Monday, February 09, 2009

I owe you nothing

Ooh-woh, nothing at all. Let me explain. Back in, ooh, June 1996 it must have been, I took out a loan of a few hundred pounds, I forget exactly how much, in order to buy a little motorbike. Impressed by how easy it is to have people give you money in return for a promise to pay it back eventually, I subsequently ended up borrowing more money in order to move into a rented room of my own even though I wasn't earning nearly enough money on my trainee-accountant pittance to afford it. After all, the only other alternative was to keep living with my dad, who also couldn't afford it, and I thought it'd be preferable to bankrupt myself rather than him. And besides, he always refused to put the heating on.

Anyway, I went on living beyond my means for a fair few years, running up further little debts here and there (a succession of little motorbikes that I kept crashing into cars or having stolen, among other things), confident that I'd eventually be rich and successful and anyway it's not real money if it's a loan, even to the extent of giving up my job in November 2002 and deciding to spend some time doing my own thing and seeing just how far my credit cards could take me before I had to go back to the working world again. Surprisingly far, considering by this time I was adding regular memory-competition trips to places like Germany and Malaysia to my expenditure.

And so it came about that in November 2003, having left my six-month temporary accounting job in Skegness, and returned from Kuala Lumpur with a third-place World Memory Championship trophy (rather stylish, made of pewter) and an alarmingly empty bank account, I found a job in Derby and took out one big loan to consolidate all those other debts, finance the relocation and give me a bit of extra spending money to have fun with. £16,000, it came to, which surprised me a little. But hey, over five years it didn't amount to all that much, and I was earning semi-decent money by this point, after all. And at some point in the distant future, it would all be paid off and I'd feel comparatively rich!

And now, woohoo, that day is finally here, and I've just made my 60th monthly payment. I am now, for the first time in living memory, entirely free of debt! No loan, no credit card balances, no nothing! Now I can be scornful of the indebted masses and tell them if they can't handle their finances properly it's their own stupid faults and they shouldn't expect the government to bail them out with us hard-working taxpayers' cash, by cracky. I'll write a letter to the Daily Mail!

No, actually, I'll tell you what'll be even more fun than that - I'll work out what I'm going to do with my extra £350 a month that I'm not giving back to the Royal Bank of Scotland. It's like getting a credit-crunch-busting pay rise!


Ace* said...

Congratulations Ben! The only way I managed to clear my debts was bankruptcy (mind you, they amounted to nearly £30,000 and I was facing a 50% pay cut due to illness).

Guess I'm one of those idiots that helped the banks create this credit crunch. In my defense though, I could have afforded to keep paying them if I hadn't been forced from my job, and they did just keep giving me money . . .

Chris said...

It's far from a glamorous achievement, but it's a brilliant one. Very well done, Ben!

Eddie 2-Sox said...

Good work Zoomy! Enjoy bucking the trend.

Would you care to email me at ? I have a proposal that may interest you!

Anonymous said...

Click the link to this speech and just read the first paragraph. Some people felt the breeze, way before the world knew there was a tornado coming.

Anonymous said...

Going bankrupt is highly likely to adversely affect your ability to gain finance, mortgages, loans and insurance in the future.