Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 29th Dec 11, 10:29 AM
    • 1,316Posts
    • 5,802Thanks
    HappyNow
    Keeping up appearances.......
    • #1
    • 29th Dec 11, 10:29 AM
    Keeping up appearances....... 29th Dec 11 at 10:29 AM
    Welcome to my debt-free diary. I am going to use it to monitor my progress as I start my (very) long journey towards debt freedom. I hope it will inspire me to stay motivated when the going gets tough. Because the going WILL get tough from time to time - I have an absolute marathan ahead of me.

    Today I have totalled up all our debts..... Including our mortgage, the scary bottom line is £127,899.00!! If I deduct the mortgage, we are still left with the very frightening figure of £69,579.00 (give or take a few quid) unsecured debt. It will get a bit worse between now and payday (15th of each month) as we have very little money to live on and a few bills coming up.

    So, why have I called my diary 'Keeping Up Appearances'? Well, on the face of things my husband and I are a lucky couple. Both working full-time and earning good money. We live in a lovely house (worth more than double our total debt), have two gorgeous children who are now grown-up and away at university, run two cars, own another house which we rent out etc etc. We seem to have it all. And I suppose we DO have it all - we just haven't actually paid for it yet!!

    The worst thing? My husband doesn't have a clue how much we owe. I have taken sole charge of our money for years, and what a mess I have made of it! I have had personal problems, which are now resolved, but which made me lose touch with reality for a while. I'm not using that as an excuse, but it does partly explain what has happened.

    My husband is one of the nicest, kindest men you could ever meet and he really does not deserve to be in this mess. He knows we are in debt and need to watch our spending, but he does not know the extent. And I intend to keep it that way. I will scrimp and scrape and save and earn and do whatever it takes to reduce and eventually clear our debt, but it will be done without him knowing. He is a worrier and not in the best of health, so I do not intend adding to his stress by telling him the extent of our money problems. Not that he would be angry or leave me or anything - he wouldn't - but he would be so worried and disappointed and it would break his heart.

    He trusts me to take care of our finances, and for a long time that trust was misplaced. Well, now he finally CAN trust me and I will not let him (or myself) down any longer. Then, when the debt is less heart-attack-inducing, it will be something we can work on together.

    So, I am going to crunch some figures and get some inspiration and I will be back.
Page 160
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 7th Sep 17, 10:48 PM
    • 1,316 Posts
    • 5,802 Thanks
    HappyNow
    I realise you are probably still up to your armpits in dust, carpenters' tools, plasterers' accoutrements and plumbers' kit and therefore unable to clamber over the mountain of stuff to reach the computer, but if you get a moment could you just let us know you're still coping?
    Originally posted by Honey Bear
    Oops, it's been a while, apologies!

    Yes, still coping thanks . You're spot on about the dust, carpenters' tools and plumbers kit. Not quite ready for the plasterers' accoutrements yet, but it won't be long now.

    Lots to update on, but as this is a moneysaving site let's start with the dosh. The inheritance changed things a bit, so we blew £400 on an independent financial advisor a while ago. It was money well spent and it changed our thought processes. Turns out, we're going to be rather wealthy in the future. We could be rather wealthy now if we did the sensible thing and moved house. We could take early retirement and have a lovely lifestyle in a lovely (smaller) house with several holidays per year etc etc. It took us about two minutes to agree that we're NOT that sort of sensible and we really want to live here for another decade or so.

    The IFA also did an overhaul of Mr H's pensions, and we were somewhat surprised at how they've grown while we weren't looking! And my final salary pension will be quite generous. The upshot is, we have a plan. Briefly and simplified:
    • We carry on as we are for the next 16 months. Minimum payments on the debts though as they're all on 0% and there's no need to stress over them!!! <-- Yes, I really wrote that!
    • In Jan 19 (co-incidentally, just before the DFD I had always planned!) we will both either take early retirement or, if we prefer, just work part-time. My works pension will kick in (without reduction for taking it early because of my length of service) and pay out a lump sum to clear the remaining debt and still leave around £10K. My monthly pension along with drawdown from Mr H's pensions will easily cover us until standard pension ages, and there will be a good chunk left over.
    • Our annual income after that will be approx. £30K at today's prices.
    • When we feel like it, we can sell this place for a fortune and live happily ever after.
    • Until then, we can use the new pension freedoms to draw down any shortfall needed from Mr H's pot to finish off the house. This probably won't be necessary.
    • We will be able to give our kids a helping hand (but only a small one - they need to fend for themselves).
    That all looks very nice written down .
    LBM Dec 2011. Aiming to clear ALL unsecured debt by Feb 2019 (73.36% so far)

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jul 17: Unsecured £18,531 + Mortgage £43,660 = £62,191 (51.98% paid)
    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 8th Sep 17, 10:51 AM
    • 4,520 Posts
    • 45,609 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    Do you know what, Happy, I think I'm going to be smiling for the rest of the day! That's such wonderful news. You've paid off more than 50% through sheer hard work, so you know you can manage money like an award-winning tightwad but you don't have to any more if you need a bit of a splurge, like two Fry's Peppermint Bars instead of one. You've been a fabulous neighbour and your lovely neighbour showed his appreciation when you took on Donkey Dog and his attached oversized, very adaptable, kennel. You rolled up your sleeves and got on with the chaotic disruption of turning the house/kennel into the potentially palatial pad it can be and to cap it all you went to an expert who read your fortune. (See what I did there?) I'm so pleased for you, it's just lovely hearing your marvelous news so thank you so much for the update.

    And how utterly marvelous that you can be comfortable with the idea of paying off the minimum payments on the debts for another sixteen months or so to get to the place that you intended to be anyway, and then make the most of your assets and opportunities with Mr Happy in the place you both love. I think that's pretty much what most of us would be aiming for, if we're honest.

    The idea of lots of foreign holidays may seem glamorous viewed from the dentist's waiting room with a dog-eared copy of Hello but quite frankly that's always looked like running away from an everyday life to me, searching for something that isn't there. Fun to dip a toe into occasionally but it's not a life I find tempting. Maybe that's just age. Saga cruise, anyone?
    Keeping it AF
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 8th Sep 17, 8:36 PM
    • 803 Posts
    • 4,080 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Just want to echo everything Honey wrote. Congratulations on the next (money worries free) decade in your lovely, lovely home!

    SSG x
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    My debt free diary - " Paid off the £31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 12th Sep 17, 2:14 AM
    • 1,316 Posts
    • 5,802 Thanks
    HappyNow
    Thanks very much Honey and SSG for the good wishes

    SSG - wow look at your signature! And I see your diary is back up and running so I will get all stalky tomorrow.

    Honey - hope Mr HB and the lovely Kelpie are both thriving? How are his legs doing now? (K, not Mr HB - I'm sure Mr HB's legs are a picture!)

    So....... just in case I was getting bored, the tenant in our rental house has given notice today! She's got a new partner, new baby on the way, and they've saved a deposit to buy a place together. She's been a perfect tenant and I'm really pleased for her, but to say we could do without the hassle right now is an understatement. She will move out in mid-October so we have a month to make a final decision, but our initial feelings are that we will sell it. When we bought it 13 years ago, the intention was that one day it would be sold and some of the money would go to the kids as a helping hand onto the property ladder. They're 26 and 24 now, both living in rented properties, and I think they will be wanting to buy before too long. Add to that, we don't really want the hassle of being landlords once we retire, so it's probably a good time to move it on. We will pay off its mortgage, give a lump of maybe £10K to each child, and the surplus will be available to finish off this place. Or not. More thinking to do! Which is why I'm still awake at 2:15 am! G'night
    LBM Dec 2011. Aiming to clear ALL unsecured debt by Feb 2019 (73.36% so far)

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jul 17: Unsecured £18,531 + Mortgage £43,660 = £62,191 (51.98% paid)
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 12th Sep 17, 10:10 PM
    • 803 Posts
    • 4,080 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    If you sell your rental, what a lovely idea to help the kids with their future property deposits. And I think that if you really don't need the rental income, then foregoing the hassle of being a landlord when retired has its plus points!

    I'm sure you'll both come to the right decision.

    SSG x
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    My debt free diary - " Paid off the £31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 13th Sep 17, 9:11 AM
    • 4,520 Posts
    • 45,609 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    I had to smile, Happy. There's a sort of inevitability to a new hassle presenting itself when things have just started running smoothly after years of playing one thing off against another! I think it's an aging thing, too - there comes a time when it's just obvious that the answer is to simplify our lives and let the potential hassles go so that we can concentrate on the things that are important to us.

    How marvellous that you can give your skids a helping hand and lower your own liabilities, so that's a win:win. Excellent decision.

    Mr HB's legs are amazing! I forget he's 70; he's as energetic and lively as a 25 year old, still working a 10 hour day but more likely to have a day out and take time off than he used to be, and as fit as a fiddle - he's just come back from his morning swim and is going over to the chalet later for me. (I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday and he's really stepped up to the plate, thank goodness. No plans to sell that, despite my wondering if we should earlier this year.)

    Kelpie's legs are kind of holding their own. There's a click when he extends the back right, which the hydrotherapy vet nurse picked up a few weeks ago so that's not good but he's still happy. Slightly less bouncy, and I rather think the arthritis is catching up with him but he's still friendly to everyone he meets, lovely company and enthusiastic about life. Devil Cat is struggling with his tumour but he has great days when he's absolutely himself and on the two days he's not, so far, I've managed to get some Tramadol into him and that made a huge difference. All in all, we're a household of crocks but we're all still here.
    Keeping it AF
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 14th Sep 17, 6:32 PM
    • 1,316 Posts
    • 5,802 Thanks
    HappyNow
    If you sell your rental, what a lovely idea to help the kids with their future property deposits. And I think that if you really don't need the rental income, then foregoing the hassle of being a landlord when retired has its plus points!
    SSG x
    Originally posted by Seasidegal58
    That's the thing that's convincing me to sell. There isn't any income as such because most of the rent goes to paying the mortgage on it. By the time we've covered insurance/repairs/gas checks etc it just about wipes its own feet. Obviously the mortgage is reducing with no input from me so the capital is increasing, but the mortgage won't be clear for another 12 years and meanwhile there's always the risk of a bad tenant or massive repair bill. Yes, it's done it's job for us and now's time to sell it. Nearly almost sure - probably!

    I had to smile, Happy. There's a sort of inevitability to a new hassle presenting itself when things have just started running smoothly after years of playing one thing off against another! I think it's an aging thing, too - there comes a time when it's just obvious that the answer is to simplify our lives and let the potential hassles go so that we can concentrate on the things that are important to us.
    Simplification. I want that.

    How marvellous that you can give your skids a helping hand and lower your own liabilities, so that's a win:win. Excellent decision.
    Yep, I do think so. A much more excellent decision than keeping it.

    Mr HB's legs are amazing! I forget he's 70; he's as energetic and lively as a 25 year old, still working a 10 hour day but more likely to have a day out and take time off than he used to be, and as fit as a fiddle - he's just come back from his morning swim and is going over to the chalet later for me. (I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday and he's really stepped up to the plate, thank goodness. No plans to sell that, despite my wondering if we should earlier this year.)
    Aww, how lovely to have an OH with amazing legs. One of Mr Happy's is rather nice although I'm not sure it's technically amazing. The other one is OK if you like fluid-filled knees that click when they bend. Bit of a niche market, Mr Happy's legs.

    Sorry to hear you had a meltdown and lovely of Mr HB to take the strain from you. Hope you're back on track now but if you need to sound off you know where to come!

    Kelpie's legs are kind of holding their own. There's a click when he extends the back right, which the hydrotherapy vet nurse picked up a few weeks ago so that's not good but he's still happy. Slightly less bouncy, and I rather think the arthritis is catching up with him but he's still friendly to everyone he meets, lovely company and enthusiastic about life. Devil Cat is struggling with his tumour but he has great days when he's absolutely himself and on the two days he's not, so far, I've managed to get some Tramadol into him and that made a huge difference. All in all, we're a household of crocks but we're all still here.
    Originally posted by Honey Bear

    I did not know about DC's tumour. Best of wishes to him. Funnily enough, I was just reading an interview with Ant McPartlin whose addiction to tramadol put him in rehab. Sounds like dangerous stuff in the wrong paws but I'm sure DC has his head screwed on right. Tell him not to mix it with vodka
    LBM Dec 2011. Aiming to clear ALL unsecured debt by Feb 2019 (73.36% so far)

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jul 17: Unsecured £18,531 + Mortgage £43,660 = £62,191 (51.98% paid)
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,713Posts Today

7,032Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @thismorning: 'Sometimes the best gift is releasing somebody else from the obligation of having to give to you' says @MartinSLewis. Do y?

  • Shana tova umetuka - a sweet Jewish New Year to all celebrating. I won't be online the rest of t'week, as I take the time to be with family

  • Dear Steve. Please note doing a poll to ask people's opinion does not in itself imply an opinion! https://t.co/UGvWlMURxy

  • Follow Martin