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    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 24th Sep 17, 1:22 PM
    • 11,327Posts
    • 89,549Thanks
    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
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £2,450/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £50/£5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £144.37/£500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = £250. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £250
Page 594
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 13th Jan 20, 7:56 PM
    • 68,439 Posts
    • 312,659 Thanks
    beanielou
    Glad that your day went well.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 14 months to mortgage freedom.
    **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. ***Be the difference.***
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 13th Jan 20, 7:59 PM
    • 11,327 Posts
    • 89,549 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thanks Beanie .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £2,450/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £50/£5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £144.37/£500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = £250. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £250
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 13th Jan 20, 8:59 PM
    • 8,026 Posts
    • 60,544 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Glad you had a good day I've been lifted off my feet before by the wind and had to hold onto a lamppost which is quite scary
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2020 £43.31
    Emergency Fund £3465/£10,000
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 14th Jan 20, 3:33 PM
    • 9,896 Posts
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    EssexHebridean
    Vomit in two classrooms but not yours made me smile HH - that certainly sounds like it qualifies as a good day!

    It's blown up pretty windy in London today too - it was a struggle to walk against some of the gusts at lunchtime. Not a patch to what they've had over in the Hebrides mind you, so I won't complain too much!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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    • Onebrokelady
    • By Onebrokelady 14th Jan 20, 4:35 PM
    • 2,129 Posts
    • 12,952 Thanks
    Onebrokelady
    It's been windy and rainy all day here too,me and the dog nearly got blown away when I took her out
    Original Debt Owed Jan 18 = £17,630 Paid To Date = £2,395Total Now Owed = £15,235
    Emergency Fund = £1000 Xmas savings = £0
    • Onebrokelady
    • By Onebrokelady 14th Jan 20, 4:38 PM
    • 2,129 Posts
    • 12,952 Thanks
    Onebrokelady
    Glad you had a good day I've been lifted off my feet before by the wind and had to hold onto a lamppost which is quite scary
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    That nearly happened to me once,I took my dog who was a huge German Shepard out and had to hang onto a lamp post,he cocked his leg for a wee and the wind blew him over ,looking back it must have looked quite funny but it was scary at the time
    Original Debt Owed Jan 18 = £17,630 Paid To Date = £2,395Total Now Owed = £15,235
    Emergency Fund = £1000 Xmas savings = £0
    • milann
    • By milann 14th Jan 20, 10:08 PM
    • 3,269 Posts
    • 20,648 Thanks
    milann
    Awww bet the poor dog wondered what was happening
    Weather has been terrible but at least itís not icy.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Jan 20, 7:22 PM
    • 11,327 Posts
    • 89,549 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Glad you had a good day I've been lifted off my feet before by the wind and had to hold onto a lamppost which is quite scary
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    Thanks SA . The wind can be scary!
    Vomit in two classrooms but not yours made me smile HH - that certainly sounds like it qualifies as a good day!

    It's blown up pretty windy in London today too - it was a struggle to walk against some of the gusts at lunchtime. Not a patch to what they've had over in the Hebrides mind you, so I won't complain too much!
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean

    Thanks EH . The Hebrides do get pretty windy don't they. I think that's partly because they don't have many trees? And being islands of course.

    It's been windy and rainy all day here too,me and the dog nearly got blown away when I took her out
    Originally posted by Onebrokelady
    Thanks OBL . to the dog getting blown over!
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £2,450/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £50/£5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £144.37/£500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = £250. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £250
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Jan 20, 7:29 PM
    • 11,327 Posts
    • 89,549 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Yesterday it was rainy and miserable all day, the children played outside but were quite glad to go in and on Monday there was an icy cold wind blowing! Today we had lovely sunshine by contrast and it felt much warmer at lunchtime, although every child in the playground seemed to take it in turns to come to me with some obscure and indecipherable problem today .


    I enjoyed my half days of TA cover today and yesterday, I could definitely get used to this, especially the extra pay . I just hope it lasts as long as possible.

    I managed to put a wash on this morning as I was wearing my last clean top and asked DS1 to hang it all up while I was at work. I also folded up and put away an extension cable left over from the Christmas lights which has been driving me potty . DH is feeling quite tired so he's resting when he's not working.

    I hope everyone is having a good Wednesday .
    Last edited by HairyHandofDartmoor; 15-01-2020 at 7:49 PM.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £2,450/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £50/£5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £144.37/£500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = £250. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £250
    • Sunshine girl2
    • By Sunshine girl2 15th Jan 20, 7:36 PM
    • 493 Posts
    • 3,113 Thanks
    Sunshine girl2
    It was sunny here as well HH makes everything seem better . Glad to hear the TA work has gone well , long may it last. Mr HH may still be suffering with the ends of the virus.

    Is traveller DS off on any more journeys in the near future ?

    Have a good evening .
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Jan 20, 7:47 PM
    • 11,327 Posts
    • 89,549 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    It was sunny here as well HH makes everything seem better . Glad to hear the TA work has gone well , long may it last. Mr HH may still be suffering with the ends of the virus.

    Is traveller DS off on any more journeys in the near future ?

    Have a good evening .
    Originally posted by Sunshine girl2
    Thanks Sunshine . Snap I've just posted on your diary .

    DS2 has got a visa for Turkey but hasn't booked any flights or accommodation yet, so I've got no idea when he wants to go there.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £2,450/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £50/£5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £144.37/£500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = £250. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £250
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 15th Jan 20, 7:52 PM
    • 2,724 Posts
    • 16,455 Thanks
    Nicnak
    Do you now how long the cover will last for? Hopefully it is indefinitely. x
    September 6th 2017 - Updated December 2019
    Credit Card £0 now: £0 Consolidation £15,000 = £7,365 Total = £25,330 £7,365 71% gone EMF #252 = £1100/£1000
    Pay off all your debts by Christmas #071

    Decluttering target 437/365 items
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 15th Jan 20, 8:26 PM
    • 68,439 Posts
    • 312,659 Thanks
    beanielou
    Glad that the TA cover is going well.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 14 months to mortgage freedom.
    **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. ***Be the difference.***
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Jan 20, 8:27 PM
    • 11,327 Posts
    • 89,549 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Do you now how long the cover will last for? Hopefully it is indefinitely. x
    Originally posted by Nicnak
    It won't be indefinite for one TA and probably not for the other one, but who knows. It's very up in the air at the moment as to how long it lasts, so I'm just taking each day of cover as a bonus .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £2,450/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £50/£5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £144.37/£500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = £250. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £250
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 15th Jan 20, 8:29 PM
    • 11,327 Posts
    • 89,549 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Glad that the TA cover is going well.
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thanks Beanie .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £2,450/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £50/£5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £144.37/£500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = £250. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £250
    • foxgloves
    • By foxgloves 15th Jan 20, 8:43 PM
    • 5,705 Posts
    • 35,439 Thanks
    foxgloves
    HHoD - I think doing this extra TA cover can only stand you in good stead for future hours. Schools are usually looking for reliability & people who can fit into their own way of doing things, so you do have an advantage there. Oooh, I do wish someone on the staff would decide that they fancy a career change.
    F x
    Money can't jump out of your purse on its own so ask 'Can I borrow one, make one, grow one, bake one, re-purpose or recycle, acquire it for free?' Yes? Then put that purse away & keep your money because little savings
    Payment received from surveys: 2015 = £320 2016 = £210 2017 = £304 2018 = £418 2019 = £227
    • Finally Solvent
    • By Finally Solvent 16th Jan 20, 7:58 AM
    • 209 Posts
    • 1,489 Thanks
    Finally Solvent
    I'm glad the TA cover is going well and that you're enjoying it, HHOD

    I agree with foxgloves about it standing you in good stead for the future at that school. You've obviously become their 'go to' person for covering other TA absences and the fact that you are reliable and versatile will mean the world to them. What happened to the trained teacher who you were worried about taking any available upcoming TA jobs? I wouldn't give her another thought if I were you
    Virtual Sealed Pot Challenge 2020 #6 £33.49/£500
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 16th Jan 20, 8:45 AM
    • 8,026 Posts
    • 60,544 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Glad you're enjoying the TA cover and the extra cash All good experience to set you up for the future.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2020 £43.31
    Emergency Fund £3465/£10,000
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 16th Jan 20, 4:43 PM
    • 11,327 Posts
    • 89,549 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    HHoD - I think doing this extra TA cover can only stand you in good stead for future hours. Schools are usually looking for reliability & people who can fit into their own way of doing things, so you do have an advantage there. Oooh, I do wish someone on the staff would decide that they fancy a career change.
    F x
    Originally posted by foxgloves
    Thanks Foxgloves . I wish that too, it would be like a dream come true because I'm loving it .

    I'm glad the TA cover is going well and that you're enjoying it, HHOD

    I agree with foxgloves about it standing you in good stead for the future at that school. You've obviously become their 'go to' person for covering other TA absences and the fact that you are reliable and versatile will mean the world to them. What happened to the trained teacher who you were worried about taking any available upcoming TA jobs? I wouldn't give her another thought if I were you
    Originally posted by Finally Solvent
    Thanks FS . It is excellent experience for me. The teacher is doing teaching cover luckily and hopefully will stick to that as it's much better paid .

    Glad you're enjoying the TA cover and the extra cash All good experience to set you up for the future.
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    Thanks SA . I'm really pleased to get this amazing opportunity.
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £2,450/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £50/£5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £144.37/£500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = £250. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £250
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 16th Jan 20, 4:51 PM
    • 11,327 Posts
    • 89,549 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I did a full day of cover today plus my lunchtime job but I still had a good day. Apart from the fact that it was torrential sideways rain most of the day and I got soaked just crossing the playground . Needless to say the children couldn't go outside at lunchtime. I had about forty children in my classroom at one point so there wasn't room to do anything except read them a story.

    One of the children came in halfway through break (driven indoors by rain) and said "My hair is ruined!" so I said "So is mine." I loved doing the TA cover though and the day flew by . I'm hoping for a drier day tomorrow!

    DH had washed and dried some clothes when I got home which is all good . I do feel quite tired now so I'm only going to cook for myself tonight. Beans on toast with grated cheese is sounding good to me 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
    EMERGENCY FUND 1 = £2,450/£5,000. EMERGENCY FUND 2 = £50/£5,000.
    CHRISTMAS SAVINGS = £144.37/£500
    PREMIUM BONDS ME = £250. PREMIUM BONDS DH = £250
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