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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 12:22 PM
    • 8,923Posts
    • 69,688Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    • #1
    • 24th Sep 17, 12:22 PM
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally 24th Sep 17 at 12:22 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 8:49 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 1 = 4,005. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 1,505.
    Goal - buy 50 worth of Premium Bonds per month = 50
Page 432
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Apr 19, 10:19 AM
    • 8,923 Posts
    • 69,688 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Hi HH, sorry to hear how emotionally draining the weekend was but you have survived it and can hopefully move on.

    A decluttering frenzy is definitely a positive displacement activity, well done on efforts so far. I think spreading the books around different charity shops if thats possible is a good idea.

    Did you know you can take out of date meds back to any pharmacist for disposal? I usually do that as I don't want to put them in with the household rubbish.
    Originally posted by teapot2
    Thank you TF2 . I'm just so glad the weekend is over.

    I am pleased with myself after my de-cluttering efforts, although slightly embarrassed at how many books I acquired but I think buying the books was a displacement activity after my sister died, and at least they were all bought in charity shops and not new. I can see now that I have far too many so my new displacement activites are de-cluttering and my job at school .

    That's a good idea re the Laxido. I'll fish them out of the bin and we'll take them to the chemist next time we go.
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 15-04-2019 at 10:24 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 1 = 4,005. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 1,505.
    Goal - buy 50 worth of Premium Bonds per month = 50
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 15th Apr 19, 10:22 AM
    • 4,229 Posts
    • 25,596 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Great idea about saving for emergencies 50 a month is good sum that will build up soon enough.

    I agree re storage. Once decluttering has been done what's left needs storing well. If you have enough for CS they often come to collect?

    You sound very motivated today
    Target by end of Aug goal: 500/4000
    Car costs savings: 275
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Apr 19, 10:25 AM
    • 8,923 Posts
    • 69,688 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thank you DIA I do feel very motivated . I want to put the events of the weekend behind me and do things that will improve all of our lives.
    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 1 = 4,005. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 1,505.
    Goal - buy 50 worth of Premium Bonds per month = 50
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 15th Apr 19, 11:10 AM
    • 450 Posts
    • 3,805 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    Thank you DIA I do feel very motivated . I want to put the events of the weekend behind me and do things that will improve all of our lives.
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    That sounds like an excellent plan, and will indeed improve your lives. Good work on the continued de-cluttering - my, you're a whirling dervish at the moment ! Better not keep still for too long in your house or you'll be thrown out!
    My OH says he reckons if he kept still too long I would start a pile of stuff on his head !!!
    • jefferybright
    • By jefferybright 15th Apr 19, 11:14 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    jefferybright
    Are you still facing the issue?
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Apr 19, 11:26 AM
    • 8,923 Posts
    • 69,688 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    That sounds like an excellent plan, and will indeed improve your lives. Good work on the continued de-cluttering - my, you're a whirling dervish at the moment ! Better not keep still for too long in your house or you'll be thrown out!
    My OH says he reckons if he kept still too long I would start a pile of stuff on his head !!!
    Originally posted by elizabethhull
    Thank you Elizabeth . I do have moments in my life where I become obsessed with de-cluttering (every few years) and it does make a huge improvement to the house and our lives. I'm focusing on books at the moment, but after that who knows! I've only got this week to go full throttle so I may as well.
    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 1 = 4,005. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 1,505.
    Goal - buy 50 worth of Premium Bonds per month = 50
    • jwil
    • By jwil 15th Apr 19, 11:35 AM
    • 10,289 Posts
    • 35,748 Thanks
    jwil
    Sorry the weekend was hard. You are going great guns with the decluttering
    "If you can dream it, you can do it". Walt Disney
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Apr 19, 3:23 PM
    • 8,923 Posts
    • 69,688 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Jwil .
    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 1 = 4,005. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 1,505.
    Goal - buy 50 worth of Premium Bonds per month = 50
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Apr 19, 3:36 PM
    • 8,923 Posts
    • 69,688 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    We've managed to get rid of ALL of the books at one charity shop and we've bought a shed .

    We estimated it was about 216 books in total but we went to a very large warehouse style charity shop and they were willing to take the lot .

    Then we went to a large DIY shop to look at plastic sheds and ended up buying a wooden one . The plastic ones were quite ugly and a bit wide, whereas the wooden one looked lovely and was narrower but taller, which would fit the space better. As we'll be looking at the shed from the kitchen we preferred the wooden one as it looked nicer and DH said it would be easier to mend than the wooden one.

    The plastic shed would have been 90 and the wooden shed was 125, so it was only 35 more. It was too big to fit in our car but they're going to deliver it free on Wednesday so DH can assemble it at the weekend. DS1 wants to help so he learns how to assemble flatpacks. I've been wanting a shed for years and now I've got one .

    I will have a shed to paint now though .

    I'm really pleased because we've got rid of 216 books and bought a shed in one afternoon . I'm looking forward to emptying the cupboard under the stairs of all the decorating/gardening stuff and putting them in the new shed, and then rearranging what's left in a tidy and organised fashion .

    In the meantime I can look for more books, to de-clutter (I've filled another bag just since we got back ) and re-arrange what's left. Hopefully I'll disturb the mice, I've given one a fright already and it will be easier to track down holes once we have less clutter.
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 15-04-2019 at 5:16 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 1 = 4,005. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 1,505.
    Goal - buy 50 worth of Premium Bonds per month = 50
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Apr 19, 3:40 PM
    • 8,923 Posts
    • 69,688 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Considering that I've just got rid of 216 books the house still looks quite full of books, but I think once I'd filled the obvious places with books, I got quite good at stashing them in clever and inventive places .

    There are three large plastic boxes that are empty now and three drawers under our wardrobe had books in but are empty now. Also the books shelves are less crammed. I still have a lot of books though .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 15-04-2019 at 5:16 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 1 = 4,005. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 1,505.
    Goal - buy 50 worth of Premium Bonds per month = 50
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 15th Apr 19, 3:41 PM
    • 2,037 Posts
    • 11,972 Thanks
    Nicnak
    That's a huge amount of books!! Wow!!

    You must feel a lot of relief having got rid of that? I have been inspired by the amount of decluttering going on and have so far got rid of two bin bags of mine and little one's clothes and shoes. That is good. I think I will go to the tip this week too and get rid of lots and bits and pieces. x
    September 6th 2017 - Updated February 2019
    Credit Card 0 now: 0 Dad 1500 = 200 Consolidation 15,000 = 9,760 Total = 25,330 9,960 61% gone EMF #252 = 100/1000
    Sealed pot challenge #024
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #071
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Apr 19, 3:50 PM
    • 8,923 Posts
    • 69,688 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    That's a huge amount of books!! Wow!!

    You must feel a lot of relief having got rid of that? I have been inspired by the amount of decluttering going on and have so far got rid of two bin bags of mine and little one's clothes and shoes. That is good. I think I will go to the tip this week too and get rid of lots and bits and pieces. x
    Originally posted by Nicnak
    I know, it's a bit embarrassing having that number of books . Customers in the charity shop were looking slightly staggered at the number of trips to and fro that DH and I made to drop them all off . But I do feel lighter for having got rid of them .

    Well done for your de-cluttering Nicnak. I love going to the tip and getting rid of clutter and seeing what other people are dropping off .
    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 1 = 4,005. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 1,505.
    Goal - buy 50 worth of Premium Bonds per month = 50
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 15th Apr 19, 3:58 PM
    • 62,694 Posts
    • 272,544 Thanks
    beanielou
    Wow, you are on fire
    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. ***Be the difference.***
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 15th Apr 19, 4:07 PM
    • 450 Posts
    • 3,805 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    New shed - yay !!!
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Apr 19, 5:18 PM
    • 8,923 Posts
    • 69,688 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Wow, you are on fire
    Originally posted by beanielou
    New shed - yay !!!
    Originally posted by elizabethhull
    Thanks both of you .
    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 1 = 4,005. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 1,505.
    Goal - buy 50 worth of Premium Bonds per month = 50
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Apr 19, 5:25 PM
    • 8,923 Posts
    • 69,688 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I will confess to buying two books for 1 in the charity shop, but as I'd dropped off about 216 it seemed a fair trade. On the way home we bought two flowering plants (5 for both) for the kitchen windowsill as our others had died and it looked a bit bare.

    Since getting home I've sorted out another six carrer bags and two rucksacks of books to give to the charity shop, probably another 96 books, assuming there's about twelve books per bag. That will be over 300 hundred books that will have left the house . This will give me lots of room to re-organise and tidy the books I want to keep.

    I am completely exhausted now though so I think I'm going to have to rest for a good hour before I have the energy to cook. I haven't gone throught the books under my bed yet, but I'll do that another day!

    It's been a tiring few days, but today has been very productive and therapeutic .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 15-04-2019 at 5:28 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 1 = 4,005. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 1,505.
    Goal - buy 50 worth of Premium Bonds per month = 50
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 15th Apr 19, 6:21 PM
    • 2,037 Posts
    • 11,972 Thanks
    Nicnak
    I'm not surprised you are tired after all that work!!

    I would be too. I enjoy reorganising and sorting things out. There's something satisfying about it! x
    September 6th 2017 - Updated February 2019
    Credit Card 0 now: 0 Dad 1500 = 200 Consolidation 15,000 = 9,760 Total = 25,330 9,960 61% gone EMF #252 = 100/1000
    Sealed pot challenge #024
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #071
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 15th Apr 19, 6:22 PM
    • 644 Posts
    • 4,646 Thanks
    Chrystal
    Just keep on keeping on HH, you're doing so well and you'll get where you want to be eventually. ((hugs))
    I Believe.....
    That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
    Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Apr 19, 7:13 PM
    • 8,923 Posts
    • 69,688 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I'm not surprised you are tired after all that work!!

    I would be too. I enjoy reorganising and sorting things out. There's something satisfying about it! x
    Originally posted by Nicnak
    Thank you Nicnak .

    Just keep on keeping on HH, you're doing so well and you'll get where you want to be eventually. ((hugs))
    Originally posted by Chrystal
    Thank you Chrystal .
    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 1 = 4,005. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 1,505.
    Goal - buy 50 worth of Premium Bonds per month = 50
    • teafor2
    • By teafor2 15th Apr 19, 8:10 PM
    • 1,350 Posts
    • 9,978 Thanks
    teafor2
    Wow HHD, that's a staggering amount of books you've sorted through and donated, you definitely deserved a new shed after doing that xx
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