Urgh. I’ve been avoiding writing this post.
So much so, I haven’t written anything on this blog for weeks. Sorry for disappearing for a while.
Here’s what’s happened:
More than a year ago, I publicly committed to paying off all my debts by June, 2017.
Yup, the June 2017 we’re currently screaming towards the end of.
So I’ve been scrimping and saving for months – slaving over internet surveys to earn pennies and taking packed lunches to work to save a few pounds. Man, it’s been dull.
At the beginning of this month I had just £500 to go. I was already planning the triumphant blog post and the glass of something fizzy to celebrate the end of a 16-year battle with the credit cards, unsecured loans and overdrafts.
Then I disappointed myself by somehow slipping back into the old habits which got me into this mess in the first place.
In an attempt to incentivise myself to become debt-free, I’d been focusing on everything I would treat myself to, once I was shot of those hefty repayments.
Travel is my weakness, so top of the list was a dream holiday to Japan during its famous cherry blossom season next spring.
I bought a guide book. I watched TV travel shows. I even started learning hiragana– the first of three (yes, three) seemingly never-ending alphabets used in the Japanese language.
But I ended up getting completely carried away with my bouts of far-eastern dreaming, before discovering that the very specific type of accommodation I was hoping to stay in was already getting booked up for next spring, left, right and centre.
I’d creak open my laptop each morning to discover another place from my shortlist, gone.
Then, I watched a travel documentary which described hotel rooms and holiday rentals during the cherry blossom season as being ‘like gold dust’.
In a panic, I booked a place to stay and shoved the cost on a credit card.
And of course, in the process, I dealt a massive blow to my grand debt repayment plan.
So whether I can still get to debt-free by the end of the month, I really don’t know, but I’m running out of days and it doesn’t look good.
More importantly, it’s made me reflect on why I took leave of my senses and made such a seemingly stupid money decision, after years of reading finance blogs and inspirational stories about beating debt.
I fell straight into the traps I’d fallen into so many times before over the years. Traps laid by the tricks our minds play on us.
‘I deserve this.’
‘I should live a little.’
‘Ooh, shiny fun thing!’
‘If I don’t buy this now, it might not be there later.’
‘This is a good deal, because reasons.’
I’m trying to make the best of the situation I’m in now. As you can imagine, my money-saving has gone into overdrive and I’ll see where I am in a week’s time. You never know, I might yet pull this out of the bag.
But, boy, I’ve still got a lot to learn.