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Wednesday 17th April 2024

International Women’s Day: Three women’s inspiring debt-free stories

international women's day

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2022, Mouthy Money blogger Tolu Frimpong speaks to three women about their debt challenges.

Happy International Women’s Day to all our female Mouthy Money readers. Today is a day to celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural and political achievements.

International Women’s Day: you’re not alone

To mark the occasion, I sat down with three amazing women who have cleared thousands of pounds of debt within a few short years to hear their inspiring stories.

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They share their financial truth plus offer advice for other people wanting to get out of debt. I hope shining the spotlight on these ladies’ stories on International Women’s Day will be inspiring to you.

Ruth Taylor from London paid off £21,000 debt in eight months

How did you get into debt?

When we bought our first home together, we used every penny we had for the deposit. We moved in without a penny to spare and it all went downhill from there.

Our boiler broke on the first day and we had no option but to put a new one on a credit card. We put all of the furniture on credit cards and then when the kids came along all of their baby stuff also went on credit cards.

How did you get out of debt?

I stumbled upon the Dave Ramsey Baby Steps system and decided that it was for me! I sought out Dave Ramsey groups on Facebook and just threw myself into getting rid of our debts as quickly as possible. We created a budget for the first time in our lives and realised that we were wasting so much money.

We cut things out, reduced our outgoings and sent every spare penny towards our debts. By this point, we had set up our dog walking business and we took on extra work.

We were working 7 days a week. After huge sacrifices and lots of hard work, we finally became debt-free.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pay off their debt?

Don’t wait for the perfect time. There isn’t one. Just start now and you’ll soon realise that the thought of tackling it is far worse than actually tackling it.

Veronia Spaine from London cleared £16,000 debt in 18 months

How did you get into debt?

I had a student overdraft from university and also financed my car when I got my graduate job.

How did you get out of debt?

I got out of debt by making a financial plan. I created a budget and stuck to it. I also looked at ways to save as much money as possible.

I moved from shared accommodation back home so that I could put extra money towards debt repayment.

Share three lessons you learnt on/from your debt free journey?

1. The debt doesn’t control you, it’s just a part of your journey

2. You can still work towards Financial Independence even if you’re in debt

3. It’s important to know your ‘why’!

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pay off their debt?

Take the time to first recognise where you’re at but understand that things can change!

Ellie Kistnen from Ireland cleared €24,000 in 18 months

How did you get into debt?

My debts started off small with the good ol’ Credit Union. I would book a holiday, pay for it out of my wages, but go to the credit union for a small loan for my spending money.

But what really put me on the wrong path was my car. At 22, I was in an accident and I wrote off my 10 year old car. I had no savings to buy a new car outright.

I went to the local garage and within a few days I owned a two year old Nissan Almera costing €14,000.

What motivated you to embark on a debt-free journey?

My husband. He could not handle having a loan. He needed to clear it off as soon as possible. He was a saver and his savings was so low as our income every month was going to pay off the debts.

How did you get out of debt?

I started off being realistic with myself. I tracked my spending, so I knew exactly where our money was going. I set a minimum figure to put to debt each month and I set it up as a standing order for payday. So it got paid first.

Then we lived on what was left. Our expenses also went down as I began shopping around for better utility providers, cheaper phone contracts and becoming more efficient with our food shopping.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to pay off their debt?

Face up to your debts and be very honest with yourself. It’s going to be hard, but it’s going to be so worth it.

Follow blogs, people on Instagram, YouTube, they will help to stay motivated and they will educate you.

You will see there are so many people in your position. It takes about three to six months to get the hang of budgeting so don’t give up!

Photo by Quang Anh Ha Nguyen from Pexels

Tolu Frimpong

Mouthy Blogger

Tolu is a Money Coach and Content Creator, passionate about helping others break the payday-to-payday cycle and achieve their financial goals, through the power of intentional budgeting, saving and investing. When she’s not talking about money you can find her spending time with her 3 boisterous boys.

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