Freedom

Want to know something I haven’t told any of you before? One way or another I have been in debt for over ten years now, about twelve to be exact, and there have been times when I thought I would die in debt as a result of some really bad luck.

This started after I got stiffed with a series of phony fines early in this century and, despite having the money to pay them straight away, I fought against them because I shouldn’t have had them in the first place. By the time they told me that I wasn’t due an appeal (a statement that later turned out to be false and helped me overturn most of these fines without needing to prove my innocence) I couldn’t afford to pay them at all. Later on Kim and I moved to a town that almost destroyed both of us and were there for years, trapped by our monetary situation. We were being dragged down by that town and desperate to escape by the time we did. We borrowed money from my bank who were happy to give it to the unemployed guy as he had a set amount coming in every week, to escape that place and used some of it to pay the last of the fines after managing to get the vast majority of them overturned (and yes, I do begrudge paying even what I had to pay). All in all we’ve been in debt as long as Kim has known me and I’ve had about a year longer than that.

It’s not like we’ve been irresponsible while in debt either. I kind of planned to save up and get to a stage where we could pay the loan off early. We’ve had savings and put away a little here and a little there, yet something always seems to come up. The last time we hit two hundred pounds savings our television literally exploded while we were celebrating having gotten there with no catastrophes. Then there was the debacle where the computer wasn’t working with the internet and we had it replaced on the advice of our ISP (yeah, I know now and so do they, believe me). Each time we’ve had some progress made we’ve had something like that happen that has cost us money, usually more than we had managed to save up. Eventually we gave up on our idea of clearing our debt early.

Today the very last payment of our loan cleared and we are officially debt free. We did it. We got out from under it, and let me tell you there are no words to describe how I’m feeling right now. I managed to scrape a little something aside and Kim and I have bought a few little toys for ourselves. Well she bought a few little ones, I bought a big one. Now we have some money to have a nice day together, nothing big but just to mark the start of a new phase of our lives. We’ve never been debt free together after all, so it’ll make a nice change at least.

And that’s my news today, the biggest I’ve given in years. I felt like it should be reported here rather than my other page.

 

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20 thoughts on “Freedom

  1. Now to sort out my actual constant nagging weight… I knew I shouldn't have eaten all that chicken (this is a lie). :chef:

  2. Good for you! The trick is staying out of debt by never buying anything big on credit, and paying off your credit card charges on time, each and every month. It's amazing how little you can get by on when you are debt-free. :cheers:

  3. I don't use credit at all, which is one of the reasons a loan to get out of that hell town was such a big deal for me. I've never been one to borrow money apart from that and always pay up front for anything I own. The difference now us that I can start to get ahead a bit more. I can save more and put aside enough for yearly bills rather than monthly ones. Treats won't need as much of a build up so we can save. But most of all, as Gavin said, there's this constant worry gone from our lives now. We don't have to think about that whenever money is an issue.

  4. Originally posted by Furie:

    debt free

    Congratulations are in order!!I won't burden you with my story but I have been in that place and it is No fun. It constantly nags at you, even when you are supposed to be having a good time. You wake up with it, carry it with you all day and go to sleep with it (at least I did).Just remember, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger.Again, Congratulations!!

  5. Did the same thing about ten years ago. No effort, really. My debt was not that big – I've always tried to be responsible in that department, and I've always lead a simple life, bordering the puritan – and it was all coutesey of my father giving me a reasonable amount of money, just like that. After my mother's dead, he sold our childhood home, and he thought it was appropriate to devide what he made between his kids and grand-children, so each of us received a fair amonut. He was like that, always. Had his own concept of fair. Heeding the legacy, I spent part of my share to buy myself free of the debt I'd accumulated during my time as a full-time drunk. I only have a minor debt left, and that's because it is not by any measures fair of the bloody Danish State, to claim it in the first place. We have an absolutely redicolous media tax. Some years ago they decided that when you own a media device, you have to pay a certain percentage of your income – retroactively. And about a year ago, they discovered that I was behind with two years. Those were the two years where I, officially, did not have an adress or any kind of income. I was living on the street, did not even have a mobile phone. So, am I supposed to pay for not watching television or being online for two years? Not as long as I can fight them!

  6. Originally posted by Furie:

    I don't use credit at all, which is one of the reasons a loan to get out of that hell town was such a big deal for me. I've never been one to borrow money apart from that and always pay up front for anything I own.

    I like that philosophy! :up:I use my credit card purely as a purchasing tool and pay it up in full immediately! :up:I've been able to stay out of debt since I paid up my last big debts. (caused by sudden and unexpected employment issues.)Now I don't have or want any store accounts. If I can't afford to pay cash, I probably can't afford it at all. :p

  7. That was indeed huge news! Congratulations!! I'm so happy for you both. What a fantastic feeling that must be!!

  8. They say money is not everything and they are right; there are so many other things that can make us happy.However, money can make things a lot easier, for sure.Congratulations :cheers:

  9. It's not even the money that is making the difference so much as the weight the debt carried into other aspects of our lives. I got through Uni without accruing any student debts, working my ass off all the while, so this was my first actual debt. And it weighs on you. Any decision you make about money had to be run by the debt first. "Can we afford this? Will we have enough left to manage the payments? We get paid on the day the money goes out this month, so we have to be sure it's in on the day in case it's late." These were all things that we found ourselves saying. Quite simply it was the most important thing in our lives because everything had to be planned around it, even doing things together.I'm not built to be in debt, I'll tell you that.

  10. Women that read magazines and put all their hopes for happiness and validation in having the exact same clothes as someone with way more money than them, people who are given the clothes anyway to make them popular. Those people are made to be in debt and a lot of the culture of those magazines is built around getting them there then quickly changing what validates them so they need to get more in debt and have less to keep them happy.

  11. Originally posted by Furie:

    Women that read magazines and put all their hopes for happiness and validation in having the exact same clothes as someone with way more money than them, people who are given the clothes anyway to make them popular. Those people are made to be in debt and a lot of the culture of those magazines is built around getting them there then quickly changing what validates them so they need to get more in debt and have less to keep them happy.

    Even so, eventually this catches up with them either in realisation of just how stupid this material lust was or inn cold, hard red sum panic.

  12. I notice my comments aren't all getting through again. Good old Opera. I'll be back in a bit to go through my watches, and woe betide anything that gets in my way. You hear me web service? :knight:

  13. Originally posted by Furie:

    I notice my comments aren't all getting through again. Good old Opera.

    Like old times! :p

  14. And I'm back to recommend on what didn't get through before. Martin, the media tax you mentioned is bloody disgusting. Sure, pay to do these things but not when you aren't. The reason Kim and I don't watch broadcast television is down to something similar. We moved to a place that had no reception at all and couldn't have the cable we had before, so called to cancel our television license as it wouldn't be needed. We had fully intended to restart it when we got to a place that had television reception but the woman on the phone kept telling us we still needed a license even for consoles (which was all we had the television for now) and our licensing system doesn't work that way. It became a matter of pride since then. San, it certainly is freedom although debt has given me a couple of good habits. I now keep a track of expenditure on my phone, with upcoming bills and food budgets accounted for. It doesn't take long to see whether we can afford anything and not get in trouble. I started doing that so payments would always be accounted for, but it's a good habit to have. Kiran and Rose , thanks. Darko, it certainly does help a lot.

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