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  • FIRST POST
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 12:22 PM
    • 9,968Posts
    • 79,176Thanks
    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 1
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 24th Sep 17, 12:32 PM
    • 7,227 Posts
    • 27,846 Thanks
    Purplemumof2
    • #2
    • 24th Sep 17, 12:32 PM
    • #2
    • 24th Sep 17, 12:32 PM
    Happy new diary xx
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
    MBNA: £4650.00 Lloyds: £8700.00 BC: £300.00 Cap One: GONE
    July LTW 3/22 ~ July NSD 2/10
    PAYDBX 2019 #041 PD £3474.49/£5604.30
    Savings for Christmas £300.52/£500 ~ EF £55/£500
    20p Savers 2019 £2 Savers 2019 50p Savers 2019 SPC 12 2019 #003
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 12:44 PM
    • 9,968 Posts
    • 79,176 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    • #3
    • 24th Sep 17, 12:44 PM
    • #3
    • 24th Sep 17, 12:44 PM
    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 which we cannot afford. These final two debts are in DH's name, so I personally am debt free . 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.

    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 .
    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 24th Sep 17, 12:46 PM
    • 9,968 Posts
    • 79,176 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    • #4
    • 24th Sep 17, 12:46 PM
    • #4
    • 24th Sep 17, 12:46 PM
    Thank you purplemumof2. I've been on this site for quite a while but have never had a diary before. It's quite exciting
    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
    • DebtFreeDuo
    • By DebtFreeDuo 24th Sep 17, 1:40 PM
    • 959 Posts
    • 4,694 Thanks
    DebtFreeDuo
    • #5
    • 24th Sep 17, 1:40 PM
    • #5
    • 24th Sep 17, 1:40 PM
    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 Addict
    • By Sun Addict 24th Sep 17, 1:50 PM
    • 7,319 Posts
    • 54,020 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    • #6
    • 24th Sep 17, 1:50 PM
    • #6
    • 24th Sep 17, 1:50 PM
    Ooh you've started a diary

    Have subscribed - looking forward to following your journey.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2019 £366.57
    Emergency Fund £3300/£10,000
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 2:15 PM
    • 9,968 Posts
    • 79,176 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    • #7
    • 24th Sep 17, 2:15 PM
    • #7
    • 24th Sep 17, 2:15 PM
    Thanks DebtFreeDuo and SA .

    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
    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
  • archived user
    • #8
    • 24th Sep 17, 2:36 PM
    • #8
    • 24th Sep 17, 2:36 PM
    Subscribing now you have started your own diary .
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 2:52 PM
    • 9,968 Posts
    • 79,176 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    • #9
    • 24th Sep 17, 2:52 PM
    • #9
    • 24th Sep 17, 2:52 PM
    Hi Cumbria lass 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
    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
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 24th Sep 17, 2:58 PM
    • 2,697 Posts
    • 18,532 Thanks
    parsniphead
    So close now HairyHandofDartmoor.

    Fingers crossed that you get the best Christmas gift ever.
    My mini challenge: pay off MBNA by 31/08/18. £502/£502 100% (paid off 30/06/18 - 2 months early )

    Pay of all debt by xmas 2019 #09 - £0/ £8471 %
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 3:05 PM
    • 9,968 Posts
    • 79,176 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    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 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 . 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
    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 24th Sep 17, 3:14 PM
    • 9,968 Posts
    • 79,176 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks parsniphead. It's exciting and yet a bit stressful to be so near and yet not quite there .

    We've got 8 grand sitting in a savings account waiting to pay off the last two debts, hopefully, and I have to keep checking that it's still there and hasn't mysteriously disappeared

    I'm also aware that neither of us has a pension now, so we need to build up some savings for our retirement in about 14 years time. Our mortgage should be paid off in ten years which will save £420 a month, so we could start saving that amount then. If we can raise our income and avoid impulse buys that will help 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
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 24th Sep 17, 3:21 PM
    • 1,951 Posts
    • 11,273 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    YAY a new diarist, a new friend and fellow traveller
    Subscribed too...
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 3:24 PM
    • 9,968 Posts
    • 79,176 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks UncannyScot 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
    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
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 24th Sep 17, 7:15 PM
    • 7,319 Posts
    • 54,020 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    I miss not having a car for being able to nip out and pick things up and for days out but I don't miss the expense. I don't drive and Mr SA had his licence taken off him because of his brain damage.

    Good luck with achieving your goals this week.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2019 £366.57
    Emergency Fund £3300/£10,000
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 24th Sep 17, 8:11 PM
    • 2,933 Posts
    • 18,651 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Hooray! You've started a diary! Have subscribed!

    Your first post really resounded with me - all my own mistakes! But I'm so glad you found Stepchange and they helped take away the depression and stress for you both. You seem really focused and I do hope the final creditor accepts your offer once you have the doctor's letter back. What a wonderful Christmas present to see the back of that last debt!

    I'd only add that starting an emergency fund would be a good idea - even if you begin with only a couple of hundred pounds. It'll take the pressure off those annoying "life getting in the way" things like broken cars and washing machines!

    to your new diary!

    SSG x
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 23
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 9:47 PM
    • 9,968 Posts
    • 79,176 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Having a car is expensive SA, but it does make life more convenient. We didn't have one for three years because our old one died and we couldn't afford to fix it. We were given a car by a kind relative a few months ago, which has been lovely, but I know that we can manage without one if we have to.

    Thanks Seasidegal, it's interesting that my story resonates with you. I feel sick sometimes when I realise how our debts have held us back in life and I'm determined never to fall into that horrible trap again. It's worth sacrificing DH's pension to be free .

    Yes an emergency fund is a big priority with us. We never want to borrow money again, but need an emergency fund as our income can be irregular and as you say important things can stop working.
    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
    • alibat
    • By alibat 24th Sep 17, 10:53 PM
    • 60 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    alibat
    Just like to say good luck, and thanks for your supportive posts on my thread too. Some of what you've written resonates here too. Perhaps I should start a diary?
    • jwil
    • By jwil 25th Sep 17, 9:52 AM
    • 10,775 Posts
    • 39,027 Thanks
    jwil
    Happy new diary!

    I really hope you get those last F&Fs - what a fantastic Christmas present that would be
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 25th Sep 17, 1:59 PM
    • 2,410 Posts
    • 15,409 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Happy new diary!
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