Monday, November 8


Jesus Christ I am so sick of being poor. It started at university, when I received huge cheques for over a grand and had absolutely no idea how to spend them correctly. I bought a load of shit.

Then I graduated and bought a load more. I got greedy. I borrowed money to buy more shit. And so on for another few years until...

A bank machine ate my card. I went home and threw up. My work closed, and my hours were drastically reduced. Minimum payments went unpaid. Bills arrived at my parents house, and I was too scared to open them so just chucked them straight in the bin. At certain points I imagined myself banged up in a debtor's prison, like a character from Dickens. Poor Mistress Gemblesnuff, she got behind with her payments and ended up in the Marshalsea. I was terrified of bailiffs and checked my windows to make sure they were locked before I left the house.

I fell in love. I moved to London. Now I knew I had to get real and sort myself out or lose everything. I contacted a debt management agency on the recommendation of a friend and added it all up. I was sick countless times. It felt utterly unmanageable.

The debt management company were excellent. They contacted all my creditors and got them to agree to reduced payments. I started paying £300 a month to them, which was shared equally between my debtors (of which there were seven).

Years passed. I became a teacher, with a proper wage. I was even able to increase my monthly payment to try and pay my debts off more quickly.

I don't earn enough, in my opinion, for the job that I do. However, I could probably have a reasonably good quality of life if I didn't have to pay £402 to my debtors every month. I am skint within ten days of payday, and have to dole tenners out to myself to ensure I can eat until the next payday. On days like today, when I see £200 left in my account until the end of the month I want to cry.

Next year one of my most enormous debts will be cleared, a debt to HSBC totalling over £9000. This will mean that my other debts can be cleared much more quickly, because my monthly payment to each will increase. I know it's not the end of it, but I'm going to celebrate nonetheless. And whenever I see £200 in my account and want to cry I have to repeat this mantra: 'Soon. It will be over soon.'

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