Mom with £ 38,000 debt calls for less shame over money problems
Debt can change a life, but one woman is hoping her story will spark a conversation about how we talk about money issues.
Over the past few years, Yasmine Camilla – who is a single mother of two – has racked up £ 38,000 in debt – but points out that her mental health was the main reason her financial troubles escalated so quickly.
Yasmine, project manager and Instagram influencer from London, says her debt has piled up after a few rough years.
The 35-year-old’s debt journey began when she went through a difficult breakup – and the end of the relationship had a huge impact on her mental health.
Soon after, the pandemic struck – which presented a whole new range of financial problems.
Yasmine told Metro.co.uk: “I got into a bit of debt before the relationship ended, paying for things to try to make the relationship work.
“But when we broke up I got into a bit more debt (although still less than £ 10,000 at this point) as I was paying for therapy, as I couldn’t get therapy very quickly through the NHS at that time and I was really quite mentally affected by the breakup.
“So part of that credit card debt was from that – then I had about six months trying to improve myself and get my life back on track and figure out what it’s like to be. being a single mom (and figuring that out) – that’s a big life adjustment.
“And then Covid hit, and so the rest of the debt has piled up since the start of the pandemic.”
Yasmine adds that the pandemic has had a huge negative impact on her mental health.
As a single mother, Yasmine worked at home full time while looking after her two young children – now aged eight and six.
Yasmine says: “I was mainly working – I went through the majority of blockages one, two and three (and Covid in general) with just me and my kids at home. I was working full time – with no additional support.
“I have family, but they were all pretty much protective or – because my kids travel between me and my ex and he was going to work – my family felt like it was a risk and an exposure. in terms of transmission of Covid.
“So I didn’t have a ‘bubble’. Because of that, I certainly wasn’t doing very well.
Because Yasmine’s sanity was poor, she says she was unable to think about money on top of everything else.
She adds, “My goal was to keep my job and get paid and keep my kids as healthy and happy as possible. So I did things like pay for extra child care where I could. There was a time when schools were closed but you could have a nanny or a babysitter, so I used the daycare when I wasn’t doing well, so I could work without being constantly distracted by the kids.
“The continued impact of my inability to parenthood as well as I would like to negatively impact my mental health and it was just a cycle.”
Yasmine paid things off on her credit cards to get by.
“During Covid (and the nature of it of not knowing what happened next), I had to live in the moment. I think when you do that, it’s really hard to extrapolate and think about racking up “X amount” of debt.
“You don’t really look forward to it, you just think day to day,” she said.
In early 2021, when the government announced that the schools would not be returning, things got too tough for Yasmine.
She said: “I actually just couldn’t cope, I thought I couldn’t do it anymore, and I really had a hard time working and not being able to raise my kids the way they should – We hardly did any homeschooling because how can you home school two kids and one day work.
“When I heard this news, I couldn’t cope. I emailed my job and asked them to put me on leave, and as a rule, they don’t put people on leave – it wasn’t personal, they just didn’t.
“So I tried to go back to work, but it didn’t take long for me to get sick from the stress and anxiety, and in fact, I was away for several weeks.”
During this time, Yasmine had a TBI and started to feel better and less overwhelmed. She also began to realize the reality of her financial situation.
She said: “I knew I was very in debt when I had CBT, and I felt less overwhelmed, so I was able to start taking control of my life, but I didn’t have the ability or the energy to start thinking about what I was going to do to pay.
“That’s when I consolidated the loans – but I never really looked at the big picture because I think I was trying to avoid reality.”
It was only recently that Yasmine was able to start tackling it.
Last week the mother-of-two decided to post her debt journey on TikTok and found the total amount to be around £ 38,000 – far more than she had expected.
Most of the debt was on credit cards, which is why Yasmine took out loans to pay off.
Yasmine adds that her income plummeted during the pandemic, due to her lack of work on Instagram, and that she lacked the mental capacity to sort through her statements and see what was needed to “step back”.
Today, Yasmine plans to get her finances under control and has set herself the goal of paying off all of her loans within one year.
She hopes to achieve this by slashing expenses, selling items (like her Peloton), and using the money earned from her recently resumed Instagram work.
She also focuses on the positives, rather than worrying.
Yasmine adds: “Yes, I have a huge debt that I have to repay and need Settle a debt. But, also, my children are here, they are in good health, we still have a house and I still have a job.
“It’s just money – I can pay it back and I will pay it back.
“I have to stay positive because I know my mental health is tough from the past two years so I can’t let that worry me.”
The influencer adds that the reaction she received on social media has been phenomenal as people have shared their own debt stories with her – many saying they have just admitted it and told their own. relatives.
Yasmine now hopes her trip will make others feel less ashamed of their debt.
“I really hope this will spark a conversation,” she adds.
“I’m not proud of it, but I’m not going to be ashamed of it because at the time I did what I had to do.”
Yasmine stresses that it is essential not to judge because we never know what is going on behind the scenes.
She says, “I just want people to be less ashamed, it’s not nice to think that people are ashamed of their debt, even though they bought a designer handbag, for some reason, that is. is what they were supposed to do that day. “
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