Week 26: Personal Confessions ~ Debt is NO small matter

“debt is no small matterHi there! Welcome to my personal confessions week 26. This week I wanted to share with you about debt, 3/4 of the country is in debt I for one I am in debt. Debt which if I was smarter 8 years  ago I would not be in this mess and/or slowly crawling out. 
I know this issue is one which is very sensitive for most people but I was encouraged by reading a fellow bloggers attitude towards finances and marriage. So how did I find me in this hole called debt? and How am I slowly but surely coming out of it? Well sit back, relax and have your pen and paper at the ready.
1. How did I find me in debt?
Got caught in the enticing world of credit cards and the beauty of spending and not paying anything back for up to 3-6 months and free interest in that period. Obviously I was not smart because the last statement should really have had alarms ringing but it didn’t I mean they say “don’t pay anything in 3-6 months” and during that period it’s “interest-free”, come on Mrs this should have screamed bloody murder but it didn’t. I was so caught up in the after glow of not paying anything there and then and returning sometime in the future.**illusion is thinking in couple of months you will have  money that you don’t have now**

To make matters I was spending more than I was earning and every time I paid it off I still went back and used it up all over again, this is a vicious cycle which can drown you before your very own eyes. 
When I left home and moved to university I literally lived on my credit cards and all the money I earned from my two jobs went to rent, bills and food sometimes the bills I couldn’t even manage I was lucky my boo helped me out a lot. That didn’t change the situation I had put myself in because I came to a stage were you pay off card so you don’t get charged the hefty charges then use the money now on card to pay for everything from rent to food. 
2. How am I slowly getting out?

One day I sat down with my mum and had one of them long African talks that you parents give you which come out as advice but are actually WARNINGS advice, lol. After that chat, I went and wrote down every company and person I owned money (boo excluded) and wrote down how much I earn and how much I can afford to pay each after all the essential bills like rent, transport, house bills etc are taken out. 

After that I contacted each company and told them how much I could have to pay back monthly they were understanding because it was either that or nothing. I then calculated how much I owned to people I know then started paying back slowly but surely. It’s been 6 months and I am half way through paying back people (almost done) and companies, it feels good to actually go to work pay bills and have money left over for me to spend on my family and myself. One major thing that I did is changed banks, removed OD facility and canceled all credit cards and/or store cards. 

So now if I don’t have it I don’t spend it that’s my new rule no more pay later high purchase kinda situation because I am done. I am enjoying our money after everything needed is out, I can go shop and save towards our goals without feeling guilty and stained with sleepless nights. 

So that’s my story and how I am dealing with debt. How do you deal with your debt and how did it come to be?
  • Thanks Brittnei and you're so right, they call them so many different things but at the end of the day it's just a loan in its full term. Here to make matters worse they have increased "student loans" so my sister will finish uni with a £45K debt plus whatever she will come out with. Debt is getting outa control and the best way is just not to have any loans and survive on what we have not what we want which usually we can not afford. Thanks x

  • Brittnei Washington

    Good for you. I think this will be mostly everyone's problem in our Western culture just because most things that are the "finer things in life that most people think equals success" are typically attained through loans. They make us think otherwise by calling loans different words. Like when you are about to buy a house it's called a mortgage, when are about to buy a car, you "finance it" and when you go away to college they are called "student loans." I think the best way to not go into debt is to just stop borrowing. LOL. People give all the answers in the world as to why borrowing sometimes is ok, but for us, it honestly goes against our beliefs. Unfortunately, we got into debt before we came into the knowledge of these things so our best bet is to do our best to get out of it, like you have done so beautifully and teach our children the truth. 🙂

  • That's sound like a good way to go about avoiding being in debt, I think I will starting practicing walking with cash only and Jo card. Thanks April x

  • April @ 100lbcountdown

    A couple of years ago, I took Financial Peace University ~ a Christian based finance seminar. It completely changed our lives. We managed to get rid of $30K in debt since! Took lots of sacrifice, but it's so worth it! We try not to use credit cards at all, and we leave them at home. We also try to make sure we only use cash when we're out, which makes it hard to overspend. If we run out of cash, we're out until the next paycheck.

  • Thank you Janine, I want to start my marriage at least debt free x

  • My husband totally put himself into credit card debt when he was younger. Thankfully when I met him, he decided to do something about it. He took out a bank loan to pay it off and then found it so much easier (and definitely less interest) to pay it all off. Now, we only both use credit cards when we need to and can pay it off immediately. Thank you for sharing your story and glad you are dealing with it now, too.

  • Yes technically but if you pay off monthly or whenever you use it then your managing it fine. I have paid back all my bank loans now just the student credit card and OD facility I used up like tissue paper lol. Thanks for sharing Rea x

  • I have a credit card now and once you have one, you will always be in debt technically.. because you're using money from the bank. Sometimes when I have large purchases, I call the back and avail of their easy payment terms so that I can pay in installment and will pay fixed interest, at least the interest is not getting higher and higher. I've used up 50% of my credit limit at this point and I'm planning to avail of their installment plan again. Other loans I have are government loans and are deducted from my salary every pay day – those are totally manageable though. Here's to having a debt-free life! 🙂

  • Sometimes I understand when people ask if it's worth to go to uni when debts you come out with are so huge that it takes best part of your life paying them off.
    That credit card bill watch it closely otherwise a few hundred might become a few thousands. Thanks for sharing x

  • I completely understand. I've got credit card debt at 20, which I'm not too worried about paying off because it's only a couple hundred dollars and I'm chipping away a little bit every month. My main concern is those student loans. That's a whole other story I haven't had the guts to take on yet.

  • I think that kind of debt is better than the one I have because I do not have the luxury now to even be thinking of a house before I reach 30 maybe when I am 33 I will be able. Thanks for sharing x

  • Deidre || Love, The Skinnys

    Debt and money is a frequent conversation in our home. We have made a pact to only go in debt for a house, and so slowly we are working for that. Saving and scraping and not turning on the AC. That sounds crazy, right?! But we will do it now while we don't have the money and then when we are both working and happy life will be easy. At least that is what we think. Who knows if it is true?

  • Thank you Hun! You welcome here anytime x

  • Sueannie Val

    I am inspired thank you for sharing!

  • wow, thank you so much for sharing. I know the feeling and I hope one day when I have kids I too will try make sure they don't get into what I got myself into. Thank you Rebekah x

  • Thank you Charlie x

  • No I have not Alicia but thanks I will check him out x

  • Yep I do feel like that too so I have warned my siblings x

  • When I was 19 I had no money and couldn't afford to pay rent – I got caught up in those cash advance places where they give you $200 but then you have to pay back $250… so then I'd have to borrow $200 and pay back $250 again… it was awful, I couldn't get out of it because I kept having to pay back more and more, so then I ended up racking up credit card debt… 13 years later and I'm still not done paying off all the debt, because I spent years just paying off interest. Not fun! My goal is to never let my children end up in that situation. Panic attacks whenever the phone rings because someone is calling you for money, sleepless nights like you mentioned trying to figure out how you're going to get out of it AND still manage to eat…. awful.

  • Good for you! Have you heard of Dave Ramsey before? He has some great books on getting out of debt!

  • Kelsey

    This is huge! I feel like so many young people get caught up in credit cards and wind up in a deep hole.

  • I have realised running don't solve nothing. Thanks for stopping by x

  • Thanks and it is but heading in right direction x

  • Indeed x

  • kaitleech

    Ugh, It's definitely NO small thing!

  • Good for you! I am slowly getting myself out of student loan debt. That is the hardest thing!!

  • Good for you for dealing with it! There are so many others (myself included) with this problem at hand, and it would help if everyone would tackle it in the correct manner rather than running or hiding from the issue! 🙂

  • I am glad you nipped it in the bug before it went anywhere, keep it up like that. That attitude saves money lol x

  • Thank you Lara debt is hard but stopping old habits helps move things along x

  • Tell me about it, I am glad not to have credit cards anymore x

  • I felt myself getting to the point of no return and I changed the way I spend my money. If I can afford it then it's not a problem, If I feel like I am going to kick my self for said purchase then I dont walk out of the store with it. I guess I have to thank my parents for instilling in me the 'look at the price tag be fore you take it off the rack routine'.

  • Lara Jean Becar

    Debt was the hardest thing 🙁 I walked right into it and struggled to get it out. It was so frustrating to think that the money I was saving to pay off bills was money I could have been saving for other things. This is a great post! Having a plan is what gets you out.

    • Thank you and I understand you totally because that was me

  • Renee Soriano

    Debt sucks the life out of us! College loans, car payments…thank goodness we don't have credit cards anymore!

  • Thank you Jemma, I can say now that I am fortunate that I didn't get student finance but back then it was an unfortunate thing as has contributed to my current situation not that I am blaming it all on that x

  • I think money education should start is soon as 11years old because man it's one hard habit to kick but one which is worth it once done x

  • I agree being strict and hard work is the way forward I can't really blame much on society just me lol x

  • joanna smith

    I think it should be taught in school. I'm still in debt from being wreckless with 'free money' aka credit cards at age 18 🙁

  • Erika

    Sensible spending and seeing where you got yourself into debt in the first place is the first step. We all spend more than we should, it seems to be a part of our society now. Hard work and being strict with yourself, is the way i have found best.

    • Hard working and being strict with myself indeed is helping me through this journey