5 Debt Management Tips for the Broke and Unemployed

unemployed manCreditors are calling, a wallet that you got for Christmas is empty and the bank is threatening to take your house and possessions. Such a thought would cause people to have a panic attack.

However, this is the reality of many citizens who have lots of debt. While your financial circumstances may not be the best, there are steps to take toward eliminating debt.

Here are some practical tips for removing debt from your life.

1) Do not borrow what you cannot pay back

Credit cards and loans for unemployed can be a wonderful thing if used properly. Unfortunately, these items are abused by many citizens. If you are someone who maxes out your credit cards and has difficulty paying loans, these are not the best items for you to have.

It is important to manage loans and credit effectively, to eliminate the possibility of bad debt. One easy philosophy is to not borrow what you cannot pay back.

College students may have trouble doing this with student loans because they cannot foresee the future. However, adults with several credit cards and numerous loans should take extra caution before utilizing these items. It is not the bank’s fault that they gave you $10,000 for a car.

However, it is your fault if you spent that money on car gadgets and furniture and do not have any money to repay the loan. Before borrowing a lot of money, evaluate your means of income and determine if you are in a position to obtain a loan.

2) Make a payment plan attempt

Some companies work with their customers who are delinquent with payments. These companies include utilities, medical facilities, and some loan entities.

There is no reason for one to ignore these opportunities if they are offered. Payment plans will help you get rid of debt much faster instead of adding interest to unpaid charges. Interest will only increase your amount of debt and ruin your credit score.

3) Pay what you can, even if there is no plan

While payment plans are a great way to get rid of your debt, they may not always be available. This can be due to many reasons, including a past due amount that has been lingering for some time. In this circumstance, it is still important to pay at least some money toward your delinquent account.

The argument that you do not have enough money will not be sufficient. If you can amass such charges, you should be able to pay bills when they are due. When that does not happen, it is best to pay what you can in order to bring down your debt.

This will get you closer to eliminating charges and keeping creditors from harassing you all day long.

4) Do not ignore your debt

Just because you do not look at a bill does not mean it isn’t there. If you owe money to any business, the money will always be due until it is paid. Ignoring your debt is one of the worst things that you can do regarding finances.

This will definitely have a negative impact on your credit score. Your future finances may also be affected if creditors come after you in court. This can cause you to end up paying more money for taking no action toward amending your debt.

5) Keep track of your debt information

One free tip for the broke and unemployed is to collect and organize all documents pertaining to unresolved debt. This is important for two reasons. First, it will be much easier to battle unscrupulous charges that you have already paid.

You should have a statement listing these charges in addition to a document that proves any payment made to clear the debt. Secondly, keeping track of debt information will also help you determine exactly what you owe and who needs to be paid.

Re: A job opportunity

I’ve had so many people email me asking about this I figured I would just send it to the group once. You can go to any unemployment office, ask for companies that help people with physical and/or mental disabilities and they can direct you to the right company. In my state we call it the Bureau of Rehabilitation. Your state might call it something else. They have an office in some of the unemployment offices.
You can do a google search for jobs and look up “Job Coach”, “Independent Living Skills Instructor” or “companion”.

They need men and women to do these jobs. NO experience needed. It’s nationwide. And I work per diem (when I want). On Dr. Martin Luther King day i got paid $23 an hour because it was a holiday.

There will be a lot of jobs I believe in the future because of all the accidents and brain injuries too. Also we’ll see many veterans who’ll need our services. They are getting a LOT of brain injuries from all the explosions and gun fire they have to deal with during the war. I think right now we’re needed for everyone who gets into car accidents, domestic violence, child abuse, etc.

I’ve been checking into this and in our area almost all these positions are volunteer positions. I can’t find a single entity yet that pays for such people.

What state are you in? I’ve never heard of people volunteering for these positions. Especially when some of them need a commitment from someone to cover a specific shift.

I’m in TX. There might be some paid positions but I haven’t seen them yet and the places I’ve called have all said they have volunteers who do that. I’ll keep looking, though!

A job to consider ….$9-17 plus an hour for MY job

job opportunityI did my best to explain my jobs in case others were interested in picking up an easy $120 or so for one night work.I posted this on one of my other groups too.

I know with every family it’s hard to budget when your trying to make ends meet and there’s a gap living pay check to pay check.Not trying to solicit a job. Just trying to give suggestion on a growing field that men and women can do and it’s a needed service.

There are many many many jobs out there for MEN & Women who want to work part time Per Diem (at your own schedule) in EVERY STATE.

NO EXPERIENCE NEEDED. And the pay can be from $9-18 or more an hour depending on the agency.

I’m not kidding because I do this job. I’m a Job Coach & also work in the ABI (acquired brain injury program)and ILST or independent living skills instructor through my agency.

If you:

  • Have patience
  • Care about people with physical and / or mental disabilities and want to help them live a better life.( Some people may have depression, bipolar, anxiety, schitzophrenia, loss of limb, brain injury, can’t walk, vision problem, mental retardation, autism, asperger’s syndrome). You don’t need prior knowledge of these disabilities. The agency would give you information and training. Most likely you’re already working with people who have these disabilities and don’t know it.
  • Care about people with brain injuries (some you don’t know have it)
  • Like the young and elderly and get along with them
  • Get along with people of different race and genders
  • Can spare a few hours or more on a particular day or weekend
  • Have flexible schedule (even better)
  • Have transportation (your own car, bike, bus, walk, friend etc)
  • Can handle boredom. (watch others work and NOT do anything)
  • Optional*** for overnight stays in private homes too.

Background check

Let me give you an example of how this works. First of all it’s working for a non profit agency in your area. No experience needed except for common sense and compassion.

I work per diem so if I want to accept the assignment I can or choose not to. I’ve been doing this for over 6 years. I basically wanted work that could fit around my children in school, babysitting my grand daughter, my party business, and family life. If you only want to work 5 hours a week or you want 40 hours it’s possible. If I want a day, week, or month off I just tell them since I’m per diem(no benefits).

Others work in the agency with benefits if full time.

First job is as a Job Coach which can earn about $13-17 plus an hour.

My boss calls me. Donna I have a 40 hour assignment for you at Wal-Mart in such and such town starting this Saturday from 11-3 p.m.

and Sunday 4-8:30 p.m.. The person is doing janitorial work. Can you do this assignment? I can only do this Saturday this week, so he’ll get someone else for the Sunday shift but the rest of the assignment I can do it. I get the work. Weekends are not mandatory but if you can spare some that’s a plus and you probably would get hired. You really need to be flexible with your time unless you specifically tell them straight up that you’re only available for work on a certain day /night and between the hours of _ and _.

Or maybe the person I’m to assist in getting a job has to work 9-5 for one week and this is a 40 hour assignment too. You can get a babysitter for 4 days and work the 9-5 but need to leave at 2 on one of the days. It’s okay. The job is flexible and most of the time my supervisor gets someone else to cover the spot or they do it themselves.

You go to the job site with your client, listen to what the trainer is telling you to do for the job and then help your client remember the rules and how to do their job. After the 40 hours are up then the employer tells you whether or not your client got the job. You were coaching them the whole time to help them GET the job. EASY. Most of the time I have one or two clients at a time. You can work at a Walmart, McDonald’s, grocery store, hotel, casino, home depot, sears, florist shop, bakery, construction etc…Every week or couple weeks I have a place or new job to go to. The hardest part can be boredom for some jobs. Like at grocery stores where you’re standing there while your client bags groceries after they know how to and then you do nothing but stand or sit on a bench. It can get boring sometimes.

The ABI & ILST program:

These people have a brain injury from usually a car accident or falls.

You can also do job coaching with them but usually it’s helping them learn every day things like going to their homes, reminding them to take medications, get dressed, help with cues how to make their meal, or maybe grocery shopping, bringing them to doctors visits, helping them do laundry, pay bills, socializing with friends, etc. The ILST needs a couple years experience but after job coaching and ABI program experience you’re good to go.

There is a big demand for this type of work. Sometimes people need 24 hour care in their home with 2 twelve-hour shifts, and sometimes it’s just working a shift of 4, 6 or 8 hrs.

Maybe you can spare working at someones home (within 30 mile or so radius of your home) on a Tuesday night from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. the next morning. This overnight/weekend type work called a “Companion” pays usually $9-11 an hour ($10.50 for me) so you just earned $120 + to help someone prepare for bed, maybe remind to take a shower or assist with certain clothing like socks or bras if they can’t do it, watch tv with them a couple hours, play cards or games, remind them about meds, etc.

Then they go to bed at what time they want. Usually 10 to midnight.

Then you stay up all night sitting in a chair watching TV, reading, playing on your laptop or laying on the couch resting your eyes but not falling asleep in case they wake up in the middle of the night and need your help. Most of the time they don’t get up but there can be some who don’t make it to the bathroom in time. You would have to clean it up and give them other clothing to put on. Easy. Maybe they have a girlfriend or boyfriend that comes to their house once a week at a specific time and day. They actually have scheduled times together. At this point you would leave the house for two hours and stay outside the door, wait in your car but it has to be close by.

(yeah you know what they’re doing but that doesn’t mean they don’t feel the same things we do). I haven’t had that type of client yet but I know there are some who have them. The companion overnight job is the easiest because for about 8 of those hours your doing nothing while the person sleeps. Until the next person comes in to relieve you. What would you do with an extra $120 for or $240 for two overnight stays a week or month. Or maybe you want 12 hour overnight shifts 3 days a week = $360 EXTRA for your budget

I can work 4 hours this morning then have a few hours off to go home and do my housework, check emails, reply, then maybe go back to work a few hours or overnight if I need /want to. By this past Tuesday afternoon I had 36 hours already worked this week with another 10 to go by MY CHOICE. Most likely get a call to see if I can do more hours. This is a great job for those moms or dads who want to work while kids are in school or sleeping at night. Or a second part time job that’s flexible. This way they can really work their business on that freed up time like I do.

During the overnight shifts I WORK my Party business. While the lady is sleeping I have all my order forms, potential hostess/consultant list on the living room floor, figuring out what to order, who to call, what needs to get done, making hostess packets, sometimes filling orders. Yep I bring a box of stuff to do while she’s sleeping. I also rest my eyes while on the couch so I am resting. You could use that time as well to work your business, pay bills, catch up on emails, read etc. Quality quiet time.

Sorry this is so long. (If anyone is interested post your questions. Take care and I hope this helps.

Re: How we made it through a year of unemployment

Apply for the food stamps anyway and get a case worker on your side. As a person with diabetes, sometimes the ‘regular’ calculations do NOT apply to you as an individual. You need a case worker and interview with SSA and an individualized assessment of your needs.

I was always told if I worked I would lose SSI bennies. No, as I am technically blind/disabled, there are ‘back to work’ programs and even when I make a lot of money some months, all it means is submitting my pay records to the SSA and 2 months later, receiving a little less money from them. But, overall, I am in a MUCH better place with a wee job, and my medical stays intact through my earning too.

Having a case worker I can call or fax helps with any big questions I may have, and she and I touch base on the phone for a review of my case every 2 years.

There may also be advocacy groups for us ‘sweet peas’ through agencies like the American Diabetes Association and JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Federation). They should at least be able to steer you to some more help.

Thanks so much for the kind thoughts and encouragement !! I am finding that at this time in my life God has me surrounded by angels I never knew were there. I have been given ALOT of great resource information in the last few days and am going both to unemployment and DSS offices Monday to get started. I glad you are hanging in there. I have been trying to reduce my meds in hope of stretching them out but I don’t think that’s going to work for long so Monday when I go down to DSS I am going to inquire about any assistance programs that may be available in my area and may be able to help me with this too. I’m also considering a possibility to apply for cash loan online – what do you guys think? They seem to be an established and trustworthy company. Please advise.

How we made it through a year of unemployment

OK guys here I am still depending on you all.

Thanks to everyone who has been sharing not only their experiences and knowledge but also their support during these times.

Even though I keep up with everything going here it seems like I don’t get to add anything helpful other than the odd comment now and then. You all have helped me get my family through my husband’s job loss last year and now I need to ask for more advice. I live in Charlotte, NC and after 9 years my job gave us a 2 week notice that they are shutting down 3rd shift. Of course the first thing I did was approach the directors of 1st and 2nd shift…….nothing available, then I sat down to work on our financial strategy (very, very not pretty). We have exhausted ALL our excess reserves (bill cutting and reducing,emergency fund, food storage literally gone) in the last 7 months. I am now with this lay off more scared where as last time I was more anxious. Well now that all my outstanding medical bills (86,000) have been put on the very last of the list since last year and most of them are threatening action now anyway I am about ready to just throw them up in the air and let
them fall where they may.

As soon as I can get my vehicle taxes and tagged paid I will head down and apply for medical assistance as I am a diabetic and hopefully be able to qualify for that program. According to the information I researched on the web for income requirements and calculations we will not qualify for food stamps. So I was wondering was if anyone could tell me how to go about looking for food assistance in my area. I do use the angel food network (which has been a blessing) but I will not be able to get an order in for this month due to funds not available.

So again guys THANKS for all your help !!!!!

unemploymentTry for food stamps anyway. Is there a community service agency in your area? They provide help with food and heating bills that I know about. They’ve also got other services but I didn’t need them or wasn’t a senior. At one point I also got food help from the United Way and from the Red Cross. Basically for all of these places you need SS numbers for each person in the household and info about your income. If there are kids under 18 in the house they may want to see birth certificates. Each agency has different requirements. when my now ex was laid off for 11 months we had to use all of these agencies because even with me working two jobs I couldn’t afford to pay the rent, the bills, and still have enough left to buy food. You will get past this.

My heart goes out to you. I usually don’t say anything. Like you, I am struggling to rebuild my life after health setbacks. And sometimes it seems that life is smacking you in the face. I know it is not easy but, I want to encourage you to stay positive. I would also check to see if there are non-profit credit counselors in your area that might intervene with your creditors. You obviously have more than you can handle right now.

Finally, I plan to say a prayer that God will bring you some much needed relief. There is only so much a family can stand. Just know that someone is thinking about you and wishing you the best.

Financing and Education

educationI took my first Math 142 (College Mathematics) test tonight and I have to say I think I did pretty good. I did ALL (6 sections) of my homework for the class plus the practice test, so I was extremely prepared. He told us in advance that the test would look very similiar to the practice test. in actuality, it was a little different but pretty easy nonetheless since I was prepared.

A little background; when I decided to finish my college education to transform my life from poverty, I knew I had a long road to go. I knew that because of my extreme math & science deficiencies, it would take me double the time of the average high school graduate to complete this degree. I didn’t graduate high school and the only time I went to school on a regular basis was 7th – 8th grade. Prior to 7th grade I did not attend school and after 8th grade my life was EXTREMELY chaotic to put it mildly. A brief summary; my father died, i ran away from my grandparents and lived with my drug dealing aunt, then lived with a friend of hers, then stayed at a runaway shlter, then a psychiatric facility, then a group home. At 17 years old I recieved my G.E.D.

I’ve attended a University before, for 3 years, taking english, sociology, psych, paralegal..etc, classes that I found pretty easy. I tried to take Math and dropped out atleast 3-5 times over the years feeling it was too difficult. I wasted about $40,000 in student loans doing that. I thought of student loans like I did credit. Free money, from the government, doesnt really mean much, more where that came from, I don’t have to worry about paying it back and can get as much of it as I need. Boy was I wrong. I had no clue! No clue about finances in general in anyway , shape or form.

Now I am 34 years old, feeling old, with not much to show on paper for it. Experience is great, but it’s not the kind of experience you can put in the asset column on a financial portfolio. At 32 I decided that by the time I am 40 I want to have a minimum of a Masters degree, make $80,000 a year, own my own condo and look and feel amazing about my self and the career I am in. I want a career that will keep me healthy and happy and looking 25 when I am 75.

So currently I am taking my basic classes that I need to take to transfer into ASU and the past year I have focused hard on finally passing developmental and remedial Math/Algebra classes which I succeeded in completing this past December. Now I am finally past the remedial level and in a actual College Level Math class. The last math class I have to take in my college career. I am very excited.

Just on chance this past December I applied to Arizona State University to see what I needed left to take as far as classes in order to get accepted in. Turns out they accepted me immediately, and I could actually transfer there as soon as this Fall 2015.


I don’t think I can afford it.

I guess I wasn’t expected that dream to come true so fast, I was expecting to have about a year to go before I was accepted and I planned to figure out something in that time. But now that it’s in front of me on my plate, I am not sure what to do.

I came up with a Plan B in case I can’t afford to go to ASU this Fall or next Spring. I have been stressing and feeling depressed and anxious about what to do for a few weeks.

I’ve decided that if I can’t afford it, then instead of going deeper into debt, stressing, with mounting education bills at a university I cant afford and worrying about being kicked out for not paying tuition, I will attend my current community college for 2 more years to get a Associate in Applied Science: Strength Nutrition and Personal Training – http://www.gccaz.edu/academics/departments/fitness-wellness?id=11655.

After recieving the degree, I’ll stop going to school for a year and work a 2nd job in the evenings/weekends as a personal trainer. I’ll put all the income from the second job towards my student loans. I should be able to add another $1000 a month to my income from that. After paying about $12000 on my loans, they should be down enough that I can recieve enough financial aid to go to ASU for 2 years.

See once I am in graduate school, I qualify for other loans, it’s the funding of my undergraduate degree that is the problem.

What I didnt realize is that once you are no longer qualified to recieve student loans you cant recieve a pell grant. So if I cap out the $5’000 in loans I have left available for my undergraduate degree, which I would in ONE semester at ASU, then I can’t even get a pell grant to supplement my tuition. I’d have to find scholarships or pay it all on my own. That’s my understanding of it anyway. I’ve had ZERO luck with scholarships and I’ve applied to over a dozen in the past year, so I cant depend on that AND because my credit is so derogatory, I can’t even get a $10 loan, let alone a $12,000 loan I need to finish school?

so we’ll see, I am about to apply for financial aid, and I am putting ASU on the application, ASU will then tell me how much they expect me to pay out of pocket per semester and how much pell grant/loans I could get per semester. If my portion is less than $1000 I can do it, if it’s more than $1000 I am going for Plan B.

Energy Bills

Hi all. I’m a new member to this blog, so I’m not quite sure of topics and culture etc.

I live in Denver and we’re in the midst of winter of course. I’m getting sick of my energy bills. I paid 267 last month. That’s the highest energy bill I’ve ever paid.

Another month or two and this should calm down. What are those of you in other states paying?

electricityI live in Northern NM. My electric bills have climbed and steadily doubled since December. I had $138.77 in Dec. 07, $195.24 in Jan. 08, and $295.24 for Feb. 15. On top of this I have spent $640 in propane since November 07. I am hoping it starts to warm up soon. These bills are outrageous and I have my thermostats at 65 during the day and 60 at night. It has just been COLD.

I live in a single condo and paid 168 on my last bill.

I’m in Utah and my highest this winter was $380!

I live in indiana..We are on the budget plan. I pay 91 dollars a month.and will settle up later. But our last check our month bill was 128. We seal all our windows, and just reinsulated most of the house that really helps.

My budget plan was going to be close to $229/month- $2 less than last year so this year I decided to gamble because I was going to be super efficient. In December I paid $323 then 6 wks later $455. I have replacement windows, a storm door and I keep my heat at 62-65 day and nite and wear layers and keep 2 down comforters on my bed. I sure hope my gamble pays off-I had over $400 in credit at the end of last season. I live in Central MA.

ne thing to watch for and complain to your utility company is the timing of their meter reading. I was socked with on that blew me away until I realized there was over 6 weeks between readings. When recomputed to about 4 weeks, it was not as bad as it looked. However, it can really mess up your budget planning. Here in GA, they want their money within 2 weeks of sending the bill.

I am in Montana, my last bill was $78.00. My house is 2300 sq. feet. I have a regular furnace for heat. I keep it set at 64 during the day and evening. At bedtime I turn the heat down to 50. It was 18 Below zero here the other day, and is still about the same temp.

On the other hand, my parents live around the corner from me, in a similar size house, and their bill was $169.00. I wear an extra heavy sweater and in the evening I add a lap blanket. I have a nice comforter from Penny’s on the bed. I sleep much better with the heat turned down.

My parents keep their heat at 78 and turn it down to 65 when they go to bed. They never wear a nice heavy sweater in the house. My kids are all grown, but I do have a little 5 lb Yorkie, he wears a sweater also, and is never shivery or cold. Perhaps turning the heat down a bit, could save money. My heating bill is abou $90 lower than my parents.

I live in Wisconsin and just moved in our house that we just built in September 2007. Excluding electricity, we have paid roughly $200 a month for heat (gas). We have had some pretty cold days, but from our previous house that was built in 1965 our heating costs has stayed the same. Goes to show that new construction is better built and insulated than before.

Anyone know anything about MagicJack?

Hi, I’ve been seeing ads for MagicJack, which is the device you plug into your computer, and then you plug your phone into the device. It’s supposed to cost something like $20.00 flat fee per year for phone service.

I understand you have to keep your computer on, especially for voicemail to work.

Has anyone tried this device/service, or knows someone who has? I’d be interested to know what your experience has been like.

I have Vonage which is $25 per month for any US calls; doesn’t matter how many or for how long. I don’t call outside the US, but it sounds like Vonage is much cheaper for international calls also. You don’t need to keep your computer on for outgoing or incoming calls, but you do need to have an ISP provider other than dial-up. I’ve been using them for more than two years and have been very pleased.

Good to know – thanks. I had actually been wondering about Vonage as well.

Working from home

Hi everyone,

Has anyone had experience with VirtualVocations.com? I was thinking of joining. I am not looking to quit my current job, just to supplement my income. Since I work 11a-7p, it’s hard to find a second job part-time, because most evening jobs need you to start 5-5:30pm.

I did see a recent post that said most at-home job schemes are not really legit – but I am presuming the poster meant the kind that advertise their websites on tv.

Any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks.

work from homeFrom my experience, you can find these jobs yourself by searching the interent instead of paying them to do it for you. WAHM.com has alot of job opportunities. Liveops is one of the companies I worked for answering calls from home. They don’t pay all that much, but it is easy work. There is a $30 background check fee, but I made that back with my first paycheck. I got hired by another one here lately but had to deline because you have to work at least 5 days a week and be available for 6 hours at a time and I can’t keep my kdis quiet that long! LOL I can’t remember the name of them but I linked to them from the wahm.com. Volition is another good place to find jobs. You can look at the forums and people will leave feedback on companies and whether they are good to work for or not. I take the names I see on the forum and google them to find the websites and apply to them. Hope this helps!

There ARE legit work at home jobs out there, but they are hard to find. Good luck.

Great info Tara-I’ll definitely be checking out WAHM.com and the other site. I knew there was a way to find legit companies-I just hadn’t found it yet.

I currently work from home and make my own hours. Do you do any transcription? I could give you a reference for the company that gives me transcript work if you can do
that kind of work. Another site that you can bid on jobs is www.elance.com. I’ve had good experiences with them so far.

I would be interested in transcription if you could give me that link. I used to do transcription in a doctors office transcribing autopsy and pathology reports. All the companies I have seen want you to pay to get started and I don’t have the money to do that. Thanks.

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I do a lot of transcription, daily in my current job. I work for a law office, and transcribe for all the various practice groups (labor, medical, litigation, environmental, patent) – so all have their own terminology and ways of setting up their documents.

Please do send me the information.

Hi Jen, I checked out elance.com and was pretty intimidated. All I want to do is find some work from home data entry or database/spreadsheet maintenance work. Elance.com seemed more a site for the small business owner/entrepreneur. They really push you to market yourself and the whole Elance University was a bit scary with their examples of a design firm. What do you think? Is this not the right site for me? You said you bid on transcription jobs-did you have to become an incorporated company and do a fancy profile in order to compete for these jobs? I really want to do some part time work at home but it seems like either the opportunities are scams or you need to be an established business.

They’re doing it even worse now

credit cardDo NOT be shocked or surprised if a charge card triples your interest rates. Because of the bad situation in finance, B of A, Capital One among others have started to hammer even their ‘best customers’ who’ve never paid late, never skipped etc, with HUGE interest rate hikes.

I heard this on the ABC news at about 2:30 AM this morning.

I know they’ve done this before, but this is even worse to me, because you don’t even have to be late, or delinquent on anything.

One man on the news said he did not even know they’d done this until he looked at his statement online.

I thought of all of us, and if any of mine do that to me, I am letting them all whistle for their darn money. I’ll let them sell it off and just deal with it if it happens. It’s even scarier than before because the financial houses will try to recoup their losses they got this year by coming after cardholders bigger than ever.