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We Had to Charge Some of Our Daily Expenses to Get By. – Tracey

“Dear Steve,

My husband and I have over $65,000 in credit card debt. We have to charge some monthly payments, such as insurance, and all of our daily expenses so that we can pay all of our bills on time.

This, of course, just makes the credit card bills continue to go up. Bankruptcy is not an option because I hold a Government security clearance that is required for my job, and I’ll lose it if I declare bankruptcy.

Do we have any options?


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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.
  • Bill Pratt

    There are two sides to your equation, income and expenses. First, look for any expenses that can be reduced (cable, subscriptions, etc.), then look for any extrra money (savings, mature treasury bonds) to see if you can knock out a debt. Any luxuries you now enjoy (gourmet coffee, eating out) can be temporarily suspended. Contact your credit card companies and ask if rates can be reduced for you, even if just for six months, to lower your payments.

    Normally it makes sense to pay off the smallest debt first, but you may instead want to focus on one that will free up more money, such as a car payment. You may have to sell a car if it is too expensive as well.

    Finally, one or both of you may need extra income, such as part-time work. It will be uncomfortable for a short period of time, but you can get through it with some sacrifices. Remember, don’t make excuses for why you need something (I have to have 200 cable channels or a Mercedes to impress clients, etc.), instead look for opportunities to improve your situation.

    Bill Pratt
    Author of The Graduate’s Guide to Life and Money and
    Extra Credit: The 7 Things Every College Student Needs to Know About Credit, Debt & Ca$h

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