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Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally

edited 18 November 2017 at 10:49AM in Debt Free Diaries
15.1K replies 886.7K views
HairyHandofDartmoorHairyHandofDartmoor Forumite
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edited 18 November 2017 at 10:49AM in Debt Free Diaries
My DH and I have been in debt for 34 Years, apart from brief periods, ever since I was offered my first credit card at the tender age of19.

Our debts were caused by us being impulsive spenders and not being very skilled at budgeting or managing our money, so we know it is our own fault. We always believed that one day we would have more money, mysteriously, and that this would bail us out :o.

Our full light bulb moment came when we realised, "What if we never have any more money than we do right now?" :(

A couple of years ago we were coping with the minimum payments, but didn't have enough to overpay on any of them. We were forking out £1300 a month in minimum payments, and the interest alone was £1000 a month :mad:.

But then in 2015 our small business started to bring in less, and a family bereavement, and illness affected our ability to work. We could no longer afford the minimum repayments and we were scared we would lose our home. We were stricken with stress and depression :(.

Step Change shone a light in the darkness for us and they arranged for us to make token payments of £1 a month to our creditors. This saved our sanity and we were reassured that our home was unlikely to be taken from us.

My DH recently turned 55 and drew out his pension so that we could make full and final offers to our creditors. All but one accepted an offer of 50% of what we owed (which is all we had to offer). We are continuing negotiations with the final creditor and hope to be debt free by Christmas :T.

Being so close to being debt free has made me realise what a heavy burden the debts have been all these years, like living our lives wearing lead boots.

Once we are debt free we will still need to live very frugally because we have no emergency fund or savings, and our income can be irregular. I hope that starting a diary will help to focus me on frugal living, avoid impulsive spends, and keep my spirits up. Because frugal living can be a lonely and isolating experience.

This site and Step Change has helped me so much, and I hope that my diary will help to inspire others that it's never too late to change your life :).
Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 😱 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017 :T 🎉
EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £800/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £10/£5,000.
CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £183.57/£500. SEF = £2,050/£12,000 PREMIUM BONDS ME = £500. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £500.
HOLIDAY MONEY = £1,000 TIME LEFT TO PAY OFF MORTGAGE = 6 YEARS 4 MONTHS
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Replies

  • Purplemumof2Purplemumof2 Forumite
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    Happy new diary xx
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
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    PAYDBX 2021 - #? £0 / £2,000
  • HairyHandofDartmoorHairyHandofDartmoor Forumite
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    Today should be a NSD hopefully. I've been in all day so far, catching up with the laundry and tidying our bedroom, which always seems a mess. I also want to schedule in some relaxation time, so that I feel fresh tomorrow for a productive and money saving working week. Later on we're going to my parents for dinner and I'm looking forward to not having to cook :).

    The creditor that refused the 50% full and final offer we made has offered 75% on the smaller debt and around 92% on the larger one :mad: which we cannot afford. These final two debts are in DH's name, so I personally am debt free :T. But I can't feel properly debt free until DH is too, as we share everything.

    When DH mentioned to the creditor that he had some health conditions they suggested he get a doctors note as proof, as then they might be able to make a lower offer. It will be 3 weeks tomorrow since we requested the doctors note, so I really hope it comes soon. :mad:

    I am very impatient for DH to be able to restart negotiations and am really hoping he can persuade them to take the 50%, so that we can be debt free by Christmas. What a perfect gift that would be :D.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 😱 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017 :T 🎉
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £800/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £10/£5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £183.57/£500. SEF = £2,050/£12,000 PREMIUM BONDS ME = £500. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £500.
    HOLIDAY MONEY = £1,000 TIME LEFT TO PAY OFF MORTGAGE = 6 YEARS 4 MONTHS
  • HairyHandofDartmoorHairyHandofDartmoor Forumite
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    Thank you purplemumof2. I've been on this site for quite a while but have never had a diary before. It's quite exciting :D
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 😱 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017 :T 🎉
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £800/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £10/£5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £183.57/£500. SEF = £2,050/£12,000 PREMIUM BONDS ME = £500. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £500.
    HOLIDAY MONEY = £1,000 TIME LEFT TO PAY OFF MORTGAGE = 6 YEARS 4 MONTHS
  • DebtFreeDuoDebtFreeDuo Forumite
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    Good luck on getting that lower offer very soon! What a relief it must be for you that all the other creditors are all paid off!
    Change the way you see things and the things you see will change
  • Sun_AddictSun_Addict Forumite
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    Ooh you've started a diary :T

    Have subscribed - looking forward to following your journey.
    Christmas Savings 2021 £347.97
    Emergency Fund £5400/£10,000
    June NSD: 7
  • HairyHandofDartmoorHairyHandofDartmoor Forumite
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    Thanks DebtFreeDuo and SA :hello:.

    I'm hoping that better times lie ahead and I'm feeling more hopeful than I have done for years :).
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 😱 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017 :T 🎉
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £800/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £10/£5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £183.57/£500. SEF = £2,050/£12,000 PREMIUM BONDS ME = £500. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £500.
    HOLIDAY MONEY = £1,000 TIME LEFT TO PAY OFF MORTGAGE = 6 YEARS 4 MONTHS
  • SystemSystem Forumite
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    Subscribing now you have started your own diary .
  • HairyHandofDartmoorHairyHandofDartmoor Forumite
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    Hi Cumbria lass :hello: thanks for subscribing.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 😱 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017 :T 🎉
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £800/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £10/£5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £183.57/£500. SEF = £2,050/£12,000 PREMIUM BONDS ME = £500. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £500.
    HOLIDAY MONEY = £1,000 TIME LEFT TO PAY OFF MORTGAGE = 6 YEARS 4 MONTHS
  • parsnipheadparsniphead Forumite
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    So close now HairyHandofDartmoor.

    Fingers crossed that you get the best Christmas gift ever.
    1 debt v's 100 days chapter 34: T3sco bank CC £250/£525.24 47.59%

    [STRIKE]MBNA - [/STRIKE]GONE, [STRIKE]CAP ONE[/STRIKE] GONE, [STRIKE]YORKS BANK [/STRIKE]GONE, [STRIKE]VANQUIS[/STRIKE] GONE [STRIKE] TESCO - [/STRIKE], GONE
    TSB CARD, TSB LOAN, LLOYDS. FIVE DOWN, THREE TO GO.
  • HairyHandofDartmoorHairyHandofDartmoor Forumite
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    My goal for this week is to have as many NSDs, as possible.

    I'll do the food shop on Wednesday which I'll aim to keep at £80, and DH needs a new suit for work, which will be expensive, but he hasnt bought one for years and he's starting to look shabby :(.

    We had the car mot done on Saturday and they didn't find anything wrong with it, but DH asked them to service it. As a result the total bill was around £260. I was horrified :eek: but DH reckons it had to be done to keep it running well and avoid future breakdowns. Especially as we have a family wedding to go in November which will be quite a long drive. We didn't have a car for three years and saved a fortune but it did restrict what we could do a lot.

    So this week will be a bit spendy with DH's suit, but it has to be done :o. Apart from that it should be essential bills and nothing else, I hope.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 😱 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017 :T 🎉
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £800/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £10/£5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £183.57/£500. SEF = £2,050/£12,000 PREMIUM BONDS ME = £500. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £500.
    HOLIDAY MONEY = £1,000 TIME LEFT TO PAY OFF MORTGAGE = 6 YEARS 4 MONTHS
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