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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 1,461Posts
    • 4,046Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Nearly Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    • #1
    • 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    Nearly Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally 24th Sep 17 at 1:22 PM
    My DH and I have been in debt for 34 Years, apart from brief periods, ever since I was offered my first credit card at the tender age of19.

    Our debts were caused by us being impulsive spenders and not being very skilled at budgeting or managing our money, so we know it is our own fault. We always believed that one day we would have more money, mysteriously, and that this would bail us out .

    Our full light bulb moment came when we realised, "What if we never have any more money than we do right now?"

    A couple of years ago we were coping with the minimum payments, but didn't have enough to overpay on any of them. We were forking out £1300 a month in minimum payments, and the interest alone was £1000 a month .

    But then in 2015 our small business started to bring in less, and a family bereavement, and illness affected our ability to work. We could no longer afford the minimum repayments and we were scared we would lose our home. We were stricken with stress and depression .

    Step Change shone a light in the darkness for us and they arranged for us to make token payments of £1 a month to our creditors. This saved our sanity and we were reassured that our home was unlikely to be taken from us.

    My DH recently turned 55 and drew out his pension so that we could make full and final offers to our creditors. All but one accepted an offer of 50% of what we owed (which is all we had to offer). We are continuing negotiations with the final creditor and hope to be debt free by Christmas .

    Being so close to being debt free has made me realise what a heavy burden the debts have been all these years, like living our lives wearing lead boots.

    Once we are debt free we will still need to live very frugally because we have no emergency fund or savings, and our income can be irregular. I hope that starting a diary will help to focus me on frugal living, avoid impulsive spends, and keep my spirits up. Because frugal living can be a lonely and isolating experience.

    This site and Step Change has helped me so much, and I hope that my diary will help to inspire others that it's never too late to change your life .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 24-09-2017 at 1:25 PM.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt at highest = £58,766
    Current debt = £16,234, Emergency Fund = £200
    Long Hauler No. 156 Spendaholics Anonymous No. 47
Page 10
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 10th Oct 17, 11:21 AM
    • 8,013 Posts
    • 41,466 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Great idea to write a list of cheerful things if that helps - you're right about one setback sometimes ending up completely out of proportion too - I had something similar myself at the weekend which was still making me feel a bit "meh" but you're right - it's ONE thing, and it is something I can cope with albeit it's annoying. Thank you for that!

    You're right about at least the telephone call didn't result in a "no" as well - plus you've come SO far, and done SO much, whatever happens with this very last one now, you know you can tackle it in the end.

    Good plan to add survey money to your Christmas/car fund as well - essentially makes those things funded with "free" money doesn't it!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
    • Reb2016
    • By Reb2016 10th Oct 17, 11:31 AM
    • 134 Posts
    • 251 Thanks
    Reb2016
    Sorry to hear you haven't got the outcome you wanted with the call yet, it is amazing how much time these things seem to take, I thought we were supposed to be in the digital age, doesn't always feel like it.


    Good idea to list all the good things, and having chocolate that makes everything better.


    Great news about the surveys , it all helps.


    Reb
    Light bulb moment 6th June 2017 £13333.63 Debt now 11967.05
    DFD was October 2020 40 months now 31st Jan 2020 28 months Overdraft £650/£2250
    6/17 NSD October 0/6 in a row
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 10th Oct 17, 12:07 PM
    • 926 Posts
    • 4,871 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Your final creditor appears to be the king of tardiness in a land of tardy creditors! Still you are right to feel positive in that you've waited ages to be debt free and will get this last debt finally sorted quite soon.

    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!"
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Oct 17, 7:27 PM
    • 1,461 Posts
    • 4,046 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thank you Essex, Reb and SSG. You're definitely making me feel better

    Today has been quite productive work wise tying up lose ends plus doing five surveys

    I suddenly realised it was my aunt's birthday today but I've got myself organised with a 'card kit' recently.

    I am normally completely useless at posting cards on time to my many relatives. Partly because of all the stages involved; buy the card, write in it, write the address on, buy a stamp and finally get it to a post box.

    So to solve my problem I bought a see through box, a selection of cheapish cards and a book of first class and second class stamps. I even keep a pen in the box. This makes the process much easier and then the only hard bit is walking up the hill to the post box ( everything in Devon is either up or down a hill )

    So the card got posted and will hopefully arrive only one day late and my survey money is growing

    DS3 missed the bus again. I asked DH to get milk on the way back from dropping him off and he came back with milk, French stick and chocolate! So our spends today were £4 in Morrison's and £5 for bus fares ( DS3 still had to get home ).

    Feeling shattered now so I'm looking forward to eating and then being a tv zombie .

    Hope everyone's had a great day today.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt at highest = £58,766
    Current debt = £16,234, Emergency Fund = £200
    Long Hauler No. 156 Spendaholics Anonymous No. 47
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 10th Oct 17, 7:35 PM
    • 926 Posts
    • 4,871 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    The card box is an excellent idea Hairy! I usually make sure I have a book of stamps in my purse and have a check on the calendar at the beginning of each month to see whose birthday is coming up and then buy however many I need for the month.
    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!"
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Oct 17, 7:42 PM
    • 47,867 Posts
    • 173,912 Thanks
    beanielou
    I buy a lot of charity birthday cards which are very often reduced
    I get stamps from doing surveys so that is very handy.
    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***
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Oct 17, 8:14 PM
    • 1,461 Posts
    • 4,046 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Having a system certainly helps to get things organised.

    I also booked myself a £5 hair cut at the hairdressing college as I finally found their phone number. I suddenly realised that I hadn't had my hair cut for six months and my hair is a bit of a frizzy mess Last time I went the supervisor did half of my hair as the trainee had never done layers on wavy hair before, good value for a fiver I thought
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt at highest = £58,766
    Current debt = £16,234, Emergency Fund = £200
    Long Hauler No. 156 Spendaholics Anonymous No. 47
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Oct 17, 8:21 PM
    • 47,867 Posts
    • 173,912 Thanks
    beanielou
    I have a wet cut locally.
    Not done since June when DS graduated
    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***
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Oct 17, 9:12 PM
    • 1,461 Posts
    • 4,046 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    The time goes so quickly
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt at highest = £58,766
    Current debt = £16,234, Emergency Fund = £200
    Long Hauler No. 156 Spendaholics Anonymous No. 47
    • Purplebonnie
    • By Purplebonnie 11th Oct 17, 7:29 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 562 Thanks
    Purplebonnie
    Morning, how infuriating to get so close to the finishing line and have to wait because of someone's incompetency. Grrr......
    The card box is a great idea, gonna look into that, thanks.
    September 2017 Total Debt £37188.89 / DFD 01/05/22
    October 2017 Debt £36149.48 / DFD 01/04/22
    Extra Payments : 0.1% = £37.19 Total paid 0.3%
    MBNA - £5350.73

    October Food Budget : £200/£114.94 Extra Income £100 /£81.06
    SFD : 8/31 Weight Loss (Goal 8lbs) :
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Oct 17, 7:32 AM
    • 1,461 Posts
    • 4,046 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Today is my big Tesco shop and I'm aiming for a spend of £74. I must be ruthless this time and put more things back if it starts to go over. I'm sure we all eat too much anyway .

    DS3 has suddenly revealed that the free college bus stops at half term, so it will now cost us £12 a week to get him to college, which is £48 every four weeks so I need to adjust my budget accordingly. We can't claim any child benefit or any other benefits for him because he is 20 .

    Oh well, at least he is going to college, so the money must be found. It's just as well I've given up cokes .

    Apart from that the schedule is A short walk and more work.

    Have a good Wednesday everyone
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 11-10-2017 at 9:22 AM.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt at highest = £58,766
    Current debt = £16,234, Emergency Fund = £200
    Long Hauler No. 156 Spendaholics Anonymous No. 47
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Oct 17, 7:35 AM
    • 1,461 Posts
    • 4,046 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Morning, how infuriating to get so close to the finishing line and have to wait because of someone's incompetency. Grrr......
    The card box is a great idea, gonna look into that, thanks.
    Originally posted by Purplebonnie
    It is annoying Bonnie but nothing happens quickly in Debtland Still even they can't take forever

    Glad you find the card box idea useful
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt at highest = £58,766
    Current debt = £16,234, Emergency Fund = £200
    Long Hauler No. 156 Spendaholics Anonymous No. 47
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Oct 17, 9:30 AM
    • 1,461 Posts
    • 4,046 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I've told DS1 to switch the tv off at the wall at bedtime, rather than leave it on standby, as he is the last one to go to bed.

    DH wouldn't allow this when we had Virgin tv and a TiVo box as he said he would have to reset all of the channels every day or it did updates at night or some such excuse. But as we cancelled Virgin tv about 18 months/two years ago, I suddenly realised that we don't need to leave the tv on standby any more

    I'm sure this will save a lot of electricity over time

    Anyway must get off MSE and do some work!
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 11-10-2017 at 11:01 AM.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt at highest = £58,766
    Current debt = £16,234, Emergency Fund = £200
    Long Hauler No. 156 Spendaholics Anonymous No. 47
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 11th Oct 17, 11:43 AM
    • 2,222 Posts
    • 14,090 Thanks
    parsniphead
    I think your DH was bei g a bit cheeky. Mum has virgin and unplugs hers every night.

    I'm definitely stealing the card kit idea as its just one of those urgh jobs.
    My August to Christmas challenge:.
    Pay off £2500 debt - £1088/2500 43.52%
    Completely declutter the house by Christmas day...all of it.

    Nothing gets better until you get better.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Oct 17, 4:09 PM
    • 1,461 Posts
    • 4,046 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    DH is a bit resistant to change sometimes. It took me about a year to persuade him to go SIM only with his phone My nagging worked in the end though

    Glad you like the card box idea, it's certainly making my life easier

    I spent £74..50 in Tesco so I was pleased with myself for sticking to my target
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt at highest = £58,766
    Current debt = £16,234, Emergency Fund = £200
    Long Hauler No. 156 Spendaholics Anonymous No. 47
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 11th Oct 17, 4:42 PM
    • 47,867 Posts
    • 173,912 Thanks
    beanielou
    Well done on sticking to target.
    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***
    • DebtFreeDuo
    • By DebtFreeDuo 11th Oct 17, 5:10 PM
    • 245 Posts
    • 1,071 Thanks
    DebtFreeDuo
    Well done on sticking to your target, I also really like the card idea, I may have to start building up a collection, especially for when LO starts getting invited to parties.
    Debt 14/10/17/20/9/17 5395.16/5690.50 = Loan: 2065.32/2207.38 Car Loan: 2292.94/2419.64 0% CC: 1036.90/1063.48 DFD Oct 18.
    Make up to £10 a day challenge: £110.51/£150..NSD October 15/15
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 11th Oct 17, 5:39 PM
    • 8,242 Posts
    • 45,752 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    Well done for sticking to shopping budget!

    I regularly buy cards on the 5 or 10 for £1 deal in Card F@ctory. Then I always have a selection. Nothing worse than having to spend a fortune on a card because you are short of time! That said, I love cards and always try to make sure the card I sent matches the person .
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in October 6/5
    Lbs lost 18/107.
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 11th Oct 17, 6:02 PM
    • 926 Posts
    • 4,871 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Having a system certainly helps to get things organised.

    I also booked myself a £5 hair cut at the hairdressing college as I finally found their phone number. I suddenly realised that I hadn't had my hair cut for six months and my hair is a bit of a frizzy mess Last time I went the supervisor did half of my hair as the trainee had never done layers on wavy hair before, good value for a fiver I thought
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Wish I could be brave enough to use a hairdressing college Hairy. I have a problem with my thinning hair and only trust my longstanding hairdresser to cut and highlight it. He is very good and gives me discounts but I'd save oodles using a college.
    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!"
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Oct 17, 6:07 PM
    • 1,461 Posts
    • 4,046 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks beanie, DFD and lucky

    I got five cards for £1 too Lucky and they seemed good quality. Last minute card buying tends to mean you end up buying expensive ones and then I would never have a stamp when I needed one, so all my cards would be sent late. This system is certainly saving me money and time
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt at highest = £58,766
    Current debt = £16,234, Emergency Fund = £200
    Long Hauler No. 156 Spendaholics Anonymous No. 47
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