what gave you your lightbulb moment

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  • mine was not being able to pay for petrol the first month of starting a well paid job in feb 2009. I walked from the petrol station to the cashpoint to discover I was hundreds over the overdraft limit. Had to call OH who came out with babes to pay on his CC. I was so embarrassed. It took me nearly a year to completely face up to the debts that I had accummulated but by the end of 2009 I had started making significant progress on paying things off. This year has been the most frugal ever. I no longer think myself and OH do good jobs therefore we DESERVE whatever. Instead we meal plan, and save costs whenever we can. I'm so proud of how how much we have paid off and the fact that we paid for our holiday in full up front (had never in my life done this, always went on CC) as well as saved up for Xmas and a new computer. I will never be in a situation whereby my card does not work.
    Coming on this website regularly has been a lifesaver - v motivating :money:
  • This really is a great thread as it seems to happen so differently for people.

    I have had some sort of debt ever since i got my first full-time job and with it my first current account and loan for a car to get me to that job - back in 1988 and change. I was 18.

    I wrangled a loan with my bank I couldn't really afford, due to them having a long-standing relationship with my then step-dad and me promising to get a weekend job to make the payments. Well I lasted about two weekends at the job, which consisted of me having mentally damaged people wipe snot on me for 5 hours :eek:

    So really my debts grew slowly and little by little as I came up short each month. Nothing extravagant.

    Early 90's I moved in with a boyfriend - debts and all - and had to travel a fair distance to work. A couple of years later we moved even farther away (duh, i know) which killed my car....had to take out another loan for another car...killed that...there was a pattern. Also, we were living in a highly social city and were in our 20's-slash-30's...you can see how that went.

    Around 2003 or so I ended up taking out a consolidation loan for around £14,000 as things were getting messy....however I didn't cut up the credit cards, did I? I thought I was being clever as I used to bounce my debts around from 0% offer to 0% offer and was always accepted. My partner was pretty good with money and we worked together - we had each other as buffers.

    Then my partner's business folded and he had to use all his savings to clear up the mess. He started another one but rarely paid himself as he tried to make it work.

    Through all this I used to feel sick whenever I looked at my bank statements and so avoided them for the most part. Every time I needed money or wanted something I'd get that sick feeling. I'm sure many of you know exactly what I mean.

    Then in 2008 my partner and I broke up (not for financial reasons) and I had to get a flat on my own for the first time in my life. I had no buffer. If I couldn't make the payments on bills or debts I would have to go running to my mum. I was 38 and I so did not want to do that.

    Luckily around this time I had a number of bonuses at my job which helped enormously and allowed me to get a flat without having to borrow a deposit. However then this da*n credit crunch hit and I was turned down for my first 0% credit card transfer. Then I was turned down for a catalogue. I looked at my statements and I had only about £50 of my o/d left and more bills the next month. Alone.

    Oh yeah, and my latest car was about to die at its next MOT.

    I think I might've thrown up a little mentally. In other words - I had my LBM for sure :rotfl:

    So I knuckled down and did THOROUGH accounts for everything - no matter how painful it was to see. I discovered that I had around £12,000 of debts which included my latest car loan, my overdraft, a credit card and owing my (new) partner £500 for a motorcycle (possibly the only REAL extravagance I spent any of this debt on).

    And for the first time in my life i was SICK of not being in control.

    Luckily a few things came together for me at around the same time which helped me to finally achieve debt-freedom on the 29th December 2009:

    1) my mum gave me her old car to replace my banger (buhbye car loans)
    2) my folks gave me some money from an inheritance (came straight off c/c debt)
    3) i received my last bonus from work (as above)
    4) my partner asked me to move in with him (cheaper rent/bills as is shared with his dad)
    5) i discovered MSE :) and worked my SOCKS off to pay off the rest of my debts so that we could start saving for our own house

    I have had a luckier, and quicker, debt-free journey than most, but staying OUT of debt now is my aim. I don't ever want that sick feeling back again.

    Ooh my...thanks for reading. That ended up being a ramble :o

    *meep*
    Mortgage-Free Wannabe
    Mortgage at start [20/6/12]: £151,800/MFD Jun 2035 (age 65)
    Mortgage now [5/11/14]: £139,212.14/MFD Oct 2029 (age 59)
    Personal Library 2014
    :starmod: Read in 2014: 57/60 :starmod: In Progress: 2 :starmod: Books In: 94 :starmod: Books Out: 12 :starmod: TBR: 847 :starmod:
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