16k debt repaid in two years
Two years ago I admitted a secret. A confession of something that (maybe) a personal finance blogger shouldn’t be going through. I was in debt, a considerable chunk of debt, £16k to be specific, of consumer credit card debt.
In April 2017, I had recently turned 40 and had been living the high life for too long considering my change in career from commercial finance manager to Personal Finance Writer and Blogger. My income drop was huge…particularly as Mrs Mummypenny earned peanuts in the first year of trading (as it should peeps, never chase the money too early with a blog!).
Back to the debt. Indeed we lived the high life for too long. We burnt through my redundancy money that I received from EE in 2015 and found myself in a chunk of debt.
Writing about my Debt Repayment Journey
I started writing about my debt repayment journey then in April 2017 with this post, now read by tens of thousands of people. From that moment on I was accountable to my readers and to my fellow personal finance writers who were encouraging me on my journey.
I started off well with enthusiasm and motivation, as I often start when I embark on a new project. The budgets were ripped apart, luxury spending stopped (clothes, takeaways, plus much more), I had two no spend months and I even refused to buy coffees, always taking a flask or reusable cup from home.
The repayment started off really well, by June 2017 I had paid off £2k.
But then summer happened my first proper business summer where I could start to understand the patterns of cash flow. And let’s just say it lowers from July to August, by a significant amount. I had the mum guilt that I am sure many of us can relate to and wanted desperately to take the boys on holiday.
The reduced income and increase on expenses took its toll. My debt went backwards and I was back to £14k.
Frugality kicked in again, my income went back up and I was able to get back in control and keep on with bigger chunks of repayment. By April of 2018 I had got the debt all the way down to £5k.
But then I lost the plot
I am really not sure what happened over the next few months. I got carried away with the success of my business and took for granted that it would just continue consistently every month. So I started to spend like crazy. All the reserves in my account were very simply put, spent.
I bought a new laptop and mobile phone. I decided now was the time to get a second car, at the same time as replacing the existing car, £5k went into car deposits. A LOT of money was spent on contractors to help me with the business, some provided a return (a chunk went into a wonderful virtual assistant – Kirsty Holden, who spent hours upon hours going back through old posts making them google searchable and Pinterest friendly, as well as countless other tasks) and was worthwhile, some was a complete waste of money.
Before I knew it my reserves were spent and I still owed money when the bank account was bare.
Then the summer holidays hit and EXACTLY the same thing happened in 2018 as 2017. Why oh why did I not prepare for it better? I got the same mum guilt and wanted desperately to take the boys away on holiday. Even with an appearance on Good Morning Britain searching for a cheap last minute break, we still managed to spend a total of £3k on a holiday to France Center Parcs for a week.
Do I return to the employed world?
I very nearly, shock horror, had to go back to employed world, At Sept 2018 my debt had gone back to 10k PLUS my two personal current accounts and joint accounts were at their maximum limits of £4.5k. S@@@.
I clearly remember meeting my friend Neil for dinner in that September. I told him the reality of my situation and bless him, he paid for dinner that night. But he had faith in me and my business, as did I. You see that very same week I agreed two jobs worth £5k. All I had to do was wait for some big invoices to be paid and I would be fine.
All was fine – My Debt Journey has ended
Indeed I was fine. I had paid off the overdrafts by November and started paying off big chunks of the debt from December. In February I made a big payment of 4k then again in March I made another 3k payment. After the normal monthly repayments I had got my debt down to just over £1k by the end of March for my 42nd birthday.
At the end of April I officially made the final payment of £1,099 to Virgin and MBNA and cleared the debt in full. Yes Yes Yes. I am credit card debt free and I can breath. I no longer have to pay that minimum monthly payment of £300 or those big chunks of over-payments to clear the balance.
Get Your FREE EBOOK- DEAR DEBT IT IS TIME TO SAY GOODBYE
This is the last post in a huge series of content over the past two years, some posts even made it into iNews and Huffington Post! I have consolidated all my content into a FREE ebook. I would love you to download a copy and read my story. A diary of the ups, downs, struggles and celebrations. Click on the pop-up to enter your address and I will send it over to you.
Plus read my next post, where I detail the steps you need to take to clear that debt. The first step is always the hardest, facing up to it.
A huge wave of gratitude goes out to many people.
The readers of this blog who leave me comments, words of hope and thanks.
My clients who employ me to create and share content and pay me to do this most wonderful job. Particular shout out to PensionBee, Aldi, Octopus Energy, Vanguard, Smart Energy GB, Zopa to name a few. Whom have provided me with the most incredible and regular opportunities. From bill board campaigns to front cover magazine stories, from Twitter chats to interviews, from incredible events to creating beautiful, readable, searchable content for brands whom share my values and beliefs.