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  • FIRST POST
    • woody14867
    • By woody14867 14th Sep 16, 10:25 PM
    • 16Posts
    • 7Thanks
    woody14867
    Can paying off your debt make you happy?
    • #1
    • 14th Sep 16, 10:25 PM
    Can paying off your debt make you happy? 14th Sep 16 at 10:25 PM
    Hi everyone.

    I wanted to ask a question to you who have become debt free after compulsive debting...

    Are you happy now? Do you feel more content inside?

    I ask because my spending has taken away any self confidence I have and left my life in tatters.

    I look forward to hearing your views


    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!
    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by MSE Jessica; 21-09-2016 at 9:47 AM.
Page 1
    • tattycath
    • By tattycath 14th Sep 16, 10:33 PM
    • 6,557 Posts
    • 34,902 Thanks
    tattycath
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 16, 10:33 PM
    • #2
    • 14th Sep 16, 10:33 PM
    Yes, being free of debt makes me happy ( apart from still having a mortgage).
    I was in your position. I owed more than you and I went BR. Prior to that, I was reliant on credit cards and catalogues just to get by. It was very scary not having what I thought were safety nets - credit cards and catalogues. I learned to live within my means. I scrimped and scraped and saved for everything I needed. I felt better for doing this.
    At least I knew I wouldn't have debt collectors chasing me down to pay what owed. That was a relief in itself.
    I now hate debt and won't have credit cards or loans or catalogues. The only debt I have is my mortgage.
    The thought is often worse than the deed. You will be fine.
    GE 36 *MFD December 2027-target 2020
    MFIT-T4 No 106
    EF 100/2000 - PF 650- SSF 1,275
    Mortgage : 5,935/10,000
    September 107.27/200
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    19/3/16 = 176lb
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 14th Sep 16, 11:22 PM
    • 7,484 Posts
    • 7,433 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 16, 11:22 PM
    • #3
    • 14th Sep 16, 11:22 PM
    For me it just removed an annoyance from my life.

    Can't honestly say it made me happy, it was a relief of a kind, but it didn't make me happy no.

    It's only money, I neither felt one way or another about it, happiness is taking your kids to school, lunch with your partner, or a good night out.

    Money and debt are just fact of life commodities most people juggle with on a regular basis, no feelings either way really.
    Last edited by sourcrates; 14-09-2016 at 11:25 PM.

    For free debt advice please call National Debtline on
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    • timefortea
    • By timefortea 14th Sep 16, 11:48 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 392 Thanks
    timefortea
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 16, 11:48 PM
    • #4
    • 14th Sep 16, 11:48 PM
    The things that my savings allow me to do make me happy. I'm content with the growing house deposit I've saved so far, and in the past month three of my favourite bands have announced tours, and I've bought tickets for all three. Debt limited my options. But it also taught me something that I hope I'll never forget, too: buying material goods gives me a quick flash of excitement, but that's not happiness. Experiences make me happy, and that can be something free/cheap like a walk or picnic in the park, but sometimes the experiences I want to have do cost a bit more. Being debt free allows me to pay for those experiences.
    • changeforbetter
    • By changeforbetter 15th Sep 16, 10:23 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    changeforbetter
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 16, 10:23 AM
    • #5
    • 15th Sep 16, 10:23 AM
    I would be immensely relieved to remove my debt - hence I suppose that would equate to a form of happiness.

    I kind of see it a bit like banging your head against a brick wall, or swimming in concrete - it would be a nice feeling to stop having the feeling of debt!
    • curty510
    • By curty510 15th Sep 16, 1:49 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 96 Thanks
    curty510
    • #6
    • 15th Sep 16, 1:49 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Sep 16, 1:49 PM
    i felt a great relief when i finally cleared all of my debts, having a lot more money to spend on my family made me happy. Better off on them than on interest
    • FinallyDebtfree2017
    • By FinallyDebtfree2017 15th Sep 16, 4:11 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 21 Thanks
    FinallyDebtfree2017
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 16, 4:11 PM
    • #7
    • 15th Sep 16, 4:11 PM
    That is very good question.

    Yes I think it will be a relief and it should make you more relaxed.

    It should take away the constant pressure of thinking of it, but I agree the ultimate relief wil be paying off the mortgage.

    HOWEVER. I think true relief will come from the understanding of why you live above your means and overspent.
    • Teacher2
    • By Teacher2 21st Sep 16, 9:16 AM
    • 373 Posts
    • 1,884 Thanks
    Teacher2
    • #8
    • 21st Sep 16, 9:16 AM
    • #8
    • 21st Sep 16, 9:16 AM
    Yes. Yes. Yes and yes.

    There are many different kinds and different degrees of happiness from ecstasy to contentment. Insofar as being plagued by guilt and debt collectors is a misery and a constant anxiety which prevents you from feeling free, then paying off the debt provides relief from these horrible feelings and circumstances.

    Being without debt conveys a sense of freedom, autonomy and satisfaction. It then leads to the even greater pleasure of those who save and have something put by for a rainy day.

    So pay your debts and you will feel happier and be wiser.
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 21st Sep 16, 9:21 AM
    • 1,024 Posts
    • 1,336 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    • #9
    • 21st Sep 16, 9:21 AM
    • #9
    • 21st Sep 16, 9:21 AM
    Being debt free won't in itself make you happy.

    However, being in debt can certainly make you miserable.
    • nanny beach
    • By nanny beach 21st Sep 16, 9:22 AM
    • 31 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    nanny beach
    Yes, happy, relieved, great to owe nothing to anyone, and something really special about the last mortgage payment. Mind you it probably negatively affects your credit score!!!
    • CapricornLass
    • By CapricornLass 21st Sep 16, 9:51 AM
    • 41 Posts
    • 153 Thanks
    CapricornLass
    I don't know about happier. However, it did remove a huge source of stress. And its nice to be able to put savings by, and so have money available to pay things when needed. And its nice not having to pay out on a mortgage.

    However, I tend to agree with FinallyDebtfree2017 - you really need to deal with the issues that caused you to go into debt in the first place.
    Sealed Pot Challenge no 265.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 21st Sep 16, 11:04 AM
    • 2,142 Posts
    • 3,774 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Being debt free removes stress and enables to concentrate on more enjoyable things in life. It also puts you in charge of your own life and gives you choices as to what direction to go in obviously taking account of your income and expenditure and financial position. The thing is you are in control of your finances rather than them controlling you. On its own though being debt free will not make you happy as other things come into play like health, relationships, work-life balance and job satisfaction.
    Save 12k in 2016 #46 13600/12,000
    Debt and mortgage free and saving for early retirement
    • sunshinegirl66
    • By sunshinegirl66 21st Sep 16, 11:23 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 28 Thanks
    sunshinegirl66
    Debt Free
    I am now debt free after almost 10 years and it is such a huge relief.
    Money isn't everything ,health is.
    • Bigphil1474
    • By Bigphil1474 21st Sep 16, 3:41 PM
    • 512 Posts
    • 205 Thanks
    Bigphil1474
    I'd have to say that being in too much debt made me completely miserable. I feared opening the post and answering the phone in case it was the bank or credit card company chasing up money I owed. When I finally got myself to face up to the problem, it was a huge relief. Took me six years to clear all the debt, but what a difference. I still have one credit card (instead of 12), but make sure I pay it off each month. I know what comes in and what needs to go out, I have a lump sum saved for emergencies, and the amount of post I get has shrunk enormously. As others have said, I think unmanageable debt makes you unhappy, so being debt free can't be anything other than a positive.
    • 2Lancahire Lassie
    • By 2Lancahire Lassie 21st Sep 16, 4:03 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 15 Thanks
    2Lancahire Lassie
    Having just cleared the last payment of debt on 05/09/16 (except the mortgage) I was really excited and pleased about that. So, for now, I am having to make adjustments - I am looking and working out how much I can save. I have learnt the hard way (for a 2nd time). It is likely to take me some time to adjust to the less stress, as I am a procrastinator, still look at things within the market.
    Don't get me wrong I am NOT looking at going back there but am looking forward still to find more ways to save money.
    I know I have been fortunate to have made my way through this all with less expense than some I have read about on here.
    My latest plan is to move the bank accounts we have to those who want to pay for our business. I am saving this up and are well on our way for it to pay for a week holiday abroad which we have not had for 9 years
    Happiness will come but for the moment I feel very smug about it all - not meant to offend those still struggling- it has taken over 25 years!!!
    • Bedsit Bob
    • By Bedsit Bob 21st Sep 16, 6:08 PM
    • 9,132 Posts
    • 48,069 Thanks
    Bedsit Bob
    Paying off my debts didn't make me happy.

    It made me ecstatic
    The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.

    Amount I have so far denied the BBC - 1015-50
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 21st Sep 16, 8:27 PM
    • 5,353 Posts
    • 28,084 Thanks
    determined new ms
    In a certain way it can make you happy. You start off with such enthusiasm, loving making easy savings and changes to your life. Challenging yourself to see what you can sacrifice, what you can do for less or free, getting 0% deals. Then the middle section was a drag, we'd made all the cut backs we could and it felt like eternity (this was right through a freeing winter for us). Then magically you get over the half way point and it stays gathering speed and becomes like a rolling and that bought me happiness.

    Since getting df, techically as 2 years after we got df we borrowed 5k off of oh's mum, not sure it's brought me happiness, because are you actually aware of an absence of worries? I've had lovely holidays and times with friends and family. I was able to take a year off of work following losing my job and some personal issues without too much worry (although it was hard to watch my savings disappearing )
    Debt to Bank of oh Mum: 4200/5700
    Wombling 2016 157.52 Roadkill 4.78
    • Wimbrel
    • By Wimbrel 21st Sep 16, 9:14 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 136 Thanks
    Wimbrel
    I'm not quite there yet but I now have peace of mind. I can answer the phone or open the post ( or go to work and not worry that my husband will open the post). When my job was under threat recently I knew that if the worst happened we'd be able to get by and use any redundancy payments to tide us over till I found another job rather than fretting that it would be a catastrophe, ( Still relieved that it didn't happen mind)

    I sleep peacefully after years of laying awake and worrying,

    And I'm counting down to that magical Debt Free Day. Just a few more months to go,

    So yes. I'd say that my happiness factor has increased immeasurably.
    Jan 2012 debts 43,237 . Sept 2016 3713.89. Jan 2012 emergency fund 0.00 Sept 2016 7908 . Getting there!
    • leighavfc
    • By leighavfc 21st Sep 16, 9:52 PM
    • 126 Posts
    • 81 Thanks
    leighavfc
    Huge yes!!!

    Not out of debt yet, but less than a year away now, i feel happy right now just looking at how much money i have chipped away at my debt. When im actually debt free and able to live my life with no shackles.

    The whole experience has taught me a very valuable lesson in life and for that i will better myself in the future financially. Money doenst mean anything to me really but obviously having money in your pocket makes life easier to live.
    Step Change DMP: 4487.08
    Estimated debt free date: June 2017
    • Domayne
    • By Domayne 22nd Sep 16, 7:52 AM
    • 563 Posts
    • 1,211 Thanks
    Domayne
    Being debt free doesn't make me feel any happier than I was when I was in debt but it's at least one less thing to feel stressed about in life. So I'm not happy but I'm happy I have no debt. If that makes sense.
    ~I'm not crazy - My reality is just different to yours~
    ~Selfish is the name that the jealous give to the free~
    *I move the stars for no-one*
    Saved so far -
    15000.00
    Save 12k in 2016 #127 6700.00/8000.00
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