‘Debt Made Me Desperate’ – how one girl paid off her debt using a rather unconventional method!
Today I have a guest post from Vicky over at www.Ibeatdebt.com all called ‘Debt made me desperate’ all about how she got out of debt, but most importantly how it made her feel. I don’t talk about debt much on this blog – while it’s something I understand a lot of people struggle with, having never truly experienced it myself I don’t feel I’m the best person to be giving advice on it. That’s why I’m so glad Vicky has decided to share this piece with me.
Over to Vicky. . . .
As someone who has always struggled with my weight and self-esteem, choosing to go on daytime TV on a quiz show, where I could quite possibly make a fool of myself seems rather crazy. The short version of the story was that I was desperate. I was in debt. Barely making my repayments, and had recently started the process of debt management. At that point, I really felt I had nothing to lose. I knew people who had been on quiz shows before, some were successful, some not, but it never appealed to me in the slightest. Then one day the penny dropped – at best this could be free money, and at the very worst it would be a day out where you are looked after really well (assuming you even got chosen which I never in a million years thought I would).
I’ve written a lot about my experience of going on quiz and game shows and you can find out more over at https://ibeatdebt.com/i-cleared-half-debt-one-day/ but that is not what this post is about. Very badly I’m making the point that debt can make you desperate. You can feel helpless, hopeless, and not know where to turn. I’ve never in my life, even for a second, wanted to go on TV or be famous, but I reached the point where I felt I had nothing to lose as I had hit rock bottom. I could not see a way out of debt, and I certainly didn’t foresee the route out of debt I took.
The amount of debt I was in might seem huge to some of you, but I’m sure to others of you it will seem like a tiny drop in the endless and relentless ocean of debt you find yourself in. It doesn’t matter so much how much you earn, or how much you owe, it’s (in my opinion) how you feel about yourself and the situation you find yourself in. If you, or someone you care about, find yourself in debt and are struggling, I would highly recommend checking out Mind’s resources about “Money and Mental Health”.
There are far too many stories in the press about people who have taken their own lives as they can’t see a way out of the debt they find themselves in. Whether they are being chased by bailiffs or the lenders themselves, even a letter can be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and pushes someone over the edge. That has to stop. It breaks my heart every time I see another story. If you or someone you know ever feels suicidal at any point and for any reason, please remember you can call the Samaritans 24 hours a day for free on 116 123 (UK).
To go bring this post to a positive end, I am pleased to share that although at the time I couldn’t see a way out, I am now debt free (apart from my mortgage) and it was done in a much shorter time than anyone expected. I am also slowly but surely rebuilding my credit rating and I have learnt a lot about money management on my journey. I owe most of that to CAP – for their money management course and their debt management programme. Their services are 100% free and you don’t have to be a Christian to access them. There are other free debt management services out there – I just only have personal experience with them. Just remember that you should never pay for a service like that (you are trying to improve your finances after all) and The Money Advice Service can give you more information about other good ones that are available. Admitting you need help is very hard because of the stigma of debt, but it is an essential first step!
I appreciate that going on a TV quiz show might not be for everyone, but another point I was trying to make was that it’s good to think outside the box and try something different in order to make a change that you need to make in your life. There are some great money bloggers out there with top tips on ways to make extra cash and save money, and they might be a great place to start.
I’m not a financial adviser or debt counsellor, but I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about my debt journey. Feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org