I’ve always been bad with money. Well, I call it binges really. At times I can be the most organised person – full of financial control. I can put my mind to things and save, save, save. And then something happens in my life and – BAM – I go back down the spiral road of debt.
Here’s my story: It started when I was a teenager. I used credit cards and loans to ‘keep up with everybody’. I come from a working class background, no airs and graces. My parents worked hard and saved hard for whatever they needed.
I banged a good job in advertising. A marvellous achievement for my age of 19 years old! Soon I got into the self-belief that I could keep up with everyone on the social scene. The trouble was, these people were middle-class and HAVE money, I didn’t! Anyhow, the credit cards started to pile up, and the loans. It took 10 years to get rid of the lot. If you asked me what I spent it all on, for the life of me I really don’t know!
Fast forward to 12 years ago. I bought a house with my partner. He was already £5k in debt as he wanted to help with the ‘deposit’. Within a year we (and I say we as it was my decision as well as he’s when he suggested it to me) wanted to get rid of his £5k debt, and I wanted to help him out. So we added £10k onto the mortgage (don’t ask why the extra £5k, we just did!) Within 2 years we did it again! We changed mortgage providers and added another £10k. Now, all of this time muggins here was paying for he mortgage with the partner as and when he could! Fair? Well, again I put up with it, so I’m not going to grumble – it was my fault in letting him get away with it in the first place.
The decade of 2000 was a very strange one. Everyone thought they were RICH. I had been in negative equity in the early 1990’s and so put my foot down in not putting anymore money onto the mortgage. I always believed in your mortgage being 3 times your salary and capital/repayment. I’m glad I stuck to that guideline. However, I bought a 2nd hand car, and 3 years into my car loan debt I then took on the partner’s debt because ‘he couldn’t cope with it’ (yes, he got himself into more debt of about £15k). What a mug I was, but hey, I could handle it because my salary was growing while his was, well, going nowhere. And that’s also my problem. I always look to help out others who are more in need than me, and always put them first.
Roll on 2008 and 3 more years until I would be debt-free. I had a serious knock-back. There was an unexpected bereavement in the family. It hit me HARD. I’m still not over it. And my relationship was beginning to show serious cracks. He couldn’t understand the pain I was going through, and the support I was giving to my family at this emotional time. And I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t ‘supporting’ me. We slowly stated to become distant from each other. I needed things around me to feel happy. I decided to get another loan out, but this time to revamp the kitchen. To cheer me up. And then the credit cards (just as a back-up in case the loan didn’t get approved – which it did). And then I started to spend on my cards… and spend… and spend. I had to get the best of everything. I had to ‘keep up with everyone’ and spend a fortune on flights to far off places, to experience business class like my work colleagues do. I was buying bracelets, and fancy bags. I was doing things I had never done before – starting to live – starting to ‘spend’ like I was middle class and not working class! It was the beginning of the recession / credit crunch, and instead of keeping in control of my 1 loan debt, I added an extra loan and x3 credit cards! I was depressed and these ‘materialistic things’ were making me feel happy, at least immediately. It took away the pain of feeling sad, lost, lonely and losing my family member.
Then the defaults started kicking in last July. I was not making the minimum payments on everything. I was getting phone calls from the credit card providers. I was not getting regular money from the partner (which wasn’t anything new, but now it was really affecting my cash flow). This has been going on and off until now. 2012 and I need to sort out this shit – and fast.
So, that’s my story. Here’s where I am in my life. Fortunately I do not have any children, so it makes it that bit easier to concentrate on me, and me alone! No more bailing out other people’s debts. No more helping out people because they ‘want’something but haven’t got the means to pay for it themselves. The buck stops HERE and I’m determined to be debt-free within 2-3 years, top. Hence mickeymousedebt was created. It’s all mickey mouse money which we as consumer owe. It’s all bullshit, and we all have to start taking control of our lives and get out of this debt issue we’re all in. Please continue to read my thread and following my journey of aiming to be debt-free, and most importantly, having FREEDOM ! I don’t want to be rich, but just be free of all of the stress and financial strain which millions of us are going through. We need a revolution, people.