Debt Demolition

About a year ago, when we were refurbishing the house, ready to sell it. I maxed out my credit card! I then realised I would have to take a much reduced price on my house if I wanted to sell it and we calculated that we had lost 40K in equity in 2 years! We soldiered on and sold the house and were then informed by Santander Bank, that our mortgage application was refused as we had too much personal borrowing. The mortgage refusal came in December and we approached Christmas knowing that our sale and purchase could not happen and we were in a very bad place financially. We sent off for a credit report and all told we owed almost 45K in personal loans, credit cards, car finance, home loans etc. We were always careful and were ambitious with our homes and climbed the property ladder to a four bedroomed detached…………that we could afford but only at a squeak.
My new year resolution was to pay off my debts! Today we owe 25K approx and have almost halved our debts since last Christmas. I looked every where for advice and took the advice of Suzy Orman and Dave Ramsay, who were giving American far more radical advice than the softly softly approach of Martin Lewis, who advises a budget first and then pay the max of your debts after that! Oh no! Oh boy! I decided to pay off the max of my debts and live off what ever was left. We’ve bought nothing! The lights have stayed off. The tumble drier has gone, the dishwasher has been retired and we’ve bought no new clothes and we don’t go out! Anywhere really!
I worked in the summer break, cleaning caravans. Dearly Beloved does any overtime available. I’ve worked as a one to one tutor, I’ve marked exams and we’ve sold anything and everything on e-bay and Amazon. Today I realised that I had been paid by AQA and paid off the last £1300 that I owed to Santander Bank, every penny and didn’t leave myself the price of a lipstick! I also paid off the £36 we owed to MBNA and that card has gone. Now all of Dearly Beloved’s credit cards are on 0% and now my snowball of £500 a month goes to paying off £5000 which I transferred to Virgin on 0% and that will be paid off by May 2011, in fact by May 2011, we will only owe money towards the car and ban loan and we will be able to snowball all of our money towards them. My estimation is that we will be debt free by midnight of 2011 and will start 2012 as new people!
I always feel totally elated when I clear another debt! Today I am on top of the world! even though I’ve got only £133 to see me to pay day (which I’ve learnt is more than ample!) and my big treat today was to visit friends and their little children! (who were so entertaining) I’ve also had confirmed some ‘home boarding’ work for the summer and my first dogs arrive next Saturday! All is very good here!


26 thoughts on “Debt Demolition

  1. I love the vibe you give off!
    I think that I have been very lucky in that I have never ever had a credit card, because I didn't trust myself! it still doesn't stop the debt acruing though.
    I hope New Years Eve 2011 is a fantastic one for you and brings everything you hope it would.
    (my hubby has a dream that one day people will celebrate his birthday – 31st Dec!)



  2. Gosh you have done really well clearing all that debt so quickly. You'll certainly be debt free soon at that rate.
    I admire your energy and commitment.
    Never been in debt myself but can see the lure of the credit card , erm that and buying on ebay 😉


  3. Got to say you have done brilliantly. I really like the 'working all hours and any job' effort that you have made. It just shows what determination and a bit of back bone can achieve. I am thinking you should be teaching frugal living at evening classes, if you ever have enough time to fit in another job.


  4. I admire your commitment to get out of the debt you are in. What we consider being really frugal today was the norm or riches for our parents and grandparents. Compared to most of the world's population we are very lucky indeed! That's how I view things anyway! Keep it up – frugality is great for finances but also necessary to preserve the earth's precious finite resources!


  5. Very inspiring, I agree you could write a book.
    The trick seems to be to get a buzz out of savng instead of spending. Some days I can manage this ,but not all :0)
    Jacquie x


  6. congratulations! I applaud your progress!

    It is disheartening when we wake up to discover that the things we bank on have lost their value like your home did. I have had others in that exact same boat and one dear friend just had to list her dream home due to lost value and overwhelming debt!

    Your example is so inspiring! Thank you for sharing!


  7. Well done you!!! I am a big fan of the Moneysavingexpert site – especially the Freebies forum. Freebies have changed my life. I can blag almost all of my Christmas presents, We get cinema tickets at least once a week for all the family, toiletries and cosmetics (lucious “chanel” mascara and lipstick!!) etc – all for nowt! In fact freebie hunting has turned into an exciting hobby. I got into debt when I worked for a bank – borrowing was sold to us as such an easy option, so i can see how the country has got into dire straights. I have to say I prefer being frugal to being extravagant – it makes me a nicer person.


  8. Good for you, you must be very proud. It's surprising how little we need to live on. I am looking forward to down sizing my budget when we down size our house.


  9. We so readily make these messes for ourselves, I am not far ahead of you in terms of debt but I am lucky enough to have a job that lets me pay them off at the normal rate and still afford me the life that I want. Admittedly this is a frugal one by its nature.

    So many people having got in a hole give up and write of the debt choosing a soft option like personal bankruptcy (I know it's not really soft but it means most of your problems go away instantly! I know more than one person who's done it).

    I am constantly in awe of how open you are about your debts and how you are tackling them rather than ducking them. It makes me stop and think about what I should do with my own.

    I share the sentiment that you give off such a positive vibe with it all. I'll almost be sorry when your debts are gone because there won't be any more posts like this one!


  10. Well done you! I admire your tenacity, will power and utter determination not to be swayed from you task! In the process, you've also discovered that we simply don't need much at all to live on. As my deceased Buddhist master used to say, “We need clothes to warm us, food to nourish and a roof over our heads, to protect us from the elements, all of the rest is just desire!”
    My partner and I live on state benefits because I have M.E. To be honest, what we receive is more then enough. No we don't have children, with all of the demands they make, but, as you have shown Jane, we just don't need most of the stuff that the vast advertising business try to hoodwink us into thinking we need.

    Here's a very interesting site indeed. It's an alternative way to clearing your debts, and from what I've read and people I've spoken to about their experiences using the methods, it's all legal too! I've sent the link of their forum section, for much of the site is preoccupied with 'conspiracy theories.' Make of it what you will, but, there's some really interesting advice on how not to pay, parking fines, TV licences, CCJ's and even your mortgage!


  11. Congratulations to you both – and thank you for sharing your journey and challenges. I can live with all the dross on the www to uncover a treasure like this blog and my small set of bookmarks that connect me to other great folks out there. It's heartening and uplifting – BRAVO!!


  12. Well done FQ and DB. I so admire your tenacity and determination to reduce your debts and roll on midnight 2011. You and DB have worked so hard and deserve to feel so proud of your achievements this year. I love Suze Orman, she's blunt, frank and very truthful, not everyone wants to hear the truth do they.

    Speaking personally I love your blog, recipes, money saving tips, words of advice and gorgeous photos of Cornwall, a place very dear to my heart.

    Thank you so much FQ for providing us with such a fantastic blog to enjoy.

    Linda xxx


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