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
    • 79,328Thanks
    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 471
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 26th May 19, 3:56 PM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,328 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I always find that when I don't have any money I see loads of things I want but when I do have the money they suddenly don't seem as attractive. I suppose that's a good thing really.
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    That is so true and as you say probably a good thing .
    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 26th May 19, 3:59 PM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,328 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Well done with your wages choices - must feel so satisfying. And so lovely to be saving for Xmas in really good time. It gallops up before you know it, and its only human to want to celebrate, treat the family to nice things to eat, make the house look pretty and so on. It doesn't have to cost a fortune, but it does cost SOMETHING. This way you've made a conscious choice to enjoy a modest amount of spending without feeling guilty. In fact you're doing just that quite a lot. It's a far cry from the start of your diary when it would have been impossible to envisage any sort of saving or spending plan.

    Choices are a wonderful thing. With barely enough to meet the weekly food bill, choices simply don't exist.
    Originally posted by elizabethhull
    Thank you Elizabeth .You're right it's having the choice that's important. It's very empowering to have choices .
    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 26th May 19, 4:00 PM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,328 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hope you're not feeling too poorly today HHD and managed to meet up with your friends. Weather here has been rotten most of the day so we've stayed indoors. Not sure what the forecast is but I hope it improves, especially with it being half term. xx
    Originally posted by teafor2
    Thank you TF2 .
    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 26th May 19, 4:15 PM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,328 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I felt quite rough with my cold today so that reading gave me a headache and I didn't even feel like drinking diet coke .

    But I decided some fresh air would do me good, so we went a bit early to the NT place where we were meeting our friends and had a short stroll around the gardens, although we both felt quite tired so ended up relaxing in deck chairs in the gardens like a couple of geriatrics . Then our friends arrived and we had coffee and scones in the cafe and chatted for an hour. It was good catching up with them as we hadn't seen them for a couple of years, so we decided that we must get together more frequently . I don't think it made my cold any worse and I warned our friends to keep their distance from me. Our naughty friends insisted on paying for our refreshments, so our only spends were £5.70 as DH wanted to buy biscuits and cake in the shop and we picked up another eight pints of milk too as we always run out before the end of the week.

    I haven't done any de-cluttering or houswork today because I felt too tired and headachey so I'm hoping I'll feel up to doing some tomorrow.

    I hope everyone has had a good Sunday .
    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 26th May 19, 5:00 PM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,328 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    One of DS1's friends has had a big row with his parents and has nowhere to sleep tonight so we've agreed he can spend two nights here before he goes back to uni. I've said that the friend must tell his parents that he's safe so they don't worry.

    So much for a quiet evening .
    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
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 26th May 19, 6:14 PM
    • 9,823 Posts
    • 62,180 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    Thatís kind of you to put the friend up Hairy. Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    Best win so far - holiday to Florida
    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 27th May 19, 8:11 AM
    • 5,876 Posts
    • 36,378 Thanks
    in need of direction
    We have always unofficially operated what is now a not so youth hostel for friends of the offspring. Especially working with the homeless, I’m mindful of how easy it is for a family disagreement to result in someone falling through the cracks. Well done for opening your home like this.
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 £119,481.83 today £67373.01 target £65,000 by 05/04/19 Offset fund today £716.16 target £5,500 by 05/04/19
    Emergency fund £5,500/5.5k & £200/200 cash.
    Weight 24/02/19 14st 7lb now 13st 5lb
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 27th May 19, 9:05 AM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,328 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thatís kind of you to put the friend up Hairy. Xx
    Originally posted by please-let-me-be-lucky
    We have always unofficially operated what is now a not so youth hostel for friends of the offspring. Especially working with the homeless, Iím mindful of how easy it is for a family disagreement to result in someone falling through the cracks. Well done for opening your home like this.
    Originally posted by in need of direction
    Thank you both . We couldn't leave him with nowhere to sleep and we always welcome a chance to get to know the DC's friends. He's actually very pleasant, but his family can't accept him for what he is.
    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 27th May 19, 9:12 AM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,328 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Once years ago DS3 was at a sleepover party at a friend's house. He rang us after midnight to say that the friend's mother had kicked them all out because they were being too noisy and disturbing the neighbours . It was after midnight and pouring with rain. So we said they could all come and sleep in our living room (about six of them) as long as they didn't keep our neighbours awake. I couldn't believe the friend's mother would kick them all out onto the street like that (apart from her own child).

    It was quite funny though because in the morning when we got up all the friends had vanished and it was just DS3 asleep on the sofa. He didn't know where his friends had gone but reckoned they might have gone out for KFC .
    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
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 27th May 19, 10:12 AM
    • 64,439 Posts
    • 287,180 Thanks
    beanielou
    Poor lad.
    My DS has always said he loved that I just wanted him to to be happy.
    Last edited by beanielou; 27-05-2019 at 5:30 PM. Reason: HIm to be happy, not me!!
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 27th May 19, 11:35 AM
    • 2,119 Posts
    • 12,515 Thanks
    Nicnak
    Hi Hairy,

    How lovely of you to help out. It is a shame that his parents can't accept him for who he is. That must be quite difficult for him to accept.

    Hope you are well. xx
    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
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 27th May 19, 12:33 PM
    • 2,933 Posts
    • 18,653 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    What nicnak said in spades.

    Hope your cold is clearing up. X
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 23
    My diary: ďPaid off the £31,000! BUT- still scrimping!Ē
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 27th May 19, 2:39 PM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,328 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hi Hairy,

    How lovely of you to help out. It is a shame that his parents can't accept him for who he is. That must be quite difficult for him to accept.

    Hope you are well. xx
    Originally posted by Nicnak
    What nicnak said in spades.

    Hope your cold is clearing up. X
    Originally posted by Seasidegal58
    Thanks both of you . I do feel sorry for him. We advised him that the best solution is to find a job so he can move out. His family situation is very complex and not healthy for him.

    My cold was very bad last night so I went to bed at 9pm. But it's a little better today.
    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
    • teafor2
    • By teafor2 27th May 19, 3:09 PM
    • 1,955 Posts
    • 15,277 Thanks
    teafor2
    Hi HHD Glad you managed to get out with your friends, it's always lovely having a catch up isn't it.

    That's really nice that DS knew he could ask you to help his friend out and that you were happy to do so DD and DS know we have an open door policy for any of their friends if needs be. I'd rather be stepping over them on my lounge floor than somebody else stepping over them on a street corner.

    Hope you've had a lovely day and that you've taken it easy. xx
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 27th May 19, 3:28 PM
    • 9,823 Posts
    • 62,180 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    DD and DS know we have an open door policy for any of their friends if needs be. I'd rather be stepping over them on my lounge floor than somebody else stepping over them on a street corner.
    Originally posted by teafor2
    Exactly Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    Best win so far - holiday to Florida
    • Noella
    • By Noella 27th May 19, 4:16 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 1,069 Thanks
    Noella
    Sorry to hear about your cold, HH. Hope you'll be fully recovered before too much of the half-term break has passed by.

    Good advice about getting a job given to the 'homeless' young man but saving up enough for a deposit on somewhere to live might take him a while and it sounds as if things are already pretty desperate. Doesn't he have any other family he can move in with long-term? It's a shame you haven't the room for a permanent lodger. You said that he seems very pleasant but there might be more to the situation than you've been told so I'd be wary about getting too involved if I were you. It sounds as if the situation is all his parents' fault but there are always two sides to every story.
    When it's raining, look for rainbows.
    When it's dark, look for stars.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 27th May 19, 6:29 PM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,328 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hi HHD Glad you managed to get out with your friends, it's always lovely having a catch up isn't it.

    That's really nice that DS knew he could ask you to help his friend out and that you were happy to do so DD and DS know we have an open door policy for any of their friends if needs be. I'd rather be stepping over them on my lounge floor than somebody else stepping over them on a street corner.

    Hope you've had a lovely day and that you've taken it easy. xx
    Originally posted by teafor2
    Thank you TF2 . That is very true.

    Sorry to hear about your cold, HH. Hope you'll be fully recovered before too much of the half-term break has passed by.

    Good advice about getting a job given to the 'homeless' young man but saving up enough for a deposit on somewhere to live might take him a while and it sounds as if things are already pretty desperate. Doesn't he have any other family he can move in with long-term? It's a shame you haven't the room for a permanent lodger. You said that he seems very pleasant but there might be more to the situation than you've been told so I'd be wary about getting too involved if I were you. It sounds as if the situation is all his parents' fault but there are always two sides to every story.
    Originally posted by Noella
    Thanks Noella. He's at university so only needs somewhere for the summer. He could go home but is very unhappy there. He's going to apply for summer jobs and has found found some rooms advertised to rent that he thinks he can afford with only a small deposit. There is always faults on both sides but when someone is that unhappy then being independant is more healthy for them.

    I'm very much hoping that I won't feel ill for all of half term, but it's better than missing school.
    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
    • milann
    • By milann 27th May 19, 6:51 PM
    • 2,672 Posts
    • 15,961 Thanks
    milann
    Hopefully youíre past the worse of the cold now. Do you only get a week - we get 2 but secondary schools only get one - we have a week less on the summer holidays though. Itís all to do with the historical wakes weeks where the nearby factories and mills (long gone) used to close so they could be maintained. For some reason the schools have kept it on - we usually go down to Cornwall at this time as the 2nd week is always a lot cheaper. But we will hopefully go somewhere after my op this year.
    • jwil
    • By jwil 28th May 19, 7:45 AM
    • 10,778 Posts
    • 39,040 Thanks
    jwil
    Hope you are feeling better today x
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 28th May 19, 8:30 AM
    • 9,988 Posts
    • 79,328 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hopefully youíre past the worse of the cold now. Do you only get a week - we get 2 but secondary schools only get one - we have a week less on the summer holidays though. Itís all to do with the historical wakes weeks where the nearby factories and mills (long gone) used to close so they could be maintained. For some reason the schools have kept it on - we usually go down to Cornwall at this time as the 2nd week is always a lot cheaper. But we will hopefully go somewhere after my op this year.
    Originally posted by milann
    Thanks Milann . We only get one week but get six in the summer. Hopefully I won't waste all of it . At least I'm not missing school .

    Hope you are feeling better today x
    Originally posted by jwil
    Thanks Jwil .
    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
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

687Posts Today

7,049Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Today's Twitter Poll: Being honest, do you take into account the environment impact when you choose to book a flight?

  • RT @MartinSLewis: I sued Facebook for defamation over scam ads & settled in return for 2 things that LAUNCH TODAY -1on1 scam help at new C?

  • Do you need to show your boarding pass at the airport? And how to make 'em pay you for doing it... https://t.co/g5biFxotXF

  • Follow Martin