Can I have a life while clearing my debt?

245

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  • I think about ppl less fortunate than me all of the time, I work with vulnerable ppl who are more often than not on benefits/a low income with disabilities. My oh is from Brasil & has seen poverty like I can't imagine, in fact some of his family members are extremely poor. However I live in the country I do & have the income I have, there's much suffering in the world, every body has their own struggles. However everyone deserves the right to live their life as free from suffering as they can
    DF as at 30/12/16
    Womblng 2020:
    NSD Jan 2/18 YTD: 2
  • Massive well done on paying off so much already!! Not much to add, apart from to agree with someone above about "free" hobbies. My favourite thing to do in any spare time is to take my dogs out for a long walk with one of my friends who is a photographer. I also volunteer at a local rescue as a dogwalker, and spend a lot of time socialising and gossiping with all the people there (and getting excercise walking the hounds!!). Much better than the gym for me- and all the free brews you can drink!

    Like the Lovefilm idea too- I didn't realise you could get packages that cheaply- thanks!!
  • podperson
    podperson Posts: 3,125 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    I think at the end of the day it is about trying to find a balance that you can live with. A lot of us are on extremely long term plans and while it may seem in principle that you shouldn't have any 'little luxuries' then most people would struggle to live a completely bare bones existence for a number of years. You say you don't have sky, that's fair enough, but am sure you must do something for fun or entertainment that costs you money. Some people choose to pay a smallish amount to sky which helps keep them entertained when they can't afford to go out. I think it's great that you don't have any debts but since you don't know the circumstances behind most people on here getting into debt then perhaps it's not very fair to judge.
  • My suggestion would be to keep Sky - and carry on as you are. Take heart and advice from the other posts and maybe try a different 'free' hobby from time to time so you don't get board.

    If you get rid of Sky you will only end up resenting the situation more.

    Turn your thought of 2 years time into a positive and not a negative. Write a list of things you would like to be able to do in 2 years time with your budget and keep thinking of how close you are really to your first major milestone.

    Hope it all goes well.
    Mortgage Free x 1 03.11.2012 - House rented out Feb 2016
    Mortgage No 2: £82, 595.61 (31.08.2019)
    OP's to Date £8500

    Renovation Fund:£511.39;
    Nectar Points Balance: approx £30 (31.08.2019)
  • Sharon87
    Sharon87 Posts: 4,011 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    I'm trying to be debt free, but find that its really difficult doing it with everything I want to do! I've overspent massively this year. I went on my first holiday in 5 years - only 3 nights in Rome, but still it cost quite a bit as I had to get new passport.

    I feel I should be enjoying life rather than paying off debts, I'm only 23 so I want to do stuff before I get too old lol. For example I've got about 10 music gigs planned this year, some only cost £10 or less though. I don't have a secure job which is my problem. I work short term contracts, so sometimes I'm claiming job seekers.

    It's difficult trying to be debt free and actually have a life lol. Although I did save £3.99 on cancelling Lovefilm, as I had no time to watch them, probably with all the gigs I went to!! lol
  • climbgirl
    climbgirl Posts: 1,504 Forumite
    The trick is to find ways of treating yourself and having fun that don't cost anything. Are you really getting that much value out of sky? Could you not ditch it and watch things on the iplayer instead? I really don't see the attraction to sky either, it seems to me to be full of repeats!

    Anyway, some ideas for free things to do:
    • I think you mentioned the gym - look for free exercise groups in your area. My doctor's surgery has a running and walking group that meet once a week. If you can't find one, put up flyers yourself and start one!
    • Find (or start!) a book group. Or a dvd group. We've started a little movie club with a group of friends. Once every couple of weeks we all pile round to a friend's place and watch a DVD. We either make dinner or get in a takeaway depending on how rich we're feeling! We've started swapping dvds too so it feels like you're seeing something new but it costs nothing
    • Volunteer - at an animal shelter, an old people's home, whatever there is in your area. You'll find it very rewarding and it costs nothing
    • Have friends over for dinner instead of going out - it doesn't have to be expensive, most people appreciate being cooked for. The "come dine with me" concept is a great idea
    • Find a local craft group if you're into that kind of thing. Most areas have groups that meet every week or fortnight and will teach people basic skills for free. There can be costs involved but it doesn't have to be expensive.
    Just start being a bit creative about your fun time - it doesn't have to cost money! If there aren't any groups in your area doing whatever it is you want to do, start one! I bet you'll find there's loads of people into the same kind of thing once you start looking.
  • edd247
    edd247 Posts: 181 Forumite
    Have a look at the competitions thread, its keeping me occupied through my long haul to being debt free.
    Here's hoping we win what we want and want what we win!!!.

    My Jan 2011 wins: £250 white stuff Fashion clothing vouchers. Thanks WALWIN

    QUIT SMOKING on 4 Jan 2011, feel free Nag me about how im getting on.
  • Little_Vics
    Little_Vics Posts: 1,516 Forumite
    I forgot to mention volunteering - we 'give' 2 nights a week to a local cause we're passionate about. In the winter it has the added bonus of us not having to put the heating on in the evening because we're out the house! That 2/7ths saving adds up!
  • I feel the same - my husband and I are trying really hard to stay focused and think about the end goal of paying off debts, it is hard to go without but you definitely aren't the only one. For us, our 'luxury' is Virgin tv although we are on a more basic package than we used to be. We'll treat ourselves to a takeaway every now and then and the occasional cheapish night out although we plan each month in advance and if we want to do something like that we try to cut back on our food shopping etc to pay for it. I'm hoping we can be out of debt by the end of next year but it does get hard to keep up the motivation.

    When we first started trying to pay off our debts we were still spending quite a lot and in fact ended up putting even more on our credit cards, so now I've done a monthly spreadsheet which we're religiously sticking to and I've written down the dates when various credit cards will be paid off so we have a goal to work towards.

    Anyway you're not alone in your situation! :)
    DFW by end of June 2016...! LBM June 2011
    Debts start July 2011:
    [STRIKE]£53,846[/STRIKE] £31,716 (41%)
  • Thank you everyone who took the time to reply. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one who feels bogged down in the long hall sometimes.

    Also thank you for all the suggestions about things I could do. If anything it made me feel better because I'm already doing most of them. I do miss the gym, I used to be passionate about going to the gym and I was even taking classes in aerial acrobatics and now I just feel fat and flabby *sniff* But 2 years form now I'll be able to get back into it.

    As for the very controversial Sky thing. I've only kept it this long because the internet was the best I've found for the money. I discovered today that they now allow you to have Sky internet without TV so I've dropped the TV :j

    I've been debating with myself whether to respond to the negative posts or not. I've finally decided just to say that you should never judge someone without knowing them and their circomstances. In otherwords if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all.

    Good luck to everyone who's on the long hall. We will all make it one day and I for one am very gratfull for the support I've found on this website which has made it just that little bit easier to get there. :beer:
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