The Debt Free Roll Of Honour

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  • LexieLou
    LexieLou Posts: 714
    Debt-free and Proud! Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    The date of your lightbulb moment
    Originally it was the 22nd May 2022 but bizarrely I ended up fully committing again just over a year later on the 24th May 2023 to crush the debt demon once and for all!

    Debts at their highest
    My debts at their highest were £7,402.10. This was my starting debt balance on the 24th May 2023 too! 

    Debt-Free Date
    TODAY! The 24th October 2023! A day I will forever remember as the best thing I ever did financially and the marking of the beginning of my FIRE journey :)

    Your one pearl of wisdom
    Be brutally honest with yourself and in turn be brutal with your spending! I went without for 6 months. My children went without for 6 months. Yes it sucked! Yes I felt like the worst parent on the planet because I had to say no to stupid inexpensive things such as doughnuts after swimming lessons. BUT that determination, grit and 100% effort of being as stringent as possible paid off for me after 6 months! I originally had a goal of December 2024 and I have blown that out of the water and crushed it 14 months early! Anyone can do this, you just have to KEEP YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME! It's all too easy to spend that extra £10 here or there. That soon adds up and before you know it, you could have finished your journey a month earlier if you hadn't have spent it! Grit your teeth, keep your eyes on the prize and power through!!! 

    I made a spreadsheet which I had open and tinkered with at least once a day. It was my pride and joy and I couldn't have kept my optimism without it. Each of my debts had a tab which replicated my monthly CC statements. I could play around with it throwing different overpayments into cells which then provided me with different 'CC CRUSHED IT' dates! This was motivation in itself and was one of the reasons as to how I managed to beat my debt free date. Alongside this I had a tab for mortgage overpayments, an SOA and a monthly day to day budgeting tracker. This allowed me to see what the 'pay day eve' balance would be each time I spent or receive funds throughout the month. Again, it was a game changer for me. That plus having a Starling account allowing me to open a pot for anything and everything really helped me gain extra control over my money. 

    Which forum threads helped you
    I have spent years reading so many inspirational people's diaries before I even decided to tackle my own debt head on. One that sticks out for me was Third time's the charm. Thoroughly enjoyed reading @LMD's highs and lows and it truly was inspiring as to how much she got done in such a short space of time. 

    And if you had a debt diary on the Debt-Free Wannabe board (DFW), a link to it
    I kept a DFW diary on the forum and I really found it both helpful and encouraging. The link is Washing Away My Debts By 2024. I would 100% recommend to anyone in debt to keep a diary, as the feeling of having a whole community of people who you don't know and will never meet having your back through the thick and thin of your DF experience meant the world to me and pushed me harder than I could have pushed going it alone. 

    Future Plans
    Naturally I shall be moving onto greener pastures in the form of tackling the next element of my FIRE journey. I shall save up 3 months EF and then its full steam ahead to renovating my home, before finally tackling that all important mortgage!!! So excited for my next financial adventure and shall definitely continue to linger on the MFW board to help and encourage others as so many of you all did for me!

    Gemma xx
    OMG You Rock!  Go You,  loved some of your tips about the spreadsheet.  I might copy your idea as I want to buy a diamond ring for my 50th and this is a great tip to use to save.

    LL xx
    £38,000 and change to £0
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