How To Handle Credit Card Debt, According To This Podcast

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When was the last time you told your friends and family about debt? In fact, when was the last time you got real with yourself on the debt? It’s just not something we’re supposed to be talking about, apparently. Credit card bills, overdraft fees, late bill payments, emergency payday loans – there’s a certain shame and embarrassment in admitting that these are the things that keep us awake at night, so we tend to remain silent, to smile and to agree to separate us. the dinner bill even if you only had a side salad and tap water.

But it has to stop. Because the reality is that a recent report from the debt charity Step Change said we are entering a “debt crisis,” with those aged 25 to 34 being hit hardest by the pandemic. The Women’s Budget Group also found that the over-indebted population is “younger, more likely to be women, to have children and to live in private housing.” And last year, The Money Charity reported that the average UK household was in debt of £ 60,720 as of November 2020.

Basically: Debt is something that touches a lot of us, and we still don’t talk about it enough.

But Clare Seal helps break the silence. When Seal – who, it should be noted, is not a financial professional – realized she had £ 27,000 in credit card debt and a maximum overdraft of £ 2,000, she decided to stick with it. responsible by anonymously registering their situation on My Frugal Year. She quickly gained tens of thousands of followers, with so many women linked to Seal’s story (another startling truth bomb: the average household credit card debt is £ 2,133).

Last year, Seal revealed his identity – another step in breaking the stigma – and published his first book Real money, for readers to find practical advice as well as reassurance that they are not alone. For, apart from the obvious financial impact debt has on us, the effects it can have on our mental health is equally worrying.

If this sounds like you in Seal’s story, you have to listen to a podcast episode she spoke on in 2020.

The Wallet with Emilie Bellet: How do I pay off £ 27,000 credit card debt? With Claire Sceau

Emilie Bellet is the founder of Vestpod, a thriving digital platform and community that empowers women financially. She is also the author of Amazon’s bestseller You are not broke, you are pre-rich. In this episode of his money podcast, Wallet, Bellet discusses the emotions of debt and the practical steps people can take to feel in control with Seal.

You are not a stupid or bad person for having credit card debt

Many people are vulnerable to debt, regardless of their job, income and circumstances, and yet we always feel like it is something that “shouldn’t” happen to us.

Describing the shame she felt about it, Seal said, “It’s so complex, but for me I always felt like I was pretty ‘bright’. And [debt] feels like a very silly thing that i let happen. But I think a lot of people feel that way: they’re hardworking, hip workers, and yet people have found themselves in that position.

“Relatives didn’t really know this, and they had to help in the past, so that was another element – if you’re an adult with kids [Seal is a mother of two] then you shouldn’t really be relying on the family for financial help. I’m 30 now, I was 20 when I started the account, I really felt like as an adult I probably should have sorted this out.

Real Money: An Honest Guide to Taking Control of Your Finances, by Clare Seal.
Real Money: An Honest Guide to Taking Control of Your Finances by Clare Seal.

There are so many things that affect your spending habits and financial decisions

“In order to fix things, you first have to look at what went wrong,” says Seal. “It’s been a big part of my last year: looking at the decisions behind the situation I found myself in.

“It’s a number of different things. I grew up between two households that had very different attitudes towards money, so I think he was a contributor. There is also not a lot of education about finance in schools in the UK, which really needs to change.

“But part of that has to do with my naturalness: I don’t think I ever really felt like money was so important when I was growing up, so I was a little sloppy at first. And then there were certainly emotional expenses: if something seems out of my control, my first instinct seems to be, “What can I buy to fix this?” It’s still my number one instinct, but now I know how to counter it.

Sit back, take a look at your finances and be kind to yourself

The key to regaining control of finances, according to Seal, is determining which approach is right for you: “I did it in a few weeks. I opened everything. I looked at all my balances and started to build a budget spreadsheet, which I continue to refine now, depending on my situation …

“I know for some people the ‘rip the bandage’ approach is what really works for them, but I had to be gentler on myself. I think a lot of it is about knowing yourself and knowing your character.

Take the first big step by taking a deep breath and talking to your bank

Seal’s journey really started when she first spoke to one of her banks: “It was the catalyst for it all. I was in an unresolved overdraft and had to tell them, ‘I won’t be able to get through this until the end of the month… It was a daily charge of £ 5 a day up to £ 80. The woman I spoke to was really nice and said they could pay back the bank charges for last year which led me to an arranged overdraft. During this conversation I was just about to hold on and when I hung up I thought, “This must be the time when things change.”

She adds, “She made a recommendation to the debt charity Step Change, which is doing an absolutely brilliant job. I have heard brilliant stories of how they have helped people.

Debt won’t go away overnight, but taking some control will make you feel better

“I’m still very emotional about money,” says Seal, who is still paying off his credit card debt. “Most people do it: whether it’s feeling happy when a bill is paid or completely mocking the fact that you’ve overspended.

“I have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, and that’s something I chose to get help with around the same time that all of this happened. And I think it’s worth pointing out that it’s not all great when you start to sort things out, but it starts to get better. You feel more in control. It is a healing process and it is sometimes painful. If you need to seek out external support for anxiety, I highly recommend checking out the resources available to you, such as the Mind Mental Health Charity.

“There are a lot of things you can do to cure your anxiety during the process as well. For me, writing it down was the number one thing. We’re encouraged to write everything down and keep a spreadsheet, but you aren’t very often encouraged to write down how you feel next to it. And I think if we were to write a journal for our entire life, noting how we feel as well as our spending habits, we would see a trend very clearly. “

Images: Getty, BOOK PUBLISHER

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