After spending four years working in finance and seeing what missed bills and spiralling debt does to people, I vowed never to get like that. And four years later I’ve become EXACTLY that. It’s scary. I’d speak to these people on the phone, and my heart would bleed for them, for no matter how shit their situation was, from within my role in the bank I could do absolutely fuck all to help them. And I’m now speaking to customer service reps who are treating me the exact same way.
I cling to the hope that our situation will improve, that our circumstances will change for the better… but all it is, is blind hope. Trusting to fate. My current job ends in less than a year, with no guarantee of a new contract. I took on extra lecturing work until the projects budget petered out for that type of role. I then took the risk of reducing my office hours to do a part-time lecturing role, in the hope that it would serve me in good stead in the future – but that role will end before my current role, so by next March I’m essentially down to four days a week with no chance to go back up to five. And any extra earnings from the part-time lecturing are wiped out by the increased taxation of that income, so it’s of little financial help. Right now I kinda feel like all I’m good at is making more and more shit decisions. Were it not for the help of family and friends over the years, we’d have gone under a LONG time ago.
So where to from here? I honestly don’t know. I approached the bank for assistance or some sort of help, and they completely fucked me over, froze my accounts and suspended my credit card, which I’ve been relying upon for groceries and essentials. So on the plus side, yes, that debt is increasing less quickly, but it means another avenue of somewhat staying afloat is gone. We’ve cut back our bills and outgoings pretty much as far as they’ll go. Our outgoings still eclipse our incomings hugely. Ceri’s looking for work, I’m looking for work, I’m trying to sell sketches, but there’s really nothing I’m ACTUALLY qualified to do, and very little I’m any good at. I can’t make a living off comic book work because the money’s shit, most of my clients over the last two years took an age to pay me (and some needed legal action to get even that) and there’s not enough work out there anyways.
All in all, we’ve been in better situations. But I’m trying to remain upbeat and optimistic, because there’s not really anything else I can do, is there? I’ll keep searching for better paying jobs, accepting freelancing as I find it etc etc… all that stuff. Wish me luck.