Finance and friendship go hand in hand for Leeds mum
They say you can’t put a price on friendship but that’s exactly what Leeds woman Sarah did when she found herself struggling with debt.
Mum-of-three Sarah, whose name has been changed, found herself unable to cover the cost of day-to-day life and provide for her sons after her relationship with her partner broke down.
The 41-year-old teaching assistant turned to credit and store cards as well as costly loans to keep the lights on and food on the table as well as treats for the boys to help ease the stress of the split.Get free advice
Kindhearted pal offered support
However, it was a kindhearted pal who noticed Sarah, who has £19,000 worth of debt, was beginning to struggle and offered to help her repay her debts not once, but twice.
Speaking on International Friendship Day today (July 30) Sarah said: “My debts had just spiraled out of control and I couldn’t stop spending on credit cards – it was never ending.
“I felt like I had to treat the boys after my relationship broke down with my partner and they were living between two homes. I felt spending was a way to help make things easier for them – it wasn’t for me.
“Even the cost of little things like takeaways started to add up. Eventually it all became too much and I wasn’t even answering my phone for fear it was someone chasing me for money, but thankfully my best friend was there to help me twice. She loaned me £7,000 about 10 years ago and £5,000 to repay my store cards and credit cards and really tried to help me get a handle on my spending.
“I was always able to make the minimum payments on my debts, but I was paying £550 a month and didn’t have anything extra in case anything went wrong.
“My friend was really good, she said, ‘give me your cards and let’s work out what you owe’ but I found myself maxing out my credit cards again just trying to get by.
“But when my kids, who are in high school, were invited on a school skiing trip last year and I couldn’t contribute I thought I need to sort this out now.
“An important lesson”
Unable to turn to her friend for support a third time, and too embarrassed to speak to her parents about her financial dire straits, she knew the time had come to take action.
Sarah spoke to Creditfix, the UK’s biggest IVA provider, and has not only repaid her friend for her kindhearted gesture but is also using her experience to teach her sons about the importance of money management.
“My friend’s help was amazing but I couldn’t ask her to help me a third time and I couldn’t face asking my mum and dad for money – I was too embarrassed,” she revealed.
“Creditfix has been amazing and now I can keep my head above water. Instead of paying more than £500 per month I’m paying less than half of that, which means I’m able to manage my money and it’s such a weight off my shoulders.
“Before, I couldn’t even afford extra petrol money to visit my parents but now I have a little more to get by and I know that my finances are on the right track and I’m not scared to open letters or answer calls anymore.
“It’s also been an important lesson for my sons too. It’s important for them to be aware of how much money comes in and goes out. Even when it comes to birthday money now, I encourage them to save some rather than spend.”Get free advice
Breaking down barriers around debt
And Sarah also has advice to help people spot signs that their friends may be struggling with debt and is encouraging others to be open about their finances.
“My best friend and I have always been close, so talking about money with her was easy,” she said.
“But if you spot a friend who is overspending when you know they probably don’t have the money and you’re wondering where they got it from, it’s important to be there to offer help.
“It’s important for us to break down the barriers around talking about debt. If there is anyone struggling, my advice would be to write down what you owe and talk about it with your friends or your family.
“And don’t be afraid to put your trust in a company like I did with Creditfix. Creditfix handle everything for you and now I can go back to enjoying life without worrying about what I owe.”
If you’re worried about your finances and struggling with debt, it’s important to remember you’re not alone. Creditfix has helped thousands of people, just like you, manage their debt. Call 0808 253 2541 or click below for free advice.Get free advice