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Is there ever a sensible way to borrow money?

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.

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 14.27.49

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. 

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4 Comments

  1. Eleanor, this post made laugh and think – sign of a good one!

  2. Haha love the photos! I got into debt when I was a teenager and as a result haven’t had credit since, I couldn’t get it if I wanted too as my credit rating is screwed but I think that’s probably for the best as I’m not very sensible. For people who are though credit is a fab thing, I know loads of people who use loans and credit cards to their benefit 🙂 x

  3. Those photos are brilliant! I have to say, I’m not great with money and spend far too much of it. Kind of wish I could trust myself with a loan as I know others who have managed them so well and done great things with them x

  4. LOVE these photos! and the image of you painting your shoes with marker pen, I can’t imagine how tough it must be starting out in London. I’ve had to take out loans at times and they were lifesavers, I hate the idea of people being so desperate they have to do any of those payday loan things! x

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