04 June 2017

Debt Free, Before 30?

Hello My Loves!

I have been thinking about doing a post like this for a while as I think it is something that affects many people and I want all of you to come on my journey with me. I obviously have the support of my family but I want to try and do this on my own and try to be more independent before I am 30.

I have never been particularly good with money. As a child my mum would put any money I got for my birthday or Christmas in a savings account and when I went to University she gave me the bank card because I was supposed to use the money for my first year at Uni.

To be fair to myself I was pretty good in my first year, I watched what I spent and I didn't really drink much or go out much. My downfall started when I reached second year and moved in to a house with my friends. My bank decided to increase my overdraft (even though I never planned on using it) without my consent. I went to them many times to ask them to remove it from my account but always left feeling defeated by their persuasion to keep it 'just in case'.

I wouldn't say I ever needed it because if I struggled for money my parents would help me. I don't mean they would give me thousands but my loan didn't cover the cost of my rent and I really struggled to find a job. I probably could have tried harder but I didn't, so I had help.

I remember the day I went into my overdraft. I had to renew my passport because I was going to Belgium and I didn't want to ask my parents for the money so I thought I would use my overdraft and pay it back when I got my monthly allowance. This did not happen. After the holiday I went into a spiral of spending what I thought was 'free' money. Before I knew it by the end of my 3rd year at Uni I was £2000 overdrawn. I had no job and had to go on Job Seeker's Allowance because I was having absolutely no luck on the job front.

I finally managed to get a job with a well known plus size brand in one of their stores close by to my home. I thought 'Great! I will be able to pay off what I owe in no time'.
This was most certainly not the case. Instead I decided to spend my money on clothes, jewellery and make up. I opened 4 store credit accounts. All the time I was thinking 'well there isn't any interest on my overdraft' and 'I will be able to pay all these other accounts back monthly'. I promised I would never spend more than £100 on each account but then Christmases and Birthdays came.

I now know that I don't need to buy everyone a present all the time (hind sight is a wonderful thing) but I just thought its fine £400 is nothing I will pay that back in no time. My need to spend and to have more clothes, shoes and bags got out of control and now I am really paying for it.

I could keep saying to myself  'why didn't you listen to your mother?' Or 'if only I hadn't bought that, then I would be able to...' but that time has passed and I now have to deal with the consequences of my actions.

I have made myself a 3 and a bit year plan to pay off what I owe and get back on track with my spending. I want to be able to save and pay for holidays out right rather than owing this and paying off that. I have set my self some very strict rules and I am determined to stick to them.

I blame myself for my uncontrolled spending and I need to start telling myself just because you like it doesn't mean you need it or should have it. Now, I'm not saying I'm never going to buy anything ever again but I really need to start budgeting. I don't earn a lot of money and I need to stop spending money I don't have.

This means for the next 3 and a bit years I will be paying off that Very account and that Simply be account along with my overdraft. I have a repayment plan with my bank and now, I need to work one out with my other accounts myself. I need to have a good look at my spending.

I can't put myself on a spending ban for 3 years but I can certainly change the way I spend and justify my purchases a bit better. I love to shop and I love to buy new things but I need to do this for the money I have and not a penny more.

I hope that you will follow me on my journey! Let's see if I can make it! December 2020! Here I come!

I will try to do a couple of posts month about this so I can keep track of myself. A bit like a diary. I will also outline my plans and try to give tips and tricks along the way.

If anyone is in a similar position to me, then I hope we can do this together and support each other.

Much Love,

Abi



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