'Every day I felt even worse than the day before'
Is paying the bills becoming an increasing concern due to circumstances or unforeseen major expenses?
Fortunately nobody knew about it, until I suddenly fell victim to an attachment of my earnings…..
Does this sound familiar to you? Many people have debts – sometimes even substantial debts – and do not know how to solve this problem. They are afraid to admit it, and to talk about it, although talking about it can be the first step towards solving your financial problems. Read the story of Peter (37) and Simone (34). They are married and have twins aged 7. On the face of it, they are doing fine: Simone has a nice job, Peter works part-time besides his studies. They live in a nice house with all the frills. But things are not as good as they appear to be.
'We have been having financial difficulties for some time,' says Peter. 'We would run out of money, without the month even being over yet. We actually knew that we were spending too much money, but we thought this would be compensated by our holiday allowance. We had also taken out a loan to buy a car, we used our credit card more and more because our regular account was considerably overdrawn, and had temporarily borrowed some money from friends to go on a holiday. We wanted to go camping with the children in Spain. Suddenly we could not get any cash from the cashpoint. We then took out a loan which we knew from the ads, and were able to eliminate our overdraft in one go. But then we had to pay for this each month.'
Simone: 'Sometimes we did not even pay the rent in order to repay another bill. Also, we did not always open our mail because we were afraid of even more bills. Our bookkeeping was a disaster. In fact nobody knew our financial situation, apart from some friends who had lent us money.' Peter: 'And then suddenly there was this attachment of our earnings. We had not paid the bills for my studies. This meant that a bailiff made an attachment on part of my salary. I was allowed to keep a little for myself (for the daily expenses), but the rest all went to the creditor (the training institute). I felt so embarrassed. And so I had even more problems because we had even less money to make ends meet.'
'I was at a loose end. I no longer knew what to do. Simone and I quarrelled a lot. Always about money. Then I talked to someone from the HR department at my work. Fortunately she was understanding about my situation. She helped me very discreetly without even informing my superior. Via www.nibud.nl we made a personal budget advice together to identify all my income and expenses. I was shocked to see how much debt we had. But this way I knew exactly how much I was spending and what came in every month, where I had to make savings and how many debt I still had. By means of the site www.zelfjeschuldenregelen.nl I was able to draw a plan allowing me to eliminate by debts very gradually,' Peter says.
'We are now in the process of repaying our debts,' says Simone. 'Fortunately Peter and I were able to work some extra hours every week, so that we have a little more money now. This gives me much more peace of mind, I am no longer very nervous about money. Quarrelling is a thing of the past. It will take some time before we have left all our debts behind us, but we have made a start and in due course our financial problems will be over!'
Fortunately it is almost always possible to solve financial problems. You wouldn’t think so if you are right in the middle of them, but there are many solutions possible. Talk about it with your social worker at work. Or go to www.zelfjeschuldenregelen.nl.