Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 12:22 PM
    • 9,988Posts
    • 79,311Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    • #1
    • 24th Sep 17, 12:22 PM
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally 24th Sep 17 at 12:22 PM
    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 .

    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 .

    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 .

    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 .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 18-11-2017 at 8:49 AM.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = 4,005/5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 2,005/5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = 129.37/500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = 150. PREMIUM BONDS DH = 50
Page 211
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 9th Oct 18, 3:41 PM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,311 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    You're not a busybody at all Carboot, you're just worried about your friend. As you're not a relative there is a limit to what you can do, but if you keep an eye on the situation and be there there to help your friend, then I'm sure she'll be grateful. I'm not sure you can do much apart from that.

    Bear in mind you've had no sleep Carboot, so your worries will be magnified by the fact that you're very tired.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = 4,005/5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 2,005/5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = 129.37/500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = 150. PREMIUM BONDS DH = 50
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 9th Oct 18, 5:31 PM
    • 2,576 Posts
    • 4,073 Thanks
    badmemory
    I wouldn't worry TOO much about dementia yet Carboot. You said he wasn't a confident driver, so he will have been quite stressed after the long drive & that can do funny things to anyone's memory, you don't have to be old (he can't have been too bad or he wouldn't have found his way there at all). Although if you do have dementia any stress does make it much worse.
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 10th Oct 18, 6:23 AM
    • 6,007 Posts
    • 37,349 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Thanks for the dementia advice, HH and badmemory

    Had a good night's sleep, was more tired than I realised. No phone calls from my friend during the night I'm always up by 6 so it's not unusual for me to be up and about and on here at this hour.

    Just to add to the dementia topic, there have been various disturbing events recently to have worried my friend about her brother. On 2 separate occasions he started cooking something, completely forgot about it and did considerable smoke/fire damage to his kitchen because he'd left the house. The Fire Brigade were involved on one occasion, there was smoke and water damage to several rooms as a result. On another occasion he started running a bath and forgot about it, even left the house and walked to the local shop for something. Luckily he lives in a bungalow and the flood didn't bring any ceilings down but it did cause a massive amount of damage. His insurance premiums now are huge


    My friend said there were other things he's done but she didn't have the time to tell me everything the last time I saw her, she's got too much else to think about. I know she feels safest while her brother is at the hospital with her rather than him being on his own at her lovely home. She's worried sick about him driving but he seems to go onto automatic pilot and seems perfectly competent although he's never enjoyed driving and doesn't feel confident in lots of traffic. I think it was him who insisted on coming to be with her when she phoned him about her husband's condition. She wouldn't have asked him to drive all that way on his own.


    Strangely, almost like clicking a switch he becomes perfectly normal and his confusion lifts, such as when he drove to the hospital although I don't think that went according to plan. Apparently he must have got lost en route, it took him a great deal longer than it normally would have even at the speed he drives at. He said he'd only stopped once for a toilet break and to buy petrol for about 10 minutes so goodness knows which way he came.


    It was the next-door-neighbour's concerns that raised the subject again. He asked my friend if her brother was 'all right' as he'd been very vague, panicky, unable to grasp what the neighbour was trying to tell him and asking the same obvious questions over and over even though they'd just been patiently answered by the neighbour. Like you, the neighbour thought it was stress and tiredness that had caused it, he didn't know the brother so had no idea how usual his behaviour was, but felt it extreme enough to mention it to my friend.


    Anxious days for my friend in every way. I'd do anything to help her but don't know how. OH tells me not to interfere, just to be there for her whenever/however she needs me. I know he's right but I still feel I'm not doing enough


    Sorry to clutter up your diary, HH, especially when you have such worries of your own. Have a lovely day
    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 1862.. Just one creditor to go

    Make 2019 in 2019 (#68) 452.71/2019

    Treats Fund 2019: 411.78
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Oct 18, 7:22 AM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,311 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I don't mind you talking on my diary Carboot, it's a distraction from my own problems so you go ahead . Your friend's brother does sound very confused. Would it be worth your friend (when she has less on her plate) writing a letter to her brother's doctor detailing her concerns about him? If he does have dementia there may be things the doctor can do to help; just a thought. I'm glad you had a good night's sleep
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = 4,005/5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 2,005/5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = 129.37/500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = 150. PREMIUM BONDS DH = 50
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Oct 18, 7:28 AM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,311 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I slept well, although felt very depressed yesterday evening and off and on during tbe daytime. I expect I was tired and letting negative thoughts intrude. Instead of thinking about the people I've lost, I must focus on the people I still have and look after them. For example DH is stressed about work and I still haven't wrapped up DS3's poker set!

    This morning I'm going to Mr T with DH. He can work in the cafe while I shop, and it may do him good to have a change of scene. My budget is 50-60 but I'll be pleased if I can keep it to 50.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = 4,005/5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 2,005/5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = 129.37/500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = 150. PREMIUM BONDS DH = 50
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 10th Oct 18, 7:40 AM
    • 2,119 Posts
    • 12,513 Thanks
    Nicnak
    Hopefully you can keep it below 50. I never end up in my budget when out shopping. I just can't seem to do it unless I get a basket and then I can't get much of what I need and end up returning!

    Online shopping is the way forward for me now.
    September 6th 2017 - Updated February 2019
    Credit Card 0 now: 0 Dad 1500 = 0 Consolidation 15,000 = 8,900 Total = 25,330 8,900 65% gone EMF #252 = 1000/1000
    Sealed pot challenge #024
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #071
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Oct 18, 8:22 AM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,311 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I manage to stick to my budget by buying the same items every week . I put the important stuff on the conveyer belt first and then once the total gets to my budget amount, I put the other stuff back. I'm quite good at estimating now so I don't usually have to much much, if anything, back.

    Anyway I must get ready to go!
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = 4,005/5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 2,005/5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = 129.37/500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = 150. PREMIUM BONDS DH = 50
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 10th Oct 18, 8:54 AM
    • 499 Posts
    • 4,361 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    Do any of my lovely diary readers have any Christmas or New Year traditions that they always do? I'm looking for new ideas so that we can do things that won't remind me my mum isn't here.
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    I think starting new traditions purposefully is hard: they often seem to evolve !

    One year OH and I woke up on Xmas morning on our own. I hated it, but we wrapped up warmly, took mince pies and coffee and went for a walk on Christmas Common (how handy we live near enough to do so!), watched the red kites, greeted a load of others doing the same, and really enjoyed ourselves. Back home in time for the family 'invasion' later in the day.

    We still have stockings: basically anyone who stays over Christmas night gets one, so I have a couple of 'guest' stockings in stock. My elderly Aunt was thrilled when she discovered this custom. I don't think she'd had a stocking for over 70 years !

    Btw, I knew DD1 had got herself a 'keeper' when he arrived for his 1st Christmas with us bearing a huge Santa sack !!

    Our longest standing XD tradition is NO TV !!
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 10th Oct 18, 9:01 AM
    • 499 Posts
    • 4,361 Thanks
    elizabethhull

    Anxious days for my friend in every way. I'd do anything to help her but don't know how. OH tells me not to interfere, just to be there for her whenever/however she needs me. I know he's right but I still feel I'm not doing enough.

    Sorry to clutter up your diary, HH, especially when you have such worries of your own. Have a lovely day
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    It's not interfering to be concerned about a neighbour, and wanting to do more. It shows a kind spirit

    I know what you mean about 'cluttering up' someone else's diary. Tbh, I really don't know the etiquette of this, as I've only followed 2, and it's awfully tempting to waffle on about one's own life. I personally find the many contributions, whether personally anecdotal or encouraging, of great interest, as well as the daily life of the OP.

    Hope everyone is lucky enough to be enjoying the Indian summer and gets much washing done !!!!
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 10th Oct 18, 9:10 AM
    • 2,119 Posts
    • 12,513 Thanks
    Nicnak
    I manage to stick to my budget by buying the same items every week . I put the important stuff on the conveyer belt first and then once the total gets to my budget amount, I put the other stuff back. I'm quite good at estimating now so I don't usually have to much much, if anything, back.

    Anyway I must get ready to go!
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    I get carried away by the shiny packages!
    September 6th 2017 - Updated February 2019
    Credit Card 0 now: 0 Dad 1500 = 0 Consolidation 15,000 = 8,900 Total = 25,330 8,900 65% gone EMF #252 = 1000/1000
    Sealed pot challenge #024
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #071
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 10th Oct 18, 3:38 PM
    • 7,329 Posts
    • 54,059 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Your journey through grief so entirely mirrors my own when I lost my mum, it's uncanny. We always used to go to my mum's on Christmas Eve to pick up/drop off presents. She passed away at the end of August so everything was still raw at Christmas. We just had a quiet Christmas at home that year. Just before Mr SA got I'll we went to the beach on Christmas Day with the dog. It was one of my best Christmas Days ever. I was surprised how busy it was, there was a great atmosphere. We took a picnic and ate it in the car. You need to do something completely different to try to take your mind off the memories but be prepared to be upset, it's only natural. Honestly you will feel better in time xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2019 366.57
    Emergency Fund 3300/10,000
    • jwil
    • By jwil 10th Oct 18, 5:05 PM
    • 10,775 Posts
    • 39,036 Thanks
    jwil
    I like the idea of going to the seaside on new year's day Jwil. That could be a nice new tradition. You must have to wrap up warm!
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Yes, but it's surprising how often it can be a nice day! We often go to Exmouth, and it's really busy with people out and about.
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Oct 18, 9:26 PM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,311 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I think starting new traditions purposefully is hard: they often seem to evolve !

    One year OH and I woke up on Xmas morning on our own. I hated it, but we wrapped up warmly, took mince pies and coffee and went for a walk on Christmas Common (how handy we live near enough to do so!), watched the red kites, greeted a load of others doing the same, and really enjoyed ourselves. Back home in time for the family 'invasion' later in the day.

    We still have stockings: basically anyone who stays over Christmas night gets one, so I have a couple of 'guest' stockings in stock. My elderly Aunt was thrilled when she discovered this custom. I don't think she'd had a stocking for over 70 years !

    Btw, I knew DD1 had got herself a 'keeper' when he arrived for his 1st Christmas with us bearing a huge Santa sack !!

    Our longest standing XD tradition is NO TV !!
    Originally posted by elizabethhull
    That sounds like a lovely thing to do on Christmas morning, especially taking mince pies and coffee. I love the idea of your elderly aunt being thrilled with her stocking too .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = 4,005/5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 2,005/5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = 129.37/500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = 150. PREMIUM BONDS DH = 50
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Oct 18, 9:28 PM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,311 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    It's not interfering to be concerned about a neighbour, and wanting to do more. It shows a kind spirit

    I know what you mean about 'cluttering up' someone else's diary. Tbh, I really don't know the etiquette of this, as I've only followed 2, and it's awfully tempting to waffle on about one's own life. I personally find the many contributions, whether personally anecdotal or encouraging, of great interest, as well as the daily life of the OP.

    Hope everyone is lucky enough to be enjoying the Indian summer and gets much washing done !!!!
    Originally posted by elizabethhull
    You're not cluttering up my diary at all Elizabeth. You always have interesting and thought provoking things to say
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = 4,005/5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 2,005/5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = 129.37/500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = 150. PREMIUM BONDS DH = 50
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Oct 18, 9:30 PM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,311 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Yes, but it's surprising how often it can be a nice day! We often go to Exmouth, and it's really busy with people out and about.
    Originally posted by jwil
    I definitely like the idea. We went to Exmouth on a windy day once and it was like a sandstorm with sand stinging our faces . That was the summer too .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = 4,005/5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 2,005/5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = 129.37/500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = 150. PREMIUM BONDS DH = 50
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Oct 18, 9:32 PM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,311 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Your journey through grief so entirely mirrors my own when I lost my mum, it's uncanny. We always used to go to my mum's on Christmas Eve to pick up/drop off presents. She passed away at the end of August so everything was still raw at Christmas. We just had a quiet Christmas at home that year. Just before Mr SA got I'll we went to the beach on Christmas Day with the dog. It was one of my best Christmas Days ever. I was surprised how busy it was, there was a great atmosphere. We took a picnic and ate it in the car. You need to do something completely different to try to take your mind off the memories but be prepared to be upset, it's only natural. Honestly you will feel better in time xx
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    Thank you SA, you really do understand how I feel. A picnic on the beach could be a new and different thing to do on Christmas day or New Year's day. Much food for thought.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = 4,005/5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 2,005/5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = 129.37/500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = 150. PREMIUM BONDS DH = 50
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Oct 18, 9:40 PM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,311 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I felt more cheerful today and decided not to think about my mum as it makes me sad, but to focus on DH and the DC instead.

    At Mr T I only spent 53 which was within my 50 - 60 budget . That included four chocolate oranges for 75p each, which can be Christmas presents for DH and the DC.

    I also got some navy trousers to wear while volunteering for 14, which I was pleased with as I'd been looking for some. The trousers weren't in the food budget of course!

    In the afternoon I went to the park with DS1 as it was a warm sunny day. The autumn leaves looked lovely and the walk should help me sleep.

    So going out twice and not thinking about my mum helped me to be more cheerful today. Hopefully I can keep it up! Tomorrow I'm volunteering at school in the morning which should be a good distraction for me.

    I kept getting messages from DS3 all evening as his laundry saga continues! He has run out of clean clothes . He needed to put money on an app to pay for the use of the washing machines/dryers. But his bank account is linked to his Paypal account and he'd forgotten his login details for his Paypal. So DH gave him his debit card and Paypal details, but DH's debit card is out of date (he must have a new card somewhere!). So in the end I gave DS3 the details of my debit card and Paypal login details. Now he has finally managed to put money on the app so he can do his laundry. Rolls eyes. It's unbelievably complicated .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 10-10-2018 at 9:51 PM.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = 4,005/5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 2,005/5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = 129.37/500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = 150. PREMIUM BONDS DH = 50
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 10th Oct 18, 9:56 PM
    • 4,428 Posts
    • 27,301 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Well done for getting out in nature. It always helps
    Car costs savings: 165
    Xmas savings 100
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Oct 18, 10:15 PM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,311 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks DIA it really does .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = 4,005/5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 2,005/5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = 129.37/500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = 150. PREMIUM BONDS DH = 50
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 10th Oct 18, 10:21 PM
    • 499 Posts
    • 4,361 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    You're not cluttering up my diary at all Elizabeth. You always have interesting and thought provoking things to say
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    What a lovely thing to say - thank you xx
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

111Posts Today

1,419Users online

Martin's Twitter