In my previous post Living on £100 per Month, I mentioned that I told my friends that I was paying down debt and saving for my future travels. As you know, back in May I started budgeting, cut out many things that I used to enjoy and started counting every penny. Summer was fast approaching, and I knew my friends would be doing all sorts of fun things. We always plan fun activities for the summer such as taking road trips, attending festivals and concerts, checking out Sunday markets, organising fancy dress parties, trying out new bars and restaurants, to name but a few. London is an amazing place where things are happening all the time. This is especially the case during the summer months. Unfortunately for me, I was not going to enjoy what London had to offer this summer. Instead, I was going to embrace a frugal lifestyle which (and this is no word of a lie) I started to really enjoy.
After declining a couple of offers from my friends to go out and feeling bad about it, I felt that I had to give them a valid reason as to why I stopped going out and doing things. Since we are close friends, there was no escape. I didn’t want them to think that I stopped enjoying their company and didn’t want to spend any more time with them. So I told them the truth: I have debt, I am paying it off and saving for my travels along the way. The debt part was not an easy thing to admit, but I had to suck it up and just say it. I didn’t go into too much detail and didn’t mention the amount of debt I was in. Well, the only person who knows the exact amount of my debt to the last penny (apart from you guys) is my best friend. He knows about this blog too, although I don’t let him read it just yet (and it’s not the debt part that puts me off, it’s the writing part. What if he doesn’t like my writing?).
As for my family, they all know that I have debt. What they don’t know is the exact number, and I don’t think I want to reveal it. I just don’t want them to start worrying. My parents and my younger sister know that I have a blog where I write about all things finance while paying off my debt. They know that my lifestyle has changed completely and that I keep track of every penny that goes in and out of my hands. My parents have offered to help financially, but I declined. I got myself into this mess, so it is my job to get myself out of it. On my own. I think to me it’s the way I handle money that matters the most, and this is my ultimate goal that is probably even bigger than paying off my debt. I want to learn how to handle and manage my money; how to budget effectively; how to save and grow my money; how to stop being a spender and become a saver. Yep, that sounds about right. I have learned so much about money since I have embarked on my journey to debt freedom, and I am so excited to be able to share my experiences with you.
Telling the truth has not changed my friendships. They are still growing strong. Most of my friends have similar goals, and although they do occasionally splash on things, they are very good at managing their money. Some of them have debts too; some don’t. It has been a great revelation to admit that I have debt and that I am paying it off and saving for my travels, and I am so glad I did. My friends have been very supportive and have been more than happy to do fun things on a budget. My family has been extremely supportive too, and for this I am so very grateful to both my friends and family!