In the beginning there was 1 man who, due to being in a low-income job, had amassed a shit load of debt. That man was me. Now, thanks to Stepchange and a TPP, I’m in charge of my debts rather than my debts being in charge of me.
Everyone craves the nice things in life, you know, cars, houses, beer and such like. Trouble is, these all cost money. That’s right, cold, hard cash. Now, like most people, I had little money, but were there’s a want, there’s a way.
Loans, overdrafts and credit cards are great aren’t they ?. Just fill out this form, tick a couple of boxes and sign your life away and bingo!!, you are suddenly richer by a few £1k’s. Loadsa money, spend like you won the lotto. no need to worry, the minimum payments are not much and you will soon clear-off those debts. After all, credit is easy to handle, right ?.
Bullshit. If you pay just the minimum, it will tae you years to pay-off the amount owed as they pile-on interest in order to grab as much of your cash as they can.
Back in the tail-end of 2013 I had the misfortune of finding myself back on the dole after 30 months in what i considered to be a safe, long-term temp role. Having made the fatal mistake of taking-out yet another loan 6 months previously, I felt nearly suicidal at the thought that my financial mismanagement might well cost me my home.
At this point, i had my lightbulb moment. I needed to face my debts head-on and fast. My first call (after a restles night’s sleep) was to one of my credit card providers who put me on to Stepchange. Within 6 weeks I had all my debts in a TPP and instead of worrying about how to pay my debts from my meagre benefits, I found myself in a position of being in control of my debts. Roll-on to March 2015 and, after a few agency roles, I’m back in a permanent job and earning proper money again.
As of today, I a also in the position financially that I can cover my entire months outgoings from my main account and even have the beginnings of an emergency fund.
I still have £10k of debt that I need to work on, but I am in a position where I can even begin to start to consider paying extra amounts to each debt over and above the £1 a month Stepchange pays them.
I have also come to the conclusion that I really don’t need the latest technology. Nor do I need to replace my car every year or two years just because it is getting old.
Yes, I’d like to own a nice Mitsubishi L200 Barbarian (that’s the one with the leather seats), but do i really have the need for a diesel-guzzling 4WD pick-up ?. It would be nice to won a vehicle that says ‘get out of my f***ing way, i’m coming through’, but I’m a handyman, not a builder. My little Berlingo can hold just as many tools as the pick-up, but it costs a hell of a lot less than th pick-up to run.
Now, my new mantra is “do I have a use for that” when deciding to purchase something. I am a sucker for tools and was drawn to a tile cutter saw being sold in Aldi. The old me would have bought it and stuck it in the cupboard ‘just in case’. However, the new me decided that as i have no idea how to tile a wall (as can be proven by my attempt to re-tile a wall at work (albeit with the old tiles that had fallen-off)), it would be a waste of money and besides, if I did find someone to teach me to tile, that would then be the point to start looking at such tech.
Well, that’s me. I’m sure to be adding more insperational musings with regards to money and finance over the coming months (or I might just get tired of blogging and go do something else) so please call by every once in a while.