What was your 'money-piphany'? What one moment changed your attitude to money?
in Debt-free wannabe
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Then I started adding up how much I had spent on minimum payments and on one credit card with a £600 limit I had paid about £650 in interest over the years on minimum payments. I didn’t even remember what I had used the money for but I had paid for it twice.
It’s been a long time since I was in that position and my attitude is so different now. I’m now married and mortgage free. If you would have told the old me that I would be in this position 15 years later I would have laughed. I worked very hard to clear the debt on my own and had a lodger I didn’t particularly want, but it was so worth it.
Mortgage Free - done
Building up the pension pot
But I had an A level in maths. I worked out how mortgages worked and how to compare each one on an even basis, in an era long before online tools. A spreadsheet helped me save over £6,000 just on my mortgage over 5 years. I then switched everything or cut down. I learnt to cook. I started driving more carefully. But most important of all I gave myself a year by when I wanted non-mortgage debts cleared. I smashed it within 8 months.
Those were dark, and quite often sad and lonely days. I was even made redundant. I’ve now been living with my fantastic partner for 12 years, we have two amazing young kids and I’m lucky (through hard work and risk) to be earning a 6-figure income a year*. Not bad for someone who went to one of the worst performing state schools in the country. Everyone is good at something.
* I still money save. Even when my kids leave milk in their cereal bowls I will use it up. I hate waste of any kind be it money, food or energy.
And I still have and use that spreadsheet which helps me work out overpayments and interest saved to the penny.
I'm still frugal today although I don't have to be quite so strict with myself. That was a harsh lesson but left me with a horror of being in debt - today I'm debt free and mortgage free and happily retired managing on a small pension.
MFW 2022 #27 £5,300
MFW 2023 #27 £485 / £2,023 target
This forced me to face up to what I really already knew - that I was spending a ridiculous amount of money on 'stuff'. Even 15 years later, it scares me that I was spending about £50 a month on Costa coffees!
Paid back just under £50,000 due to some interest added.
Dealt with my debt through a Step Change (CCCS) DMP.
DMP Mutual Support Thread Member #240.
I was in severe debt, living on credit cards, had an expensive, flashy car, (whose repayments were twice as much as my low mortgage) but had to wash my hair in washing up liquid and conditioned it in fabric conditioner because i couldn't afford basic necessities.
I was living beyond my means, with a business that was good but my overheads were just silly and i couldn't afford to live.
Something had to give - that was my state of mind, then the car went and and older friend lent me money to buy a cheap one.
Once that millstone around my neck was gone i was able to, painfully and slowly, clear every one of my debts.
It was a looong journey - i mean 6 hard years - but by living very frugally i emerged the other side with a very different outlook on life, my respect of my hard earned money is immense and i don't fritter, i actually enjoy being careful with money even though i am now in a very comfortable, financial, position.
I make purchases over £100 only after having done quite a lot of research and price comparisons, so anything higher than that even more so !
I really enjoy hunting out the best value for money !
I came onto this site many years ago and after a while registered on this forum, reading the experiences of others has educated me probably more than anything else and i learn more all the time, it is a valuable resource once you've had your 'lightbulb moment'.
Until you have you're not ready to act and get angry and hostile when another person points out failings or gives constructive criticism on your situation ..... so many times i read a members post regarding debt and can clearly see they're almost at that point .... just need another few months and there it will be .... life crashing down around you.
It's scarey, it's ****** long, hard work but it teaches you the best lesson you'll ever learn.
If it hasn't, you've been bailed out and not had to do the hard work yourself.
Or, you're a 'serial debtor' and will never learn and live in constant debt, denial, and angst.
I discovered yellow sticker food before it became popular buying items for 10p and sticking them in the freezer for another day.
Discovering that for 90% of the time I could manage without running my heating , a portable calor gas heater could be moved to any room I needed to actually heat , old fashioned hot water bottle in bed when it was really cold.
Discovering Martin's site very soon after it was founded taught me to move my mortgage to an offset type mortgage so my salary paid off interest every month and using interest free balance transfers to move chunks of my mortgage and pay no interest on it for 36 months. I cleared my mortgage in 10 years
And never used credit unless it was interest free.
To this day my mindset remains as it was then although luckily I am in a much better place