Debt was not something I experiences until later in life. Not during my reckless teenage years, or even in my 20’s when I was at college and backpacking through Thailand and Australia. I did however meet debt well in my 30’s – you would think by then a girl would know better.
At 31 and through my own choosing, I found myself divorced with two kids ages one and five, though the best decision I ever made, my life ahead would be paved with a series of frantic decisions.
Having lived in Sydney for four years as a single mum I knew how to make ends meet, however there was little left over for myself, or for fun…You may think this was the beginning but no wait for it.
In 01/2014 I met Mr Better who was, and still is, the most gorgeous man I have ever met and we quickly became an item even with my two small, but adorable, pieces of “baggage”. He was from Brisbane which of course meant a relocation for someone would be on the cards. Although he was willing to, I made the first of my frantic decisions to move myself and my two children up to Queensland to start over.
At this point I had already planned a trip to Ireland to visit my family and attend my best friends wedding as bridesmaid, so with my first ever (and oh so shiny) credit card the $7,000 trip for five was purchased and so began the decent into land of debt.
Fast forward to after the trip and we’ve been living in Queensland for three months, when out of the blue I find out I’m pregnant! Of course having only been working for a few months at my new job I was not entitled to paid maternity leave. So instead of paying off the Ireland trip i save to survive with no maternity pay after baby number three arrives.
Baby number three comes along and It’s about this time that I have another brilliant idea and we book trip number two to Ireland, this time for my brothers wedding. Now, seeing as we are there and my family were of course very eager to spend time with the kids, we throw in a quick trip to the US to get married in Vegas and why not visit New York while we’re at it! It may have been another $10,000, but to this day I don’t regret the Vegas wedding.
At some point thereafter comes the crashed car which was paid in total, but of course wasn’t properly insured so I had to pay for the car I hit which, of course, happened to be a BMW, leaving us without a second car and another $3,000 in debt to repair the damage to the other owners car.
At this point that’s about $20,000 in about three years.
Reality and panic finally sets in and I decide that enough is enough. I get a second job, work every Sunday for a year and destroy $11,000 in debt.
Queue frantic decision number… three… four… well who’s counting… and we decide to move back to Sydney. Now this trip didn’t particularly contribute to my own debt, given I work as a Nurse and there is never any shortage of work available, however it was a difficult time for Mr Better and his finances.
We’re now three years down the line and during what I can only describe as a “moment of madness”, I’m busily planning a family trip to Disneyland with my Mum in 2019 when I get a tax bill for $8,000! Now luckily this figure was inflated by about $4000 by an incomplete withdrawal from a university degree that I was unable to commence, however it was enough of a jolt to throw me back in to reality once and for all.
I can’t live with this debt any more!
Somewhere soon after this, a sizeable fight with Mr Better about our ever growing financial problems.
So this is the start of the road back to a better us a debt free us – One no doubt paved with fights and fears, that will hopefully lead us to the elusive “better us” in our journey to creating a debt free life.