A success story.. *almost*

Hi, I've been a regular on MSE for some time now. I've rarely posted but have done a fair amount of soaking up valuable ideas and techniques. As most of us are probably all too aware, debt is something that is so easy to fall into but oh so challenging to get out of :rolleyes:

For those fresh into this battle, it can seem quite daunting. I should know as I had a serious amount of debt and I'm now tantalisingly close to winning my own personal war against the £35,000 thorn in my side.

The reasons for most of my debt, like most, are varied but ultimately due to my failure to face up to my financial situation. Things changed when on a day in October 2004 I faced reality. I'd just taken on my first mortgage with my partner and knew that if we were going to make it, I was going to have to deal with this debt.

I resolved to do what was necessary and went about seeking advice from friends, professionals & sites like this. For the next two years, I did everything I could to earn as much money as possible and plough it all into the debt. I worked hard and got a pay rise, Ebay'd till the cows came home, did ovetime & even worked a second job.

I got rid of all non-essential items (do you *really* need Sky?) and cancelled all outgoings bar my phone, gym & home costs (mortgage, gas, etc). I learned to live off £300 a month for all food and expenses - which is honestly sufficient to enjoy yourself and still have a good social life!

I sold my car and used public transport for all my commuting. This alone saved me a small fortune in insurance, tax, petrol & running costs. Lets face it - a car is a luxury.

I got savvy with my money and renegotiated absolutely everything. Credit cards moved to 0% interest, phone bills were cut in half, utility bills were slashed, I even moved my loan on to a lower interest rate with the same bank. Most of the ideas came from MSE! ;)

During all this, I still managed to go on a couple of short holidays. Burnout is counterproductive and when you're pushing this hard, you need to take a break. I did, and didn't feel guilty about it because even my holiday was a bargain!

I planned and monitored every penny and kept it all listed on an excel spreadsheet. The exact figure when I started was £35,061.64. At this very point in time, I owe a grand total of £2,276.58. I managed my money regularly and even started looking forward to checking my statements just so I could confirm how much I paid off each month! :p

If I continue, I will be debt free within the next 8 weeks. I am however planning a short break as as my father will be visiting from overseas so I'll be taking him around on a bit of a tour. Ultimately, I know that by the 1st January 2007 I will have achieved the goal I set myself 2 years ago. I expect a bottle of bubbly will be in order!

Anyway, It's certainly not my intention to brag about this (I considered not posting this at all). It is my hope that to those curently embroiled or just embarking on this fight, that they can draw some inspriation and courage from my story and to do what needs to be done because there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel :)

I imagine bugs and girls have a dim suspicion that nature played a cruel trick on them, but they lack the intelligence to really comprehend the magnitude of it. -- Calvin & Hobbes :rotfl:


  • K-Lye, you brag as much as you want, well done you.I am just at the beginning and fairly daunted at the prospect. It helps to hear success stories and any tips on how you got there.Enjoy your bubbly in January and raise a glass to those of us that are still on the trail of being debt free.
    Mutual Supporters club member (Nov 2006)

  • wow! congratulations!!!!!!!
    As I am having a day from h*ll it cheers me up to read of people like you!
    it can be done!
  • Catseyez
    Catseyez Posts: 993 Forumite
    Wow, that's brilliant!

    Thank you for posting as I'm sure this will help to inspire others who are in a similar situation.

    This is a classic example of how steely determination and perseverance can really pay off!

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! :beer: :beer: :beer:
  • Your post is an inspiration that those of us still working on debt need to keep us going. One day I will do the same!

  • Thats brill K well done!

    Cant wait for that day to come!
    Isn't the knowledge that comes from experience more valuable than the knowledge that doesn't?
  • richardvc
    richardvc Posts: 1,164
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    Top story - I hope to be where you are in the next couple of years.

    I am sure that it will either get someone to pull their head out of the sand and face the debt demon or further encourage those of us in debt to tackle it that little bit harder.

    Well done to you and thanks !!
    Thanks to MSE I cleared £37k of debt in five years and I was lucky enough to meet Martin to thank him personally.
  • saubryn
    saubryn Posts: 610 Forumite
    Wow, you've done really well! Enjoy that break, and look forward to January!

    DFW Nerd No. 140 :)
    Status as of 30/11/12
    [strike]Rent 2500 Council Tax 800 NlPower - 800[/strike][SIZE=-2]:j IF - 8000 :(British Gas - [strike]112[/strike] - 102 Lloyds - 1123
    Barclays - 306 Barclaycard 1,123 HSBC - 200 Capital 1- 400 Barclayloan - 4500[/SIZE]
  • Rachie_B
    Rachie_B Posts: 8,785
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    well done and enjoy your break :D
  • Brilliant - that's cheered up my day no end...congrats! Have a wonderful holiday with your dad :)
  • Mrs_Sparkle
    Mrs_Sparkle Posts: 1,805 Forumite
    Well if I were you I'd be bragging loudly to anyone who'd listen!!!

    Huge congratulations to you- I find stories like yours very inspiring and encouraging. There are a lot of us who've found ourselves in a similar position with considerable debt and it's nice to think that all the hard work will eventually pay off. Enjoy your break- you deserve it!
    Debt at highest May 2006: £27,472.24
    currently: £13,353.25
    DFW Nerd 178
    Proud to be dealing with my debts
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