We were neck deep in Credit card and car debts. I had recently lost my job as a bus driver. From $1000 a week earning I was struggling to even pay my rent. Casual jobs here and there kept me going. I was bent not broken. Jobs had no schedule, early morning starts and might finish in the afternoon or sometimes lucky if an overtime was involved.
I was supporting my wife and a 2 year old baby. We had no money to send the kid to day care, so there was no chance my wife could go out and find a decent, steady job. Casuals were the first love of any employer in those days. Days when manufacturing was exiting Australia and warehouse culture was becoming popular. When supply chain managers were in demand as compared to normal factory workers.
Every month, I was paying $300 towards my Credit cards and it was killing me. And did I mention late payment fee on top. So I was on the deep end of ocean of dept. I do remember we had only $10 to go by for rest of the week.
Now in all this we had to attend birthday parties, get together and buy clothes for the baby. Damn during this time I realized how much a kid costs. You can eat potatoes every day and have banana for lunch for months but you cannot deprive baby of baby food, nappies, milk and water bottles etc.
When we could not take more, I applied for a personal loan. We actually took it support our highly sensitive financial situation and will pay it off immediately once I get a regular job. Tried driving bus with other companies but again got causal shifts here and there. My situation was that of a worn out used up car washing cloth which has no use exactly but is just kept in a dirty, worn out place full of dirt and cob webs. Any day now it will be picked up and binned or worse torn to pieces by slowing decaying away.
But good for me, my situation was like that not my spirit. I was born with a wild spirit. Down but not out. Fight till your knees have strength and arms are up. Giving up was never me.
As we were cherishing the last remaining dollars in the personal loan and no sight for finding a stable job after 5 months of struggle, I was having a very scary feeling, feeling of helplessness, despair and frustration was creeping in. Every work agency required to have a car, work available was far from public transport, I could not get rid of my car either. Trapped, you may thing.
Its not how hard you fall, it’s all about how fast you get up. Finally I got a part time permanent job as a forklift driver. Morning hours and finally after 7 months a small steady income. Now all I needed was to find an evening job. That was Pizza hut delivery.
Things started to turn around, believe me when I say I was now paying $387 every month. I had earned a total of $7000 income in last 4 months since I took the personal loan and had paid $1548 just towards interest. You might think, things are turning around, yes but when you have gone too far away, it takes time to steer back.
By the time I paid half of my Credit cards and personal loan I had paid nearly $3000 towards Interest. I am talking about $25000 credit cards and $8700 personal loan plus car loan.
We were a little OK now. “Plans only work when you do”. I believe in this saying from the deepest of my heart. It has a very strong message. Question is “HOW”. How can I make it right. I put all my focus on studying, whatever money I had in my personal loan, or must I say my savings of sort, I used them to enroll myself in a Diploma of Finance from AMCC.
I was so scared and motivated to such an extreme that I completed that course within weeks, though the course could me done in 6 months. My teacher was confused, how she will check all so quickly, but hats off to her she understood my request and worked with me to complete my course in time.
Shortly I got hired on commission bases and the first commission I got went straight to my personal loan, which went straight to my credit cards. I was so scared of them, that I had put them away indefinitely.