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  • FIRST POST
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 29th Dec 11, 10:29 AM
    • 1,516Posts
    • 6,470Thanks
    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 193
    • bd80s
    • By bd80s 15th Jan 20, 2:15 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 199 Thanks
    bd80s
    Hi Happy


    I am currently on page 104 of your diary but as its taken me a week to get there I thought I would quickly come out of lurking and congratulate you on progress so far (no spoilers please!) and although I suspect you say no need to read the rest I can never put a good story down haha


    When I'm fully caught up and provide more comments/encouragements/condolances (which ever will end up being appropriate), in the mean time keep going!
    Settled to date - 1, fiend loan 6589.36/339.39, 94.8% pd. loan 2 237.93/162.93, 32%, LBS lost - 7
    • savingmore
    • By savingmore 15th Jan 20, 7:01 PM
    • 408 Posts
    • 2,625 Thanks
    savingmore
    thanks dolphin 1. quite happy to swop yr purple quality street for toffee fingers......except trying not to eat any at all.

    starting to get over my cold, my jet lag (been to stay with ds over christmas) and get back on bandwagon, finances, health, weight, drinking water. donít feel like outdoor exercising in this weather at all. if dh out, happy to Ďwalkí in lounge whilst wat hing soaps. half an hour of on the spot walking is better than nothing,

    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 16th Jan 20, 10:37 PM
    • 1,516 Posts
    • 6,470 Thanks
    HappyNow
    Hi Dolphin, excellent news that the tablets look to be working. Everything crossed that they do the trick so you can swerve another ordeal.

    When I balanced my YNAB today I added an extra row and labelled it 'emergency fund, £50 monthly'. There's nothing to put in it this month, and the next two months aren't looking great either, but at least if the row is there I can't ignore it. Watch this space in April!

    Milann You're going great guns and good luck with the scales tomorrow

    Savingmore Ooh, you're a lounge walker. I'm a lounge dancer! I will be getting my groove on (I'm terrible at it, a female dad-dancer) to some cheesy Youtube stuff as soon as I've finished here because I need to get another 1400 steps in today and it's raining.
    LBM Dec 2011. Aimed, but failed, to clear all unsecured debt by Feb 2019. Date extended to 'one day'... (65.21% so far).

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jan 20: Unsecured £24,202 + Mortgage £26,456 = £50,658 (60.89% paid)
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 16th Jan 20, 10:49 PM
    • 1,516 Posts
    • 6,470 Thanks
    HappyNow
    I am currently on page 104 of your diary but as its taken me a week to get there I thought I would quickly come out of lurking and congratulate you on progress so far (no spoilers please!) and although I suspect you say no need to read the rest I can never put a good story down haha
    When I'm fully caught up and provide more comments/encouragements/condolances (which ever will end up being appropriate), in the mean time keep going!
    Originally posted by bd80s
    Hi bd80s, welcome and thanks for posting.
    I just flicked back to page 104 to see where you're up to. Then I realised that we might have different page numbering depending on your set-up. My page 104 is October 2015 and if it's the same at your end there's a lot of changes to come. You'll have noticed from my signature that my planned debt-free date came and went a long time ago. Anyway, as you say, no spoilers!

    Please feel free to join in, you will be very welcome
    LBM Dec 2011. Aimed, but failed, to clear all unsecured debt by Feb 2019. Date extended to 'one day'... (65.21% so far).

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jan 20: Unsecured £24,202 + Mortgage £26,456 = £50,658 (60.89% paid)
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 16th Jan 20, 11:00 PM
    • 1,516 Posts
    • 6,470 Thanks
    HappyNow
    Here's my update for the last two days.

    Take better care of my body and health.
    Weight - Still 8st 9.2 today. Most unfair.
    Calories - One red day (still used more calories than I ate) and one green day.
    Water - Tick
    Exercise - More than 10000 steps each day, but only just.
    Sleep - I didn't get to bed at 11 last night because I couldn't drag myself away from my recorded Coronation Street. Managed 11.30 though.

    2) Sixteen alcohol free days in January. Another two in the bag - up to eight now. .

    3) Pay at least £700 off the unsecured debt. Done today, so this one will disappear from my targets. Mission accomplished! It dawned on me that £700 is almost exactly 1% of my original unsecured debt.

    It's 11pm so I should be heading to bed but I need to get 1400 steps in so I'd best get cracking.
    LBM Dec 2011. Aimed, but failed, to clear all unsecured debt by Feb 2019. Date extended to 'one day'... (65.21% so far).

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jan 20: Unsecured £24,202 + Mortgage £26,456 = £50,658 (60.89% paid)
    • savingmore
    • By savingmore 17th Jan 20, 12:08 AM
    • 408 Posts
    • 2,625 Thanks
    savingmore
    Happy Now.....lounge dancer!!! thatís a great idea as you would get more steps in in same time period and cardio too. I might try that, but obviously not for half an hour...unless I turned lights off and danced around my handbag in high heels....but these days I would probably trip over.... my other form of exercise is daily standing on one leg for balance. i do that when cleaning teeth, trying to do two mins on one leg in morning and other leg in evening. itís prob. my favourite form of exercise😀😀😀😀😀

    Back home after christmas break. didnít put on any weight... determined to lose 3.4 kilos, which is 7llbs. should be doable but the last 7lbs is always the hardest. determined

    • Rosie 3698
    • By Rosie 3698 18th Jan 20, 5:29 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 17 Thanks
    Rosie 3698


    Hi Happy and friends! I've just read all 193 pages of your diary which is quite an accomplishment for me as I'm not in to reading
    It's been an emotional journey for me and it wasn't even my life so I can only imagine what it must have been like for you!
    I will subscribe once I work out how to do it! You have inspired me to start a new chapter of my life so thank you x
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 19th Jan 20, 8:14 AM
    • 1,516 Posts
    • 6,470 Thanks
    HappyNow
    my other form of exercise is daily standing on one leg for balance. i do that when cleaning teeth, trying to do two mins on one leg in morning and other leg in evening. itís prob. my favourite form of exercise😀😀😀😀😀

    determined to lose 3.4 kilos, which is 7llbs. should be doable but the last 7lbs is always the hardest. determined
    Originally posted by savingmore
    I just tried the standing on one leg thing which of course sounds very easy but actually isn't. Google tells me that it's a really good thing to do to reduce the risk of falls as we age. So I'm adding it to my list from today, but starting low at 30 secs twice daily. A few years ago my daughter had a terrible, terrible bout of vestibular neuronitis that left her in a wheelchair for months because she had zero sense of balance and literally could not stand up - the world was permanently spinning and she just could not tell up from down. It eventually resolved, but her scans revealed a lot of scar tissue on her inner ear. Nowadays she's really fit and a keen runner but she still can't balance on one leg without falling over. Weird.

    Good luck with the weight loss. Mine is coming down but very slowly considering how well I'm following my Fitbit.



    Hi Happy and friends! I've just read all 193 pages of your diary which is quite an accomplishment for me as I'm not in to reading
    It's been an emotional journey for me and it wasn't even my life so I can only imagine what it must have been like for you!
    I will subscribe once I work out how to do it! You have inspired me to start a new chapter of my life so thank you x
    Originally posted by Rosie 3698
    Hi Rosie, thanks for reading and posting. It's been an emotional journey for me too - it's a good job it's been spread out over eight years or I'd never have coped!

    I've just read your new diary - good luck with the challenge
    LBM Dec 2011. Aimed, but failed, to clear all unsecured debt by Feb 2019. Date extended to 'one day'... (65.21% so far).

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jan 20: Unsecured £24,202 + Mortgage £26,456 = £50,658 (60.89% paid)
    • milann
    • By milann 19th Jan 20, 4:14 PM
    • 3,276 Posts
    • 20,692 Thanks
    milann
    I met my challenges last week which in itself was a minor miracle as Iíve been a tad stressed and not sleeping well. I lost 3 lb at SW Iím now only 1/2 lb away from my lowest weight since I re joined - just short of 2 stone to go I need to get off the see-saw of weight off - weight on.... Iíd love to do it by Easter as weíve got a meal at Tom Kerridgeís new restaurant booked and I want to wear my fave dress which I can no longer get into.....
    Next week challenge is to
    - stay calm and focussed whilst waiting for some scan results - had a bit of an over active imagination this week
    - get into new stone bracket
    - try a new recipe
    - pay cc
    - visit Santander to do a bank account shuffle
    - use gym membership twice
    - do some knitting instead of using I pad all evening
    • milann
    • By milann 19th Jan 20, 4:21 PM
    • 3,276 Posts
    • 20,692 Thanks
    milann
    The lounge walking and dancing sounds great - it reminded me I used to be a lounge skipper - when I was in alone I worked from skipping through 1 advert to the full break in Corrie
    Everyone seems to be doing well - thanks happy for hosting my ramblings
    • savingmore
    • By savingmore 19th Jan 20, 11:11 PM
    • 408 Posts
    • 2,625 Thanks
    savingmore
    standing on one leg, it apparently can be a key indicator to longevity! from age 50 i think you are meant to be able to stand on one leg for 20 seconds easily and 7/8 se nods with yr eyes shut. if you try it, stand by back of chair or wall in case you need to balance. itís much harder than it sounds. i try to practice everyday! work in progress

    • Dolphin1
    • By Dolphin1 20th Jan 20, 8:08 AM
    • 848 Posts
    • 2,831 Thanks
    Dolphin1
    Welcome bd80s and Rosie 3698!

    milann - Sorry that things are so stressful for you right now. Hope the scans come back ok, it's so hard not to imagine the worst but if you are anything like me you will 'hope for the best while preparing for the worst'. Good luck with hitting your weight loss target by Easter!

    savingmore - I'm going to be trying the leg standing thing to see how I compare but didn't quite understand the '7/8 se nods'?

    HappyNow - Hooray to adding a line in to your YNAB budget for an 'Emergency Fund'. It's a start even if you have nothing to put in it yet.

    The weight may be coming off slowly but at least it's coming off. Like savingmore says, it's hard to lose the last 7lbs. Not that I would know with 5 stone to lose before I get to a 'healthy' weight!!
    • Dolphin1
    • By Dolphin1 20th Jan 20, 8:19 AM
    • 848 Posts
    • 2,831 Thanks
    Dolphin1
    Update on targets...

    1) Eat/drink healthily - This has been really bad but that ends starting from today. There are 12 days left until the end of the month including today and I am setting a target of 10 NCDs during that time.

    2) Exercise - Walking is going ok but I am still struggling to get back in to the back exercise routine. It's probably because my back is ok at the moment so I forget about it.

    3) Cut back on eating out - Not great as we have eaton out twice since the last time I posted but at least one meal was Pizza Express paid for with Tesco vouchers and the other meal was a cheap breakfast.

    4) Meal plan - Doing well with using up the stuff in the freezer but the meals haven't been particularly healthy so will need to get some more veg in somewhere. We have had a cheap month for groceries so far though so that's a bonus!
    • bd80s
    • By bd80s 22nd Jan 20, 2:21 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 199 Thanks
    bd80s
    Afternoon Happy and Co


    I have finished reading the entire diary and can honestly say I have laughed and cried along with you (albeit later). Happy you have done so well and I was thrilled for you when you had the very unexpected inheritence, as people said at the time you completely deserved it and it was nice to read along and see that you are fully enjoying your "new" home.


    The happy horses really left their mark with me as I had to have mine put to sleep in 2016 (after 19 years of owning her) due to her developing health complications so I knew exactly how you were feeling.


    You have dealt with all the obstacles in a very inspiring "oh well, s!!! happens" kind of way and I think, actually know, that is why you have so many followers who are willing you on, plus all the die hards that have followed you on your journey and added their own monthly challenges.


    I have enjoyed everyones writings and the amusing little comments you all leave each other, I may come join you in the future (I definately behave better when I am held accountable..........) but I 100% will continue reading along your adventures.


    Keep up the good work everyone, I look forward to seeing more updates and cheering on from the sidelines.
    Settled to date - 1, fiend loan 6589.36/339.39, 94.8% pd. loan 2 237.93/162.93, 32%, LBS lost - 7
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 22nd Jan 20, 3:37 PM
    • 1,516 Posts
    • 6,470 Thanks
    HappyNow
    I met my challenges last week which in itself was a minor miracle as Iíve been a tad stressed and not sleeping well. I lost 3 lb at SW Iím now only 1/2 lb away from my lowest weight since I re joined - just short of 2 stone to go I need to get off the see-saw of weight off - weight on.... Iíd love to do it by Easter as weíve got a meal at Tom Kerridgeís new restaurant booked and I want to wear my fave dress which I can no longer get into.....
    Originally posted by milann
    Excellent to hear your target success Milann. Do you lose your appetite when you're anxious? I've heard lots of people do but personally I'm a comfort eater. Anyway, not long now until you get your scan results (4th Feb for anyone else reading who wants to send good vibes to Milann but doesn't follow her diary).

    The lounge walking and dancing sounds great - it reminded me I used to be a lounge skipper - when I was in alone I worked from skipping through 1 advert to the full break in Corrie
    Originally posted by milann
    Oh wow, lounge SKIPPING! Impressive, although I daren't try that without investing in a serious sports bra. I've got quite big boobies and the years haven't been kind to them
    LBM Dec 2011. Aimed, but failed, to clear all unsecured debt by Feb 2019. Date extended to 'one day'... (65.21% so far).

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jan 20: Unsecured £24,202 + Mortgage £26,456 = £50,658 (60.89% paid)
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 22nd Jan 20, 3:40 PM
    • 1,516 Posts
    • 6,470 Thanks
    HappyNow
    standing on one leg, it apparently can be a key indicator to longevity! from age 50 i think you are meant to be able to stand on one leg for 20 seconds easily and 7/8 se nods with yr eyes shut. if you try it, stand by back of chair or wall in case you need to balance. itís much harder than it sounds. i try to practice everyday! work in progress
    Originally posted by savingmore
    I've been practicing this one and I'm not as bad as I thought - until I close my eyes and then I wobble straight over. I'm going to persevere though if it helps with longevity/immortality!
    LBM Dec 2011. Aimed, but failed, to clear all unsecured debt by Feb 2019. Date extended to 'one day'... (65.21% so far).

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jan 20: Unsecured £24,202 + Mortgage £26,456 = £50,658 (60.89% paid)
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 22nd Jan 20, 3:51 PM
    • 1,516 Posts
    • 6,470 Thanks
    HappyNow

    savingmore - I'm going to be trying the leg standing thing to see how I compare but didn't quite understand the '7/8 se nods'?
    Originally posted by Dolphin1
    I think the 7/8 se nods was a typo for 7-8 seconds. That's what I took it to be anyway. Try it though - it's practically impossible so BE CAREFUL!

    Update on targets...

    1) Eat/drink healthily - This has been really bad but that ends starting from today. There are 12 days left until the end of the month including today and I am setting a target of 10 NCDs during that time.
    10 out of 12 days will take some doing. I believe in you though!

    2) Exercise - Walking is going ok but I am still struggling to get back in to the back exercise routine. It's probably because my back is ok at the moment so I forget about it.
    Could you set yourself a set routine, like say 'brush teeth, exercise back'. That's how I'm remembering my one leg efforts.

    3) Cut back on eating out - Not great as we have eaton out twice since the last time I posted but at least one meal was Pizza Express paid for with Tesco vouchers and the other meal was a cheap breakfast.
    Oh I do love pizza express. Do you know, I haven't had a pizza, even a frozen one, since before Christmas. That's how seriously I'm taking this month's targets. I normally have at least two per week.

    4) Meal plan - Doing well with using up the stuff in the freezer but the meals haven't been particularly healthy so will need to get some more veg in somewhere. We have had a cheap month for groceries so far though so that's a bonus!
    Originally posted by Dolphin1
    I've never really managed consistent meal planning, but I'm pretty good at monitoring the fridge contents so nothing goes off, then eating from the freezer until the next shop.
    LBM Dec 2011. Aimed, but failed, to clear all unsecured debt by Feb 2019. Date extended to 'one day'... (65.21% so far).

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jan 20: Unsecured £24,202 + Mortgage £26,456 = £50,658 (60.89% paid)
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 22nd Jan 20, 4:12 PM
    • 1,516 Posts
    • 6,470 Thanks
    HappyNow
    I have finished reading the entire diary and can honestly say I have laughed and cried along with you (albeit later). Happy you have done so well and I was thrilled for you when you had the very unexpected inheritence, as people said at the time you completely deserved it and it was nice to read along and see that you are fully enjoying your "new" home.
    Aww thanks. We both love living here, and even though we could sell it, buy somewhere else nice and be completely debt-free we both agree that this is where we want to be.

    The happy horses really left their mark with me as I had to have mine put to sleep in 2016 (after 19 years of owning her) due to her developing health complications so I knew exactly how you were feeling.
    Sorry to hear that. It really is horrible, but at least if you can look back on their lives and know you did the best for them it's some consolation.

    You have dealt with all the obstacles in a very inspiring "oh well, s!!! happens" kind of way and I think, actually know, that is why you have so many followers who are willing you on, plus all the die hards that have followed you on your journey and added their own monthly challenges.
    I have enjoyed everyones writings and the amusing little comments you all leave each other, I may come join you in the future (I definately behave better when I am held accountable..........) but I 100% will continue reading along your adventures.
    Keep up the good work everyone, I look forward to seeing more updates and cheering on from the sidelines.
    Originally posted by bd80s
    I know what you mean about being held accountable. This diary and the wonderful humans who post on it have helped me so, so much. Do join in any time you like - there's still a LOT of debt to pay off so it'll be running for a looooong time
    LBM Dec 2011. Aimed, but failed, to clear all unsecured debt by Feb 2019. Date extended to 'one day'... (65.21% so far).

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jan 20: Unsecured £24,202 + Mortgage £26,456 = £50,658 (60.89% paid)
    • HappyNow
    • By HappyNow 22nd Jan 20, 4:18 PM
    • 1,516 Posts
    • 6,470 Thanks
    HappyNow
    Update for the last few days:

    Take better care of my body and health.
    Weight - Still 8st 8.4 today so a teenie bit lost. I can't say I feel any slimmer but I do feel a bit energised.
    Calories - Two red days (but only one of them where I'd eaten more than I'd used) and two green days.
    Water - Tick. I only drink water now apart from one tea and one coffee each morning.
    Exercise - More than 10000 steps most days but I've missed a couple.
    Sleep - not great, but no worse than usual. I'm trying to get to bed by 11 each night but telly keeps happening.

    2) Sixteen alcohol free days in January. Nine so far.

    3) Pay at least £700 off the unsecured debt. Done.
    LBM Dec 2011. Aimed, but failed, to clear all unsecured debt by Feb 2019. Date extended to 'one day'... (65.21% so far).

    Debt Dec 11: Unsecured £69,579 + Mortgage £59,948 = £129,527
    Debt Jan 20: Unsecured £24,202 + Mortgage £26,456 = £50,658 (60.89% paid)
    • Dolphin1
    • By Dolphin1 23rd Jan 20, 1:27 PM
    • 848 Posts
    • 2,831 Thanks
    Dolphin1
    I think the 7/8 se nods was a typo for 7-8 seconds. That's what I took it to be anyway. Try it though - it's practically impossible so BE CAREFUL!

    Doh! That makes sense!

    Oh I do love pizza express. Do you know, I haven't had a pizza, even a frozen one, since before Christmas. That's how seriously I'm taking this month's targets. I normally have at least two per week.

    Pizza is definitely my favourite food. I would have it more often if it was healthier. Pizza Express do an excellent gluten free base. OH prefers Dominos but their gluten free base is like cardboard.

    I've never really managed consistent meal planning, but I'm pretty good at monitoring the fridge contents so nothing goes off, then eating from the freezer until the next shop.

    That sounds like a form of meal planning to me!
    Originally posted by HappyNow
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