….it’s tough being in debt. It’s tough each month a percentage of your salary goes to eliminating the debt-monkey. It’s tough not being able to ‘spend’ this money on yourself, for your own luxuries, gifts, savings, whatever.
However, the toughest thing is admitting that you DO have an issue with money, and dealing with it.
It’s taken me over 20 years to get to this stage in my life – to admit that I have a problem, that I was falling more into debt, and that it was all my fault. You know what though… I’m glad I’ve gone through all of this. I maybe poor now, however I’ll be damned if I’m going to stay poor for the rest of my life – I’m determined for this end as a happy ever after story. It’s my destiny, my choices, and my decisions, and nobody else is to blame but myself.
When I hit rock-bottom in March/April this year it really hit me like a tun of bricks. The realisation that I was falling deeper and deeper into debt, with the thought of needing things around me constantly, and trying to please everyone but myself. What really hit me was that it wasn’t the past few years of downward spiral which caused this, but decades of just over-spending for no apparent reason.
Budgeting is the real key here. I’d never budgeted before in my life, and since my research on the internet reading other people’s debt issues and success stories, I realised that budgeting was one of the main sources for getting out of debt, as well as your mind-set, which has to change!
Please don’t think that my journey has been easy – as it hasn’t. I’ve had to really dig deep and look at myself in the mirror, and be accountable for all of my past actions. I’ve had to really want to ‘change’ my ways by any means necessary. I’ve had to be disciplined and had to make sacrifices – painful sacrifices which some may feel isn’t all that, but to me it IS a big deal.
I’ve been fortunate to have a job which pays a decent salary, which has helped me to climb out of debt with determination and focus. I’m even more fortunate to of had some money stashed away, whether it was shares or insurance refunds which I’ve fought for – and won. I’m one of the fortunate ones, and I know that. I know I’ve been given another chance, and I’m going for it. I know that the journey would of been more difficult if I had responsibilities (children), so my journey would of been more tough – however what I do know is that I would STILL be as focused, albeit the journey would be taking longer.
Going home to an empty fridge, and only buying food which you need on a weekly basis is tough. No more booze (alcohol), in the house. No more luxury food items. Just the basics which I know will serve me for each month before my next pay day is my sacrifice.
Limiting the amount of ‘event’s I go to has also been a sacrifice. Not going out with friends and dates because I don’t want to spend any money. On average, going out to a local pub (bar) where I work, you can easily spend £20-£30 a night on just a few drinks and food! I cannot afford to do that – not on a regular basis anyhow, maybe once every 2 months just to feel ‘human’ and ‘normal’.
Not buying any clothes and make-doing with what I’ve already got. That is tough choice, but necessary. Not buying gadgets which I L.O.V.E. so much – wow, it hurts so bad, yet I’ve got to keep away from things like this. My passion, watching b&w silent movies and going to my favourite cult cinema called the Prince Charles, man I wonder whether they still remember me? I remember them but I have not gone there since March! I used to go at least twice a month. My packed lunches at work is essential, and if I do not have home-made food, I will just have ‘porridge’ for my lunch (yes, I have sachets in my cupboard for days when I haven’t got any food – I’m determined not to spend nearly $10 a day on my lunch. Or if there’s any spare food going around at work, I’m happy to take. You know what… in the words of TLC ‘I ain’t too proud to beg’).
I’m a hustler… I’m finding ways of making extra money by any means necessary, and I’m using that money to kill my debt, snowballing it whenever it hits my account. Hundreds and hundreds of pounds (dollars) each month disappearing from my account from my salary and my hustling. Whether it’s the minimum amount of £800 or more than £1,200, I’m doing it – I’m sacrificing it. As soon as it goes in, that exact day it’s already flying out to kill the debt – KILL IT! I’ve got to make this sacrifice. I’ve got to be focused. I’ve got to keep up with this gazelle intensity. I know some may think this is mad, this is stupid, why the intensity, why the hurry, why????
I tell you why, because I’m sick to death of being sick to death of my debt. I’m sick of having this chalice around my neck. I’m sick knowing that the majority of stuff which I’ve bought in my life has been on credit and not paid in cash from day 1. I’m sick that society wants us to stay in debt until the day we die. I wasn’t bought up this way, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to die this way. I don’t want to owe Mastercard, Visa, nor any other institution. I don’t want them having a piece of me every month. They can PISS OFF!
I WANT TO PAY ME FIRST! I want to give myself at least a third of my salary each month, to put away for a rainy day (and have the option of putting more if I want to). I want to be in control of my life, and I want it NOW.
So, that’s my answer to anyone who may think that I’m weird or odd. I know my fellow colleagues look at me in a certain way and think ‘she’s crazy’ however I really don’t care. I maybe crazy, however I like it this way…
Don’t give up people. Every decision you make when you get paid is going to be a step closer to you being debt-free one day.
Live like no one else. So later you can live like no one else.