I have never been very good at managing my finances. I have never earned a high salary in all my working life to date. I would always run out of money before the next payment was due in my bank account. As a result of this, I would end up having to put my grocery bills on my credit card so I could afford to eat. I was hardly living the high life either and I certainly didn’t have the latest mod cons or gadgets at my disposal, and neither was I leading a life of excess, I was merely just trying to live, to survive and pay my bills.
I was also far too generous with my money. I often helped out friends when they needed a loan, or I would offer to pay for things when I couldn’t really afford to. When I was with my ex-boyfriend and we shared a house, I was the one on the higher (even though it was rubbish!) wage, and therefore all the main bills come out of my account via direct debit. Or I would pay for our annual holiday on my credit card. I never asked for anything back, because I always believe that when you are in a committed relationship, what is mine is yours and vice versa.
Banks and shops were only too happy to offer me loans, credit and store cards and I took them. Why wouldn’t I? It was too easy and too tempting. Even as a student I was given store cards, and yet I didn’t really have any means of repaying them consistently. I did work during the holidays – indeed I have always worked (up until I had Burton) – and would save money to see me through my university years as I didn’t get any grants as such. So knowing I could have things and not have to have to worry about having the cash there and then was perfect for me!
On August 6th, 2010 I was made officially bankrupt – it was my choice (not that I had any other really!). I won’t go into the exact ins and outs but it was a mixture of debts from my student years, my early working days and from when I ran my own business. I worried about my debts for a long, long time and once I became officially bankrupt I just felt so relieved. Like a huge weight had been lifted from my shoulders.
I hope that when I eventually start working again and earning some money I will manage it better. I must! I certainly won’t make the same mistakes again and I won’t accept a credit or store card! I don’t care what anyone says, it’s very easy to get out of control with your finances and get into a debt rut with no way out. When I think back over the years as to how much money I borrowed and spent it is scary and very stupid. I wanted to be independent – financially and as a young woman who had left home and who wanted to live her life.
I made my choices.
I put myself into such debt
But it was also my choice to end it and declare myself bankrupt.
I am so pleased not to be worrying about my debts anymore
I made a new start and wiped my slate clean – it was a hard lesson to learn but I am grateful to have come out the other side.
If you have debt problems I can recommend contacting:
Your local CAB http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/
National Debt Helpline http://www.nationaldebtline.co.uk/ who are there for you to offer free and confidential advice
Don’t wait for your debts to mount up out of control – take the plunge and sort them out. Get help and advice from experts who are trained to help you.