Saturday, May 02, 2015


Just over a year ago I posted that I was debt-free but broke. I should have known that pushing myself to clear the overdraft was a recipe for disaster and I've been struggling ever since but not wanting to admit to myself that it was anything other than a temporary slip-up. After a year, I don't think temporary is still acceptable though. By the end of June last year, my overdraft was nearly back up to where it had been at the end of April. I helped my brother out with some bills and then, in June, went to a wedding. Flights and hotel and car were paid for in advance but I went on a bit of a spending spree while I was there, buying new shoes and trousers and handbags (yes, handbags, two of them and I'm not much of a handbag person), using the debit card attached to my Irish bank account to the tune of nearly 300 euro. Add to that the cash that I managed to fritter away in those five days and, if I'm perfectly honest, for the next month or so, and it slipped right back up to where it was very quickly. 

A couple of weeks ago I did the sensible thing and took out a loan for 2,000 euro to fully clear that overdraft once and for all. I'll be paying it back over the course of 12 months at a fraction of the interest I was paying on the overdraft and I'll be making sure to not use that account unless there is actually money in it. I know the really sensible thing to do would be to cancel the overdraft limit on that account immediately but I'm feeling too nervous about money at the moment and will settle for making sure I don't bring the card out and about with me for now. I will however, phone the bank next week and reduce the overdraft facility amount to 2,000 (currently it's 3,000). My loan repayments are a bit less than 200 per month, which leaves me able to concentrate on saving for a change. As soon as I hit 2,000, I will cancel the overdraft facility for good.

My next couple of posts are going to be simple copies of posts I made to a financial website when someone questioned how simply overspending by a small amount managed to spiral into a significant debt that it took me over eleven years to pay off. Granted I do have plenty of psychological issues that come into play but I think my own story will be not all that unfamiliar to many who are struggling with debt. Given the fact that I continue to struggle, even when I know exactly what I'm doing wrong, even though I'm not unintelligent, I hope it might even help to shed a little light onto this type of foolish behaviour for those who just find it entirely beyond their ken.


Fi said...

That is a real bummer about the overdraft. It's so easy to happen though. We cut our credit cards up in the end, no amount of saying 'we won't use it' seemed to work. We recently got a new credit card, for billing of accounts. I'm really cautious about it.

I still constantly get caught out by things like a wedding (but throwing my hands up and saying, "we have to live a little") and then the spending gets too much.

James said...

Oh dear. You birds just can't stop.

I think it's in your genes.

The nest must be feathered!

Ewwww, that looks nice!