The Polyamorous Misanthrope
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What is Polyamory?
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Polyamory for the Practical
Save on Debt Costs for the Poly Family
If your family's unsecured debt is more than 5% of the family income, the time
has come to cut your cards. Now. No, you cannot cry,
whine, insist you need
credit cards for emergencies, try to
weasel out of it by insisting you need a credit card to be able to rent a car
(you don't). Just go get the scissors, (but make sure you don't use
scissors, or you're courting a
death wish), cut ALL the cards into tiny bits, throw them into a nice bonfire
and walk away. I assure you you'll feel much better in the morning.
Before we go any further, I want to talk a little bit about unsecured debt.
Mortgages and car loans aren't what we're talking about here. Those
debts. If you default on them and
the company that gave the loan takes the car or the house, the loan is over.
Unsecured debt is something like credit card debt, those horrid personal loans
that charge as much as a credit
card and loans from friends and family.
So, if your family earns more than $50,000 a year and you've got $2,500 or more
in unsecured debt that you cannot pay off in full right now, get rid of your
credit cards. Yes, yes, yes, I am sure you can carry the minimum payments, but
I can tell you right now that minimum payments on a credit card is shooting
yourself in the foot. If you don't believe me, fill out this little
Somewhere in your credit card disclosure statement the card company will
tell you something like "your minimum payment will be 2% of the balance or
whichever is higher. These are the figures you will enter in Column C and
If you are an average American, you probably carry far, far more than 5% of
your income in debt. That's too much debt. You're just
asking for trouble in a
lot of ways -- especially as a poly
It is entirely possible that as a poly family -- especially if you are one that
has kids or any ex-spouses to deal with, you are going to run into legal
trouble. This kind of thing is
expensive. Even if you do not, there are some professions in which
possible for you to lose your job for "sexual impropriety". You
the financial insecurity of relying on
future income to pay unsecured debt. Do yourself a favor and take
care of it
Here's how you do it.
Sit down with your family and total up all the debt.
This may or may not be hard. Show everyone this article and tell
them I said
that no-one can hide any debt here. Polyamory is
based on honesty and money is as intimate as sex in some ways. If
allowed to have affairs, you're not allowed to hide debt. Make a
yourself not to scream at anyone
over any debts that have been incurred -- even when you find out that damned
car stereo was what made your Visa so maxed out that you were embarrassed when
taking a client to lunch. Just
write down the totals, the person or institution to whom it belongs, the
account number, the phone number for customer service and the address where you
send the payments.
Decide on how much to commit to debt repayment.
Make sure that you're being sensible here. Try to keep it around 5%
monthly income. If you can't, make sure you're trimming
the budget somewhere else. Do yourself another favor,
though. Do not, do NOT,
DO NOT cut out your entertainment budget to meet your debts. Reduce
it by a
percent or a percent and a half, if
you want, but if you don't keep most of it, you're going to get out of control
and splurge when you're sick of the Spartan life.
Figure the percentages.
What you're doing here is figuring out what percentage of your total debt
each creditor is claiming. For instance, if you are $17,000 in debt
and you owe
MasterCard $5,600, you divide $5,600 by $17,000 to get 32.9%. So,
you've dedicated $350 a month to debt repayment. That means that
paying MasterCard $115 a month.
Write your creditors.
Once you've finished all that, you need to go ahead and write all your
creditors to let them know you are committed to debt repayment. This
that my family sent out to its creditors. (All numbers, names and
666 Somewhere Drive
Nowhere, NY 00000
Dear Customer Service Representative,
I am writing in regard to the account number (0123-4567-89AB-CDEF) with the
balance of $5,600.
In order to get out of debt and repay all that we owe, we have been working
with a financial counselor. Because we earn $3400.00 per month, and
our rent is
$1200 per month, we have
agreed that we can commit $350 per month to debt repayment.
A balance of $5,600 represents 32.9% of our total debt. This means
that we can
commit to paying $115.00 the fifteenth of every month. As our
situation improves, we will be able
to commit more to debt repayment.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
The Prince, The Beast, The Goddess of Giggle, and The Goddess of Java
Honesty forces me to point out that some creditors are not going to be flexible
about payments. Many will be, but some are going to insist on some
balance. Usually, this is not too
hard to meet. But, you are going to have to trim somewhere in your
make sure you include in that letter the first payment in the amount you
originally stated. This will prove
you are serious. Also, it proves you are making an attempt to
pay. If, God
forbid, you ever have to go to court with this, you will have the fact that you
are committed to repayment on your
side. So do let your actions prove your commitment to repay what you
Do make sure that you are committing some money to savings. Using
credit as a
form of savings is a bad idea, anyway. I know some people like to
credit card with a few thousand on it
as a way to handle emergencies, but it is far better to amass those few
thousand in a savings account that earns you interest. Otherwise,
to spend the rest of your life in a sort
of revolving door debt. Let's face it, emergencies
to crop up from time to time. Do you want to handle them or let
Mommy Visa do
it for you?
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