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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 4,128Posts
    • 28,091Thanks
    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 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
Page 149
    • jwil
    • By jwil 6th May 18, 4:12 PM
    • 8,510 Posts
    • 26,031 Thanks
    jwil
    Hope you are having a good weekend
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 6th May 18, 8:22 PM
    • 53,979 Posts
    • 213,896 Thanks
    beanielou
    Hope you have had a lovely day
    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 May 18, 3:20 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hope you've had a lovely weekend HH

    x
    Originally posted by WannabeFree
    Hope you are having a good weekend
    Originally posted by jwil
    Hope you have had a lovely day
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thanks all
    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 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th May 18, 3:32 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    We had a fabulous day yesterday. DH, DS1 and I met my parents at Coleton Fishacre which is an NT place. It was a really good day out. Hot sunshine and blue skies, a really interesting house (very jealous of the library), and beautiful gardens. The gardens had some lovely exotic plants, ponds and sea views from some parts.

    We really enjoyed it and want to go again. Entry and parking were free as we're members, we took food and cold drinks with us and just bought one coffee each. So quite a cheap day out. Then we went back to my parent's house and they treated us to takeaway curry for dinner. All in all a perfect day .

    Today DH and DS1 are chilling in front of the telly. I've pulled up loads of weeds in the garden and it looks much better. I took some before and after photos so I can see how much I've achieved. I had to stop because my back was tired, but there's plenty more to do another day. I also planted the Verbena I bought the other day in a pot. I've run out of pots now, so would like to pick up some more at some point. The flowers in the pots are looking really nice, the garden is definitely looking more colourful this year than in previous years.

    I've also done a bit of laundry as it's perfect drying weather.

    I hope everyone is having an amazing weekend .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 07-05-2018 at 3:37 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 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 7th May 18, 8:17 PM
    • 53,979 Posts
    • 213,896 Thanks
    beanielou
    Glad that you had such a lovely day yesterday.
    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.
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 7th May 18, 8:24 PM
    • 4,717 Posts
    • 26,761 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    It sounds to have been an enjoyable weekend all round, HH. Must be lovely to have a good choice of NT venues so near to you. There's practically none within a reasonable driving distance of us so we've never bothered to join.


    When are your 2 boys going to Iceland? Has the one with the girlfriend in New Orleans mentioned going back there again or have things cooled a bit? Sorry if you think I'm being nosy, please tell me to mind my own business if you do. Knowing you though, you're far too nice and polite to do such a thing
    Make 10 A Day Challenge 2018: Jan-Apr: 757.05+. May: 1209.25


    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9998
    . Under 10K at long last.
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 7th May 18, 8:44 PM
    • 5,729 Posts
    • 37,459 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    That's one of the things I miss now we don't have transport - being able to go to nice parks/country houses.

    Glad you've had a nice bank holiday weekend
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 250.33
    Debt 2500
    May NSDs AFDs
    Weight loss 7/10LBS
    Emergency Fund 2000/10,000
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th May 18, 9:36 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Glad that you had such a lovely day yesterday.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thanks Beanie

    It sounds to have been an enjoyable weekend all round, HH. Must be lovely to have a good choice of NT venues so near to you. There's practically none within a reasonable driving distance of us so we've never bothered to join.


    When are your 2 boys going to Iceland? Has the one with the girlfriend in New Orleans mentioned going back there again or have things cooled a bit? Sorry if you think I'm being nosy, please tell me to mind my own business if you do. Knowing you though, you're far too nice and polite to do such a thing
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    We are lucky that there are quite a lot of NT places in Devon and Cornwall that we can get to in a day.

    Of course I don't mind you asking Carboot . DS2 and DS3 are going to Iceland on 28th May . DS2 hasn't mentioned going back to New Orleans so I hope it will blow over eventually .

    That's one of the things I miss now we don't have transport - being able to go to nice parks/country houses.

    Glad you've had a nice bank holiday weekend
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    I know what you mean SA, we didn't have a car for three years and that was the one of the things I really missed. Places like that are very hard or impossible to get to by public transport. Are there any coach trips you could go on to places like that? I hope you had a nice weekend .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 07-05-2018 at 9:38 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 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 8th May 18, 10:59 AM
    • 212 Posts
    • 1,189 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    We had a fabulous day yesterday. DH, DS1 and I met my parents at Coleton Fishacre which is an NT place. It was a really good day out. Hot sunshine and blue skies, a really interesting house (very jealous of the library), and beautiful gardens. The gardens had some lovely exotic plants, ponds and sea views from some parts.

    We really enjoyed it and want to go again. Entry and parking were free as we're members, we took food and cold drinks with us and just bought one coffee each. So quite a cheap day out. Then we went back to my parent's house and they treated us to takeaway curry for dinner. All in all a perfect day .

    Today DH and DS1 are chilling in front of the telly. I've pulled up loads of weeds in the garden and it looks much better. I took some before and after photos so I can see how much I've achieved. I had to stop because my back was tired, but there's plenty more to do another day. I also planted the Verbena I bought the other day in a pot. I've run out of pots now, so would like to pick up some more at some point. The flowers in the pots are looking really nice, the garden is definitely looking more colourful this year than in previous years.

    I've also done a bit of laundry as it's perfect drying weather.

    I hope everyone is having an amazing weekend .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Amazing how energising and motivating good weather is. Instead of metaphorically pulling the bedclothes over our collective heads, we actually get out and DO stuff !
    And lots of good drying weather is wonderful for seeing the bottom of the laundry basket.

    It's lovely again here this morning - more washing out and coffee sitting in the garden. I'm awaiting Asda.com so afraid to go back out in case I don't hear them. I've ordered stuff for our holiday a week Friday with younger daughter & grandson at a holiday 'park' near Weymouth.
    So for a whole week I shall stop wittering on your diary, HHOD !!! Even if there is free Wi-fi, I find a tablet too small to do much. Perhaps I could unplug my pc and lug the whole thing in the car boot - after all, as with all self-catering holidays, we shall have the kitchen sink with us !!
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 8th May 18, 7:07 PM
    • 6,385 Posts
    • 13,113 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    I love Coleton Fishacre. Now I am retired I am setting myself a challenge to do all those NT properties in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset in the next couple of years that I have never done and revisit the ones I have not seen recently. I did Anthony House in SE Cornwall which is near us last Thursday and visited the woodland gardens which are beautiful.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 9th May 18, 7:00 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    @elizabethhull warm weather does seem to drag us all out of hibernation .

    @enthusiasticsaver I've been to Antony House once a few years ago to see an Alice in Wonderland sculpture trail which the DC loved, but haven't been recently so it's on my list . I want to see how many NT places we can visit just this year, only three so far so we need to step up. I fancy going to Compton Castle among other places.
    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 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 9th May 18, 7:08 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I felt exhausted yesterday but an early night sorted me out.

    I did my park walk this morning which was lovely and sunny . I measured my waist yesterday and gave myself a shock. According to my BMI I'm a healthy weight but according to my waist measurement I'm overweight . I need to lose two and a half inches off my waist for it to be a healthy size , so I feel extra motivated now to lose weight.

    Then it was my Mr T shop. It came in on budget at under 80, despite me needing moisturiser . It clouded over after my walk and is raining now but I thinkit will be better tomorrow.

    I had two PA and one YG survey today, so not too bad on that front.

    I hope everyone has had a good Tuesday .
    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 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • sashybo
    • By sashybo 9th May 18, 9:38 PM
    • 2,760 Posts
    • 20,481 Thanks
    sashybo
    It was really warm and sunny today so I put some washing in the garden to dry. The neighbours were playing loud music and one of them (the dad?) was dancing around the garden in a spiderman costume
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Just catching up & saw this. I needed cheering up & this actually made me snort with laughter. Dancing Spider-Man in amongst the usual chat.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    PAD started 27/01/09 - 10,362 extra paid off debt. Total Debt paid off 50,880
    Loan 2328.49, CC 0% BT 1200, Car loans 22,591.72

    Have a Debt Free Diary to try & keep spending in check.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 9th May 18, 9:43 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Just catching up & saw this. I needed cheering up & this actually made me snort with laughter. Dancing Spider-Man in amongst the usual chat.
    Originally posted by sashybo
    It was funny and made me do a double take
    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 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 10th May 18, 6:32 AM
    • 4,717 Posts
    • 26,761 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    It was funny and made me do a double take
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Our neighbour keeps bees and runs the local beekeeping society. The other day I looked out of the bedroom window and saw all these white-clad figures walking in procession through a small copse in his garden wearing what looked like nuclear power plant radiation suits or something from a major crime scene. Made me do a double-take too until I twigged what it was all about. It was a bit scary at first sight though. Apparently he hosts meetings of the society from time to time and teaches new members.
    Last edited by carbootcrazy; 10-05-2018 at 8:32 AM.
    Make 10 A Day Challenge 2018: Jan-Apr: 757.05+. May: 1209.25


    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9998
    . Under 10K at long last.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th May 18, 9:32 AM
    • 53,979 Posts
    • 213,896 Thanks
    beanielou
    Our neighbour keeps bees and runs the local beekeeping society. The other day I looked out of the bedroom window and saw all these white-clad figures walking in procession through a small copse in his garden wearing what looked like nuclear power plant radiation suits or something from a major crime scene. Made me do a double-take too until I twigged what it was all about. It was a bit scary at first sight though. Apparently he hosts meetings of the society from time to time and teaches new members.
    Originally posted by 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.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th May 18, 8:09 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Our neighbour keeps bees and runs the local beekeeping society. The other day I looked out of the bedroom window and saw all these white-clad figures walking in procession through a small copse in his garden wearing what looked like nuclear power plant radiation suits or something from a major crime scene. Made me do a double-take too until I twigged what it was all about. It was a bit scary at first sight though. Apparently he hosts meetings of the society from time to time and teaches new members.
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    That's amazing Carboot . It must have looked like a scene from Midsomer Murders was a corpse found in the copse the next 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 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th May 18, 8:19 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I did my volunteering this morning which I thoroughly enjoyed then came home and gave the house a good clean because a friend is coming for coffee tomorow morning. She only comes every other month but I always panic the day before because her house is spotless

    I'm tired now but the house looks great! So not much work done in the office today. I missed a 3 PA survey because I had to go out but got a YG survey.

    It's been a short week so only one more day and then it's another weekend .

    I didn't have time for my park walk this morning but I walked home from school and used lots of calories doing housework.

    I'm very relieved that interest rates didn't go up today as our mortgage is on a SVR .

    Hope everyone has had a good Thursday .
    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 = 560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = 0.21/Loss of Income Fund 0
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th May 18, 8:51 PM
    • 53,979 Posts
    • 213,896 Thanks
    beanielou
    Also pleased mortgage rates did not go up.
    My fix finishes in September.
    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.
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 10th May 18, 9:06 PM
    • 5,729 Posts
    • 37,459 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    I'm sure your friend comes to see you not your house - but I would be the same to be honest. Glad I fixed my mortgage for the whole term.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 250.33
    Debt 2500
    May NSDs AFDs
    Weight loss 7/10LBS
    Emergency Fund 2000/10,000
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