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So close to debt freedom... preparing for what's next

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  • Shineyhappy
    Shineyhappy Posts: 1,928 Forumite
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    I love your comments about the savings from jeans and making an OP. I did that on my debt and my mortgage overpayments eventually.

    when we had a mortgage review, the advisor picked it up and asked if I was money laundering 😂 our mortgage was ok with small overpayments, so if I didn’t buy a can of Coke in the vending machine at work (which was my Friday afternoon treat), I would transfer 60p. The advisor actually said it was a really good idea and confirmed to DH how much I saved us. That got DH onboard with clearing the mortgage 😄

    i think its also therapeutic writing it all down, so keep writing!
    Debt Free - done
    Mortgage Free - done
    Building up the pension pot
  • CL21
    CL21 Posts: 253 Forumite
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    Makes total sense and I did that the other day - didn’t buy a kindle membership so I sent the money to my baby emergency fund! I’m loving reading your posts, you’ve come so far, it’s brilliant 
    Credit Card 1 - £6249.99 £4,900
    Credit Card 2 - £13,481.47 £12,985

    Total debt - £19,731.46 £17,885

    Emergency fund £930
  • Strether2020
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    Thanks so much @CL21 and @Shineyhappy! I'm glad it doesn't seem mad to make all those tiny payments. I never thought about the money-laundering angle...!! It's great to feel you're taking steps in the right direction, even tiny steps. The amazing thing is that they really do add up.

    Until a few months ago, there was a branch of my bank quite near to home, so I'd sometimes gather any change in my wallet and pay it into my account and then make a credit card payment. Fortunately they had a paying-in machine so I didn't have to face the cashier with my deposit of 16 pence or whatever! They must have hated me. Sadly the branch has now been closed (and I hardly use cash any more) so that little ritual has ended... (I hope they didn't close the branch because of the cost of processing my ridiculous deposits... :neutral:)

  • vixx_123
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    Your story is so inspirational. Thank you for sharing it.
  • Strether2020
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    Thanks so much, @vixx_123! It means so much to hear kind words on here! :smile:
  • Strether2020
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    I've just done my daily check of my accounts. I'm excited (really!) for tomorrow because I've got one of my last payments on my personal loan, which I'll have paid off in February 2022. Weirdly these last few payments feel like they're going out painfully slowly.

    It's strange that the last stages seem so slow, because I've been paying off this £11000 loan for a long time. I took it out in 2014, when I was up to my eyes in credit card debt and couldn't keep up the minimum payments. (Not for the first or last time!) I used it to reduce the balance on my cards (I think I owed about £14000 at the time), but the credit card debts quickly built up again and of course I now had a monthly loan repayment to handle...

    So it means a huge amount to be so close to paying this loan off. I really hope I've learned the new habits I need over the last three years. For decades, I was in a cycle of paying off debt by taking on new debt - but this time, I've paid my debts through cost-cutting over a sustained period, and by actively managing my finances.

    Once I've paid off this loan in February 2022, I'll have freed up some cash in my monthly budget to pay towards my HSBC credit card, so I should be able to pay off my last bit of debt by April or May 2022, ending a twenty-five year cycle of debt... 

    Thanks again to this wonderful community for welcoming me on this forum and for the inspiration before I started posting, when I was just quietly reading and absorbing ideas and advice. 😊
  • AllNightDiner
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    @Strether2020 I am normally just a lurker on this forum, but your story is so inspirational and it is so important for you to stick to your goals and keep up your good habits - so just to say, I will be watching you very carefully from now on, to celebrate your superhero journey 🌺👍🏼
  • Strether2020
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    Thank you so much, @AllNightDiner! That means a lot... Not sure I'm much of a superhero, but I really appreciate the kind words! :smile:



  • Strether2020
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    Woke up this morning, made a coffee, and checked my accounts; my payment to the personal loan has gone through, so I only have two months left. 11th February 2022 is the day I become free from that, nearly eight years after taking it on! I've also made a few small payments to my HSBC credit card, so that bill is now down to £554. 

    I spent a few minutes thinking about how it'll be when I've finally paid off all my debts. I think there are three important things for me to keep in mind:

    • Avoid new debts! This sounds so obvious, but when debt has been a way of life since I was eighteen, it's a huge shift in mindset, and I can't assume it'll be easy. I've agreed with my bank to lower my overdraft limit from £1500 to £450, so I don't have that temptation again. (The interest rate on the overdraft is nearly 40%, so that should be motivation!) Something for me to think about is whether I should close my credit card accounts altogether. (I've got a Barclaycard which is completely clear, and HSBC which I'll pay off by May 2022.) The cards are all cut up and discarded, but I wonder how it'll feel, for instance, if they send me new ones when the old ones expire. Maybe I should ask HSBC to reduce my limit to, say, £1000. I'm conscious of credit ratings, etc. But it's more important to me to avoid debt.
    • Use my monthly budget for sustainable saving and investment. Each month over the last three years, I've used at least £200 to pay off debts. If possible, I'd like to save or invest that money (including for my daughter's future).
    • Make my money meaningful. For years money has been a source of guilt and worry, and when I'm free from debt I'd like to make sure it's doing things I believe in. I've looked at ethical banks and investment, and I like the idea that if I'm saving the money can actually be doing some good in the world. But I'd also like to make small, sustainable gifts to charities. I've been thinking about giving to charities that might help people who are really struggling with debt, to try and help others who have found themselves in similar (or worse) situations to me. I'll post some thoughts on this another time, because I'd love to know what others think.

     Right - to work! Have a great day, everyone. 
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