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
    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 26th Oct 06, 3:03 PM
    • 8,116Posts
    • 42,310Thanks
    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 94
    • mumof3.12kindebt
    • By mumof3.12kindebt 2nd Jun 19, 10:21 PM
    • 685 Posts
    • 1,867 Thanks
    mumof3.12kindebt
    Can I be cheeky and ask if I can have a debt free and proud badge please
    June 2017 £16000 debt
    Sept 2018 Loan paid off
    Nov 2018 DEBT FREE
    • Freeofdebt
    • By Freeofdebt 3rd Jun 19, 2:15 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Freeofdebt
    Hello I'm new here but today I have paid off my very last debt and am crying writing this, with happiness!

    To answer the questions above...

    I'm not sure what's meant by a lightbulb moment but if it's when I actually began to sort my finances out, realised what I owed and set up payment plans that were affordable, we're probably talking about 7 or 8 years ago now. A long time.

    At highest, around £30,000. Terrifying.

    Debt free date - today!!!

    Pearl of wisdom. Hmm. If you don't have access to credit cards, loans, overdrafts then you can't get into debt. Debt in itself isn't the issue, it's the affordability and the minute it becomes unaffordable, it snowballs. It didn't happen overnight for me, far from it so I'll now be making sure that I don't ever borrow again (unless for a mortgage within my means).

    I'm not good at links sorry however I did use the form on here to send to all my lenders, the form that requests that interest is put on hold and small payments can be arranged. I have to say that every single one of my lenders, eight at the time, all accepted the letters and stopped the interest and allowed me to pay very small affordable payments from then on. I cannot stress enough what a relief that was at the time.

    This is my first post on here so no diary but as debt can be very isolating, I have nobody else to share my happiness and pride with.

    This seemed like the perfect place!

    It's a bit strange to post this after all this time of being in debt. It seems like a lifetime, a great deal of my adult life has been under the burden of debt, all self inflicted too. I honestly never thought I'd be clear and it feels almost unreal. £30,000 of relentless pressure gone after over a decade and I don't think I could be any happier than I am today!
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 3rd Jun 19, 9:09 PM
    • 67,099 Posts
    • 303,880 Thanks
    beanielou
    So pleased for you Freeofdebt
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 months to mortgage freedom.
    **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.***
    • laurenh1
    • By laurenh1 7th Jun 19, 2:49 PM
    • 753 Posts
    • 8,736 Thanks
    laurenh1
    I am debt Free

    Lightbulb moment- while I was pregnant with my son, worrying about childcare costs
    Debts at their highest- about 13k (car) but actually that was planned debt , the worst time was probably only about 6k but on credit cards etc
    Debt Free Date: 22nd May
    Links that helped- no specific link, but I read The Money Diet & this was a brilliant step by step guide & really changed the way I viewed our finances!
    • littleDOTS
    • By littleDOTS 14th Jun 19, 10:40 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 84 Thanks
    littleDOTS
    I'm debt free!!!
    Hi everyone,

    My lightbulb moment was in 2015 (see below)

    I had £10,400 ish of debt when I signed up on here. £3800 on 2 credit cards, £4000 of a car loan from my mum and £2600 owed to my sister from years back when she helped me pay off my old credit card with the profit from selling her flat.

    I was finally credit card debt free on 30/05/18 and then last year I began paying my sister back and finished paying her back in early May 2019! I was the most proud of that to be honest.

    I now have no credit or debts at all. I have a few hundred in savings for my summer holiday. I don't think I have gone into my overdraft at all this year (been very near it though!). I am in the black as they say!

    WISDOM

    Keep going you guys, you will get there. My advice: Every little spend counts but be good to yourself along the way with treats that don't cost too much, like a little free picnic nearby somewhere nice instead of a day out shopping and lunching. Not over-buying if you've got people coming, they don't need that much. Find a way to be low maintenance; cut the extras like spotify, TV, even the broadband if you can. Do your beauty treatments DIY, your DIY DIY!. Long hair doesn't cost much to maintain. It's amazing what you can get by without. I would like new things and I am living with old and worn furniture and carpets which I do wince at but it is live-able with. The self-discipline means that now I can afford what really matters when I need to spend, like paying for my daughters guitar lessons.

    If you are on here then obviously your head is no longer buried in the sand but if you still have the "in for a penny in for a pound", it can't get any worse, what's another £100 on a £1000 debt mentality at all DITCH IT as that mentality got me in this much debt and ditching it is what got me here.

    I wrote down everything I spent and still do and it keeps an awareness going. I really know how much things cost and I congratulate myself every month I spend less than what I made. What a no-brainer that seems, but it is something I rarely achieved before. Groceries-wise I do a sweep of lots of shops, get the specials and bargains. I cook extra and take it to work the next day for lunch (half the time now). I keep up with my laundry pile and organise my clothes better so I don't think I need more clothes and go buying stuff.

    It's a slow thing to pay off debt and it feels like you'll never get there but time passes and you will...just picture it! It feels great to feel free. I don't think people should feel ashamed of being in debt. It's not morally wrong! It's just good to be in a stronger, more secure position.


    littleDOTS
    LBM July 2015 Debt Free 01/05/19
    [COLOR="Red"]2 cards £3800 now £0 CC debt free n 30/05/18
    [COLOR="red"]CAR Loan from MUM £4000 paid off April 2018
    loan from sister £2688 now £0
    • littleDOTS
    • By littleDOTS 14th Jun 19, 10:46 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 84 Thanks
    littleDOTS
    well done!
    What a fantastic story FREEOFDEBT, well done! Your perseverance paid off.
    Last edited by littleDOTS; 14-06-2019 at 10:49 PM. Reason: looked like I replied to my own post
    LBM July 2015 Debt Free 01/05/19
    [COLOR="Red"]2 cards £3800 now £0 CC debt free n 30/05/18
    [COLOR="red"]CAR Loan from MUM £4000 paid off April 2018
    loan from sister £2688 now £0
    • nicnacnoo
    • By nicnacnoo 17th Jun 19, 8:10 PM
    • 407 Posts
    • 1,353 Thanks
    nicnacnoo
    Hi all,

    a. The date of your light bulb moment
    several times since 2006 but it shone very bright in July of 2016
    b. Debts at their highest
    highest amount was £7692
    c. Debt-Free Date
    Debt free date is today 17/06/2019
    d. Your one pearl of wisdom.
    set up a separate bills account that all your direct debits come out of and aim to build up a months worth as back up
    e. Links to the MSE guides that helped you
    f. Which forum threads helped you
    the debt free wannabe board has helped me throughout the years
    g. And if you had a debt diary on the Debt-Free Wannabe board (DFW), a link to it
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=4941195

    thank you everyone here for all your support, you don't know how great you all are
    • shteca
    • By shteca 19th Jun 19, 8:47 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 302 Thanks
    shteca
    I am almost in tears writing this. What a huge moment in my life.
    I have just made two payments to MBNA and Post Office to fully clear my balance and I have come to the end of my debt free journey.
    I am now 100% debt free excluding my mortgage of £64,000 with £1,000 in my emergency fund.
    It all started for me 18 months ago when I was £54,723 in consumer debt + my mortgage. I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders every day. I hit my lightbulb moment when I met my girlfriend and it really struck me how much of a mess I had got myself in. I made the decision to change my life and my children’s future.
    I sold my brand new Mercedes C class (leaded) and started taking the tram and bus, sold my TV, stopped holidays, stopped eating out. Started shopping in Aldi and learning from the forum and asking for advice.

    Here is a link to my debt free diary
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5874633&utm_source=MSE_FS&utm_med ium=Email&utm_term=18-Jun-19
    Debt Fully Paid Off (20/06/2019): £54,441.87
    Dave Ramsey is my financial guru!
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 19th Jun 19, 9:08 PM
    • 67,099 Posts
    • 303,880 Thanks
    beanielou
    I am almost in tears writing this. What a huge moment in my life.
    I have just made two payments to MBNA and Post Office to fully clear my balance and I have come to the end of my debt free journey.
    I am now 100% debt free excluding my mortgage of £64,000 with £1,000 in my emergency fund.
    It all started for me 18 months ago when I was £54,723 in consumer debt + my mortgage. I felt like I was carrying the world on my shoulders every day. I hit my lightbulb moment when I met my girlfriend and it really struck me how much of a mess I had got myself in. I made the decision to change my life and my children’s future.
    I sold my brand new Mercedes C class (leaded) and started taking the tram and bus, sold my TV, stopped holidays, stopped eating out. Started shopping in Aldi and learning from the forum and asking for advice.

    Here is a link to my debt free diary
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5874633&utm_source=MSE_FS&utm_med ium=Email&utm_term=18-Jun-19
    Originally posted by shteca
    Well done again
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 months to mortgage freedom.
    **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.***
    • UsualSuspect
    • By UsualSuspect 26th Jun 19, 3:19 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    UsualSuspect
    Lightbulb Moment: February 2012

    Debt at Highest: £12,000

    Debt Free Date: August 2015

    Pearl of Wisdom: Cooking at home, including packed lunches to take to work. I used the Demotivator tool and was beyond horrified at how much money I was spending on buying food near the office every day. I now keep porridge oats at work and use the microwave to make breakfast here instead of buying it from a cafe at £2.35 at a time. Keep an eye out on the MSE tips from other people; sharing a Spotify or Netflix account makes a huge difference without any sacrifice. Chipping away, a little at a time, is the best way forward because it means you’re taking steps in the right direction.
    • inigma
    • By inigma 8th Jul 19, 12:16 PM
    • 129 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    inigma
    Hey can I have my debt free badge please? I put my post on 26th August last year.
    Original mortgage free date 01/09/2036
    Current mortgage free date 01/09/2024
    Dream mortgage free date 01/09/2021
    JUST BRING IT
    • MargB
    • By MargB 20th Jul 19, 6:55 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 454 Thanks
    MargB
    I did it
    woo-hoo

    I can now say I am finally debt free
    have had the letter from the bank to say that my mortgage account is now closed (as its all paid off)

    a. The date of your light bulb moment
    24/09/2008
    b. Debts at their highest
    £102849 - this did included the mortgage
    c. Debt-Free Date
    Debt free date was 01/07/2019
    d. Your one pearl of wisdom.
    keep chipping away at the debt, every penny helps.
    subscribe to the newsletter from this site and use it.
    e. Links to the MSE guides that helped you
    I have to say I've looked at all of them - and I still do
    f. Which forum threads helped you
    the debt free wannabe board, mortgage free wannabe board
    g. And if you had a debt diary on the Debt-Free Wannabe board (DFW), a link to it
    I'm afraid I didn't, as I have always been a bit of a lurker on the boards

    and along the way, I've managed to ensure I've built an emergency savings fund with 3 months of bills saved in there (and it was just the basics as well)
    I've set up a savings account today to start saving what would have been the mortgage payments in. Hoping to retire early at some point, so need it ensure I will be OK
    Debts (incl Mortgage) at LBM (24/09/08) £102849 Now £0. DFD 1st July 2019
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 20th Jul 19, 7:16 PM
    • 67,099 Posts
    • 303,880 Thanks
    beanielou
    Well done margb
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 months to mortgage freedom.
    **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.***
    • thriftychick
    • By thriftychick 26th Jul 19, 7:53 AM
    • 190 Posts
    • 238 Thanks
    thriftychick
    The date of your lightbulb moment - August 2018
    Debts at their highest - £7,000
    Debt-Free Date - 19th July 2019
    Your one perl of wisdom - Many things have contributed to getting to this day:
    Stopped wasting money thanks to Martin.
    Years of reading the DFW board and taking on the advice given to other people.
    Went on a CAP Money course which really helped.
    Reading Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps on his website.
    Eventually, it was starting to have monthly budget meetings with OH and building up a small Emergency Fund which made the difference.

    Next step is to build up a proper Emergency Fund and then overpaying on the mortgage but most important and no doubt the hardest thing will be staying Debt Free!
    Last edited by thriftychick; 29-07-2019 at 6:41 AM.
    Just when I'm about to make ends meet, somebody moves the ends.
    • bestlifenow
    • By bestlifenow 27th Jul 19, 10:10 AM
    • 171 Posts
    • 832 Thanks
    bestlifenow
    I'm not sure it's quite sunk in yet, but yesterday I paid off the last of my debt and I'm officially debt-free.

    a. The date of your lightbulb moment: this time last year, but to be honest, it has flickered throughout the year.

    b. Debts at their highest: £10,745 on 6th July 2018

    c. Debt-Free Date: 26th July 2019

    I don't think I know enough yet to be giving any advice, I'm still a novice I read lots of diaries and threads on DFW and Old Style boards and all my pearls of wisdom come from there, so a big thank you to all posters

    bln
    DFW October Make £10 a day challenge £197.30/£310

    PAYDBX 2019 #008 £8094/£8094 £0 to go
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 27th Jul 19, 10:23 AM
    • 67,099 Posts
    • 303,880 Thanks
    beanielou
    I'm not sure it's quite sunk in yet, but yesterday I paid off the last of my debt and I'm officially debt-free.

    a. The date of your lightbulb moment: this time last year, but to be honest, it has flickered throughout the year.

    b. Debts at their highest: £10,745 on 6th July 2018

    c. Debt-Free Date: 26th July 2019

    I don't think I know enough yet to be giving any advice, I'm still a novice I read lots of diaries and threads on DFW and Old Style boards and all my pearls of wisdom come from there, so a big thank you to all posters

    bln
    Originally posted by bestlifenow
    Hardly a novice if you have paid off 10k in a year.
    Well done 😊
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 months to mortgage freedom.
    **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.***
    • Garry7
    • By Garry7 30th Jul 19, 8:25 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Garry7
    Lightbulb Moment
    Every month since December 2015 but really struck home hard in June 2016.

    Debts at their Highest
    £50,000

    Pearl of Wisdom
    Be realistic about what your debts are. I had a business credit card which, for the longest time 'didn't count' and a few interest free BNPLs which I didn't count because "I'll be debt free by then" except, I wasn't and they hit hard.

    Half of the £50,000 was the outstanding finance on my car, so I scraped through the voluntary termination date and handed it back, halving my debt overnight. I went from a financed Mercedes to buying a 2012 Corsa outright for £4,000. It does the job.

    I sold everything I could afford to sell. I had to have some long conversations with myself about whether I really needed the things I owned. All in all, I managed to sell a lot of things, recouping £4,000. And I've never really missed anything I sold - luxury goods such as cameras and musical instruments.

    Twelve months ago I still owed £17,000 but put in a hell of a lot of work and lived on a shoestring. I've even gone hungry plenty of nights as a 'punishment' for blowing my monthly budget. I've done an awful lot of overtime (fortunately I get paid overtime.) Today I made my final debt payment. Happily I've taught myself good habits along the way and will generally just be more careful with myself in future. I intend to never use credit again. If I can starting saving at the rate I've paid my debt (well, a little less!) then it shouldn't be too long before I have the cash in the bank for anything I could realistically want to buy.

    Most of all though is the sense of freedom. I don't owe anything to anybody. I'm currently renting (though do plan to buy) so all my money is now my own. I can start to enjoy it and even cut down my working hours from the crazy shifts I've been working. It'll feel like working part-time in comparison and having an awful lot more to show for it. Debt isn't just a number on a spreadsheet. It affects mental health, well-being and general happiness. Having been in debt since my early 20s, I feel like I can actually start living for the first time in my adult life.
    • stvn1
    • By stvn1 3rd Aug 19, 8:03 AM
    • 141 Posts
    • 372 Thanks
    stvn1
    Light Bulb Moment: 26th October 2017

    Debts at their highest: £15421.47

    Debt free date: 30th July 2019

    Pearl of Wisdom: The joy of finally beginning debt free is worth every step of the hard slog on the journey. Every single penny you pay off the debt helps. Don't be afraid to make payments of even £1, it all adds up.

    I'm really happy, thank you to all here, it was reading this forum that woke me up and gave me the inspiration to change my financial life.
    LBM 26/10/17
    Total debt at LBM - £15421.47
    NOW DEBT FREE AS OF 30/07/19
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 5th Aug 19, 3:37 PM
    • 4,644 Posts
    • 29,553 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Lightbulb Moment
    Most of all though is the sense of freedom. I don't owe anything to anybody. I'm currently renting (though do plan to buy) so all my money is now my own. I can start to enjoy it and even cut down my working hours from the crazy shifts I've been working. It'll feel like working part-time in comparison and having an awful lot more to show for it. Debt isn't just a number on a spreadsheet. It affects mental health, well-being and general happiness. Having been in debt since my early 20s, I feel like I can actually start living for the first time in my adult life.
    Originally posted by Garry7
    Well done Such a powerful testimony. Enjoy your debt free life.
    Car costs savings: 500
    Xmas savings 250
    IF NOT NOW THEN WHEN?
    • igaveupnowimback
    • By igaveupnowimback 7th Aug 19, 5:37 PM
    • 276 Posts
    • 2,008 Thanks
    igaveupnowimback
    DMP complete!! I am DEBT FREE !!!
    Can't believe am here typing this !!

    Please report

    Lightbulb moment - I think this time 2013
    Debts at their highest - £8k+
    Debt-Free Date - 7/08/2019
    Your one pearl of wisdom - Don't let fear, guilt or shame paralyse you. Read as much as you can on these forums and know you are not alone. The experiences and help of others has been fantastic.
    Links to the MSE guides that helped you - oooh I don't understand I need check and reply again!!
    f. Which forum threads helped you - I need check this too !!
    g. And if you had a debt diary on the Debt-Free Wannabe board (DFW), a link to it - No I didn't but I avidly read others!!

    I'm a bit in denial about this - I think I first bought things from a catalogue and 'provident' or 'shopachecks' as a 16 year old and TODAY is the first time I have NOT been in debt for 44 YEARS!!!! That astounds me seeing it like that!! Permadebt!!

    EVERY month trying to service debts and live on the very little that was left over - never knowing I had any choice but to keep struggling to pay enormous interest charges - it all seems quite 'criminal' to me now really. I so want to say THANK YOU to Martin Lewis and all the guides and contributors to this site and this board. I need to take this in then begin to plan a healthy way forward. Thank you every one of you!!!
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

149Posts Today

1,230Users online

Martin's Twitter