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Compulsive Crazy Buying & Financial Disasters


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How much has BP affected your finances?? I am in over $70,000 in CC debt. I cannot believe I let myself get to this point. Not only do I have this debt, but I lost another job (this one was only temp) because I have problems with concentration & focus likely due to ADHD.

Currently on Focalin XR, Neurontin, Prozac (80MG day), Xanax & Ambien (which I only take when I feel really anxious).

I spent years buying clothes & more clothes such that I have a studio apartment which is filled almost to the ceiling with bags & bags of clothes.

What is worse is wondering I let myself get to this point. I was depressed for years & never got diagnosed. Prescribed Prozac in Dec 2006 which made the depression go away. Dose was increased, but it sent me manic and worsened the buying sprees. Ritalin, then Adderall now Neurontin & Focalin with the Prozac. My mood is stabilized although sometimes I feel like in a fog emotionless.

I hope I can get another job soon. I have an interview set up for Thursday at a company for a good position. I already passed the phone interview and meeting with the same person.

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Also, if you haven't cut up your cards, do so immediately. If you haven't done it already, make an appointment with a non-profit credit counseling service and get their help in addressing this problem. They can consolidate the debt and talk to your creditors about payments.

The counselors can also help you set up a budget. Assuming you get the job, a budget will be a start on your way back to being fiscally responsible.

I think Karuna's idea about selling some of that stuff on eBay is a good one. If you do that, use the money to pay off some of your debt.

It's a hard thing to get a handle on, but I bet you can do it. Good luck!

olga

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OMG - could I have written your post - the bottom fell out when a nasty collections agency attached my bank account (meaning, it was frozen - I could not get to any cash whatsoever)...by this time, all of my credit cards were in default, so there was no using them anyway. If the roof over my head hadn't been paid for by someone else (thank you millionaire exBF), I'd've been assed out on the street. I stopped opening the mail bc it was too scary.

And yet, up until my bank account was frozen, I couldn't stop buying clothes. When my hubby met me, you couldn't even open the front door to my apartment bc there was so much stuff in it.

Olga's advice is awesome - cut up the cards and call the creditors and ask them to suspend charging priveleges on your accounts. Do NOT close the accounts...this will reflect badly on your credit. Dealing with the debt counselors is helpful, but you have to find an incredibly reputable one and you have to find one that will not show up on your credit rating - most of them do these days. You can often do the negotiating yourself with your creditors. Times is hard baby, and they want whatever you can give them - so ask them not to charge you any more interest if you can pay down your current debt...you may be surprised at what they'd agree to.

Karuna's idea is good, but it may be overwhelming for you (it was for me). You have a few options here - there are sell it "centers", where you bring in your items and they do all the work for you - the more work they do, the more of a cut they take, but you get the remaining amount after the item's been sold. What I did is keep a friend of mine in beer and pizza for a while and he took all the pictures of the stuff for me...some of that junk is still in storage (out of sight, out of mind ;) ).

Lastly - getting help from your doctor is paramount - TELL THEM THE TRUTH. You have to tell them everything about the crazy buying, the state your apartment is in, losing the jobs, etc...plus all of the crazy thoughts you have, no matter how embarassing. Allow yourself a few years to dig out from under this - I'm still working on it 6 years later, but it's happening...the good news is that the really big stuff is behind me.

If I can do it, YOU CAN DO IT TOO!

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I was manic some of the time I was in college. I took out all the student loans that were available to me and used the extra for shopping. And then I didn't think I really had to pay them back so my paycheck is attached. The loans did total about $40,000. I was only diagnosed with periodic depression at the time.

I still shop more than I need to but it is much more manageable. I too have bags of clothes, clothes with tags still on them and a variety of other crap cluttering my little apartment.

I have been paying my bills on time and paying off my student loans for the past few years. I should save more money, but I'm much more responsible. The proper diagnosis and learning my own symptoms has really helped.

As for my apartment, I need a clean sweep. ;)

Oreo

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There should be something called a Consumer Credit Counselin Service in your area. This is a truly non-profit that doesn't charge exorbitant fees to help get on a debt management plan.

I was scared to face my finances, but it was so relieving when I finally did. Doesn't mean I'm perfect, by any means. It just feels good knowing that if I keep paying what I'm paying and don't charge anymore I can have everything except my student loans (which are currently deferred due to crazy) paid off in 3 years.

If you can get connected to county mental health services, they might be able to help you have a case manager to quite literally help you sort some stuff out.

Somebody else posted it somewhere else, but I've also been following along as best I can with flylady.net as a system for cleaning my house. Her basic premise is that we can all do something for 15 minutes a day.

Peace,

Wooster

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I sure do feel for you. In 2001 I filed for bankruptcy after I got my manic self in about 70,000 bucks in debt. I swore never again. Last year I was finally able to buy a house, a car, and get credit cards again. Mistake. HUGE mistake. After my gastric bypass in June, I got manic (I found out later that Seroquel is only about 50% absorbed by my new system--I had to double it). I spent 20,000 bucks in a month, am in default on all my cards (cut them up), and am 3 mos behind on my mortgage.

Unfortunately, the new bankruptcy laws prohibit me from filing again. I am so angry and guilty, it really weighs on me. Tax money, and my yearly bonus will get the house and the car caught up, thank God.

Anyhoo, depending on your income, you may be able to file bankruptcy, if that's the way you want to go. Best of luck.

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Do NOT close the accounts...this will reflect badly on your credit.

Y'know, there was a time I cared about credit. Then I blew my credit cards out the water, declared bankruptcy...and didn't care.

If someone's in $70K of CC debt credit's NOT a concern. It's shot. Useless. They don't need it, don't want it, shouldn't have it. Period. After bankruptcy I didn't want it. didn't need it. Only got a card as a what-the-hell they gave it to me thing. Quite useful for online stuff. You know--donate to Republicn campaign type things. Or buying Legos on eBay.

At $70K in debt a few years of NO credit is healthy. Chop that shit up, close it, declare bankruptcy, default, whatever, GET OUT however you can. Repay what you can, however, just find a way out. Credit is an option. NOT a necsessity, at this point, unless you NEED it to get a place to live. Which means the hustling better start.

Good news: I got a card, no income, no strings, only a couple years after bankruptcy so there IS hope for your crdit. Just got a second one. (Yes I now have control) It is possible to climb out of the hole. Of course, I DID declare bankruptcy back when...

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