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    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 26th Oct 06, 4:03 PM
    • 8,109Posts
    • 42,245Thanks
    MSE Martin
    The Debt Free Roll Of Honour
    • #1
    • 26th Oct 06, 4:03 PM
    The Debt Free Roll Of Honour 26th Oct 06 at 4:03 PM
    Update Jan 2018. We started this Debt Free Roll of Honour back in 2006 and since then there have been some fabulously inspiring stories, which you'll see if you read below.

    To read the most recent debt-free announcements click the double arrow above to head to the last page of the discussion

    Back to Martin's original post...


    Welcome to the Debt-Free Roll of Honour.

    This is for Debt-Free Wannabees who are no longer Wannabees.

    Please report

    a. The date of your lightbulb moment
    b. Debts at their highest
    c. Debt-Free Date
    d. Your one perl of wisdom.
    e. Links to the MSE guides that helped you
    f. Which forum threads helped you
    g. And if you had a debt diary on the Debt-Free Wannabe board (DFW), a link to it

    And huge congratulations


    PS Please no one else post - let's keep this a pure record of successes

    PPS Please come back to let us know Debt-free No Longer Wannabes - What they did next" discussion to tell us what you've been up to."

    Past Debt Free No Longer Wannabes (huge congratulations)

    2016 TOTAL: 85

    OxfordGirl, datlex, sentientpoet, austonic, muppets, NJS2016, Bipolar_debt, monz, ab_saver, Money_Muppet , retiredandskint, lambda, Princesssparkle, Onmyway2, Seasidegal58, QuietOne, Willowpop, daveg10, NewcastlePaul, eco farmer, SpekySquarehead, C&S, Gazza1964, naff123, pineconesjay, lsmcal1984, blu3sky, villemo84, mesci, Honeylife, Karma67, timefortea, chocoholic_chick, purpleposting4, dangerpowers, e4rub, starnac, Carviscocker, Fender4, dolly84, Brightspark87, hoglet121, Bored, devon-tony, mrsbee17, Tony_, stekka, Kate_fixing_it, Gladioli, HornetSaver, sistercas, Tiglath, moneycantbuyyouhappiness, RosaBernicia, Catwoman_2015, Baldybear, Muhren, please-let-me-be-lucky, gig11, skilly, heartbreak_star, Frith, CornishMaid, tizerbelle, Ronoir,
    takingcareofthepennies, Mysteek, Sillygal, laura84gr, medusasmummy, depressed_but_determined, Soph86, princess_pea, bookworm262, Hobbes1, glentoran99, NoStrangerToDebt, CapricornLass, Serafine, 2spicy, mc2705, AshB123, koselur, mothernerd, BrandNewStart[/SIZE][/B][/COLOR]

    2015 TOTAL: 115!!

    nannygladys, beckle_82, neuromancer, Alpedro, Aphidgirl, LotsToDo, stewby, Pepperoni, Squarehead76, nonnynonny, danant, DML1954, mrshughes86, Blinky2010s, Rachiedabbler70, Playing with Fire, katy_ann, lexbubbles, diamonds, andy1886, stiltoncheese, looby1975, shofer, Karb, kittypimms, Growurown, Want_to_be_free, crazy_cat_lady, David123456, FinallyGettingFree, malnuman, ShirePiskie, black cat, boring1, kremmen, BlueEyedGirl, antonia86, ice_babe, Apple Crumble, LittleDutchgirl, natsplatnat, her_welshness, dads_albums, supersavor, KONG, HomeAlone, kerryallc71, fredtheguava, xxxJOJOxxx, The Only Girl, uncreative, NeverAgain2, Penny Bridge, boot13t, lemanie, gree0115, cakeforbrains, hydrangea, Cynical Monkey, tripled, ShopaholicNumber1, Lwsi, CrazyKitten, Nargleblast, kirstle99, Polly Wolly Doodle, SMGee, D3P0, MissShoes, kb_soma, Chimping, StrawberryJam132, maria3104, happycrafter, bassitt74, Ratison, GingerFurball, Tammy2, NewlyFrugalMumof3, cottage_retreatist, boucho11, *zippy*, MNM2903, allydowd, joee, Zabki, 7roland8, naughtymonkey, babyplum, NorthernMonkey1, Time to face the music, melwright, Daerve, johnboyinsole, Ali-OK, thewalrussaid, kika, Skinnylatte, fevlo, Seanymph, Smedley, poohbear59, happybunny86, spot3, xxlouisexx56 , Idollic, hannah2010, MrWillyWonka, Getmeoutofdebt, powellypowelly, AlexLK, Laconic, cluckyhen, rising from the ashes, KirstyO

    2014 TOTAL: 92

    2013 TOTAL: 81

    This Forum tip was included in's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Andrea; 12-01-2018 at 12:07 PM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
Page 88
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 3rd Jan 18, 5:12 PM
    • 2,546 Posts
    • 12,145 Thanks
    well done and enjoy living debt free
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/February 2018=795
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • venison
    • By venison 6th Jan 18, 9:29 PM
    • 1,650 Posts
    • 1,761 Thanks
    Have just paid off my final debt which was a cc finally debt free for the first time since God's dog was a puppy. Yipppppeeee
    Quite proud as well having managed this over Christmas
    I am a BG on loans,credit cards and benefits I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly". Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to Any views are mine and not the official line of
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 6th Jan 18, 9:33 PM
    • 50,723 Posts
    • 194,384 Thanks
    Have just paid off my final debt which was a cc finally debt free for the first time since God's dog was a puppy. Yipppppeeee
    Quite proud as well having managed this over Christmas
    Originally posted by venison
    WEll done
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • LucyVP
    • By LucyVP 19th Jan 18, 10:00 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Free thanks to Excel
    a. The date of your lightbulb moment: Jan 2010
    b. Debts at their highest: 187,500 (start of mortgage - Jan 2010)
    c. Debt-Free Date: Oct 2017
    d. Your one perl of wisdom: every year on Jan 1st take an excel, first worksheet put the main plan for the year ahead with three targets for debts, savings and life, on the second worksheet do 12 columns for monthly forecast, income expected, monthly expenses, does it tally with your annual targets? if not what can you do to achieve them? as you go through the year track as much as you can, it was the constant work that helped me achieve my goal.
    • Munchin
    • By Munchin 29th Jan 18, 9:19 AM
    • 2,229 Posts
    • 6,837 Thanks
    Hi, this is my second time on the Debt Free Roll of Honour & hopefully the last . I paid off my debts and then built them up again ...

    a. The date of your lightbulb moment: 2011
    b. Debts at their highest: £10,000
    c. Debt-Free Date: 29 January 2018
    d. Your one pearl of wisdom: Stick at it ...even tiny amounts help. Keep a track of all your spending.
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 29th Jan 18, 9:49 AM
    • 2,546 Posts
    • 12,145 Thanks
    Fantastic news Munchin. You got debt free and your thread is helping others get debt free too
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/February 2018=795
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • Erickem
    • By Erickem 7th Feb 18, 4:20 AM
    • 3 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    An amazing amount to clear in such a short time.
    • bettyruth
    • By bettyruth 10th Feb 18, 9:22 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    Light bulb moment... not being able to sleep for worrying about debts, 2014
    Debts at their highest... £23,500 ( 7 creditors)
    Debt free date...feb 9th 2018!!!!!!!!
    Pearl of wisdom... DO NOT keep money problems to yourself... admiting the debt to my OH was one of the worst parts of the whole thing in a way... he is good with money.and was disapointed that i never told him. I wholly recomend Step Change..they have been so helpful and non judgemental. For me the answer came in a DMP..may not be for everyone, but main thing is to get advice...get help.. good luck everyone..
    I cant describe how amazing being debt free feels... i nevee thought i could do it!
    • caeler
    • By caeler 10th Feb 18, 10:00 PM
    • 1,958 Posts
    • 1,777 Thanks
    I'm a bit late as I've been debt free for some time but wanted to share what helped (mostly this forum!).
    a. The date of your lightbulb moment: 28 Jan 2008
    b. Debts at their highest: approx £16K
    c. Debt-Free Date: Jan 2012
    d. Your one pearl of wisdom: Do a realistic budget using the SOA and stick to it. Log all expenditure, every penny so you know where your money is going. See money saving as an every day challenge and aim to spend less of every day!
    e. Links to the MSE guides that helped you:

    I really enjoyed the support of the debt free wannabe forum, 'no spend days', saving challenges as well as generally using the MSE guides on utilities, council tax checker, phone and broadband, insurance guides et al.
    Like a diet, being debt free is a lifestyle choice. Everything I learned from the website/forum and its members I still do today. I scour mysupermarket for prices before I step foot in a grocery shop, I use MSE energy club to look for tariffs, I use charity shops, I buy basics and second hand, I research for weeks before big purchases and I always look for discounts.
    MFW | DF| NSD Fan | LC
    • LalalaLindy
    • By LalalaLindy 11th Feb 18, 5:19 PM
    • 50 Posts
    • 500 Thanks

    Iím slightly late in posting this as our final payment was in October 2017, but I wanted to make sure we got through Christmas unscathed.

    My lightbulb moment was 23/09/13. We werenít massively in debt (£3000 - Iím not including the mortgage) but Iím not able to work now and we were getting further and further into debt as our spending was uncontrolled and we didnít know the first thing about managing money.

    We were actually out of debt within 12 months of joining MSE and following all the great advice on here about SOA and budgeting etc, but we had no savings and took out a couple of 0% credit card deals to pay for emergencies and repairs. Finally we are now clear of debts and have a small emergency buffer. Our windows need replacing at the moment but we are doing them one at a time as we save up enough money for each one. I am not prepared to go back into debt for this.

    This whole site has been completely invaluable to us and I sing itís praises to everyone. Weíve saved a fortune through the cheap energy club and used the advice on credit card deals to save money on our emergencies and repairs. The forums and members have been life savers. Iíve mostly just read rather than participating, but the advice on them all has been amazing and we wouldnít be where we are without all of you.

    It is wonderful to be able to feel back in control of our lives. Thank you all
    JAN GC: £409.00/£390 + 10 NSD
    FEB GC: £383.40/£390 + 9 NSD

    LBM 23/09/13 - DFD 08/10/17
    • sproggi
    • By sproggi 13th Feb 18, 11:55 AM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 6,370 Thanks
    Lightbulb moment: September 2005
    Debts at their highest: £54,000
    Debt-free date: May 2017
    Boards that helped me: Debt-free wannabe and Old style

    After years of struggling with debt, I saw a mention of MSE on another website and decided to look into it. I started out reading the debt-free wannabe board and suddenly it hit me, I was reading about my life! The credit cards, the loans, consolidation, changes in circumstances, spending to ease depression, more debt causing depression. My lightbulb moment came and I felt sick but determined.

    At first I tried snowballing, but another change in circumstances made that impossible with the amount owed, so I turned to cccs/stepchange and started a dmp and 11 years later (with a few bumps in the road) I was finally debt free.

    Fast forward 9 months and, for the first time ever, I have just paid a years car insurance up front in one go, such a simple thing, but a great feeling (made even better by using MSE guides to cut it by nearly half ).

    I still love attempting some of the challenges on the Debt-free and Old style boards (not always successfully ), I find that they have refocused my mind from spending to saving and make it fun.

    A massive thank you to everyone on MSE.
    And to the person that posted about MSE several times on the Gene's site in 2004/5 (I am sorry, I cannot remember their name), I cannot thank you enough for guiding me here

    'We can get over being poor, but it takes longer to get over being ignorant'
    Jane Sequichie Hifler
    Beware of little expenses.A small leak will sink a great ship
    Benjamin Franklin
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 13th Feb 18, 7:32 PM
    • 50,723 Posts
    • 194,384 Thanks
    Fantastic sproggi.
    Pleased for you.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • Walaboobah
    • By Walaboobah 20th Feb 18, 4:53 PM
    • 286 Posts
    • 209 Thanks
    Lightbulb moment: September 2012
    Debts at their highest: £29,000
    Debt-free date: Feb 2018
    Boards that helped me: Debt-free wannabe / Debt Free Diaries

    The feeling of being constantly in debt is now at an end as I have just made the final payment that covers my Halifax Credit Card where the balance once stood at £11,000.

    The lightbulb moment happened when my partner found a credit card bill with the above balance on it (she had no idea we owed that much), we had been borrowing from Peter to pay Paul pretty much since we got married (around 20 years), yes we never missed out on holidays and getting new cars and things for the house but it meant that over time the debt kept growing. A couple of times we took out a consolidation loan but still kept using the cards so things just spiralled out of control

    Being in debt is a horrible feeling, you get paid and all the pay does is cover your overdraft(s).

    Considered Snowballing but really didn't think we were strong enough to stick with it and it would simply keep spiralling so we went down the DMP route with CCCS, which later became StepChange.

    First thing I did was set up a new Bank Account and changed all the Direct Debits. Used to have an account with Barclays and an account with Halifax. Now have one with Nat West that all Direct Debits come out of and my pay goes into and one with TSB that the wife's pay goes into.

    There is a small overdraft of £200 with the Nat West account but very rarely use that.

    I have an Ocean Finance Credit Card purely for work expenses, credit limit started at £1000 but is now up to £2750, presumably because it gets paid off in full by Direct Debit every month without fail as soon as work reimburse me for my previous month's expenses.

    The card has an APR of 34% but no interest is ever accrued on the account so it doesn't bother me. I didn't really want to get a new card but had to as the one that my employer previously supplied was withdrawn when the company was sold to a different firm and the new company didn't issue them. Fortunately I was able to take out a card with Ocean or it would have been a real struggle as my expenses regularly total between £500 and £1000 so to manage that from the current account would have been tricky.

    It's not been easy, wife lost her job, she spent 18 months in prison (which was when I nearly chucked it all in) but somehow managed to struggle through.

    Didn't do many of the things that lots of the Debt Free Wannabees did like No Spend Days etc, although did have some but more by luck than by judgement.

    It was difficult as there were times when we were lucky enough to have parents who gave us (not lent) money for a new car, which we are forever grateful for. The fridge packed up so needed to buy a new one, which we dipped into the emergency budget for.

    We will try to save around a minimum of £200 a month now towards Christmas, holidays and an emergency fund etc.

    Not sure if I qualify for the Debt Free Role of Honour as I still use a Credit Card but hoping that as I pay it off each month, that will be allowed.

    It's good to finally be here, now on to become a Mortgage Free Wannabee once we've let this sink in!
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