Money is never an easy subject to talk about, especially when you are in debt. Recently, FOMO has been one of the leading causes of debt for those in their 20’s. It’s time we start talking about debt and effective ways to get rid of it once and for all.
FOMO (fear of missing out), has had a huge impact on personal debt. According to a This Is Money report, a fifth of Britons spend money they don’t have because of FOMO. Peer pressure is also a big factor, with people spending money to avoid seeming tight in front of their friends.
The first debt I ever had was a mobile phone contract I took out when I was 18 that I was always late paying back. Next, was my student loan, which wasn’t enough for my party lifestyle. I wanted to fit in and never miss a night out so soon my money was going on alcohol and new clothes. This then led to being offered a £2000 overdraft, that I happily accepted. This didn’t last long as I was spending as soon as I was receiving.
As the years went on, I obtained a good job and ended up living way beyond my means! Whatever was offered, I was taking it. Credit cards, loans and the worst of all, payday loans!
I knew it was starting to get bad after being rejected for another payday loan. I realised that I was spiralling out of control and could affect my future if I wasn’t more mindful. When I thought about the amount of money I had spent and what I had to show for it, I quickly made it my mission to change my money story for good.
Now, I’m not saying Credit Cards and Payday Loans are all bad BUT they should only be used if you are in desperate need. The interest rates on these things can be ridiculous. You will end up paying for the few cocktails after work for the next 2 years. It’s all about control and not about being in the loop with everyone else.
Ways To Eliminate FOMO and Debt From Your Life
We shouldn’t be using money to impress our friends. True friends will understand if you don’t have amazing finances and shouldn’t judge. There are plenty ways to have fun without forking out a small fortune.
Whether you’re in debt or looking to cut back on spending, here are some frugal things to think about when changing your relationship with money.
Acknowledge your debt and write down everything you owe
Whatever you have spent or owe, you should acknowledge it. The moment you own your mistakes, it no longer has a hold over you. Write down how much you owe and how much you want to save. You can then see what you are working towards and start preparing an action plan.
Remember you are NOT alone
There’s millions of people in this world that are in debt and you do not have to face this alone. Speak to someone you trust and to a financial advisor. I recommend StepChange, a debt charity that offer amazing advice and give you as many options relevant to your situation.
It’s not going to be easy and you will have to make sacrifices but stick through it. Remember the end results and think about how it will feel once you achieve your financial goal.
DO NOT borrow any more money
This especially important when you are already in debt. You can’t beat debt with debt. Put together a budget (which StepChange can help you with) so that you are not left short every month. Also think about extras that you are paying for. Do you need Spotify right now? Could you go to a cheaper gym or go running outside for free? Will shopping at Aldi instead of Waitrose save you some pennies? Be smart about what you are spending, and you will see more money in your pocket every month.
Check your credit report
This is so important and something I do every month. I had things on my credit file I didn’t even realised were still open! I had bank accounts that were closed still showing as active I and also a phone account that someone else was using without my permission. Go and check your credit score right away. There’s loads of site you could use like Noddle or Clear Score – they’re free and easy to use.
Contact lenders if you are struggling
Don’t just leave your bills to mount up. Contact the company and explain you are in a difficult situation and see what they can do for you. These things happen all the time and it’s important to be honest to them instead of leaving things to mount up.
Find cheaper ways to entertain yourself
This is for everyone who is a victim of FOMO. Gather some friends and have a pot luck dinner. Want to go out? Look out for offers or use comparethemarket.com for 2 for 1 cinema tickets. Instead of hitting the town, have a house party or a sleepover! Get creative and do something different!
Make extra money by selling things you don’t need
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure. Sites like Ebay and Amazon are popular for selling things. I love money making apps like Vinted and Shpock. There’s loads of ways you can make money on the side. Search on Google, Facebook or even Pinterest for extra money-making tips.
When it gets too much, talk!
Being in debt or low on money isn’t easy and can be very lonely. It’s important that you can talk to someone if it gets too much. I know it can be hard to talk to family but there is places you can go. National Debtline, The Debt Counsellors and Citizens Advice are great resources out there.
Has anyone else ever been in debt? Share your stories in the comments below and any other tips you may have!