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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 5,711Posts
    • 40,285Thanks
    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.
    EMERGENCY FUND = £17
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
Page 247
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Nov 18, 4:20 PM
    • 5,711 Posts
    • 40,285 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I'm always scared to tumble things that say you shouldn't on the label as I can't afford to replace things that get ruined. I'm going to try and never use the tumbler again as we're getting used to crispy towels . I feel like I'm in a competition with NPow3r. They want me to give them more money, I'm determined not to .

    DH spoke to his sister today and it's possible she may be able to put a bit of work our way as her boss seems interested in what our business does. Fingers crossed.
    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.
    EMERGENCY FUND = £17
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 10th Nov 18, 4:32 PM
    • 5,213 Posts
    • 29,699 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    I'm always scared to tumble things that say you shouldn't on the label as I can't afford to replace things that get ruined. I'm going to try and never use the tumbler again as we're getting used to crispy towels . I feel like I'm in a competition with NPow3r. They want me to give them more money, I'm determined not to .

    DH spoke to his sister today and it's possible she may be able to put a bit of work our way as her boss seems interested in what our business does. Fingers crossed.
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    Are NPower still being a pain even after you've submitted your own accurate readings?.

    With towels I dry them on the line whenever possible and then just give them a few minutes in the tumbler. It softens them up nicely without costing much as they're already 90% dry when they go in. I hate washing and drying towels. We had some lovely ones but we've used them for so long they are too thin now to dry us especially after a shower. When I cleared out Mum's home after she passed away I brought all her towels home as no one else in the immediate family wanted them. A lot were totally unused but SIL can't tolerate anything that isn't colour-co-ordinated and she's brought up her married children to have the same views. Nice if they can afford it I suppose. My gain though.


    The problem is a lot of Mum's brand new, top of the range towels are white. I don't see why SIL etc didn't want them, white co-ordinates with everything as far as I'm concerned. They're gorgeous but a nightmare to keep white and fluffy. When I wash them I have to use the hot wash, otherwise I economise with cooler temperatures.


    Fingers crossed for the new work coming your way soon.
    Original Debt: £56804 (@02/13). Now: £8097. Sub £9000 at long last.
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 10th Nov 18, 5:03 PM
    • 3,518 Posts
    • 19,482 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Sorry you couldn't do your usual Saturday schedule today.

    Well done on your steps. You do so well with your walking

    I hope you get the extra work.
    Emergency fund 1060/1000
    NSD November 5/30
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Nov 18, 5:43 PM
    • 58,008 Posts
    • 238,729 Thanks
    beanielou
    Positive positive vibes for the extra work.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 12 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 10th Nov 18, 8:40 PM
    • 5,711 Posts
    • 40,285 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Are NPower still being a pain even after you've submitted your own accurate readings?.

    With towels I dry them on the line whenever possible and then just give them a few minutes in the tumbler. It softens them up nicely without costing much as they're already 90% dry when they go in. I hate washing and drying towels. We had some lovely ones but we've used them for so long they are too thin now to dry us especially after a shower. When I cleared out Mum's home after she passed away I brought all her towels home as no one else in the immediate family wanted them. A lot were totally unused but SIL can't tolerate anything that isn't colour-co-ordinated and she's brought up her married children to have the same views. Nice if they can afford it I suppose. My gain though.


    The problem is a lot of Mum's brand new, top of the range towels are white. I don't see why SIL etc didn't want them, white co-ordinates with everything as far as I'm concerned. They're gorgeous but a nightmare to keep white and fluffy. When I wash them I have to use the hot wash, otherwise I economise with cooler temperatures.


    Fingers crossed for the new work coming your way soon.
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy

    Thanks Beanie . I haven't rung NPow3r yet. I'm going to ring them on Monday with yet another meter reading.

    I think white towels are nice and they do go with everything.
    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.
    EMERGENCY FUND = £17
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 10th Nov 18, 8:45 PM
    • 5,711 Posts
    • 40,285 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Sorry you couldn't do your usual Saturday schedule today.

    Well done on your steps. You do so well with your walking

    I hope you get the extra work.
    Originally posted by doingitanyway
    Positive positive vibes for the extra work.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thanks both .
    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.
    EMERGENCY FUND = £17
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 10th Nov 18, 9:47 PM
    • 2,248 Posts
    • 13,905 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Shame you didn't get to do your usual saunter today, but your seaside ramble sounded interesting - bar the rain! Glad you got some good snaps.

    I have only white towels and bedding. They always look so fresh - mind you there's only me using them!. I have a washer/dryer as I have no room for a separate tumbler and I must admit it doesn't dry as well as a stand alone model. I only use it for towels and they always come out a bit damp still. I have to use a clothes horse for my laundry as I haven't anywhere to dry outside but it tends to be a warm flat so things dry quickly.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 07/11/2018 - £1771.05
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 30
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • Onebrokelady
    • By Onebrokelady 10th Nov 18, 11:59 PM
    • 827 Posts
    • 4,301 Thanks
    Onebrokelady
    I have a tumble dryer that I try not to use,but this week I had no choice,I hang as much as I can on the radiators and quite a lot of our clothes can't be tumble dried so they go on the clothes horse,I've keep reading about a heated clothes horse from Lakeland that are apparently cheap to run, if my dryer packs up I might buy one of those instead
    I think when DD eventually moves out I won't need a tumble dryer at all which will be good,one of my friends has got rid of hers and when it's raining she hangs things like duvet covers over her living room door overnight,she says it's usually dry by the morning
    Just keep swimming
    Original Debt Owed Jan 18 = £17,630 Paid To Date = £1,440 Total Now Owed = £16,190
    Emergency Fund = £300 Xmas savings = £400
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 11th Nov 18, 7:38 AM
    • 1,322 Posts
    • 7,114 Thanks
    Nicnak
    I have a dryer, but do use my clothes horse and radiators a fair bit as well. I am becoming more conscious of using the dryer now. I had no idea it costs so much.

    Fingers crossed for the work coming in Hairy. x
    September 6th 2017 - Updated 21st Oct
    Credit Card £0 now: £0 Tesco Loan £7500 = £0 Consolidation £15,000 = £10,812 Total = £25,330 £10,812 59% gone EMF #252 = £1300/£1000
    Sealed pot challenge #589
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #71
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Nov 18, 8:45 AM
    • 5,711 Posts
    • 40,285 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Shame you didn't get to do your usual saunter today, but your seaside ramble sounded interesting - bar the rain! Glad you got some good snaps.

    I have only white towels and bedding. They always look so fresh - mind you there's only me using them!. I have a washer/dryer as I have no room for a separate tumbler and I must admit it doesn't dry as well as a stand alone model. I only use it for towels and they always come out a bit damp still. I have to use a clothes horse for my laundry as I haven't anywhere to dry outside but it tends to be a warm flat so things dry quickly.
    Originally posted by Seasidegal58
    I have a tumble dryer that I try not to use,but this week I had no choice,I hang as much as I can on the radiators and quite a lot of our clothes can't be tumble dried so they go on the clothes horse,I've keep reading about a heated clothes horse from Lakeland that are apparently cheap to run, if my dryer packs up I might buy one of those instead
    I think when DD eventually moves out I won't need a tumble dryer at all which will be good,one of my friends has got rid of hers and when it's raining she hangs things like duvet covers over her living room door overnight,she says it's usually dry by the morning
    Originally posted by Onebrokelady
    I have a dryer, but do use my clothes horse and radiators a fair bit as well. I am becoming more conscious of using the dryer now. I had no idea it costs so much.

    Fingers crossed for the work coming in Hairy. x
    Originally posted by Nicnak
    We haven't got our heating on and I'm not using the tumbler at all, so you can imagine how difficult it is to dry four adults' clothes, towels and bedding on ONE clothes horse. Let's just say that I'm massively behind with the washing .

    But the clothes horse I'm saving up for will hold several machine loads and has flat areas for drying woollies, so that will make all the difference.

    I could hang things over doors to dry, but I'd have to dust the top of them first .
    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.
    EMERGENCY FUND = £17
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Nov 18, 8:50 AM
    • 5,711 Posts
    • 40,285 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I developed a sore throat in the night, have a bit of a runny nose and feel colder than usual, so I think I've caught the cold that was going around the school .

    We're going to the Christmas Fair at the NT place that stepdad volunteers for this morning. We can't afford to buy anything so we'll just look around. We're going to give moral support to stepdad who is on car park duty all day. After that we'll be at home for the rest of the day and will do some work on my business.

    It's not raining yet, but it fooled me that way yesterday .

    Have a nice Sunday everyone .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 11-11-2018 at 1:40 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.
    EMERGENCY FUND = £17
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 11th Nov 18, 9:02 AM
    • 1,322 Posts
    • 7,114 Thanks
    Nicnak
    That's an area I never dust! ha ha.

    I hope you enjoy the Christmas fair. Even if you are just looking around. I love fairs. Even if I don't buy anything, I just like to see the Christmas makes and it always gives me inspiration!
    September 6th 2017 - Updated 21st Oct
    Credit Card £0 now: £0 Tesco Loan £7500 = £0 Consolidation £15,000 = £10,812 Total = £25,330 £10,812 59% gone EMF #252 = £1300/£1000
    Sealed pot challenge #589
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #71
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 11th Nov 18, 9:04 AM
    • 1,322 Posts
    • 7,114 Thanks
    Nicnak
    Hope you're feeling better soon too. x
    September 6th 2017 - Updated 21st Oct
    Credit Card £0 now: £0 Tesco Loan £7500 = £0 Consolidation £15,000 = £10,812 Total = £25,330 £10,812 59% gone EMF #252 = £1300/£1000
    Sealed pot challenge #589
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #71
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 11th Nov 18, 9:42 AM
    • 9,142 Posts
    • 55,054 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    Hope the cold doesn’t develop too badly for you Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in 2018 38/60
    Best win so far - holiday to Florida
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 11th Nov 18, 10:08 AM
    • 5,213 Posts
    • 29,699 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    I developed a sore throat in the night, have a bit of a runny nose and feel colder than usual, so I think I've caught the cold that was going around the school .

    We're going to the Christmas Fair at the NT place that stepdad works for this morning. We can't afford to buy anything so we'll just look around. We're going to give moral support to stepdad who is on car park duty all day. After that we'll be at home for the rest of the day and will do some work on my business.

    It's not raining yet, but it fooled me that way yesterday .

    Have a nice Sunday everyone .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    I hope you'll be feeling better soon and the cold doesn't develop. Here's a nice hot drink


    I expect I'll show some symptoms soon too. I went to pick up OH's repeat prescription on Friday at the pharmacy at our GP surgery. The joint waiting room was packed with people coughing and sneezing so I sat near the door where no on else fancied sitting. Then a woman came in and sat down beside me and was coughing and sneezing more than anyone else. I tried to turn away from her by squirming in the chair but she insisted on talking to me, spluttering in my face all the while as I had to turn in her direction to be polite. She was laughing that she'd sat near the door so as not to give her germs to anyone else. Obviously that didn't include me. Goodness knows what I might have picked up


    I'm feeling OK so far but have no idea how long colds take to develop.


    I hope you have a lovely day and the weather is kind. It's drizzling here, not really a day to venture far. Nice of you to support Stepdad.
    Original Debt: £56804 (@02/13). Now: £8097. Sub £9000 at long last.
    • Verbatim
    • By Verbatim 11th Nov 18, 10:12 AM
    • 4,628 Posts
    • 13,980 Thanks
    Verbatim
    Another vote for large items of washing over doors here. I now have a "Sheila Maid", a slatted airer with a pulley to raise and lower it. I hang everything with arms on hangers to maximise space but with 4 slats I can always get at least a full load on. I now have a tiny utility room with a high ceiling so it's in there.
    CCs @0% £24k Dec 05 £19,621.41 Au £13400 S 12600 Oct £11,981 £9481 £7500 Nov £7250 D £7100 Jan 6950 F £5800 Mar£5400 May £4830 June £4660 July £4460 Aug £3200, S £900, £0 18/9/07 DFW Nerd 042
    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 11th Nov 18, 11:25 AM
    • 5,336 Posts
    • 31,614 Thanks
    in need of direction
    I tend to drape towels and bedding over the upstairs banisters. I'd be afraid to use the tops of my doors
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 £119,481.83 today £72,374.15, target £65,000 by 31/12/18 Offset fund today £377.27 target £5,500 by 31/12/18
    Emergency fund £1,100/5.5k & £200/200 cash.
    Weight 8 July 14st 4lb
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 11th Nov 18, 11:39 AM
    • 5,213 Posts
    • 29,699 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    I now have a "Sheila Maid", a slatted airer with a pulley to raise and lower it.
    Originally posted by Verbatim
    That sounds like the type of thing we had at home when I was a young child. It was in the kitchen which was immediately below my bedroom and I remember being terrified when I heard my Mum raising it because the pulley squeaked and the rack creaked right below me. I thought there was some sort of monster or other scary thing under my bed. She soon reassured me but if I ever heard it as I was on the verge of sleep and woke up a bit confused I was in a real state. It's the only thing I can ever recall really scaring me. Strange how the mind plays tricks isn't it?
    Original Debt: £56804 (@02/13). Now: £8097. Sub £9000 at long last.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Nov 18, 2:27 PM
    • 5,711 Posts
    • 40,285 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hope you're feeling better soon too. x
    Originally posted by Nicnak
    Hope the cold doesn’t develop too badly for you Xx
    Originally posted by please-let-me-be-lucky
    I hope you'll be feeling better soon and the cold doesn't develop. Here's a nice hot drink


    I expect I'll show some symptoms soon too. I went to pick up OH's repeat prescription on Friday at the pharmacy at our GP surgery. The joint waiting room was packed with people coughing and sneezing so I sat near the door where no on else fancied sitting. Then a woman came in and sat down beside me and was coughing and sneezing more than anyone else. I tried to turn away from her by squirming in the chair but she insisted on talking to me, spluttering in my face all the while as I had to turn in her direction to be polite. She was laughing that she'd sat near the door so as not to give her germs to anyone else. Obviously that didn't include me. Goodness knows what I might have picked up


    I'm feeling OK so far but have no idea how long colds take to develop.


    I hope you have a lovely day and the weather is kind. It's drizzling here, not really a day to venture far. Nice of you to support Stepdad.
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    Thanks all . I'm dosing myself with hot tea and paracetamol atm.
    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.
    EMERGENCY FUND = £17
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 11th Nov 18, 2:29 PM
    • 5,711 Posts
    • 40,285 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Another vote for large items of washing over doors here. I now have a "Sheila Maid", a slatted airer with a pulley to raise and lower it. I hang everything with arms on hangers to maximise space but with 4 slats I can always get at least a full load on. I now have a tiny utility room with a high ceiling so it's in there.
    Originally posted by Verbatim
    I tend to drape towels and bedding over the upstairs banisters. I'd be afraid to use the tops of my doors
    Originally posted by in need of direction
    That sounds like the type of thing we had at home when I was a young child. It was in the kitchen which was immediately below my bedroom and I remember being terrified when I heard my Mum raising it because the pulley squeaked and the rack creaked right below me. I thought there was some sort of monster or other scary thing under my bed. She soon reassured me but if I ever heard it as I was on the verge of sleep and woke up a bit confused I was in a real state. It's the only thing I can ever recall really scaring me. Strange how the mind plays tricks isn't it?
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    The sheila maiden sound useful.
    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.
    EMERGENCY FUND = £17
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
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