Week 10: Personal Confessions ~ Debt is no small matter 6

 “debt is no small matterThe first time I ever decided to open up about my personal struggle with debt was last year in May. Though I had a plan in place of what I wanted to do, where I wanted to be around May this year and how I intended to get there I could not have foreseen how hard this process was going to be but also how much of an education, an experience this was going to be for me. One thing I do know for sure is this is one process I will not be repeating for years to come, I have sworn myself off debt. My boo always told me do not spend what you did not earn or do not have, at first I just thought he was annoying but 7 years on I realise it was trying to save me from this journey but sometimes I believe we need to experience something to truly believe the words of wisdom.

It’s been over 3 months since I last shared an update on my financial state and my financial plan for 2015. Since we are long overdue I wanted to recap from the last 5 posts on Debt is no small matter then share my current plan and status.
In my first ever Debt is no small matter post, I shared how I got into debt and how I was going to get out of it. I laid out my plan as well as my new motto “If you don’t have it don’t spend it” – I am happy to say I have stayed true to my word and not once have I spent what I didn’t have and by this I mean no loans and no more credit cards. After laying out my plan I went further and shared with you all the subscriptions & beauty boxes I was (then) currently preview to which I cancelled 90%. I am very proud of myself for not falling off the wagon with these because it was not easy but I knew my debt-free future was more important. In my third Debt is no small matter post I shared with you all how I was not able to reach my target of being Debt free by December 2014 due to family loses and my need to travel back home to Zambia after 12 years. Though with family loses and trips to plan I still managed to pay off 75% of my debt by December 2014, I then shared the true story on how I came into Debt and how much I was owing to begin with and the then current financial status. My last advice in 2014 of Debt is no small matter I spoke about my knowledge of money since I was young but my lack of will power even when I knew the consequences I guess I never just understood them fully.

It is so much easier to look down on people in debt when you have never been in debt or appreciate the struggle that some people go through. Most times people do just put themselves into debt because they want to live a certain lifestyle or want certain things in life and there is nothing wrong with wanting that. The wrong part comes when you start to live above your means and start to cause problems in families, relationships and friendships too. I am blessed to have a supportive unit and though I know most of the debt was not by choice (Tuition fee & rent) the other part was and I could have avoided it but then again I only now appreciate the situation after I have personally walked it. I know that if my only debt was my tuition fee and rent with my salary I would have been debt free after 3-6 months. I hope one day when I have kids I can teach my kids the best way how and hope they never fall into the same ditch that I did.

What I owed
What I owe
What I will owe come January 2015
£11,112.24
£4,817.20
£3,582.97

The table above I shared last year october, I shared what I owed to begin with, how much I was owing at that point and how much I would be owing come January 2015. It’s now March 2015 and I owe roughly £2,103.01, I am working on clearing this before the summer and I am very happy with my progress the future looks so bright.

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  • Thank you, never giving up has been my motto from the start. I want to enjoy my life without worrying about money.

  • Yup, I was one of those who didn't pay my credit card off monthly and never kept track of what I was spending on them.

  • That is the spirit, that's how I am doing it

  • Thanks Sara, its never nice but it happens

  • Thanks Reginia

  • Thanks Vera

  • Couldn't agree more Franc, best to avoid debt wherever possible

  • Thanks Katrina, I am only spending what I have not what I do not.

  • I think with credit cards you just have to ensure you pay them off monthly

  • Awww bless, hope you manage to pay if off well before retirement

  • It feels absolutely amazing, I can no believe how far I have come

  • Thanks Sharon, always nice to have financially savvy partners

  • That's the part that I missed, using the credit card to build credit not to pay for things I couldn't afford. Thanks

  • Thank you Corinne

  • Thanks Sinova, its definitely one tough hole but once out it an amazing feeling

  • Thanks Marina, I hope to one day teach my kids and others about debt and how bad it is.

  • We are so ill prepared for it and sometimes only experience can teach us especially in my case.

  • Way to go! There will always be snags that we hit that might hinder our original plans, but the important thing is to not give up, and what you learn from it. My husband and I became debt-free 2 years ago, and it's been life-changing. I have medical issues that I no longer have to worry about because we were able to save money as an emergency fund. With debt, it was hard to save.

  • Sometimes i think people think they do not have to pay the credit card bill at the end of the month and when they do get the bill they are shocked. Thankfully my husband and I are very mindful on what we put on our credit cards.

  • I am working hard to get out of debt. It feels like such a hard process but I am going to just keep plugging away at it.

  • You've done brilliantly to get your debt down. I know how easy people feel it is to look down on those with debt. I say walk a mile in their shoes before opening up with a rude opinion!

  • Keeping your personal and business finances in order are keys to a fuss free life. I'm in agreement, do not use credit cards irresponsibly.

  • You are making great progress. Deciding to be debt free will change your life forever.

  • It's easier to manage your finances if you avoid debts as interest can really be a burden. It's important to spend less than what you earn so you get to save.

  • Thank you for sharing this. I actually cut up all my cards and only use them for online orders that I know that I have the cash in my account for. Thank you for this. It is so reassuring that we can do this and there is power in the numbers taking back the power in this area of their life.

  • We have been trying to not sue the credit card this year but it's just hard. We use it though just for gas and groceries.

  • That's awesome! I have a ton of student loans to pay off…it will probably take me well into retirement age to do it unfortunately

  • Wow! That is some awesome motivation! I bet it feels so good to get some of that debit gone. Great job!

  • Atta girl…you can do it. If it wasn't for my financially savvy husband, I myself would be in horrible debt because I simply jut don't always pay attention, as it is the six kids, house, appliances and vehicles are bad enough!

  • It's refreshing to see your honesty and that you have a plan in place. If you stick to it you will be doing better than most. So many young people fail to see that a credit card is simply to be used to build credit, not because you don't have the means to pay for something now. A great way to use a credit card is to use it, the. Immediately pay it off. It's a hard hard lesson to learn. I have a credit card I have about 20 more payments on til it's paid off and the. After that, no more purchases I can't outright but. You have a great plan in place.

  • So many people struggle with this and it is such a rough journey. Kudos to you for tackling the problem and for sharing your experience so that others can learn from and be inspired by it.

  • Debt is no laughing matter! I usually have an 'auto pay' setting on all my credit cards so the money automatically is taken from my account. Debt is a hard hole to come out of but I admire those who are trying. Take it one day at a time <3

  • If only more people thought like you!! I love your motto and think it's what we all should live by. Our family is careful thanks to Hubs spearheading our finances and I'm so glad we live within our means.

  • I admire people who are trying to get out of debt. I taught Personal Finances to high school kids for several years. I was amazed at how little they knew about finances. It's the one area that we all need to be highly educated in, yet it seems that we are ill prepared to deal with finances.

    • I agree we are so ill prepared that we make bad judgment when left to our own devices, thanks for stopping by