The hit 2009 film “confessions of a shopaholic” starring Isla Fisher may have hit a nerve with many people that love fashion and love to look their best in the most current trends. Young journalist and recent graduate Rebecca Bloomwood played by Fisher, clad from head to toe in the designer attire makes it into her dream job for high-profile fashion glossy "Alette". She is however under pressure because her expenses greatly exceed her budget, she has maxed out all of her credit cards and she is avoiding calls from credit card companies and debt collectors chasing her for payment. Burying her head in the sand, Rebecca Bloomwood goes into denial about her credit card debt situation. One day however she decides to do something about it. This tale may hit a nerve with many people in more ways than we may like to admit. It is remarkably easily done. Apparently in the UK, total credit card debt in November 2016 was £66.7bn. Per household this is £2,469 for credit cards only. For a credit card bearing the average interest, it would take 25 years and 6 months to repay if you made only the minimum repayment each month (http://themoneycharity.org.uk/money-statistics).
With personal debt rising in the UK what do you do when faced
with mountings of debt and seemingly no way out? The first step is to visit your local debt advice centre or Citizens advice who will always provide support. Secondly, Credit Unions are a growing support network for communities. Thirdly, a second job or side gig is a great way to get extra money but from a fashionista to fashionista, the lure of the new fashion season selection is often too great to resist. Here are some real-life ways from a fashion journalist to sort it out, plan ahead and be fashionably in control of your finances:
1. Assess your whole situation with a free debt review on still struggling. A professional debt adviser from one of the partner organisations will help so that; your creditors will stop harassing you, you won’t have to get stressed every time mail arrives through the door, you won’t have to worry about the phone ringing, you can stop paying one debt off against another simply to be able to pay the important bills; and most importantly of all you can establish a budget which means that you do have enough money left to cover the important things.
2. Do a real-life budget plan – if you fail to plan, you plan to fail said a wise person once. There's wisdom in that saying and it rings true in this situation. It is remarkably easy to overspend if you are not familiar with how much income you have and how much you need to live on daily, weekly and monthly.
3. Put it on ice (literally) – the best thing is to get rid of the credit cards completely. That means; yes, throw them away make sure you cannot use them again. A close second option is to literally put them in the freezer in a bowl of water. This tactic taken from the true shopaholic trains your brain to not instantly go for the credit card but to think about an alternative option than spending on credit. Do you really need this item? Does it have to be now? How else can you get that item? It will force you to be more creative in how you preserve and spend your money.
4. Assess your assets – with all that spending you have likely accumulated a lot of wonderful things. This could be highly valuable to someone else and therefore becomes an asset that you can use to raise much needed funds. The choice of ways to sell are many and varied depending on the type and the value – so why wait? Sort and prepare to cash in.
This is just the start but with some of these tips, you will be more in control of your finances and can enjoy living a fashionable life without the worry.
Abi the fashion blogger