What was your 'money-piphany'? What one moment changed your attitude to money?

in Debt-free wannabe
31 replies 6.3K views


  • Coventry1Coventry1 Forumite
    4 Posts
    Part of the Furniture First Post Combo Breaker
    Reading "Swimming with Piranha Makes You Hungry" when I was about 23. Such a simple message about choosing not to keep up with the Joneses, but it stuck.
  • jakjak Forumite
    2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Mine was after my divorce. I had to go bankrupt and had no access to credit at all. I gave up drinking alcohol- it was a massive problem for me. Then I suddenly realised I could SAVE up for things. My Grandma showed me her money book and I've had one ever since. I budget down to the last penny and tick every payment off. I actually enjoy when my direct debits go out because i can pay for them now! 
    2022 Comp total (prizes + free spins): £494.81 #20 £12 a day Jan: £382.95/£372 #57 360 1p challenge: £17.70 £10 a day Feb: £571.09/£280 March: £280.72/£310
  • cornwallpauleycornwallpauley Forumite
    16 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    When I realised my debts on credit cards, 2 loans and overdraft were nearly double my yearly take home pay. At 54, I would be in debt all my life if I did nothing about it. I scrimped and saved, stopped buying lunches out, moved as much debt to lower or 0% interest. Still along way to go, but now debt is reducing by about £800 per month, debt free in 3 years I hope! 
  • JES_F1JES_F1 Forumite
    746 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Photogenic Debt-free and Proud!
    When Nationwide reduced the limit on my credit card to just over the outstanding balance.  It was a significant drop.  All my other cards were already maxed out.

    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!
    Debt Jan 2008: £45,566. *** June 2013: DEBT FREE! ***
    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.
  • edited 12 August 2022 at 6:44AM
    CatsacorCatsacor Forumite
    1.9K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    edited 12 August 2022 at 6:44AM
    23 years ago, newly divorced, mortgaged, deciding to start a business, self employed.

    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.

    First, take responsibility .....
  • BrowntoaBrowntoa Forumite, Ambassador
    49.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Mine was divorce and taking on the mortgage on my own while also paying maintenance. Virtually no spare money and struggled to survive financially.

    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 
    I'm a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Shopping and Freebies, Phones and TV and Over 50s 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 . All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
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