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  • FIRST POST
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 3,893Posts
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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.
    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 138
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 11th Apr 18, 8:45 PM
    • 1,861 Posts
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    Seasidegal58
    Yes I like Kathy Reichs too. And I must get round to Andrea Camilleri as I love the Inspector Montalbano TV series.

    Good idea on building up the crockery!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 22/04/2018: £575.01
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • jwil
    • By jwil 12th Apr 18, 4:27 PM
    • 8,404 Posts
    • 25,539 Thanks
    jwil
    I like Patricia Cornwell and Kathy Reichs too. I love Bones the TV series even though it's nothing like the books!

    Well done on sticking to budget and great idea for replacing the crockery.
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 12th Apr 18, 6:41 PM
    • 646 Posts
    • 7,180 Thanks
    117pauline
    Another bookworm here in the corner!

    One of the good things about fibro fog is that you can't always remember if I have or have not read a book. I guess I read at least a book a day, both from the library and via their e-books.

    I loved both the Young Montalbano and his older self but I haven't read any of the books but will look out for them. It's made me want to go to Sicily.

    About two years ago, my mum was introduced to the pleasures of 99p books on Amazon. So she has often asked me to find a particular book. She has still got her inquisitive nature and loves learning new things or refreshing her memory. She definitely has the broadest knowledge of anyone I have ever met.

    It has been cold, rainy and foggy for the last four days. I haven't wanted to go out of the house at all. I really must push myself a bit harder to get out. My excuse for staying in over last weekend was to watch the MotoGP bike races.

    Glad to hear that all is well in HHD-land.

    Take care honey
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 12th Apr 18, 8:07 PM
    • 3,893 Posts
    • 25,953 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Nice to hear from you Pauline .

    DH and I took two guinea pig cages to the tip this morning . I'm delighted to get them out of our bedroom and now have more floor space .

    Today I had a YG survey, shock horror. I'm not even halfway to my £50 yet though, I reckon it'll take another year at least . PA have abandoned me too .

    We got a reasonable amount of work done which is good .

    We had a wedding invitation from my nephew yesterday. Unfortunately the wedding is in a very remote rural location over 400 miles away, so we won't be able to go . The nearest hotels seem to be boutique-style and mega expensive.The DC have only been invited to the evening again, which I find upsetting .

    Thank goodness it's Friday tomorrow . I'm taking a couple of hours off and going to my friend's house for coffee which will be a nice break and it's only in the next street. It will be nice to have a catch up .

    My friend's house is always beautifully decorated, clean, tidy and uncluttered, so I always come home and think what a pig sty I live in . More incentive to de-clutter anyway!
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 12-04-2018 at 8:48 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
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 12th Apr 18, 9:56 PM
    • 1,861 Posts
    • 11,304 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Hi Hairy - shame the wedding is so far away. As you said it's hurtful that the boys only have an evening invite. They don't drive do they so they would have to travel with you and then hang around till the evening.

    Enjoy your time with your friend tomorrow. You have decluttered today though - you got rid of the guinea pig cages!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 22/04/2018: £575.01
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 12th Apr 18, 10:09 PM
    • 3,893 Posts
    • 25,953 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hi Hairy - shame the wedding is so far away. As you said it's hurtful that the boys only have an evening invite. They don't drive do they so they would have to travel with you and then hang around till the evening.

    Enjoy your time with your friend tomorrow. You have decluttered today though - you got rid of the guinea pig cages!
    Originally posted by Seasidegal58
    It is hurtful . As you say the DC don't drive so would have to hang around until the evening. At my niece's wedding in November DH had to leave in the middle of the speeches and drive back to the hotel to collect the DC, who had been twiddling their thumbs in the hotel all day . 400 miles is a long way to travel for an evening do. The couple are not short of money either as my nephew earns about 70k and his fiancee comes from a wealthy family. It just seems inconsiderate and hurtful . Maybe I'm being oversensitive but I've been feeling a bit upset every since the invitations arrived .

    Anyway I mustn't dwell on negative things. Onwards and upwards!
    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
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 12th Apr 18, 10:29 PM
    • 198 Posts
    • 1,046 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    My friend's house is always beautifully decorated, clean, tidy and uncluttered, so I always come home and think what a pig sty I live in . More incentive to de-clutter anyway!
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    I'm always encouraged by the fact that my friends do come & visit, and are not put off by the mess !

    Well done on the little de-clutter. I have such a ridiculous amount of clothing (if I stayed the same size or didn't hoard it would be better!!), so I've instituted a new system of 1 in, 2 out . So in effect, I have to like something new more than 2 things I already have.

    I so admire people without piles of clutter everywhere!!
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 12th Apr 18, 10:46 PM
    • 3,893 Posts
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    That sounds like an excellent system for de-cluttering clothes Elizabeth.

    Our problems include office clutter caused by working from home, grown up child clutter x 3, my books (definitely not clutter ) and not having a shed or garage so that garden tools, paint, etc are all crammed into the cupboards under the stairs. Plus the void is full of old computer equipment (which DH will sort through 'one day') and boxes of electrical cables and floppy discs .

    Time to sort it all out is the main problem .
    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
    • Verbatim
    • By Verbatim 13th Apr 18, 8:25 AM
    • 4,565 Posts
    • 13,546 Thanks
    Verbatim
    Thanks for all the book suggestions. I also love CJ Sansom and after investigations on google gather the next book will be out in October. I also love Sara Paretsky, set in Chicago and Lyndsey Davies who writes the Falco and daughter series set in ancient Rome. Very well researched. Also love Dorothy LSayers and Margery Allingham.
    Last edited by Verbatim; 13-04-2018 at 8:28 AM.
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    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 13th Apr 18, 10:36 AM
    • 6,159 Posts
    • 22,460 Thanks
    mummytogirls
    Enjoy your catch up today HHOD.

    I hope you will be remembering all these evening invitations when your 3 get married! You know me I like to be bitter about these things xx
    Mummytogirls x

    £23164.32 - 12/12/10
    £5419.83 - 08/04/18 - 76.61% paid off
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 13th Apr 18, 11:14 AM
    • 4,601 Posts
    • 26,055 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Just a quick drop in to ask for your advice, Hairy.

    After you recommended Michael Jecks' books I've been on my local library website and see they have 3 available to order in from libraries in other parts of the county, namely:

    City of Fiends
    Devil's Acolyte
    Sticklepath Strangler


    Would you recommend them, please? Apparently they are parts of the Knights' Templar series.


    To be honest, I'm not all that keen on mediaeval novels (Philippa Gregory, Jean Plaidy from being read decades ago etc). I might like Jecks as they are mediaeval crime and I like nothing better than a good crime novel


    It doesn't cost anything to order in and borrow books so I've nothing to lose really. Just wondered what you thought
    Make £10 A Day Challenge 2018: Jan-Mar: £475.38+. Apr: £269.95


    Original Debt: £56804 (@ LBM 02/13). Now: £10005
    . Getting there.
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 13th Apr 18, 1:04 PM
    • 1,861 Posts
    • 11,304 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    It is hurtful . As you say the DC don't drive so would have to hang around until the evening. At my niece's wedding in November DH had to leave in the middle of the speeches and drive back to the hotel to collect the DC, who had been twiddling their thumbs in the hotel all day . 400 miles is a long way to travel for an evening do. The couple are not short of money either as my nephew earns about 70k and his fiancee comes from a wealthy family. It just seems inconsiderate and hurtful . Maybe I'm being oversensitive but I've been feeling a bit upset every since the invitations arrived .

    Anyway I mustn't dwell on negative things. Onwards and upwards!
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor

    Yes - try not to get too downhearted about it. On the other side of the coin, having gone through it once before, the boys probably won't be that keen on going (are teenage boys/young adult men really that keen on attending big family events anyway? - if it's with their mates it seems to be looked on differently in a lot of cases!). You have a valid excuse re. cost of it all.

    Thanks for all the book suggestions. I also love CJ Sansom and after investigations on google gather the next book will be out in October. I also love Sara Paretsky, set in Chicago and Lyndsey Davies who writes the Falco and daughter series set in ancient Rome. Very well researched. Also love Dorothy LSayers and Margery Allingham.
    Originally posted by Verbatim
    Another Lyndsey Davies fan here Verbatim! I love Falco!

    Books for me have opened up such a vivid and educational world. Having decided (quite erroneously) that my formal education should end at fifteen, books were my saving grace (I always loved reading). I got into Jean Plaidy et al in my teens and although she writes in a romanticised way, her novels really drew me into an interest in history and therefore led me to read formal historical biographies (of which I have quite a library!). I often get annoyed watching contemporary historical documentaries on the TV as they can appear to be dumb-downed compared to a few years ago - and they keep repeating bits over and over again! However, if they get one person interested in history enough to research it further then its ok by me - the modern equivalent of the Jean Plaidy novel!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 22/04/2018: £575.01
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 13th Apr 18, 1:21 PM
    • 895 Posts
    • 5,009 Thanks
    Nicnak
    My new Jojo Moyes book has arrived. Still Me. Hoping to get reading it this weekend. I say hoping as I have another busy one!

    Hope you enjoy coffee with your friend. 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
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    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #71
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 13th Apr 18, 3:16 PM
    • 3,893 Posts
    • 25,953 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Just a quick drop in to ask for your advice, Hairy.

    After you recommended Michael Jecks' books I've been on my local library website and see they have 3 available to order in from libraries in other parts of the county, namely:

    City of Fiends
    Devil's Acolyte
    Sticklepath Strangler


    Would you recommend them, please? Apparently they are parts of the Knights' Templar series.


    To be honest, I'm not all that keen on mediaeval novels (Philippa Gregory, Jean Plaidy from being read decades ago etc). I might like Jecks as they are mediaeval crime and I like nothing better than a good crime novel


    It doesn't cost anything to order in and borrow books so I've nothing to lose really. Just wondered what you thought
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    I would borrow The Sticklepath Strangler' as it is number 12 chronologically in the series (it goes up to 32!). The Devil's Acolyte is number 13 in the series, but City of Fiends is number 31 in the series.

    The books are murder mysteries, but do contain quite a lot of historical detail. I would try reading one and see whether you like it.

    I've only read one in the series so far (I'm collecting them but saving them to read chronologically later). The book I read was about a stonemason who was working on building Exeter Cathedral and who was murdered (The Chapel of Bones). The book was about the investigation into his death and what happened to his family afterwards, plus some historical detail about the building of the cathedral (which I found fascinating), plus the people investigating his murder etc.

    I thought it was very good anyway so I recommend trying one to see if you like it.
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 13-04-2018 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 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 13th Apr 18, 3:32 PM
    • 3,893 Posts
    • 25,953 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks for all the book suggestions. I also love CJ Sansom and after investigations on google gather the next book will be out in October. I also love Sara Paretsky, set in Chicago and Lyndsey Davies who writes the Falco and daughter series set in ancient Rome. Very well researched. Also love Dorothy LSayers and Margery Allingham.
    Originally posted by Verbatim
    I like Sara Paretsky and Lyndsey Davies too as well as Dorothy and Margery

    Yes - try not to get too downhearted about it. On the other side of the coin, having gone through it once before, the boys probably won't be that keen on going (are teenage boys/young adult men really that keen on attending big family events anyway? - if it's with their mates it seems to be looked on differently in a lot of cases!). You have a valid excuse re. cost of it all.



    Another Lyndsey Davies fan here Verbatim! I love Falco!

    Books for me have opened up such a vivid and educational world. Having decided (quite erroneously) that my formal education should end at fifteen, books were my saving grace (I always loved reading). I got into Jean Plaidy et al in my teens and although she writes in a romanticised way, her novels really drew me into an interest in history and therefore led me to read formal historical biographies (of which I have quite a library!). I often get annoyed watching contemporary historical documentaries on the TV as they can appear to be dumb-downed compared to a few years ago - and they keep repeating bits over and over again! However, if they get one person interested in history enough to research it further then its ok by me - the modern equivalent of the Jean Plaidy novel!
    Originally posted by Seasidegal58
    The DC usually enjoy family parties strangely enough because there are quite a lot of cousins of a similar age and free food .

    Tv history can be irritating, although some are much better than others. Mary Beard, Alice Roberts and Michael Wood's documentaries are quite good.

    My new Jojo Moyes book has arrived. Still Me. Hoping to get reading it this weekend. I say hoping as I have another busy one!

    Hope you enjoy coffee with your friend. x
    Originally posted by Nicnak
    Thanks Nicnak. Nothing better than a new book to read .
    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 13th Apr 18, 3:38 PM
    • 3,893 Posts
    • 25,953 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Enjoy your catch up today HHOD.

    I hope you will be remembering all these evening invitations when your 3 get married! You know me I like to be bitter about these things xx
    Originally posted by mummytogirls
    What is it about weddings . DS1 has already said he knows who he's going to invite to his wedding (one day in the misty future ).
    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
    • sashybo
    • By sashybo 13th Apr 18, 4:09 PM
    • 2,737 Posts
    • 20,349 Thanks
    sashybo
    Hello Hairy,

    Popping out of lurkdom to recommend the Bernie Gunther series by Philip Kerr, detective/crime stories set in Germany before/during/after WWII. Really great books.

    Also the Matthew Bartholomew & Thomas Chaloner series' by Susanna Gregory. Matthew Bartholomew is set in 14th century Cambridge & Thomas Chaloner in Restoration London, both whodunnit type series & really easy to read.

    I'm another Falco fan, reading the new Albia books just now & enjoying them too. Have been enjoying the book chat.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    PAD started 27/01/09 - £10,247 extra paid off debt. Total Debt paid off £50,597
    Loan £2575.31, CC 0% BT £1245, Car loans £22,960.14

    Have a Debt Free Diary to try & keep spending in check.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 13th Apr 18, 4:41 PM
    • 3,893 Posts
    • 25,953 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks for de-lurking Sashybo .

    I haven't tried Phillip Kerr or Susanna Gregory yet so more for my list. I'll need another house just for my books at this rate .
    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 13th Apr 18, 7:17 PM
    • 3,893 Posts
    • 25,953 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I enjoyed meeting my friend for coffee. I came away feeling very motivated to de-clutter and clean our house. Mind you she doesn't work and her DH has retired early so they have more time than me, plus they only have one adult child at home instead of three (excuses excuses ).

    We got lots of work done and the sun came out by mid morning. I also got a £2 PA survey .

    I'm fed up with my lack of fitness though so I'm determined to restart my park walks on Monday, even if I only have the energy to stagger to the park gates and back .

    Hope everyone is having a great Friday . Whoopee it's Friday .
    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
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 13th Apr 18, 7:52 PM
    • 1,861 Posts
    • 11,304 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    I enjoyed meeting my friend for coffee. I came away feeling very motivated to de-clutter and clean our house. Mind you she doesn't work and her DH has retired early so they have more time than me, plus they only have one adult child at home instead of three (excuses excuses ).
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    I think your excuses are very valid Hairy! It's a lot easier to keep a house neat and tidy when you don't work (either at home or outside) and don't have three large sons at home! You'll get there slowly but surely.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 22/04/2018: £575.01
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
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