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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 4,155Posts
    • 28,289Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    • #1
    • 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally 24th Sep 17 at 1:22 PM
    My DH and I have been in debt for 34 Years, apart from brief periods, ever since I was offered my first credit card at the tender age of19.

    Our debts were caused by us being impulsive spenders and not being very skilled at budgeting or managing our money, so we know it is our own fault. We always believed that one day we would have more money, mysteriously, and that this would bail us out .

    Our full light bulb moment came when we realised, "What if we never have any more money than we do right now?"

    A couple of years ago we were coping with the minimum payments, but didn't have enough to overpay on any of them. We were forking out 1300 a month in minimum payments, and the interest alone was 1000 a month .

    But then in 2015 our small business started to bring in less, and a family bereavement, and illness affected our ability to work. We could no longer afford the minimum repayments and we were scared we would lose our home. We were stricken with stress and depression .

    Step Change shone a light in the darkness for us and they arranged for us to make token payments of 1 a month to our creditors. This saved our sanity and we were reassured that our home was unlikely to be taken from us.

    My DH recently turned 55 and drew out his pension so that we could make full and final offers to our creditors. All but one accepted an offer of 50% of what we owed (which is all we had to offer). We are continuing negotiations with the final creditor and hope to be debt free by Christmas .

    Being so close to being debt free has made me realise what a heavy burden the debts have been all these years, like living our lives wearing lead boots.

    Once we are debt free we will still need to live very frugally because we have no emergency fund or savings, and our income can be irregular. I hope that starting a diary will help to focus me on frugal living, avoid impulsive spends, and keep my spirits up. Because frugal living can be a lonely and isolating experience.

    This site and Step Change has helped me so much, and I hope that my diary will help to inspire others that it's never too late to change your life .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 18-11-2017 at 9:49 AM.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    Emergency Fund 1 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
Page 119
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Mar 18, 9:56 PM
    • 54,069 Posts
    • 214,370 Thanks
    beanielou
    Thanks beanie



    His love life isn't going smoothly at the moment . His US girlfriend is much older than him, going through a divorce and got three teenage kids . DH and I are hoping it will die a death and he'll meet someone else. He's too young to cope with all that at 23 .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Oh blimey yes
    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.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 4th Mar 18, 10:03 PM
    • 4,155 Posts
    • 28,289 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Oh blimey yes
    Originally posted by beanielou
    It's stressing him out . We're glad to get him home and away from the situation. He's such an innocent, he doesn't know what he's getting into.

    He asked her to marry him, but luckily she said not until all her kids are eighteen (two and a half years time). We're hoping that by then he'll decide it's too complicated or meet someone more suitable.

    It's all a bit stressful for DH and I .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    Emergency Fund 1 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 5th Mar 18, 1:22 PM
    • 54,069 Posts
    • 214,370 Thanks
    beanielou
    It's stressing him out . We're glad to get him home and away from the situation. He's such an innocent, he doesn't know what he's getting into.

    He asked her to marry him, but luckily she said not until all her kids are eighteen (two and a half years time). We're hoping that by then he'll decide it's too complicated or meet someone more suitable.

    It's all a bit stressful for DH and I .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    An understatment.
    I would be having a kitten.
    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.
    • jwil
    • By jwil 5th Mar 18, 2:19 PM
    • 8,525 Posts
    • 26,083 Thanks
    jwil
    Glad DS is home safely. His relationship sounds unconventional! Maybe if he carries on with the travel bug he'll get it out of his system.
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 5th Mar 18, 2:51 PM
    • 4,155 Posts
    • 28,289 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    That's what we're hoping Jwil. He wants to go to Ireland, Iceland and Malta, no mention of New Orleans again yet. I'm hoping he'll decide it's all too messy and then meet someone else. A lot of worrying situations do resolve themselves in the end.

    I'm trying to do a bit more today. I've had a shower and washed my hair, made DH coffee, washed and dried some laundry and empyied the dishwasher . I feel tired now, but I want to try and do a bit more every day.

    I want to actually go to the supermarket on Wednesday instead of doing an online shop!

    I hooe everyone is having a good Monday. We have rain here but it's better than snow.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    Emergency Fund 1 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 5th Mar 18, 3:06 PM
    • 54,069 Posts
    • 214,370 Thanks
    beanielou
    Lots of rain here too.
    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.
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 5th Mar 18, 3:22 PM
    • 4,727 Posts
    • 26,803 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    No rain here although there was a lot yesterday and through the night. I woke up to find a lot of snow had disappeared, over half of our garden is green now except for shady areas under trees or against hedges and walls. The roads look clear now too, OH went out to our nearest town this morning and he said there was still a lot of lying snow on the sides of the deep ditches and against hedges and fences. The sun is shining now too although it has no warmth in it. Hopefully that's the last we'll see of this winter. Roll on spring


    At least his car started first time but he's had it in the garage during the snow. My poor old thing (emphasis on old) has been outside and looked like an igloo since last Tuesday so I must go out soon and see if it will start. I had a new battery fitted a couple of weeks ago so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


    I hope everyone else is getting back to normal. Must be such a relief to you and DH to have DS home safely at last, HH. I expect the sudden chilly weather was a big shock to him after New Orleans
    Make 10 A Day Challenge 2018: Jan-Apr: 757.05+. May: 1209.25


    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9998
    . Under 10K at long last.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 5th Mar 18, 4:30 PM
    • 54,069 Posts
    • 214,370 Thanks
    beanielou
    carbootcrazy~~ hope that your car starts.
    Mine has not moved since last Tuesday.
    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.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 5th Mar 18, 7:39 PM
    • 4,155 Posts
    • 28,289 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    No rain here although there was a lot yesterday and through the night. I woke up to find a lot of snow had disappeared, over half of our garden is green now except for shady areas under trees or against hedges and walls. The roads look clear now too, OH went out to our nearest town this morning and he said there was still a lot of lying snow on the sides of the deep ditches and against hedges and fences. The sun is shining now too although it has no warmth in it. Hopefully that's the last we'll see of this winter. Roll on spring


    At least his car started first time but he's had it in the garage during the snow. My poor old thing (emphasis on old) has been outside and looked like an igloo since last Tuesday so I must go out soon and see if it will start. I had a new battery fitted a couple of weeks ago so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


    I hope everyone else is getting back to normal. Must be such a relief to you and DH to have DS home safely at last, HH. I expect the sudden chilly weather was a big shock to him after New Orleans
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    I'm glad your snow is melting Carboot. I hope you feel a bit warmer now. Good luck with starting your car.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    Emergency Fund 1 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 6th Mar 18, 10:58 AM
    • 213 Posts
    • 1,194 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    It's stressing him out . We're glad to get him home and away from the situation. He's such an innocent, he doesn't know what he's getting into.

    He asked her to marry him, but luckily she said not until all her kids are eighteen (two and a half years time). We're hoping that by then he'll decide it's too complicated or meet someone more suitable.

    It's all a bit stressful for DH and I .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Oh gosh, I'm with you on this one. I know it's said one's daughter may have to 'kiss a lot of frogs before finding their prince', but with a failed marriage and a son, I feel my younger daughter might be the sort your son should avoid !
    We make the 'frogs' welcome, have them round for a Sunday lunch, play games etc, and fervently hope they hop away !! The ex SIL, with whom we've always had a good relationship, is so far the best of the bunch.

    I really hope your son finds long-term happiness with the right person for him. As parents we can only hope, and help pick up the pieces where appropriate.

    Still - the weather is LOADS better isn't it ? Soon be back to your amazing step-counts.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 6th Mar 18, 1:28 PM
    • 4,155 Posts
    • 28,289 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Elizabeth . Pointing out a boyfriend/girlfriend is unsuitable would only push your child away, so you have to go with the flow and hope that the relationship dies a natural death.

    We would prefer DS2 to meet someone closer to his own age, without children and ideally from the UK. I know that some men can cope with step children but I don't think that DS2 is one of them. He has enough trouble dealing with his own emotions .

    I think you are very sensible to invite the frogs around, seeing them in a family setting may help your children to see that they are unsuitable.

    At least we will be there to pick up the pieces when/if it goes horribly wrong.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    Emergency Fund 1 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 6th Mar 18, 1:30 PM
    • 4,155 Posts
    • 28,289 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    It's lovely and sunny here today . I'm feeling a tad more energetic but still doing 25% of my normal activities . I wish I could wave a magic wand and get my energy back.

    I hope everyone is having a good Tuesday .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    Emergency Fund 1 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 6th Mar 18, 4:20 PM
    • 54,069 Posts
    • 214,370 Thanks
    beanielou
    Been snowing here & now raining heavens hard!!
    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.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 6th Mar 18, 4:36 PM
    • 4,155 Posts
    • 28,289 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Perhaps the rain will melt the snow beanie. It's 11 degrees here today after being minus 4 last week!
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    Emergency Fund 1 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 6th Mar 18, 4:50 PM
    • 54,069 Posts
    • 214,370 Thanks
    beanielou
    Only 2 degrres here
    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.
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 6th Mar 18, 8:55 PM
    • 5,740 Posts
    • 37,562 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Glad DS is back safe and sound and planning some more trips. I'm not surprised you're not happy about the girlfriend situation. It's certainly not ideal. However, my cousin is 71 and her husband is 44, the same age as her son. They've been married 20 years now. It didn't go down well with his family at the time though.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 250.33
    Debt 2500
    May NSDs AFDs
    Weight loss 7/10LBS
    Emergency Fund 2000/10,000
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 6th Mar 18, 9:57 PM
    • 54,069 Posts
    • 214,370 Thanks
    beanielou
    Blimey, that is some age gap SA.
    One of my friends is married to someone 21 years younger than her!!!
    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.
    • jwil
    • By jwil 7th Mar 18, 1:53 PM
    • 8,525 Posts
    • 26,083 Thanks
    jwil
    It's lovely to have a bit of warmth again!
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Mar 18, 3:31 PM
    • 4,155 Posts
    • 28,289 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Glad DS is back safe and sound and planning some more trips. I'm not surprised you're not happy about the girlfriend situation. It's certainly not ideal. However, my cousin is 71 and her husband is 44, the same age as her son. They've been married 20 years now. It didn't go down well with his family at the time though.
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    Blimey, that is some age gap SA.
    One of my friends is married to someone 21 years younger than her!!!
    Originally posted by beanielou
    It could work in theory if it was just the two of them, but his girlfiend lives with her mother and her three teenage children who have decided they don't like DS2 because he is too young (and not their dad). DS2 is very upset and offended that they don't like him .

    Plus her ex husband is unpleasant. So things are not going well. Men twice DS2's age would struggle to cope with all the messy emotions, I think .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 07-03-2018 at 3:34 PM.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    Emergency Fund 1 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 7th Mar 18, 3:51 PM
    • 4,727 Posts
    • 26,803 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    It could work in theory if it was just the two of them, but his girlfiend lives with her mother and her three teenage children who have decided they don't like DS2 because he is too young (and not their dad). DS2 is very upset and offended that they don't like him .

    Plus her ex husband is unpleasant. So things are not going well. Men twice DS2's age would struggle to cope with all the messy emotions, I think .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Not a very happy situation for your DS to find himself in, and I feel for you and DH too who must be so worried about what DS might be getting into. Sending hugs to all.

    For what it's worth, our postman moved in with his girlfriend about a year ago. He's about 30, She is 42, recently divorced and her teenage sons live with her. Her ex-husband too is a very unpleasant character by all accounts and resents the postman living in what was 'his' house which he had to vacate after the divorce. The plan was for them to marry when her 2 teenage sons had left home or gone to University. The boys resent and absolutely hate our poor postman and don't waste any opportunity to make his life unpleasant. They give him the silent treatment whenever they are all together in the house, spread untruths about mean/unkind things he's supposedly done to them and generally try to turn their mother against him.


    He's really fed up and is thinking of moving out and finding a place of his own where he can see his girlfriend without the boys being there. I don't think he can afford much though. His own parents have practically disowned him as they thoroughly disapprove of this relationship. He seems a 'young' 30 whereas the girlfriend seems older than her 42 years.


    Sometimes love just isn't enough in these situations is it?
    Make 10 A Day Challenge 2018: Jan-Apr: 757.05+. May: 1209.25


    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9998
    . Under 10K at long last.
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