I always found it ironic that I worked in a bank, yet I still managed to get myself caught up in a spiral of debt.
A spiral, that once I was in I fell deeper and deeper. A combination of paying it down and luck has meant that I am no longer in debt, but it has taken years to get to this place.
Starting at University, living on a student loan, and an interest free overdraft. Not to mention the bank of Mum and Dad, life was good.
Nights out, cheap vodka and living beyond your means was the start of thing.
Desperate Phone Calls
Ringing home, asking for money to be put in the bank, just £10 so I could buy a loaf of bread – as I called from the Student Union bar.
Meetings in the bank with the student advisor who said “you can’t be spending that much money, oh, you are”
A year out in industry, a solid wage every month, and suddenly back on an even keel, only to fall off again in my final year. Having gotten used to having money, running a car. A hardship loan. A grant. And back on track
The cycle began
The start of an unhealthy and toxic attitude towards money, towards debt. The “I want” ruling over the “I don’t have the money” but it was OK because everyone lived like this. The student overdraft was there to be spent, why else would it be interest free. To a degree I was right, the overdraft is there to be spent because living on £1000 every 3 months can be difficult, but spending the money on dresses from Coast at £150 a pop? With matching Ted Baker shoes? RayBan glasses? On expensive cocktails? Meals out? Not quite what it was intended for. You should be thinking more along the lines of bus fares, student books and food. More food than just bread and beans. Or SuperRice mixed with Tuna and mayo, which is disgusting by the way. Learn to cook.
Jobs came, debts were cleared and a sensible attitude to money again.
Dealing with people who are in the same debt spiral, not noticing that in fact I was in the same downward spiral.
A credit card here.
A personal loan there.
And before you know it an unmanageable amount of debt. Where you’re barely treading water.
Using credit cards to live. Salary doesn’t pull you out of your overdraft by much each month. Pay £50 off your credit card only to put another £100 on. Caught in a spiral.
Finally ending the cycle
A final loan.
A full consolidation of all the reckless spending.
Spread out over a manageable period, a reasonable percentage of salary.
Finally cutting up the credit cards.
Snip, snip, snip.
Debt was so easy to get into, student overdraft, student loan, credit cards one, two, three, a normal loan, a second loan, debt consolidation – twice.
It took a lot longer to get out of.
If you want to know more about how to get out of the debt spiral click here.