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Here on My Debt Diary I talk a lot about what I’m doing to get out of debt. Everything from putting together an emergency fund, saving money and making extra money to make sure that my debt total goes down as quickly as possible. The same goes for the debt free community as a whole. What we don’t discuss so much, is how do we get into debt in the first place.
I reached out to a handful of fellow money bloggers who each have their own story to tell when it comes to debt. Whilst debt is equally horrible for each and every one of us, no two of these stories are the same. Instead of surrounding them with a narrative, I am going to leave each blogger’s words as they are.
Perry Wilson from Stupid is the Norm
“I’ve been in crap loads of debt and been bankrupt after a customer went into liquidation owing me £44,000. Had the BMW’s and luxury yacht holidays all on ‘chucky’. I got into debt to impress people who didn’t actually give a toss. Stupid Is The Norm apparently.”
Victoria from LyliaRose
“Before I hit 20 I got into serious debt (£17500) and hit debt crisis. It was all irresponsible and personal debt from a bad shopping addiction and depression. I was always trying to make myself happy, but made things a lot worse. I spent 5.5 years on a debt management plan paying it back.
Unfortunately I am now in debt again in my 30s, but I can afford to repay this. I took out a home improvement loan a few years back after buying my first home that needed totally doing up and I’ve recently got a 0% credit card to pay over £3000 for dental work I need done this month. Though I’m in debt again I can afford the repayments this time and it doesn’t feel so irresponsible as it’s actually paid for an investment.”
Claire from the Money Freak
“I started getting into debt when I had to give up my job to look after my disabled son. Taking him to his appointments weekly in various places (often a few hours journey away) was a killer financially.”
Francessca from From Pennies to Pounds
“I went into debt over stupid things…I basically had no money due to an unsupportive spouse who wouldn’t let me leave the home to work or help pay for childcare costs so I was stuck in the house with my baby and would scroll through social media…as always happens with that, I wanted what the influencers had and couldn’t see why my daughter shouldn’t have the same things and opportunities as others just because of her Dad.
I had depression at the time which didn’t help as I didn’t really think things through rationally – I had never been in debt before and I won’t ever again.
Oh and a bit went on my wedding as I had to pay for basically all of that myself too! I soon realised that it was a silly mistake and I wouldn’t be able to pay it off, but I turned to earning extra cash from home and managed to pay it off all by myself. (And now I’m getting divorced)”
Mel from Mels Money Mindset
“My story is actually my partner’s story. When I met him, his dad had died about 6 months beforehand and he left his well paid job to move back in with his mum (she lived about 4 hours from where he was living at the time).
He just went crazy with the credit cards. As well as drawing out cash on them for things they did need like food and to pay bills, he also started buying things he didn’t need…for example 4 x DVD players! By the time he got regular work again it was too late – he was up to his neck in debt and it soon got to the point where he couldn’t even afford the minimum payments because of all the interest charges and late payment fees.
It took us a couple of years of hard graft and some serious negotiation to get him out of debt, by which point we were living together and had a baby on the way and to this day we will not have a credit card again. We’ve been debt free over 10 years now, but I still worry about it, even though we are in a much better place financially. In the wrong hands credit cards or loans can be dangerous.”
Eileen from Your Money Sorted
“I went into debt at college, because everybody else seemed to be living off their overdrafts and student loans! I decided that being sensible with money, saving it up from my summer job to see me through the year, was boring, and I would just “join the club”.
While it meant that I could spend wildly, and have a blast in my final year, it also meant that I finished my degree with unnecessary debts. I absolutely detested the feeling of getting paid, but still being in the “red”, so I vowed once I had my overdraft paid off, that I would never be in overdraft again. And I have stuck to that vow!”
Chermaine from ChammyIRL
“I made the silly mistake of taking a loan out for someone else. Six months later he stopped paying me and I started struggling to meet payments, more money was borrowed to help me get by and it snowballed from there. Never did get the rest of it back but all debt is now fully paid off.”
Whether we get into debt in an attempt to keep up with the Jonses, because we don’t have the maturity to understand what could possibly go wrong, or because of the challenges that life throws at us, we all have one common goal and that is to be debt free.
I’d like to thank all of those who contributed to today’s post. Talking about debt is difficult and it is something we all need to do more often.
You can read about my own debt story here.