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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 12:22 PM
    • 8,903Posts
    • 69,277Thanks
    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 = 0
Page 435
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 16th Apr 19, 7:59 PM
    • 7,022 Posts
    • 50,967 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Wow you've been productive with all that decluttering. I thought I had a lot of books, I've got about 50 so not a patch on yours. When I've read mine I pass them on to a work friend but then she passes hers on to me

    Well you've convinced me with the premium bonds and I'll certainly be looking into them

    We painted our wooden shed blue and white so it looks like a beach hut, needs another coat now though after 2 years but still looks cheery.

    Well done on getting through the interment - I went to a memorial service at the church my mum had her funeral in a year after the event, the church did them every year for 5 years - it was awful, opened up old wounds and needless to say I didn't go back the following year.

    Onwards and upwards xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2019 201.59
    Weight loss 7.5/9LBS
    Emergency Fund 3260/10,000
    • daisy 1571
    • By daisy 1571 16th Apr 19, 8:03 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 5,520 Thanks
    daisy 1571
    Morning HHD I think the premium bond idea is a good one. Saving with a chance of winning some money seems a good bet to me. I was given a 1 one when I was christened. No idea if it's still entered into the draw or not but I've kept it for posterity.

    Are you having a quiet day today or are you going under the bed to tackle some more books? xx
    Originally posted by teafor2
    Unless you have cashed it in teapot it will still be in the draw every month. If you have changed address since then and not told them they wont have been able to inform you of any wins. However if you write to them now they will update their records and tell you if you have any winnings outstanding as they hold onto unclaimed winnings for ever I'm going to keep my fingers xd you have won something do let us know

    I also have a 1 one from 196tyblah blah my grandparents bought it for me when I was born. 1 then was a lot of money but maybe not the 100 minimum spend it was for a while recently ???

    Daisy xx
    Last edited by daisy 1571; 16-04-2019 at 8:07 PM.
    "Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion" Take hold of every moment by anon

    The difference between what you were yesterday and what you will be tomorrow is what you do today
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 16th Apr 19, 8:16 PM
    • 8,903 Posts
    • 69,277 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Ooh exciting that your shed will be with you so soon. Have you finished the book sorting now and do you have another project to get your teeth into?



    Surely no persuasion needed if it's to help out Mum and Dad. xx
    Originally posted by teafor2
    It is exciting . I've finished de-cluttering the books but I still need to do a bit of organising of the ones that are left. After that I have a void full of clutter to go through .
    Mammoth catch up after my jollies!!

    Glad you got through the interment ok. Sorry it went wrong afterwards for your Sis et al .

    Well done on all the decluttering of books . I was going to suggest you did a bootsale with them, but understand your reasoning for wanting rid asap.

    Happy new shed .
    Originally posted by please-let-me-be-lucky
    Thank you Lucky . I'm very thankful the interment is over.
    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 = 0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 16th Apr 19, 8:19 PM
    • 8,903 Posts
    • 69,277 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Wow you've been productive with all that decluttering. I thought I had a lot of books, I've got about 50 so not a patch on yours. When I've read mine I pass them on to a work friend but then she passes hers on to me

    Well you've convinced me with the premium bonds and I'll certainly be looking into them

    We painted our wooden shed blue and white so it looks like a beach hut, needs another coat now though after 2 years but still looks cheery.

    Well done on getting through the interment - I went to a memorial service at the church my mum had her funeral in a year after the event, the church did them every year for 5 years - it was awful, opened up old wounds and needless to say I didn't go back the following year.

    Onwards and upwards xx
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    Thank you SA . I'm very thankful that the interment is over.

    I did have far too many books so it's high time I got rid of most of them.

    Your shed sounds lovely, I'm looking foward to having a shed of my own .
    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 = 0
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 17th Apr 19, 7:38 AM
    • 2,331 Posts
    • 14,893 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Amazing progress on the book sorting. I always donate mine, I try to see the payment to the charity shop as rent, and that by sending them back I am helping them to continue to generate income. Hate letting books go though.

    We will all be buying premium bonds at this rate!
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 17th Apr 19, 7:41 AM
    • 4,212 Posts
    • 25,440 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    So many books out of the house. Huge well done on the decluttering

    I'm another who struggles to let books go...
    17/4000
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 17th Apr 19, 8:33 AM
    • 8,903 Posts
    • 69,277 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Amazing progress on the book sorting. I always donate mine, I try to see the payment to the charity shop as rent, and that by sending them back I am helping them to continue to generate income. Hate letting books go though.

    We will all be buying premium bonds at this rate!
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    Thanks Redo . There will be a huge surge in premium bond buying at this rate . My main reason for buying them is that I don't trust myself not to fritter my savings . I dont' give any money to charity so book donations can be my charity donation .

    So many books out of the house. Huge well done on the decluttering

    I'm another who struggles to let books go...
    Originally posted by doingitanyway

    Thanks DIA .It is hard to let books go.
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 17-04-2019 at 8:45 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 = 0
    • BalanceBy50
    • By BalanceBy50 17th Apr 19, 8:34 AM
    • 134 Posts
    • 829 Thanks
    BalanceBy50
    Ooh Hairy you are such a trendsetter and a bit like the pied piper

    I currently have two claims in for PPI and I am now going to buy some premium bonds. All down to you! I will definitely be following you in other MSE ideas

    Also think I am going to follow SA and paint the shed blue and white - hoping DH will go for that idea as they are his football team colours too

    Hope you have another fruitful day - I am off on an Easter egg hunt with my boys

    Love BB50 XX
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 17th Apr 19, 8:36 AM
    • 8,903 Posts
    • 69,277 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I've been thinking about why it is that I'm so willing to let books go at the moment. I think it's because I've identified two types of books, those I want to own and those I want to read. The ones I want to read I can borrow from the library and this realisation made me happy to let go books by over fifty authors. Some books I do want to keep and I will have a lot more room to store and enjoy these now .
    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 = 0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 17th Apr 19, 8:38 AM
    • 8,903 Posts
    • 69,277 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Ooh Hairy you are such a trendsetter and a bit like the pied piper

    I currently have two claims in for PPI and I am now going to buy some premium bonds. All down to you! I will definitely be following you in other MSE ideas

    Also think I am going to follow SA and paint the shed blue and white - hoping DH will go for that idea as they are his football team colours too

    Hope you have another fruitful day - I am off on an Easter egg hunt with my boys

    Love BB50 XX
    Originally posted by BalanceBy50
    Thank you BB50 . Good luck with your PPI claims. I know Martin doesn't necessarily recommend preimium bonds as you don't earn interest, but any prize money can be reinvested and it's the inaccessiblilty that's the main attraction for me.

    Enjoy your Easter egg hunt .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 17-04-2019 at 8:46 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 = 0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 17th Apr 19, 8:44 AM
    • 8,903 Posts
    • 69,277 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Today is the nine month anniversary of me losing my mum. I was tempted to go into town and buy myself something to cheer myself up. But I've decided not to as it won't bring her back and I don't want to fritter all our money away. Instead I'm going to carry on with my de-cluttering efforts.

    I do need to go to the supermarket on the bus as DH was too busy to do the Mr T order yesterday! But I'm just going to get bread and toilet roll as those are the only things we're desperate for.

    I cashed out 10.25 (after fees) on PA this mornining, so that will help to pay for yesterday's frittering .

    I noticed that Earthgirl has a YouTube channel, so I've been watching a few of her videos to try and curb my urge for emotional spending.

    When I get paid on the 25th April I'm going to buy 50 worth of premium bonds. Then the rest of my wages can be saved towards car expenses, etc.

    I hope everyone has a good day 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.
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = 4,005. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 1,505.
    Goal - buy 50 worth of Premium Bonds per month = 0
    • shapala
    • By shapala 17th Apr 19, 10:16 AM
    • 424 Posts
    • 14,574 Thanks
    shapala
    Thanks for all the info re premium bonds.

    I think I'll get into that, and put 50 away each month. TSB recently have changed interest from 5% to 3% and other 'high' interest accounts are no more than 3%, so think wife and I will put some money aside and into premium bonds. Always thought it wasn't worth while but having read into it, sounds a good bet (not that I bet, don't even play the lottery). Thanks all for the info.
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 17th Apr 19, 11:18 AM
    • 2,037 Posts
    • 11,964 Thanks
    Nicnak
    I've been thinking about why it is that I'm so willing to let books go at the moment. I think it's because I've identified two types of books, those I want to own and those I want to read. The ones I want to read I can borrow from the library and this realisation made me happy to let go books by over fifty authors. Some books I do want to keep and I will have a lot more room to store and enjoy these now .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor
    I really like this. I have a lot of books that I want to read, but not actually a lot that I'd like to have to keep. I never thought of it this way, but thinking about going through my book case now. 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 17th Apr 19, 11:46 AM
    • 8,903 Posts
    • 69,277 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks for all the info re premium bonds.

    I think I'll get into that, and put 50 away each month. TSB recently have changed interest from 5% to 3% and other 'high' interest accounts are no more than 3%, so think wife and I will put some money aside and into premium bonds. Always thought it wasn't worth while but having read into it, sounds a good bet (not that I bet, don't even play the lottery). Thanks all for the info.
    Originally posted by shapala
    You're very welcome Shapala . Most of the useful information has come from my readers (like Daisy) but I do think the idea has a lot of merit. As you say interest rates are low and if you re-invest any prize money then it's like earning interest.
    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 = 0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 17th Apr 19, 11:47 AM
    • 8,903 Posts
    • 69,277 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I really like this. I have a lot of books that I want to read, but not actually a lot that I'd like to have to keep. I never thought of it this way, but thinking about going through my book case now. x
    Originally posted by Nicnak

    It does help to make you see more clearly which books are keepers doesn't 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.
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = 4,005. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = 1,505.
    Goal - buy 50 worth of Premium Bonds per month = 0
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 17th Apr 19, 7:49 PM
    • 7,022 Posts
    • 50,967 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Usually once I've read a book I pass it on, either to work friend or charity shop. I have a very few classics I keep and occasionally re-read - Wuthering Heights, Rebecca and Christmas Carol, they're my all time favourites (I watch the films quite often too). I love my books, have done so since I was about two years old.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2019 201.59
    Weight loss 7.5/9LBS
    Emergency Fund 3260/10,000
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 17th Apr 19, 10:19 PM
    • 8,903 Posts
    • 69,277 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I like Rebecca too . I've never read a Christmas Carol though. I enjoyed Bleak House .
    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 = 0
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 18th Apr 19, 6:02 AM
    • 2,037 Posts
    • 11,964 Thanks
    Nicnak
    I love A Christmas Carol. The messages in it are just amazing, and how he changed society at the time. Albeit with a bit of emotional blackmail about purgatory, but it worked!!
    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
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 18th Apr 19, 6:45 AM
    • 4,212 Posts
    • 25,440 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    HH, you have another premium bond convert. I had not thought about them before.
    I also don't do the lottery but 25 a month is 3 lottery tickets a week so I get the hope of a win, better odds and I still have the original money.

    I will do a monthly standing order.

    Thanks for the heads-up and have a good day
    17/4000
    • elizabethhull
    • By elizabethhull 18th Apr 19, 11:08 AM
    • 449 Posts
    • 3,795 Thanks
    elizabethhull
    Just another 3d worth about Premium Bonds: although you do indeed get back out what you put in in nominal terms, inflation needs to be considered as well. Whilst inflation is very low, what you get back is worth largely the same, but once inflation rises that will not be the case (unless you are lucky with wins). It's just another factor to be considered, that's all.
    My accountant OH has a slightly different view from me, but then he's into careful investing, and generally takes the long term. Good thing I married him - my approach has always been much more cavalier !!!
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