Hi, my name is Leanne, I’m 26, addicted to spending and in a serious amount of debt. I thought I would post about my debt as a) talking about it openly is quite therapeutic and b) if I can stop just one person making the same mistakes as me I’ll have done some good.
While I was with my ex boyfriend of three and a half years he hated debt and hated people who had debt. I worked part time in Kwik Save while studying full time in College. I didn’t go out, I didn’t have a life, but I did have about £2,000 saved up. We then split up, I rebelled. The £2,000 paid for lots of nights out with the girls and several girls holidays over the next couple of years. Obviously this didn’t only cost £2,000! When I finished College I got the job that I’m still in now, only things were different back then. I was paid less than minimum wage! I was young, careless and having fun for the first time in years! I kept getting letters in the post from credit card companies offering me thousands of pounds, the bank kept offering to increase my overdraft – why not – it meant I could have the holiday and all the clothes that went with the holiday, I’d pay it back in the end. I’ve taken out two loans to consolidate all of my debts, both times I failed miserably as I kept using my credit card and building up more debt (hence consolidating twice).
I am now in quite a lot of debt. I am however very lucky. I have a mortgage and I still enjoy life, I also have a very supportive partner who is helping me out. Up until this week my credit card has still very much been my trusty best friend. Not any more! I’ve had a sudden realisation that if I carry on how I am I will never get out of debt, less of telling myself that I believe in fate and one day everything will sort itself out – Leanne – wake up and smell the roses, they smell like shite! The reason I’m still getting into debt is that I’m paying off more than I can afford, I now realise that there is no point in saying “I can live off this amount” and concentrate on paying debts, because I can’t, I can’t stop spending! I’m now making some serious changes, my lovely partner has agreed to pay my gym membership for me (thank you!) as that was originally the first obvious saving I could make. I’ve spent this evening ringing around and shifting my credit card debts so that I have 0% for a year. I will pay this alongside my current loan to avoid even more interest. When the 0% is up I will look for a new credit card offering 0%. I have a bills account and a spending account. The spending account has no overdraft. I have cut up my credit card and removed it from my paypal. This way if I want it and I don’t have the money, tough, I simply can’t have it! A Simple concept for most but not me! I’m also attempting to quit smoking (I’m only a social smoker anyway so this should be fine until I’m drunk!) and just generally be more sensible, go out a bit less and buy (this is painful!) less clothes.