Monday, 10 June 2013

Debt Busting Week!

Hello Dear Reader,

I know what it's like to watch the month ticking away without a penny in my pocket. I know what it's like to no money for anything but basics and I know what it's like to be in debt. You see Dear Reader, those of you in debt didn't get that way by wanting to put yourselves on a financial precipice. You probably bought that car, or had that holiday or bought new clothes fully capable of paying for them eventually and then the cost of living rose and took away those 'easy payments' and made them extremely difficult. 

We moved to our current home when diesel was 85p a litre and a loaf of bread was 30p (for the value stuff). Our energy bills could be paid with £75 a month and I could run the washing machine and tumble drier and afford both. Then, 2008 occurred and the world tilted on it's financial axis and we've been out of kilter ever since. Suddenly, houses lost value, prices of everyday commodities, including food and fuel went through the roof. I was one of those people left in a very different financial place. I was in the position where I had to cut back and cut back, not to maintain a lifestyle but just afford my debts. Does this sound familiar to you? Then you are either in debt or you've been in debt. 

I blog every day and I do so in the hope that I can give just one person the encouragement to pay off their debts and live a simpler life. If just one person cuts up their credit cards and says 'No more spending on credit' then I will be a very very happy woman. We keep hearing the word 'austerity' and we think of life being austere. My life is not austere but overflowing with riches. When you strip your life back to what you need then you really do start to listen to bird song, savour in season strawberries and appreciate a crackling log fire. There is so much joy in having less and living more. Retail is not therapeutic, a walk on the moors and hill top view for free is all the therapy I need after a busy day! 

I know some of you reading this might have found me because you've googled 'debt busting' and this week, every post will be full of advice about getting rid of pound/dollar/ a time! On Sunday, I'm going to be on Radio Cornwall and I'm going to be talking about debt busting. My knowledge is about paying off debt with two jobs and both of us finding extra work to get more money in. I have no knowledge of the misery of spiralling debt that we couldn't control, couldn't pay back and couldn't cope with. I will be signposting agencies and charities that offer free debt counselling and advice and if you've used any, then I would be appreciative of a recommendation. I will be able to give budgeting advice and won't be afraid to share what I did to cut back and if people want to do likewise, then they are free to do so. I'm happy to give advice too if that's what folk want.

I would love you to email your: debt has gone and how we did it stories, up to our neck in debt and barely coping stories, what it's like to be in debt and struggling to pay it off stories to and to title if for Frugal Queen on Sunday. I'm more than happy to mention no names to respect privacy. Please email if I can give you any advice or encouragement on debt repayment. Please feel free to email with any budgeting tips that would help folk keep their finances under control. 

Remember Dear Reader, I know what it's like to lose sleep over financial worries and I know what it's like to have to turn the heating off and leave it off because I just couldn't afford it. I also know what it's like to walk tall knowing I'm now debt free. Please share your stories here in comments, email me confidentially if I can help and come back for the rest of the week when I'll be sharing some advice about getting rid of debt and getting on with the rest of your life.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs 


  1. You are so inspirational and talk very good sense. I have adapted many of your ways and ideas you have spoken about - please keep them coming! xx

  2. Froogs
    Excited to learn that you'll again be on Radio Cornwall.

    One thing that my Dad drilled into our heads was never, never go into debt unless you are able to easily pay it off, or, if it's an emergency (such as a car breakdown on a highway at night and you must pay to be towed). That "sale" blouse left on a credit card to which one mearly throws a minimum payment on for months, if not years is in reality, no deal. If you have the cash to pay the CC bill at the end of the month, and more importantly, if you truely NEED the blouse, go ahead and treat yourself, as long as all of your obligations are taken care of.

    These past few years have been difficult ones on my home front: my then DH's salary downsized by 1/3, then 1/2, then ultimately his position was eliminated and he was collecting unemployment which just covered the mortgage payment. Luckily, I have always worked. I made strides to eliminate whatever debt we had, even the no interest orthodonture contract as I wanted us to be in the best position possible once we caught wind that DH's position was to be eliminated.

    Fast forward, and I am now a single Mom with 3 at home, one more child who comes/goes. For the first time since I entered university, I am completely debt free. My car is paid off, my CC continues to be paid off monthly. I am stuffing every possible penny into my emergency fund, my next car fund, my next home fund. While divorce meant that I had to acquire some household basics, furniture, etc. I did so on a budget, choosing second hand, refurbishing, using savings set aside for this new chapter in our lives. We are now more than well equiped, household wise. I do WANT your Ikea white, glass front storage cabinet for my sewing, but will save up for that. My point is, identify needs, address them creatively and frugally so as not to incur any debt. When I applied to rent this home, the realtor was understanding that I was recently divorced and stated that she'd "work with me, due to my bad credit, as divorced people usually take a huge hit, credit score wise, when divorcing." Due to my proactive measures, my credit has remained phenomenal-she even called after pulling my credit report, stating, "you weren't kidding when you said you had good credit! Good for you!"

    Depending upon where one lives, with whom one works, there may be significant pressure to do this or that, to purchase X or Y. Simply state that you are working towards your financial goals at the moment and really can't do X. Who can argue with someone on such a mission?

  3. Hello Queen known your blog because I seek information to be more thrifty, and found you were like an angel, because I finally found something interesting in your blog and did not know that word you learned it. Frugality, because although I down my debts and I managed to control them, I want to stay away from them, my goal is to clear out of debt more: for as the days pass you describe, I woke up at 2: am to want to solve the problem and begged the gods for help! It was extremely hard because even my partner knew the debt tenia.tengo a blog in Spanish that I'm doing for inspiration yours, of course in my own words what I lived

  4. You have been an inspiration to me! Thank you! Debt can be so debilitating and overwhelming. I am reading a really good book to help me with my financial goals. The book is called, "Practical Steps to Financial Freedom and Independence: Your Road Map to Exiting the Rat Race and Living Your Dreams" by author Usiere Uko. This book is down to earth and devoid of jargon. I have learned so much and I am excited about my financial future!

  5. There is nothing worse than debt. That awful sinking feeling that doesn't go away when you know that you don't have enough money to pay your bills, I can't tell you how many times I vowed I would never get into debt again... but the world tempts you, and they pay marketing and advertising guys a lot of money to tempt you. In the end I stopped beating my self up about it and simply decided to beat them. It's a mental thing. Once you truly 'know' and understand that you don't really want these things... its just some marketing guy telling you that you do... well I can't explain how it happened but suddenly I felt like I was being fooled and I hate that and after that moment I started asking myself 'do I really need this?'. Before buying anything I would repeat 'do I really need this?' and of course mostly the answer was 'no'... Of course it's not easy but it feels the exact opposite of the sinking feeling! We pay cash for almost everything here in Spain so it's easier now to stay out of debt. The more people who open their eyes to the lies of the advertising world the better is all I can say.

  6. The more people who understand how the world of advertising fools you into believing you want crap that you actually dont need the better. There is nothing worse than the sinking feeling of knowing that you cannot pay your debts... and you would think that once experienced it would never happen again... but... it does. That's because someone very clever is paid to work out how to push your buttons to make you want stuff. I hate being manipulated like that, once you realise this it becomes easier to strive towards a debt free lifestyle. Go for it Miss Frugal Queen... Keep spreading the word.

  7. Having less and living more is my new mantra! I look forward to reading your upcoming posts. I eventually would like to pay off my student debt as soon as possible.
    Best wishes.

  8. Gift giving is a huge drain here in the USA. Christmas. Birthdays. Weddings. Every imaginable Hallmark Holiday. Start by writing down each holiday and writing down each person assign a dollar amount for each one. I was amazed at the cost when I first did this. Then start eliminating. Draw names. Eliminate gifts altogether and see how much others appreciate not having to return a gift. Make gifts. Give a service instead of something you have to buy. Be imaginative. There is nothing wrong with a Thrift Shop or garage sale gift. I used to spend $85.00 on a Brooks Brothers shirt for one son. Now I find perfect ones for $3 to $6 at the thrift shop and wash them and give him several. Think out of the box. It is way more fun!

    1. So true! We've eliminated gift giving for anyone not in the "inner circle", and I make almost all gifts I give. I love to receive thrift store gifts from my children but if they choose not to give a gift, that's OK too. No gift is worth them spending money they don't have.

    2. So true! We've eliminated gift giving for anyone not in the "inner circle", and I make almost all gifts I give. I love to receive thrift store gifts from my children but if they choose not to give a gift, that's OK too. No gift is worth them spending money they don't have.

  9. Hi Froogs, I am a long time reader of your blog. You asked for debt help charities, well, one I work with (very loosely) is Christians Against Poverty. I think they are an amazing charity, helping to get people out of debt, teaching people to budget/save. It is free to anyone who needs them. Google them and see for yourself. They are fab fab people. Hope this helps.

  10. Hi Froogs,
    I was in the spiraling debt situation due to ill health on both mine and my partners behalf and then bereavement. I had been my Mum's main care and recieved the relevant benefits plus a lot of financial help from my mum. On her death I lost my best friend and ally plus a large part of my income( I was on benefits for my health issues), then due to health issues my partner lost his job, got a new one quite quickly but at half the salary! It took a while due to my mental state to accept that we were in debt and it was only going to get worse if we didn't tackle it. Eventually, I contacted C.C.C.S - now Stepchange and it was one of the best moves I made.
    5 years on I am still in debt, but it's slowly decreasing. I no longer fear the phone ringing or the post arriving. We now use cash for everything, all bills are on monthly DD's and calm mostly reigns. I found the most useful tool to monitor the spending and where I was wasting money was to keep a spending diary.
    With careful planning we cut the weekly shop to fortnightly and now spend in a fortnight what we were spending monthly. We use Aldi for a large amount of the shopping, topping up at Sainsbury's. We buy extra large joints on special offer and cut them up and freeze them, they are then the base for at least 3 meals. Anything we regularly use we buy in bulk when its on offer. I cook from scratch all the time, bake and make jams,chutneys and soup by the gallon.
    Do I miss the consumerism - NO. I find pleasure from pottering in the garden, watching the world go by, watching the badgers and feel more at peace now than ever before.
    Keep up the good work.

    1. You have been through a lot. You have used your difficult experiences to grow stronger and wiser. Good for you. If only everyone learned and grew like you have we would have a better world. Keep going, friend!

  11. I accrued an overwhelming amount of debt after I lost my job a year ago. It was such a stressful and humiliating time in my life. So, at the suggestion of a friend, I decided to talk with a professional debt consolidation advisor. I was sort of skeptical about seeking help from a consolidation program, but after consulting with her I found some peace of mind. She helped me take the necessary actions to not only manage my debt but also stop debt collectors from harassing me.


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