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  • FIRST POST
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 29th Dec 11, 10:29 AM
    • 1,318Posts
    • 5,813Thanks
    HappyNow
    Keeping up appearances.......
    • #1
    • 29th Dec 11, 10:29 AM
    Keeping up appearances....... 29th Dec 11 at 10:29 AM
    Welcome to my debt-free diary. I am going to use it to monitor my progress as I start my (very) long journey towards debt freedom. I hope it will inspire me to stay motivated when the going gets tough. Because the going WILL get tough from time to time - I have an absolute marathan ahead of me.

    Today I have totalled up all our debts..... Including our mortgage, the scary bottom line is £127,899.00!! If I deduct the mortgage, we are still left with the very frightening figure of £69,579.00 (give or take a few quid) unsecured debt. It will get a bit worse between now and payday (15th of each month) as we have very little money to live on and a few bills coming up.

    So, why have I called my diary 'Keeping Up Appearances'? Well, on the face of things my husband and I are a lucky couple. Both working full-time and earning good money. We live in a lovely house (worth more than double our total debt), have two gorgeous children who are now grown-up and away at university, run two cars, own another house which we rent out etc etc. We seem to have it all. And I suppose we DO have it all - we just haven't actually paid for it yet!!

    The worst thing? My husband doesn't have a clue how much we owe. I have taken sole charge of our money for years, and what a mess I have made of it! I have had personal problems, which are now resolved, but which made me lose touch with reality for a while. I'm not using that as an excuse, but it does partly explain what has happened.

    My husband is one of the nicest, kindest men you could ever meet and he really does not deserve to be in this mess. He knows we are in debt and need to watch our spending, but he does not know the extent. And I intend to keep it that way. I will scrimp and scrape and save and earn and do whatever it takes to reduce and eventually clear our debt, but it will be done without him knowing. He is a worrier and not in the best of health, so I do not intend adding to his stress by telling him the extent of our money problems. Not that he would be angry or leave me or anything - he wouldn't - but he would be so worried and disappointed and it would break his heart.

    He trusts me to take care of our finances, and for a long time that trust was misplaced. Well, now he finally CAN trust me and I will not let him (or myself) down any longer. Then, when the debt is less heart-attack-inducing, it will be something we can work on together.

    So, I am going to crunch some figures and get some inspiration and I will be back.
Page 160
    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 8th Sep 17, 10:51 AM
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    Honey Bear
    Do you know what, Happy, I think I'm going to be smiling for the rest of the day! That's such wonderful news. You've paid off more than 50% through sheer hard work, so you know you can manage money like an award-winning tightwad but you don't have to any more if you need a bit of a splurge, like two Fry's Peppermint Bars instead of one. You've been a fabulous neighbour and your lovely neighbour showed his appreciation when you took on Donkey Dog and his attached oversized, very adaptable, kennel. You rolled up your sleeves and got on with the chaotic disruption of turning the house/kennel into the potentially palatial pad it can be and to cap it all you went to an expert who read your fortune. (See what I did there?) I'm so pleased for you, it's just lovely hearing your marvelous news so thank you so much for the update.

    And how utterly marvelous that you can be comfortable with the idea of paying off the minimum payments on the debts for another sixteen months or so to get to the place that you intended to be anyway, and then make the most of your assets and opportunities with Mr Happy in the place you both love. I think that's pretty much what most of us would be aiming for, if we're honest.

    The idea of lots of foreign holidays may seem glamorous viewed from the dentist's waiting room with a dog-eared copy of Hello but quite frankly that's always looked like running away from an everyday life to me, searching for something that isn't there. Fun to dip a toe into occasionally but it's not a life I find tempting. Maybe that's just age. Saga cruise, anyone?
    Keeping it AF
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 8th Sep 17, 8:36 PM
    • 1,980 Posts
    • 12,232 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Just want to echo everything Honey wrote. Congratulations on the next (money worries free) decade in your lovely, lovely home!

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

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 12th Sep 17, 2:14 AM
    • 1,318 Posts
    • 5,813 Thanks
    HappyNow
    Thanks very much Honey and SSG for the good wishes

    SSG - wow look at your signature! And I see your diary is back up and running so I will get all stalky tomorrow.

    Honey - hope Mr HB and the lovely Kelpie are both thriving? How are his legs doing now? (K, not Mr HB - I'm sure Mr HB's legs are a picture!)

    So....... just in case I was getting bored, the tenant in our rental house has given notice today! She's got a new partner, new baby on the way, and they've saved a deposit to buy a place together. She's been a perfect tenant and I'm really pleased for her, but to say we could do without the hassle right now is an understatement. She will move out in mid-October so we have a month to make a final decision, but our initial feelings are that we will sell it. When we bought it 13 years ago, the intention was that one day it would be sold and some of the money would go to the kids as a helping hand onto the property ladder. They're 26 and 24 now, both living in rented properties, and I think they will be wanting to buy before too long. Add to that, we don't really want the hassle of being landlords once we retire, so it's probably a good time to move it on. We will pay off its mortgage, give a lump of maybe £10K to each child, and the surplus will be available to finish off this place. Or not. More thinking to do! Which is why I'm still awake at 2:15 am! G'night
    LBM Dec 2011. Aiming to clear ALL unsecured debt by Feb 2019 (73.36% so far)

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jul 17: Unsecured £18,531 + Mortgage £43,660 = £62,191 (51.98% paid)
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 12th Sep 17, 10:10 PM
    • 1,980 Posts
    • 12,232 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    If you sell your rental, what a lovely idea to help the kids with their future property deposits. And I think that if you really don't need the rental income, then foregoing the hassle of being a landlord when retired has its plus points!

    I'm sure you'll both come to the right decision.

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

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 13th Sep 17, 9:11 AM
    • 5,088 Posts
    • 50,816 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    I had to smile, Happy. There's a sort of inevitability to a new hassle presenting itself when things have just started running smoothly after years of playing one thing off against another! I think it's an aging thing, too - there comes a time when it's just obvious that the answer is to simplify our lives and let the potential hassles go so that we can concentrate on the things that are important to us.

    How marvellous that you can give your skids a helping hand and lower your own liabilities, so that's a win:win. Excellent decision.

    Mr HB's legs are amazing! I forget he's 70; he's as energetic and lively as a 25 year old, still working a 10 hour day but more likely to have a day out and take time off than he used to be, and as fit as a fiddle - he's just come back from his morning swim and is going over to the chalet later for me. (I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday and he's really stepped up to the plate, thank goodness. No plans to sell that, despite my wondering if we should earlier this year.)

    Kelpie's legs are kind of holding their own. There's a click when he extends the back right, which the hydrotherapy vet nurse picked up a few weeks ago so that's not good but he's still happy. Slightly less bouncy, and I rather think the arthritis is catching up with him but he's still friendly to everyone he meets, lovely company and enthusiastic about life. Devil Cat is struggling with his tumour but he has great days when he's absolutely himself and on the two days he's not, so far, I've managed to get some Tramadol into him and that made a huge difference. All in all, we're a household of crocks but we're all still here.
    Keeping it AF
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 14th Sep 17, 6:32 PM
    • 1,318 Posts
    • 5,813 Thanks
    HappyNow
    If you sell your rental, what a lovely idea to help the kids with their future property deposits. And I think that if you really don't need the rental income, then foregoing the hassle of being a landlord when retired has its plus points!
    SSG x
    Originally posted by Seasidegal58
    That's the thing that's convincing me to sell. There isn't any income as such because most of the rent goes to paying the mortgage on it. By the time we've covered insurance/repairs/gas checks etc it just about wipes its own feet. Obviously the mortgage is reducing with no input from me so the capital is increasing, but the mortgage won't be clear for another 12 years and meanwhile there's always the risk of a bad tenant or massive repair bill. Yes, it's done it's job for us and now's time to sell it. Nearly almost sure - probably!

    I had to smile, Happy. There's a sort of inevitability to a new hassle presenting itself when things have just started running smoothly after years of playing one thing off against another! I think it's an aging thing, too - there comes a time when it's just obvious that the answer is to simplify our lives and let the potential hassles go so that we can concentrate on the things that are important to us.
    Simplification. I want that.

    How marvellous that you can give your skids a helping hand and lower your own liabilities, so that's a win:win. Excellent decision.
    Yep, I do think so. A much more excellent decision than keeping it.

    Mr HB's legs are amazing! I forget he's 70; he's as energetic and lively as a 25 year old, still working a 10 hour day but more likely to have a day out and take time off than he used to be, and as fit as a fiddle - he's just come back from his morning swim and is going over to the chalet later for me. (I had a bit of a meltdown yesterday and he's really stepped up to the plate, thank goodness. No plans to sell that, despite my wondering if we should earlier this year.)
    Aww, how lovely to have an OH with amazing legs. One of Mr Happy's is rather nice although I'm not sure it's technically amazing. The other one is OK if you like fluid-filled knees that click when they bend. Bit of a niche market, Mr Happy's legs.

    Sorry to hear you had a meltdown and lovely of Mr HB to take the strain from you. Hope you're back on track now but if you need to sound off you know where to come!

    Kelpie's legs are kind of holding their own. There's a click when he extends the back right, which the hydrotherapy vet nurse picked up a few weeks ago so that's not good but he's still happy. Slightly less bouncy, and I rather think the arthritis is catching up with him but he's still friendly to everyone he meets, lovely company and enthusiastic about life. Devil Cat is struggling with his tumour but he has great days when he's absolutely himself and on the two days he's not, so far, I've managed to get some Tramadol into him and that made a huge difference. All in all, we're a household of crocks but we're all still here.
    Originally posted by Honey Bear

    I did not know about DC's tumour. Best of wishes to him. Funnily enough, I was just reading an interview with Ant McPartlin whose addiction to tramadol put him in rehab. Sounds like dangerous stuff in the wrong paws but I'm sure DC has his head screwed on right. Tell him not to mix it with vodka
    LBM Dec 2011. Aiming to clear ALL unsecured debt by Feb 2019 (73.36% so far)

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jul 17: Unsecured £18,531 + Mortgage £43,660 = £62,191 (51.98% paid)
    • FlacosFloozie
    • By FlacosFloozie 6th Oct 17, 6:48 PM
    • 588 Posts
    • 2,538 Thanks
    FlacosFloozie
    Brilliant news, Happy! I'm so pleased for you.
    Save 12K in 2018 £1518.23/7500 20 % Emergency Fund £5068.33/6750 75%
    Mortgage £159,995 £154,480 Overpaid £0 in 2018 Holiday Fund £125

    Debt Fr
    ee 31.07.14

    • joeyjimbles
    • By joeyjimbles 7th Oct 17, 6:52 PM
    • 1,587 Posts
    • 8,637 Thanks
    joeyjimbles
    Just realised you had a recent few posts, and what gloriously happy posts! I'm so pleased for you and that you are getting to where you want to be, well deserved reward for all your determination.
    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 8th Oct 17, 5:17 PM
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    • 50,816 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    Devil Cat's a bit pi$$ed off his vodka consumption has been nixed, but he's only had to have tramadol twice and is still very much his own catperson. We're just enjoying all the time left we have with him and spoiling him rotten. He's now got quite a sizeable bulge around where his stomach is, full of chicken and all food he loves. He's holding his own a lot better than I thought he would, although the left side of his head looks very odd. As long as he's enjoying life he'll still be with us.

    I hope the letting house sale is going smoothly. We're probably going to sell the chalet next year, after the current crop of bookings have happened. Simplification is all the rage here, too.
    Keeping it AF
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 29th Dec 17, 1:30 AM
    • 1,318 Posts
    • 5,813 Thanks
    HappyNow
    Well, it's been a while. Today is the 6th anniversary of this diary though so I couldn't not post, and thanks to those who have stopped by

    It's been a mad few months and all of my time, energy and brain power have been devoted to the house refurb. It's still work in progress but we've almost finished and we are actually painting now! When we planned the work, we built in some moveable 'stop points' - points where we would be happy to end the work if we ran out of money. We HAVE run out of money, so we won't be finishing the project at this time, but it's reached a point where we're thrilled to live in it and we really don't mind that a few rooms will just be left.

    I can't update my signature because I have absolutely no idea where I'm at . I've completely lost track and that just won't do. That's my job for later today. Bed now though, and back after some sleep.
    LBM Dec 2011. Aiming to clear ALL unsecured debt by Feb 2019 (73.36% so far)

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jul 17: Unsecured £18,531 + Mortgage £43,660 = £62,191 (51.98% paid)
    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 30th Dec 17, 9:36 AM
    • 5,088 Posts
    • 50,816 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    Still burning the midnight oil, aren't you, Happy - nothing's changed there, has it?!

    The fact that you haven't been keeping a beady eye on your finances just goes to show how much more relaxed life has been for you, which is lovely. I hope when you do the calcs you find major progress despite focussing all your attention elsewhere.

    I really hope you managed to spread yourselves out in your newly expanded and refurbished house over Christmas, and that you had a wonderful one with all the family around.

    Devil Cat miraculously is still with us and enjoying life, despite having a cocktail of drugs rammed down his throat several times a day. He just won't give up, so while he's willing and able we're doing everything we can to make what time he has left as happy as we can. Kelpie's full of beans and due to sign up for some training in the new year because I rather think he's going to be with us for quite a while and his manners need a little attention.

    Lovely to see a post from you again, by the way.
    Keeping it AF
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 30th Dec 17, 7:27 PM
    • 1,980 Posts
    • 12,232 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Great to see you posting again Happy and I do hope you and your family had a very happy Christmas.

    I bet the house is looking great now - please keep posting and keep us updated with the calculations!

    Many happy returns on the diary anniversary!

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

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 31st Dec 17, 4:18 PM
    • 1,980 Posts
    • 12,232 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    ......and here!!!8217;s to a very happy New Year and prosperous 2018 to you all!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 5th Jan 18, 12:05 AM
    • 5,088 Posts
    • 50,816 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    I think today might be your birthday, Happy, and if it is - Happy Birthday! I hope you have a lovely one, and many more to come.
    Keeping it AF
    • joeyjimbles
    • By joeyjimbles 5th Jan 18, 12:31 PM
    • 1,587 Posts
    • 8,637 Thanks
    joeyjimbles
    Ooh another happy birthday from me, if it is today, and happy new year to boot (what does that mean?).
    Lovely to hear that Happyland is habitable and more. Looking forward to hearing your updates.
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 5th Jan 18, 9:01 PM
    • 1,980 Posts
    • 12,232 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    ....and from me too!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 6th Jan 18, 3:25 AM
    • 1,318 Posts
    • 5,813 Thanks
    HappyNow
    Wowza, excellent remembering there Honey. Today (OK, yesterday) is (was) indeed my birthday! Thanks to you, SSG and Joey for the good wishes. I celebrated my 59th by painting the new bedroom all day and watching carp on TV all night - Big Brother season is here again .

    Joey - I've just spent ten minutes researching the phrase 'to boot'. What a good aid to the sleepless, thanks! Google's best/most likely suggestion is that it comes from an Old English word 'bote', meaning 'in addition'. Or else it's German. Or something else. Definitely nothing to do with footwear though. Anyway, Happy New Year!

    Honey - so lovely to hear that DC is still thriving and that Kelpie is joining Puppy Club. Happy Dog went to training classes as a youngster - she enjoyed the homework and has an impressive catalogue of tricks, but she's quite 'barky' so I found it all a bit stressful. Donkey Dog only recognises a few commands ('sit', 'come here', 'go away', 'where's your ball?' and 'time to feed the dogs') but as he's a naturally good boy it doesn't really matter.

    I need to write a long, whiney financial update, but it's half past three and bed calls, so I'll save that one for tomorrow.
    LBM Dec 2011. Aiming to clear ALL unsecured debt by Feb 2019 (73.36% so far)

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jul 17: Unsecured £18,531 + Mortgage £43,660 = £62,191 (51.98% paid)
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 6th Jan 18, 8:24 PM
    • 1,980 Posts
    • 12,232 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Glad Donkey Dog is still going strong. Do you still have Happy Horse?

    Look forward as always to your financial updates. Your diary was one of those that pushed me to writing my original diary as you were trying to keep your debt busting a secret like me!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • jvr
    • By jvr 31st Jan 18, 10:30 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 1,307 Thanks
    jvr
    Hi Happy and everyone,


    Just been catching up on diaries and fab to hear all your news x
    Debt: £10,006 now £8698.38
    Emergency Fund: 456.17/ £1000


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