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  • FIRST POST
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 4,128Posts
    • 28,091Thanks
    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.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = £0.21/Loss of Income Fund £0
Page 51
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 30th Nov 17, 8:31 PM
    • 5,729 Posts
    • 37,459 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Blimey Hairy, what a lot of stress you've had these past few days Just before he got ill Mr SA fell asleep in a car park and got a £60 fine for going over the 3 hours (he was in his van by the way not just lying down LOL). If only I'd known this was the start of his illness I could've contested it.

    I would have mixed feelings about DS going to New Orleans too but it sounds like he's being sensible about it and as long as he keeps in touch you'll be certain he's safe. Sometimes you just have to let them get on with it and learn from their mistakes. It's true you never stop worrying about them no matter how old they get.

    I think things might seem worse because it must feel a bit flat after the build up to last weekend.

    Glad you got a good night's sleep and things feel less fraught
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £250.33
    Debt £2500
    May NSDs AFDs
    Weight loss 7/10LBS
    Emergency Fund £2000/£10,000
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 30th Nov 17, 8:46 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Oh poor Mr SA that ticket didn't sound deserved .

    It has been a stressful week, but now I'm catching up on my sleep I'll be able to cope better with it all. Life never seems to stop throwing stress at DH and I, but we just have to keep coping with all the challenges .

    I'm looking forward to the weekend because I'm going to put up the Christmas decorations and make the house look lovely and festive .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = £0.21/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 30th Nov 17, 9:39 PM
    • 5,729 Posts
    • 37,459 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Me too with the decorations. The tree arrived yesterday and it's beautiful. Plus very MSE in that it's a living tree and can be reused next year

    I think once one bad thing has happened others follow suit, very unfair Someone at work once said to me that I was special because "God only picks those who are strong enough to deal with the bad things" - my reply was he can pick on someone else now I've had enough!!
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £250.33
    Debt £2500
    May NSDs AFDs
    Weight loss 7/10LBS
    Emergency Fund £2000/£10,000
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 30th Nov 17, 9:52 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Me too with the decorations. The tree arrived yesterday and it's beautiful. Plus very MSE in that it's a living tree and can be reused next year

    I think once one bad thing has happened others follow suit, very unfair Someone at work once said to me that I was special because "God only picks those who are strong enough to deal with the bad things" - my reply was he can pick on someone else now I've had enough!!
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    Your tree sounds lovely SA . I love Christmas.

    Life does seem to pick on some people more than others, but I guess we are strong because we have kept going . It would be nice to stop fighting and have a break sometimes though .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = £0.21/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 1st Dec 17, 7:52 AM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Happy Friday and Happy December everyone. TGIF .

    Today my plans are:

    Go for a walk
    Put on two lots of laundry
    Empty the kitchen bins
    Update our website
    Do work for a customer
    Keep an eye out for surveys
    Get out the advent calendars

    It's cold here but looks like it's going to be a bright day. As it's the first of December Christmas has started for me, so I'm going to change my computer wallpaper to a snow scene .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = £0.21/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 1st Dec 17, 9:14 AM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    That's my walk done and it was frosty but sunny .

    Yesterday I did 10,418 steps, 40 floors and 27 active minutes .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = £0.21/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 1st Dec 17, 9:18 AM
    • 1,534 Posts
    • 13,220 Thanks
    WannabeFree
    Hope you're feeling a bit happier today

    Have a good day x
    ďOnce you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.Ē
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 1st Dec 17, 10:03 AM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Wannabe I do feel better. My walk always cheers me up. I won't let life beat me, no matter how hard it tries. I hope you have a good day today .

    Today won't be a NSD as we have to pay £24 for DS3's UCAS application. Daylight robbery if you ask me . But we shouldn't need to buy anything else.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = £0.21/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 1st Dec 17, 7:09 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Well I've achieved a few things from my list.

    Go for a walk - DONE
    Put on two lots of laundry - 1 LOT DONE
    Empty the kitchen bins - DONE
    Update our website - DONE
    Do work for a customer - PARTIALLY DONE
    Keep an eye out for surveys - DONE
    Get out the advent calendars

    The rest will have to wait until another day.

    DH is helping DS2 to book flights, hotel and travel insurance atm . One of the hardest things as a parent is helping your child to do something that they desperately want to do, but which you haved mixed feelings about .

    DS2 really wants to go to New Orleans, he hasn't had a proper holiday since he was 15, and he's been working hard and earning money for the past 18 months. So he deserves a lovely holiday, but we want him to be safe .

    Tonight I'm looking forward to vegetating in front of the telly, followed by lots of sleep and a lie in .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = £0.21/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 1st Dec 17, 8:17 PM
    • 8,794 Posts
    • 51,400 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    How long is the America trip Hairy? Will he be back for Christmas?

    Glad you feel better today Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in 2018 26/60
    Best win so far - holiday to Florida
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 1st Dec 17, 8:40 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    He's going for a week and will be back home by the middle of December, so we'll have him home for Christmas .

    He's staying in a good hotel bang in the middle of the tourist district, so he should be fairly safe there. He's going to stay with DH'S sister who lives only 10 minutes drive from Gatwick and she's going to make sure he gets a taxi to the airport in time.

    As long as he doesn't stray into the dodgy neighbourhoods and doesn't wander about on his own after dark then he should be ok hopefully .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 01-12-2017 at 9:38 PM.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = £0.21/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 1st Dec 17, 10:05 PM
    • 5,000 Posts
    • 28,777 Thanks
    in need of direction
    just be grateful that he's letting you be involved.
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 £119,481.83 today £75,897.72, target £65,000 by 31/12/18 Offset fund today £227.27 target £5,500 by 31/12/18
    Emergency fund £0.7/5.5k & £200/200 cash.
    Current weight loss RUBBISH need to refocus
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 1st Dec 17, 10:10 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Yes we are grateful INOD, especially as he normally doesn't tell us ANYTHING.

    I think he realised he was a bit out of his depth this time though, as it's quite complicated and he's never done anything like it before .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = £0.21/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 2nd Dec 17, 5:49 AM
    • 907 Posts
    • 5,052 Thanks
    Nicnak
    Has it been booked? Glad he has told you, and you can help him do it.

    I put my tree up last night and waiting for the little one to get up now and see it. She will be so excited.

    Glad the walk helped you feel better x
    September 6th 2017 - Updated 13th May 2018
    Credit Card £0 now: £460 Tesco Loan £7500 = £0 Consolidation £15,000 = £13,855 Total = £25,330 £14,315 43% gone EMF #252 = £700/£1000
    Sealed pot challenge #589
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #71
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 2nd Dec 17, 9:24 AM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Yes it's all booked Nicnak, gulp . I'm pleased for him and terrified all at the same time . I hope your liitle one loves the tree, they're so cute at that age .

    Today's plan is my usual wander around the charity shops and my latte treat . I'll look in on the Christmas market but I can't usually afford to buy anyrhing there.


    Our Christmas wreath for the front door fell apart last year, so I'm going to treat us to a new one if I can find a reasonably priced one that I like.

    Then I'm going to come home and put up the Christmas lights. We have berry lights around the picture rail in the living room, icicle lights in the hall and flashing lights around the top of the kitchen walls . I love Christmas
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = £0.21/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • Reb2016
    • By Reb2016 2nd Dec 17, 11:45 AM
    • 173 Posts
    • 437 Thanks
    Reb2016
    Your Christmas lights sound lovely HH, i!!!8217;m currently curled up on the sofa (having a sofa day), looking at my lovely tree and all it!!!8217;s lights !!!55356;!!!57221;!!!55356;!!!57339; .

    You never know the trip to the USA might really help your DS2 knowing that he has done something like that successfully could be a boost to his confidence, i!!!8217;m not suggesting it!!!8217;s going to be a cure, as it sounds like his problems are a lot more complicated than that, but it might just give him a small boost, and something to remind him in more difficult times of just what he is capable of. I do hope he keeps in regular touch with you while he is there.

    Hope you have a relaxing weekend, and get to build your energy back.

    Reb
    Light bulb moment 6th June 2017 £13333.63 Debt now 11837.25
    DFD was October 2020 40 months now 21st Dec 2019 26 months Overdraft £720/£2250
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 2nd Dec 17, 4:16 PM
    • 6,164 Posts
    • 22,548 Thanks
    mummytogirls
    Eeeekkkk to DS going away HHOD, I'm sure he will have a great time though.

    Hope you enjoyed your shopping/coffee trip. I hate trimming up but like it once its done ha!!! xx
    Mummytogirls x

    £23164.32 - 12/12/10
    £5419.83 - 08/04/18 - 76.61% paid off
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 2nd Dec 17, 4:51 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Your Christmas lights sound lovely HH, iím currently curled up on the sofa (having a sofa day), looking at my lovely tree and all itís lights !!!65533;!!!65533;!!!65533;!!!65533; .

    You never know the trip to the USA might really help your DS2 knowing that he has done something like that successfully could be a boost to his confidence, iím not suggesting itís going to be a cure, as it sounds like his problems are a lot more complicated than that, but it might just give him a small boost, and something to remind him in more difficult times of just what he is capable of. I do hope he keeps in regular touch with you while he is there.

    Hope you have a relaxing weekend, and get to build your energy back.

    Reb
    Originally posted by Reb2016
    I think you're right Reb, it could do his confidence a lot of good, which will make him feel more positive about himself.

    Enjoy your lovely Christmas tree .

    Eeeekkkk to DS going away HHOD, I'm sure he will have a great time though.

    Hope you enjoyed your shopping/coffee trip. I hate trimming up but like it once its done ha!!! xx
    Originally posted by mummytogirls
    Thanks MTG. I hate putting up the decs too, but I love it when they're up .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = £0.21/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 2nd Dec 17, 5:03 PM
    • 4,128 Posts
    • 28,091 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I enjoyed my shopping trip although it was heaving, with long queues.

    I looked at wreaths in M&S and they were £40 , so I found a really nice one in the charity shop for £7.50 .

    I bought a Nike hoody for DH to give me for Christmas (reduced to £37.99 from £47.99). I also bought a smart winter coat which I needed as I only have a casual one. It was £47 but when I took it to the till it had been reduced to £34.50 .

    Apart from that I spent £2.20 on the bus, £2.65 on coffee snd £6.32 on bananas, satsumas and fruit pots in Mr T.

    Since I got home I've got out all the Christmas decorations, hung up the advent calendars, put up the lights in the living room and hall, and put the wreath on the front door. It looks very nice .

    I'm just having a rest now before I put the berry lights up the living room. I feel like I've been up and down the step ladder a hundred times already
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 02-12-2017 at 5:05 PM.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = £0.21/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 2nd Dec 17, 5:50 PM
    • 53,979 Posts
    • 213,896 Thanks
    beanielou
    Great news on your bargains
    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.
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