The Debt Recovery Journey ~ Month 1

The debt recovery journey is a new series where I will be sharing how I intend to become debt free again. I had been debt free for over a year before I found myself in another form of debt. The post debt challenges I faced are ones that everyone whose ever been in debt before knows only too well. The aim of this debt recovery journey is to be completely honest about my debt and accept the circumstances that got me into them. Once that’s established I need to assess how much in debt I am and create a plan of attack.

As I have always mentioned in my previous debt series is never to allow debt to take over your life. You need to have a plan in place, practice discipline and re-evaluate your lifestyle choices without compromising on necessities. You might be wondering how I managed to get myself back into debt after spending 2 years getting out of it. It might seem like I never really learnt my lesson but in actuality I did, the current debt situation was a necessity.

post debt challenges

How I got into debt {round 2}

When I finished paying off my debt in 2016 I vowed never to be in debt again or even allow debt near me. Once my finances where back to normal and I could finally breathe a sigh of relief I continued to enjoy my life. I lived by the motto ‘if you don’t have it, don’t spend it‘ and it is one I live by today’. But as we all know life has a funny way of throwing curves balls just when you least expect them. For me those curves balls included;

Fear of losing employment.

The company wasn’t in a good standing when I started but it seemed to survive it. But then things all of a sudden changed and we lived in fear of being made redundant. It was hard to always think that day would be the last time you’re going to work. But that never came and we still waiting anxiously looking when it might strike. I have found a good area to live in and did not want to move if I needed to look for another job. Instead I choose to get a car and not just any old car, I needed a car I can have for a few plus years. So I decided to take out car finance and that was debt #1 incurred in 2017.

Post Graduate Education

When I decided to go back to university for my post-graduate degree I knew this would be debt #2. But I was fortunate that my company decided to sponsor me during my studies. Then one day the sponsoring was over and I had to find my own way of paying for the education. I know having this master’s degree will be of great help in my field of work.  I did what was the best option for me and I took out a bank loan to cover the fees.

Family Emergencies

As I mentioned no one can predict when life will throw you a curve ball and what kind. An example of a curve ball I was sent; two funerals in one day and a birthday. To give you some perspective and not as an excuse, I have 30 aunties and uncles. From them I have 50+ cousins, nieces and nephews some of whom I have never met. Yes I come from a large extended family and when family emergencies strike you do what you can. No idea how many curves balls life threw but this would make debt #3 of 2017 as I used my credit cards. Normally I wouldn’t use my credit cards but for emergencies and I think funerals and school fees do count right?

Whilst the type of debt I have now is somewhat different to my previous one, it is still debt. I have a good paying job which allows me to live a comfortable life whilst paying off this debt. But regardless I don’t like to have debt so I am putting myself on this debt recovery journey. I am giving myself 2 years to clear this debt, pay a little extra when I can.

In the next post in this series, I will be sharing how much in debt I am. Then will focus on a repayment plan {not using a company} but using paper and pen to see affordability.

Have you ever been in debt? What helped you to overcome debt and live a debt free life?

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  • Karlyn Cruz

    It can almost be impossible to be debt free when emergencies happen. I also have student loans and there was a time when it was just really difficult for me to pay. Funny that you go to school but then you come out financially worse than you’ve ever been and then take maybe a few years before your life can be in a good place simply because you have so much educational debt to pay for.

    Good luck on your journey! It’s a great goal to have!

    • Thank you and it truly is funny that education gets us into more debt faster than family emergencies or even poor financial planning

  • Sadie

    Debt is a tricky thing. I’ve never been in thousands and thousands of dollars of debt. Well, until I bought a house. Then it seemed like it wasn’t that big of a deal, so the credit cards came out. Big mistake! Your advice is spot on. Especially planning for emergencies. They truly can hit at any time.

    • I rememebr my first major debt overall was 11k on credit cards and student loans and that pained me every night until 2 years later I paid it off and now I have even more than that and all because I wanted to get educated and family emergencies sprung on me.

  • We are trying to take control of our finances. We don’t spend more than we bring in each month and try to pay off our credit card bills in full every month. We still have soem student loans and are thinking about just paying them off vs continuing to pay the monthly amount. Kudos to you for making some positive changes for a bright financial future.

    • Thank you Jenn, I am hoping tackling this issue head on will help me more in the future.

  • Nikki

    I have been doing everything possible to avoid new car debt. We paid off our car a long time ago. So along ago, in fact, that it’s falling apart. Every time it needs a new repair, someone says “oh, just get a new one!” I calculate the costs. A new car payment (even a good used car with payment) plus full insurance would cost me at least $3K a year. If I pay $1500 to keep repairing my old clunker, it’s worth it, right? 😀

    • I think it depends on what you use the car for, if it is your main and only mode of transportation I would think wisely about it and what works for you and current financial standing.

  • Censie ‘Mumby’ Sawyer

    WE are really focusing on our spending. We have stopped eating out and that has really helped us a lot. It was crazy how much we spent eating out, even though we had food at home! NOT GOOD!

    • I rarely go out but I am also reviewing my spending to see where I can cut the spending

  • Ali || Veggies by Candlelight

    We’re starting the Dave Ramsey method, having $1000 emergency, than getting everything in order with bills smallest to largest paying in order. There a different “steps” you follow and it’s truly helped. We do use our credit cards still but we use them to earn points for vacation and airlines, and are usually paid off within 1-3 months. We try and be smart with purchases and cutting out things that aren’t a necessity, so far it’s worked.

    • I truly need to check out the Dave Ramsey method as I think that is truly important for me to try different steps to the ones I used before.

  • One thing I don’t believe in, is living beyond my means! I do want to plan my money better and be more mindful for “emergency” possibilities! I enjoyed reading this, thanks for sharing!

    • I am someone who had to learn the hard way when living above your means, lesson well learnt and now if I don’t have it I don’t spend it.

  • Thanks Julee and so true, debt can accumulate faster than people realise

  • Melanie E

    We started following the Dave Ramsey plan when we were married. Our biggest hurdle has always been family emergencies. Medical bills have plagued us for years. We just try to get by!

    • I have not heard of the Dave Ramsey plan but will check it out. Family emergencies are always the downfall for most of us