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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 2,225Posts
    • 10,645Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    • #1
    • 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    Finally 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; 18-11-2017 at 9:49 AM.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
Page 2
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 25th Sep 17, 6:51 PM
    • 2,225 Posts
    • 10,645 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hi alibat, jwil and redofromstart Thanks for your kind comments. Maybe you should start a diary alibat, it could help you to focus on your daily goals etc.

    Today didn't turn out to be a NSD after all as we ran out of milk (I think they bathe in it!) and the bulb went in the toilet, which isn't good with four men in the house (I stepped in an unpleasant surprise in there in the middle of the night ).

    On the up side I did a You Gov survey and finally posted the electoral registry form that's been hanging around for ages. DH can't find a suit he likes in his size at the moment, so a slight reprieve on that front

    Hoping for a NSD tomorrow instead. I'm going to update my signature to show £100 in my emergency fund. I'm hoping to put £100 a month in there until we have £1000.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
    • Happierdays
    • By Happierdays 25th Sep 17, 7:10 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    Happierdays
    Good luck with your goal of debt free by xmas! You seem to be doing really well!
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 25th Sep 17, 7:34 PM
    • 2,225 Posts
    • 10,645 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Happierdays .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 25th Sep 17, 8:21 PM
    • 8,400 Posts
    • 47,236 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    Happy new diary!! I have subscribed.

    3 weeks seems a long wait for a doctor's note. Have you chased it with them? Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in December 1/5
    Lbs lost 10/107.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 25th Sep 17, 8:33 PM
    • 2,225 Posts
    • 10,645 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    They said it could take up to 4 weeks lucky. I think our surgery are a bit useless . DH chased it a week ago and they said it was almost ready but was waiting for a doctor to sign it. How long does it take to sign a letter?

    DH will chase it again if we haven't heard by the end of this week.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 25th Sep 17, 8:43 PM
    • 4,726 Posts
    • 28,129 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    In our house it's bread, milk and bananas, none of which I partake of. I seriously think DD and Mr SA are secretly running a franchise of Monkey World the amount of bananas I buy!
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £20.70
    December 3 NSD
    Weight loss 2/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 25th Sep 17, 9:21 PM
    • 2,225 Posts
    • 10,645 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    to the bananas. I buy about about 35 pints of milk a week SA, it's completely mental
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
    • Reb2016
    • By Reb2016 25th Sep 17, 9:26 PM
    • 164 Posts
    • 401 Thanks
    Reb2016
    Happy new diary, going to subscribe. Fingers crossed for you being debt free by Christmas.
    Reb
    Light bulb moment 6th June 2017 £13333.63 Debt now 11837.25
    DFD was October 2020 40 months now 21st Dec 2019 26 months Overdraft £720/£2250
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 25th Sep 17, 9:49 PM
    • 2,225 Posts
    • 10,645 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Reb
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 25th Sep 17, 10:39 PM
    • 1,173 Posts
    • 6,596 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Well done on starting your emergency fund, but to the dodgy footstep in the middle of the night!

    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 26th Sep 17, 8:36 PM
    • 2,225 Posts
    • 10,645 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks SG it's a good start

    Had a NSD today apart from giving DS3 bus money for college, does that count?DS3 had a letter from college today saying he will get £40 from them towards materials for his course and £2 for each day he attends towards his lunch, so that's good news

    Also paid NPower and Virgin but that's all budgeted for. NPower wanted to instal a meter a few months back due to a couple of late payments but I managed to talk them out of it. So we're on weekly payments now, which does seem easier on our irregular income.

    Used up some leftovers from the fridge and freezer for dinner, ready for the weekly Mr T shop tomorrow.

    Still no letter from the doctor . DH said he's going to ring them tomorrow to chase it!

    I also did another You Gov survey (unusual to get two in two days) and made DH a diabetic eye screening appointment, which is overdue.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
    • DebtBuster2017
    • By DebtBuster2017 26th Sep 17, 8:52 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 37 Thanks
    DebtBuster2017
    Good luck, hope you achieve your goal of being debt free by Christmas
    Argos - October 2017 Aqua - November 2017
    Barclaycard - June 2020 MBNA - April 2018 Tesco - April 2019
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 26th Sep 17, 8:52 PM
    • 4,726 Posts
    • 28,129 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Doctors letters take ages. I remember having to get one to claim on holiday cancellation insurance 4 years ago when Mr SA first got ill. Don't talk to me about nPower - had loads of trouble with them 4 years ago, changed as soon as I could, think they paid me more in compensation for bad service than I used on fuel!
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £20.70
    December 3 NSD
    Weight loss 2/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 26th Sep 17, 8:58 PM
    • 2,225 Posts
    • 10,645 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I am fed up with NPower. We seem to be constantly £1000 in debt to them, probably because they never send anyone to read our meter and then we're not paying enough . I'm submitting online monthly meter readings to them at the moment to try and avoid that happening. One of my ambitions is to pay them off and switch!
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 26th Sep 17, 9:00 PM
    • 2,225 Posts
    • 10,645 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Debt Buster
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 26th Sep 17, 9:35 PM
    • 49,020 Posts
    • 181,970 Thanks
    beanielou
    Happy shiny new diary
    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***
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 26th Sep 17, 9:55 PM
    • 4,837 Posts
    • 9,138 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Thanks parsniphead. It's exciting and yet a bit stressful to be so near and yet not quite there .

    We've got 8 grand sitting in a savings account waiting to pay off the last two debts, hopefully, and I have to keep checking that it's still there and hasn't mysteriously disappeared

    I'm also aware that neither of us has a pension now, so we need to build up some savings for our retirement in about 14 years time. Our mortgage should be paid off in ten years which will save £420 a month, so we could start saving that amount then. If we can raise our income and avoid impulse buys that will help too .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Are you able to join a company pension scheme or is it you or your DHs occupational pension which has been cashed in? You may want to look at SIPPS for either/both of you as much better return than saving in normal savings account especially if you have 14 years to retirement. HMRC will also add 25% to whatever you put in. An emergency savings account is more important first though.

    Is it worth you posting an SOA to see if we can help suggest further savings?
    2 weeks to go until early retirement in December . Debt free and mortgage free.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 26th Sep 17, 10:04 PM
    • 2,225 Posts
    • 10,645 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    We're both self employed es. It was a pension from a job my DH had years ago, before he become self employed, that he's cashed in for the F&Fs. We should have set up private pensions when we both became self employed, but never seemed to have enough cash, with three kids and an irregular income .

    I will take a look at SIPPs for savings, thanks for the suggestion .

    I do want to build up an emergency fund of £1000 too, so we're going to try and put £100 a month towards that.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 27th Sep 17, 12:59 PM
    • 8,227 Posts
    • 43,495 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Ooh - a diary! *Subscribed*

    Fingers crossed here for the final F&F working out as you hope and you meeting your debt free by christmas target - hopefully the chase on the Dr's letter will have done the trick!

    Scottish Power are the energy provider I would never return to - they were a nightmare as they muddled up our day/night readings and then took forever to correct things...!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£656.45 (20/11/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 27th Sep 17, 7:57 PM
    • 2,225 Posts
    • 10,645 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Essex I expect most energy companies have their annoying habits, but I'm very ready for a change!

    Today's Mr T shop was over my budget of £80 as it came in at £93 . When I looked at my receipt I'd picked up chicken breast instead of drumsticks by mistake, costing me £12 instead of £4 I'd have taken it back if the shop wasn't miles away! The packets were identical! I won't make that mistake again

    DH didn't have time to chase the doctors note but I'll make him do it tomorrow.

    On a positive note, the rain that was promised for 9.00am didn't arrive until lunch time and I managed to squeeze a half hour walk into my day before the rain came .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 27-09-2017 at 8:00 PM.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
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