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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 4,588Posts
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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 137
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Apr 18, 9:51 PM
    • 56,239 Posts
    • 227,384 Thanks
    beanielou
    Val McDermind is a great writer & great too at author talks.
    She is a fellow Fifer too

    ETA: A great advocate for public libraries too
    Last edited by beanielou; 10-04-2018 at 9:54 PM.
    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. MFW 2018. No 144
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Apr 18, 9:59 PM
    • 4,588 Posts
    • 32,397 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I've seen her give interviews on tv, she seems very down to earth. Libraries are great, as are charity shops .
    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 11th Apr 18, 1:35 AM
    • 4,865 Posts
    • 27,663 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    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 .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks very much for giving us your list. Hairy. Please don't apologise for it!


    There are a couple of authors on there that I've never read anything by yet but I'll try to seek them out at the library or charity shop. Thank you


    My all-time favourite is Patricia Highsmith. Do you know her books? I also like biographies, not of current celebrities, but people who really mattered in the world. Unfortunately, a lot of biographies are really hard going, more like academic books with hundreds of references and footnotes. I need them to be a pleasurable read as well as informative. I read one recently on Madame Tussaud. What an extraordinary life she led, especially the time in Paris during the French Revolution where she had to make death masks of the guillotined notables. It read more like a novel and kept me hooked throughout. On the other hand, the one I set aside halfway through because it was so heavy-going and I wasn't in the mood for it at the time was one on my favourite psychological thriller writer, Patricia Highsmith.


    I once picked up a Jeffrey Archer out of curiosity at a car boot sale. Only 20p, what did I have to lose? I know people tend to love him or hate him but that man is a cracking storyteller and I couldn't put it down. It wasn't crime though. I've gone on to read lots more by him and haven't been disappointed once
    Last edited by carbootcrazy; 11-04-2018 at 1:46 AM.
    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9129. Under 10K at long last.
    • jwil
    • By jwil 11th Apr 18, 2:03 PM
    • 8,809 Posts
    • 27,548 Thanks
    jwil
    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 .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    There are a few authors on there I haven't read, so thanks for the recommendations!
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • jwil
    • By jwil 11th Apr 18, 2:06 PM
    • 8,809 Posts
    • 27,548 Thanks
    jwil
    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
    Originally posted by beanielou
    I've not read Quintin Jardine, will look out for them! I like Ian Rankin.

    I love the Scottish locations. I've downloaded some of the Shetland books to my kindle, but haven't read them yet. I love the TV series!

    CBC - I agree about Jeffrey Archer. I got given one and really enjoyed it. I've read a few since.

    I've read a lot of Russian history since studying it at college. There's a lot of very readable books out there, and many about the last Tsar and his family are fascinating. I like Russian literature as well.
    Last edited by jwil; 11-04-2018 at 2:11 PM.
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • jwil
    • By jwil 11th Apr 18, 2:11 PM
    • 8,809 Posts
    • 27,548 Thanks
    jwil
    Sorry HHD I could witter on about books forever! Maybe I should confine it to my diary instead of hijacking yours
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 11th Apr 18, 5:33 PM
    • 4,865 Posts
    • 27,663 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Sorry HHD I could witter on about books forever! Maybe I should confine it to my diary instead of hijacking yours
    Originally posted by jwil
    I'm guilty of that too, jwil. I haven't a diary of my own yet but maybe the chance to discuss books and writers with fellow booklovers is the incentive I need to start one


    I'll pop over to see you on yours jwil. I don't visit many diaries and think it's high time I started that too.
    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9129. Under 10K at long last.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 11th Apr 18, 6:11 PM
    • 56,239 Posts
    • 227,384 Thanks
    beanielou
    Just noticed that you will soon be in the 9's carbootcrazy
    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. MFW 2018. No 144
    • jwil
    • By jwil 11th Apr 18, 7:32 PM
    • 8,809 Posts
    • 27,548 Thanks
    jwil
    I'm guilty of that too, jwil. I haven't a diary of my own yet but maybe the chance to discuss books and writers with fellow booklovers is the incentive I need to start one


    I'll pop over to see you on yours jwil. I don't visit many diaries and think it's high time I started that too.
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    Aww thank you I'd read your diary

    Just noticed that you will soon be in the 9's carbootcrazy
    Originally posted by beanielou
    I've noticed that too, I don't know how you cope with that 5, it would be driving me crazy
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Apr 18, 7:33 PM
    • 4,588 Posts
    • 32,397 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    @Jwil and @carboot Hijack away I'm always happy to talk about books . My list of favourite crime authors is longer than that list, but I didn't want to go on forever . It's great to introduce new authors to people . I forgot to mention The Lake District series by Martin Edwards (seriously good!).

    @jwill Russian history must be fascinating. I did Catherine the Great briefly in uni and she was a very interesting character.

    @beanie I haven't tried Quentin Jardine but probably should.

    I'm not sure I can read Jeffrey Archer because I hate the author so much .
    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 Apr 18, 7:34 PM
    • 4,588 Posts
    • 32,397 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I'm guilty of that too, jwil. I haven't a diary of my own yet but maybe the chance to discuss books and writers with fellow booklovers is the incentive I need to start one


    I'll pop over to see you on yours jwil. I don't visit many diaries and think it's high time I started that too.
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    Start a diary Carboot, I'll subscribe .
    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 11th Apr 18, 7:40 PM
    • 56,239 Posts
    • 227,384 Thanks
    beanielou
    Yes you should start a diary carboot
    That 5 quid would drive me mad too jwil.
    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. MFW 2018. No 144
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 11th Apr 18, 8:08 PM
    • 2,055 Posts
    • 12,535 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    The Lake District series off to find the books, very apt for me.

    Thanks HHOD .
    CC1 111/3840
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Apr 18, 8:14 PM
    • 4,588 Posts
    • 32,397 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    The Lake District series off to find the books, very apt for me.

    Thanks HHOD .
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Pleased to be of service . You'll probably know all the locations where the action takes place.
    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
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 11th Apr 18, 8:15 PM
    • 2,055 Posts
    • 12,535 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Have ordered two on Amazon 5.70 , can't wait to read them. Yes the locations should be familiar.
    CC1 111/3840
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Apr 18, 8:17 PM
    • 4,588 Posts
    • 32,397 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I hope you like them Cumbria
    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
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 11th Apr 18, 8:21 PM
    • 2,055 Posts
    • 12,535 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Will keep you updated when they come and I have read one.
    CC1 111/3840
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 11th Apr 18, 8:29 PM
    • 2,036 Posts
    • 12,667 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Patricia Cornwall and Dona Leon are two of my favourite non-UK crime authors. The first's books set in the US and Leon's set in Venice. If you like historical crime fiction set in Ancient Rome the Steven Saylor's are very well written and researched. Also the wonderful C J Sansom who writes the Shardlake novels set in the Tudor era.

    Good work on the VAT bill Hairy!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- 10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 16/07/2018: 776.27
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 34!
    My diary: Paid off the 31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Apr 18, 8:31 PM
    • 4,588 Posts
    • 32,397 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Today has been warm, sunny and spring like all day .

    I did my big food shop in Mr T and stuck to my budget for once, it was 74 and some pence. That included two cereal bowls for 2 each. They are white ceramic and dishwasher and microwave proof. All of our bowls are chipped or made of plastic, so we thought we'd buy two a week until we have a set of six and then start buying dinner plates .

    We got a reasonable amount of work done too .

    Have a great evening 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
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Apr 18, 8:34 PM
    • 4,588 Posts
    • 32,397 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks SSG .

    I do like Donna Leon and Patricia Cornwell SSG . Have you read Kathy Reichs? Her books are similar to Cornwell. Andrea Camilleri is an Italian author who writes the books the Inspector Montalbano tv series was based on, if you like Donna Leon you may like those too.

    I haven't heard of Stephen Saylor so will look out for those.
    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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