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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 2,249Posts
    • 10,855Thanks
    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 54
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 5th Dec 17, 5:22 PM
    • 49,035 Posts
    • 182,071 Thanks
    beanielou
    You are underpaid at only 82p
    On a more serious note I am sure that your DS will be ok.
    He will be back before you know it
    Take care of you.
    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***
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 5th Dec 17, 5:22 PM
    • 421 Posts
    • 2,907 Thanks
    WannabeFree
    Don't overdo it though. Take some time to yourself too.

    DS will have an amazing time x
    “Once you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.”
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 5th Dec 17, 5:40 PM
    • 2,249 Posts
    • 10,855 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    You are underpaid at only 82p
    On a more serious note I am sure that your DS will be ok.
    He will be back before you know it
    Take care of you.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    I was well miffed at not earning more .

    I'm trying not to worry but that's a mum's job isn't it beanie .

    Don't overdo it though. Take some time to yourself too.

    DS will have an amazing time x
    Originally posted by WannabeFree
    Thanks Wannabe, I don't want too much down time or I'll hsae more time to get anxious .
    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 5th Dec 17, 7:43 PM
    • 2,249 Posts
    • 10,855 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Today the mortgage went out and I added £100 to Emergency Fund 1.

    I also counted my small change collection and have £8 in 1ps, 2ps and 5ps to pay into the bank Then I'll transfer it to Emergency Fund 2 .

    I also did a PA survey for £2.40 .

    DS2's coach is late so he's not at Victoria yet .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 05-12-2017 at 7:49 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
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 5th Dec 17, 7:52 PM
    • 905 Posts
    • 4,603 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    He is probably stuck in proverbial traffic that haunts our cities these days.

    What are the 2 EF for ?
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 5th Dec 17, 8:10 PM
    • 49,035 Posts
    • 182,071 Thanks
    beanielou
    Dident realise you were going to have 2 EF's.
    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 5th Dec 17, 8:19 PM
    • 2,249 Posts
    • 10,855 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    One is for emergencies like the boiler or car breaking down, the second is in case the first one isn't enough .

    I want £1000 in the first one and £500 in the second one.
    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 5th Dec 17, 8:28 PM
    • 49,035 Posts
    • 182,071 Thanks
    beanielou
    One is for emergencies like the boiler or car breaking down, the second is in case the first one isn't enough .

    I want £1000 in the first one and £500 in the second one.
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Better to be safe than sorry
    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 5th Dec 17, 8:29 PM
    • 905 Posts
    • 4,603 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    I like your thinking, I have 2 one for breakdowns and one for hiccups in my budget !
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 5th Dec 17, 8:54 PM
    • 2,249 Posts
    • 10,855 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Similar thinking Cumbria
    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 5th Dec 17, 10:05 PM
    • 2,249 Posts
    • 10,855 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    DS2 has finally arrived at DH's sister's house just this minute. I can't believe it took him ten hours to get there from home . He must be tired out, but it will be good practise for tomorrow .

    I'm so relieved he's finished the first leg of his mammoth journey .
    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
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 5th Dec 17, 10:58 PM
    • 462 Posts
    • 5,655 Thanks
    117pauline
    Hi HHD

    Sorry I haven't been about. I had managed to find a chest infection last week.

    Well, the first leg of his journey is complete which means he is one step closer to being back.

    It's easy to say, don't worry, but harder to do.

    This last month has been really tough on you after the initial euphoria of becoming debt free. And quite a few are things you have little control over. As long as the two of you continue to deal with things together, it will get better. I think we can all get a bit melancholy before Christmas and I imagine work gets less for you being self employed.

    Enjoy the rest of the week, try not to worry too much
    Take care
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 5th Dec 17, 11:09 PM
    • 2,249 Posts
    • 10,855 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thank you Pauline . I hope your infection clears up.

    The last month has been very stressful, but as long as DS2 gets home safely then I will be over the moon.

    Work does tend to drop off at this time of year, but we try to focus on marketing to bring work in for the new year.
    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
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 6th Dec 17, 12:12 AM
    • 955 Posts
    • 4,297 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I'm coming late to the party but wanted to wish DS well! And you too of course - I still remember the trauma of letting DD go to the States at the age of 16! She had never flown before and was met by friends of friends... I did wonder if I was stupid and irresponsible etc, but it really was the making of her.

    Maybe I shouldn't add that she then got the travel 'bug' and it was the first trip of many to various parts of the world.

    Advantages of going to the US: they speak English. Their currency isn't that different. We have some exposure to their culture through TV & films. Being English is supposed give one some sort of status.

    The trip will be over in next to no time!
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 6th Dec 17, 12:19 AM
    • 209 Posts
    • 770 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    *arrow pointing up*

    Wot Cherryfudge said! Excellent points!
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £1,002.21/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £631.64/£1,894.92
    Total CC Repayments: £2,568.28/£10,690.22 (24.02%) | Total Debt Repayments: £3,200.00/£12,585.14 (25.42%)
    • Pauper1
    • By Pauper1 6th Dec 17, 7:10 AM
    • 287 Posts
    • 2,357 Thanks
    Pauper1
    Glad DS got to his first stop safely. What time is his flight today?

    My plan was two EFs as well. One that was three months worth of expenses (at the time, so wouldn't cover that much now, at some point I will readjust) and one that was a lot smaller (about £800) to cover direct debit discrepancies/unexpected bills/smaller emergencies than losing our main income. I basically didn't ever want to touch the big one, so I had planned to lock it away when things had settled, but unfortunately it hasn't worked out that way now. The second EF has all gone and the big one has had a couple of things taken from it that should've come from the smaller one, if it had survived! It's still my plan though, so hopefully we'll get there at some point.
    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 6th Dec 17, 9:56 AM
    • 2,249 Posts
    • 10,855 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I'm coming late to the party but wanted to wish DS well! And you too of course - I still remember the trauma of letting DD go to the States at the age of 16! She had never flown before and was met by friends of friends... I did wonder if I was stupid and irresponsible etc, but it really was the making of her.

    Maybe I shouldn't add that she then got the travel 'bug' and it was the first trip of many to various parts of the world.

    Advantages of going to the US: they speak English. Their currency isn't that different. We have some exposure to their culture through TV & films. Being English is supposed give one some sort of status.

    The trip will be over in next to no time!
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    Thanks Cherry, reassuring points

    *arrow pointing up*

    Wot Cherryfudge said! Excellent points!
    Originally posted by DrSpendLittle
    Thanks DrSpend

    Glad DS got to his first stop safely. What time is his flight today?

    My plan was two EFs as well. One that was three months worth of expenses (at the time, so wouldn't cover that much now, at some point I will readjust) and one that was a lot smaller (about £800) to cover direct debit discrepancies/unexpected bills/smaller emergencies than losing our main income. I basically didn't ever want to touch the big one, so I had planned to lock it away when things had settled, but unfortunately it hasn't worked out that way now. The second EF has all gone and the big one has had a couple of things taken from it that should've come from the smaller one, if it had survived! It's still my plan though, so hopefully we'll get there at some point.
    Originally posted by Pauper1
    He's on the plane now Pauper and soon to arrive in Dublin on his first stopover . He's been good about texting us to let us know where he is and seems to be coping really well so far .
    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
    • Pauper1
    • By Pauper1 6th Dec 17, 11:05 AM
    • 287 Posts
    • 2,357 Thanks
    Pauper1
    I'm so glad it's going well. At least the change will be in an English speaking country, does he have any more stops before America?
    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 6th Dec 17, 11:15 AM
    • 2,249 Posts
    • 10,855 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    No but he has a stop over at New Jersey. He seems to be coping very well for someone who has never travelled alone before. He won't arrive in New Orleans until early Thursday morning.

    Hopefully you will be able to build your emergency funds up again after Christmas. Once I have £1500 in the two emergency funds I'd like to build a loss of income fund of £6000 in a seperate savings account.

    Ambitious I know but it would give us peace of mind .
    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
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 6th Dec 17, 11:27 AM
    • 955 Posts
    • 4,297 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Once I have £1500 in the two emergency funds I'd like to build a loss of income fund of £6000 in a seperate savings account.
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    What a sound idea! You could probably find one of those accounts with delayed access for better interest as well, because the EF would be your initial buffer zone.

    Travel... nowadays I suppose a lot of it is just sitting there while the pilot does the work, but a bit of the image of vast distances on foot (Lord of the Rings style) or transatlantic voyages that took weeks or first man on the moon still lingers with us. And as parents we have that instinct that says we can't be with them instantly if they don't feel well or something - but as young adults they will use what they've learned from us already to solve any 'situations' themselves. Then in my experience they come back more knowledgeable than we are and in a good position to advise us!
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