An inside guide on how to completely screw your finances

Working in the debt industry I speak to people day-in-day-out who are struggling to maintain their household finances and credit commitments.

Illness, breakdown in relationships, lost jobs, failed business ventures, reckless spending or just a total lack of meaningful income – I’ve seen it all.

However, whilst chained to my desk for an obscene amount the day, you can guarantee the same old companies will raise their head daily. The Cretin Crew who prey on the vulnerable and casually encourage us to take out a loan for just about everything.

When you can’t get out of Argos without being pestered to the point of death about popping your £6 purchase onto a store card charging 29.9% interest, you know the world has gone utterly insane.

Before we dissect the band of unmasked creditor thieves in question, here are three things you may want to give consideration to trying first before using them.

  • Shitting in your own hands and clapping
  • Baptising a cat
  • Openly declaring yourself a proud Tory in agreement with all things no deal Brexit on Facebook

The creditors that kill your finances

Payday loans

Keep telling yourself they are manageable and keep your head buried in the sand if you wish, I’ll warm up the told you so dance whilst I wait for you to come back and admit it’s a fantasy, but the simple fact is payday loans are cancer to your financial well-being.

Even just that once in an emergency has an effect on your credit score. To any reputable lender a payday loan shows up like a Manchester City fan inside the Emptihad Stadium – you’ve openly declared yourself unable to get from A to B without help from one of these sharks.

The problem is, the swamp life of finance prey on low income families. You only have to watch an hour of daytime TV to see how they target the vulnerable.

‘Boiler broken down? Get a loan!’

‘Car problems? I’ll give you £300, just give me just £2000 back!’

‘Can’t miss that night out? Here’s £200, go and get rat arsed and give the two fingered salute to your finances’

It’s a one way street to robbing Peter to pay Paul, especially if you have a low income. One becomes five in the blink of an eye and you are heading up shit creek without a paddle with a 1500% interest rate chasing after you before you know it.

You’ve been completely dry bummed and they didn’t even buy you a drink first.

Store cards

My love of freedom is the only thing stopping me from poking the sales assistant in the eye when I hear those precious words, “would you like to apply for our store card today and place your purchases on there instead of paying cash?”

No Susan hun, I can manage that £6 thanks, and next time you try to rob me at least have the decency to wear a mask.

Now, I know it’s not poor Susan’s fault really. She’s been programmed to say it by her manager under fear of a mystery shopping, snoop grassing her up.

But the lunacy of the blatant pushing of these cards is lost on the greedy, overpaid CEOs of these companies, and to be perfectly frank they are happy to roll the dice on whether you end up paying, or speaking to me about a debt solution further down the line in the quest to get richer.

If you can’t afford what is in the store, don’t so much as put a toe over that door, and under no circumstances let the smiling assassin at the checkout talk you into a money sapping store card that will help ruin your finances.

Living life on the never-never will catch up with you eventually.

Guarantor loans

Whether you are taking out the loan, or acting as the guarantor for it, you are heading into dangerous territory.

The amount of people I have spoken to over the years who have been blagged into these high interest nightmares by friends and family and watched their finances burn is truly horrifying.

I can only imagine how far my mum would have suggested I fuck if I’d have so much as considered asking her to put her name to a relationship-ending shit storm of this magnitude.

My mum would never claim to be the Martin Lewis of single parents with her finances, but she also wasn’t gullible enough to take the word of an 18 year old full of promises he would never be able to keep either.

Take it from somebody who sees it every day, these hideous little monsters destroy relationships. They are the bane of my life when it comes to helping those who genuinely need help in the form of an IVA.

What do you think the chances are of these tossers voting in favour of an IVA paying 30p in the £ back when they know they can legally harass your granny for it instead?

Do not put your name to one, and do not ask anybody else to do the same for you.


“When I get paid I can’t wait to treat myself to a £40 pair of jeans and pay £80 over 2 years just for shits and giggles” – said nobody ever.

But low incomes and growing kids create the perfect catalogue storm time and time again.

Hooked in with a manageable credit limit of £200, but just four £2 payments later and you are deemed trustworthy enough to manage an increase of £800 and now you’ve got a grand to blow when the numerous special occasions arise over the course of the year.

£2 a week is now £70 a week and you’re sat at home shaking like a shitting dog, freezing cold with no heating in your banging new trainers wondering if strangling the life from your finances was worth it after all.

Set yourself a clothes budget every month, but not with the aim of spending it every month. Save it to one side if you are not in need of a wardrobe refresh and it is there when you need it.

Easier said than done on a low income? I’ve had this argument time and time again over the years and my answer remains the same… Much easier than paying £70 per week for the rest of your days, trust me.

Thinking Thrifty
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Thinking Thrifty

David Naylor is the editor of the Thinking Thrifty blog. An award winning personal finance and lifestyle blogger, he shows how it is possible to live extremely well for less.
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