“I’ve paid off £20,000 in debt WITHOUT giving up vacation and shopping – Here’s how”

Shaurna Cameron, 29, says she racked up £20,000 in debt on loans and credit cards by spending on luxury items but got her finances in order and is now debt free

Credit card debt almost overwhelmed Shaurna Cameron

A woman has shared her top money-saving tips after paying off her £20,000 Fault – without giving up frivolous delicacies.

Shaurna Cameron, 29, from London, first faced financial difficulties when she graduated from university in May 2013.

The money problems began after she secured her first full-time job at a salary of £17,000.

Back then, Shaurna felt “rich,” which spurred her to spend money on clothes, bags, and “useless items.” expensive trips .

If she couldn’t afford it on her monthly income, she would go into debt with a Credit card .

It wasn’t long before Shaurna was buried in debt.

“If I couldn’t afford to pay for my flights directly, I wouldn’t hesitate to put that money on a credit card,” Shaurna, a compliance specialist, told Jam Press.







Shaurna Cameron used credit card debt to travel
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Jam Press/@thebougiebudget_uk)








Shaurna in 2019, trying to make money on the side
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Jam Press/@thebougiebudget_uk)


“That meant by June 2016 [three years later]I had accumulated around £20,000 in credit card and loan debt.

“I didn’t really take it too seriously at first – I was 24, living at home and had changed jobs a couple of times, so by then I was making £30,000.

“I paid my bills on time, but I only made the minimum payments on my credit cards.

“It really started to hit me when I was talking about money with my colleagues and they were shocked at the amount of debt I had accumulated.







Shaurna in 2014 before her debt started
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Jam Press/@thebougiebudget_uk)


“I figured that was normal, or at least nothing to worry about.

“Hearing other people’s shock was a real wake-up call.”

Shaurna took out a debt-consolidation loan in August 2018 to pay off her credit cards, created a four-step budget, took on extra jobs to earn more income, and shared more tricks for getting out of debt below.

She said: “It’s not something I would recommend because it essentially replaces debt with more debt.

“But at the time it was the best option for me.







Shaurna in 2017 with about £20,000 in debt
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Jam Press/@thebougiebudget_uk)


“I also had to do a lot of work to keep myself from transferring purchases to a credit card right away.

“It became a bad habit for me to always use my credit card and I’ve struggled with it ever since.

“However, I never got into debt to that extent again.”

To ensure she could pay back the money, Shaurna set a budget that followed a four-tier “zero-based” system.

This includes identifying income streams, tracking and categorizing expenses, and ensuring that their total income stream minus their expenses equals zero.

In other words, all their money is earmarked, including accommodating treats – and finally being flexible and adjusting the budget when needed, e.g. B. the recent increases in the cost of living.

She said: “It doesn’t matter if you put it down on paper or electronically, but it’s so important to have a plan for your money and to understand where all your money is going.”

Shaurna was also looking for additional income opportunities alongside her job.

She said: “There are so many different side hustles out there that you can do without taking up too much of your time.

“My personal favorites are virtual tutoring, surveys on AttaPoll and Prolific, and market research with Bunnyfield.”

She also set clear financial goals, which Shaurna says are key to saving and paying off debt.

For the Londoner herself, this may include limiting the number of takeaways ordered and planning future travel and shopping.

She currently has “medium-term decreasing funds” earmarked for trips to Croatia and Mexico, as well as the purchase of a Dior tote bag.

Shaurna believes that not over-limiting yourself is key to long-term success.

She added: “This gives me something to work towards and allows me to focus on continuing to improve my finances.

“A good budget makes room for the things you enjoy – that can be as small as a coffee to go once a week.

“While a budget is the foundation of financial success, it’s really important to have a balance.

“Since graduating in 2013, I’ve quadrupled my salary and I’m happy to spend my disposable income on beautiful things.

“I plan treats for this – like having my hair, nails and eyebrows done or a little shopping spree.

“If I want to go on vacation, I want the best room in the best hotel.

“However, I will do a lot of research to make sure I’m getting the best deal and put in place a plan to make sure I pay for everything in cash.

“I balance this with a zero-based budget that ensures all my bills are taken care of. I also prioritize savings and use online challenges to ensure I’m always contributing to my future.

“After taking care of these essentials, I use my disposable income to buy whatever I want.”

In this way, Shaurna managed to enjoy foreign travel while also paying off her debts.

She also puts away any leftover money from her budget, e.g. B. to save the money she didn’t spend but previously set aside for groceries that can be used for treats.

However, another important part of paying off debt is reaching out and finding others who can support you in your non-judgmental journey.

Shaurna shares money-saving tips on Instagram (@thebougiebudget_uk) and has also found her own community to turn to.

She became debt free in December 2021.

She said: “The UK debt free community on Instagram has been really helpful to me and I’ve learned so much from them.

“When you’re not on Instagram, Facebook has similar accounts dedicated to saving money, and it’s always worth reaching out to friends and family to discuss money and budgeting.

“I’m very fortunate to have the career and income that I have, and I know that in these trying times, many people aren’t concerned about being ‘bougie.’

“First, it’s really important to focus on your own finances and tailor any advice you get to your personal circumstances.

“Second, comparison is the thief of joy. As long as you are making the most of your money, there is no point in comparing yourself to others.”

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