The last two years have seen the most enormous changes in my personal life. In that time I have left my then husband, got divorced, sold a house, rented a flat, bought a house, got married, and had a baby!
At the start of these two year I would never have imagined quite what was going to happen, but as I took that first, very scary, step, I knew that I had to make a change. For my benefit, and also for my kids.
I also knew, that as well as all the emotional upheaval in my life there was going to be so many practical changes too. Finding somewhere new to live was probably the most fundamental of these. And setting up a new home comes with huge costs involved. I needed money. More money than I was likely to just be able to find down the back of the sofa or from selling a few bits on eBay.
I started to look into loans online as one source of funding. I needed something immediate to help with all the upfront costs that these changes were bringing about. Things like furniture for a new house. Restocking the kitchen with all those things that you are previously just used to having there available to you.
People always talk about having savings for a rainy day, or some women even having an elaborately titled “runaway fund” for if they need to runaway from their life. This latter is certainly what I could have done with, but in reality not everyone is able to put away enough spare money to create such a fund. And life may throw things at you meaning that you simply don’t have the time to create such a fund. That was definitely the case for me.
At the same time I also knew that I needed to find myself a more regular source of income. I needed to find something that would fit around co-parenting the kids and still needing to do school runs, whilst also having some longer period of time without any childcare responsibilities. A very different lifestyle to what I had previously been used to.
I’ve been lucky. I’ve survived the last two years relatively financially intact. Yes, I have some debts, but they’re not crazy. I’ve managed to get a mortgage and buy a home and that security for my kids. I even managed a budget wedding without feeling like I was missing out on anything. Our new baby is fed and clothed and has somewhere safe to sleep at night. None of these things would have been possible without taking control of my finances and knowing exactly what I needed to achieve what I wanted.
Finances can seem big and scary, but the most sensible step you can take in trying to manage them is writing everything down. Your income, outgoings and what you need to meet and one-off costs. That way you can see where you have a shortfall and how you can afford to pay back anything you borrow to get you across a financial gap.