Monday, 28 April 2014
Don't Be Like Me
I touched a little on it, in one of my blog posts from yesterday, but I wanted to explain what I am doing, what I am going through and why.
When I first moved into my own home with my then boyfriend, I felt as if no one could touch me, I had made it and I could do exactly as I wanted with my money. My partner had said he would pay all the bills, and all I had to pay was the food shop each week. I was so excited and so spent my wages on make up, going on holidays, concerts etc etc. We didn't save a penny, we just lived like money was going out of fashion and spent, spent, spent. We had a wonderful time. We saved up to get married and everything was fine.
Then when I was 8 months pregnant with Daniel, my husband got made redundant. We had no savings, we only had my wage and that was at the minimum level,and so I had to try and pay the mortgage, all the bills, petrol for the car, food shop and prepare for a baby coming very soon. As you can imagine, things were tough, I couldn't manage and so had to get a loan to tide us over until he got a job.
Thankfully, he got a job pretty quick, but he was working nights, and sleeping all day. So I was on my own, looking after the baby all night and all day. I couldn't drive and so felt pretty trapped not being able to go shopping and enjoy myself. Credit card letters kept piling through the door, and so I thought what's the harm, I will just have the one. When it arrived it was like I had hit the jackpot, the shopping channels were my vice and I used to watch them 24/7.
When I maxxed out the first card, I applied for a second and was approved. I maxxed out that. So at that point, I had a loan to pay, and 2 credit card payments to pay with huge interest added on top. When I returned to work 5 months later, they had cut my hours and so now, I was only earning half of what I was before with major repayments needed on a loan and credit cards. So I applied for an overdraft and managed to get one, but soon I was at the limit of that because of the high interest rates on everything.
I was scared to death, and slowly but surely things were unravelling at home too. My husband had fallen in with a new crowd of friends and alcohol was high on the agenda, and soon he was refusing to pay for bills, and the mortgage and DIY jobs, and so I was trying to balance all that as well as paying off all of my debt.
I felt so alone, so trapped and I didn't want to burden my family with the problems, so I never told anyone how bad things were. Slowly but surely, I worked hard, kept my head down and I started to repay everything, and the loan eventually got paid and the credit cards got paid off. But things were tight, no new clothes, no make up, no nothing. But I had done it, I had no debt, it was amazing, I felt like I was on top of the world.
Then as most of you will know, 3 years ago my husband walked out on me and I had the added burden of now being a single parent. I was so down, and depressed and alone that yet again, I was vulnerable and I fell victim to the old loans and credit cards again. Don't get me wrong, things are nowhere near as bad as they were 7 years ago, but my finances are really not in a good way and so I am taking drastic action so that I can lift my head high when I walk into a shop and know that I can afford to buy things without living on plastic.
I have been an idiot where money is concerned, my Mom was always on about how credit cards and loans are bad, but I thought I knew better and I so wish now I had listened to her. But, onwards and upwards, I will conquer this mountain, and boy is it a big mountain to climb, but I will do it because I have to start saving for Daniel's future and my future and that is the most important thing. I don't NEED the next big eye shadow palette, I don't NEED the most expensive perfume in the world. I WANT financial security and that is the most important goal for me right now.
Basically, I just want to warn all you beauty lovers and fashion lovers out there that loans and credit cards are not good, take it from someone who knows. They are so bad for you because yes you can buy the latest thing right then, but it takes months and years to repay for them, and by that time, the item that you so wanted has been in the bin for years and you are still paying for it. Stay away from them at all costs if you possibly can.
I am sorry if you found this post boring, but it is a post that comes from my heart and I just hope that I can prevent one of you being in the same sticky mess I am in at the moment.
Till next time, love and hugs xx