An economist on the news the other day described the UK as a nation of borrowers. The average Brit has £4264 of debt (EXCLUDING mortgages and student loans) (source: the national money education charity Charity Action) and the average household debt including mortgages is a whopping £55,814! Whilst it's almost impossible to avoid getting a mortgage (unless you're rolling in it!), the other debt is potentially unavoidable. Why do we do it?
Luckily I don't owe £4264. (Well, if we're counting student loans then I'm waaayyy over. I think my four year course gave me a debt of ~£24,000, but that's another blog entry!) Now that I've paid off my £500 credit card I'm also lucky that my debt is interest free. My graduate account overdraft is 0%, as is the money I borrowed money from someone to help buy a car a couple weeks ago (apart from the guilty feeling knowing that I haven't repaid them yet).
My problem was partly frittering money away whilst living in London, partly a once-in-a-lifetime two week tropical ecology field course to Kenya (followed by two weeks travelling), and partly just not having an emergency fund. When I needed some expensive dental work I had nothing to fall back on except credit.
I have been at the point where you only have £10 to last the month. Now I'm trying to turn it around. I'm taking some responsibility.
I don't want to be a statistic.