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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
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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 193
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 13th Sep 18, 9:37 PM
    • 2,180 Posts
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    Cumbria lass
    Have caught up with you HHOD , you seem to be keeping busy which is best at the minute. The meal you had with relatives sounded lovely. Like you I have been going to my parents for Sunday breakfast for the past 10 years or so, I will miss it when they are passed away. You have to make new memories to share with your DS as you did with your mum.

    Will try the boiling water tip on the weeds at my front door. Glad the late payers finally came through. I hope you get to Pilates next week.
    CC1 221 /3718
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 13th Sep 18, 9:44 PM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I'm glad your walk did you good, it sounds the perfect way to start the day.


    Great to hear DS1 may be in line for the help he may need to enable him to have a more successful life. Let's hope he isn't waiting years for a referral.


    There seem to be lots of people with colds and all sorts of lurgies at the moment. I was at the Doc's this morning for a blood test and the waiting room was full of people coughing and sneezing, most of them without covering their mouths. It's not healthy is it, going to the Doctor's?. I hope you manage to avoid DS1's lurgy especially as you were so ill with the flu so recently.


    Our local newspaper does a sort of statistics page every day. I've always been a bit of a stat geek but don't always understand statistical analysis in some of the highbrow papers. Not that I read them very often. I love these in our local paper though, they cover a different topic each day and the writing is really interesting. Today they were covering changes in family size amongst other things and I was surprised to read that, according to Money Supermarket, it costs more than 79,000 to raise a boy and more than 108,000 to raise a girl to 18. The price difference puzzled me, it seems such a big difference
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    Thank you Carboot. I'm sure it can't have cost that much to raise ours! DS1 should have to wait a few months for his assessment. A walk is a good start to the day, but I was in all day after that which I didn't like.

    Have caught up with you HHOD , you seem to be keeping busy which is best at the minute. The meal you had with relatives sounded lovely. Like you I have been going to my parents for Sunday breakfast for the past 10 years or so, I will miss it when they are passed away. You have to make new memories to share with your DS as you did with your mum.

    Will try the boiling water tip on the weeds at my front door. Glad the late payers finally came through. I hope you get to Pilates next week.
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Thank you Cumbria. You're right we do need to make new memories. It's hard because it's such early days. But keeping busy and going out as much as possible are a good distraction.
    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 13th Sep 18, 9:53 PM
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    Cumbria lass
    Yes very early days I agree , just something to work towards and somehow including your mums memory in it as well.

    I also hope DS1 gets a referral soon.
    CC1 221 /3718
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 14th Sep 18, 7:15 AM
    • 4,476 Posts
    • 26,001 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Today they were covering changes in family size amongst other things and I was surprised to read that, according to Money Supermarket, it costs more than 79,000 to raise a boy and more than 108,000 to raise a girl to 18. The price difference puzzled me, it seems such a big difference
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy

    I have to agree with this, I have a boy and girl, my son is now 21 and has barely cost me anything, he is not into fashion, he's quite happy with his xbox and laptop chatting to his mates etc. Does eat me out of house and home but thats a small price to pay.
    My daughter is 15 and costs me a fortune, its all the make up and clothes that push it higher than boys - honestly I spend my whole time in Superdrug and Boots buying more and more make up And then for fun she likes clothes shopping, I cant think of anything worse!!!
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 1 for August
    NSD - 9/15
    (up to 12/8/18)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 14th Sep 18, 7:47 AM
    • 4,951 Posts
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    carbootcrazy
    I have to agree with this, I have a boy and girl, my son is now 21 and has barely cost me anything, he is not into fashion, he's quite happy with his xbox and laptop chatting to his mates etc. Does eat me out of house and home but thats a small price to pay.
    My daughter is 15 and costs me a fortune, its all the make up and clothes that push it higher than boys - honestly I spend my whole time in Superdrug and Boots buying more and more make up And then for fun she likes clothes shopping, I cant think of anything worse!!!
    Originally posted by Eager_Elephant
    Thanks, I understand it bit more now. Poor you, your daughter is still only 15 so plenty of spending will be needed before she's 18


    I suppose I'm old fashioned and never having had any children of my own to bring up I'm harking back to my own experiences. Back in my teenage years I was still at school until 18 and certainly didn't wear make up except for special 'going out' occasions which were very few and far between. I lived so far from school in a rural location and after the massive amount of homework (when I eventually got home from school every day and had had my evening meal) and some sports activities at weekends I didn't have much time for a social life that needed nice clothes. A bit of lipstick and eye shadow was about the extent of my make-up routine and the same ones lasted for ages. I even remember using a brush to get the last bit of lipstick out of the case when it was too worn down to show above the rim:rotfl


    As for clothes, back in the late 50s and early 60s we didn't have many outfits but, not having the varied social life that modern girls enjoy, there was no need for a whole range of clothes.. My Mum used to make a lot of my clothes, either sewn or knitted but I never minded as all my friends wore home-made clothes too and my Mum was a very talented knitter and dressmaker. When I was about 16, like several friends, I started making my own clothes and developed a bit more style. I never spent much on fabric though and loved nothing more than visiting the weekly outdoor market and finding unusual fabric remnants. I bet my Mum spent barely anything on clothing me and we had pocket money anyway (not very much as I recall) which I used for my scanty make-up and sewing materials. I never felt deprived in any way though, all my friends were in the same boat. There weren't shops catering specifically for 'teenagers' in my day, we were just mini versions of our mothers pretty much even up to when I left home for University
    Last edited by carbootcrazy; 14-09-2018 at 7:51 AM.
    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9111. Under 10K at long last.
    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 14th Sep 18, 8:12 AM
    • 5,258 Posts
    • 30,889 Thanks
    in need of direction
    I had a boy and a girl. I'm not sure which cost more. However, my son was very sporty and participated in more than one activity. In his teenage years his feet were growing rapidly and I can remember despairing at the cost of his various types of footwear as each sport seemed to need its own shoes.
    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 14th Sep 18, 8:27 AM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I have to agree with this, I have a boy and girl, my son is now 21 and has barely cost me anything, he is not into fashion, he's quite happy with his xbox and laptop chatting to his mates etc. Does eat me out of house and home but thats a small price to pay.
    My daughter is 15 and costs me a fortune, its all the make up and clothes that push it higher than boys - honestly I spend my whole time in Superdrug and Boots buying more and more make up And then for fun she likes clothes shopping, I cant think of anything worse!!!
    Originally posted by Eager_Elephant
    I had a boy and a girl. I'm not sure which cost more. However, my son was very sporty and participated in more than one activity. In his teenage years his feet were growing rapidly and I can remember despairing at the cost of his various types of footwear as each sport seemed to need its own shoes.
    Originally posted by in need of direction
    I think it can vary from child to child. My nieces were into fashion and make up, but all worked hard at part time jobs around school and uni which paid for most of it I think, as their dad had plenty of money but didn't see why he should spend it on that type of thing.

    My boys were into very expensive Playstation and Xbox games (30 for a new game and nowadays 50 for a new game). They needed two sets of school PE kit when girls only needed one set. They were into martial arts which was expensive because of the uniform, belts, licenses etc. Their feet never stopped growing, and neither did their legs or appetites!
    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 14th Sep 18, 9:08 AM
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    • 34,374 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks, I understand it bit more now. Poor you, your daughter is still only 15 so plenty of spending will be needed before she's 18


    I suppose I'm old fashioned and never having had any children of my own to bring up I'm harking back to my own experiences. Back in my teenage years I was still at school until 18 and certainly didn't wear make up except for special 'going out' occasions which were very few and far between. I lived so far from school in a rural location and after the massive amount of homework (when I eventually got home from school every day and had had my evening meal) and some sports activities at weekends I didn't have much time for a social life that needed nice clothes. A bit of lipstick and eye shadow was about the extent of my make-up routine and the same ones lasted for ages. I even remember using a brush to get the last bit of lipstick out of the case when it was too worn down to show above the rim:rotfl


    As for clothes, back in the late 50s and early 60s we didn't have many outfits but, not having the varied social life that modern girls enjoy, there was no need for a whole range of clothes.. My Mum used to make a lot of my clothes, either sewn or knitted but I never minded as all my friends wore home-made clothes too and my Mum was a very talented knitter and dressmaker. When I was about 16, like several friends, I started making my own clothes and developed a bit more style. I never spent much on fabric though and loved nothing more than visiting the weekly outdoor market and finding unusual fabric remnants. I bet my Mum spent barely anything on clothing me and we had pocket money anyway (not very much as I recall) which I used for my scanty make-up and sewing materials. I never felt deprived in any way though, all my friends were in the same boat. There weren't shops catering specifically for 'teenagers' in my day, we were just mini versions of our mothers pretty much even up to when I left home for University
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    My mum used to make all her own dresses when she was young, as well as curtains, tablecloths etc. She was very good at sewing and it was cheaper. She used to make lovely summer dresses for me and my sisters too when we were children.

    I grew up in the 60s and 70s and I never wore make up until I was sixteen, and then only if I was going out for the evening. When I was eighteen I started wearing mascara every day as I have pale eyelashes, and added a bit of eyeshadow and lip gloss when I went out for a date. But that was the extent of my make up routine, and it still is apart from the addition of face powder to stop me looking shiny. I can't afford to spend much on makeup now or then. Plus I don't really understand makeup .

    As for fashion, my mum bought me clothes when I grew out of them or they started to look shabby, but I never felt fashionable. When I was sixteen and got a Saturday job I spent all my wages on clothes and accessories.

    I don't feel as though I can have cost my parents over a hundred thousand pounds .
    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 14th Sep 18, 9:12 AM
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    • 34,374 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Does anyone know where I can buy a cheap but good mini ironing board for ironing sleeves, fiddly bits etc? Mine just broke when I was ironing DH's shirt for his meeting and I'm going to be lost without 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
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 14th Sep 18, 9:30 AM
    • 2,180 Posts
    • 13,298 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    6.00 in Wilko if you have them in your part of the uk .
    CC1 221 /3718
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 14th Sep 18, 10:06 AM
    • 4,866 Posts
    • 34,374 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Cumbria I'll look there.
    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 14th Sep 18, 11:33 AM
    • 4,951 Posts
    • 28,153 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    I had a boy and a girl. I'm not sure which cost more. However, my son was very sporty and participated in more than one activity. In his teenage years his feet were growing rapidly and I can remember despairing at the cost of his various types of footwear as each sport seemed to need its own shoes.
    Originally posted by in need of direction

    I agree about the shoes. My brother was in his school rugby and cross country running teams and was forever needing new specialised shoes/boots. No trainers in those days. My school hockey boots lasted me all my school life. My Mum bought my first pair with plenty of 'growing room', as with all my uniform. I ended up being pretty short in height although I seemed quite tall for my age when I left primary school. The sleeves of my one and only blazer were just about the right length by the time I was ready to leave school


    My main sporting activities were swimming and tennis but I wasn't in any teams. My racquet was a hand-me-down from my Aunty, a heavy wooden one (anyone remember them?) and we played for free on the school hard courts after hours or weekends and holidays. Sometimes we played in the park on their hard courts which were free too but you had to get there very early in the morning before the adult players wanted them. My swimsuit seemed to fit me for most of my teenage years. It started off a dark maroon colour and the constant exposure to chlorine in the pool had made it fade to pink when it eventually gave up the ghost. I wasn't bought a new one just because it looked shabby, it was perfectly serviceable. It never occurred to me to ask for a new one. I think modern girls would have a whole set of fashionable swimwear. Different times, eh?
    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9111. Under 10K at long last.
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 14th Sep 18, 11:51 AM
    • 247 Posts
    • 1,556 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    My swimsuit seemed to fit me for most of my teenage years. It started off a dark maroon colour and the constant exposure to chlorine in the pool had made it fade to pink when it eventually gave up the ghost. I wasn't bought a new one just because it looked shabby, it was perfectly serviceable. It never occurred to me to ask for a new one. I think modern girls would have a whole set of fashionable swimwear. Different times, eh?
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    Swimsuits used to expand/grow as you wore them. My friend had one for her 3yr old, by the time the girl was 5 it was ridiculously long, so she passed it on to my 7yr old, and she then wore it for another year by which time it was nearly adult-sized, but practically see-through ! A very economical swimsuit !!
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 14th Sep 18, 4:30 PM
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    HairyHandofDartmoor
    This morning I went for a long walk by the sea which was very soothing. There's something about waves lapping the shore that is very peaceful.

    When I got back I did the following:

    -Put a wash on
    -Folded up some clean washing
    -Washed two more doors so they're ready for DH to paint
    -Made an optician appointment for DS3
    -Booked a table for a family meal next week to celebrate DS3 going to uni (paid for with vouchers)

    I feel like I've done more than that!

    Still to do is:

    -Dust bookcase in bathroom
    -Hang up wet washing
    -Put some towels on to wash
    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 14th Sep 18, 9:02 PM
    • 4,866 Posts
    • 34,374 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    My to do list is now complete.

    -Put a wash on DONE
    -Folded up some clean washing DONE
    -Washed two more doors so they're ready for DH to paint DONE
    -Made an optician appointment for DS3 DONE
    -Booked a table for a family meal next week to celebrate DS3 going to uni (paid for with vouchers) DONE
    -Dust bookcase in bathroom DONE
    -Hang up wet washing DONE
    -Put some towels on to wash DONE

    I'm trying to relax now because I'm tired, but it's difficult. I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning so I can start doing things again . We're watching Bodyguard at the moment which is good, but I struggle to concentrate on the telly at the moment.
    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 14th Sep 18, 9:44 PM
    • 6,113 Posts
    • 41,266 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    You probably haven't noticed this yourself HH but you are sounding so much more like your old self again. Keeping busy really does help I can vouch for that.

    All the talk of girls costing more - my DS was the fashion conscious one, I always said he should've been the girl as DD wasn't girly in the least, still isn't.

    Loving the story of 50s/60s from carbootcrazy - simpler days. My heyday was the late 70s/early 80s - I think looking back it was a good time to grow up compared to today.

    Anyway, well done on getting so much done
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 404.08
    Debt 2180
    Weight loss 0/6LBS
    Emergency Fund 4000/10,000
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 14th Sep 18, 10:35 PM
    • 4,866 Posts
    • 34,374 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks SA. It does help to keep busy and then I can pretend it hasn"t happened sometimes.
    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 Sep 18, 9:19 AM
    • 4,866 Posts
    • 34,374 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I'm going to be off for my Saturday ramble in a bit.

    The sun is shining so I've put the clothes horse in the garden. I'll need to get another one for the winter because we're giving DS3 the smaller one to take to uni. I'd like to get a really big clothes horse that can dry jumpers flat and I've seen one in Arg0s that I like. We just need to part with the money!

    I've lost another pound and a half, which is weird because I'm not even trying. It took me ages to get to sleep last night. My dad sent me a photo last night of him holding his new great grandson, and it made me feel sad that my mum never met her great grandson and I won't see a photo of her holding him. Then at bedtime I couldn't stop thinking about the last time I saw my mum at the hospital when she was so ill. Anyway best not to dwell.

    I need to get DS3 some more lapsang souchong today (that boy has expensive tastes, I drink Mr T value!) and DH wants some more squeezable honey for his porridge. I hope everyone has a good Saturday.
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 15-09-2018 at 9:23 AM. Reason: Typos
    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 15th Sep 18, 9:37 AM
    • 4,951 Posts
    • 28,153 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Enjoy your ramble, HH. I hope you find some bargains especially books

    I expect DS3 will downgrade his tea choices when he's at Uni and having to pay for his own. Amazing what a bit of belt-tightening does to our preferences
    Last edited by carbootcrazy; 15-09-2018 at 9:40 AM.
    Original Debt: 56804 (@02/13). Now: 9111. Under 10K at long last.
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 15th Sep 18, 9:51 AM
    • 6,306 Posts
    • 23,565 Thanks
    mummytogirls
    Enjoy your Saturday ramble HHOD.

    Re the close airer I noticed Mr Al's had some in for 12.99 (I think) yesterday but unsure of the size etc. Plus I'm not sure if you have Al's nearby but just incase.

    Lovely baby news, I'm sure Mum is looking down xx
    Mummytogirls x

    23164.32 - 12/12/10
    5419.83 - 08/04/18 - 76.61% paid off
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