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  • FIRST POST
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 2,302Posts
    • 11,227Thanks
    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 52
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 2nd Dec 17, 5:54 PM
    • 4,761 Posts
    • 28,376 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    I got a lovely wreath from Homesense for £8. Sounds like you've had a busy and productive day day. Well done with the bargains and decorations.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £20.70
    December 3 NSD
    Weight loss 2/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 2nd Dec 17, 6:02 PM
    • 2,302 Posts
    • 11,227 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks beanie .

    Well the berry lights are up in the living room and look lovely. Every year one bulb has gone, this time it was the sixth one I tested but I got there in the end .

    I've done 13,020 steps already today . My Fitbit told me I was an over achiever . I knew I'd been up and down that ladder a lot of times!

    I did over 10,000 steps yesterday and the day before too, hopefully it'll help me to shift the weight I put on over the autumn .

    I'm going to relax now and put my feet up as it's DH's turn to cook .

    Tomorrow DH is going to assemble the tree and put the lights on it and I'll decorate it. The DC are too lazy to help . I also need to do lots of housework tomorrow as the place is a tip.
    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 2nd Dec 17, 6:03 PM
    • 2,302 Posts
    • 11,227 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I got a lovely wreath from Homesense for £8. Sounds like you've had a busy and productive day day. Well done with the bargains and decorations.
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    That sounds like a bargain SA. Are all your decorations up ?
    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 2nd Dec 17, 6:21 PM
    • 1,191 Posts
    • 6,704 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Hi Hairy. Just catching up on your diary. Quite an eventful week!

    Can only echo other posters on your sonís trip - youíre right you never stop worrying about your children but he seems to have gone into things thoroughly though must be on his toes re any business deal. I went to New Orleans for a couple of days a few years ago - stayed in the French Quarter which is the touristy bit Iím assuming he is staying. Itís lively but I didnít feel unsafe in the French Quarter There is a bit of a police presence there too which is reassuring.
    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 2nd Dec 17, 6:33 PM
    • 2,302 Posts
    • 11,227 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    That's good to know SSG. It is a bit worrying but it will be a great adventure for him. We gathered that the French Quarter is the safest place, so yes that is where he's staying.

    We're going to give him lots of advice and DH's sister has been to America lots of times (she even lived there for a while), so I know she will give him lots of advice too.

    But I will be relieved to have him home again .
    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 3rd Dec 17, 11:40 AM
    • 2,302 Posts
    • 11,227 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Today is going to be a busy day putting up the rest of the Christmas decorations .

    I've decorated and put lights on the mini tree which is now installed in the kitchen. DH is cleaning the skirting boards and wants to glue some peeling wallpaper behind where the big tree is to go. Then he can assemble the big tree and put lights on it. Our big tree was a Mr T bargain from a few years ago, it was £15 and we bought it with our vouchers so essentially it was free .

    After that the decorations will be done and I can concentrate on housework. I feel quite tired today so I'm not going to overdo it. I did over15,000 steps yesterday .
    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 3rd Dec 17, 11:51 AM
    • 2,302 Posts
    • 11,227 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I've just realised that we have been debt free for just over a month now . So much has happened since that's it's easy to forget .
    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
    • abba1772
    • By abba1772 3rd Dec 17, 2:11 PM
    • 4,039 Posts
    • 12,406 Thanks
    abba1772
    I've just realised that we have been debt free for just over a month now . So much has happened since that's it's easy to forget .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    It's been a quick month xx
    NEXT TARGET HALIFAX CC WAS July 17 £3572.57 NOW £4531.19
    POAMAYC 2011 £6382.66 POAMAYC 2012 £5000.78
    POAMAYC 2013 £3480.04 POAMAYC 2014 £4085.14
    POAMAYC 2015 £7565.24 POAMAYC 2016 £8000.90
    POAMAYC 2017 £6826.34 / £6000
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 3rd Dec 17, 3:16 PM
    • 2,302 Posts
    • 11,227 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    It seems like ages to me since we became debt free. But since then we've been to London to visit BIL with cancer, been to a wedding in the Midlands, helped DS2 sort out his America trip, helped DS3 do his UCAS form and started the Christmas prep .

    This is in addition to all the things we normally do like work and houswork, no wonder we feel tired .
    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 3rd Dec 17, 3:32 PM
    • 2,302 Posts
    • 11,227 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    It'll be a miracle if the big tree goes up today because DH has spent all afternoon cleaning off mould, painting the skirting board and fixing peeling wallpaper behind the armchair .

    We've decided to put the tree somewhere else now . It does look nice and it's good to get rid of the mould, as long as he does the bits people can see too. And I want the big tree to go up as well!

    I had to have a nap for an hour earlier I was so tired but I feel better now. The decorations look lovely and now over the next few weekends I can focus on present buying and wrapping, writing and posting cards and vouchers, and buying Christmas food (once the big tree is up ).

    I've bought a few bits of food already with my Mr T vouchers. I've got some half price Matchmakers and chocolate santas for DH and the DC, and some bogof mince pies. I'd like to get a bottle of Prosecco for Christmas eve and some mini alcohol gift bottles to give as presents, so I'll tske care of those when I do my big food shop .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 03-12-2017 at 4:26 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
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 3rd Dec 17, 4:33 PM
    • 49,085 Posts
    • 182,346 Thanks
    beanielou
    Time flies indeed
    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***
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 3rd Dec 17, 7:29 PM
    • 915 Posts
    • 4,664 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Wow Hairy I don't read your diary for a few days and you have had it all going on. Fines, helping book holidays, putting decorations up , bits of DIY.

    All those steps are brilliant , well done. Debt free for a month , it has gone very fast. Enjoy rest of weekend.
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • Pauper1
    • By Pauper1 3rd Dec 17, 7:31 PM
    • 289 Posts
    • 2,363 Thanks
    Pauper1
    I popped across to your diary as you're always so lovely on other people's. It's taken me days to read haha, but you've been on such a journey! Sorry things are so up and down. I've been feeling a bit rubbish and had a nap today too, unheard of for me. Hope things calm down for you now and you start to feel better.
    DMP start 1st May 2014 - £22,850 £39,349.41 Original DFD from Stepchange 6th Sept 2039... Aiming for 1st Nov 2026
    Priorities changed, sold our house, going through the settlement process and hope to be debt free by Christmas 2017
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 3rd Dec 17, 7:36 PM
    • 2,302 Posts
    • 11,227 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Cumbria and thanks for plowing your way through my meanderings Pauper .

    The rollercoaster never seems to stop for DH and I but at least we don't get time to be bored .
    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 3rd Dec 17, 8:37 PM
    • 4,761 Posts
    • 28,376 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    My Christmas decorations aren't up properly yet Hairy, I'm waiting until the carpets go down and we're straight again, the house is a tip at the moment. Decorations would just make it look like a serial hoarder's house
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £20.70
    December 3 NSD
    Weight loss 2/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 3rd Dec 17, 8:59 PM
    • 49,085 Posts
    • 182,346 Thanks
    beanielou
    My Christmas decorations aren't up properly yet Hairy, I'm waiting until the carpets go down and we're straight again, the house is a tip at the moment. Decorations would just make it look like a serial hoarder's house
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    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***
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 3rd Dec 17, 9:00 PM
    • 4,761 Posts
    • 28,376 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Anyone remember Mr Trebus? Enough said!
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £20.70
    December 3 NSD
    Weight loss 2/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 3rd Dec 17, 9:10 PM
    • 453 Posts
    • 3,091 Thanks
    WannabeFree
    Mine aren't up either Although we don't until nearer the time usually anyway. I take them down boxing day too I think I should be named the scrooge
    ďOnce you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.Ē
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 3rd Dec 17, 10:29 PM
    • 2,302 Posts
    • 11,227 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    It takes so long to put ours up that I like to do it as early as possible and then we have longer to enjoy them . I take mine down on the 6th January usually which is twelth night and I'm usually glad to see the back of them by then.

    I bet you can't wait to get your carpets down and the decorations up SA. Home improvements are great but so disruptive .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 03-12-2017 at 10:33 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
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 4th Dec 17, 9:22 AM
    • 2,302 Posts
    • 11,227 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Well we managed to build the big Christmas tree last night. It doesn't help that DH is colour blind and all the branches are colour coded .

    I'm going to do minimal work today as DS2 is starting his big adventure tomorrow .

    Today I want to:

    Write DS2 a letter saying we love him and reminding him to look after himself in America.
    Write a list of safety advice for DS2.
    Put lights on the big tree.
    Finally sort through DS2's rubbish bags .
    Clean out the furry moron.
    Wash DS2's clothes from laundry basket in case he wants to pack them.
    Print off a copy of DS2's itinerary for us.
    Go to my hair appointment this morning.

    DH has to go with DS2 to draw out some more dollars as well today. In addition we have to help DS3 finally submit his UCAS form and take DS3 onto Dartmoor to take sunset pics for his college project .

    What did we do before we had children?
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 04-12-2017 at 9:31 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
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