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    • 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


    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'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

    Debt-Free Wannabee Official Nerd Club: (Honorary) Members number 000
Page 3
    Lightbulb moment:
    August 2006, when I told my b/f

    Debt free date:
    Will be Nov 2009

    Debts at highest :

    Pearls of wisdom:
    I tried to hide the fact i was in debt, once i told my b/f (had been seeing him for 8 months) he told me to go to talk to local Citizin advice, i was so nervous about going in, but the guy i saw said he was here to help me and he did, i went for trust deed and i am now paying back more than half what i was paying out every month.

    Now when i go to buy something i ask myself do i really need this, i am now saving up to go to Oz next January with b/f
    Last edited by BUDWIZER; 06-02-2007 at 10:44 PM.
  • jash50
    1st Credit Ltd, Reigate.
    Please help me out !

    I got a letter from 1st credit ltd po box 278, Reigate, RH2 7WB.

    They are claiming me money from HSBC. Their letter has an anonymous signature, as if they have scanned the signature. There is no person named in the letter just a signature and some pics of credit card logos !

    They are threatening to initiate legal proceedings.

    My bank account has been closed 5 years ago. I cant understand why this company is asking me money??

    How do you proceed to report that company? How do we arrest these people?
  • Alisonbel
    You've put this post in wrong place, so probably won't get the answers you want. I would say this is a scam so don't send any money til you've really checked it out.
    Why didn't someone kick me up the backside earlier

    Nerd 325 "Proud to be dealing with my debts"
    • skintchick
    • By skintchick 9th Feb 07, 9:46 PM
    • 14,668 Posts
    • 23,339 Thanks
    Today's the day!!
    Wow! Well, today's the day the final payment to my car loan went out, making me officially debt-free!

    It's been a long time since I had no debt - about 1999, I think.

    My lightbulb moment was more of a gradual turning on of a light, than a sudden realisation.

    I found Martin's book at my work back in 2003. I used it to budget, which was great, but still spent on credit cards, and would transfer balances without ever really paying them off.

    Finally, I came to this site in tears, and got so much fantastic support, that I got a grip.

    I knuckled down and started paying my debts off one by one.

    At last I had just this zero per cent car loan, and today, the final payment went out of my bank account!

    So that's it - no more debt.

    At their highest, my debts were a bit over 7k, which might no be loads compared to some, but they scared me.

    My DFD? Today! 9 February 2007

    Pearls of wisdom?
    Budget, budget, budget
    Don't delude yourself that transferring balances is being in control
    A post-it note in your purse saying 'do I really NEED this' works wonders at curbing spending
    Learn the difference between a want and a need

    Well, it's cool to be on the roll of honour

    Good luck to everyone else! Get debt-free!

    DFW Nerd Club member 023...DFD 9.2.2007
    married 21 6 08 Angel babies' birth dates 3.10.08 * 4.3.11 * 11.11.11 * 17.3.12 * 2.7.12 My live baby's birth date 22 7 09 I'm due another baby at the end of July 2014!
    • oops a daisy
    • By oops a daisy 13th Feb 07, 11:53 AM
    • 2,427 Posts
    • 3,467 Thanks
    oops a daisy
    Im Free
    a. The date of your lightbulb moment - February 2006
    b. Debts at their highest - 8500
    c. Debt-Free Date - today 13th February 2007
    d. Your one pearl of wisdom. - come on here and read everything - dont do anything ( moneywise ) before checking on here first

    I joined in March 06 and started by reducing all of my outgoings. I looked at every direct debit and reduced home contents & buildings insurance, gas & electric, phone TV & broadband and mortgage as well as earning cashback by using cashback websites to switch. I claimed back unfair bank charges and endowment mis selling compensation. I paid off 2 overdrafts straight away which left me with 3 loans ( 2 smaller ones which were nearly paid off anyway and 1 larger one ) and a credit card. I balance transferred my credit card balance onto a 0% card twice and saved up to pay off the larger loan early - the other 2 were paid off monthly and were 0% anyway. This morning I have paid off my last 0% credit card so I will be able to close that account in a weeks time. I have also managed to save some money into an ISA and in my DD's name as well as using a cashback credit card for purchases, which is cleared every month by direct debit. I have cut my spend on household items and food by doing weekly food planners and cooking - this is by far the biggest saving but also my biggest temptation
    I can not thank Martin enough for this site and his book as well as all of the people on here who offer advice.
    Official DFW Nerd Club Member #37 Debt free Feb 07
  • Freddy The Frog
    a. The date of your lightbulb moment - March 2005
    b. Debts at their highest - 120,000
    c. Debt-Free Date - 27th Feb 2006
    d. Your one pearl of wisdom. - don't try to keep it a secret.

    Well I have just found this site and feel I could probably help people as it seems I have the highest debt. I am in Scotland where things are a bit different but I know the system inside out. Any questions - just ask
  • southern chick
    what a feeling
    a. The date of your lightbulb moment - December 2006
    b. Debts at their highest - 1935
    c. Debt-Free Date - 16/02/07
    d. Your one perl of wisdom - keep track of every penny you spend and embrance the Old Style Board fully!!

    Thank you to everyone for advice, this site and the people on it are amazing
    120 NSD in 2010 ----- 1/120
    Grocery Challenge of 80 a month ------ 40/80
    I pledge that in 2010 I will not spend any un-necessary money!!
  • nick denny
    I have just started my road to being debt free just talk to them and yu'll be ok
  • little miss thrifty
    Debt Free!!
    * Lightbulb moment - May 2005
    * Debts at highest - 12,000
    * Debt free date - September 2006
    * Pearl of Wisdom - do a budget and stick to it; live a more basic life, even just for the life of the debt - going without luxuries like sky and play with your children more (if you have any, or else catch up on friends and family). Do more home cooking; you may enjoy it and find it taste's better, go for walks rather than shopping for things you think you want or need.

    Thanks to this site, rather than debt, we now have 10+ in savings and have started chipping away at our mortgage. My lightbulb moment came when i was 8 months pregnant with our second and the debt worry kept me from sleepng that night - and i vowed money would never affect me like that again. We managed to clear our debts with an insurance compensation payout when hubby crashed the car, but for the last 18 months he has become more involved in money too and we still live a more basic life.

    Thanks x
    Buy nothing for a month challenge - Oct
    12/31 NSD

    CC - 536.02 336.02
    • zag2me
    • By zag2me 22nd Feb 07, 12:24 PM
    • 684 Posts
    • 220 Thanks
    a. The date of your lightbulb moment 01 Oct 2006

    b. Debts at their highest 11,000 (end of uni, too much drinking!!)

    c. Debt-Free Date 22nd Feb 2007

    d. Your one perl of wisdom. Most things that cost money are pointless

    e. And if you had a debt diary on DFW, a link to it linky
    Save save save!!
    • Starry-eyed surprise
    • By Starry-eyed surprise 23rd Feb 07, 11:34 AM
    • 187 Posts
    • 150 Thanks
    Starry-eyed surprise
    Thank you Martin !!

    Date of light bulb moment:
    March 2003

    Debt at its highest:
    @12000+ (too scared to ever total it up accurately)

    Debt free date:
    February 2007

    Pearls of wisdom:
    Read Martin's book, use the advice and support on this site and on the chat boards, and remember ( to borrow a phrase) Every little helps. Those small amounts saved really do add up and make a difference when offsetting debt. Negotiate the lowest interest rate you can for your debt and keep checking for better deals. Don't be an ostrich where money is concerned - I turned into an obsessive vigilante over money and it really helped. Also, the 2 savers club was an inspiration and made an enormous difference to Christmas this year.(Thanks Greenfingers)

    Having said all of this, I must add a personal and sad rider to my 'pearls of wisdom'. My original debt-free date according to the snowball calculator would have been 2009 according to my then current rate of repayments. Sadly, I have developed a terminal illness which means that I have had to give up work and have just taken early retirement. Thank goodness for my pension as I am too young for a state pension and am now relying on DLA for income. It is with this retirement money that I have been able to clear my debts so much sooner. Hardly the way I would ever have planned it but I am glad that I won't be leaving any debts behind for the family. My final pearls of wisdom have been gleaned as a result of this experience and I would suggest that if at all possible a pension is a great thing to have and my other pearl would be to remember that at the end of the day money (and lack of it) is not THE most important thing in life - even though at times it can seem overwhelmingly important, the most important thing is family and friends and the love we share. In this I realise I am truly rich.

    Congratulatios to all the other Debt-free team members and very best wishes to everyone else on this journey. Good Luck.

    Love from Starry-eyed surprise xx
    You - only you- will have stars that can laugh


    2 Coin Savers' Club - Christmas due on 25/12/06! 142.00 16/07/06 150.00 21/07/06 158 2/08/06 166 28/8/06 3/10/06 198 25/10/06 214
    DFW Nerd 137
    Proud to be dealing with my debt
    • Ali-OK
    • By Ali-OK 1st Mar 07, 6:54 PM
    • 4,058 Posts
    • 16,645 Thanks
    Date of lightbulb moment - November 2005

    Debt at Highest - @ 24K

    Debt Free Date - 28th February 2007

    Pearl of Wisdom

    Budget like mad. Re-read it, re-do it, check it, tick things off once paid, check against on-line banking, etc. This was my motivator and the way I kept in control (and will continue to do so). Also helps to realise items that initially you didn't cut out/cut down and I had further "lightbulb moments" as the weeks and months went by. Project repayments and budget for months ahead - in the knowledge the debt is coming down and will go down further.

    Price check every single outgoing, whether its an annual or monthly payment or the food shop. Time spent checking is money saved. Make every penny count.

    The DFW lifestyle is totally for me. I'm addicted to frugal spending and saving money!
    Back on the DFW Wagon:

    CC - 3,300 on 0% til 04/2020
    CC - 4,500 on 0% til 02/2019
    Loan - 12,063.84 as at 4/1/18
    • tealady
    • By tealady 11th Mar 07, 8:10 AM
    • 3,064 Posts
    • 3,960 Thanks
    Lightbulb moment - when I realized I was spending up to my credit card and overdraft limit every month. This was in 1996
    Max debt £6000 + mortgage (hadn't a clue how much i owed and was struggling to keep two people on one income, £2000 credit card debt £2000 overdraft. Foolishly I gave up my home.
    Debt free date 1997.
    Pearl of wisdom. Find a treat that doesn't cost anything (or veery little) it helped me keep going with money saving.
  • DevilGoesDown2Bristol
    Lightbulb moment: January 2003, when the previously-stuck switch was flicked firmly to "on" by a friend who gave me a serious talking-to
    Debts at their highest (discounting mortgage): £42,733
    Debt-free date: October 2005

    Pearl of wisdom... There are two - and only two - ways to have more money: you can spend less, or you can make more. Not everyone can do the latter, but a lot more people are capable of it than ever actually do it! Be brave, know your rights, understand your position as thoroughly as you can in every way, stand your ground and never - NEVER - let the nay-sayers tell you you can't achieve more, because you can!

    The very best of luck to you all.
    Last edited by DevilGoesDown2Bristol; 14-03-2007 at 10:51 AM.
  • ancasta
    Full Lightbulb moment : November 2006, during the come down from my wedding and honeymoon
    Max debt : £2,500 + joint mortgage
    Debt free date : 17th March 2007
    Pearl of wisdom : Treat it as a game, challenge yourself and "beat" your self each month / week but dont let it get you down if you dont. And always have something in the house to have as a treat when your feeling down... if its an expensive nailvarnish you got cheap on ebay, or a home made face mask, or silk pyjamas from before your LBM.
    A little creature comfort thats not in your every day life to perk you up
    • itsarichmansworld
    • By itsarichmansworld 19th Mar 07, 2:22 PM
    • 1,409 Posts
    • 879 Thanks
    a. The date of your lightbulb moment officially sept 06 although it flickered earlier.
    b. Debts at their highest 27000
    c. Debt-Free Date March 2007
    d. Your one perl of wisdom. DO what feels right to you I personally re-mortgaged however I am now on the right track and apart from taking a year out next year for a career break I plan to have mortgage paid off in a few years.
    But this was not a easy way out you need to break teh debt circle.
    Budget dont be scared to check your bank account daily!

    Know what you have and you cant go wrong....
    Isn't the knowledge that comes from experience more valuable than the knowledge that doesn't?
  • Jarlawuk
    a. The date of your lightbulb moment
    July 16th 2006 - 24th birthday heh

    b. Debts at their highest
    4000 credit card debt, 1000 for tv on 0% 9 mth deal, 10k on student loan

    c. Debt-Free Date
    20th March 2007

    d. Your one perl of wisdom.
    Tackling one problem at a time - makes life a lot easier. I targetted the least amount of debt first and made minimum payments to the rest so that I felt the 'reward' sooner. I cleared off a 500 credit card and cancelled it before moving onto a 1000k one. That way it also meant I had less on my plate and easier to see the 'big picture'.

    So glad I finally got my debt over and done with and only have to deal with a mortgage. Only shame is it took me so long to get over it because I was far too materialistic, and wasted all my money on eating out and designer brands so I had little to show for all the money I wasted.
    • Lovin It
    • By Lovin It 4th Apr 07, 11:50 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 47 Thanks
    Lovin It
    a. The date of your lightbulb moment - November 2006
    b. Debts at their highest - £6000
    c. Debt-Free Date - today 4th April 2007
    d. Your one pearl of wisdom. - buy what you need. Surprisingly, I found no feeling of loss of living standards, I just didn't waste money on things I didn't need. The Grabbit board on here kitted me out with extras even, half price Sky all year, new kitchen equipment, computer stuff. Just don't buy on impulse when in the shopping mall!
    But the banks are made of marble,
    With a guard at every door,
    And the vaults are stuffed with silver,
    That the farmer sweated for.
  • Emmzi
    a. The date of your lightbulb moment

    About 20 months ago, when redundancy really became a possibility

    b. Debts at their highest

    Never did an exact figure but about 35k

    c. Debt-Free Date


    d. Your one pearl of wisdom.

    You have to give things up to clear the debt. No point starting unless you're prepared to abandon some of the things that got you in the mess in the first place.

    e. And if you had a debt diary on DFW, a link to it

    No, just various postings.
  • aliG

    Lightbulb moment feb 2007.
    Debt excluding car and mortgage approx 15700
    Debt free hopefully in 3and a half years.
    Need to have self control and love checking this site it has really opened my eyes.:rolleyes:
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