You need to ignore the interest rates for now and just look at your balances. List all your debts smallest to largest. Pay minimums on everything but the littlest one. Throw everything you have at the little one and get it gone. Then move onto the next one on the list and throw all you have at that. As your pay off small debts your snowball (what you have to throw at it will grow and you will gain momentum.
ie.. MC mim. payment %25 Snowball $50… total payment is $75
WHen MC is paid off that $75 total is now added to the $25 min you were paying on your Visa. For a payment of $100.. .Then that is paid off the $100 is added to the Discover $50 minimum for a payment of $150 etc…
You will also want to really look at the budget and lifestyle choices and see if you can make some cuts that will increase what you have to throw at debt. It may mean selling some things, cutting out cable or smart phone plans etc… It may mean cutting your grocery budget to bare bones and eating more economical meals for a while.
It could also mean that someone in the home gets a part time 2nd job to throw the money at the debt (or perhaps to take care of that dental work that needs to be done so that you can do it without adding debt and still making headway on exhisting debt).
Again, pay things off smallest to largest (not including mortgage).
Once that is done focus on increaseing your retirement savings (seen a lot of folks loose pensions and companies decide to stop doing them, including my dh, so don’t count on it being there).
Then save up 3-6 months of living expenses… Then focus on college.
If all you can do is help a little, then help a little. We were only able to give our son a total of $20,000 for college. It wasn’t much but it was what we figured we could afford. Our greatest gift to our son is that we be debt free and have financial integrety going into retirement, so that he not have to worry about us being able to pay bills, keep heat on or pay for medications or doctor bills.
Then focus on paying off the house early.
This is what worked for us. We are now debt free with only a mortgage left. Paid cash for my car (used), The college funding is done, we save 15% into retirement accounts, Have a 4 month and growing emergency fund, are saving for things like attending our son’s wedding in the spring, rehearsal dinner etc… home repairs (new roof etc…) and a new to us paid for car (which we shouldn’t need for another 5 years or so. We also are paying extra towards principal to lower the term on our mortgage. It will be paid off before retirement.
We don’t make much. Dh answers phones working in customer service. I work retail for $9 an hour, averaging 30 hours a week.