Feel a Bit of a Fraud TBH

I have to say I am still in shock – I am now mortgage free. I feel a bit of a fraud as I sold our family home of almost 19 years and have downsized to something beautifully formed and more manageable at the start of July.

The road to this point has been traumatic and so very, very hard. In 2009 my marriage of 14 years fell apart and I discovered my then husband had lead a double life for almost a year. After falling down Alice’s rabbit hole I emerged in £90k of debt (to various sources), mortgage of £264k, I was self-employed (from what was meant to be a lifestyle/ working around our kids option) and keeper of a big old pad which was 8 years on from initial investment and definitely at “repairs and renewals” stage.

I decided a simple of strategy of keeping my kids in their home, their fee-paying school and connected to their family. I was going to heal in private and strive to see the good in every single situation.

I had tried to sell my house over the years and almost did a couple of times. The economic crash didn’t help and neither did having an ex-husband who was sketchy in paying his way. I eventually accepted an offer I was happy with in March 2020 and then BAM the country went into Lockdown.

I am a long time reader and occasional poster on this Forum and can honestly say it has been a life saver on so many levels. It comforted me when I felt alone with my money worries and helped show me the way to make pennies stretch further and have a strategy to get debt and mortgage free.

I have learned such a lot about myself and (hopefully) set a good example to my 2 kids. My children and are now young adults and are forging a life of their own and I see a great attitude towards money, saving and they both have a great work ethic.

I have really enjoyed saying a long goodbye to our home during lockdown; filling it with love for the new owners. Our new place is much smaller but the light is wonderful and I have a good sized garden. I am also able to furnish it and get it into the shape the 2020 WorkingMum needs it to be – with all of this hard fought wisdom and maturity.

I bought my house outright, paid off a chunk of money I owed to HMRC, paid off my business overdraft (which had been secured on my house) and  am left with 3 x credit cards with a combined balance of £32k.

I need to do some structural work on our new place and have £33k stashed away to facilitate this.

I hummed and hahhed about whether to pay my cards off but time is too tight for me to save the cash to get the work done so I am working a plan to get them paid off within 2 years – my outgoings are so low now I can afford to give them a good shot each month.

I calculated it and in the last 10 years I have paid off over £90k of debt – the balances on my cards are a hangover from when my ex-husband didn’t pay me for over two years and my business took a bad debt hit. I am not stressed about it to be honest because I know once they’re done that’s it…..I’ll be 55 and completely free with no more debt!

I have a good pension thanks to having a smart head on my shoulders in my 20’s – I can retire at 55 but I simply want to have options at that time.

I thought I’d start a thread to share my journey and to keep myself focussed and accountable. I have had so many years without being able to let loose I am worried I will simply splurge! I have found this area of the Forum very thought provoking and less intimidating than others areas which is why I chose to start it here – if I have this wrong maybe the Mods can move it for me??

Thank you for sticking with me if you have got this far!! I look forward to sharing my journey with you x






  • enthusiasticsaver
    enthusiasticsaver Posts: 15,566 Ambassador
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    Great news on you clearing so much debt and buying your house with no mortgage.  Given you have no mortgage but you do have credit card debt would you not be better off in the Debt free diaries section of the forum instead of the Mortgage Free Wannabe section? They are great at keeping people motivated to pay off debt. Are the credit cards at 0%?
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free Wannabe, Budgeting and Banking and Savings and Investment 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 forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • Working_Mum
    Working_Mum Posts: 557 Forumite
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    Thank you for your reply enthusiasticsaver - I agonised as to where I could start a thread. I find the Debt Free Diaries area a little intense to be honest - I know the rules of paying everything down and balancing my books because I have been living it for the last ten years. II have always found this Mortgage Free area a little gentler and broader in its outlook so felt this was a good place to share my story and strive to keep me accountable as I head into the home straight.
    Sadly the cards are not on 0% - my self employed status and previously huge mortgage for my income had pre-cluded me from passing credit scores (for any loans to be honest :smile:  )- I had resolved to let a little of the dust settle and then start looking in a couple of months when my credit file will show the mortgage as paid etc.
  • Wishing you all the best. Enjoy your new found freedom with no mortgage! I hope you take time to treat yourself alongside paying off the remaining debt.
    Mortgage | Started Oct 2020 £235,875  | Now Dec 2023 £215,439
    MFW | Dec 2035
    Premium Bonds £6275 Investment ISA  £1775 | Ready Access Savings £488 Moneybox £3539

    My Mortgage Free Wannabe Diary
  • family355
    family355 Posts: 170 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Congratulations on being mortgage free!! 
    I have some credit card debts too as well as being here to OP the mortgage. At the time we were unable to borrow extra on the mortgage/loan due to self employment but in my mind I think of it as the mortgage as it was used for house renovations that was under calculated (we were in too deep with work to not continue). 
    Maybe you could clear some of the more expensive debt with your Renovation savings and the interest you will save could build the saving/renovations pot quicker? 
    We all have different circumstances-Good luck 🙂
  • Congratulations on mortgage freedom! Sounds like you got it all under control and those credit cards will be paid off in no time  :)
  • longway2go
    longway2go Posts: 1,006 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary
    Congratulations and welcome 
    Mortgage Aug 2019 161,000 :eek::eek::eek:Nov 2019 156,500:T Jan 2020 153,122:T, Apr 2020 149,500, Apr2021 139, 675, Oct 2021 136,823, Dec 2021 136,120🙂EF 0/12,000 (0%)😕 (5062.44 was ERC), Jan 2023 128,650. Our Mortgage is never going to be as high as it is today. :jOnwards and downwards to a better life for our family. :jJust keep swimming
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