Your Money Is Not Your Boss – You Are

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You're The Boss

Post written by Jane Brown.

Not so very long ago I was living in a small apartment with no electricity because I couldn’t afford the bill and the power was shut off. The only food I ate was the food I “dropped” in the café I worked in (they thought I was VERY clumsy) because I couldn’t afford groceries. The only thing keeping my bank account alive was my very strategic playing of payday loans against direct deposit advances.

I felt completely stupid and alone and was terrified that someone would find out what was going on. I didn’t tell anybody how bad things had gotten! How embarrassing!

This experience is far more common than any creditor would like you to believe. And no matter what anybody tells you, what matters right now really isn’t how you got here. It’s what you’re going to do about it.

Making The Tough Decision

For me, the answer was moving home. Don’t think this decision was easy. It wasn’t.

The reason this worked for me is that it drastically reduced the amount of money I had to come up with each month. I had to pay my mom a little bit each week for “room and board,” but it was only a quarter of what I’d been paying for my own apartment and food.

Another key factor here is that I didn’t have to quit my job. The café I’d worked in had a location in my hometown, so all I had to do was transfer. Yes, I was lucky.

These two things allowed me to focus on getting my debt and bills under control. Some people in this situation would choose to simply just start paying and doing everything themselves, but I chose to go with a credit repair company.

Time To Repair My Credit

Why? Because at that point I had proven to myself that I wasn’t as good at keeping track of all of those details as I had thought I’d be. The idea of having to just pay one bill each month was appealing. Another reason that I chose to work with a credit repair company is that these companies are known for being able to negotiate down the amount of money a client has to pay to each original creditor. I wanted to reduce my debt as much as possible.

Here’s the thing, though: not all credit repair agencies are alike. Some prey on people in our situation and don’t actually help us at all.

So how do you tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys? I went the review route. I started with the testimonials on my credit repair agency’s page and then Googled independent reviews. Because I’m a research nerd, I also made sure to enter each “candidate’s” name into The Better Business Bureau, just to keep my bases covered.

The Final Payment Feeling

It took a lot of time to finally get my money situation sorted and my credit back on track. It never goes as quickly as you think it will. But trust me when I tell you, that when you make that final payment, it is an incredible feeling.

And the day I was able to move out because I finally managed to qualify for an apartment without needing a co-signer? That was probably the best day of my adult life (so far). Yes, okay—I had to pay a pretty hefty deposit but:

a) I’ll likely get that back because I’m not destructive,

b) I was able to pay that deposit without a problem because I’d been saving responsibly and

c) It sure as heck beat having to have my MOM sign the lease with me!

Jane Brown is a SoCal girl and an avoid guest poster who has been writing on the web since college. Jane is normally writing on business, career, and some personal advice when she has some to give. Jane’s goal is to cover business for a worldwide publication someday but until then you can see her guest posting when she isn’t training for her next marathon! 

photo source: slcbookkeeping.com

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