We are meant to be saving to buy our own home but I’ve run up thousands of pounds of debt…
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I’m a woman aged 29 and, during lockdown, I’ve overspent on my credit card by shopping online.
I guess it was a good distraction because, like lots of other people, I found the situation hard. Getting things delivered cheered me up. Now, though, I have thousands of pounds to pay off and I have no idea how I’ll do it.
I live with my boyfriend who has no idea how much I’ve spent.
I’m sure he’ll be angry, especially because we’re supposed to be saving to buy our own place and we’re also hoping to get married in the next two years. I feel like I’ve really let him down.
I’ve even started hiding some of the stuff I’ve bought or telling him I’ve had it for ages. Clothes have been easy to hide in the wardrobe because I haven’t been able to go out and wear them.
I feel really ashamed of myself – I’m usually a pretty sensible person and used to think about every purchase quite carefully. I know I need to tell my boyfriend because the stress of keeping this a secret is really getting to me.
I know he’s going to feel angry and let down. How can I tell him?
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You know what, I’ve always shied away from having a credit card – I was brought up to think of it as someone else’s money, so I’ve never owned one. I’m much happier knowing how much money I have to spend and sticking to my limit. So, I think the first thing
you have to do to avoid any more temptation is cut the card up and then look into how you can transfer your current debt to a card with 0% interest, which will make it a lot easier to pay off. Just don’t use the new card – cut that one up too if you don’t think you can trust yourself.
You can also get advice from your bank, and there’s a good organisation called stepchange.org, which offers advice and support on the best way to manage your debt.
You also have to tell your boyfriend what’s been going on but, if you can show him that you’ve already taken steps to find solutions to your debt problems, then I think it’ll make the conversation much easier.
The lockdown situation has been tough for all of us, so try not to beat yourself up over it but, if you think you have an addiction to spending, then look into counselling.
The important thing is to stop hiding the problem from your boyfriend before it spirals even more out of control. Even though it’s hard to admit this to him, I’m sure you’ll also feel relieved when the cat’s out of the bag and you can move forward positively with support. Good luck.