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    • Former MSE Andrea
    • By Former MSE Andrea 8th Sep 14, 8:55 AM
    • 9,418Posts
    • 22,338Thanks
    Former MSE Andrea
    DFNLWs - what did you do next?
    • #1
    • 8th Sep 14, 8:55 AM
    DFNLWs - what did you do next? 8th Sep 14 at 8:55 AM
    Are you one of our fantastic Debt Free No Longer Wannabes?

    For even more inspiration for our DFWs please come back here and let us know what you've done next.

    Are you now a Mortgage Free Wannabe using our Mortgage Guides to help clear yours?

    Or are you building up your savings with the help of the Best Savings accounts and the Savings & Investments board?

    Whether you've been Debt-free a few months or a few years please come back to tell us what and how you're doing now. We'd love to hear your "What they did next" story!
    Could you do with a Money Makeover?

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Page 1
    • Vicky496
    • By Vicky496 8th Sep 14, 9:21 AM
    • 202 Posts
    • 550 Thanks
    • #2
    • 8th Sep 14, 9:21 AM
    • #2
    • 8th Sep 14, 9:21 AM
    I'm treating saving up as though I'm paying off a debt.

    I still join challenges on the DFW boards (on and off I do 'make 10 a day', 'No spend day' challenge, pay off debt by xmas, grocery challenge, sealed pot) and I keep a diary and use the old style board for extra inspiration.

    I have some months where I really get into money saving and it becomes a bit of a game to see how much I can save. Other months I am not really focussed on it, but although I don't make as many 'painful' savings I still spend within my means. On my 'off' months I find that it's useful that I have a direct debit set up to automatically pay into savings what I had previously been paying towards debts.

    I've never been a saver before so I'm trying to teach myself good saving habits.
    Ideas I've seen so far that I like:
    - best savings account article, though I've not taken on board all of it yet. I got an ISA (or NISA now?), but probably not the best rate...
    - aim to save in advance for lost income during maternity leave (all done, now really ). I'm now aiming to have more in savings when I go back to work than when I start leave, but ultimately I'm aiming not to go back into debt!
    - aim to save up 3 months salary/costs to cover an extreme 'rainy-day' period.
    - never spend more than half your savings in one go
    - I'm doing 'sealed pot' challenge (the virtual version) for the first time. I saw no point saving while I was in debt before.
    - I'm going to read about how to teach good money skills to our nearly new arrival.
    - Would like to save for a house deposit, but I'm really reluctant to get a mortgage. I know it's not a 'bad' debt if done right, but I can't help thinking there must be an alternative way of living.. just haven't found it yet!
    - Been thinking about getting a Junior ISA for the little one possibly.
    • Former MSE Andrea
    • By Former MSE Andrea 8th Sep 14, 9:50 AM
    • 9,418 Posts
    • 22,338 Thanks
    Former MSE Andrea
    • #3
    • 8th Sep 14, 9:50 AM
    • #3
    • 8th Sep 14, 9:50 AM
    Fantastic, well done!
    Could you do with a Money Makeover?

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    • LAM2011
    • By LAM2011 16th Sep 14, 9:01 AM
    • 1,427 Posts
    • 5,359 Thanks
    • #4
    • 16th Sep 14, 9:01 AM
    • #4
    • 16th Sep 14, 9:01 AM
    I am trying to create a savings buffer - also never really saved before. But I have also booked a holiday for next year for myself and OH and bought him a nice birthday present.

    Next year I hope to join the Mortgage Free boards and start on that.

    At first it seemed such a responsibility having 'spare' money but now I too try and treat savings like a debt and it goes down on my spread sheet. 3,000 savings by Christmas is a bit ambitious but I should definitely make 2,500 which will be more money I have had in the bank in years!
    • ShootForTheMoon
    • By ShootForTheMoon 16th Sep 14, 11:30 AM
    • 392 Posts
    • 1,373 Thanks
    • #5
    • 16th Sep 14, 11:30 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Sep 14, 11:30 AM
    Saving, saving, saving....
    We went on a holiday of a lifetime to Sri Lanka this year, paid completely from savings!

    Also, joined the "save 12k in 2014" challenge - really helps motivate me to keep saving towards a deposit on our first house!!
    Still browse the DFW boards when the urge to spend strikes, and still finding the rings we learned when getting out of debt have allowed us to maximise the amount of money we can save!!
    "I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul"
    • Former MSE Andrea
    • By Former MSE Andrea 17th Sep 14, 9:09 AM
    • 9,418 Posts
    • 22,338 Thanks
    Former MSE Andrea
    • #6
    • 17th Sep 14, 9:09 AM
    • #6
    • 17th Sep 14, 9:09 AM
    Fantastic stories, thank you!

    I really like the idea of keeping a direct debit going into savings the same as you'd done for debts. What you didn't "have" before you don't miss.

    My youngest has just started school so I plan to do the same with her nursery fees and use the same amount to overpay our mortgage (our version of savings).
    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 17-09-2014 at 10:18 AM.
    Could you do with a Money Makeover?

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    • moohound
    • By moohound 18th Sep 14, 6:41 PM
    • 1,186 Posts
    • 3,020 Thanks
    • #7
    • 18th Sep 14, 6:41 PM
    • #7
    • 18th Sep 14, 6:41 PM
    Doing more challenges than ever, saving up like mad, overpaying mortgage and trying to teach my son the value of money, and the folly of short-termism.
    ISA 1675 MiniMoohound savings 3685.86 Plus 3800 CTF
    'MrMoneyMuststache' my new hero, Martin Lewis my long time hero
    Poacher turned Gamekeeper
    Roadkill rebel No 52 Aug 1.34p Sept 24p Oct 5p Nov 5p Sealed pot Challenge No 403 176.66(2014) NOV NST No 20
    • amber03
    • By amber03 20th Sep 14, 9:23 PM
    • 838 Posts
    • 5,139 Thanks
    • #8
    • 20th Sep 14, 9:23 PM
    • #8
    • 20th Sep 14, 9:23 PM
    Definitely getting as much saved up as possible just in case anything happens in the near future. I have never had my own savings so its nice to have. I save 100 a month. Since I have paid all my debts off and started to save I don't seem to want for anything. Before whenever I had a little bit of spare money I would always spend it usually on stuff I didn't really want or need.

    I am also teaching my kids about finance. Middle son is about to buy a house and I am offering him loads of advice.x
    Debtfree and and staying that way.
    1000 Emergency fund No.112 572.00
    • tealady
    • By tealady 21st Sep 14, 5:38 AM
    • 3,091 Posts
    • 3,996 Thanks
    • #9
    • 21st Sep 14, 5:38 AM
    • #9
    • 21st Sep 14, 5:38 AM
    After becoming debt free I threw every penny I had to my mortgage so I now am free of that.
    I now have two savings pots. One is a direct debit to an ISA which is for my retirement in a few years. The other is the money left in my bank account each month which is put into a "wish list/emergency funds" account. I also save money in my local credit union as I am a great believer in them, that is for Christmas.
    • Candy0107
    • By Candy0107 21st Sep 14, 7:24 AM
    • 1,594 Posts
    • 9,691 Thanks
    I became debt free about 19 months ago (had paid off about 23k in 6 years ish) .....
    • I drew up a list of things I'd like to reward myself - an ipod and cath kidston handbag (I didn't buy anything when I was paying off my debts)
    • Managed to get myself a decent credit card
    • Paid for a college course on credit card
    • Paid credit card off
    • Got a loan
    • Bought a car
    • working on paying off the loan earlier than the 3 year term
    Last edited by Candy0107; 21-09-2014 at 7:26 AM.
    Debts at the start of my journey - about 23,000 lightbulb moment 01.03.2007 (1st payment to CCCS)..Debt Free Date 25.06.2013 Deposit savings 2,500/30,000
    • ailz95
    • By ailz95 21st Sep 14, 8:08 AM
    • 238 Posts
    • 1,833 Thanks
    I became debt free (or will be when Payplan pay my creditors what I've paid to them) this month. I've already changed the standing order to Payplan into one into our savings account. The payment came courtesy of a lump sum from my pension, so for the first time in my life I have money in savings.

    I want to keep it that way. Also living with my mother-in-law so that my husband can be her carer as well as mine, means we don't spend very much at all, though for the last year we've got through as much money every month; so I intend to start putting extra away, I've been reading Martin's savings info, but haven't worked out what would be the best plan of action. I need to though so that I don't just keep on frittering money away.

    'Proud To Be Dealing With My Debts' DFW Nerd club member No. 1028.
    DMP Mutual Support member No. 429

    DFD 10.9.14.

    Live Simply not Simply Live
    • 1DayAAT
    • By 1DayAAT 21st Sep 14, 1:28 PM
    • 222 Posts
    • 463 Thanks
    I'm now a saver/investor with any of the spare money that I used to throw at debt. Without debt the pot grows quite rapidly and is a source of comfort to know spare money is sitting there should we need it. The debt-free journey totally rejuvenated my respect for money and now keeping hold of it and not being stupid with it is of high priority!

    I have a small mortgage but that ticks over and I am really not in any rush or need to clear that. I also make sure to maintain good morale for myself and my family (who went without for so long) by taking us out for quality time, allowing money for treats and buying the little things that we need or cheer us up (within reason!). It feels great these days to be able to pop in to Wilkinsons like we did this weekend and spend a tenner on some items and not feel guilt for spending money we don't have. I also treated myself to a new Fossil wallet to celebrate
    Last edited by 1DayAAT; 21-09-2014 at 1:31 PM.
    Debt Free 08/08/2014
    • Mort
    • By Mort 21st Sep 14, 9:12 PM
    • 543 Posts
    • 1,036 Thanks
    I joined the "A Thread For After Debt" thread sometime after becoming debt free which I found useful.

    Since becoming debt free we have coped with life events such as loss of income, pay restraint and job regrading - my take home was slightly more in 2010 than it is now .

    We have acquired grand children. Saved for and bought a set of double glazed french doors, this was a biggie for us as it didn't involve credit.

    I have been a member of the 2 coin savers club for three years now.

    Mrs Mort and I have had a number of foreign holidays, flights only as a family member is working abroad.

    I have recently started a Mortgage free wannabe thread and have started a modest overpayment. When our DMP finished we were going to just put that money into overpaying the mortgage but the loss of income mentioned above put that idea on hold, a pity really as three years would have seen it off as the mortgage is relatively small.
    Proud to have dealt with my debts, became debt free on 03/11/2011. Repaid 54,723.41 LBM May 2006.
    Debt Free Roll Of Honour #504
    • abundant1972
    • By abundant1972 25th Oct 14, 1:02 PM
    • 1,227 Posts
    • 9,215 Thanks
    Hi all,

    I'm pleased to announce that after what feels like forever... I'm now DEBT FREE at last!!! I was checking through my old statements, and certainly my debts go back 10 years or so... I don't ever remember not being in debt...

    I want to say a HUGE thank you to Ninja Saving Kat who ran monthly threads and challenges, which helped me no end... I'd nominante her for an award anyday!!! Also thanks to all the MSErs who joined the challenges alongside me, and who helped to pick me up when I felt down... Thanks to Amara for their monthly challenges too, which provided a manageable number of days to raise/clear x amount - these really helped to focus me.

    What now? Well... I've joined a 'build 1000 Emergency Fund' as a starter... I'm moving into a new swanky apartment soon, so furniture will eat up my newly freed up cash for a few months, but after that I'll be saving for a deposit on my own place. ISA already on the go, and will stay on track doing MSE challenges every month...

    Thanks to the MoneySavingExpert team... to Martin Lewis for founding this site too. You're all amazing!!!

    Ask do I 'want' or 'need' this before I spend
    Follow your heart & be true to yourself always
    Help To Buy ISA = 8446.13. EF = 1500/4500
    NST : NSD=0/16 : Food & Spends=148.42/310.00
    Exercise : Gym 0/5 Sessions
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 25th Oct 14, 1:06 PM
    • 17,694 Posts
    • 16,639 Thanks
    Never been able to save money my entire life, so now I no longer have debt, that will be my number one priority from now on, aint getting any younger lol.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".

    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to Any views expressed are mine and not the official line of

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    • antonic
    • By antonic 25th Oct 14, 5:34 PM
    • 1,828 Posts
    • 2,662 Thanks
    Since I became DF in June 2013, like others have said, I still try to stick to the same lifestyle as when as I was in debt (but I can treat myself if I want).

    I went on holiday with my Dad earlier this year (paid for in cash), and I have booked another holiday with him next year.

    My bank have also given me a credit card (with a small limit) and as we speak today, I still have approx 200 in my current account with less than a week to payday.

    All in all, for me, life is good and it was worth the 90 months of pain being on my DMP to get to this position.
    Last edited by antonic; 25-10-2014 at 6:45 PM.
    LBM Sept 2005 spoke to Payplan - brilliant !
    Dec 2005 debt 21.959.64 + HBOS Int 1769.32
    June 2013 debt 0.00
    DF status confirmed by email 10/07/13
    DFW Long Hauler 297
  • Eyes wide open
    I became debt free at the end of last year and I am afraid I haven't been the best role model since.
    I had great intentions of saving and continuing to be dfw frugal but its not worked out like that.

    Reality is that I have treated myself to all the things that i have wanted. I have got my laptop, Bose system, new suite, new cooker etc. If I have wanted I've purchased it. I feel that I have done with out for so long that this year was about enjoying what I was working for rather than squirrelling it away for a rainy day. I don't regret it - i enjoy everything that i have purchased and i am proud that i have paid for it and its not on a debt card.

    Saying that i have still used some MSE frugal tricks, getting things on special offer etc. I have also worked a massive amount of overtime recently so my bank balance is still healthy.

    I have decided that next year will be the year to buckle down and save more (after all there is not much left to buy).

    So like I said not the best role model but I am still debt free and other than a credit card that I use to get points, that gets paid off every month i don't have the desire to to get into debt.

    I will add that its totally liberating to be debt free, to be able to be impulsive and not constantly having to worry whether you can afford to do something, go somewhere is fantastic. So for everyone striving to get there - its so worth it, stick with it and you will get there xx
    Save 12k in 2014 #080 0/8,000.
    2 savers club #53
    365 in 365 days # 101 1/365

    Sugar free days 0/365
    • mizmir
    • By mizmir 16th Nov 14, 8:32 PM
    • 3,704 Posts
    • 7,748 Thanks
    Became debt free by selling our house - all finalised in October - and everything cleared - so we are now looking at regular savings. The plan is to invest enough in the next 10 years to be able to buy a house for our retirement outright. It's ambitious but achievable if we buckle down.

    We've had a bit of a spend within planned budget - to upgrade car, computer, clothes etc. - stuff that has been on hold for years. Everything is paid for and we still have a bit set aside for emergencies and some to start our savings off. So all feels very positive - and rather strange - I have been in debt my entire adult life! Now I want to avoid any debt of any kind. We are using a card but only because we get cash back for it and we will clear it each month.

    I've joined the save 12K in 12 months thread. That is our aim - at least - 1K a month into investments plus increasing our emergency buffer each month. We'll be saving 800 a month from salary (by DD) and the rest will be from my business and any other money we can make/save. So there is still plenty to do.
    • KirstyO
    • By KirstyO 8th Jan 15, 1:09 PM
    • 289 Posts
    • 398 Thanks
    I became debt free last week and have already restructured my finances accordingly into savings! My debt free journey has been greatly shortened by now being in a job that pays nearly 10k more than the job I was in when I started my journey - no wonder I was in debt, I wonder now how I even managed on the low income that I was on!

    I'm now in a really wonderful position where each month I am saving:
    - 50 into a save to buy account with nationwide so that when I come to buy a home I can at least apply for a 5% mortgage without help to buy
    -250 into a fixed term ISA that will become the bulk of my house deposit
    - 50 a month into an instant saver with the same bank as my current account (not massively high interest but I intend to spend this on a holiday abroad at some point this year - it will be my first overseas trip since 2007)
    - 25 a month into another instant saver as my emergency fund, my hope is to get this up to the 3-month guide and keep it as a true emergency fund.

    I'm paying off 100 a month to my Grandad as I bought his car off him, that will be paid off by March so the 100 is going to be split between holiday and emergency funds

    It feels so good just to be able to set these standing orders up knowing that as long as my circumstances don't change dramatically I will be able to keep them up long term!

    Once I'm in a house of my own and with mortgage, I'll review it again, but for now I'm just happy that all of this money can be used for what I want to spend it on in the long term, not repaying off what ive spent without thought in the past.
    Debt free on 2nd January 2015
    Next savings goals:
    5k emergency fund
    4k holiday of a lifetime fund
    • fermi
    • By fermi 13th Dec 15, 10:40 AM
    • 39,669 Posts
    • 47,650 Thanks
    bump for link
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Bankruptcy, Credit Cards and Loans boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of Board guides are not moderators. If you spot an inappropriate or illegal post then please report it to

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