The past week has been a whirlwind as last Monday, 10th January 2022, I finally became debt free.
I posted about it on Instagram because one of my main promises when I started The Fruit Moth was that I would give my customers, my followers and my friends complete honestly on this journey.
In June 2015 I lost my partner, Gaz, very suddenly. My world crumbled. I managed to get myself into a shocking amount of debt due to the many underlying dramas that unfolded and I was going through a shocking period of depression, spending money like it was going out of fashion because quite honestly - I didn't care about my future.
My total debt was £27,678.21.
In January 2018 I decided to face up to my debts. I knew I couldn’t afford to keep paying my minimum monthly payments and the interest racking up month on month, I took the bull by the horns and entered into an IVA - and Individual Voluntary Arrangement - to pay off my debts at a more affordable rate.
Many think an IVA is an easy way out but it is anything but that. You are committing to five years of paying debts back, constant income and expenditure reports, risking that if anything were to go wrong and you fail your IVA you would be back to square one with even more debt due to the IVA firms fees. Your credit rating is completely screwed so you cannot get a mobile phone contract, let alone think about the future with mortgages etc.
Last week I paid the last instalment of my IVA through the hardest work and dedication of my life. Through saving every penny and just generally getting my shit together. I am debt free. Finally.
My credit rating will still be shot for another 12-18 months but I do not have to answer to anyone anymore, my money is my own and I can finally reap the benefits of all of my hard work. And in 18 months I can finally think about buying the house of my dreams with the man of my dreams.
Since posting about my experience on Instagram I can't tell you how many people have messaged me struggling with debt, money management and worried about the future. It is terrifying to know that so many people are in this position and just DON'T TALK ABOUT IT.
Debt has become a dirty word, even though credit is openly talked about in our society every day. Mortgages, credit cards, loads, buy now pay later, finance options - all of these are DEBT - yet this word still comes with a taboo that I just cannot get my head around.
So I'm here to openly talk about debt and to tell you if you are in debt you are NEVER alone. Most people are struggling with some form of debt and their money mindset is sheer panic every time they look at their bank account.
I'm going to do a little series on this blog to encourage us to talk openly about debt, because the more we talk about it the more we can shift that mindset of pretending it's not there, realise we are not alone and help each other.
I’m feeling so so so lucky but so so so proud of myself more than anything for paying this off. But if anyone here is struggling with debt or money or saving, please know I’m always here to talk things through and would love nothing more than my mistakes to help someone else not make them.