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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 4,871Posts
    • 34,540Thanks
    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 152
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 15th May 18, 3:24 PM
    • 8,719 Posts
    • 46,049 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    I got all hopeful for a minute then, but no, I'm definitely set for as often as possible!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 1229.00/1035.63 (09/07/18)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 15th May 18, 5:40 PM
    • 56,853 Posts
    • 231,521 Thanks
    beanielou
    Hoping you got some money in today.
    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 15th May 18, 7:21 PM
    • 4,871 Posts
    • 34,540 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    G
    I could not cope with the stress of that.
    Have you cancelled the DD's so you are not charged?
    Originally posted by beanielou
    We cancelled the direct debits years ago to avoid fees. We pay by BACS on the day they're due (when we can ).

    Hope someone pays you HHOD

    the only positive is that at least someone owes you some money I guess.
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    You're right, it's much worse when no one owes us anything .

    I hope people who owe you money pay up very soon, HH. I know what a nightmare that situation can be as my Dad ran his own business and had to pay his employees on time even when he was kept waiting unfair lengths of time to be paid by people/companies they'd done work for. Getting paid by some of the 'big' companies was the worst. He always said that individual people that they did work for always paid promptly whereas the bigger the company that owed him money the longer he had to wait for it. These were usually the biggest, higher paying jobs so a lot of his money was tied up for months sometimes. This was his recurring moan throughout my childhood


    I always envy you, HH, for the amount of Prolific and YouGov surveys you get. I don't think I'm in a very interesting demographic group, being a pensioner, retired, with no children and living in a rural area. I was amazed this morning when, being awake ridiculously early, I logged in to my Prolific account and saw a survey that I was eligible for. It was quite long but really interesting and enjoyable. The best bit was that it paid 5 and I received the notification that it had been accepted and pay was credited in about 10 minutes after submitting it. I can't believe that the researcher was up and about at that unearthly hour, or that he had time to evaluate the submission.
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    Good news about your PA survey .
    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 15th May 18, 7:23 PM
    • 4,871 Posts
    • 34,540 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Happy Tuesday
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thanks Beanie
    Likewise !

    I had a lovely Sunday with younger daughter & grandson, eating brunch & then fooling around in the centre of Didcot where they have a 'press your hand here' train mural with sound effects, perfect for 3yr olds and Grannies !! Then in the pm we visited Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary (where daughter got her cat from), to look at the cats and have afternoon tea for a donation. We saw 4 x 8-wk old kittens, and if there is anything cuter in the world I wouldn't believe it ! Awww!
    Originally posted by elizabethhull
    That sounds really nice Elizabeth. I love visiting animals with children .

    Hope the money comes through today HH. Well done on all the surveys!
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    Thanks Cherry
    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 15th May 18, 7:24 PM
    • 4,871 Posts
    • 34,540 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hope you get paid soon.

    CBC - With YouGov - have you checked your settings? They ask you how frequently you want surveys. You might have said something less frequent. Mine are set for as often as possible. You might find that doing some of the activities and free surveys on the site gives you more.

    Although it's a slow payer, I like You Gov as it never screens you out, the surveys are never ridiculously long, and you often see the results in the press.
    Originally posted by jwil
    Thanks Jwil. I'll log into YG and check.

    I got all hopeful for a minute then, but no, I'm definitely set for as often as possible!
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean


    Hoping you got some money in today.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thanks Beanie .
    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 15th May 18, 7:54 PM
    • 6,132 Posts
    • 41,430 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Hope the money is sorted soon. Mr SA used to be self-employed so I know how annoying it can be waiting for people to pay.

    You've reminded me I need to do our home insurance PDQ.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 404.08
    Debt 2180
    Weight loss 0/6LBS
    Emergency Fund 4000/10,000
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th May 18, 8:19 PM
    • 4,871 Posts
    • 34,540 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hope the money is sorted soon. Mr SA used to be self-employed so I know how annoying it can be waiting for people to pay.

    You've reminded me I need to do our home insurance PDQ.
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    Thanks SA. Unfortunately nobody paid us today but we managed to pay the house/contents insurance. It was the smallest bill and we figured that as our house is our only asset then it's important to pay that bill.

    The council tax and NPower will have to be late . NPower don't freak out if we pay a day or two late, but the council turn nasty very quickly .

    We have just enough money for the food shop tomorrow, 40 plus 40 food money from DS1 (he gives us 40 a fortnight towards for his food).

    We finished a small job and invoiced for it today, so we have three invoices outstanding now. Fingers crossed for tomorrow .

    I did my park walk today, it was beautifully sunny, the grass was yellow with field buttercups, the trees were loaded with blossom and wild flowers were springing up everywhere, it was gorgeous .

    I also managed to dry two loads of washing in the garden .

    I forgot to say that DS3 got offered his first choice of accommodation . We had to pay a 300 deposit to accept the offer and had to borrow the money from my parents . I know I'm lucky they can afford to lend us money but I do hate having to ask them .

    DS2 has said he wants to go to Spain for three months on 1 July to a language school . He was originally going to go in September but said that the beginners courses start in July. I'm delighted he's branching out and experiencing life but we will miss him.
    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 15th May 18, 8:23 PM
    • 56,853 Posts
    • 231,521 Thanks
    beanielou
    Good news for DS2 & 3.
    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
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 16th May 18, 7:45 AM
    • 4,958 Posts
    • 28,195 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Hope you get paid soon.

    CBC - With YouGov - have you checked your settings? They ask you how frequently you want surveys. You might have said something less frequent. Mine are set for as often as possible. You might find that doing some of the activities and free surveys on the site gives you more.

    Although it's a slow payer, I like You Gov as it never screens you out, the surveys are never ridiculously long, and you often see the results in the press.
    Originally posted by jwil
    Thanks. Have just checked my account and it's still showing that I want surveys as often as possible. I know I opted for this many years ago but there can be occasional blips in these systems so I checked to see if anything had changed with my frequency. No, everything was as I'd selected.


    Will definitely try some of the other things that are available on the site though as you suggest. I like YG for the reasons you gave but will be definitely unsubscribing after the next payout. I've been with them for about 15 years and have had a few payouts in that time but this last one has taken so very much longer to achieve than any in the past and I'm not even there yet. I just think that the older I get the less interesting I am to them
    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9111. Under 10K at long last.
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 16th May 18, 8:31 AM
    • 4,958 Posts
    • 28,195 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Then in the pm we visited Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary (where daughter got her cat from), to look at the cats and have afternoon tea for a donation. We saw 4 x 8-wk old kittens, and if there is anything cuter in the world I wouldn't believe it ! Awww!
    Originally posted by elizabethhull
    Agree about the cuteness of kittens especially when they are playing together


    I did volunteer work for years at a local animal rescue and my job was to socialize the feral cats and kittens in the hope that they would get used to people and being handled and be more attractive as pets. I had to harden my heart on every visit as I could have happily adopted and taken home every kitten that came in to the centre. I could easily turn into one of those mad old 'cat ladies' with a house chock full of cats.


    I haven't been able to go there since my own lovely cat died in October, I just don't have it in me to be around cats at the moment, even after a few month. I hope this will pass as I used to love the work I did there, although my own cat wasn't too happy when I came home afterwards because he obviously could smell other cats on me and my clothes (although I couldn't). The first thing I did when I got home was have a shower and change and then he was back to his normal loving self with me
    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9111. Under 10K at long last.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 16th May 18, 7:39 PM
    • 4,871 Posts
    • 34,540 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I'm not very interesting to YG either, but having said that I did get a survey from them today, a 75 points one too . Two PA surveys came in two minutes before I had to go out so I couldn't do them . But I've just done one on my tablet .

    Playing with kittens must be the perfect volunteer job
    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 16th May 18, 8:38 PM
    • 4,871 Posts
    • 34,540 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    We didn't get any money in today but I had just enough to buy the week's food. I spent 77 which I was pleased about .

    It's not easy keeping the cost so low for five people , but we don't buy cakes, chocolate, biscuits, crisps, sweets, juice, squash or fizzy drinks. It's good for our health and waist lines not to buy that stuff. But we don't buy healthy but expensive things either like olive oil or avacados, it's vegetable oil and value spinach instead. Me giving up cokes is helping to keep costs down. Also buying Tesco toothpaste and mouthwash for 50p each is helping, they're dental association accredited too .

    I do do a top up shop on Saturdays of fruit and cheese, plus we always need more milk by Monday.

    We finished another small job and sent out another invoice today so that's four outstanding now!

    I feel a bit rough today, my head feels too heavy for my neck, my legs feel like lead, and I feel really tired . So I may ring in sick for my volunteering tomorrow. I'll see how I feel in the morning after an early night.

    It's been a bit drizzly today but it's good for the garden I suppose .
    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 16th May 18, 9:26 PM
    • 56,853 Posts
    • 231,521 Thanks
    beanielou
    Hope you feel better soon.
    Thanks for the info on the mouthwash.
    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 16th May 18, 9:38 PM
    • 4,871 Posts
    • 34,540 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hope you feel better soon.
    Thanks for the info on the mouthwash.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thanks Beanie. The dental stuff is great value, it's amazing how much money you can save if you put your mind to it .
    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 16th May 18, 9:46 PM
    • 56,853 Posts
    • 231,521 Thanks
    beanielou
    Thanks Beanie. The dental stuff is great value, it's amazing how much money you can save if you put your mind to it .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    It is.
    I have been using corsodol on the dentists recommendation but it is so expensive
    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
    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 16th May 18, 10:12 PM
    • 5,261 Posts
    • 30,934 Thanks
    in need of direction
    i don't know how you stay so calm. i went se last year and still panic about pipeline and cash flow and that's with dh having regular paid employment. if it were both of us, i'd find it crippling
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 119,481.83 today 74,121.52, target 65,000 by 31/12/18 Offset fund today 307.27 target 5,500 by 31/12/18
    Emergency fund 860/5.5k & 200/200 cash.
    Weight 8 July 14st 4lb
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 16th May 18, 10:28 PM
    • 4,871 Posts
    • 34,540 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    i don't know how you stay so calm. i went se last year and still panic about pipeline and cash flow and that's with dh having regular paid employment. if it were both of us, i'd find it crippling
    Originally posted by in need of direction
    I think I'm used to it INOD because we've both been self employed for 25 years. But I am stressed at the moment. My hair is falling out and my teeth feel constantly clenched . Maybe it's the stress that's making me feel unwell today .
    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 16th May 18, 10:34 PM
    • 56,853 Posts
    • 231,521 Thanks
    beanielou
    I think I'm used to it INOD because we've both been self employed for 25 years. But I am stressed at the moment. My hair is falling out and my teeth feel constantly clenched . Maybe it's the stress that's making me feel unwell today .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Sadly it could be
    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
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 17th May 18, 9:02 AM
    • 4,958 Posts
    • 28,195 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    No wonder you feel out of sorts, HH. The stress level caused by cashflow when you've a family to feed and care for must be immense, especially as things are not in your own power to remedy. I hope some of the tardy payers will do the decent thing and send some money your way today
    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9111. Under 10K at long last.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 17th May 18, 9:15 AM
    • 56,853 Posts
    • 231,521 Thanks
    beanielou
    Positive money vibes your way.
    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
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