Can I have a life while clearing my debt?



  • poddle911
    poddle911 Posts: 1,406 Forumite
    First Anniversary
    Just wanted to add my support - you're doing a great job especially with your demanding home/work life and there have been some great suggestions on this thread. If you're doing a lot of them already then cut yourself some slack!

    Much as it's true that the more frugal you are now, the quicker you'll be DF, for me personally there's a balance between enjoying the life I have now and taking a bit longer (and yes, paying more interest along the way). I'm not saying you need to spend to be happy, but be happy as you never know what's going to happen so don't wish your life away.

    PS. I think I came across your blog when I was doing a trapeze course a few months ago. Do you have rats?!
    LBM Sep 2008 debt: £27,927.04
    start weight: 140.2, week 2: 138
  • I hear you! I found several things that kept me going life wise:
    • cheap theatre. Many places have £5 tickets, and if you're young you can get free tickets to lots of things through anightlessordinary
    • free / cheap music. Im not a huge music person so dont have high standards :cool: but lots of pubs have free entry to open mike nights and £5 tickets on sundays to see 2 or three live acts
    • free clasical music. Universities, churches and cathedrals often have fantastic free concerts in the evenings and at lunch time. Obviously easier in London - embassies also have fantastic musicians come in.
    • Eating in. not as formal as a come dine with me set up, but I love having people round for food, its far cheaper than eating out and people almost always invite you back. If people bring their own wine (they almost always do!), even cheaper.
    Which reminds me, I really need to get out more :rotfl:
    Mortgage free by 30:eek:: £28,000/£100,000
    :DDebt free as of 1 October, 2010:D
    Taking my frugal life on the road!
  • mrso2b
    mrso2b Posts: 314 Forumite
    Just wanted to add that there are some great ideas on this thread, we are all in this together and good luck with your DFW journey.
  • julie777
    julie777 Posts: 340 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    I notice lots of people use TV for cheap entertainment but if you get a bit bored with that and have someone to play with, second-hand board games or even a pack of cards can fill many a dull evening. Some can be a real laugh too, and laughter is good for the soul............
  • lindann_2
    lindann_2 Posts: 272 Forumite
    Debt-free and Proud!
    When we took out payplan dmp, we had to do a budject, this includes usual gas electric rent/ mortgage, it did not include smoking, lottery tickets going out, etc.. we had adhered to this, part from lottery tickets and virgin media that is our treat, plus broad band too lolol which l do feel guilty of using, the money could paide of some bills.. ... its been a long hard seven yrs, its hopefully coming to the end, just three more payments... but we still owe little bit of interests, l pasted a message on debt thingy,, see if anyone had their interest or charges thrown out, by good will.. etc.. we can live in hope.. best wishes lindann
  • sjcollett
    sjcollett Posts: 185 Forumite
    Hi, you have done well so far. I find that you can get cheap entertainment and not get so bored - by

    1. Getting a freeview box (mine cost £4 from the bootsale)
    2. Getting down the bootsale and buying some dvds/ cheap computer consoles/ wii etc. You could always sell these games/ dvds back through high street retailers / ebay and you wouldn't lose much money (unlike a love film subscription). You can also buy clothes there - my jeans only cost me 20p - you would never guess if you saw me :)
    3. Go for one drink once per week at the local pub. I usually just have half a pint - it's not much but it gets us out of the house for a while - and you enjoy and appreciate it more!
    4. Go for a walk in your local surroundings. After work - even if only for 20 mins - it's good to blow off the cobwebs and it's exercise!
    5. Scour MSE for restaurant offers - OK may not be the best but if you can go out for a nice meal for a cheap price it does make you feel like life is worth living
    6. Always try to buy at least one thing per week from the supermarket reduced aisle - it feels nice to get a bargain and helps the budget!
    7. Eat cheap the majority of the time - we eat a lot of pasta for example - but make use of the restaurant/ takeaway offers - it's amazing how motivated you can be if you feel there is a silver lining ahead

    Hope this helps :)
  • Hi, I am new to MSE. Although I am very lucky in that I don't have any debt (other than the mortgage) every penny we bring in goes on basic living. There is no money for entertainment or luxuries and I am at a loss regarding how to get through Christmas.
  • kochi1
    kochi1 Posts: 268 Forumite
    Thanks for the interesting suggestions on here, been interesting reading. I cut down my entertainment costs a lot, a weekend habit of 2 or 3 films at London West End cinema's became mad, did I really have to see that film right there right now? nope, ended up subscribing to Lovefilm instead, more range of movies and more interesting stuff too - indulged in more foreign movies and watching box sets, best swap I made. Was also one of the guilty ones who went to a bookshop got 3 books for the price of 2 and hardly read them, that habit is nipped in the butt, joined the local library instead and ended up reading a lot more and getting out cookery books too which has helped me on food planning etc. Enjoy these pleasures much more now than I did and felt I've learnt more. Got a discount on a Taste card which gives good reductions on some restaurants, 50% food or 2 for 1, been handy as couple of my friends cover the drinks bill because of my having the card to save on the food bill, cost me £30 but have already saved triple that and only had it a couple of months.
    At least the fish fingers are still frozen, that's what I keep telling myself (Truly Madly Deeply)

  • Deep_In_Debt
    Deep_In_Debt Posts: 8,579 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Mortgage-free Glee!

    Just popped in to say well done on clearing your debts so far and chin up! It does get easier.

    Re the gym - I have a PAYG gym near me so you don't have to sign up for expensive monthly charges or pay a joining fee - just literally turn up, pay and go! Prices are about £6.00 per session but depends on what you do. It can work out expensive if you go more than once a week and regularly but at the same time if you don't go, you are not losing out. Might be worth seeing if there is one in your area. Also, my local school has a gym that is open to the public in the evenings at a fraction of the cost of a normal gym - ok neither of the above have massive facilities but if you are missing the gym might be worth thinking about.

    Joining a library as above poster has said is a good idea, charity shops have books also.

    Ebaying stuff also helps to raise a little extra cash.
    Debt 30k in 2008.:eek::o Cleared all my debt in 2013 and loving being debt free :)
    Mortgage free since 2014 :)
  • 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! :)

    I can honesty say the sacrifice is worth it in the end, we've just paid off our debt after nearly 3 years & its fab to finally get the things we've been putting off for ages & pay for it outright. I definitely think that as well as making sacrifices its about finding ways to do what you want at a fraction of the cost
    DF as at 30/12/16
    Womblng 2020:
    NSD Jan 2/18 YTD: 2
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