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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 4,426Posts
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    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.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
Page 120
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Mar 18, 4:05 PM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Happy Wednesday everyone. It's sunny and ten degrees here in Devon .

    I'm know I'm very sad and have no life, but I really enjoyed going to Mr T today . I haven't been for three weeks and I hate shopping online as some the stuff I want isn't available online.

    I spent £100.85 which I know is a lot and over budget , but we'd run out of rabbit food, shampoo, shaving cream, plasters, deodorant and hayfever tablets so that knocked the bill up a bit.

    Also since I've been ill we've been doing an online shop for £80 at Mr T, and then DH has been doing 3-4 top up shops at Mr M and I dread to think how much he's been spending there .

    The shelves were quite empty; no eggs at all, three quarters of the bread shelves were empty and lots of empty sections in the fruit and veg section. I stocked up a bit on essentials (where I could) so hopefully there will be no top up shops this week apart from fresh fruit.

    It was really nice to go out and do my normal routine . Normally DH says I'm unstoppable, but for the past few weeks I've been unstartable .

    I'm resting now though as feel shattered and my headache is returning.

    This weekend my mum and stepdad are treating the five of us to a meal on Saturday night to celebrate my stepdad's birthday (I know it should be the other way around but we can't afford it and they insisted ).

    My stepsister and her DH are coming from Wales for the weekend and will come too, so it will be a lovely family celebration . They were going to visit last weekend but but were snowed in in Wales .

    Have a lovely day everyone .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 7th Mar 18, 4:09 PM
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    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 .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    A diffult one.
    I know that my DS would never have been nor was happy with anyone else in my life when he was a teenager.

    A difficult mix anyway to start with three generations.
    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.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 7th Mar 18, 4:10 PM
    • 55,039 Posts
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    beanielou
    Sounds like a really lovely weekend to come though
    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 7th Mar 18, 4:12 PM
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    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?
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    Crikey Carboot, that situation sounds identical to DS2's situation, except he hasn't moved in. .

    DS2 is a very young 23 and is not equipped emotionally to cope with stepchildren who dislike him. Hopefully because of the distance it will fall apart eventually.

    She is DS2's first love, so means the world to him at the moment, but if he meets someone else it could all change.

    By the way, I love the fact that you know so much about your postman .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Mar 18, 4:15 PM
    • 4,426 Posts
    • 30,701 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    A diffult one.
    I know that my DS would never have been nor was happy with anyone else in my life when he was a teenager.

    A difficult mix anyway to start with three generations.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    It is all a bit of a mess

    Sounds like a really lovely weekend to come though
    Originally posted by beanielou
    I'm looking forward to it
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 8th Mar 18, 4:40 AM
    • 4,814 Posts
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    carbootcrazy
    By the way, I love the fact that you know so much about your postman .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor

    We've known him slightly all his life, he just also happens to be our postman at the moment. We know him better as the postman as he always had time for a chat but these days he's so gloomy and doesn't even say 'hello'. His aunt and uncle are close friends of ours and he seems to be their only topic of conversation at the moment. We get blow by blow accounts every time we speak to them.


    Glad to hear you enjoyed your supermarket shop, HH. I had a big Sainsbury home delivery on Tuesday and fully expected a lot of ordered items would be unavailable/substituted this time. I was amazed as only one item out of the 64 was unavailable and they sent a top brand version instead of their own but it was otherwise identical. As I don't have to pay the extra that it cost over their own brand I'm happy. To be honest though, I'll stick to the own brand in future as the more expensive big brand version wasn't as nice.


    I hope you and your family have a lovely time when you get together for your celebration meal. Hopefully your appetite will have fully returned and you'll be able to really enjoy your food.
    Last edited by carbootcrazy; 08-03-2018 at 4:42 AM.
    Make £10 A Day Challenge 2018: Jan-May: £1988.00+. June: £315.12


    Original Debt: £56804 (@02/13). Now: £9618
    . Under £10K at long last.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 8th Mar 18, 11:27 AM
    • 55,039 Posts
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    beanielou
    Hope all is ok today
    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.
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 8th Mar 18, 12:39 PM
    • 1,622 Posts
    • 14,156 Thanks
    WannabeFree
    Just catching up.

    Eek to DS glad he had a good time other than his GF though.

    Travelling sounds good. Nice to hear you are out and about too. Just remember to take your time

    x
    “Once you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.”
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 9th Mar 18, 9:41 AM
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    • 30,701 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    We've known him slightly all his life, he just also happens to be our postman at the moment. We know him better as the postman as he always had time for a chat but these days he's so gloomy and doesn't even say 'hello'. His aunt and uncle are close friends of ours and he seems to be their only topic of conversation at the moment. We get blow by blow accounts every time we speak to them.


    Glad to hear you enjoyed your supermarket shop, HH. I had a big Sainsbury home delivery on Tuesday and fully expected a lot of ordered items would be unavailable/substituted this time. I was amazed as only one item out of the 64 was unavailable and they sent a top brand version instead of their own but it was otherwise identical. As I don't have to pay the extra that it cost over their own brand I'm happy. To be honest though, I'll stick to the own brand in future as the more expensive big brand version wasn't as nice.


    I hope you and your family have a lovely time when you get together for your celebration meal. Hopefully your appetite will have fully returned and you'll be able to really enjoy your food.
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    Thanks Carboot, my appetite is growing by the day so I'm sure I'll do it justice

    Hope all is ok today
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thanks beanie

    Just catching up.

    Eek to DS glad he had a good time other than his GF though.

    Travelling sounds good. Nice to hear you are out and about too. Just remember to take your time

    x
    Originally posted by WannabeFree
    Thanks Wannabe
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 9th Mar 18, 9:53 AM
    • 4,426 Posts
    • 30,701 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hi everyone, happy Friday .

    It's nearly four weeks since I caught flu and I'm nearly better. I walked to a shop about five minutes walk from my house yesterday to buy sawdust for the furry moron. I walked at half my normal speed (I'm a rusher by nature) but I felt it did me good. It was a lovely day, sunny with a light breeze . Sadly it's clouded over today.

    Last night I cooked dinner with DS1, while DH cleaned out the (stinky) furry moron. During the day I did two lots of laundry, wiped down all the kitchen surfaces and emptied the dishwasher.

    This all seemed quite tiring, but I can't sit around resting forever .

    On Monday I'm planning on being back in the office and life can get back to normal. I only have a vague idea what's happening with our money and bills, as I've left it to DH to sort out for the past four weeks . But I need to get on top of it again.

    I hope everyone has a good Friday .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • jwil
    • By jwil 9th Mar 18, 2:33 PM
    • 8,621 Posts
    • 26,606 Thanks
    jwil
    Happy friday! Have a good weekend
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 9th Mar 18, 7:09 PM
    • 55,039 Posts
    • 219,830 Thanks
    beanielou
    Enjoy your weekend
    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.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 9th Mar 18, 7:50 PM
    • 1,763 Posts
    • 10,751 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Hope the weather is good for your Saturday saunter
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 10th Mar 18, 10:18 AM
    • 1,978 Posts
    • 12,242 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Just catching up with your diary Hairy. Good to hear you're slowly getting your energy back.

    to DS's situation. It would be more than enough for an older experienced guy to cope with - living with mother, hostile kids, nasty ex - let alone living in a different country and trying to get a job (which in the US wouldn't be clear cut anyway - the powers that be would take a hard look and may well come to the conclusion that what with the age gap etc DS is trying to make a marriage of convenience just to get into the country). I think though the fact DS is talking of travelling around this year is excellent. Once he really gets out and about and mixes more there is every likelihood it will bolster his confidence and he will meet someone more suitable and nearer his own age.

    Hope you enjoy your family get together this evening Hairy.

    PS loved carboot's postman story by the way - though not so good for him obviously!
    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!”
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 10th Mar 18, 4:02 PM
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    • 1,271 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    Happy Saturday, all !

    I finally gave in, and went back to the beginning of your diary HH, because the frustration of not knowing who PA were and who the furry moron was (I'd guessed a guinea-pig) was driving me mad !!! Ok, now I know!

    It was also really interesting reading about family loo-roll consumption. When we have elder daughter & SIL for the weekend, I have to lay in large supplies - do they eat it ? Do they make nests with it before using ? Not really a question I can ask is it !

    Also your lists of how to economise were fascinating; lists of things I never thought to spent money on in the first place (eg phone contract), readily counterbalanced by my own unnecessary expenditures (hey-ho!!). So easy to let the little things mount up. You've come a long way already, and these lists should make you proud.
    • abba1772
    • By abba1772 10th Mar 18, 4:44 PM
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    abba1772
    Have a lovely weekend hairy xx
    NEXT TARGET HALIFAX CC WAS July 17 £3572.57 NOW £983.26
    POAMAYC 2011 £6382.66 POAMAYC 2012 £5000.78
    POAMAYC 2013 £3480.04 POAMAYC 2014 £4085.14
    POAMAYC 2015 £7565.24 POAMAYC 2016 £8000.90
    POAMAYC 2017 £7278.80 POAMAYC 2018 £4430.14
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 10th Mar 18, 4:50 PM
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    Sun Addict
    Glad you're feeling stronger, that flu really knocked you for six. Don't rush to get back to normal, take it steady. Have a lovely weekend xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £296.07
    Debt £2400
    June 4 NSDs 4 AFDs
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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Mar 18, 2:20 PM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Happy friday! Have a good weekend
    Originally posted by jwil
    Enjoy your weekend
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Hope the weather is good for your Saturday saunter
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    Thanks all
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Mar 18, 2:22 PM
    • 4,426 Posts
    • 30,701 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Just catching up with your diary Hairy. Good to hear you're slowly getting your energy back.

    to DS's situation. It would be more than enough for an older experienced guy to cope with - living with mother, hostile kids, nasty ex - let alone living in a different country and trying to get a job (which in the US wouldn't be clear cut anyway - the powers that be would take a hard look and may well come to the conclusion that what with the age gap etc DS is trying to make a marriage of convenience just to get into the country). I think though the fact DS is talking of travelling around this year is excellent. Once he really gets out and about and mixes more there is every likelihood it will bolster his confidence and he will meet someone more suitable and nearer his own age.

    Hope you enjoy your family get together this evening Hairy.

    PS loved carboot's postman story by the way - though not so good for him obviously!
    Originally posted by Seasidegal58

    Thanks SSG you always have something sensible and reassuring to say .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Mar 18, 2:27 PM
    • 4,426 Posts
    • 30,701 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Happy Saturday, all !

    I finally gave in, and went back to the beginning of your diary HH, because the frustration of not knowing who PA were and who the furry moron was (I'd guessed a guinea-pig) was driving me mad !!! Ok, now I know!

    It was also really interesting reading about family loo-roll consumption. When we have elder daughter & SIL for the weekend, I have to lay in large supplies - do they eat it ? Do they make nests with it before using ? Not really a question I can ask is it !

    Also your lists of how to economise were fascinating; lists of things I never thought to spent money on in the first place (eg phone contract), readily counterbalanced by my own unnecessary expenditures (hey-ho!!). So easy to let the little things mount up. You've come a long way already, and these lists should make you proud.
    Originally posted by elizabethhull
    Thank you Elizabeth. That must have been a long read .

    I feel your pain with the loo roll consumption, it will forever be one of life's mysteries!

    It's always fascinating to see what other people spend money on. Not having enough to cover the bills does tend to sharpen perspective however and make people realise the difference between a want and a need.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
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