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Financial Focus

I left school and went straight into a job. They called me a success story. However, getting and keeping a job was almost impossible. The first job I had, I was told on the day that I wasn’t needed anymore. Literally told when I got to work. This was 3 days before being there 2 years, employees got employment benefits after 2 years service with the company.

I got into debt when I was about 18/19 and took out a loan to pay it off. Around the same time I lost my job and became homeless. All the while fees and fines were being added to my debt. I worked as often as possible, sometimes having 3 jobs at the same time to try to cope with costs and repayments.

I broke my spine in 2007 and I found that I couldn’t get work after that. My wife paid off my debt in about 2008 because the constant calls from debt collectors were really getting to me. In 2012 I was awarded a legal settlement of just £17,000 for the accident (something that’s impacted every aspect of my life) and had to pay £6000 back to the government from unemployment benefits. The figure seems to be because my medical records were altered. So the assumption was that I hadn’t injured my spine.

I got my correct diagnosis added to my medical records last year, but 16 plus years after the accident. Also in 2012 my disability benefits were reduced to £22 a week and remained that way for about 8 years. I felt guilty all the time, and felt the pressure of not knowing how to support my family.

I wasn’t going to ask my wife for pocket money so I learned to spend £30-50 a month and basically avoid money. It’s odd admitting this at 45 but I never got the chance to figure out money or really support my family.

I think I was £1800 in debt at 18 and that hounded me for over a decade. I must have paid back the loan, about ten times what the original debts totaled. So this is an area that I do feel like I’m starting from scratch with. However this year I want to figure out a working knowledge of mathematics and taxes so that I can become self employed and earn something for my family.

All our best and love

Ross Fraser and Jeni Dern

Written by – Ross Fraser

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1 ความคิดเห็น

17 ม.ค.

My history with money is pretty bad really. Basically I left school uneducated at 15 because I just wanted so much to get away from that place. I felt utterly ashamed of my life and being in debt so young that I don’t think I’ve actually talked about this much until recently. I tried buying and selling online, things like that but never felt like I was any good at it. Actually I kept worrying that it was going to put us back in debt so eventually stopped doing it.

My parents tried to help me out, but they didn’t know about half of the struggles I was dealing with. That was compounded because I couldn’t express the difficulties I…

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