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Story 181 for Stupid Tax
Riches to Rags and Back Again!
Original story submitted by amy sue
on July 11, 2012
Location:minnesota
Age: 35-44
Gender: female
on July 11, 2012
Riches to Rags and Back Again!
I'd never would've thought 30 would be the end of my financial security. Growing up I had always had money and knew how to save. I was 26 and had 20k in the bank. Then it happened... I bought a fixer-uppper house and helped purchase an apartment complex with my parents. (subsequently I was bought out 6 yrs later by my parents.) Till I found myself strapped! To add misery to my already strapped lifestyle. I met a guy who was slick and used his charm to swindle money away from me in the form of CREDIT CARD DEBT, with the promise to pay me back. Our friendship lasted 3 yrs and ended when the bank started sending me forclosure notices. (I was 3 months behind) When I woke up, my dreamhouse that I fought so hard for was about to slip away. It hasn't been easy knowing that people can't always be trusted. Currently I've paid off 3 of the 5 credit cards and my mortgage payments are caught up and I'm on baby steps 1 & 2, tho the emergency fund is always being depleted as quickly as it's filled. But it's given me the excuse to start saving again and helped me get my life back on track.
22 of 22 found this story helpful.
4.7 out of 5
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Story 182 for Stupid Tax
Filling the void
Original story submitted by Lorin
on July 11, 2012
Location:Long Island, NY
Age: over 55
Gender: female
on July 11, 2012
Filling the void
How do I start a story about greed and stupidity? Where does it start? Go back to the point where I started filling the void with 'things'. And as the void grew, the size of the 'things' grew. But the void was never filled. I work as the Director of a homeless shelter in NYC. I am well paid, with a salary that should take care of me for life. But the void was huge. My world was the shelter. Stuck in a government job, with no real fulfillment in what I did left a void. No family and no relationships, just the job. And the void grew. There came a point where three children from my shelter were freed for adoption as their mother had abandoned them. I had gotten to know them and care about them so I agreed to take them into my home. All my focus became these three very very troubled children. The Courts agreed to allow them to move with me but stated that due to the fighting I had to have a home with separate bedrooms for each of them. And so it began. All of a sudden what I had had as a child I wanted for them. I bought a house on the beach with a bedroom for each. The mortgage company was happy to give me a mortgage that I could never afford. And I convinced myself that moving out of state to a better educational system would be best for them even if I did have to commute 4 hours a day. (2 each way) And even if I had to pay extra taxes, and even if I paid $600 a month in tolls, and even if I had to buy a new car (on credit) and even if I lived in a behemoth that sucked 1300 a month in utilities and my taxes were 10 grand a year and even if flood and homeowners was 12 grand a year. I was determined to give these kids everything they had never had. I had convinced myself that as the kids graduated from college they would each get a job and contribute to the home costs. At first I was very good at keeping up with the mortgage and other bills, even paid ahead. Credit cards came in by the dozens. But then the heating system went and I dipped into the cards. The kids needed computers, I dipped into my pension. A small trip for them and me, I dipped again into the cards. And on and on. Let's skip to the end of the story. Two kids are in jail, one has moved out. I was alone in huge house, had maxed out all my cards, borrowed all I could against my pension to keep the payments up and the value of my house had dropped from 370,000 to 190,000. I had hit the wall. Then hurricane Irene hit and I found out I was underinsured with flood. No repairs. Lost the heating system, electrical and hot water heater. The value of my house drops again. You reach a point where there is nothing else to do. I called a short sale realtor. My first bit of luck was finding a realtor that was not a scam artist. She told me I had to file bankruptcy before I sell the house. And so, I moved out of my unlivable house into a rental in Long Island. Because of my bad credit and my dog, I had to give the land lord 6 months rent and 3 months deposit. I moved the first load of 'things' into the rental and returned to NJ to pick up the second load. When I returned to Long Island, all my 'things' were gone. And so ends my story. After 11 years with me I never saw the children again. I live in a rental. Next week I close on my house which sold for 170,000. I purchased the house for 370, put 50 grand in renovations (curse you HGTV!), I owe 39 grand to my pension, my credit is...well who knows any more. But guess what, I am ok. I have learned that I can live without the 50 inch flat screen, or the ipod, or the ipad, or the computers. I would like my pots and pans though. (yes, they stole my pots and pans). I know the void is back and maybe it will never be filled, but I am careful what I try to fill it with now. I try to fill it with good books, good friends, and peace.
38 of 38 found this story helpful.
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Story 183 for Stupid Tax
Stupid Stupid Stupid
Original story submitted by Chappy
on June 25, 2012
Location:Michigan
Age: 35-44
Gender: male
on June 25, 2012
Stupid Stupid Stupid
I am still paying on my stupid tax and and will be for a long time.
My stupid tax is largely based on poor decisions, but is also due to a lack of planning on my parents part. The idea of planning for college was never on my parents radar. Their idea of planning was me getting a college scholarship or something. That didn't happen. The backup plan is they would somehow cover whatever student loans did not cover. Then my mom lost her job, so that was out the window. Now I was stuck with little help from my parents and going through school on student loans. To supplement my spending I signed up for those credit card offers that were all over campus.
Now fast forward 15 years and now I have 60K in student loan debt, 30K in credit card debt, and had to take out another 12K in student loans to return to school to renew my teaching certificate.
Currently, the lack of planning by my parents, my stupid decisions and life have combined to have me 100K in debt and living in my parents house at age 35 while working as a substitute teacher and athletic official.
Stupid me has a LONG way to go making 20K per year or so.
25 of 68 found this story helpful.
1.3 out of 5
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Story 184 for Stupid Tax
Snake bite!, Bit by a waking snake
Original story submitted by mike
on June 25, 2012
Location:Prince George B.C.
Age: 45-55
Gender: male
on June 25, 2012
Snake bite!, Bit by a waking snake
My brother told me story, Altough i have done my share of stupid i would have been too embarrassed to tell this one. My brother picked up an item at Home Depot and while at the check out he was informed that if he were to pay with the Home Depot credit card (He would no payment or intrest for a whole year on purchases over $400.00). About a year later while he was out hunting deer realized that a year passed since the purchace, The snake woke up and bit him good like 29.9% good. The dumb part is he could of paid for the item out of his checking account. I didn't ask my brother if got his deer but we do know that Home Depot got their buck.
28 of 28 found this story helpful.
4.8 out of 5
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Story 185 for Stupid Tax
Never Borrow from your 401K-!! NEVER NEVER NEVER
Original story submitted by LadyKermit
on June 20, 2012
Location:Austin, Texas
Age: 35-44
Gender: female
on June 20, 2012
Never Borrow from your 401K-!! NEVER NEVER NEVER
Wow, did I make a mistake, not only did I borrow 4,000 from my 401K to pay off debt (robbing Peter to pay Paul as it were). The job became intolerable so I had to leave after only paying off 1000.00 of it. So now, all of a sudden, I have to pay back every penny of the 4180.00 (you didn't think it had tax, but oh you would be wrong!! ) so I didn't have an emergency fund so I had to borrow it from my parents in 2008, and finally finished paying them off in 2011. I can tell you from bitter experience. Everything is tainted when you borrow money from your parents, you feel like you have to justify every single thing you buy that isn't paying them back.. Trust me, don't borrow from your 401K!! In better news, after going to see Dave Ramsey live in April, I have been listening to the show daily for inspiration and working on the budget, working lots of overtime at my current job, so after, 3 months, I have 1000.00 in my EF.. so it gets better!! Keep it up!
20 of 22 found this story helpful.
4.4 out of 5
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Story 186 for Stupid Tax
Cashing your friend's check...NEVER again!
Original story submitted by Aimee
on June 12, 2012
on June 12, 2012
Cashing your friend's check...NEVER again!
Oh boy...what did I get myself into? I had money in my savings. One day my close friend asked if she could borrow money. First she asked for $300. I thought that loaning $300 wouldn't hurt. After that loan, a week later, she came back and explained she was trying to buy a car for work transportation. She showed me her 4 checks of $1250. She explained her bank do not allow her to withdraw more than $1250. What did I do? I fell for that. I took her checks and went to my banks and changed those checks into cash. My bank did verify those checks legal so I thought I was good. Like still keeping my money in my same account. No. I got quite a huge panic attack two weeks later after receiving a formal letter from my friend's bank explaining she had no money in her account and because I cashed her checks, her bank had authority to investigate and discovered I had plenty of money in my bank. So what did my friend's bank do? Her bank TOOK ALL my savings of $9500 (yes penalty fees plus fraud fees!!!). I called my bank and complained why my friend's bank had such an authority? They said they have no right to block my friend's bank due to some policy and law so banks do not chase after frauds...they only chase after people who HAVE money in accounts. The results? It is ME that have to swallow the HUGE loss and since this happened two years ago, my friend has been avoiding me to pay me back. I'm considering filing felony crime against her but that would throw her off her teaching career. It's a felony to take my money! OR...I need to accept the HUGE loss and move on...it's been two years and I'm struggling...to pay off my debts and all. Am I ever going to loan $50 or $1k to any friends or family members? No. Never. Not again. If I earn my money, it's MINE to keep and do what I pleased!!! As for my friend, shame on her!
81 of 93 found this story helpful.
3.4 out of 5
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Story 187 for Stupid Tax
Started a Business
Original story submitted by Bella
on June 12, 2012
Location:Franklin, TN
Age: 45-55
Gender: female
on June 12, 2012
Started a Business
Images for this Story
In the thick of it - getting on board with Dave Ramsey
In the thick of it - getting on board with Dave Ramsey
We have the saying posted everywhere! "Live like no one else so you can live like no one else." And we are driven to become debt free. After job loss and being diagnosed with breast cancer, and job loss, we finally landed here in TN.
We faced loosing our retirement home we built in GA. Left it with renters and came here to work. Well, once our church got us hooked up with Dave, we saw some light at the end of the tunnel. Brought our four walls in and began to save and reduce our debt. So we thought.
Our big TAX mistake, because we DID end up letting the house go was the fact of not having a big deduction on our taxes as we always had and we had started a painting business (LLC) but were sticking to the theory of giving Uncle Sam minimul, keeping as much in the immediate pile to live day to day. Come tax time, it blew up. The look on my face when the CPA told us we owed 7k and then over 4k to them for figuring it all out, about sent me out of remission. We now have two more debts to pay off cause the emergency fund wasn't big enough at the time and money doesn't grow on trees.
Lesson learned - although on the personal tax side, we want to have as much as we can in our immediate basket - business wise - it is NOT the same, especially here in TN. We should have done more homework. We know now. We would never blame Dave for that advise, just kick ourselves in the butts for NOT doing the homework as Dave tells us over and over again in his series. We are moving on and working to be debt free still. P.S., I am still in remission too! Brenda
10 of 12 found this story helpful.
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Story 188 for Stupid Tax
Never cosign another's loan, never!
Original story submitted by Conchita
on June 2, 2012
Location:NE Colorado
Age: 45-55
Gender: female
on June 2, 2012
Never cosign another's loan, never!
An extended member of the family desperately wanted to go back to school, as a father of 5 he needed a better career. We stupidly cosigned his student loans for a year of college, thinking it would be less than $10K for a year, right? He even lived with us rent free for a year while his family lived in another state. Later we discover he had asked for money to support his family for a whole year. Total borrowed that we cosigned for, over $32K! Gulp. Three years later we find out he never made a payment on the loans, kept deferring them, interest accumulating, and suddenly we are being asked to pay almost $43K for his student loans. Talk about stupid tax! He was injured right about that time, unable to work and now we are out over $300 a month and have paid on the bills for 4+ years and now are down to owing $38K. I'll be on social security and still paying on his loans many years from now! Never cosign a loan for anyone!!!
67 of 70 found this story helpful.
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Story 189 for Stupid Tax
Make sure your college is accredited!
Original story submitted by Lori
on June 1, 2012
Location:Houston
Age: 45-55
Gender: female
on June 1, 2012
Make sure your college is accredited!
I am a college professor, and see students going deeply in debt all the time. I would like to offer a story of one of my former students.
This student, a self-supporting adult female, about age 50, decided to "better" herself, and obtain a degree as a "certified" medical assistant from a for profit school. Before starting school this woman was debt free, not owing a car (she walked to work). While not rich, she did everything she was supposed to do, by living within her means. The college recruiters seduced her with the promise of a better paying job and work environment. Making it easy for her to obtain her "financial-aid", which was NOT a grant, is just one of the "services' they offered. At the start of every semester she was given her loan money on a "debit" card, which every time she used it cost her an additional $5.00. You see many low income folks don't have bank accounts, so opt for the the "debit" cards in place of direct bank deposit. Yes, she was charged interest on her loan AND a fee for every time she used her debit card! To make a long story short, the school (non-accredited) closed 1 semester short of her proposed graduation. Because the school is non accredited, her credits will not transfer, so she left with no marketable degree, having to start her education over. Oh, and yes, she is now $25,000 in debt, not counting the car she bought. I met her when she took my class at an accredited college. I realy do admire her, she's still trying her college degree, working full-time to pay off the debt and by paying cash for her new degree.
Moral of the story, if you go to college, make sure it is accredited (research the accreditation online). Do not consider a college if the school is not accredited!
31 of 31 found this story helpful.
4.8 out of 5
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Story 190 for Stupid Tax
10-15k Over the Price of the Car
Original story submitted by Maigahane
on May 30, 2012
Location:Nebraska
Age: 25-34
Gender: female
on May 30, 2012
10-15k Over the Price of the Car
This is just one of the stupid taxes my husband and I have paid. 5 years ago my husband's 12 year old car with around 175k miles died to the point it wasn't worth fixing (it needed a couple thousand dollars worth of work to just get it running). He had driven it from age 16 to 22 and I knew that with his next car he would drive it until it died of old age too so I agreed to let him buy the car he wanted brand new. I'm still okay with that part of the decision since 5 years later he's still planning on driving it for at least another 5 years (as long as it holds up).
However, being young, naive, and just plain stupid we let ourselves get majorly conned at the dealership. I think even before the interest we paid nearly 10k over the base price of the car for "warrantees" and prepaying oil changes for 75k miles and other stupid stuff like that. I don't think we still have the original paperwork but when we refinanced 6 months later (after making double payments for a couple of those months) we still had to get a loan for 4-5k over the base price.
IN ADDITION we got a 6 year loan at a ridiculous interst rate given our good credit scores (something like 8.5% in late 2007). When we refi'd 6 months later we dropped to a more reasonable 6.25% but STILL did another 6 year loan since we decided we also needed to buy a house and wanted a lower monthly car payment so we could get approved for a mortgage...
We're within a couple of months of paying this off, almost exactly 5 years after buying the car, cutting off 1.5 years from our current loan by throwing money at it over the last year. I can't wait to add that $500/month to our debt snowball. Between paying close to 10k too much for the car and over 5k in interest we paid WAY too much for his car.
27 of 28 found this story helpful.
4.2 out of 5
rated 4.2 by 13 people
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