Following the break down of a relationship back in 2009 and the subsequent months of turmoil that came afterwards, I found myself in quite a lot of debt. And when I say “quite a lot”, I really do mean quite a lot.
£30,000 at my worst point.
Having got to a point where I found myself eating dry cornflakes and drinking only water at home, plus receiving letters from my electric and gas suppliers demanding money, I realised I couldn’t hide my problems anymore – I was sinking fast and it was time to admit I was in trouble. So, in July 2012 I sat down with my parents and told them the extent of my financial woes.
To find myself in the situation I was, was incredibly embarrassing and I thought people would be both disappointed and ashamed of me, thinking I was stupid or deserved what was happening, however, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Admittedly, I did lose quite a few friends because I was no longer able to go out all the time, but in hindsight, I can see they weren’t really my friends – those that truly cared about me stood by me every single step of the way.
I moved out of my beautiful two bedroom flat and in to my mum’s spare room, so I can have all my prom dresses in closet. I sold my furniture, I put myself on a spending ban and I put my heart and soul into getting rid of my debts.
In February 2013, after managing to clear three or four credit cards, I had around £17,000 of debt left. Approximately £5,000 of that was a loan, which was a regular monthly Direct Debit so didn’t bother me too much, but the remaining £12,000 kept me awake at night as it was owed partially to my parents and partially on the two remaining credit cards I had.
So, I decided to set myself a challenge; to pay off the the remaining £12,000 by this blog’s second birthday – 20 March 2014. And thus my £12k in 399 Days Challenge was born.
Within those 399 days I had a few financial setbacks – my car died so I had to buy a new one (setting me back by £1,200) and then I had to pay around £500 in vets bills. Because of this, I missed my deadline date, but I finally paid off the final chunk of the debt on 23 July 2014.
In the coming months I plan to write a help guide, explaining how I cut my outgoings and sharing hints, tips and advice as to how to adjust your way of life in order to save money or pay debts. I’m no financial advisor, but I’ve been there, done it – lived it.
As well as the help guide, I also plan to do a few other bits and pieces to help people who are in the same situation I was – however, I think it’s best I get the guide together first, to give me a base to work from.
If I can turn my life around, anyone can. I want to help others to rid themselves of the black cloud of debt – it weighs heavy and hides the sun for anyone underneath it.
If you find yourself in a situation with debt and need to talk, please feel free to drop me a line – as they say, a problem shared is a problem halved and I know how hard it can be.
Once my help guide is written, I will upload details of it here.