Life After Debt

There is a forum I go on quite a lot and they were instrumental in helping me first getting cracking with my debt.

I was lurking around a different area of the forum and I found that someone who used to run a thread had started a new one. They closed the old one, which was their Debt Free Diary, when they became debt free in January this year.

Their new thread was about how after they became debt free they had suddenly started experiencing huge anxiety over money, about saving, and feeling immense guilt whenever they spent any money even though they had actual money to spend.

This has got me thinking because I wonder what will happen after I become free from my credit card and overdraft debt.

The truth is I won’t become debt free even when that is clear, as I will still have a student loan, and I still owe my boyfriend money. All it means is I will be free from the highest accruing interest debts.

But I know that I want to live on the same reduced disposable income, as I want to put what I am spending on debt clearance each month towards my savings. Because I want to learn to drive. I want a car. I want to travel. And I want a home of my own. Which means the debt tackling journey will begin all over again.

A mistake people make (I certainly made this mistake) is they say ‘Oh if only I had a pay rise, then everything would be ok!’

The trouble is people match their spending to their income. So if you get a 20% pay increase you will soon increase your spending by 20%.

So I want to make sure when I have paid off my credit card debt and overdraft that I put all that money towards my savings.

Another popular money management term is ‘Pay Yourself First’

Sounds fun doesn’t it? I like the sound of paying myself money.

But what it means is you transfer the money from your paycheck to your savings before you even get a chance to register it being there in your account.

Some companies will do this for you, they’ll split your wage between two accounts. I know that my employer does this.

So getting out of debt is one hurdle. What you do afterwards is the real challenge.

You know there is that statistic of x% of people who lose weight put it all back on PLUS MORE within a year?

I’m not sure if anyone has ever done a similar stat for debt but I don’t want to be in that group.

The sad thing is I have a long way to go before I worry about this.

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