ARE YOU DISABLING YOURSELF?
My diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2000 turned my life upside down. At first, I thought it was the worst thing that could ever happen to me. I lost my mobility, the best job I'd ever had - a government job it took me a year and a half to get - many of friends and, I thought, my future.
When I got the job with CRA, I went from earning minimum wage as a part time sales clerk to over $20,000 a year then I nearly doubled my income six months later when I applied for, and got, a position as a tax collector. You would think that I was putting this money away, saving for a rainy day but I wasn’t. I was spending it as fast as I could make it, actually faster because a lot of stuff was on credit.
When I went on disability, the specialist said I was likely never to work again but here I was, close to $60,000 in debt. I had no way to increase my income to pay off what I owed. I started buying less food to afford to keep my payments current. I was stressed all the time which made my MS worse, I was eating junk food, drinking too much alcohol and smoking too much. Something had to be done to improve my life.
In 2002, I went to a debt counsellor and, after looking at my situation, she recommended I file for bankruptcy. That was one of the more embarrassing times of my life. I was ashamed that I had been so foolish and careless with my money. I felt humiliated that I had to do this. For six months I think I had to report all my spending to the bankruptcy trustees and I was consumed with guilt for every penny I spent because I felt the trustees would be judging me. I felt as if I would never get back on my feet.
But I did. My life went on, I got credit again and the bankruptcy faded into the past. Then I realized that I was starting to fall into the same trap as before - spending money I didn't have to buy things I didn't need. So I put a stop to it. One day, I took a look around and realized how many people are in the same situation I was in. Putting too much on credit and having to pay so much to keep up the minimum payments that they use the credit again to survive. I am disabled by MS but so many people are disabling themselves with debt! There has to be a way to stop it. And there is.
I help people with unsecured debt find lower interest rates, pay their debt off faster and save money. I do this with The 90 Day Turnaround: 90 Days to Financial Stability coaching program.
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Read more about my inspiring story here.
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