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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 1,413Posts
    • 3,774Thanks
    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 6
    • Reb2016
    • By Reb2016 2nd Oct 17, 9:59 PM
    • 130 Posts
    • 245 Thanks
    Reb2016
    Just caught up,with your diary, fingers crossed for that final creditor, and good to hear you got the tax office sorted.

    Reb
    Last edited by Reb2016; 02-10-2017 at 10:02 PM.
    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
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 3rd Oct 17, 7:23 AM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 3,774 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hi Reb thanks for popping by .

    Last night DH spent £5 on milk, and chocolate for him & DS1. A NSD apart from that.

    Dinner was frozen mince from the freezer, cooked in curry sauce with onions, spinach and kale in one of my experimental recipes .

    Today's plans are iron DH's shirt ready for his 10.00am meeting, go for a walk, calculate our latest vat return (my favourite job, not ) and do some other work.

    I also hope to have a NSD. Have a great Tuesday everyone .
    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 3rd Oct 17, 8:13 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 549 Thanks
    Purplebonnie
    Morning, I have been looking back at your lists and have picked up some good tips. However, one thing I can't do is value teabags, I like my tea so strong you can stand the spoon up in it, I will just have to watch out for offers on my precious Yorkshire Tea! Have a good day
    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 3rd Oct 17, 8:57 AM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 3,774 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I'm glad the lists were useful purplebonnie. I actually like Tesco value tea bags, strange creature that I am .

    I have some even older lists somewhere that I must try to find, they'll give a fascinating insight into my early spending habits .
    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 3rd Oct 17, 9:01 AM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 3,774 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I've had a lovely walk in the sunshine after yesterday's rain and an even lovelier hot shower afterwards, simple pleasures

    Now to start work.
    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
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 3rd Oct 17, 9:15 AM
    • 5,226 Posts
    • 17,492 Thanks
    Purplemumof2
    I like my tea so strong you can stand the spoon up in it
    Originally posted by Purplebonnie
    you could be my twin PB
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
    MBNA: £7250.00 Cap 1: £529.05 BC: £5196.94

    AFD 0/10 NSD 0/10 LTW 0/10

    20p Savers 2017 £2 Savers 2017 50p Savers 2017 SPC 10 2017 #003
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 3rd Oct 17, 9:16 AM
    • 5,226 Posts
    • 17,492 Thanks
    Purplemumof2
    I've had a lovely walk in the sunshine after yesterday's rain and an even lovelier hot shower afterwards, simple pleasures

    Now to start work.
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Have a lovely day Hairy x
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
    MBNA: £7250.00 Cap 1: £529.05 BC: £5196.94

    AFD 0/10 NSD 0/10 LTW 0/10

    20p Savers 2017 £2 Savers 2017 50p Savers 2017 SPC 10 2017 #003
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 3rd Oct 17, 10:59 AM
    • 47,744 Posts
    • 173,255 Thanks
    beanielou
    Glad that the tax people found the payment
    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 3rd Oct 17, 5:04 PM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 3,774 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks purplemum and beanie.

    I've popped on for a break from my vat return and my head hurts. I usually get something wrong so our accountants have to correct it
    But never mind, as long as I submit it before I get fined, that's all I care about
    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 3rd Oct 17, 9:05 PM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 3,774 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Well today was a NSD day for me. DH had to put £5 of petrol in the car as DS3 missed the bus and needed a lift to college. Kids!

    Tomorrow is my big food shop day and my goal is to spend £74. I'll need to do a careful audit of the fridge, freezer and cupboards, so that I buy exactly what we need for one week and no more. I need to keep an eye on the total and if it's about to go over then I'll put stuff back. I can do this

    I almost finished my vat return and once the accountants reply to a query I can finish it, submit it and pay it. It's always a relief when that horrible chore is done

    Have a relaxing evening everyone.
    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 3rd Oct 17, 10:44 PM
    • 906 Posts
    • 4,770 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Hi HairyHand - found your lists really interesting - and isn't it great that you've kept up with the changes. Hope you find the others and post them here.

    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 4th Oct 17, 7:00 AM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 3,774 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks SG. I'll definitely look for them. Have a geat day
    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 4th Oct 17, 7:12 AM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 3,774 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    DH and I have decided that next Monday is the day that he will ring the final creditor to try and negotiate a deal. I already feel impatient for Monday to arrive . That will be six working days since it was posted. I suspect if we waited for them to get back to us it would take about six weeks.

    It's frustrating because you don't get to talk to the decision maker . The person DH has been speaking to can only pass on information to her manager. So we'll make an offer and she'll ring us the next day with an answer. It creates a lot of delay and frustration for us, particularly if you're not there when they ring back .

    Today is my big weekly shop, but first a walk and some work to be done. Have a good Wednesday everyone.
    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
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 4th Oct 17, 11:47 AM
    • 8,013 Posts
    • 41,442 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    I tried value tea bags ages ago and decided that they were a no for us. Other value items that got tried and rejected were coffee (MrEH sticks resolutely to his Nescafe but we only ever buy on offer) and Washing Up Liquid - the liquidised fairies all the way for me, thanks! (And again only ever got on offer!) Also not a fan of value loo paper and not convinced it works out any cheaper anyway as you have to use SOOOOO much!

    I'd say "hurry up monday" but there is a weekend in the way there before I can do that - I'm allergic to wishing weekends away!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
    • jwil
    • By jwil 4th Oct 17, 2:25 PM
    • 7,676 Posts
    • 21,427 Thanks
    jwil
    That's so frustrating about not been able to speak to the decision maker

    Hope you manage to stay in budget with the food shop!
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Oct 17, 4:40 PM
    • 47,744 Posts
    • 173,255 Thanks
    beanielou
    When my DS was at college he seemed to miss the bus an auful lot

    Hope negotiations go well.
    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 4th Oct 17, 7:30 PM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 3,774 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I tried value tea bags ages ago and decided that they were a no for us. Other value items that got tried and rejected were coffee (MrEH sticks resolutely to his Nescafe but we only ever buy on offer) and Washing Up Liquid - the liquidised fairies all the way for me, thanks! (And again only ever got on offer!) Also not a fan of value loo paper and not convinced it works out any cheaper anyway as you have to use SOOOOO much!

    I'd say "hurry up monday" but there is a weekend in the way there before I can do that - I'm allergic to wishing weekends away!
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    Well I have to agree with you that value coffee is pants Like you DH will only drink Necafe and I also buy it when it's on offer.

    However value washing up liquid and loo roll works for me. We get through nearly 6 rolls a day of the value toilet roll I'm not kidding!

    I tried spending the same amount of money and getting better quality loo roll and we ran out halfway through the week . I wouldn't believe it if it wasn't happening in my house
    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 4th Oct 17, 7:32 PM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 3,774 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    That's so frustrating about not been able to speak to the decision maker

    Hope you manage to stay in budget with the food shop!
    Originally posted by jwil
    I spent £76 on food so only £2 above target, although I put a couple of things back at the till
    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 4th Oct 17, 7:35 PM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 3,774 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    When my DS was at college he seemed to miss the bus an auful lot

    Hope negotiations go well.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thanks

    Dreadful aren't they! They find it so difficult to drag themselves out of bed at their age. I wish I could lie in but I always wake up early early even when I don't have to
    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 4th Oct 17, 7:46 PM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 3,774 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I'm pleased with my grocery shop as it came to £76, only £2 over budget

    I did have some additional spends though as it's DS3's birthday on Friday. He will be 20 so no longer a teenager We've already clubbed together with my parents and got him a new mobile, as his old one had broken. So I got him some Tesco jeans (he's very short of clothes), a bottle of fancy beer and a birthday cake, which came to around £24 . Still, it's only once a year luckily (for him anyway!)

    The vat return has been submitted and paid (early) and I did a survey on PA and earnt £4. Although it was very hard and made my head hurt I think I'm getting stupider as I age

    Have a good evening everyone.
    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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