Can I have a life while clearing my debt?

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  • MrsTinks
    MrsTinks Posts: 15,241 Forumite
    First Post Combo Breaker Name Dropper First Anniversary
    Vesuvia wrote: »
    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.

    Vesuvia - you may find starting your own thread with your statement of affairs http://www.makesenseofcards.com/soacalc.html
    And the guys and girls will have a look for you and see if anything can be shaved off :)

    Christmas ideas are abundant on the Special occasions board, but to start with - suggest to everyone that you "go back" to the real spirit of Christmas and set a maximum on presents and only buy for the kids and make something for everyone else... or do a secret santa...
    There are loads of ways to reduce the cost of christmas :)
    DFW Nerd #025
    DFW no more! Officially debt free 2017 - now joining the MFW's! :)

    My DFW Diary - blah- mildly funny stuff about my journey
  • Hi

    I am working hard at clearing my debts too, and I predict that it will be 5 years at the most before we are debt free. Then it will just be the mortgages to clear!

    This is what I have done
    - Switched gas and electric suppliers
    - Negotiated a cheaper monthly direct debit with my water company
    - Save the 2 months that you dont pay council tax for holiday spends
    - Collect tokens from the papers for a cheap caravan break so that we dont feel deprived
    - Cancelled mobile phone pay monthly accounts
    - Only have freeview
    - Get all of our books from the library
    - Check the bargain shelves in tesco's - some finds to be had there for sure, best bargain was a high school musical duvet set for £1! I got 2 so now have matching bedding on the bunk beds.
    - Take packed lunches everywhere at weekends, so a trip to the park can be stretched out for a day for very little cost, plus I take a flask of coffee as bought coffee is horrible half of the time!
    - Plan my meals per week, check my cupboards, freezer etc and am very strict at buying ONLY what is on my list.
    - Use left overs every time, nothing gets wasted

    Good luck with everything, dont feel deprived, feel proud as you are doing a good thing
  • Thanks for all the lovely posts :)
    poddle911 wrote: »
    PS. I think I came across your blog when I was doing a trapeze course a few months ago. Do you have rats?!

    Yep, that's me :) I've moved blogs though and now I'm at Amatheya's Studio. How did you like trapeze. I'm desperate to get debt free so that I can go back although the school I used to go to no longer does aerial :(
  • Snowy_Owl
    Snowy_Owl Posts: 454 Forumite
    Photogenic First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    My situation is - hubby has debt and hopes to clear when he sells his house, and I'm saving hard for doing up our new house (I'm covering the costs at the moment...). This thread is great as the not only are the money saving ideas just brilliant but it really helps me support my OH - just knowing what he's talking about with what the banks are like, payment plans etc.

    Ideas from me (most already suggested!!)
    - I meet up with an old flatmate in a town half-way between where we both live. I print off restaurant vouchers ( Pizza Express are good)and it saves us both money when we are already forking out for petrol. We don't always use them, depending on time of day, what we fancy etc but she has now got in the habit of asking if I have vouchers with me!!!
    - I take bad with payong full -price for books. Charity shops brilliant, as are Asda and tesco. I now have a challenege of trying to read therough the books I have got on my shelf. If I do buy one, I have to get rid of one. If I can (or remember) I get it from the library if I'm looking for a specific one (like the 44 Scotland Street books which are fab)
    - Using the clubcard vouchers for cinema vouchers for me and the hubby -also get treats for the cinema form the supermarkets to save more money
    - freebies board - toiletries especially I find are helpful of going away for the night or the end of the month when you run out and are skint!!

    Keep going & congrats on slicing £6k off already!!

    Snowy
    :j I feel I am diagonally parked in a parallel universe :j
  • Thanks Amatheya81,
    thought your post inspiring. Also the reply posts helpful. :j I want payoff my motgage early to match date plan retire. Health problems bringing forward my retirement date. Think I also have to lead more frugal lifestyle simular to how you describe. I have good stock of art & craft things, yes overspending in past! So my hobbies nil cost at present. Reading thru posts gave me idea maybe I could sell completed items? Though disabilities make me slow to produce owt so never make much.:)
    I will have to look in more detail how to reduce my expenditure.
    I also have basic Sky package,which includes phone, phone line & broadband. In low tech phone exchange area of uk, for what available was very good deal when took out in 09. Most time cant get most Freeview chanels here, so been very pleased with Sky. Keep needing surgery & disability mean not go out much anyway, so good on that level of expenses.
    Look forward to more ideas from this site.
  • I read this thread with interest & you are doing well and have got some good advise.
    I can second using your local library - not only for books, but mine does DVD rental, many titles are only 50p & recently thery had an offer of 3 for £1, each is issued for a week. Also, library will likely have reading or local interest groups - another way to socialise for free.
  • Britwife
    Britwife Posts: 427 Forumite
    Glad to see you're doing so well with getting your debt paid off. It's not easy. We've been debt free now for a while and it's the best feeling. We still don't have what most would call "luxuries" but we have our own "luxuries" like simple family days out. Some we just have to pay for parking so it's not too bad. We bought a cheap sat dish and a tv tuner card for our tower computer and we have loads of great channels for just the tv lic. fee.

    I, too, love the gym but too expensive so I just go out jogging on the street, running up and down my stairs and I have a few workout dvds and a cheap set of dumbells. You can try and get these free on freecycle.

    I hope I found the right blog and if so, you are very talented. How do you sell your work? Is this your day job or a hobby? I would look into what people like, especially art for kids and see if you can make some quick money that way. I think new parents just love to fully decorate a nursery and if you have something unique to complete that room they would probably buy. I'm probably way off on this but just thinking out loud.

    anyway, sorry for the ramble and best wishes
  • I am on a similar journey, my debts are bigger and we didn't choose bankruptcy or debt management, but to pay them off. we've given up everything, I'm paying for the life I had and I will have a life in the future, I have short term pain for long term gain. I will be debt free in 2012, google my user name and read all about me, I have a life, but a different one, I'm happier than I've ever been in my life and I have no money!!! google - frugalqueen x
  • eyeopener2
    eyeopener2 Posts: 1,783 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    I am on a similar journey, my debts are bigger and we didn't choose bankruptcy or debt management, but to pay them off. we've given up everything, I'm paying for the life I had and I will have a life in the future, I have short term pain for long term gain. I will be debt free in 2012, google my user name and read all about me, I have a life, but a different one, I'm happier than I've ever been in my life and I have no money!!! google - frugalqueen x

    Love the blog FC, I thought I was being quite frugal, seems not. I like your approach though. All or nothing!
    I'm Debt Free :j 2/09/2013
    Debt at LBM 30/04/2010 £24,109.38,
  • I find the hardest thing dealing with other peoples expectations. We are invited for meals over at our friends houses and they do lovely meals with nice wine etc. We just cannot afford it but end up buying wine etc as we feel embarrassed to offer so much less when they come over and then feel miserable that we have spent money we don't have plus had to buy cheapy.

    Also people pop into the pub after doing something 'free' and we feel obliged to buy a round as we have accepted a drink.

    We have not been able to find a way to deal with this.
    As at: [STRIKE]9/6/10[/STRIKE]:cool: 15/9/10
    Family Loan:[STRIKE]£8,041.35[/STRIKE]£7725 Bank Loan:[STRIKE]£11,107.42[/STRIKE]£10769 Previous Life Loan:[STRIKE]£18,391.91[/STRIKE]£17899
    Total: [STRIKE]£37,540.68[/STRIKE]£36394
    .


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