As you may already know if you’ve read our story, the hubby and I have spent the last 14 years – actually it’s 15 years now – in debt. That’s a whole load of years! An awfully long time to have been worrying about money.
Although thinking about it, for the first few years of being in debt, we didn’t worry as much as we should have done. We just thought of debt as a means to buying the material things we wanted.
It didn’t seem like a bad idea to buy things on credit as we were moving through an important stage in our lives – buying a house and moving in together, plus we were doing really well in our careers.
When you move out for the first time, there are certain things that you could do with to be able to live in your new place. You know – a kettle, toaster, cutlery, a sofa… that sort of thing. Looking back it was at this point in our lives that we made some of our biggest mistakes when it came to debt.
We started to ignore the meaning of having debt
Whereas many people will buy second hand stuff or ask friends and family to lend them some items until they sort themselves out in their new home, we did the opposite. We bought new stuff on credit as that’s the only way we thought we could ‘afford’ it.
We bought expensive cutlery, a matching kettle and toaster and one very expensive chocolate leather chaise lounge by way of a sofa. Then came the matching egg chair. You can imagine the rest. It wasn’t long before we racked up £10K in home furnishings. The credit card payments were annoying but we could manage it so we continued ignoring our debt – we knew we would pay it off eventually right?
Yet, here we are in 2014, still paying off debt from back then. Yes, balances were swapped all over the place to different credit cards and loans with different interest rates but technically we’re still paying for these purchases. Aside from the above mentioned items, we’ve now lost track and forgotten about most of what we bought on credit all those years ago. That’s the worst thing!!
By continuing to ignore our debt for a few years, we weren’t able to pay it off when we really wanted to and needed to. In fact later on, we had to resort to credit on several occasions to dig ourselves out of big financial messes, particularly with the hubby’s business. That’s when we knew we were in deep trouble.
Don’t ignore your debt!
If you have debt or are thinking of getting into debt for something, make sure you don’t choose to ignore it. Know what you’re getting yourself into (or have got yourself into). Face the facts and make a plan to pay back that debt, even if it means asking for help or making some big sacrifices. Don’t wait to pay it off – because tomorrow never comes. Life inevitably gets in the way and things crop up unexpectedly that need paying for. You’ll thank yourself later!
For what it’s worth, when our latest kettle packed up last year, we went to our local supermarket and purchased a white plastic (ugly) value model. It cost £4.99 and boils water. What more do we need? 🙂
Take control of your debt in 2014. Ask yourself:
Will you choose to ignore your debt (and potentially be paying off debt forever)? Or will you choose a debt free life with more choices?
We choose the latter!
- The Gift of Debt: A Taste of Freedom
- The conversation that changed our financial future
- I will not give in: the cycle of debt has been broken!
Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net – I am not hearing you at all!