Thousands of people put their debt problems behind them for good every month. We see that as a cause for celebration, and so do our good friends at MoneySavingExpert.com.
On their forum there’s a very popular thread known as the Debt Free Roll of Honour. Ever since its launch in 2006 this is where people can share their stories once they’ve paid off their debt. And who knows…someone who desperately needs debt advice may find this forum thread and be inspired to deal with their debts too!
That all-important ‘lightbulb moment’
A ‘lightbulb moment’ is the clarity a person sometimes gets when they realise that things can’t continue as they have been. It can apply to so many circumstances in your life, but especially when facing a difficult debt problem.
The Debt Free Roll of Honour is jam-packed with people’s ‘lightbulb moments’. It’s pretty amazing to read through the events that led so many people to getting the help with their debts they needed.
Here are just some of the lightbulb moments you can read about on the MSE Debt Free Roll of Honour forum thread:
(I had my lightbulb moment in) 2007 when I stopped burying my head in the sand and realised I was borrowing from (one) card to make the minimum payment on another!
- Posted by Danant, December 2015
(My lightbulb moment was in) March 2010 when I just couldn’t get any more credit from anyone.
- Posted by crazy_cat_lady, November 2015
(My lightbulb moment) came in the summer of 2010 when the car blew up, I could afford the bedsit I was living in, but not to eat AND drive to work. At this point I was probably sitting on around £20k of debt and anything unforeseen, or just the end of the month got put on the credit card.
I’d consolidated TWICE already and just didn’t know what was going to happen. So, I took on a Saturday job, in addition to my office weekday job, took on a live-in wardening job for three years, so gave up all my evenings and weekends, but lived rent free and started to pay down the debt.
- Posted by ShirePiskie, November 2015
Sharing precious pearls of wisdom
As you no doubt know, wisdom often walks hand-in-hand with experience. As tough as any situation may be, there’s usually a lesson to be learned or a bit of sage advice that can be passed to someone who might need it.
It probably comes as little surprise that there’s a treasure trove of clever tips to be found from people who’ve battled against their debt problems and won:
Budget for everything from shopping to car tax, to TV licence to haircuts, to uniforms, to absolutely everything. Plan, plan, plan!
- Posted by LotsToDo, December 2015
Get your head around your situation. Don’t ignore the bank statements and payslips – write them all down every month. I spent a few hours on Google Docs and I made a spreadsheet that tells me where I am now, what my progress has been I have been since my lightbulb moment and my predicted position in the future. It really helped as a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, because I could see that if I carry on as planned, the figure in 6 or 12 months’ time would be much better than it is now, which made me really want to keep going.
- Posted by neuromancer, December 2015
Know what your fixed outgoings are and do (your) research to see where and how you can reduce them. Only buy what you really have to with cash.
- Posted by arian woman, January 2015
The view from MSE
We asked MoneySavingExpert’s Andrea Hirai, their forum manager, what she thinks of that thread. Safe to say she loves it!
“We’re so proud of everyone who’s worked so hard to clear their debts and achieved their goal. As they say, a problem shared is a problem halved and there’s nothing quite like the help of a community all with the same goal to keep inspired and motivated throughout your journey and beyond.”
Add your story
Almost cleared your debt? Join the MoneySavingExpert Forum for help and to add your success story to all the others on the Debt Free Roll of Honour when you get there.
Don’t forget to include the following bits of info:
- The date of your lightbulb moment
- Debts at their highest
- Debt-free date
- Your one ‘pearl of wisdom’
Did you have a lightbulb moment before getting debt advice? Tell us about it in the comments!