Stories from real life #2- The stressed out dad

I work in the public sector, and have three kids – from 10-years old to 20. Work is really hectic, and I want to focus on spending more time with my family.

We went from single to a family of five within few years, and didn’t quite grasp the changes in lifestyle. We borrowed a lot on credit cards and went into debt.

At one point, we were 25k in debt – now it’s down 2-3k. I don’t want to fall into that trap again. I can’t make the kids suffer and not enjoy themselves because of my past mistakes. It’s stabilised a bit now, but it was very stressful a few years ago.

My goal now is to make sure I can cope and get through the month on my own means. I try to stay relaxed – but my mind is always racing, especially towards the end of the month.
My biggest worry is making sure that I can get food for the family each month the month, without using the credit card. I use a sleep app, but still reckon I’m getting less than I need every night.

There is always something that pops up that you don’t expect. The kids are older now, and it’s hard to pay those back to school expenses. Like, one of my boys had a school trip – he really had to go on it, and that was stressful. I paid for it by credit card, then balance transferred to a cheaper one; it took about five months to pay off and recover.

I’ve tried to build up savings, but we’re still pretty much living month to month. It just seems impossible. Something always comes up, something always happens.

That’s why having credit available is so vital. It’s the reassurance. It’s knowing that if worse comes to worst, there is a way. Now my credit score is better, but a few years ago that wasn’t the case. Back then it was sheer panic, total terror – because I didn’t know where to turn and what to do.

I give payday loans 2 out of 10. It’s the extortionate rates some of them charge, and the lack of clarity about what people are actually getting into. That kind of ambiguity causes more stress.

Nowadays, with everything being online, it should be easier not harder. I wouldn’t have said this four or five years ago. Then you made an application, but you wouldn’t know what’s going on until you get something in the mail few days later.
Now you get an instant response. That’s how it should be. You’d think all these advances would work to make things clearer and easier for people, wouldn’t you?




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Also published on Medium.