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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 4,608Posts
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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 140
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 16th Apr 18, 1:21 PM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I had to find my copy of it last night, hadn't read it for ages. I think the butler did it.

    Actually it amused me as I had spent half of the evening reading and watching blogs about style and clothes (rosa bernica recommended this one over on DIAs diary) and there is Poirot musing about how very few women look attractive in shorts from behind
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    Ogden Nash:

    What's the Use?

    Sure, deck your limbs in pants;
    Yours are the limbs, my sweeting.
    You look divine as you advance --
    Have you seen yourself retreating?
    Originally posted by elizabethhull
    Admittedly Christie can be a bit dated but I love the insights into people's minds and what causes then to commit murder. Miss Marple is my favourite with her views about human nature (very accurate imo).
    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
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 16th Apr 18, 4:39 PM
    • 1,890 Posts
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    redofromstart
    Admittedly Christie can be a bit dated but I love the insights into people's minds and what causes then to commit murder. Miss Marple is my favourite with her views about human nature (very accurate imo).
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    It's a huge part of the charm for me. I also love the Angela Thirkell Barsetshire books for similar reasons. As contemporary social commentary of war time events they are fascinating.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 17th Apr 18, 6:58 PM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I've never read Angela, I should try her. Have you ever read Patricia Wentworth? Murder mysteries written around the same time as Agatha Christie. They are another fascinating insight into that time.
    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 17th Apr 18, 7:09 PM
    • 4,608 Posts
    • 32,550 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Today and yesterday have been fairly uneventful, just in the office working.

    I've had a few PA surveys and cashed out just over 11today . I've also had two YG surveys in two days to my amazement although one was only for 25 points.

    It was lovely yesterday, but dull and rainy all day today. It's amazing what a difference rain makes to your mood . It's supposed to get warmer tomorrow but it's hard to believe.

    I paid our first council tax payment of the year yesterday, it's gone up of course . Our biggest monthly bills atm are mortgage, then gas and electric, then council tax and then water. Food is high of course but I have a bit more control over that. The money soon slips away as the bills become due .

    We've invited some friends to dinner on Saturday, the ones who've been signing all our passport forms etc, so operation Clean Up The Pigsty has commenced. I cleaned the toilet, toilet floor and skirtings yesterday and today I cleaned out the fridge. So that's the two biggest jobs done .

    Hope everyone is having a good Tuesday .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 17-04-2018 at 7:15 PM.
    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
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 17th Apr 18, 8:39 PM
    • 1,890 Posts
    • 11,622 Thanks
    redofromstart
    I've never read Angela, I should try her. Have you ever read Patricia Wentworth? Murder mysteries written around the same time as Agatha Christie. They are another fascinating insight into that time.
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Yes thanks - I have them all in hard copy and re-read every few years, but a couple of years ago they started republishing a lot of the hard to find ones so I got them all on Kindle (free or under 2) and am slowly buying the hard copies for my mum for birthdays and Christmases (who will eventually re-home them back to me when she next declutters ). If you have a search on Amazon and re-order by publication date you will see what I mean - lots that I had never seen or heard of. I was such a happy bunny when that happened.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 17th Apr 18, 8:41 PM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Ooh I should have a look on Amazon. I envy you the hard copies. The money I could spend on books .
    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
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 17th Apr 18, 8:47 PM
    • 6,011 Posts
    • 40,313 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Well done on the cash out and the cleaning mission
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 376.59
    Debt 2240
    Weight loss 2/6LBS
    Emergency Fund 4000/10,000
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 17th Apr 18, 9:00 PM
    • 1,890 Posts
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    redofromstart
    The money I could spend on books .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Me too, in my 'drop out years' I worked in a second hand book shop. Its fair to say I lived on air and books after I paid the rent for my room. Its also when I bought the beginnings of my golden age stuff, and then have added charity shop buys to the collection over the years, and my mum donates duplicates, etc. Authors like Angela Thirkell I found from watching what other people bought and of course I could test them out for free.
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 17th Apr 18, 9:01 PM
    • 2,063 Posts
    • 12,621 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    My books have arrived , have started The Coffin Trail tonight. I have walked the coffin trail a couple of times so can identify some places .

    Operation clean up sounds good, nothing like a bit of spring cleaning !
    CC1 111/3840
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 18th Apr 18, 7:51 AM
    • 4,874 Posts
    • 27,719 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    redofromstart, thanks so much for posting about Angela Thirkell. I've often seen copies of her books at car boot sales and charity stalls but walked by without a second glance. I'll definitely buy at least one next time I see any at a bargain price. I love discovering a new author


    As for Patricia Wentworth, I'm sorry to say I'm not a fan. I read several of her books many years ago and I found them pleasant enough time-fillers but that's about it. Just goes to show how different we booklovers are


    I'm green with envy that you once worked in a second hand bookshop. That's my idea of paradise, even if it had been in a difficult financial situation like yours. I could happily live on air if I had unlimited books to read
    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9129. Under 10K at long last.
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 18th Apr 18, 2:51 PM
    • 236 Posts
    • 1,454 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    redofromstart,
    I'm green with envy that you once worked in a second hand bookshop. That's my idea of paradise, even if it had been in a difficult financial situation like yours.

    I could happily live on cake if I had unlimited books to read
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    Perhaps that was not exactly what you said !!

    The opportunity to lose oneself in another world is priceless, whether Agatha Christie, Dickens, Stephen King or the latest post-apocalyptic doom-laden story.

    Thanks to Tramadol I had a very productive day yesterday, so today without it have at least brought in all the washing I'd done. Doesn't line-dried washing smell just fabulous ?

    There's that bit in Elizabeth Taylor's 'Angel', where the main character's mother, given unwanted riches and servants, bewails the loss of bringing in fresh washing, and knowing just the moment when a cake is ready by the slight sound it makes. All the things she had learned and perfected are now unneeded skills.
    • jwil
    • By jwil 18th Apr 18, 3:00 PM
    • 8,826 Posts
    • 27,609 Thanks
    jwil
    We've got a load of Angela Thirkells in the loft. I've never read them. Maybe I will try one day!
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 18th Apr 18, 4:08 PM
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    redofromstart
    jwil they are gentle countryside books where nothing much nasty happens. Soothing. Set in Anthony Trollopes Barsetshire.
    elizabethhull you are right, it just wasn't very well paid as it was before minimum wage and arguably was a waste of an expensive education, rather than I was in a mess.
    It covered food and rent, but not savings or holidays and after a few years the novelty value of being paid to read all day does wear off.
    carbootcrazy Wentworth is definitely at the lighter end of the golden age stuff, and (like any author) she wrote some enjoyable books, and some clearly done to pay the bills

    I tend to try the free sample on kindle of new to me authors, can generally get a feel of whether they are for me or not on that basis. HHOD You can do that on a tablet or the computer as well, doesn't have to be a kindle.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 18th Apr 18, 7:05 PM
    • 4,608 Posts
    • 32,550 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Well done on the cash out and the cleaning mission
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    Thanks SA

    My books have arrived , have started The Coffin Trail tonight. I have walked the coffin trail a couple of times so can identify some places .

    Operation clean up sounds good, nothing like a bit of spring cleaning !
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    The books do make the Lakes sound beautiful.
    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 18th Apr 18, 7:12 PM
    • 4,608 Posts
    • 32,550 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    redofromstart, thanks so much for posting about Angela Thirkell. I've often seen copies of her books at car boot sales and charity stalls but walked by without a second glance. I'll definitely buy at least one next time I see any at a bargain price. I love discovering a new author


    As for Patricia Wentworth, I'm sorry to say I'm not a fan. I read several of her books many years ago and I found them pleasant enough time-fillers but that's about it. Just goes to show how different we booklovers are


    I'm green with envy that you once worked in a second hand bookshop. That's my idea of paradise, even if it had been in a difficult financial situation like yours. I could happily live on air if I had unlimited books to read
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    I'd love to work in a second hand bookshop too, but there's hardly any left now (apart from Hay On Wye, my idea of paradise ).

    Patricia Wentworth (like Christie) is never going to be highbrow literature but they's so cosy and escapist that I love them .


    Perhaps that was not exactly what you said !!

    The opportunity to lose oneself in another world is priceless, whether Agatha Christie, Dickens, Stephen King or the latest post-apocalyptic doom-laden story.

    Thanks to Tramadol I had a very productive day yesterday, so today without it have at least brought in all the washing I'd done. Doesn't line-dried washing smell just fabulous ?

    There's that bit in Elizabeth Taylor's 'Angel', where the main character's mother, given unwanted riches and servants, bewails the loss of bringing in fresh washing, and knowing just the moment when a cake is ready by the slight sound it makes. All the things she had learned and perfected are now unneeded skills.
    Originally posted by elizabethhull

    I agree about losing yourself in another world, sometimes I want gritty noir and other times cosy and predictable, but it's always good to escape to another world sometimes .

    It would be tough if you weren't allowed to use your skills or do the things you enjoy, sometimes the simpler pleasures are the most rewarding.
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 18-04-2018 at 7:24 PM.
    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 18th Apr 18, 7:17 PM
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    • 27,719 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Perhaps that was not exactly what you said !!
    Originally posted by elizabethhull
    No, definitely NOT what I said. As someone who hasn't a sweet tooth I very rarely eat cake, usually only to be encouraging if someone like a young godchild offers me a slice of something they've made and are mightily proud of, for instance. I certainly couldn't live on it
    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9129. Under 10K at long last.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 18th Apr 18, 7:20 PM
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    • 32,550 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    It's been beautiful weather today, sunny and warm but not hot .

    Today was my big weekly shop at Mr T which was only about 3 over budget .

    I spent another 12 on food for our dinner party (that sounds much posher than it's going to be) but that's from a separate budget. I bought two chocolate gateauxs, an apple strudel and a tub of ice cream for desserts. I also bought some pine nuts to add to brown rice and DH is going to do a chicken curry with a lentil version for me. I'll buy some olives and nibbles another day for starters.

    I looked at wine but it was very expensive so I couldn't bring myself to buy any . Where can I buy cheap wine that doesn't taste like tractor oil?

    I got another YG survey today which is three this week, unbelievable! I'm nearly at 3000 points but it's a year since I last got a payout .

    Hope everyone has had a good day today .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 18-04-2018 at 7:25 PM. Reason: Spelling
    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 18th Apr 18, 7:27 PM
    • 4,874 Posts
    • 27,719 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Patricia Wentworth (like Christie) is never going to be highbrow literature but they's so cosy and escapist that I love them .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    I tend not to read too much highbrow literature these days. I just like an escapist read but couldn't get enthusiastic about the Wentworths.


    I love Agatha Christie books and think I've read most of them. I've got a paperback somewhere about how she plotted her stories. Note to self: have a good look for it and read it
    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9129. Under 10K at long last.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 18th Apr 18, 8:15 PM
    • 56,278 Posts
    • 227,711 Thanks
    beanielou
    A wine box?
    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
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 18th Apr 18, 8:29 PM
    • 6,011 Posts
    • 40,313 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Look for the wine deals when the good ones are 5 a bottle - if you drink red I can recommend the Isla Negra from Mr T, usually selling at 2 for 9. If you drink white most Chilean Sauvignon Blanc is fab.

    Anyway back to books, another weakness of mine, I enjoy ones that are recommended by the Richard and Judy book club as it makes me read books I might not have chosen otherwise. I've never been tempted by Kindle books, despite having the app on my iPad. You can't beat the smell and feel of a real book
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 376.59
    Debt 2240
    Weight loss 2/6LBS
    Emergency Fund 4000/10,000
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