I’m probably the wrong person to ask!
Proof in the picture to the side here. This is me and some friends on an unforgettable Sun Newspaper £9 holiday to Clacton. £9 for the hovel of a caravan, £100 for the lager, Twixes, fags and chips over three days.
I recall a time when I’d just moved to London for my first city PR job (where I met the friends in the picture). Yes, by day I was doing PR for multinational companies, but by night I was walking the last three tube stops home, eating cereal and colouring in my black shoes with marker pen to make them last longer. Rent and debts took up 85% of my monthly wage. I never, ever had any money.
As you can see from the below, 15 years ago, on a client photo-shoot (in an alleyway?) I didn’t have any money for a decent haircut, manners, or a chin reduction either.
So one day, I rang one of those companies that advertise during daytime telly. For people in financial trouble. After explaining my 20 something woes to the guy on the phone, he basically laughed at me and told me I was not in ‘serious financial trouble’ and that this company helped people with far less capacity to get themselves out of trouble. Spend less, consolidate your debts, save more, he said. End of call.
I tried my best. Things still aren’t perfect.
I see the adverts now for things like payday loans and see the interest rates. I worry about all those people who were like me and probably think it’s a good idea. If I was doing it all again, I’d go to a proper bank and look at personal loans. I’ve actually banked with the same bank since I was 16, which I’m proud of in a weird, things only British people would find important way.
In an ideal world, borrowing money wouldn’t need to happen. But if you’re going to do it, a personal loan, with a bit of help from a real person with sound financial advice, is the way to go.
This is, obviously, a collaborative post with TSB, but all words and thoughts and ineptitude with money is my own.