The Debt Free Roll Of Honour




    A big well done to you. Again I say it shows its possible.
    I am in roughly the same situation you was in the beginning.

    you are evidence that I am not fighting a losing battle and can and will do this.

    Thankyou for sharing your good news and again congratulations. What a relief you must feel :beer:
  • HOK3Y
    HOK3Y Forumite Posts: 1,667
    Debt-free and Proud!
    edited 29 April 2014 at 6:38PM
    I can barely believe that I can write this but as of today I am officially debt free. I have cleared over $21k of debt since last August and I am sitting here now in the best financial position of my adult life. I am a bit floored that I have really managed to do it but also grateful of all the support this special place offers. Thank you to everyone who shared in my struggles, supported me when I didn't think I could even support myself, and for making the journey amazing even with the hiccups!

    a. The date of your lightbulb moment:
    August 2013 - I knew it needed sorting out well before this but it just hit me like a steam train 8 months ago and I decided once and for all to get rid of every interest charging penny!

    b. Debts at their highest:
    At one point I had around $38k.....although when I was married to my ex it would have been considerably higher than this. :eek:

    c. Debt-Free Date:
    29 April 2014

    d. Your one pearl of wisdom.
    Do not allow ANY setback to completely derail you - push on. Sliding backwards is not an option. Also, do not be so proud that you miss out on pennies/pounds. We saved well over £100 on our grocery bills in November and December just by picking up receipts from the car park in Asda and getting the vouchers from them.

    e. Which MSE guides helped you:
    I didn't read the guides particularly but I read ALOT of threads here to keep my motivation up.

    f. Which forum threads helped you:
    Lots of diaries - my favourite DFW sister has been cottage_retreatist and her diary. It is so positive and bouncy! Even when things are tough for her. I also participated in some of the challenges, especially the 'Make $10 a day' and I started the Roadkill Rebels too. It's amazing how happy you can get from finding a penny! :)

    g. And if you had a debt diary on DFW, a link to it.
    Couldn't have done it without my diary and all the lovely folk who tagged along to help me. THANK YOU. xxx
    Credit Card Freedom gained 14 Feb 2014!!
    Total Debt Freedom gained 29 Apr 2014!!
    Savings goal 30/9/23: £72,000/£538,001.....yes I'm serious!
    Total Debt August 2013: [STRIKE]$21,587[/STRIKE] April 2014: $0!!!!:j
  • carlislelass
    carlislelass Forumite Posts: 1,776
    Debt-free and Proud!
    Became debt free today, it`s been a long, hard slog with many tears. Thanks for all the forums
  • Upsidedown_Bear
    Upsidedown_Bear Forumite Posts: 18,264
    10,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    Became debt free today, it`s been a long, hard slog with many tears. Thanks for all the forums
    Congratulations and well done :T:T
    Really pleased for you :D
  • SpecialBrew_2
    SpecialBrew_2 Forumite Posts: 178
    Debt-free and Proud!
    It's only just sinking in, but as of this week, I do not earn a single person or organization on this planet a penny. :j

    I have handled the finances in this family since we lost our home in 2006 when my husband took out a ton of loans without telling me, lost his job when the company he managed was bought out and then promptly had a breakdown. In many ways he is not the same person as he was before and although that's not entirely a bad thing (he's conquered the alcoholism that fuelled much of his unreasonable behaviour), the slightest hint of financial responsibility sends him into a panic now and he won't even have a bank account. Consequently I have not mentioned anything to him about the financial abyss we've been hovering over for so long, and could not share with him the news that we are now debt free. So I've just shared it here. Again :j

    My accounts have been in debt for a few years now, but it was not something that I let bother me. I have two overdrafts, and one was almost permanently at it's £800 limit. I'd just pay the interest every month and would sometimes throw the odd fiver or tenner at it (before getting it out again and spending it a month or so later :o ). My main account only has a £100 overdraft, but I'd dip into that (sometimes maxing it out) almost every month for a couple of days and would just see the two or three quid in charges that resulted from this as another monthly bill. Reading this back now, I imagine that you could look into one of my ears at the time and see straight out through the other one.

    Then the inevitable happened - I was overdrawn when three bills I hadn't counted on landed in my account at the same time and I was clobbered with a £25 'unpaid item' charge by the bank for each of them. I managed to pay this, but only by leaving myself in exactly the same position a month later, resulting in FIVE £25 unpaid item charges. I saw it coming this time, but there was nothing I could do about it - the £800 overdraft on the other account was in it's usual maxed-out state (and demanding interest accordingly), and suddenly I was looking at an out-of-control financial problem that I could not get a handle on.

    I got wiser overnight, and I'm just grateful that it came at a price that only I had to pay. My youngest daughter was only a baby when we lost our home, and never knew anything of the misery surrounding it. I was dreading the prospect of telling her secure and happy little self that I'd just lost the roof over our heads, that we didn't have the means to rent another one and that dinner for the foreseeable would be a tin of beans warmed over on the radiator of a council B+B. If we were lucky.

    Anyway, to answer the questions...

    a. The date of your lightbulb moment
    - My lowest point came on my birthday in July 2013. The rent was a week late, but I didn't have enough to pay it and knew it was only a matter of time before the landlord rang to ask where it was and had been frantically trying to cobble together excuses. I was mortified when he rang while my son was here visiting because it was my birthday, and felt even worse when my son lent me the shortfall. The next month was just as desperate only I was borrowing from my mum, which didn't feel much better. It wasn't until we won a gas cooker in a competition at the end of September and sold it on eBay that I felt I had any control at all and so I've recorded my Lightbulb Moment as 29.09.2013. I was not in the dark in the months preceding this, but the many glimpses of awareness were more like 'Escaping Prisoner Trapped In Gestapo Floodlight Moments'.

    b. Debts at their highest - Once the gas cooker money had been fed to the wolves immediately outside the door, the debt stood at £1,225.66. I know this isn't a lot compared to what others have dealt with, but my Statement Of Affairs told me (and still does) that our income only just meets our essential outgoings and so it is a lot to me.

    c. Debt-Free Date - 06.05.2014. I like that, and think I'll take the liberty of repeating it. 06.05.2014 :)

    d. Your one pearl of wisdom - There are going to be many times when you have to walk away from something you want or resort to buying a cheaper, less inviting version of something you need, but do not think of it as depriving yourself. Think of it as a glorious opportunity to deprive the money-grabbing bankers of the chance to rob you of a fatter wodge of interest this month, and remind yourself that you have just won another skirmish in the battle to answer the phone or the door without worry. Little by little, you are loosening the hold these people have over you. You're not depriving yourself - you're positively EMPOWERING yourself :)

    e. Which MSE guides helped you

    Boost Your Income

    Most of what I've learned came from the forums, but I did gain from some of the guides, notably the one above.

    f. Which forum threads helped you

    The monthly 'Make £10 A Day' threads, the latest of which is here. This wasn't just the most helpful forum resource to me while I was getting shot of the debt - it was the most helpful resource, anywhere. I'm financially debt-free now (yesss!!! :) ), but I will never be able to repay the help, support, kindness and occasional backside-kicking given to me by the good people on that thread if I live to be a million. Huge thanks to all the £10-A-Day-ers from me :beer:

    g. And if you had a debt diary on DFW, a link to it
    - I'm bad at keeping diaries and have a tendency to let them lapse before abandoning them altogether. I made a conscious decision in the beginning not to have a DFW diary because I did not want to associate it with my debt-busting efforts in case I let my inevitable failure to keep it up become an excuse to throw in the debt-busting towel too. Thanks to MSE though, I'm fairly sure I'm made of tougher stuff than this now :)
    December 'Make £10 A Day' Challenge - £1.82/£155.00
  • Rrushi_Shqiptar
    Rrushi_Shqiptar Forumite Posts: 308
    Debt-free and Proud!
    a. The date of your lightbulb moment: 2009

    b. Debts at their highest: £40,000+

    c. Debt-Free Date: 22/09/12 (I hope that bankruptcy is not cheating)

    d. Your one perl of wisdom: Too many.

    1 Never be afraid to open the letters
    2 Always talk to the creditors
    3 Budget realistically
    4 Don't put it off until tomorrow
    5 Do you really need it
    6 Never be ashamed (I know that's hard, been there)
    7 make sure you credit files are all correct (saves a lot of time in the future)

    e. Which MSE guides helped you
    The forums are wonderful with a wealth of experience and FREE advice

    f. Which forum threads helped you.
    Credit Files and Repair
    I love green dots :T I hate red dots :mad:
  • cottage_retreatist
    cottage_retreatist Forumite Posts: 844
    Debt-free and Proud!
    HOK3Y wrote: »

    f. Which forum threads helped you:
    Lots of diaries - my favourite DFW sister has been cottage_retreatist and her diary. It is so positive and bouncy! Even when things are tough for her. I also participated in some of the challenges, especially the 'Make $10 a day' and I started the Roadkill Rebels too. It's amazing how happy you can get from finding a penny! :)

    haha! just read this! thank you so much Hoks! Can't believe we started around the same time and you are now debt free!

    YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!! (and you 100% deserve your debt-free badge!!) :)

    Debts @ LBM (May 2013): £25,250.27 | Debt Free: May 2015 :j:j
  • Batgirl
    Batgirl Forumite Posts: 2,035
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    I joined MSE not long after it had first started and we cleared our debts in about the quarter of time it should of 100% thanks to this site. We've been debt free ever since and will never be going back but am posting because I want a debt free logo :rotfl: as even after all these years I'm crazy proud to be debt free :beer:
    May 2015 £10 a day currently £208
  • dubs57
    dubs57 Forumite Posts: 97 Forumite
    :j Wonderful! No wonder you are proud.
    Member 116 2 pound savers club:) 167 virtual sealed pot challenge:j
  • sourcrates
    sourcrates Forumite, Ambassador Posts: 27,711
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Today I am officially debt free.

    IVA has ended, my LBM was December 2007.

    My total outstanding debt was £54.000 :eek:.

    Took advice and comments from this site, and decided an IVA was the only sensible way forward.

    Paid back a total of £16.500, the rest of the debt was wiped.

    I had a severe decrease in income in my fifth year, and my creditors accepted payments to date as full and final settlement.

    My lesson is learned, and I never want, or need, credit again.

    Lots of good advice from the "debt free wannabe forum".

    Don't do diaries im afraid !!
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free wannabe, Credit file and ratings, and Bankruptcy and living with it boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.For free non-judgemental debt advice, contact either Stepchange, National Debtline, or CitizensAdviceBureaux.Link to SOA Calculator- The "provit letter" is here-
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