Ask The Get Out of Debt Experts Budgeting & Budgets

I Feel Like I Just Threw a Bunch of Money Away. – Donnie

“Dear Steve,

I had written to you a while back but could not find my original so am writing again. i am struggling really hard, i went from having no credit cards until 1999 to having too many, never made a late pmt. but because i was no longer working, disabled, started getting credit cards to live on. in 03, after selling everything i could just to pay minium pmts., i filed chapter 7 bankruptcy with the help of a paralegal and all were dismissed but somehow, ended up doing the same thing again. i’d like to think i’m not stupid but i sure feel like it now, i have over 10,000 in credit card debt, am barely making the minimum pmts. and finance charges are so high, balances are barely coming down. my dream is to not use them anymore, pay them down by 2013 when my bankruptcy comes off my credit report BUT, on the income i have, i don’t see a way. what happens if i just stop making my pmts. all together? i am living in affordable housing as of just last month, have no assets but a 20 yr. old car. i ‘just’ paid this months bills, never late as always but have no money and i see balances coming down maybe 30.00 on each. i kind of feel like i just threw a bunch of money away. thanks.

After reading my background, what would ‘you’ do in this situation?


Dear Donnie,

So sorry to hear about the cycle you are in. The easy advice would be just to say stop spending money you don’t have. I have a few questions that I’d like for you to answer in the comments section below.

What keeps drawing you back into this cycle?

What kind of stuff do you spend money on that lands on the cards?

What do you do for a living?

Are you underpaid for what you do?

READ  I Need to Get Out of Debt But Not Let My Husband Know. It Needs to be a Secret. - Karen

Do you have a lot of stress in your life?

Do others consider you to be depressed?

Do you have any kind of emergency fund or savings account at all?

Stopping payments really isn’t an option here. The last thing I’d want to see is for you to be sued, lose and have your wages garnished. Let’s see if we can’t get you headed on the right path.


You are not alone. I'm here to help. There is no need to suffer in silence. We can get through this. Tomorrow can be better than today. Don't give up.

About the author

Steve Rhode

Steve Rhode is the Get Out of Debt Guy and has been helping good people with bad debt problems since 1994. You can learn more about Steve, here.


  • hi steve, i am down to two options as i see it, i am not sleeping at all, just got up at 5 p.m.
    1. stop paying cards
    2. bankruptcy
    my question: i filed chapter 7 b/r in 03 so how long before i can do it again?
    if i stop paying my credit cards, can they sue me, put me in jail, what can they do and yes, i could handle any phone call. just want to know what to expect. thanks.

  • hi steve, if i was able to get a new loan of enough to pay off these cards and have ‘one’ pmt. of 200. and i could actually see that the balance is coming down, i would still have enough to live on. before 99, and becoming disabled i didn’t have ‘ANY’ credit cards and life was fine. i learned my lesson, cut up the cards, just need someone to look at my credit report, see that i make all my pmts. and on time and give me a loan. is this possible, i tried when i first wrote to you, based on the numbers i gave them it was a ‘no’….thanks.

  • hi steve and thanks, i am the most depressed i ever remember being right now, i cannot take antidpressents, have tried them all and am in the few that they just don’t help. i take a med. for panic attacks when needed, i honestly believe if someone would trust me, look at my credit report and see that i have never even been late on a pmt., pay off those cards and let me pay the loan back at 200./mo, i could do it. my rent here is very low now. what do you think? thanks.

    • Donnie,

      One place you could try for a unsecured fixed rate debt consolidation loan would be but I don’t think it will solve your cycle of debt.

      If you have no assets and living on benefits alone you might just find that you might want to stop paying your creditors and when they sue you and get a judgment you would not have any funds for them to garnish.

      My concern is that any new loan is going to leave you still behind the curve each month and it will leave you right back where you are now. But can you handle collection activity, which might even be nasty at times?


  • my disability is severe depression, panic/anxiety disorder, a few other things. with approx. 10,000. debt. there no company that would let me do debt consolidation if i could make a mo. pmt. of 250.00, i have ‘never’ made a late pmt. my intentions are good and i want to pay my bills off.

    • Donnie,

      I thought it might be. So what we have here is a situation where your mental health issues are not allowing you to earn more money and you’ve supplemented the shortage using credit. The cycle is apparently continuing. You need to know for many money problems are not about the money, the debt is the symptom of an unresolved underlying issue.

      The first thing we need to concentrate on is if your depression and panic disorder is under control. Is it? Is it still a problem for you?


  • steve, wow, i felt sick just reading that response from you. i worked from 72 until 99, have been on disability since that time. i make less than 900/mo to pay everything so use credit cards for neccesities, they add up quick. my cards range from 600. bal. to 2800. i have no savings acct. and i worry because my car is 21 yrs. old, i live alone and have only myself to rely on. so, what can i do, before you said if i could handle the phone calls, to stop paying, now, not at all sure what to do. thanks.

Leave a Comment

Scroll to Top