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  • FIRST POST
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 2,248Posts
    • 10,847Thanks
    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 56
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Dec 17, 7:20 AM
    • 2,248 Posts
    • 10,847 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Cumbria, such a huge relief .

    I feel like DH and I have our lives back after spending about four days helping DS2 get ready and then worrying about him . I'm physically shattered and emotionally drained but we can get back to normal now.

    I can't worry too much sbout what he does while he's there because he probably won't tell us. He's shown that he's savvy enough to travel all that way alone, so that gives me confidence .

    Now I want to focus on work, housework and money saving

    Incidentally DS3's UCAS application was finally submitted yesterday too .
    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
    • jwil
    • By jwil 7th Dec 17, 7:55 AM
    • 7,810 Posts
    • 22,398 Thanks
    jwil
    Glad he's there ok, hope you can have a more relaxing day today
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Dec 17, 8:01 AM
    • 2,248 Posts
    • 10,847 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks jwil I'm sure we will
    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 7th Dec 17, 8:13 AM
    • 462 Posts
    • 5,655 Thanks
    117pauline
    This trip sounds like it's going to be the making of him. Perhaps once he is home you can build on his successes.

    Have a good day. Perhaps small steps for you after all the excitement

    Take care
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Dec 17, 8:25 AM
    • 2,248 Posts
    • 10,847 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Yes Pauline I'd like to make him feel that's he's done something amazing, because he has .

    I think it will be small steps for us today because we've only had about four hours sleep the past two nights. It's literally impossible to sleep if you are worried about your child .

    So now we know DS2 is safe, for now, we can do some of the more urgent tasks we've been neglecting. I may need a nap later on to get me through the day .
    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 7th Dec 17, 11:29 AM
    • 49,035 Posts
    • 182,067 Thanks
    beanielou
    He's arrived
    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***
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 7th Dec 17, 11:30 AM
    • 49,035 Posts
    • 182,067 Thanks
    beanielou
    & for UCAS
    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 7th Dec 17, 4:08 PM
    • 2,248 Posts
    • 10,847 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    & for UCAS
    Originally posted by beanielou
    He's arrived
    Originally posted by beanielou
    I know, relief all around .

    No idea what he's doing now. It should be 10.00am in New Orleans so hopefully he's had a good nights sleep.

    He hasn't said what he's planning on doing when he gets there, apart from seeing some friends. He told DH's sister that one of them is from where we live, so maybe they went to his school ?

    I bet he gets back and we never find out where he went or what he did while he was there. That would be so like him. I wish I could microchip him like a cat

    DH and I have finished work early because we feel too tired to think .
    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 7th Dec 17, 4:26 PM
    • 287 Posts
    • 2,357 Thanks
    Pauper1
    I'd be so frustrated if I couldn't find out, I'm so nosy. I hope you had a good day and managed a sneaky nap!
    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
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 7th Dec 17, 4:46 PM
    • 167 Posts
    • 638 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    Hello HHoD - I've come to you from Pooh's diary (missing her!). Sometimes I feel it is just nosiness, but I find these sort of diaries so inspiring and warm.

    My nephew has mental health problems - he is such a beautiful young man, full of talents and charisma, and so self-destructive that we all worry for him. It's not like a physical illness that you start 'taking the tablets' for, (if only!!), neither can you extract the problems surgically.It seems to be an ongoing, see-sawing state of affairs that will probably never get resolved satisfactorily.

    Still, I look forward to reading your posts with interest.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Dec 17, 5:18 PM
    • 2,248 Posts
    • 10,847 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thank you Elizabeth. DS2 did go through a slightly self destructive phase a few years ago, but he does seem much better now so I hope it lasts. His illness came on when he was 18, he was perfectly normal before then. It is very difficult to treat as nobody seems sure what caused it in the first place .

    However he works very hard at his business, has been buying new clothes and has been much more communicative towards the rest of his family recently, so these are all good signs .

    I hope your nephew is getting the support he needs. It is very hard for families.
    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 7th Dec 17, 5:20 PM
    • 2,248 Posts
    • 10,847 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I'd be so frustrated if I couldn't find out, I'm so nosy. I hope you had a good day and managed a sneaky nap!
    Originally posted by Pauper1
    I'd love to know, but he's like an enigma wrapped in a mystery, he's be a good spy . Idid manage a sneaky nap thanks .
    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 7th Dec 17, 7:47 PM
    • 8,400 Posts
    • 47,241 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    So pleased DS managed his journey and is “at hotel now” Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in December 1/5
    Lbs lost 10/107.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Dec 17, 7:58 PM
    • 2,248 Posts
    • 10,847 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Lucky
    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 7th Dec 17, 8:56 PM
    • 4,732 Posts
    • 28,183 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    So pleased to hear DS arrived safe and sound. It will do his confidence no end of good. Glad UCAS is sorted too

    And breathe xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £20.70
    December 3 NSD
    Weight loss 2/7lbs
    Mr SA finally in remission December 2013
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Dec 17, 9:27 PM
    • 2,248 Posts
    • 10,847 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks SA I'm attempting to unwind right now (although still wondering what DS2 is up to!)
    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 8th Dec 17, 8:24 AM
    • 2,248 Posts
    • 10,847 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    We got a message from DS2 at about 12.30 last night saying "People keep asking me what Australia is like." .

    Then at about 4.00am a message saying he'd been to the World War 2 museum and explored the city . It sounds like he's having a good time .

    It's so good to hear from him .

    Today we must get more work done as I feel like we haven't got much done so far this week and I'm afraid the money's goibg to run out .

    I also need to do more housework as I've been too tired to do much the past few days. I'll look out for surveys too.

    Despite going to bed at 10.00pm last night and not getting up until 7.00am this morning, I have all the energy of a tired, geriatric tortoise today .
    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
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 8th Dec 17, 9:19 AM
    • 421 Posts
    • 2,906 Thanks
    WannabeFree
    Glad DS seems to be having fun, I'm sure it will be amazing!

    Have a lovely day today HH x
    “Once you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.”
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 8th Dec 17, 5:36 PM
    • 49,035 Posts
    • 182,067 Thanks
    beanielou
    Glad that you have heard from DS2
    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 8th Dec 17, 6:04 PM
    • 2,248 Posts
    • 10,847 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks beanie .

    I felt really tired today but soldiered on .

    I put two loads of laundry on, gave Npower meter reading and ordered three Amazon vouchers (two birthdays and one Christmas).

    I also did a YG survey and three PA surveys, one of which was for £5 but was over an hour long and very tedious; still money is money .

    We also managed a bit of work but not as much as we would have liked .

    I'm watching a dreadful film at the moment with DH and DS1 whilst trying to summon up the energy to go and cook later on.
    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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