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    • Garry7
    • By Garry7 12th Jun 19, 6:54 PM
    • 6Posts
    • 16Thanks
    The Final Few Months of Debt
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 19, 6:54 PM
    The Final Few Months of Debt 12th Jun 19 at 6:54 PM
    Hello, this is my first post in this forum so please be kind. I just wanted to share a little bit of my story in the hope it might resonate with one or two people in the same position I was.

    I'm a single 35 year old male who's been in debt for most of my adult life. There was a brief period around seven or eight years ago when I was debt free but with only minimal savings.

    I took an Open University degree and a holiday which wiped out my savings and put me back in debt. I'm a relatively high earner, though with only a single household income, I'm probably in no better a position than many other households.

    I had a mindset where I thought I could buy what I wanted when I wanted it as long as I could meet the minimum monthly payments. By the end of 2016 I was probably around 50,000 in debt though half of that was a hire purchase agreement on my car. I'm not sure I ever had a 'lightbulb moment' but I did realise that I had very little to show for my debt, and the things I did have were not making me happy to the extent that my debts were dragging me down.

    Suddenly, it seemed silly to have an expensive car, the latest iPhone and all sorts of other material goods while worrying about whether I could afford to buy lunch or not. I stopped going out and seeing friends because I was worried about not being able to afford a pint but all the while I was still occasionally 'treating' myself to the tune of hundreds of pounds. I even made the classic error of taking out a consolidation loan to pay off my credit cards only to find that I'd maxed them out again six months later.

    In hindsight, it all seems very stupid.

    Fortunately, I've never missed a payment on anything, nor had debt collectors at my door. I've managed my monthly budgets pretty well and managed to live on a shoestring. I knew, however, that something had to change.

    I managed to curb the uncontrolled spending and channelled all of my energies into paying every spare penny into repaying debt. I gave up my apartment and moved back in with my parents (though I did pay a third of the household bills.) I took VT on my car and bought a cheap runaround outright. In 30 months, I'd reduced my debt from 50,000 to 1,000 and my final payment will be on July 30th. No more credit cards, loans, retail finance or overdrafts. Instead, I'll be booking a holiday and saving up a housing deposit.

    I'm looking forward to the small things - like having that extra pint with friends or being able to take a taxi instead of walking the two miles home from the station in the rain. Friday night takeaways are back and I can buy the occasional new pair of jeans without feeling guilty.

    I'm interested in hearing from anybody that's gotten themselves completely out of debt and been able to build up substantial savings. Are you happier now? Did your life and your day-to-day outlook change? Did you find that your frugality stuck with you or did you get yourself back into bad habits?

    Anyway, that's my story. I might post again on or after July 30th. To anybody still stuck in the mire I hope you find a way out. Most of all, I hope that a debt-free life lives up the promise I've long-held for it.
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    • SnuggleBuggles
    • By SnuggleBuggles 12th Jun 19, 7:31 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 132 Thanks
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 19, 7:31 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Jun 19, 7:31 PM
    Wow! I admire your dedication to clearing your debts. What an inspiration you are. Massive kudos and a million congratulations to you!

    I'm debt-free but have had debt in the past. To me being DF means having peace of mind (and you can't put a price on that). I enjoy being able to save. I'm no longer frightened to open the post (for fear it being another bill). The denial was real for me when I was accruing debt. I can now confront and control my finances head-on.

    I've learnt some life-changing money-saving techniques - both from this brilliant forum and also from the awe-inspiring Martin Lewis (all hail - that man deserves a knighthood in my opinion )

    My main tip is to continue to re-build your credit history by using your credit card but to always make sure you put the equivalent money by so you can pay the bill off IN FULL every single month.

    Thank you for sharing your journey. You have certainly inspired me. Enjoy that holiday!
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 13th Jun 19, 8:40 PM
    • 66,940 Posts
    • 302,933 Thanks
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:40 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:40 PM
    Just popping in to say well done
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 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.***
    • jools1985
    • By jools1985 13th Jun 19, 8:49 PM
    • 200 Posts
    • 438 Thanks
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:49 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Jun 19, 8:49 PM
    Wow what a tremendous achievement. Well done you
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