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Living on a Budget, Saving Money/use credit card or savings


QUESTION: My husband and I have over 1000 dollars in credit card debt and $800 in savings. We are both retired and our income is about $1400 a month.  Problemis, i work pt and just got paid $164.  This coming week I have two dr visits  one is a co pay of $35 ( i get paid every 2 weeks and then our social security checks come in on the 3rd and we pay our bills with that)
The other bill is $45 and we have to make the $164 last 2 wks.our other needs are like food n gas for the cars this next week
i have a 35 copay and $45
should i pay my copays with my credit card and or savings

ANSWER: Thank you for your question.  In order to assist, I have a few questions:

1) Is there absolutely anything left over after social security after must needs are met?
2) Do you use your part time income for must needs or only extras or entertainment?
3) What is your credit card interest rate?
4) How much do you pay towards your credit card each month, and how often/how much do you usually charge to it?

Thank you so much!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: 1) Yes when we get our social security checks we can pay the copays this much  i am in a tempoary pickle because i didnt balance my checkbook correctly this month which means I'm off on my copays

2) both but mainly entertainment

3) i don't know

4) i have about four credit cards and i pay the minimum each month which is $25
the last time we used it, we spent $100

Great, thank you.

Here are my thoughts.  They consider things outside of your two options, but ethically it is what I would suggest.  You could consider:

1) Paying the $35 with you check that you receive from part time pay.
2) Paying the $45 from savings.
3) you didn't ask, but just some thoughts since you are paying the minimum amount due only.... See #4 & 5
4) Commit to paying an additional $20 per month on top of what you already pay to your card balance.
5) Commit to saving an additional $20 per month to your savings on top of what you might already pay.

Between saving $20 and paying your card an extra $20, it breaks down to $10 per week between the two.

An idea could be to put the $5 per week for savings in a jar and deposit it once a month.  And pay the extra $5 per week online to your card (if you pay online), on the same day each week.

Paying an additional $20 per month on top of the minimum due each month (with no extra charges) can cut 10-15 years off of the time it would take to pay it off. :-)

Thank you so much for the question and I will be sending good thoughts your way this week!  


Living on a Budget, Saving Money

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Meghan Cross


I can answer questions related to financial management as it related to everything but specific-financial investments/trading. I also answer questions or help guide people to answering my questions to them, about how to explore their relationships with money.


I coach individuals in exploring their relationships with money and in reorganizing their financials to include income, debt, and their personal spending and savings plans. For eighteen years, as an accountant, I have worked with small and mid-sized business owners in their accounting and budget management processes.

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