This is Part 1 of the story of how this blog came to be.
It wasn’t all that long ago (as recent as December 2008 in fact) that I hit rock bottom in my life. Aged just 25, my wife left me, I had to give up the lovely house I’d called home for 3 years, and I didn’t have a penny to my name. I also didn’t have anywhere to live. The two things I did have was mountain of debt, and a job.
For 4 years I’d been in a relationship that viewed money a bit like water; We didn’t mind dripping taps, and didn’t think anything of leaving the tap running. While we were living at her parents house at the start of our relationship, and paying minimal rent, this wasn’t much of an issue. Virtually all of our combined income was disposable. We ate out regularly; bought whatever we liked; and didn’t think anything of living the ‘spend spend spend’ lifestyle. Afterall, it’s what everyone else was doing, right?
In 2005 we got married and decided to get a place of our own. This is where it all started to go terribly wrong. We moved 30 miles away from where I worked, increasing my commuting costs significantly and worse, she had to leave her job for us to do so. She found a new job soon enough, but it paid less than what she had been earning before. We were also unaccustomed to the sheer expense of living outside of a parental environment. They don’t teach frugality in school, or how to balance your finances, or how to manage debts and run a household. We bumbled along, making the best of it that we could.
By the time we had paid all the rent, utilities, insurance and commuting costs, we didn’t have a great deal left. She decreed she would take care of all the household and personal finances, and this suited me just fine: I hated thinking about money and wasn’t very good at it anyway. I was comfortable with someone ‘older and wiser’ taking care of the mundane parts of running our financial lives! But unbeknown to me at the time, she began taking out loans to cover our lifestyle. Credit cards topped up our day to day needs.
It seems absurd writing it down now. How stupid can you be?
For those who haven’t guessed, the end result of 4 years of that was total emotional and financial meltdown. Between us we had accumulated around £50,000 of unsecured debt, and it had taken its toll in terms of our relationship. Her request for divorce followed in November 2008 and she moved out 2 weeks later. I wept that night. And for many, many nights that followed.
After arranging with my landlord to hand back the keys early, I sat taking stock of my life. At that moment on an icily cold winter morning, with no heating on, in an eerily empty, cold house that a few short weeks previous had been a happy place, I seriously contemplated suicide.
Tags: Credit Cards, Debt, Loans, Sadness
Category Debt, My Meltdown
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