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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 26th Oct 06, 3:03 PM
    • 8,115Posts
    • 42,285Thanks
    MSE Martin
    The Debt Free Roll Of Honour
    • #1
    • 26th Oct 06, 3:03 PM
    The Debt Free Roll Of Honour 26th Oct 06 at 3:03 PM
    Update December 2018. We started this Debt Free Roll of Honour back in 2006 and since then there have been some fabulously inspiring stories, which you'll see if you read below.

    To read the most recent debt-free announcements click the double arrow above to head to the last page of the discussion

    Back to Martin's original post...

    ---

    Welcome to the Debt-Free Roll of Honour.

    This is for Debt-Free Wannabees who are no longer Wannabees.

    Please report

    a. The date of your lightbulb moment
    b. Debts at their highest
    c. Debt-Free Date
    d. Your one perl of wisdom.
    e. Links to the MSE guides that helped you
    f. Which forum threads helped you
    g. And if you had a debt diary on the Debt-Free Wannabe board (DFW), a link to it

    And huge congratulations

    Martin

    PS Please no one else post - let's keep this a pure record of successes

    PPS Please come back to let us know Debt-free No Longer Wannabes - What they did next" discussion to tell us what you've been up to."




    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by Former MSE Andrea; 17-12-2018 at 11:03 AM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

    Don't miss out on urgent MoneySaving, get my weekly e-mail at www.moneysavingexpert.com/tips.

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
Page 93
    • Former MSE Andrea
    • By Former MSE Andrea 1st Mar 19, 8:55 AM
    • 9,418 Posts
    • 22,338 Thanks
    Former MSE Andrea
    Thank you Andrea. The forums (trolls/nutters aside) have been an incredible source of support, and I have recommended the guides and letter templates, etc. to others many times over the years.
    Helping others to help themselves is the best kind of help there is.
    Originally posted by RuthnJasper
    I totally agree. You're a through and through MSEr I really am so, so chuffed for you.

    I'm so proud of everyone on the Debt Free Wannabe board, everything they've achieved and will achieve
    Could you do with a Money Makeover?


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    • Honeylife
    • By Honeylife 8th Mar 19, 6:06 AM
    • 161 Posts
    • 218 Thanks
    Honeylife
    CONGRATULATIONS!
    "... during that time you must never succumb to buying an extra piece of bread for the table or a toy for a child, no." the Pawnbroker 1964
    • OrganisingMyLife
    • By OrganisingMyLife 22nd Mar 19, 5:52 PM
    • 21 Posts
    • 221 Thanks
    OrganisingMyLife
    a. The date of your lightbulb moment: 2010;
    b. Debts at their highest: £10,039;
    c. Debt-Free Date: 22nd March 2019;
    d. Your one perl of wisdom. Paying off something towards all debts, and when you pay off one of the smaller ones, split the amount towards the remaining ones - you get the smaller ones paid off and the money you are already not "seeing" goes straight towards paying off the bigger ones... getting anything fully paid off is a great feeling and it will spur you on.


    e. Links to the MSE guides that helped you: I just generally tried to keep up with all the saving money on purchase guides so when I did need to buy something I got it cheaper wherever possible, and I read a lot of the guides but some I read then burried my head in the sand more - so rather than take so long to pay off, don't do as I did and ignore it, do as I say and do something about it!



    f. Which forum threads helped you: Debt-Free Wannabe boards generally. Threads like the "No buying unnecessary toiletries challenge", although I haven't been on there since 2012 apparently, the ideas have stuck with me and I now finish up things before I buy more, except for things like toilet paper and wipes as they will obviously be used, my "unnecessary toiletries" kind of extended to no unnecessary items as it wasn't just toiletries I ended up buying unnecessarily although they were definitely the main culprit in the beginning!



    It all feels a bit unreal at the moment if I am completely honest but it's another weight off my shoulders.
    Finally debt free!
    LBM 2010 - £10,039, July 2013 - £8,048, December 2015 - £6,349, July 2016 - £6,083, 22nd March 2019 £0!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Debts paid off: ALL


    Sealed Pot Challenge - #1820
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 28th Mar 19, 11:58 PM
    • 629 Posts
    • 1,990 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    I did it! I'm DEBT FREE
    The date of your lightbulb moment
    Mid August 2017. I'd just done another credit card shuffle and was shocked at the balance of one particular credit card. I had only £70 in the bank and most of the month left. I decided there and then that enough was enough, I was never going in my overdraft again and I was going to sort the debt mess out. In Dave Ramsey's words, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired!

    Debts at their highest
    £13,985.17

    Debt-Free Date
    29th March 2019

    Your one perl of wisdom.
    Give every £ a job. Tell it where to go and when but be flexible and realistic - paying off debt is a marathon, not a sprint, so go at your own pace and work with your own particular personality strengths. I'm very much a logistician and I love organising stuff (I am fun, honest!) so for me, YNAB was heaven sent. It really did change my life. One final pearl of wisdom - spending money today that you don't have is borrowing from your future self so respect her and be kind to her today.

    Links to the MSE guides that helped you
    Nothing in particular - I did look over the ISA guides and have latterly been using the moving house guides. But with regards to debt, I focused mainly on the forums (see below)

    Which forum threads helped you
    The DFW boards and Debt Free Diaries. I'd like to give a huge shout out to the wonderful Enthusiasticsaver who has been part of my diary since day one and without her encouraging and supportive comments and advice I may have abandoned my debt free journey. Also, a huge shout out to the many people behind the diaries I have kept up with along the way who have kept me going in this wonderful network of like minded people, especially redofromthestart HHOD wishingthemortgageaway TOPM WannabeFree starmummy babystepper parsniphead to name a few.

    And if you had a debt diary on the Debt-Free Wannabe board (DFW), a link to it
    Yup, it was the most important part of my debt free journey. My diary is here.

    Last edited by DrSpendLittle; 29-03-2019 at 12:00 AM.
    Debt Free Date: 29th March 2019 | Original Debt: £13,985.17 | Current Savings: £2,700
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 29th Mar 19, 7:16 AM
    • 8,615 Posts
    • 20,024 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Many thanks for the shout out DSL and you are a great example of how to bust debt. Fantastic result and I think the lessons you have learned over the last 20 months will ensure you a bright financial future. Good luck with the house move and wedding. Hope you keep the diary going.
    Early retired in December 2017

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting 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 moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • a_silver_lining
    • By a_silver_lining 31st Mar 19, 4:55 PM
    • 487 Posts
    • 1,684 Thanks
    a_silver_lining
    a. The date of your lightbulb moment
    Err. Well I borrowed the money towards buying my flat four and a half years ago, but I think the lightbulb was around Jan 18, when I realised I had only paid back around a quarter of this. I hadn't made plans as to how I was going to pay it back.

    b. Debts at their highest
    £10,000

    c. Debt-Free Date
    31/03/2019

    d. Your one pearl of wisdom.
    Record every spend. I honestly thought I didn't spend more then £20pm on 'eating out'... and then found out I spent anywhere between £80-150pm on takeaways, eating out, coffees and lunches at work so that got chopped through meal planning, buying cheap coffee sachets to bring into work to beat the cravings, and taking lunches with us on days out to town.

    e. Links to the MSE guides that helped you
    See below - the list at the start of the thread helped give me some great ideas of how to make money.

    f. Which forum threads helped you
    The 1% challenge re-framed how I viewed my debt. Suddenly it seemed more manageable because every little payment mattered. So I would make £1.08p from cashback, or a sale and it could be sent to my debt to build up a 1%. I flitted in and out of the thread, but seeing other people post was so encouraging to me.

    Edit:Realised I hadn't mentioned the 'Debt Free by Christmas Thread' by Muppets. When the 1% went quiet I started posting there more. Really lovely, supportive group of people. And great to have a goal.

    g. And if you had a debt diary on the Debt-Free Wannabe board (DFW)
    I did, but it honestly was me just ranting lists of number to myself!

    I'm really excited to move forward, but also still a little bit mentally stuck in debt paying mode as I paid it off at the start of my month and have a long time to wait for my next pay day... but then all my money is mine... Bwahahaha.....
    Last edited by a_silver_lining; 01-04-2019 at 6:28 AM.
    19/12/14: Spent 10 years of savings!!
    ..... to buy my first home.
    10K OP 31.03.19

    Current goal: 1,145.76/5K in selling home expenses!
    • supersaver1000
    • By supersaver1000 1st Apr 19, 5:30 PM
    • 2,169 Posts
    • 13,505 Thanks
    supersaver1000
    Sorry, I can't wait to post any longer. Just this months payments to make, which are waiting for my savings to mature and hmrc to calculate my student loan. But I have no debts to worry about at last as at 1 April 2019- its been such a long but worthwhile journey!!

    Debts at highest were probably £50k not including the mortgage but we were serial yoyo debtors and probably wasted around £200k. My trouble with debt started when I met my DH and joined his champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget. He had a windfall of around a £100k and there the spending started. We eventually remortgaged the house a couple of times (about £80k). Then we had around £30k in inheritance and paid off the credit cards with it. Then a few years later we sold the house and used that £29k to pay off the credit cards. Flash cars, watches, holidays, clothes, eating out, being over generous, expensive hobbies and the old just living beyond our means and treating money like water. There were some good times that I do treasure, but I could have a house paid for by now!!

    I would say that my lightbulb moment was August 2014 (or thereabouts). This was shortly after I started my first thread I believe. I had jumped into a massive job and found it was totally wrong for me, so I jumped out again to something more secure but around a £500/mth pay drop.

    It felt pretty disastrous considering we had somehow built up another £27k in credit cards and car loan debts. We did have £6k saved from the house as an emergency fund so we had a cushion, but it really brought home that I couldn't go on like this. I felt so trapped, DH was behaving like an idiot and then his work became unstable. After the LBM I had a couple of quick job changes and then DH had another job disaster and decided to work for himself. The debts went up a bit due to setting up self employment but then DH found that being able to claim taxes back against set up expenses meant we were in a slightly better position. It was all a bit hair raising at the time. But there some positives have come out of it - DH had his own LBM and we had a ppi claim come good so we've been able to pay back everything ourselves.

    I'm not going to waste time regretting the wasted £200k - yes there have been times that I have felt sick about it, but I can now say we spent it, we enjoyed it, we've paid it back and luckily we got through it and can now get on with life in a different way.

    It feels good to have made it to a position to be able to wipe the slate clean. We both have good incomes, as stable as they can be in this day and age. I've just taken one of my pensions early - and it feels fantastic to be able to put £20k into a savings account, rather than have to pay off the flaming credit cards. Life may change, who knows what is around the corner but that is going to be my focus now - shoreing up for the future - and DH is either on board or its the highway!!

    My turning point was taking the credit cards off OH and giving him a cash allowance (pocket money). It just gave me the control I needed to start turning us around and gave him some focus on a budget. My advice to anyone hitching up their wagon to someone is to get to know them financially first and make sure they are a grown up!!

    Best experience for me was starting my first thread and receiving such lovely support from the MSErs. You were my life savers - thank you so much.

    Completely Debt-free by April 2019 Jan 2019
    Flylady & Grocery Challenge Lurker
    Millionaire, Fashionista and Career Woman wannabe
    • Seagulls3000
    • By Seagulls3000 20th Apr 19, 6:53 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 13 Thanks
    Seagulls3000
    Wata feeling!!
    Its an easy life - take out a pay day loan, spend spend spend, run out of money, get a new pay day loan, spend, spend, spend, run out of money, you get the picture,

    payment on payday lloan is due, take out another pay day loan to cover it - it was just far far to easy, once you run out of pay day loan providers, go to the bank, get a loan, keep rolling that over and then get a credit card.

    If I wanted something, I would get it - not thinking about the consequences.
    There has to be a point when you stop and think, this cant keep happening, for me I cant remember what made me stop.

    When I did I had about £30,000 in creditors - 13 pay day loans, 1 bank loan and a credit card. What did I have to show for it? Absolutley nothing!!!

    I got help from PayPlan - they were very helpful, going through income and expenditure, coming up with a 5 year plan going forward. That plan was an IVA. I started in December 2013 - and dreamt of the day I became debt free. Every December I remember thinking 4 years, 3 years etc etc

    It was not easy, i was suffering from depression, went through 5 jobs, periods of unemployment, but I battled and battled hard.

    And the reason was for this moment - i paid back my creditors, I am debt free and feel I can now move on with the next chapter of my life.
    • A_DMP_Vetereran
    • By A_DMP_Vetereran 20th Apr 19, 3:30 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    A_DMP_Vetereran
    Lightbulb moment: November 2015

    Debts at highest: circa £24k

    Debt-Free Date: 21st March 2019

    Pearl of wisdom: Just do it. I messed around for years struggling with debt which ended up costing me a fortune in fees etc. I rang up Stepchange in November of 2015 and was debt free 3 and a half years later. I'd still be paying minimum payment on everything now if it weren't for taking the plunge.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 20th Apr 19, 6:21 PM
    • 63,847 Posts
    • 283,275 Thanks
    beanielou
    Its an easy life - take out a pay day loan, spend spend spend, run out of money, get a new pay day loan, spend, spend, spend, run out of money, you get the picture,

    payment on payday lloan is due, take out another pay day loan to cover it - it was just far far to easy, once you run out of pay day loan providers, go to the bank, get a loan, keep rolling that over and then get a credit card.

    If I wanted something, I would get it - not thinking about the consequences.
    There has to be a point when you stop and think, this cant keep happening, for me I cant remember what made me stop.

    When I did I had about £30,000 in creditors - 13 pay day loans, 1 bank loan and a credit card. What did I have to show for it? Absolutley nothing!!!

    I got help from PayPlan - they were very helpful, going through income and expenditure, coming up with a 5 year plan going forward. That plan was an IVA. I started in December 2013 - and dreamt of the day I became debt free. Every December I remember thinking 4 years, 3 years etc etc

    It was not easy, i was suffering from depression, went through 5 jobs, periods of unemployment, but I battled and battled hard.

    And the reason was for this moment - i paid back my creditors, I am debt free and feel I can now move on with the next chapter of my life.
    Originally posted by Seagulls3000


    Happy new chapter.
    Well done
    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.***
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 20th Apr 19, 6:22 PM
    • 63,847 Posts
    • 283,275 Thanks
    beanielou
    Lightbulb moment: November 2015

    Debts at highest: circa £24k

    Debt-Free Date: 21st March 2019

    Pearl of wisdom: Just do it. I messed around for years struggling with debt which ended up costing me a fortune in fees etc. I rang up Stepchange in November of 2015 and was debt free 3 and a half years later. I'd still be paying minimum payment on everything now if it weren't for taking the plunge.
    Originally posted by A_DMP_Vetereran

    Well done
    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.***
    • Robi90
    • By Robi90 29th Apr 19, 8:19 PM
    • 101 Posts
    • 694 Thanks
    Robi90
    The date of your lightbulb moment

    Around summer 2017. I asked my bank to increase my overdraft and the customer advisor warned me about my spending which was always closed to the limit. I just knew I had to change how I managed my finances. I went on a free CAP money course which was so helpful. I

    Debts at their highest

    About £7000. (Mostly credit card debt but there was also a personal bank loan and an overdraft in there)

    Debt-Free Date

    29/04/19

    Your one pearl of wisdom.

    Adopt a strategy/plan for paying off your debt and just be consistent.


    Which forum threads helped you
    The challenges i.e Pay off all your debt by XMAS 2018/19 and 1 debt vs 100 days.

    I also used to lurk on this thread (debt free roll of honour) for motivation
    £799 - FD Personal Loan £500/ £500 FD Overdraft £5700/£5700 MBNA credit card
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 29th Apr 19, 8:32 PM
    • 63,847 Posts
    • 283,275 Thanks
    beanielou
    The date of your lightbulb moment

    Around summer 2017. I asked my bank to increase my overdraft and the customer advisor warned me about my spending which was always closed to the limit. I just knew I had to change how I managed my finances. I went on a free CAP money course which was so helpful. I

    Debts at their highest

    About £7000. (Mostly credit card debt but there was also a personal bank loan and an overdraft in there)

    Debt-Free Date

    29/04/19

    Your one pearl of wisdom.

    Adopt a strategy/plan for paying off your debt and just be consistent.


    Which forum threads helped you
    The challenges i.e Pay off all your debt by XMAS 2018/19 and 1 debt vs 100 days.

    I also used to lurk on this thread (debt free roll of honour) for motivation
    Originally posted by Robi90
    WEll done
    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.***
    • milann
    • By milann 30th Apr 19, 9:07 PM
    • 2,626 Posts
    • 15,601 Thanks
    milann
    LBM - 2006 when critically ill in hospital - I was more worried about my debt (nobody knew about it) than being ill

    Debt free date - April 2019

    Debts at their highest - no idea - I couldn’t look - over £20,000

    Pearl of wisdom - don’t set unrealistic goals or compare yourself to others. I aimed to move in the right direction

    Which thread helped - debt free Wannabe and diaries. The encouragement on there really keeps you going. I followed Beanies advice and ‘kept plodding’ and ppi template letter - we got £8,000

    I was debt free a year ago and had a blip on a 1 off purchase but it’s for keeps this time
    Last edited by milann; 01-05-2019 at 8:12 PM.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 1st May 19, 4:44 PM
    • 63,847 Posts
    • 283,275 Thanks
    beanielou
    LBM - 2006 when critically ill in hospital - I was more worried about my debt (nobody knew about it) than being ill

    Debts at their highest - no idea - I couldn’t look - over £20,000

    Pearl of wisdom - don’t set unrealistic goals or compare yourself to others. I aimed to move in the right direction

    Which thread helped - debt free Wannabe and diaries. The encouragement on there really keeps you going. I followed Beanies advice and ‘kept plodding’ and ppi template letter - we got £8,000

    I was debt free a year ago and had a blip on a 1 off purchase but it’s for keeps this time
    Originally posted by milann
    Hurrah Millan
    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.***
    • supersaver1000
    • By supersaver1000 5th May 19, 10:06 PM
    • 2,169 Posts
    • 13,505 Thanks
    supersaver1000

    Your one pearl of wisdom.

    Adopt a strategy/plan for paying off your debt and just be consistent.
    Originally posted by Robi90
    That's hit the nail on the head for me! It's exhausting sometimes but the only way. Well done everyone!!!

    Completely Debt-free by April 2019 Jan 2019
    Flylady & Grocery Challenge Lurker
    Millionaire, Fashionista and Career Woman wannabe
    • GlendaSugarbean
    • By GlendaSugarbean 7th May 19, 5:35 AM
    • 593 Posts
    • 4,374 Thanks
    GlendaSugarbean
    LBM: I've had a few over the years. 2013 when I realised I was deep into my OD every month and was spending more than I earned. Got a 0% credit card to clear it, but then kept adding bits and pieces on. Jan 2018 we had notice to move from our rented house, were looking at a rent increase of over £200/month for a similar property and no savings. Thanks to help from family and a good hard look at the finances, we were able to buy a house, pay off the CC and start saving.

    Debt at its highest was close to
    £3000, but bounced around that level for years despite repayments. Windfalls came in but were frittered away .

    Paid off: February 2019

    Pearl of wisdom: you aren't budgeting if you aren't tracking your spending! YNAB was a lifesaver. Also, Tilly tidying and making small payments to debts really adds up - I was able to repay my CC 3 months earlier than planned.

    Threads that helped you: the Ninja Saving Turtles, and lurking on others' diaries. Now I'm saving an EF, the 3-6 month EF challenge.
    • cherylclarke
    • By cherylclarke 8th May 19, 11:38 AM
    • 13 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    cherylclarke
    Finally Debt Free
    Lightbulb moment was September 2014, when our debt was at £40,000 . My husband and I spent money on our credit cards all the time when we were young and daft and the companies kept putting our limits up. We were ok for a while, but then a new baby and 2 redundancies in a year changed everything, and the party was over.

    Debt Free Date: Tuesday 7th May 2019. The weird thing is I thought I would be over the moon, but I am shellshocked and terrified. I have learned a lot of lessons, but I will always have to keep myself in check I think.

    Pearl of Wisdom: Ask for help, the sooner the better. Organisations such as Step Change and CAP have heard it all before. And remind yourself that even though you have made mistakes, at least you are doing something about it now.

    MSE is a great source of advice and support
    LBM: September 2014
    DMP Start: 1 December 2014 / 13 Creditors
    Debt: £39,464.86
    Current Debt: £0 - well ok I have a mortgage
    DFD: 7th May 2019
    • mumof3.12kindebt
    • By mumof3.12kindebt 15th May 19, 5:54 AM
    • 592 Posts
    • 1,563 Thanks
    mumof3.12kindebt
    Light bulb moment October 2017
    Debt at highest £16,000
    Debt free November 2018

    Words of wisdom
    We did a no spend challenge. Basically only paying bills (which we cut down to essentiala only so no contract phones or subscriptions) and only buying essentials such as food and clothes that are needed. We also have 3 kids so had some school trips etc to pay for too.

    My one peice of advice is remember your why . Why are you doing it ? To help keep focused
    June 2017 £16000 debt
    Sept 2018 Loan paid off
    Nov 2018 DEBT FREE
    • debtfreeoneday
    • By debtfreeoneday 26th May 19, 4:54 AM
    • 2,945 Posts
    • 10,113 Thanks
    debtfreeoneday
    Lighbulb moment - August 2008

    Debts at their highest - £64,346.53

    Debt free - February 2019!

    Pearly of wisdom - every single penny makes a difference, cashback sites, loyalty points, using vouchers and logging on here regularly to keep your motivation going.
    Last edited by debtfreeoneday; 26-05-2019 at 4:56 AM. Reason: Checking figures!
    DFW (08/08) £64,346.53 Gone for good (02/19)
    MFW (01/15) £83,605.58
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