Money is one of those topics that we rarely openly share with friends. If I had to ask you how much is in your account right now you will probably think I am insane. Who gave me that right to even ask such a question? Similarly, as uncomfortable as we are in discussion how much we have, the same goes for how much we owe. We never want to talk about how much debt we are in because we are afraid of being judge.
The thing is, an average person is in debt. The amounts may be different but we all have it in some way or another. This ranges from student loans, car loans, credit cards, clothing accounts, home loans as well as personal loans. If we are all in the same boat then why are we not comfortable to have an open and honest communication about the matter? Maybe you are depressed, stressed and even have an addiction of some sort, will it not help you knowing that there are other people in the same situation as you are, some people who have gone through the same situation as you are and people who have even turn it into something worth celebrating?
As a community we need to be honest and open about problems we are facing and through this positive communication we can hopefully come to a solution.
Here’s a story of a friend who spoke up about his situation and found help
I made a friend who came to me because he heard me talk to someone about money. He ask if I could help him and I agreed. But being an auditor, my life is slightly busy than normal hence he had to try hard to get time in my diary. Eventually we set down and got to the issues. He presented his case and it was as follows:
- He owed someone N$ 1 500 for work they did for him and he could only pay them 50%.
- He owed Sportsman N$ 1 938 for shoes he had bought during the year.
- His living expenses were in excess of his monthly salary and with the debt added on , he could barely survived.
This numbers looks small and one may dismiss them but the fact was that, given his income level, there was no way he had a chance to clear his debt in a space of less than 12 months without finding additional income. In some months when things really got tough, he just skipped some payments.
So after our first consultation, I sent him away to go do a budget for the next two months. He then revealed something that change the picture completely.
- He was getting a bonus the following month, which meant he got double his salary.
- He had been dragging to start his own business for sometime as he has subdivided his room and turn the second half into a tuck-shop.
Over the next couple of days, I begged him to pay off his loan with the bonus so that he can improve his net worth. This meant that, his normal salary could go toward covering some of his expenses. We then also worked through his living expenses so see what we could eliminate at his level of income.
In a space of two months, he was beginning to get on his feet and start running his business. His only lucky part was his timing. If he had come a month where he did not have a bonus, it would have been a long journey out of debt.
The moral of the story is, people will not help you if you do not tell them you are struggling with debt. Others will continue asking you to help them if they are unaware of your situation. You not willing to seek for help could mean you are actually just digging yourself deeper into debt.
Break free and speak up. Everyone is in debt, some people just have the right amount that it does not bother them whilst others are just good at hiding it.
I am listening.