After being in a marriage for 18 years to a man who was in and out of jobs for the entire period, I was paying for everything, including school fees, bond, car repayments, food, clothing, insurance, etc.
I was so relieved to get rid of my ex-husband and his destructive, abusive nature that I just signed the divorce papers and tried to move on with my life.
I had to sell the house we had bought jointly and had to give him half of the proceeds - I had to borrow money to do this, and found myself in debt to the amount of R750 000.
I run a small business of my own, and along with personal costs, business costs, staff salaries and debt repayment I found myself drowning every single month.
I could not sleep, live a normal life, or think of anything else – it became an all-consuming obsession.
After struggling for several years, I heard about debt review. I contacted a company and they went through the procedure with me.
The debt review company gave me 60 days' grace in which I did not have to pay any of my creditors, while they assisted me in applying for debt review. This gave me an opportunity to take a breath, pay school fees, and think about what I was doing.
I am fortunate that I was able to come up with a decent amount every month to pay back the legally agreed upon payment, and slowly started to see my debt come down over the years.
Today I still owe my creditors R120 000 and I look forward to the day when I will be debt-free. Apart from paying off my debt I have learnt to manage my money conservatively, and do not buy anything that I do not need.
I have not been on a holiday for many years, am driving a 10-year-old car that I own, and do not waste money.
Because the debt review process insists that I am not allowed to have credit cards, I do not have any, nor do I have any store or clothing accounts, and pay CASH for everything.
Once my debt is paid off, I will continue to pay cash for everything and will NEVER incur debt again in my life.
This whole process has made me think twice about wasting money and, most of all, my children will not be responsible for paying off my debt when I die.
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