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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 3,400Posts
    • 21,501Thanks
    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. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
Page 7
    • DebtFreeDuo
    • By DebtFreeDuo 4th Oct 17, 7:51 PM
    • 777 Posts
    • 4,024 Thanks
    DebtFreeDuo
    Well done with your food budget! It sounds like you have had a productive day today. I joined PA today, heard lots of good things so I'm hoping I get some surveys through soon.
    Debt free by Christmas 2018 #004: 2419.69/7445.69
    £2018 in 2018 #25: 210.41/2018
    SPC 586
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 4th Oct 17, 8:21 PM
    • 3,400 Posts
    • 21,501 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    You need to check the site frequently for surveys. I did get an email about a survey today. When I went on the site that one was full, but I was able to do another one. It does seem to pay better than You Gov so far, as You Gov takes me a year to get to £50.
    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. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 4th Oct 17, 8:24 PM
    • 1,582 Posts
    • 9,443 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    to the food budget!

    I do find the Prolific surveys the best. Although I think they got their wires crossed today with me. They gave me a survey all about baby milk formula and whether I'd use it. DD is aged 44!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • DebtFreeDuo
    • By DebtFreeDuo 4th Oct 17, 8:25 PM
    • 777 Posts
    • 4,024 Thanks
    DebtFreeDuo
    You need to check the site frequently for surveys. I did get an email about a survey today. When I went on the site that one was full, but I was able to do another one. It does seem to pay better than You Gov so far, as You Gov takes me a year to get to £50.
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Ah thank you, will keep an eye on it whenever I get some time. I've been on YouGov around a month or so and I think I only have around 800/5000 (I think) so probably a year here too for the £50.
    Debt free by Christmas 2018 #004: 2419.69/7445.69
    £2018 in 2018 #25: 210.41/2018
    SPC 586
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 4th Oct 17, 8:29 PM
    • 3,400 Posts
    • 21,501 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    to the food budget!

    I do find the Prolific surveys the best. Although I think they got their wires crossed today with me. They gave me a survey all about baby milk formula and whether I'd use it. DD is aged 44!
    Originally posted by Seasidegal58
    Hilarious Did you have to think back and remember what you did all those years ago? Mine was all about tasks and decision making and it was so complicated I had trouble making decisions
    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. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Oct 17, 8:31 PM
    • 50,702 Posts
    • 194,270 Thanks
    beanielou
    You Gov is not my friend.
    I do wonder if for a quid a week if it is worth it
    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 4th Oct 17, 8:32 PM
    • 5,243 Posts
    • 33,289 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Life's too short to drink bad coffee/tea I can't drink instant, I'm such a diva

    Sounds like you've got some good plans in place.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £153.08
    Jan NSDs 7 Feb AFDs 5
    Weight loss 4/10LBS Emergency Fund £2000/£10,000
    April holiday £0/£900
    Dining room fund £150
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 4th Oct 17, 8:34 PM
    • 1,582 Posts
    • 9,443 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Do you know I didn't bother doing It! I got a better one which was all about the why's and wherefores of working offsite rather than in the office and does your firm encourage this (no!)
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 4th Oct 17, 8:40 PM
    • 3,400 Posts
    • 21,501 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    A wise decision SG

    You Gov does take ages to get points beanie, but at least they never screen me out after loads of questions so I keep plodding on. DS1 gets loads more surveys than I do from YG, he must be a desirable demographic.
    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. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • Purplebonnie
    • By Purplebonnie 5th Oct 17, 5:51 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 598 Thanks
    Purplebonnie
    That would be really interesting, thank you
    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 5th Oct 17, 7:04 AM
    • 3,400 Posts
    • 21,501 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Today's goals are walk, followed by work.

    I'm also hoping for a NSD after a spendy day yesterday!

    Have a great Thursday everyone
    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. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 5th Oct 17, 10:11 AM
    • 50,702 Posts
    • 194,270 Thanks
    beanielou
    You have a good Thursday too
    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***
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 5th Oct 17, 11:50 AM
    • 8,479 Posts
    • 45,267 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Another who plods on with YouGov because at least you're guaranteed to actually get the survey they send you rather than getting screened out. It's going to take me more than a year though I fear! I find OnePoll is surprisingly worth it although it takes a long time to get to payout as the individual surveys are so short and at least when you do finally get paid out £40 is a decent lump. Love prolific though - but I admit I am choosy about the hourly-rate needing to be good enough on the studies I get offered!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£842.87 (12/02/18)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 5th Oct 17, 3:51 PM
    • 50,702 Posts
    • 194,270 Thanks
    beanielou
    Just got a You Gov for 300 points
    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 Oct 17, 7:20 PM
    • 3,400 Posts
    • 21,501 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Wow lucky you! I got one today but it was only for 25 points

    I forgot to say that I resisted buying any coke yesterday and transferred £6 into my new, Christmas savings fund. Well it's a start

    Today was a dull day of work work work, but the highlight was a letter from M&S bank confirming that my credit card balance was zero and that they are going to close my account I feel like framing the letter and putting it on the wall
    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. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 5th Oct 17, 7:52 PM
    • 3,400 Posts
    • 21,501 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Another who plods on with YouGov because at least you're guaranteed to actually get the survey they send you rather than getting screened out. It's going to take me more than a year though I fear! I find OnePoll is surprisingly worth it although it takes a long time to get to payout as the individual surveys are so short and at least when you do finally get paid out £40 is a decent lump. Love prolific though - but I admit I am choosy about the hourly-rate needing to be good enough on the studies I get offered!
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    I'll have to investigate One Poll Essex.
    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. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 5th Oct 17, 8:43 PM
    • 50,702 Posts
    • 194,270 Thanks
    beanielou
    Great news on letter from M & 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 Oct 17, 8:46 PM
    • 3,400 Posts
    • 21,501 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Beanie
    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. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 5th Oct 17, 9:12 PM
    • 1,582 Posts
    • 9,443 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Well done on the M&S card! Another brick knocked off the debt wall!

    Re surveys I've only been doing them for about a month - PA is the best (£20 payout already) and One Poll comes second but I agree with EH that OnePoll is a slow process. I'm only up to £8.60 so far even though they're generous with the number of surveys they post for me. Re YouGov and Opinium - I've hardly had anything from them at all.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 5th Oct 17, 9:24 PM
    • 3,400 Posts
    • 21,501 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    You Gov is slow but reliable so I've stuck with them over the years.

    I've only done two surveys so far with PA so I'll see how that goes. You seem to have to do them on a pc or laptop and I only have access to a tablet in the evenings, so I'll have to do them in the daytime which is a shame as evenings can be dead time.
    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. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £0/Loss of Income Fund £0
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