I'm on a quest for balance. So not only am I revamping my workouts and spirit but I won't to revamp our budget and get us out of debt. Which will add to more balance to our lives. Looking forward to meeting everyone and learning. Thu, 26 Aug 2010 21:46:48 EST Best Place to Find Your Credit Score Does anyone have any idea of a legitimate, reputable place where you can get your credit score. I know you can contact the three bureaus; however, they will only give you a copy of your credit report, not your score. I want to check my credit score; however, I am not sure who to trust. I have seen ads for free credit reports, but not sure which one would be best. <BR> <BR> Thanks for any info you can give. Wed, 25 Aug 2010 13:50:11 EST Hi I have been referred to this site by a diet program where I work. Have a few goals to set yet. Would like to hear from others. Tue, 24 Aug 2010 21:15:53 EST Hello, From Ohio Hello, I'm a mother of 4 grown children who are almost out of my wallet! but I have had to make my husband retire and we start getting out first SSD check in October. He was self-employed and with dementia you can image how that went! I was in denial for a long time. So now that I have decided to get things together they are a mess. I love the sparksavings site and am taking my time with the budgeting process because I am very overwhelmed with my problems and process. But I like that i... Tue, 24 Aug 2010 15:03:42 EST possible healther pizza my husband and i go to a gas station down the road from us sometimes when we work long hours to get what we call a pizza salad all the way----it is like heaven you can have a pizza with the trimmings you like but on lettuce instead of a pizza crust. After i got my husband one (not a salad person either) every once in a while he would call me up and ask if we could have a pizza salad--i'm so happy he liked it even would let his co-workers know and offer to get them one. Now what a way to sel... Thu, 12 Aug 2010 23:09:00 EST Loan Modification - Mortgage Has anyone had any luck with this? <BR> <BR> I requested papers again through my mortgage company to see if I can get somewhere this time. Probably won't, can't hurt to try I guess! I was told to hold off on not paying my mortgage pymt for 2 months is one way of them getting to look at your acct. <BR> <BR> I tried this last yr and was told I made too much money...gross not net and that I should be able to pay my mortgage. At that time I continued paying my mortgage pymt. They then sen... Thu, 12 Aug 2010 21:52:40 EST new here hello everyone just recently joined SP and today i ran across your team after reading today's feature article. Bascially my husband and i are doing part time odds and ins jobs to help fill the gap from the cut in hours. So i know i would enjoy talking with others to help ease that we are not alone. Thanks Thu, 12 Aug 2010 12:17:55 EST New to this Team Hi my name is Laurie. I am 43 years old from upstate New York, married with 2 dogs and 2 cats. I just came across this team and boy could I use some support. As a lot of people we were having issues paying the bills. Husband is self employed and his income changed (not for the better). So started a program with a debt relief company. They would then negotiate settlements. Needless to say we feel this has been a HUGE waste of money and the one time we really needed their to get some res... Thu, 12 Aug 2010 07:24:06 EST Can't Find Online Spending and Saving Tracker.... Hi Y'all! I hope you can help me! I was all ready to jump in and DO this, and I cannot get the Spending and saving tracker to open! This is what I get when I click on the link in the part 1 "Starting and Sticking to a Budget" article: <BR> <BR> Page Could Not Be Found <BR> <BR> The page you were searching for could not be found. It's possible you typed the address incorrectly, or that the page no longer exists. As an option, you may visit any of the pages below: <BR> <BR> SparkPeople Home... Mon, 9 Aug 2010 15:43:24 EST 31 Days to Better Sleep! Sleeping is just as important to survival as eating, drinking and breathing. But for lots of people getting enough sleep can range from challenging to impossible. This August, you'll learn to sleep more soundly and improve your energy levels by using these 31 daily tips. <BR> <BR> Sunday, August 1, 2010: <BR> <BR> Relieve stress. People with uncontrolled stress are more prone to insomnia. But exercise, mediation, yoga and other techniques can help you relax. Do something to relieve stress... Sun, 1 Aug 2010 20:25:08 EST Article about Budgets <link><BR>-money.html </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> Do you ever find yourself wondering where you spent all your paycheck? You are not alone. For so many of us it seems that no matter how much we make we still don't have enough money left at the end of the month to put away towards our retirement, emergency savings or even a well deserved vacation! This article will teach you how to finally break that viscous cycle, budget your money and save. Fri, 23 Jul 2010 14:29:43 EST Hi, I'm new. Are there any programs to help? Hello, everyone. I'm new and I am in a lot of trouble right now. I currently am in debt of probably about $5,000. I know there are people with more debt than that, but I don't have a job right now and am only receiving less than $850 each month from SSI. I also am going to college and can't receive financial aid at the moment due to mistakes I made. I need to find a new place to live ASAP that will have to cost more than what I'm currently paying because where I live right now I don't have to... Mon, 19 Jul 2010 19:29:28 EST hi hi, new to spark today... Tue, 13 Jul 2010 11:18:57 EST Getting Rid of the Car Payment I have read Dave Ramsey's book the Total Money Makeover and it is recommended to get rid of the car payment if you have more than 18 months to pay it off and if the note is a large percentage of your take home pay. If anyone has done this please let me know how you did it. <BR> <em>303</em> Tue, 6 Jul 2010 13:12:10 EST Debt Settlement Well, I thought it would be better than bankruptcy. It is proving to be stressful to have multiple creditors calling all hours of the day. But, after my medical leave, I couldn't afford the rent, much less my consolidation payment - which was more than my rent practically! So, I stopped the consolidation program and signed up for the Debt Settlement program. <BR> <BR> All my creditors tried to tell me that they don't work with the debt settlement company. One creditor had an employee c... Tue, 6 Jul 2010 06:07:01 EST Hello - Let me introduce myself My name is Runa (pronounced much like Renee). I am in serious debt! Aside from my student loans, which sit at about 60,000 plus dollars, I have commercial debt which is now down to about 11,000 dollars. Then I personally owe an aunt over 2,000 dollars and I owe a friend $1,000. I don't make a lot of money and with my back out a lot, and my depression flaring up its ugly head... I haven't been able to work all the hours for which I am scheduled... that leads to literally not having enough ... Thu, 1 Jul 2010 13:43:39 EST Hi There! It's been a few days since I joined the team and I have yet to introduce myself. SORRY! <BR> <BR> So, I'm a busy full-time (plus) working mom of 3 beautiful girls. My husband stays home during the day and works 4 nights a week. Until this year we had been putting all 3 girls thru private, Catholic school. Our oldest had earned a 4-year scholarship. This year we were faced with a largely decreased financial aid package making it impossible for us to send the girls to their school. Bef... Fri, 18 Jun 2010 11:09:09 EST Tips to Save on Grocery Bills <link><BR>.asp?id=1488 </link> <BR> <BR> Article from Spark Savings regarding tips to slash your grocery bill. <BR> <BR> Add your own tips, what do you currently do to cut down on grocery costs. Are you shopping in fresh markets, butcher shops, bakeries and farmer's markets? Do you use flyers? Chime in and share with us. <BR> <BR> Add in your opinion on the article, is it helpful, frustrating or did you learn something new? Tue, 15 Jun 2010 13:06:12 EST THIS AND THAT! Without consistent strength training, muscle size and strength decline with age. An inactive person loses 1/2 pound of muscle per year after age 20. After age 60, this rate of loss doubles. But, muscle loss is not inevitable. With regular strength training, muscle mass can be preserved throughout the lifespan, and the muscle lost can be rebuilt. Sun, 6 Jun 2010 11:07:32 EST June - 30 Days To A More Active Lifestyle! Many of the health and weight problems that people face today are related to a lack of physical activity. Although we're "on the run" during the day, we're sedentary as we drive,work, watch TV and use the computer. On top of that, modern technolgy gives us time saving shortcuts (like dishwashers, car washes, escalators and remote controls) that encourage us to do even less. Whether you exercise or not, everyone should try to increase their activity time each day. Here are 30 daily tips that w... Tue, 1 Jun 2010 10:13:08 EST Hello I am 30 years old, no kids and I got divorced about 5 years ago. In the divorce I got the house and the car that was not paid off along with all the utility bills and about $20,000 in credit card debt. I have a good job but at the time I was seriously struggling so I had to contact a debt consolidation agency. The past 5 years have been the hardest of my life, there were times I was so poor that other people had to feed me. However, I am down to my last $4,000 and should be debt free within 6... Mon, 31 May 2010 17:48:48 EST 2 short articles regarding credit <link><BR>ng/article/bankratecanada/71/how-many-<BR>credit-cards-should-you-have </link> <BR> <BR> How many credit cards are ideal? One. That's all you really need. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>agement/gooddebt-baddebt-can.asp </link> <BR> <BR> Good debt, bad debt - do you know the difference? Mon, 31 May 2010 00:01:32 EST Your Credit Score <link><BR>e/article/yfinance/1623/credit-score-s<BR>ecrets </link> <BR> <BR> Apparently my being single, having no children and living in an apt are not good things when creditors are assessing score. Hmph. I'm so not getting married and having 2 children, then begging for a home to get a good score. (apparently 3 children or more is bad) And here I was under the illusion that all you had to do was pay off your debt to score high. I don't quite get... Sun, 30 May 2010 23:57:09 EST So happy to be here!! I realize how connected my dysfunction with food and money and weiht I hired a bookkeeper tohelp me navigated my way through the financial chaos I created. Through fear and ignorance I have been like to ostrich with my head in the sand. Living pay check to pay check and waving my money card around...heart pounding wondering there enough money!!! How crazy. Spending hundreds of dollars a month on groceries...throwing food away because it went to waste. So I hope that this may be... Thu, 20 May 2010 12:50:50 EST Need advice in dealing with a Credit card company Hi everyone, <BR> <BR> I haven't been to my spark groups in a while. I have been really busy with school. I have a problem with one of my credit card companies. I was laid off from my job in November 2008. I couldn't find another job, so I just gave up and concentrated on my schooling. I am to be done next year. We have been struggling. My husband's job wasn't going well. Just as I got laid off his company decided not pay for health insurance anymore, then there was a 20% pay cut. We were re... Mon, 10 May 2010 15:50:27 EST 2 Down, 4 To Go!! I got some extra money this month from my parents and I figured before I spend it carelessly, I need to make some payments on the credit cards. This is what I came up with: By July I will have 4 accounts left to pay off (out of 6, but not counting the car loan), and by using the snowball 'plan', I will have them paid off in 18 months, and I will be debt free!!! A year and a half seems decent to pay off years of accumulating is going to be such a relief!! <BR> <BR> I also graduate ... Sun, 9 May 2010 08:43:45 EST HI ! I was told by one of my Spark friends about this Spark team. I am taking with my husband Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University classes. We are in our seventh week. Six more to go. If you ever have a chance to take these clsses it is worth it. We are trying to get our finance under control before my husband retires. Which he can do any time now. I am out of a job as of the end of Feb 2009 I have been looking for a part time job . I can still work for another five to eight years. Mon, 3 May 2010 12:00:31 EST May - 31 Days to Stronger Bones! May is National Osteoporosis Awareness & Prevention Month - a time to remember the importance of preventing osteoporosis, a disease that causes bones to become weak and brittle. Half of all women (and one quarter of men over 50) will break a bone due to osteoporosis, according to the National Institute of Health. But osteoporosis is largely preventable through healthy lifestyle chocies. Strengthen your bones from this month forward by starting these 31 daily tips. <BR> <BR> Saturday, May 1,... Sat, 1 May 2010 10:58:19 EST Healthy Money Habits Share a healthy money (debt reduction) habit. It may be something you already do or it may be something that you want to do. Let's see if we can reach 100 habits in a couple months!! <BR> Mon, 19 Apr 2010 13:03:55 EST Healthy Money Habits Share a healthy money (debt reduction) habit. It may be something you already do or it may be something that you want to do. Let's see if we can reach 100 habits in a couple months!! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Mon, 19 Apr 2010 13:00:00 EST Vicious Cycle...Any ideas? Hello everyone! i'm new to this board and thought i'd test the waters by writing a little about my situation. <BR> <BR> I know of several people who have declared bankruptcy within the past year. They seems to be doing well for themselves after going bankrupt. Several trips, new cars, shopping... <BR> <BR> After my Dad went back to work following a hernia operation, he lost his job. That was nearly a year an a half ago. Since he was laid off he was unable to pay me rent ($650.00/mo) This w... Wed, 14 Apr 2010 23:50:26 EST New Team Member/R eturning Spark Member Hi! My name is Felicia. I have been struggling with both my wieght and my financial status for as long as I can remember. Recently something just clicked with me, so I have decided to return to Spark people after a few years hiatus. I have started to keep track of my budget/spending since Febuary. Something that has always been a sickening task. I work two jobs, sometimes three if I have to. Due to working at a local high school (not on salary), the summers are a usual kick to the pocketbook,... Thu, 8 Apr 2010 10:34:50 EST Hello Hi ! I'm new here & am serious need of getting out of debt ! I uased to have good credit but in November my husband lost his job & now I'm laid off, My mortgage is almost 3 months behind & haven't been able to pay any credit cards. No jobs to be found ! Help !! Sat, 3 Apr 2010 17:38:54 EST April - 30 Days To A Greener Lifestyle With all the buzz surrounding eco-friendly living these days, you may wonder where to start. But reducing your impact on the planet can be simple, and every action does make a difference. Want even more incentive to change? Most green actions will save you money, limit waste, enhance your health and even increase your overall physical activity - all while benefiting the planet. Here are 30 daily tips to get you started. <BR> <BR> Thursday, April 1, 2010: <BR> <BR> Recycle. Most people can... Fri, 2 Apr 2010 13:24:09 EST I hate sales calls! Two weeks ago I received a call from Everdry, a company that does work to leave your basement dry. I told them that I didn't have money for that kind of work, even though I do have water in my basement when it rains or when the snow melts. They are little rivers that run to the drain/sump pump. The girl told me that it would just be an inspection and they could just give me ideas of the things I could myself to help prevent this. I agreed that as long as it is free and they don't try to s... Wed, 3 Mar 2010 10:08:53 EST March - 31 Days to a Healthier Diet You've probably heard the phrase "you are what you eat". While it's true that food is fuel, it's also true that food is broken down and transformed into cells, hormones, muscles and YOU! When you think of food in this light, it can make it easier to make healthy and nutritious choices for your body. March is National Nutrition Month. A time to focus on making informed food choices for a balanced and healthy diet. <BR> <BR> Monday, March 1, 2010: <BR> <BR> Keep a food diary. Before you can... Mon, 1 Mar 2010 13:51:34 EST What do you do when you feel whiny? I'm feeling kind of whiny. I'm feeling sorry for myself because I only have $40 in the bank after paying bills, and it's a week until payday (hey at least I have a job and $40 in the bank!). And the weight isn't falling off me in sheets (but it's going down!). And I'm at work and I'd rather be at home having a nap. <BR> <BR> <em>39</em> <BR> <BR> Obviously telling myself it's not that bad isn't working. What lifts you out of a funk? In my other life I'd go buy myself something - not ... Fri, 26 Feb 2010 14:09:51 EST Interesting Article on Student Loans I found this on yahoo. It's just an interesting read and thought I would share it. <BR> <BR><BR>on/article/108846/the-555000-student-l<BR>oan-burden?mod=edu-continuing_education <BR> Thu, 18 Feb 2010 09:40:24 EST consumer credit counseling Hi just wondering if anyone has ever worked with consumer credit counseling b4? I tried a debt consolidation only to find out I basically got screwed along with my credit! Now I am trying to go from there. Just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this? Tue, 16 Feb 2010 13:46:11 EST Short article regarding increase in debt load <link><BR>ness-news/article.aspx?cp-documentid=2<BR>3465664 </link> <BR> <BR> Current status of debt load for average Canadian family. Tue, 16 Feb 2010 11:04:30 EST Olympics 2010 Use this board as a place to talk about the Olympics. Cheer on your country, your favourite athlete or whatever else you'd like to discuss. Share links to stories, have fun, shed tears or moan about the craziness of the games. Even if you don't follow the Olympics, join in and share on your reasons why not. :) Fri, 12 Feb 2010 16:41:18 EST Monthly Food Budget for Family of 4 I am trying to work through a budget that we can live with and stick to in the future to prevent encountering any further debt and hopefully allow us the opportunity to pay off our current debts without having to file bankruptcy. My husband and I have two teenage boys, ages 14 and 16. I am wondering what a reasonable food budget is, knowing that we are trying to eat healthy (in other words, we don't want to live on mac & cheese and ramen noodles). I use coupons and shop sales, shop at warehou... Sun, 7 Feb 2010 22:59:50 EST Finacially struggling to be healthy! Hello - I am here to look for any support, guidance, or advice that will lead me to making healthy food choices on an extremely limited budget. Recent medical conditions, if left unattended, can lead to destruction of my life and are driving me forward right now. But will that be enough? I have been overweight for over 20 years ... I have tried and failed many times in the past. The longest stretch I have gone with weight loss (35 pounds) and maintenance is within the past two years and f... Sat, 6 Feb 2010 10:24:09 EST February-28 Days To A More Healthy Heart! February may be a month for romance, but it's also a time for you to focus on loving yourself--and your heart. During National Heart Month, we'll help you focus on one small thing that you can do each day to <BR> lower your risk of heart disease and improve your quality of life. Share this valentine with your friends and loved ones to show them how much you care! <BR> <BR> Monday, February 1, 2010: <BR> <BR> Get a checkup! Your doctor doesn't just treat disease. He/She also offers screen... Mon, 1 Feb 2010 09:16:11 EST Making money on the side Hi all! I just wanted to let you all know I way I found to make a little extra money on the side. Its called food tasting. <BR> <BR> I have been doing this since last October. There is a local reseach company that holds food tastings for new foods that they are testing before putting out on the market. I have gotten anywhere from $20-$100 per food taste depending on the time it takes. I think since October I have made close to $1,000 doing this. <BR> <BR> It cost no money to sign up or at a... Sat, 16 Jan 2010 04:35:35 EST Nuts - A Healthy Snack <link><BR>s/diet-fitness/articles/diet/eatingwel<BR>l/20036/the-nut-case/ </link> <BR> <BR> The Nut Case <BR> Provided by <BR> After years of being frowned upon by fat-phobic nutritionists—and being relegated to the "Use Sparingly" ghetto at the top of the government's food pyramid—nuts are starting to look like nutritional heroes. Not a day goes by, it seems, without the release of another study confirming the health benefits of nuts, from reducing th... Mon, 11 Jan 2010 13:06:16 EST It's all about money or is it? Tonight I read a blog from one of the coaches and in it, there was a resolution regarding improving and growing one's social life. Every idea that the blogger made as a means to increase the social life involved money. It also involved the gym and yoga classes. Now I don't know about you, myself, when I took yoga class it wasn't to chatter with the folks in the class and when I used to go to the gym, I focused on working out and not sipping water while making nice with others in the gym. ... Mon, 4 Jan 2010 01:20:49 EST 31 Days to Unbreakable Resolutions! Behavior experts say that it takes about one month to form a new habit, and many people try to create (or break) habits at the start of each year. With the right attitude and focus, you can stick to your New Year's resolutions and achieve long-term success. <BR> Here are 31 daily tips that will help you do exactly that. <BR> <BR> January 1, 2010: <BR> <BR> Happy New Year! If you haven't yet settled on your top goals, for the year, do so today! Writing down your goals (in specific terms) ... Fri, 1 Jan 2010 09:43:10 EST Unexpected surprise! Last week I was told by my boss that the company deal with has "continued" their contract for another year but we haven't gotten it in writing yet, only verbally. The only thing is that they still have a 30 day clause stating that they could discontinue working with us at anytime. Great, doesn't really reassure me! Well at least I still have a job for now. Over the last couple of months I have sent out resumes, just in case!! I also have been sending resumes out because this job is getti... Wed, 30 Dec 2009 18:20:56 EST Getting a little nervous I am getting a little nervous as I decided to get new glasses, well not decided I need new glasses, and to get my dogs to the vet. I wanted to get my glasses while my insurance was still effect, just in case my job ends at the end of the month. <BR> <BR> I still haven't heard if the contract between companies has been approved or not. The thought of not having a job scares the **** out of me! I know there is always unemployment, but that doesn't go very far either. <BR> <BR> Anyways,... Fri, 4 Dec 2009 22:49:13 EST Christmas Creative This has come up on a discussion board and I thought there may be many who are struggling with the Christmas season. <BR> <BR> Share creative ways to celebrate Christmas, to give gifts, to do activities on your own with others in the community or with your family (or both). <BR> <BR> Think inside and outside the box. No idea is too crazy, not with this group! We are creative thinkers, so lets get the thinking caps on and share. <BR> <BR> Also, think of ways to spend the day inexpensivel... Fri, 4 Dec 2009 13:53:15 EST December-31 Days to Healthier Holidays! Gathering with close friends and family members during the holidays creates lasting joy and memories. But with so many parties, celebrations and errands to run, it can be hard to keep up with your healthy lifestyle! Here are 31 daily tips that will help you make healthy choices throughout the holiday season. <BR> <BR> Tuesday, December 1, 2009: <BR> <BR> Take inventory. Identify all the situations (office parties, mall food courts, family gatherings) that make it difficult for you to eat ... Tue, 1 Dec 2009 09:12:46 EST 25 Cheap Healthy Foods <link><BR>on_articles.asp?id=1210 </link> <BR> <BR> 25 Cheap Foods that are Good for You! <BR> Get BIG Nutrition for Less Dough <BR> -- By Stepfanie Romine, SparkPeople Staff Member <BR> <BR> Watching your wallet and your waistline can be tricky. Eating right is easy when money is no object, but a trip to the supermarket often yields frustration for healthy eaters on a budget (which is most of us!). Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein are... Tue, 24 Nov 2009 11:01:56 EST