I am Nicola. The blogger behind Savour the pounds.
No. Not him. That is Tibbs, our cat. The almighty ruler of the house.
I am passionate about personal finance, clearing debt and living to a budget because I have experienced it. I’ve spent over 16 yrs working for a high street bank in various roles. This blog began as I became passionate about wanting to share my experiences and helping others to reach their financial goals. Making, saving and savouring our hard earned money.
As a kid
I was an avid saver. Collecting new and shiny looking coins was a hobby. At 14 I got a job and saved up my money to buy my first mobile phone. By 18 I had saved up enough while I was having driving lessons to buy my car brand new off the forecourt – in cash!
I was 21 before I got my first credit card. We bought our first house at the same time. It was at this point that credit became normal to me.
But debt is normal isn’t it?
I was your usual run of the mill 30 something, working full time, earning a decent average wage. My husband and I weren’t big spenders and we thought that we were all okay money wise and that if there was something we wanted we could afford to buy it (within reason) We had credit. But we were able to cover the repayments and everyone has loans and credit cards don’t they? That is normal.
My parents never had credit as they paid cash for everything. But that was back then, nowadays it is expected that people will have some kind of credit and debt. Times have changed and that is the norm. So my husband and I were doing alright, we were keeping up with the Jones’. We weren’t ‘in debt’ because being in debt would mean we weren’t making our repayments. But our payments were always paid and on time, therefore we didn’t view ourselves that way.
Reality caught up with us
My husband was made redundant. However we were fine; he got a redundancy payout which covered us for a while and he found another job quite quickly. So we carried on, buying on credit because we could afford it.
Suddenly my job, the job I have had since I was 17, was at risk. The bank I work for starting issuing redundancies. I was safe for the moment, but it scared me. So I started looking at at our outgoings and the realisation hit that while yes, we could cover our mortgage, bills and food on one salary, we would struggle to cover the debt repayments.
I realised that we were paying out more in credit repayments than we were for our mortgage. We told ourselves that we could afford it. But suddenly realisation dawned that if one of us lost our jobs again we wouldn’t be able to survive on one salary with the debt repayments.
Where we are today
I sat down and wrote down everything we owed. I typed up a budget of all our outgoings. My husband was on board and we started to cancel anything we didn’t need and looked at reducing our outgoings in other areas. Then we set about following the ‘snowball’ method of repaying our debts early. We are still in this process, looking for (and now sharing) ways to cut our spending, to make extra money and get these debts gone.
That is my story. What is yours? I would love to hear it.