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  • FIRST POST
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 12:22 PM
    • 9,987Posts
    • 79,293Thanks
    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 472
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 28th May 19, 9:53 AM
    • 499 Posts
    • 4,359 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    I'd rather be stepping over them on my lounge floor than somebody else stepping over them on a street corner.
    xx
    Originally posted by teafor2
    Absolutely.
    When DD2 was in the phase of needing to be driven home from town, I always made sure she asked the guys if they needed lifts, as much as the girls from our area or thereabouts. Statistically, the guys were more likely to get embroiled in a fight or be assaulted on their way home than the girls, and it's only a bit of petrol to make sure someone else's son is safe.

    Over the weekend, DGS wet the bed (first time at our house), and DD2 had a folliculitis 'episode', so 2 lots of sheets to wash when I'd only just put clean bedding on !! Poor DGS sat in his birthday suit on the bed (around 11pm), and looked utterly miserable, didn't want a cuddle, was obviously really tired, didn't want anything, so DD2 came downstairs. After a few minutes there was pathetic-sounding crying, and when she went up he wanted a cuddle and reassurance it was all fine. In the morning all was bouncy happiness again !!

    Hoping you're feeling better, HH. It's very gloomy round here today, but still warm enough for putting washing out.
    • Noella
    • By Noella 28th May 19, 10:52 AM
    • 125 Posts
    • 1,069 Thanks
    Noella
    I feel for you over the washing, Elizabeth.


    We had distant relatives staying with us from Saturday morning until yesterday evening. A husband and wife and a male and female teenager so all beds used. Plus, I've never known so many fresh towels used in such a short space of time. I don't even like these people and the only time DH and I ever visited them they weren't particularly hospitable. They practically invited themselves to stay with us too. They had huge appetites despite the teenagers having so many food preferences (not allergy-related, just fads IMO) and catering for them all was an expensive nightmare. I literally jumped up and fist pumped the air as their car turned out of the drive


    I did the first load of washing as soon as they'd gone last night ready to hang out first thing this morning but it rained overnight and is still raining so no chance of getting anything dry today. Certainly don't plan to have big wet towels draped all over the house to dry and the tumble dryer is making a weird screechy noise. I put off calling in a repair man last time I used it as, with the better weather coming up, I thought I could get away with leaving it off for a few months and save my pennies. Probably, with the British summer being what it is, it was a bad choice. It still works but I'm worried about damaging something so the repair ends up being really costly. Now I'm debt-free I'm like you, HH, and won't spend anything if I can save it instead.


    Sorry about the moan. I hope everyone else is having a better day than me
    Last edited by Noella; 28-05-2019 at 10:59 AM.
    When it's raining, look for rainbows.
    When it's dark, look for stars.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 28th May 19, 11:40 AM
    • 9,987 Posts
    • 79,293 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Absolutely.
    When DD2 was in the phase of needing to be driven home from town, I always made sure she asked the guys if they needed lifts, as much as the girls from our area or thereabouts. Statistically, the guys were more likely to get embroiled in a fight or be assaulted on their way home than the girls, and it's only a bit of petrol to make sure someone else's son is safe.

    Over the weekend, DGS wet the bed (first time at our house), and DD2 had a folliculitis 'episode', so 2 lots of sheets to wash when I'd only just put clean bedding on !! Poor DGS sat in his birthday suit on the bed (around 11pm), and looked utterly miserable, didn't want a cuddle, was obviously really tired, didn't want anything, so DD2 came downstairs. After a few minutes there was pathetic-sounding crying, and when she went up he wanted a cuddle and reassurance it was all fine. In the morning all was bouncy happiness again !!

    Hoping you're feeling better, HH. It's very gloomy round here today, but still warm enough for putting washing out.
    Originally posted by elizabethhull
    Thank you Elizabeth . We always try to help the DC's friends if they need it and I agree that young men can be just as vulnerable and they are all someone's child.

    I'm glad DGS recovered so quickly, children do seem to become ill quickly and recover quickly. I wish I recovered as quickly!
    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 28th May 19, 11:42 AM
    • 9,987 Posts
    • 79,293 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I feel for you over the washing, Elizabeth.


    We had distant relatives staying with us from Saturday morning until yesterday evening. A husband and wife and a male and female teenager so all beds used. Plus, I've never known so many fresh towels used in such a short space of time. I don't even like these people and the only time DH and I ever visited them they weren't particularly hospitable. They practically invited themselves to stay with us too. They had huge appetites despite the teenagers having so many food preferences (not allergy-related, just fads IMO) and catering for them all was an expensive nightmare. I literally jumped up and fist pumped the air as their car turned out of the drive


    I did the first load of washing as soon as they'd gone last night ready to hang out first thing this morning but it rained overnight and is still raining so no chance of getting anything dry today. Certainly don't plan to have big wet towels draped all over the house to dry and the tumble dryer is making a weird screechy noise. I put off calling in a repair man last time I used it as, with the better weather coming up, I thought I could get away with leaving it off for a few months and save my pennies. Probably, with the British summer being what it is, it was a bad choice. It still works but I'm worried about damaging something so the repair ends up being really costly. Now I'm debt-free I'm like you, HH, and won't spend anything if I can save it instead.


    Sorry about the moan. I hope everyone else is having a better day than me
    Originally posted by Noella
    Noella your distant relatives sound AWFUL . Next time they want to visit I would be 'busy' because they sound like ungrateful users to me. You can be too kind and some people don't deserve it.

    I hope your drier doesn't have anything too serious wrong with it. We woke up to heavy rain but the sun has come out this afternoon.
    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 28th May 19, 11:53 AM
    • 9,987 Posts
    • 79,293 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I haven't been posting much because of my horrible cold as reading for too long gives me a headache . Not that I have much to report .

    Yesterday I sat on the sofa all day and watched an entire series of Shakespeare and Hathaway which was the type of undemanding cosy tv I was in the mood for. All I did apart from that was chat to DS1's friend (who went home last night and is going back to uni today) cook dinner and put the dishwasher on. I literally did nothing else all day . Oh I did cash out £5.35 from PA and send it to the Christmas fund which is now over £100 .

    Today I'm planning a repeat of yesterday only this time I'm watching Fortitude. I have put some towels on to wash so need to hang them up and will cook dinner tonight. Apart from that I'm planning on resting as I feel too tired to do anything else . At least I haven't been spending much. Yesterday was a NSD and today will be too as I won't be leaving the house.

    In money news the awkward client paid today so we transferred 20% into the VAT account, I set up an account for DH and bought him £50 of premium bonds, and we also added £500 to DH's EF. Apart from that the money is earmarked for June's living expenses. So now we just need to earn July's.

    We have £200 left of May's budget and only need to buy food tomorrow, so any left will be diverted to the Christmas account, or possibly to go towards paying the accountants for the work we need them to do in June.

    I hope everyone has a good Tuesday and is feeling more energetic than I am!
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 28-05-2019 at 12:09 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
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 28th May 19, 12:39 PM
    • 2,410 Posts
    • 15,412 Thanks
    redofromstart
    That is good news, I did wonder if you would have to fight for your money.

    I'm suitably lethargic too - all full of half term colds here.
    • milann
    • By milann 28th May 19, 12:57 PM
    • 2,672 Posts
    • 15,956 Thanks
    milann
    Rest and tv sounds like just what the doctor ordered
    • teafor2
    • By teafor2 28th May 19, 1:24 PM
    • 1,954 Posts
    • 15,263 Thanks
    teafor2
    You've been doing so much physically and mentally both at home and work lately that I think a couple of quiet days on the sofa watching some TV is just the thing you should be doing.

    So glad to read the client has paid up, that must be a worry off your mind. You're really on top of all the money and allocating it to the relevant places. Do you have a Christmas target or are you just trying to get as much in as you can?

    Take care of yourself. xx
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 28th May 19, 2:13 PM
    • 64,425 Posts
    • 287,117 Thanks
    beanielou
    Glad that the client has paid.
    Hope that you are on the mend soon.
    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.***
    • foxgloves
    • By foxgloves 28th May 19, 2:26 PM
    • 5,010 Posts
    • 28,993 Thanks
    foxgloves
    Summer colds are horrid, aren't they? I always think that in winter, you can just wrap yourself up in hand knitted blankets & sit by the fire. I can remember when I got flu in June a few years ago.... it just felt bizarre hacking away like an ancient sheep, feeling at death's door while everyone else seemed to be outside enjoying a heatwave! Hope you feel more lively soon.
    F x
    Money can't jump out of your purse on its own so ask 'Can I borrow one, make one, grow one, bake one, re-purpose or recycle, acquire it for free?' Yes? Then put that purse away & keep your money because little savings
    Payment received from surveys: 2015 = £320 2016 = £210 2017 = £304 2018 = £418 2019 = £124
    • Noella
    • By Noella 28th May 19, 4:02 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 1,069 Thanks
    Noella
    I second (and third) what others have said about being glad you got paid and how well you're doing allocating money to your various 'pots'. I hope you'll be feeling better soon and have more energy. What a shame to have to spend your holiday on the sofa but, as you said the other day, at least you're not having to miss work. I think I know how much you'd have hated having to do that.


    I know what you mean about sometimes just needing cosy, undemanding TV programmes. I once did a reading challenge on Goodreads and one of the catagories was to read something from the Rory Gilmore challenge. I hadn't a clue who Rory Gilmore was but after a quick Google found she was one of the main characters in an American TV series called Gilmore Girls. Strangely, some of the episodes were being re-run on Freeview so I watched one and became well and truly hooked. Not normally my sort of viewing but it was fast-paced, quirky and had such a wonderful feelgood factor. I can't get enough of idealised, small-town America. The episodes I managed to catch were completely out of sequence though. I recently saw the very final episode after Rory has graduated from Harvard and lots of other loose ends are tied up but I still haven't seen years of earlier ones. There were 7 series made.


    Long story short (well, not very short) I was dropping some stuff at a charity shop recently (determined NOT to buy anything there as I'm on a permanent decluttering mission) and lo and behold there was the complete 7 series box of DVDs for only £5. I had to buy it, would have been rude not to. Now I plan to watch it all in sequence and will do whenever I need something undemanding to watch. Doesn't matter that I know the ending as it's not like a thriller series where the baddie is only revealed at the end.
    When it's raining, look for rainbows.
    When it's dark, look for stars.
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 28th May 19, 8:14 PM
    • 7,329 Posts
    • 54,050 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Hope you feel better soon HH, good idea to take it easy. Great news the client paid up Well done on having £200 left in the May budget so close to the end of the month, that's brilliant
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2019 £366.57
    Emergency Fund £3300/£10,000
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 29th May 19, 7:13 AM
    • 2,119 Posts
    • 12,512 Thanks
    Nicnak
    That's a relief that he has paid. Working with children is so exhausting and half term usually turns into being ill and then relaxing and just recharging batteries.

    Have a lovely day. x
    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
    • jwil
    • By jwil 29th May 19, 7:36 AM
    • 10,775 Posts
    • 39,036 Thanks
    jwil
    Glad you've been paid by awkward client
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 29th May 19, 8:15 AM
    • 9,987 Posts
    • 79,293 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    That is good news, I did wonder if you would have to fight for your money.

    I'm suitably lethargic too - all full of half term colds here.
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    Thanks Redo . I was a bit worried the customer wouldn't pay too so it's very good news .

    Rest and tv sounds like just what the doctor ordered
    Originally posted by milann
    Thank you Milann .

    You've been doing so much physically and mentally both at home and work lately that I think a couple of quiet days on the sofa watching some TV is just the thing you should be doing.

    So glad to read the client has paid up, that must be a worry off your mind. You're really on top of all the money and allocating it to the relevant places. Do you have a Christmas target or are you just trying to get as much in as you can?

    Take care of yourself. xx
    Originally posted by teafor2
    Thank you TF2 ). I have been very busy the last few weeks so maybe I had to crash and burn at some point!

    I'm very pleased the customer has paid as I was a bit worried they might not .

    Our Christmas target is £500 which should cover it I think, that includes food and presents.
    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 29th May 19, 8:17 AM
    • 9,987 Posts
    • 79,293 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Glad that the client has paid.
    Hope that you are on the mend soon.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thank you Beanie .

    Summer colds are horrid, aren't they? I always think that in winter, you can just wrap yourself up in hand knitted blankets & sit by the fire. I can remember when I got flu in June a few years ago.... it just felt bizarre hacking away like an ancient sheep, feeling at death's door while everyone else seemed to be outside enjoying a heatwave! Hope you feel more lively soon.
    F x
    Originally posted by foxgloves
    Thank you Foxgloves . I was just saying to myself that we're coming out of the coughs and colds season so I don't need to worry about catching something from the children. I spoke too soon . At least I know it's not flu as I can eat, when I had flu I lost eight pounds .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 29-05-2019 at 8:29 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
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 29th May 19, 8:21 AM
    • 9,987 Posts
    • 79,293 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I second (and third) what others have said about being glad you got paid and how well you're doing allocating money to your various 'pots'. I hope you'll be feeling better soon and have more energy. What a shame to have to spend your holiday on the sofa but, as you said the other day, at least you're not having to miss work. I think I know how much you'd have hated having to do that.


    I know what you mean about sometimes just needing cosy, undemanding TV programmes. I once did a reading challenge on Goodreads and one of the catagories was to read something from the Rory Gilmore challenge. I hadn't a clue who Rory Gilmore was but after a quick Google found she was one of the main characters in an American TV series called Gilmore Girls. Strangely, some of the episodes were being re-run on Freeview so I watched one and became well and truly hooked. Not normally my sort of viewing but it was fast-paced, quirky and had such a wonderful feelgood factor. I can't get enough of idealised, small-town America. The episodes I managed to catch were completely out of sequence though. I recently saw the very final episode after Rory has graduated from Harvard and lots of other loose ends are tied up but I still haven't seen years of earlier ones. There were 7 series made.


    Long story short (well, not very short) I was dropping some stuff at a charity shop recently (determined NOT to buy anything there as I'm on a permanent decluttering mission) and lo and behold there was the complete 7 series box of DVDs for only £5. I had to buy it, would have been rude not to. Now I plan to watch it all in sequence and will do whenever I need something undemanding to watch. Doesn't matter that I know the ending as it's not like a thriller series where the baddie is only revealed at the end.
    Originally posted by Noella
    Thank you Noella . What a lucky find at the charity shop . I don't think I've ever watched Gilmore Girls so perhaps I should give it a try . Some programmes are very comforting. I used to love Midsomer Murders, Morse and Lewis as they were cosy nonsense that always made me feel cheerful.
    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 29th May 19, 8:27 AM
    • 9,987 Posts
    • 79,293 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hope you feel better soon HH, good idea to take it easy. Great news the client paid up Well done on having £200 left in the May budget so close to the end of the month, that's brilliant
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    Thank you SA . Yes I was pleased to have £200 left too . We need food today but DH reckons we have enough petrol to get by and all other bills seem to be paid, so I should have some left to stash elsewhere.

    That's a relief that he has paid. Working with children is so exhausting and half term usually turns into being ill and then relaxing and just recharging batteries.

    Have a lovely day. x
    Originally posted by Nicnak
    Thank you Nicnak .I was just congratulating myself on avoiding catching a cold as all the children have stopped coughing and sniffling now the weather is warmer. So I've no idea where I caught it from . There is always at least one member of staff ill at any one time, which I guess is a combination of a tiring job and catching things from the children, who aren't the best at hand washing .

    Glad you've been paid by awkward client
    Originally posted by jwil
    Thank you Jwil . I'm relieved about it as you never know in these situations .
    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 29th May 19, 8:32 AM
    • 9,987 Posts
    • 79,293 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I've woken up to steady rain and grey skies today. I don't feel significantly better, but I'm not sure I can face another day in, so may risk a trip to Tesco and hope it doesn't tire me out too much. We've run out of eggs and the fridge is looking like Mother Hubbard's cupboard, so things are getting urgent!

    I hope others have better weather!
    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 29th May 19, 9:11 AM
    • 2,672 Posts
    • 15,956 Thanks
    milann
    Itís cloudy but quite bright here - think the rain will arrive later though. Iím not too bothered today or tomorrow as Iíve no plans but Iíd quite like a smattering of sunshine on Friday as were going out somewhere after my visit to the hospital for my pre op.
    Hope the Tesco trip brightens your day a little, rest up afterwards.
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