It has been a long time now, trying to clear all the residual divorce-related house-selling debt that has been hanging around since what feels like forever.
But things are under control, and gradually, what was a monumental amount three years ago is now reducing at a healthy pace each month.
Long term debt clearance involves a different approach compared with short term cashflow struggles, where you can just eat beans on toast/porridge/pasta for a little while, tell everyone you’re skint and not go out for a bit.
This whole process has been life-changing, in good ways and bad. Even the bad are good in my case – friends who have fallen by the wayside, relationships that have crumbled under the weight but ultimately weren’t worth the time or effort anyway.
The good ways involve learning who you are, what it is about life that you enjoy and that isn’t reliant on money, how sustainable your life is, the financial risks you are/have been exposed to.
The biggest thing has been finding out what the little things are.
The little ways to pick yourself up when you’re creaking under the weight of the numbers.
The little things you can do for people that cost nothing but bring a lot to both them and you.
The little changes you can make to your finances that bring big payoffs when applied over a period of time.
This last year I’ve been able to buy coffee in the mornings if I want to. To give money to buskers and street artists if I’ve enjoyed their work.
Today I’ve taken myself out for lunch.
I could have put this money towards clearing my debt, of course.
But there’s some living to be done as well, and it has taken a long time to find the right balance of what money goes towards what. To work out what can be willingly sacrificed and what can’t be.
** of course that’s not a monster in the picture. That’s my girl greyhound Wendy, mid-yawn, displaying what a fine set of teeth she still has at the grand old age of 11