Re: Unknown credit card debt
Paying off the debt by selling the home will only be a bandaid, if the core problems for the debt aren't dealt with.
Mr. IMFAR and I have been in debt twice. The first time we paid it off by cashing out some investments (that we had never intended to cash out) to pay off the debt. We didn't get on a budget, or have a plan, so debt rose again, and this time I put my foot down and refused to cash out what was left of my inheritance. We put ourselves on a strict budget and are $4K from paying it off, which should take 5 months at the rate we have been going. Then we have agreed to never have debt again (except a mortgage.)
I'm not a financial planner, but this is what worked for us:
1. You both have to be 100% honest and on the same page regarding finances.
2. Make a budget of all the costs you have, or will have, including what you can afford to allow yourselves for "mad" money (coffee, etc.) You each have your own "mad" money. Never spend $ you have not budgeted for. All excess $ goes toward paying off debt.
3. If you have run out of money for a certain category in your budget, then you can spend no more until the next budget cycle.
4. Cut up all but one credit card, and use it only for bills that must be paid using a credit card. Pay the card with the $ you have set aside in your budget for that bill.
5. After the debt is paid, you can begin to set aside $ for things like car, vacation, new house, etc.
6. Never buy something unless you have already saved the $ to pay for it. If you have to use a card (i.e. vacation) then pay off the card with the $ you pre-saved for the vacation.
**The idea is that without a budget, people will spend all they have, and then some, no matter how much they make. That is exactly what we did. You have to designate where all your money will go, so the $ isn't spent frivolously, and never, ever, use a credit card unless you have set aside the cash to pay it off in full that month.
We learned all these principals from Dave Ramsey. You will find his program called Financial Peace University online. It works. If we had learned this in our 20's we would be millionaires with no debt by now.
If your wife still owes $7K on her car, perhaps she needs to sell it, and buy a less expensive car, and use the excess cash towards other debts. Is there anything else either of you can sell, of value to pay the debts.
By no means move, or take a lower paying job until the debt problem has been dealt with.