Liz Jones of the Daily Mail is famous, or should that be infamous, for washing her dirty laundry in public. Ms Jones updated the nation weekly on the anguish of her failing marriage, following which we were treated to a running commentary on dying pets and hardening hearts as she retreated to Exmoor. However, Ms Jones recent soul-searching is actually heart warming in that it demonstrates the folly of the see it-want it-buy it philosophy that so many of us have subscribed to over the recent years. I’ll let poor Liz tell you her own story; it just might make you feel a little better about your own circumstances. Entertaining as Ms Jones is, you might find our debt solutions a little more helpful.
When the word ‘overdraft’ appeared in my email inbox on Friday, my heart leapt into my mouth – something it tends to do if anything vaguely financially-orientated makes it through the sand and into my consciousness.
It turned out to be an email from my editor, drawing my attention to a new survey that revealed one in ten people in the UK is always in the red, with more than 38 per cent dipping into the red at least once. Would I like to write about my overdraft? Hmm, would I?
While I have written openly about many shameful, previously hidden aspects of my life (lack of sex, facial hair, grey roots, plastic surgery, OCD), writing about my money worries in a national newspaper has been the most difficult, exposing thing I’ve ever done.
Since publishing on these pages a piece about how I got into debt, everyone I come into contact with, including builders, carpenters and oil delivery men, now demand their money up front. Hotel receptionists, shop assistants, even car park attendants regard me with suspicion. My gardener has gone grey.
But even if you don’t, as I have, broadcast your bankruptcy, those one in ten of us who live in the red and on our nerves exist in a twilight world where every move, every thought, is ruled by how close you are to that magic number: your agreed limit.
Your relationship with your overdraft (is the cash machine cross?) becomes the most important in your life. It is all consuming, a dirty, hungry weight around your neck that saps your strength. It’s like a really bad husband. Or a nasty, painful boil.