Debt free and stable for 12 years and hoping to help others

edited 5 August 2022 at 11:09AM in Debt-free wannabe
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BarebearBarebear Forumite
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Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
edited 5 August 2022 at 11:09AM in Debt-free wannabe
I'm one of the many members of the DFW club, I'm inspired by countless other people who have got out of debt and saw their fortunes go from strength to strength thanks to this forum. I am so thankful to every single person who is brave enough to come here and read the tales of woe and joy, it's fantastic that you want to do something about your debt situation, and also to those who post their stories, help and guidance for the benefit of others. I feel such a strong sense of gratitude, but also a sense of regret that I have not been able to pay back (or forward) the value that I was given on here some years ago. Since this website and this forum was so instrumental in my recovery, I need to come back more often and help others who are asking for it.

This forum saved my life - it is not an exaggeration. I was in a very bad way in the early 2000's, and had debt of around £19k when I joined here in 2007, and that debt was down from a peak of £30k a few years earlier. I was in a cycle of uncontrollable spending before I joined this place. When I did join, I started a thread just like many others and today, 15 years later, I look back on that thinking about my bad habits and poor mental health at the time. It could have been so very different for me if I had not gone through the process of financially educating myself getting rid of my unsecured debt. That was the catalyst for so many new and positive experiences in my life since then. You can see my old thread HERE if you are interested. It spans a few years, but ends well in 2012.

I've now been able to reflect a bit on what I went through, it seems like a long time to wait to reflect on it, but life came along in the typical way, family, house moves, jobs, education, etc, and I haven't really made time to stop and think about what happened until now. Today. This morning actually, when I got my monthly email from Clear Score and naturally, as I always do, I checked the score they assign to me. Today, out of a total of 1000 of their points, my performance against their metrics merits a score of 1000!

I am proud of what I did in those 5 years. It was seriously hard work at the time. It allowed me to move to the next part of my life, free of the stress and anxiety that comes with having debt. It allowed me to be clear headed when starting a family, and allowed me to take my career in the direction I wanted it to go rather than having to chase money to service a financial burden. I am also proud of the fact that I changed my financial way of life and started saving, paying extra on the mortgage and using credit cards for monthly cash flow rather than for debt. I have no interest in taking on unsecured debt, and it is a position so far removed from the person I was in the 90's and early 2000's. And it all started with a light bulb moment in 2007.

Unfortunately though, people will have to take on debt just to make ends meet. So with belts having to tighten in every household, it is much more difficult now than it was when I went through my journey, so it is even more important to get a handle on our financial situation, and to be able to clear debts whilst paying for everything else at the same time might be impossible for many right now. Maybe these days, we will see fewer people able to overpay debts, but we can certainly help to stabilise people's situation by helping with budgets, communicating with lenders, and making those hard decisions on who to pay first.

The wonderful people of this forum gave me more than I could ever hope to have taken, and after years of hard work, planning, resisting and managing, I am happy to say that my money management skills, and financial instinct, are now well and truly established. I hope to be able to give back to others on here, but also I am sure that I will be able to guide my kids through a well grounded financial education that I wish I had sooner.

Retirement is another story altogether, and it's only 20 years away for me, but something I don't feel I have mastered yet. So that's the next part of my financial journey and I'll see you on the Pensions forum when you are done in here. 

Hopefully I can help you through tough times on the way!!


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