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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 2,832Posts
    • 16,407Thanks
    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 = £110.76/Loss of Income Fund £0
Page 77
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Jan 18, 3:20 PM
    • 2,832 Posts
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    What's left to do on your house SA? Houses really are money pits .

    My list didn't even cover the furniture we would would like to increase storage and look less shabby, but that's more of a want than a need. My previous list was the needs .
    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 = £110.76/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 7th Jan 18, 7:21 PM
    • 1,401 Posts
    • 8,142 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Bet the curtains look nice and bright once they are up Hairy.

    Re table clothes - I used sheets instead once years ago when I was first married and having a bit of a party. Couldnít afford a tablecloth!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    Surveys: PA: £15.78/£20; One Poll: £15.40/£40: Opinium: £10.50/£25; Panelbase: £5/£10; You Gov: 1625/5000 points (£50)
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 7th Jan 18, 7:32 PM
    • 1,081 Posts
    • 5,872 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Once you get your EF together , then maybe you can start targeting the house outside . Get the jobs quoted for and take it from there .

    Hope the curtains are ok after the wash and dry.
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3209 CC2 £308

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 7th Jan 18, 7:40 PM
    • 4,965 Posts
    • 30,830 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    All sorts left to do HH I'd be on here all night if I started listing them. but the major bits are done at least.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £94.62
    Jan NSDs 4 Jan AFDs 6
    Weight loss 3/10LBS Emergency Fund £1685.31/£10,000
    April holiday £803.90/£803.90
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 7th Jan 18, 8:10 PM
    • 847 Posts
    • 4,857 Thanks
    redofromstart
    I've used a sheet too Seaside, couldn't find a cheap ready made tablecloth that was long enough. The table cloth that wasn't long enough is now the front door curtain!
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Jan 18, 10:36 PM
    • 2,832 Posts
    • 16,407 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Bet the curtains look nice and bright once they are up Hairy.

    Re table clothes - I used sheets instead once years ago when I was first married and having a bit of a party. Couldn’t afford a tablecloth!
    Originally posted by Seasidegal58
    I've used a sheet too Seaside, couldn't find a cheap ready made tablecloth that was long enough. The table cloth that wasn't long enough is now the front door curtain!
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    Very versatile! We did use an Indian throw as a curtain once in our old house .
    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 = £110.76/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Jan 18, 10:44 PM
    • 2,832 Posts
    • 16,407 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Once you get your EF together , then maybe you can start targeting the house outside . Get the jobs quoted for and take it from there .

    Hope the curtains are ok after the wash and dry.
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    All sorts left to do HH I'd be on here all night if I started listing them. but the major bits are done at least.
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    We'll have to try and save up for individual jobs I guess. We asked our builder for a quote to do the bathroom while he was sorting the leak, just for interest.

    We have quite a large bathroom with just a sink and bath in it, and a small room next to it with just a toilet in it. It's damp, shabby and crumbling, with stains on the carpet and mouldy tiles.

    To replaster, have new tiles, shower cubicle installed, new bath, toilet added and extractor fan put in would cost £5000 .

    We can dream .
    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 = £110.76/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 8th Jan 18, 10:43 AM
    • 4,226 Posts
    • 23,720 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Anyway that was a moan fest so I'll try and be more positive now .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Not a problem to have a moan every now and then, Hairy, It can be a good thing to get things off your chest. You always have plenty of optimistic things to say whatever life hits you with, that's why we love visiting your diary


    Incidentally, to put it into perspective, your list of things that need doing on your house is just like the first page of a bookful of faults that need fixing on ours. The worse part is that OH, who has no debts and is miserly to the extreme, could pay for most of them out of his savings. He always works on the principal of 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' and totally ignores ongoing maintenance unless he can do it himself for nothing. It has to be totally knackered, useless and unfit for purpose before he will spend any money. By then major work is usually needed as things have gone too far for just repairing. Anything that involves getting a man/men in to deal with it is a no-no until things are desperate as they are now.. OH is quite handy but is a pensioner now and there's a limit to how much he can physically do on the big, heavy jobs.
    Make £10 A Day Challenge 2017. Jan-Oct: £4500 ish
    Signing off for 2017, already smashed my year's target
    3-6 Months Emergency Fund Challenge #12: £3733.00/£5000.

    Original Debt: £56804 (@ LBM 02/13). Balance now: £12411
    . Getting there.
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 8th Jan 18, 10:52 AM
    • 4,226 Posts
    • 23,720 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Coincidentally, OH was throwing out some old paperwork yesterday and one of the pages was a 1997 quote for some 'essential' work that we needed on the house . It would have cost over £5000 even back then. Needless to say we didn't have it done and it is now absolutely desperate. Goodness knows how much the quote for it will be now, that's when he actually steels himself to get builders in to give him some quotes.
    Make £10 A Day Challenge 2017. Jan-Oct: £4500 ish
    Signing off for 2017, already smashed my year's target
    3-6 Months Emergency Fund Challenge #12: £3733.00/£5000.

    Original Debt: £56804 (@ LBM 02/13). Balance now: £12411
    . Getting there.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 8th Jan 18, 11:55 AM
    • 847 Posts
    • 4,857 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Similar house issues, and OH who has the skills but not the time at the moment. When he hasn't been working we haven't had the money for the materials.

    We used some foam tape on one of the wooden bedroom windows, reduced the drafts significantly and wasn't very much at all.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 8th Jan 18, 8:18 PM
    • 2,832 Posts
    • 16,407 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Not a problem to have a moan every now and then, Hairy, It can be a good thing to get things off your chest. You always have plenty of optimistic things to say whatever life hits you with, that's why we love visiting your diary

    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    Thank you Carboot that's a very nice thing to say .

    Coincidentally, OH was throwing out some old paperwork yesterday and one of the pages was a 1997 quote for some 'essential' work that we needed on the house . It would have cost over £5000 even back then. Needless to say we didn't have it done and it is now absolutely desperate. Goodness knows how much the quote for it will be now, that's when he actually steels himself to get builders in to give him some quotes.
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    to expensive jobs. It must be very frustrating for you if OH can afford to pay for the work but won't. I guess he may have to one 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. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £110.76/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 8th Jan 18, 8:21 PM
    • 2,832 Posts
    • 16,407 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thank you so much everyone for your very kind condolences about my brother's plight. Such thoughtfulness from strangers certainly lifted my spirits and it looks like a group of truly 'nice' (for want of a better word) people congregate on Hairy's diary. I'm so glad that I found it.

    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    The people who visit my diary are a lovely bunch I agree .
    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 = £110.76/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 8th Jan 18, 8:23 PM
    • 2,832 Posts
    • 16,407 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Similar house issues, and OH who has the skills but not the time at the moment. When he hasn't been working we haven't had the money for the materials.

    We used some foam tape on one of the wooden bedroom windows, reduced the drafts significantly and wasn't very much at all.
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    I guess you need to buy the materials when OH is working and get him to do the work when he isn't working. Easy to say but not easy in practise I'm sure.

    We bought some insulating foam today, so hopefully that will help.
    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 = £110.76/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 8th Jan 18, 8:41 PM
    • 847 Posts
    • 4,857 Thanks
    redofromstart
    I guess you need to buy the materials when OH is working and get him to do the work when he isn't working. Easy to say but not easy in practise I'm sure.

    We bought some insulating foam today, so hopefully that will help.
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Oh we have been buying materials for a while now, there's a bath, and taps and a mixer shower hidden under all the stuff in the junk room for example but we couldn't afford the pipes to plumb it in last time. One day it'll be my en-suite. Till then I keep on buying bargains as I see them and keep stashing mortgage money in the emergency fund ready for the next quiet period
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 8th Jan 18, 8:41 PM
    • 2,832 Posts
    • 16,407 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    We posted three birthday cards and DS3's Citizencard application today. I also stocked up on second hand stamps for my card kit box to avoid frequent time wasting trips to the post office .

    Then we bought DS3 a new lampshade (as his is shabby and dirty) and some foam tape for the gaps in the living room windows. We also had to get more bread and milk and bananas for DS3. So not a NSD.

    I had three PA surveys today and I'm up to £3.45 , but had an annoying problem with a payment . I cashed £10.90 on Friday and the money has gone from my balance. But today I noticed the notification has gone from the screen which usually means the money is in my Paypal, but no money has gone into my Paypal yet plus I didn't get the usual email from PA saying I'd cashed out . I messaged them about it, so I hope I get the money eventually.

    DS2 has had a filling fall out, so I need to make him an emergency dentist appointment on Wednesday .


    We also got some work done which I'm pleased about. I want to have a really productive week workwise .

    Hope you've had a good Monday 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 = £110.76/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 8th Jan 18, 9:26 PM
    • 1,401 Posts
    • 8,142 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Well done on the PAs! Iíve not had many lately. Hope you get your money sorted out.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    Surveys: PA: £15.78/£20; One Poll: £15.40/£40: Opinium: £10.50/£25; Panelbase: £5/£10; You Gov: 1625/5000 points (£50)
    • abba1772
    • By abba1772 8th Jan 18, 10:01 PM
    • 4,152 Posts
    • 13,128 Thanks
    abba1772
    Lucky you on the surveys I haven't had anything since before Xmas xx
    NEXT TARGET HALIFAX CC WAS July 17 £3572.57 NOW £3998.33
    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 £7278.80 POAMAYC 2018 £365.69
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 8th Jan 18, 10:07 PM
    • 2,832 Posts
    • 16,407 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    It can be a bit unreliable. It helps that I'm sat in front of a computer most of 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. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £110.76/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 9th Jan 18, 8:11 AM
    • 2,832 Posts
    • 16,407 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Happy Tuesday everyone .

    DH ate the last of the porridge yesterday and forgot to tell me, so I had to have toast for breakfast this morning .

    Apart from buying porridge and toilet roll, we shouldn't need to buy anything else today, but it won't be the NSD I hoped for.

    I want to be really efficient today and manage my time better. I also want to fit in a walk to help me lose the Christmas pounds and to help me sleep well and feel positive.

    I also want to get more work done today, as I feel we've been struggling with focus since Christmas.

    Hope everyone has a good day 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. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £110.76/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 9th Jan 18, 9:24 AM
    • 2,832 Posts
    • 16,407 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I did it! I've just got back from my walk! . I'm very pleased with myself. First proper walk in about four weeks . Even though I struggled to make it back up the hill at the end (why do I live on a hill ) and my heart rate was up to 147 when I reached my front door, I had a big grin on my face .

    It's not easy re-starting a fitness routine after stopping for four weeks, the amount of obstacles I put in my own way; "I'm too tired", "I don't have time", "It's too cold". But luckily I didn't listen to myself and went anyway .

    I've done 4513 steps, 22 floors and 27 active minutes and it's only 9.20am .

    In other good news DS3 has decided he wants to walk to college and back, rather than catch two buses there and back. This will save £12 per week . DS3 isn't bothered about the money I don't think, but he is obsessed with fitness. It will be good for his anxiety too, so positive whichever way you look at it .
    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 = £110.76/Loss of Income Fund £0
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