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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 3,894Posts
    • 25,973Thanks
    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 an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = 530/Emergency Fund 2 = 0/Loss of Income Fund 0
Page 136
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 9th Apr 18, 8:34 PM
    • 52,776 Posts
    • 207,375 Thanks
    beanielou
    Another crime fiction fan here.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 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.
    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 9th Apr 18, 11:06 PM
    • 4,979 Posts
    • 28,640 Thanks
    in need of direction
    Chick lit and crime for me. Love Marion Keyes, Catherine alliott etc and have just finished a recent Grisham. Last year DS bought me a book a month from a bookseller. It really took me out of my reading rut which was great.
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 119,481.83 today 76,508.97, target 65,000 by 31/12/18 Offset fund today 207.27 target 5,500 by 31/12/18
    Emergency fund 0.7/5.5k & 200/200 cash.
    Current weight loss RUBBISH need to refocus
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 10th Apr 18, 1:48 AM
    • 4,604 Posts
    • 26,063 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    I need more storage but my ultimate goal is to turn the dining room into a library (as we have a table in the kitchen) . That should provide plenty of book storage .


    You are much better read than I am Carboot.

    I should try and widen my repertoire as I mainly read crime fiction. Maybe when I retire I can get down to some serious reading...
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Your own library sounds wonderful. That's something really nice to work towards

    I don't consider I'm well read in it's true sense, Hairy. I read anything that comes my way that looks reasonably promising so I fear I'm not always very selective. It's often quantity over quality I'm afraid. Also, I'm a fair bit older than you so have had time to get a lot more reading done. Strangely, I've probably read less since I retired. My eyesight isn't as good as it was and even with spectacles now I find reading for any length of time very straining


    Our local council collects newspapers amongst the general recycling in our bins but OH takes any we get to someone he knows in a nearby town who collects newspapers to sell on to raise money for a local youth organisation. We only buy the local daily paper nowadays but several friends drop their papers off here too for OH to take to his friend and these include the 'quality' papers with lots of supplements. I always have a quick read of some sections before OH takes them away and the Books sections are my first port of call. I love reading reviews of all the latest books but, being new releases, they aren't available in my library yet and I certainly don't intend to buy them.


    I have mixed feelings about how far I can trust reviews though and often borrow something from the library or zoom in on it in a charity shop because I've read that it's wonderful only to be bitterly disappointed. I know the sort of thing I like, crime being my favourite too, Hairy, and particularly enjoy psychological thrillers. I don't like horror, fantasy or anything dystopian. I get ideas from Amazon buyers' reviews as they tend to be a mixed bag and very warts-and-all but rarely buy from there any more. I used to spend a small fortune on Amazon
    Last edited by carbootcrazy; 10-04-2018 at 3:51 AM.
    Make 10 A Day Challenge 2018: Jan-Mar: 475.38+. Apr: 269.95


    Original Debt: 56804 (@ LBM 02/13). Now: 10005
    . Getting there.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 10th Apr 18, 3:31 AM
    • 1,544 Posts
    • 1,984 Thanks
    badmemory
    I too don't read as much as I did, both eyesight & neck related. Don't need the violence but love the solving of murders/mysteries. As for Kindle it has solved a lot of my packing problems. I remember putting required books (quantity as quality was guaranteed) then necessary shoes into my suitcase.

    Just to comment here that I hate footwear of just about any description & so do my feet & only wear any outside the house so it probably means that I need more than most just to get through a day.

    I landed up with one dress, one pair of trousers, one skirt & a few tops, if I wasn't wearing it after that then it didn't go.

    Kindle = freedom (of a sort). So no retirement clock for me I got a kindle.

    Thanks all for the new authors to try. My favourites alas are no longer with us, so hopefully I will find some new favourites.
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 10th Apr 18, 4:05 AM
    • 4,604 Posts
    • 26,063 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Kindle = freedom (of a sort). So no retirement clock for me I got a kindle.

    Thanks all for the new authors to try. My favourites alas are no longer with us, so hopefully I will find some new favourites.
    Originally posted by badmemory
    You're up very late (or is it early?), badmemory. I used to sleep like a log but after some recent bereavements my nights seem very disturbed now. I go to bed really tired but wake again after a couple of hours and just can't fall asleep again. I hope it's a temporary state and I really feel for regular insomniacs.

    I borrowed a friend's Kindle for a few days but didn't get along with it very well. I know it must be a boon to people who need to carry books around or to take on holiday but for general purposes I didn't like it. OH keeps offering to buy one for me but I have no plans to accept. Now, if he offered to buy me a load of books I'd snatch his hand off. I just like the feel and the smell of a real book, especially a hardback, and actually turning real pages.


    As for finding new favourite authors I love it when I find and enjoy a book by a 'new to me' author and discover a long list of other books they've written
    Last edited by carbootcrazy; 10-04-2018 at 4:11 AM.
    Make 10 A Day Challenge 2018: Jan-Mar: 475.38+. Apr: 269.95


    Original Debt: 56804 (@ LBM 02/13). Now: 10005
    . Getting there.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 10th Apr 18, 11:35 AM
    • 1,544 Posts
    • 1,984 Thanks
    badmemory
    You're up very late (or is it early?), badmemory. I used to sleep like a log but after some recent bereavements my nights seem very disturbed now. I go to bed really tired but wake again after a couple of hours and just can't fall asleep again. I hope it's a temporary state and I really feel for regular insomniacs.

    I borrowed a friend's Kindle for a few days but didn't get along with it very well. I know it must be a boon to people who need to carry books around or to take on holiday but for general purposes I didn't like it. OH keeps offering to buy one for me but I have no plans to accept. Now, if he offered to buy me a load of books I'd snatch his hand off. I just like the feel and the smell of a real book, especially a hardback, and actually turning real pages.


    As for finding new favourite authors I love it when I find and enjoy a book by a 'new to me' author and discover a long list of other books they've written
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    Both early & late, I can't stay in bed for too long if I wake up as I just seem to get stiffer. With the Kindle did you try a larger print (which makes the lines too short to read comfortably) then turn it to landscape?
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 10th Apr 18, 12:02 PM
    • 198 Posts
    • 1,046 Thanks
    elizabethhull

    I have mixed feelings about how far I can trust reviews though and often borrow something from the library or zoom in on it in a charity shop because I've read that it's wonderful only to be bitterly disappointed. I know the sort of thing I like, crime being my favourite too, Hairy, and particularly enjoy psychological thrillers. I don't like horror, fantasy or anything dystopian. I get ideas from Amazon buyers' reviews as they tend to be a mixed bag and very warts-and-all but rarely buy from there any more. I used to spend a small fortune on Amazon
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    I know what you mean about reviews - to be taken with a large pinch of salt, as are the book reviews on Amazon, but I'm game to try most authors once !

    Do you know/read Robert Goddard, who fits neatly into your 'psychological thriller' category ? Just when you think you know what's going on, your perspective is changed - yet again. I find them not only well-written and tightly plotted, but where they are about a particular aspect of life (one is about the early days of photography) you learn an awful lot in the most painless way imaginable !!
    I am a big fan but they don't find their way to charity shops often.
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 10th Apr 18, 12:42 PM
    • 4,604 Posts
    • 26,063 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Both early & late, I can't stay in bed for too long if I wake up as I just seem to get stiffer. With the Kindle did you try a larger print (which makes the lines too short to read comfortably) then turn it to landscape?
    Originally posted by badmemory
    I had no problem with the print size, I just didn't like the page turning and various other things. I don't like using a mobile phone for the same reason. I might be a bit of a dinosaur as I like a real book in my hands. I could never watch a film on a tablet or even laptop, I like a proper sized TV screen. It's not just an eyesight issue, it's just a preference.
    Make 10 A Day Challenge 2018: Jan-Mar: 475.38+. Apr: 269.95


    Original Debt: 56804 (@ LBM 02/13). Now: 10005
    . Getting there.
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 10th Apr 18, 12:46 PM
    • 4,604 Posts
    • 26,063 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    I know what you mean about reviews - to be taken with a large pinch of salt, as are the book reviews on Amazon, but I'm game to try most authors once !

    Do you know/read Robert Goddard, who fits neatly into your 'psychological thriller' category ? Just when you think you know what's going on, your perspective is changed - yet again. I find them not only well-written and tightly plotted, but where they are about a particular aspect of life (one is about the early days of photography) you learn an awful lot in the most painless way imaginable !!
    I am a big fan but they don't find their way to charity shops often.
    Originally posted by elizabethhull

    Thank you Yes I've read two Robert Goddard books which were passed on to me by a friend. I enjoyed them and would certainly read others if they came my way. The ones I read did find their way to the charity shop when I'd finished with them. I've never seen any others in there yet though
    Make 10 A Day Challenge 2018: Jan-Mar: 475.38+. Apr: 269.95


    Original Debt: 56804 (@ LBM 02/13). Now: 10005
    . Getting there.
    • jwil
    • By jwil 10th Apr 18, 2:14 PM
    • 8,404 Posts
    • 25,539 Thanks
    jwil
    I just had a look at the Big read - there's 16 books I haven't read - mainly the Jacqueline Wilson and Terry Pratchett. I've not read any Terry Pratchett before, it's an author I should consider, but I'm not a fan of fantasy so it doesn't appeal. I will try it one day!

    I found many of the early books from the 1001 books list on Project Gutenburg. It was handy for finding all the classics for free! It means reading on the computer or a kindle though.

    When I got my Kindle I found it a bit weird, so I made sure to read a book that I was really familiar with on there. It meant I wasn't struggling with a new device and a new story. It helped me get used to it.

    I've read some Robert Goddard too, I enjoyed them. I like Marian Keyes too. I like to read all sorts of genres. I'm a big fan of Stephen King!
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 10th Apr 18, 3:46 PM
    • 4,604 Posts
    • 26,063 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    I just had a look at the Big read - there's 16 books I haven't read - mainly the Jacqueline Wilson and Terry Pratchett. I've not read any Terry Pratchett before, it's an author I should consider, but I'm not a fan of fantasy so it doesn't appeal. I will try it one day!

    I found many of the early books from the 1001 books list on Project Gutenburg. It was handy for finding all the classics for free! It means reading on the computer or a kindle though.

    When I got my Kindle I found it a bit weird, so I made sure to read a book that I was really familiar with on there. It meant I wasn't struggling with a new device and a new story. It helped me get used to it.

    I've read some Robert Goddard too, I enjoyed them. I like Marian Keyes too. I like to read all sorts of genres. I'm a big fan of Stephen King!
    Originally posted by jwil
    Yes, same here. I'd never read any Terry Pratchett before The Big Read either. I'd already read the classics before but it was so long ago I thought I'd re-read them for the challenge to refresh my memory of them. I think there were about 18 'new to me' ones on there, including the Stephen King. Katherine by Anya Seton was totally unknown to me but I just couldn't get along with it and gave up on it. Otherwise I was doing a lot of reading to cover everything, burning the candle at both ends for months.

    Another one that I really enjoyed from that list was A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I've gone on to read all his other books, I'm a real fan of his thanks to The Big Read. I still think that one was his best though.
    Last edited by carbootcrazy; 10-04-2018 at 3:52 PM.
    Make 10 A Day Challenge 2018: Jan-Mar: 475.38+. Apr: 269.95


    Original Debt: 56804 (@ LBM 02/13). Now: 10005
    . Getting there.
    • jwil
    • By jwil 10th Apr 18, 7:32 PM
    • 8,404 Posts
    • 25,539 Thanks
    jwil
    Yes, same here. I'd never read any Terry Pratchett before The Big Read either. I'd already read the classics before but it was so long ago I thought I'd re-read them for the challenge to refresh my memory of them. I think there were about 18 'new to me' ones on there, including the Stephen King. Katherine by Anya Seton was totally unknown to me but I just couldn't get along with it and gave up on it. Otherwise I was doing a lot of reading to cover everything, burning the candle at both ends for months.

    Another one that I really enjoyed from that list was A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I've gone on to read all his other books, I'm a real fan of his thanks to The Big Read. I still think that one was his best though.
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    I've not read Katherine either. I don't tend to go for historical fiction, although I quite like the Phillippa Gregory books that I've read. I like John Irving too - he was one I discovered through the 1001 books list. Actually, speaking of historical fiction - I would never in a million years have picked up 'Pillars of the Earth' by Ken Follett if it hadn't been on the list. I loved it! I haven't read the sequels though but might keep an eye out for them.

    Some of the other ones I liked were The Diary of a Nobody by George & Weedon Grossmith, John Wyndham, Primo Levi, Kazuo Ishiguro and Haruki Murakami. I'm not sure I would have picked any of those without the list!

    I've just looked it up again, and it looks like they've updated it as there's a load of different books on there. Looks like I might have to have another go I've got the 1001 childrens books list too which I'm working my way through, but not so determinedly as the original one.
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Apr 18, 7:39 PM
    • 52,776 Posts
    • 207,375 Thanks
    beanielou
    Primo Levi is well worth a read.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 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.
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 10th Apr 18, 8:16 PM
    • 895 Posts
    • 5,009 Thanks
    Nicnak
    Hi Hairy,
    Just popping in to say hi.

    I read Primo Levi - if this is a man at college, and it was so upsetting, but something that needed reading at the same time. x
    September 6th 2017 - Updated 21st January 2018
    Credit Card 0 now: 960 Tesco Loan 7500 = 0 Consolidation 15,000 = 14,086 Total = 25,330 15,046 40% gone EMF #252 = 700/1000
    Sealed pot challenge #589
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #71
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Apr 18, 9:07 PM
    • 3,894 Posts
    • 25,973 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    So many avid readers on DFW .

    My favourite books are psychologial thrillers and classic crime fiction. I also love Ruth Rendell, Margaret Yorke, Mary Higgins Clarke, Christopher Fowler, Karin Fossum, Henning Mankell, Ngaio Marsh, Sophie Hannah, Elly Griffiths, Reginald Hill, Susan Hill, PD James, Ragnar Jonasson, Camilla Lackberg, Peter May, Peter Robinson, Ian Rankin, Ellis Peters and Louise Penny.

    Sorry for the long list, but they are all great crime authors .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 10-04-2018 at 9:09 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 an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = 530/Emergency Fund 2 = 0/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Apr 18, 9:25 PM
    • 3,894 Posts
    • 25,973 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I felt more positive when I woke up this morning, despite more rain and gloom. It did brighten up a bit later on.

    We got through a reasonable amount of work and I calculated and submitted our VAT return, which is my most hated job. Getting that out of the way always makes me feel better .

    We also posted DS3's proof of identity for his student loan application. They wanted his passport or birth certificate (not copies). We didn't fancy sending his passport when he has a holiday coming up, so we sent the birth certificate.

    We popped into Mr M on the way back and I sucumbed to a 1 fuscia, some marigolds, some geraniums and a bag of multi purpose compost . The whole lot came to 6 which I didn't think was bad.

    I hope everyone has had a great day .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = 530/Emergency Fund 2 = 0/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Apr 18, 9:27 PM
    • 52,776 Posts
    • 207,375 Thanks
    beanielou
    Well done on the VAT
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 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 10th Apr 18, 9:29 PM
    • 3,894 Posts
    • 25,973 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Beanie . Which crime authors are your favourites?
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = 530/Emergency Fund 2 = 0/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Apr 18, 9:39 PM
    • 52,776 Posts
    • 207,375 Thanks
    beanielou
    I like a lot of the Scottish ones.
    Ian Rankin(who grew up near me ).
    Quintin Jardine who writes the Skinner series.
    I think they are just fab.
    They are set in places I know which is a bonus!!
    Lots more too
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 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 10th Apr 18, 9:47 PM
    • 3,894 Posts
    • 25,973 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    There are a lot of good Scottish crime authors at the moment; Val Mcdermid, Denise Mina, Stuart Macbride, James Oswald etc. I love Rebus too .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = 58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = 530/Emergency Fund 2 = 0/Loss of Income Fund 0
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